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The Greater Yellowstone Area is the only remaining large biologically intact temperate ecosystem in North America, comparable in size and diversity to Africa’s Serengeti!Learn More

Winter Recreation

Notorious for being a cold spot, east Idaho has some of the best winter access in the lower forty eight. Whether you’re looking to backcountry ski or snowmobile, fish or snowshoe, the Yellowstone Teton Territory provides an abundance of winter fun.

Plan your trip around one activity or many. Tour on a snowmobile in Yellowstone one day, ski Grand Targhee the next day and on the third, find yourself enjoying the Henry’s Fork. The prime locations of the Yellowstone to Teton Territory are hard to beat with one activity always leading to another. Cross country skiing  can be followed by a trip to Heise or Green Canyon Hot Springs but check their sites. But don’t fret with all the attractions, there is still solitude to be found.

Just because you need your hat and gloves, doesn’t mean that they are not plenty of regional events to enjoy during the winter. Island Park hosts the Great West WinterFest. The International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race passes through Driggs. The American Dog Derby, the oldest American dog sled race,  Yellowstone Rendezvous Marathon Ski Race, World Snowmobile EXPO, Great Snow Fest are all wonderful events to give you an excuse for your next trip to east Idaho.

Visit our maps in travel guides to learn more about the winter recreation. Click the links below to discover more local information for guides, supplies and activities.

Snowmobiling

Why is the Yellowstone Teton Territory a World Class Destination for Snowmobilers?

  • Over 1800 miles of groomed trails in Eastern Idaho

  • Breathtaking open ridges, meadows, scenery, and wildlife

  • Numerous off-load areas and quaint warming huts

  • Base elevations from 5,200 feet and climbs over 10,000 feet

Explore Eastern Idaho's backcountry like few people ever have. With dozens of intricate trail systems, you'll have easy access to hundreds of miles of remote pathways virtually untouched by human hands. And with our long snowmobile season, you'll have time to explore many of them.Don't have your own equipment? No problem. There are plenty of outfitters that will be able to provide you with everything you need for your very own backcountry snowmobiling adventure. If you've ever ridden a snowmobile, you know the pleasure that comes from a morning spent charging through a fresh blanket of snow. Combine that with Eastern Idaho's rare beauty and bountiful snowfall, and you have a snowmobiler's dream!

For more information, download at snowmobile trail map for:

Downhill Skiing & Boarding

Eastern Idaho is home to some of the best skiing in the world! 

Kelly Canyon Ski Area, located about half an hour from Idaho Falls, is where the locals go for day and night skiing. Kelly boasts four lifts with access to 26 ski runs and a new 600-foot tubing park for families and groups. The ski lodge features a rental shop, cafeteria, and banquet and private rooms for events. 

The famous Grand Targhee Ski Resort, also located nearby in the Targhee National Forest, offers 63 trails covering over 3000 acres of alpine skiing, night skiing, heli-skiing, snow-cat skiing, cross country skiing, snow tubing and snow boarding. Grand Targhee is famous for their powdery natural "snow from heaven".

Like Cross-country skiing? Eastern Idaho also sports a variety of trails for the cross-country skiing enthusiast. Go to Cross-Country Skiing.

Cross Country Skiing

With incredible terrain, plentiful snowfall, and breathtaking scenery, it's no surprise that the Yellowstone Teton Territory enjoys numerous opportunities to get out in nature and spend a day cross-country skiing.  In fact, the area is quickly becoming recognized as world-class for nordic skiing.

Numerous different trail possibilities await and offer a little something for everyone.  Between the many skiing opportunities and the incredible natural surroundings, it's a safe bet to say that cross-country skiers will thoroughly enjoy themselves here.

Look through the information below to gather a better idea of the many great trails that await.

Ice Fishing

Think about getting in on the colder side of rod with this post from the Frogwater. Jeff Currier's blog is en route for 2019! 

Guides & Outfitters

Feel like going fishing or hunting? Don't have your gear? Eastern Idaho has plenty of outfitters to suit you up with what you need. Whether you require a rod and tackle or a backpack and boots we have what you are looking for. Whatever outdoor adventure you're planning, count on finding what you need and more.  View the BLM's excellent map to our resources for tourists and anglers.

Bonneville County

Idaho Falls is the largest city in Yellowstone-Teton Territory, and as such, it is home to some great winter activities.For ice skating fans, the City of Idaho Falls offers various ways for you to hit the ice. The Joe Marmo/Wayne Lehto Ice Arena, located at Tautphaus Park, features a large indoor ice rink, and it is home to ice skating lessons, hockey leagues and a Laser Light Skate Night.

