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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    East Troy, WI & Arkdale, WI
    Posts
    752

    Default West Yellowstone

    First timer for the West Yellowstone area this year in February. Last year the wife and I went to the black hills and enjoyed it. This was our first venture westward as normally we ride Wisconsin, UP Michigan, and Minnesota. This year we are venturing a little further to West Yellowstone in February. Anyone have any pointers for the first timer to the area. Rentals, Yellowstone tour, cabin, places to go, eat, etc. We will likely do a mixture of off trail and on trail. Contemplating flying and renting sleds versus the 20 hour drive pulling my sleds from Wisconsin. Thanks in advance for your input and suggestions.

    RS

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Waterville MN
    Posts
    479

    Default

    We went about 14 years ago and stayed at west Yellowstone, the park was awesome but still that time we could ride our own sleds not sure what it's like now but it was a ride that I still talk about, riding around buffalo and elk right on trail so cool, all the trails we rode were awesome we also went up to lions head and two top, I think that's the name of them anyways it was a long time ago but that was really cool, have fun it won't be hard to do

  3. #3
    Tracker Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ryanslyne View Post
    First timer for the West Yellowstone area this year in February. Last year the wife and I went to the black hills and enjoyed it. This was our first venture westward as normally we ride Wisconsin, UP Michigan, and Minnesota. This year we are venturing a little further to West Yellowstone in February. Anyone have any pointers for the first timer to the area. Rentals, Yellowstone tour, cabin, places to go, eat, etc. We will likely do a mixture of off trail and on trail. Contemplating flying and renting sleds versus the 20 hour drive pulling my sleds from Wisconsin. Thanks in advance for your input and suggestions.

    RS
    I used to do a bit of guiding out there and 1st some basic questions for ya.....do ya like your sleds and are they new and do you take extreme care of them or you just ride them and don't worry aboot polished tunnels and such....are ya taking her off trail up the side of the matterhorn or just some bunny hill climbs occasionally....are ya going by yourselves or with a guide....the park and the trails are now separate which one do you want to do or both....do you like playing meadows with rolling hills or hill climbing.....do you intend to just ride trails like the Midwest....on a scale of 1 to 10 how good at riding are ya both.... these will answer whether you should take yours or not


    PS....rule number 1....NEVER....EVER....NEVER....go below the last road....remember that
    rule 2....avalanches occur MOSTLY on the northeast faces....remember that
    these 2 will save your lives

  4. #4
    Tracker Guest

    Default

    at 46 seconds is were I rent at....ALWAYS CAT EFI....one guy brought sled...its the polarious RMK...then at 218...that spec on the bunnyhill...see his dancing tracks....that's as far as he made it...steep as all get out once up there what looked easy...3:47 is matterhorn....3:52 is viewing specs below....its the guys that didn't want to go up there....4:08 to 5 is on top....only me and pops made it up...he wanted to check his bucket list off...everyone else had trouble breathing and stayed below....enjoy for some ideas


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    NE Pa
    Posts
    994

    Default

    OK I'll throw this in too
    a lot really com,es down to like Tracker asked, what are your expectations and types of riding and skill sets
    I have done both towed sleds out and rented(more like 36+ hours for me however) and I prefer to rent
    only real advantage to ME on towing sleds out is, being able to take MY personal gear out and having a vehicle as well as sleds out there
    90% of everything you will want or need to do can all be done on sled, MINUS getting from air port to where your staying, so a vehicle isn't a MUST have item
    and pending size of group and place your staying at, some will pick you up and take you back, from airport, but NOT all, this you have to work out in advance and get in writing too is my suggestion!

    so some times you need to rent a vehicle if NOT driving out!
    flying IMO just makes things faster and you don't be as sore from the LONG drive as to the much shorter flight.

    as for advice on where to ride, again this is hard to say, as not sure of your type of riding, about any where outside the park can be good, farther away from main area's better the off trail gets , like most places, if your having a guide, they will take you where they feel is best and most GOOD guides will evaluate you in short order and keep you in your skill level, as they don't enjoy having to dig folks out all day long!
    if your doing self guided, IMO< again pending skill set/experience level
    if your mostly a trail rider, RENT a trail sled for first 1-2 days and scout the area riding what your used to
    as they do ride the best and handle the best and will be fun for you all
    from there you will KNOW what the area is like, what level of OFF trail you want to dabble in, and rent a sled that fits that riding best, and go play, just know your limits, don't go too far into the unknown , as it can be a HARD deal to get out of some places if your not into DEEP snow riding
    more modern off trail sleds are pretty capable , but there not perfect and not everyone can ride them like they do in videos and marketing adds want you to believe!
    most easier ares will have more traffic and well HELP if needed, as to more off the beaten path, which is why guides are great ideas' if you want to test yourself over just playing on less technical places.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    St Germain, WI
    Posts
    596

