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Island Park: Wild West Winterfest and Beyond

Posted On
Jan 30, 2018
Category
Things to Do
Winter Recreation
Yellowstone Activies
Activities near Yellowstone
Places Near Yellowstone

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                          

 

It’s 6pm, and the lights at Elk Creek Station seem to magnify every snowflake that falls and it’s never ending.  Snowmobiles are lined up outside; their owners patiently waiting inside the garage for the call to get the parade started at the 13th annual Wild West Winterfest in Island Park, Idaho.

The Winterfest is a two-day event in various locations throughout this little East Idaho town that celebrates all things snow related and in a town that boasts the longest main street in the US (32 miles long) getting anywhere truly is half the fun!

                             

I’ve always enjoyed paddle boarding in Island Park in the summer so when I heard about this event, I jumped at the chance to explore more in the snow and it didn’t disappoint.  

If you’ve got your own sled (that’s a snowmobile for all you rookies) you’re good to go, but if you don’t, there are plenty of places to rent them and tons of local guides who can show you around. We picked up ours at the Lakeside Lodge who also have all the gear you could possibly need and the staff were super knowledgeable and friendly. The lodge also has Christmas lights that were truly “bucket list” worthy and a must see for any trip here throughout the winter!

We watched the fireworks, attended Snowcross, the Vintage Sled Show, ate a couple of brats, competed in a snowman contest, and then back to the casino night, all from the comforts of our trusty sled!

The Winterfest was good fun, but the best part truly was getting from point A to point B, and the jaw dropping scenery in between. With hundred of miles of some of the most amazingly groomed trails, you are able to ride your way in between restaurants, bars, stores, and other local attractions throughout the whole winter.

You’ll definitely want to check out (and carry) a map of the trail system, because while there are plenty of signs along the way to point you in different directions, heavy snowfall can make it rather difficult to see!

While it might not be the “island life,” you’d envisioned, Island Park will make you fall in love with winter all over again!