The City of Idaho Falls has created three outdoor ice skating rinks that are free to the public:Tautphaus Park Football Field (Just east of the Ice Arena), Corner of Rollandet & Softball Drive (Elk Field),  and 2210 W. Broadway (Behind Soapy’s Car Wash).

Cross Country Skiing at Tautphaus and Sunnyside Parks: The Idaho Falls Parks and Recreation department spends countless hours each winter grooming various trails for cross country skiers to use. It is important to note that the parks have to types of groomed paths: grooved and flat. The grooved paths are designed specifically for use by cross country skiers. The flat paths are designed for winter walking, fat tire biking and snow skating.

Sledding at Freeman Park: Freeman Park in Idaho Falls is home to some of the best hills in Idaho Falls, and as such, they are perfect for sledding. The hills are so good, in fact, that the Post Register did an entire article about how awesome they are.

This activities list is sponsored by Idaho Falls Magazine. If you are looking for Idaho Falls events your whole family will enjoy, check out the Idaho Falls Magazine Calendar of Events

Jefferson County

Jefferson County is in the heart of Yellowstone-Teton Territory, and in the winter, residents flock to the area for various winter activities.

Here are the top winter activities in which you can participate in Jefferson County:

Skiing and Snowboarding at Kelly Canyon Ski Resort

Located in Ririe, Kelly Canyon Ski Resort is a must-visit for those who love skiing and snowboarding. Kelly Canyon is home to 688 skiable acres featuring 51 runs, and the longest run is 6,900 ft.

For those who are new to the sports or do not have the proper equipment, Kelly Canyon offers gear rentals and lessons. When you need a break, the lodge at Kelly Canyon has a cafeteria-style restaurant and a great view of the mountain.

Additional activities at Kelly Canyon include night skiing, a terrain park fat-tire bikes and nordic skiing trails.

Heise Hot Springs

Looking for something warm to do this winter? Why not take your family to Heise Hot Springs pool. When the cold weather comes to Teton-Yellowstone Territory, the 104-degree natural mineral hot spring is sure to be a hit.

Spend a night at the Blue Heron Inn

 

Located just off Highway 20 in Rigby, the Blue Heron Inn is a cozy bed and breakfast perfect for a quiet winter night. The inn is located on 3.5 acres of property right along the South Fork of the Snake River, and trust us, the view is amazing.

The Blue Heron Inn lodge has 5100 square feet of living space, a hot tub with an exceptional view of the Snake River, six bedrooms with private bathrooms, a loft with a library and table games, and a lower floor with a pool table and a theater.

As with any bed and breakfast, the innkeepers will prepare an amazing breakfast for each guest in the home.

Top Winter Activities in Jefferson County

Whether you are looking for extreme winter sports or for some warm places to relax, Jefferson County is one of the best places to start. To learn more about Jefferson County and other winter activities in Yellowstone-Teton Territory, check out the things to do in the winter page on our website.

This article is sponsored by Snowest, a snowmobile magazine.

Madison County

Madison County is home to Brigham Young University-Idaho, and as many college communities, there are lots of fun activities for everyone to enjoy.

Here are the top three winter activities in Madison County:

BYU-Idaho Outdoor Activities Adventures

For new BYU-Idaho students, the frozen tundra of Rexburg might not seem like fun on a cold winter morning; however, for seasoned veterans, there are plenty of outdoor adventures to take.

The BYU-Idaho Outdoor Recreation Center offers a variety of excursions each semester in which students and staff may participate. According to the group’s Facebook page, some examples of activities you can participate in during the winter semester include:

  • Cross Country SKiing
  • Fat Biking
  • Ice Fishing
  • Snowshoeing
  • Ice Skating
  • And Much More!

To learn more about how you can sign up for these activities, visit BYU-I Student Activities website.

Play Indoor Paintball at Splatters

If the weather is too cold for you to play outside, stop by Splatters War Zone. This indoor paintball facility in Rexburg offers players—both novice and expert—two arenas in which they can play with their friends. 

With a variety of deals every day of the week and equipment rentals, Splatters is a fun activity for a group of roommates or a family.

To learn more about Splatters War Zone, visit their website.

Sledding at Smith Park in Rexburg

Smith Park is popular year round; however, once winter comes, the park is filled with sledders. The park is located just off of the main road in Rexburg, and is easily accessible to both students and members of the community.

Top three winter activities in Madison County

This content is sponsored by The Ivy, a BYU-Idaho approved housing complex in Rexburg.