    Default

    Lived in Montana during the mid 90's when you could still ride your own sled. We have been in Yellowstone all 4 seasons and still say winter is the best. Can't tell you about the rental conditions but you will enjoy the park.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    NE Pa
    Posts
    994

    Default

    I also have been in park before and after
    its still worth going in park, if you never been there, it is a great place to visit ANY time of yr, if you like to ride snowmobiles, and are out there, I'd recommend taking a day to go thru the park, the costs is worth it in things you will see and memories you will have IMO!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Watertown WI
    Posts
    1,987

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ryanslyne View Post
    First timer for the West Yellowstone area this year in February. Last year the wife and I went to the black hills and enjoyed it. This was our first venture westward as normally we ride Wisconsin, UP Michigan, and Minnesota. This year we are venturing a little further to West Yellowstone in February. Anyone have any pointers for the first timer to the area. Rentals, Yellowstone tour, cabin, places to go, eat, etc. We will likely do a mixture of off trail and on trail. Contemplating flying and renting sleds versus the 20 hour drive pulling my sleds from Wisconsin. Thanks in advance for your input and suggestions.

    RS
    IIRC closer to 24hrs from SE WI.
    West is a good place for first timers. Lots of areas close to trail to play if you're not comfy getting far from trail. Though there is so many trails, if you get lost, you will find a trail sooner or later.

    We always take our own sleds, but there is a bunch of rental places in town. West Yellowstone is big enough to have everything you would need.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    23

    Default

    I went to West Yellowstone last year. Did both trail riding and then rented a guide for off-trail riding. In Montana, you can pretty much drive a vehicle as fast as you want, but get on a snowmobile trail and the speed limit is 45, strictly enforced! Found that quite ironic and not what we are used to. If you drive, do the math and figure it will cost about $1k for gas, food, and lodging for the 2,600 mile round trip. Other considerations for bringing your own sleds are trail passes for both Montana and Idaho, since close to border, high elevation carb/clutch kits and the labor or time to change over. On the way home we had 1,000 miles of snow/ice covered roads, sub zero temps, and 30 mph cross winds....We did not allow enough time in our schedule to hunker down for a day to let the system pass, so we pushed through it. If it was just me going I would fly out and rent. I brought my three kids, so for several reasons, we opted to drive.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Portage Wi/Marenisco Mi
    Posts
    25

    Default

    Wondering what the situation is in Yellowstone with the shutdown. Can you get in?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    East Troy, WI & Arkdale, WI
    Posts
    752

    Default

    Thanks to you all for the input it was greatly appreciated! And sorry for no/ late response I do not check JohnDee that often. The wife and I decided on flying out and renting sleds. We flew from Chicago (not ideal) but was cheapest to Idaho Falls. From Idaho Falls rented a truck and made the hour and half drive up to West Yellowstone. Rented some 2019 Polaris 155 850s from Highmark Rental for two days and did a nice combo of trail and off trail. The sights were great and the snow was even better! Probably the most snow I have ever seen in my lifetime piled up. We then did the tourist thing and rented a 4 stroke 2up for a day and did the Yellowstone tour which was great as well! Anyone that wants to do this trip and has not I would highly recommend it. Big Springs, Mesa Falls, Two Top, Lionshead, the park everything was great. No complaints at all other than we cut our last night short due to recommendations from the locals with a big snow storm coming in. They said your flight in Idaho Falls would be fine but likely HWY 20 coming into Yellowstone would likely be closed with the 18-24" of snow that was coming with 40mph winds within the next 24 hours. So we packed up early on the last evening and headed out of town in the snow before it got too nasty. Camped at a hotel in Idaho Falls for the night, luckily we did because they did end up shutting the highway down the next day due to extreme drifting on the highway. Other than that no complaints!

    RS

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    NE Pa
    Posts
    994

    Default

    glad you had a good time,
    I expected you would LOL
    never known anyone to make it there and not
    only problem is,a s you know is time, never enough to stay as long as you would if you could and see more things
    but as they as they say, , there is always NEXT time!
    I know I had to go back after my first time there LOL

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Oakdale MN
    Posts
    2,219

    Default


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