Looking to squeeze in one last winter adventure before temperatures start to climb in the spring? Consider Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and the nearby Grand Teton National Park, both of which offer breathtaking, snow-swept landscapes, an abundance of winter sports, and a welcome absence of the fanny-pack-wearing masses of tourists who descend in warmer months.
Exploring these stunning national parks Yellowstone is the countrys first, designated as such in 1872 by the Western explorers who were dazzled by its beauty is a perfect respite for shredded quads after skiing in nearby Jackson, or a stand-alone trip for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or traveling by snow coach or snowmobile.
Plus, it's supremely affordable: An entrance fee of $25 per car for 7-day period covers admittance to Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park.
Yellowstone is also teeming with wildlife, including 67 species of mammals and 322 species of birds. During the winter, you're likely to spot bison, red foxes, coyotes, and even swans. Watching the bison endlessly forage for vegetation, disrupting the deep snow with their massive heads in search of a few frozen blades of grass, is mesmerizing (and makes it impossible not to have a new sense of appreciation for your otherwise-ordinary sack lunch).
Commissioned operators for winter activities in Yellowstone will continue to offer services until the park closes. If your excursion piques your interest for a return trip in the spring or summer, it's advisable to make reservations pronto, as on-site lodging (which closes after this weekend and reopens on May 4) fills up quickly (lodging is managed by Xanterra Parks & Resorts; you can book through their website).
Grand Teton National Park, however, is open year-round and an easy, 45-minute drive from the town of Jackson. Vistas of majestic peaks and unmarred snow along Highway 191 virtually beckon for exploration, and there are trail heads for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. If you have a rental car, you can simply park, strap in, and go.
For general trip-planning information, see our Wyoming destination guide.