Yellowstone's snowcoach tours use specially designed over-snow passenger vans and snowmobiles to explore Old Faithful, Geyser Basin and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone during the winter season. Set itinerary and private tours are offered.
A snowcoach is a passenger van that runs on skis and treads instead of wheels. The skis look similar to those on the front of a snowmobile, while the treads resemble those on an all-terrain tank. Not only does this undercarriage provide excellent traction, it raises the height of the vehicle. With the addition of oversized, all-around windows, passengers enjoy a panoramic view of their surroundings. The glass is clear, with no tinting, making it excellent for taking photographs from inside the snowcoach.
Several companies operate snowcoach tours, most following specific routes. Examples of routes include the 14-mile road from the West Entrance to Madison Junction, which follows the Madison River. This is one of the favored feeding grounds of the park's bison herds. From Madison Junction to the Norris Geyser Basin is another 14 miles, leading to the Artist's Paint Pots and various geysers.
From Madison Junction to Old Faithful is a 16-mile ride. Other destinations include Midway Geyser Basin, West Thumb Geyser Basin, Canyon Junction and Mammoth Hot Springs. No matter where you are in the park, you're likely to see bison, wolves, elk, bear and an assortment of birds.