Yellowstone - Winter Yurt Trip?

Janice

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For years we've talked about going to Yellowstone in the winter, and we're considering a yurt trip with Yellowstone Expeditions for next year. Has anyone done this (or know someone who has) and can give a recommendation for or against? We would probably spend a night or two at Snow Lodge to explore the Old Faithful area and then do the 3-night yurt trip to explore the canyon area and backcountry. I know we could skip the yurts and just do a day trip by snowcoach to the canyon area, but it seems like we wouldn't get to do much skiing there. Plus the yurt experience seems intriguing. I know it's pricey even though the accommodations are super rustic, but maybe splurging is the right thing given the special opportunity? Or are there other options we should consider? (But NOT winter camping - I'm not tough enough for that.)

I would love any info you can provide!
 

Rockskipper

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Package lengthDouble OccupancySingle Occupancy
4 days/3 nights$1560/person$1760/person
5 days/4 nights$1900/person$2150/person
8 days/7 nights$2700/person$3000/person

These prices really aren't out of line, considering what things are going for these days. I mean, REI charges $3500 (3800 non-members) for 6-days of guided summer hiking in Yellowstone and you get to sleep in tents. It does include all meals and a can of bear spray. :)

To me, the yurt experience would be more interesting because it wouldn't be something I could just go do on my own. (@scatman, there's your retirement supplement, guiding tours in Ystone. You could even do muleback tours with Dooley and people could take turns riding.)
 

Janice

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Yes, I agree @Rockskipper. I found some positive reviews on TripAdvisor, so that's promising. If anyone here has experience with it as well, that would be so helpful.
 

TheMountainRabbit

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I haven't done the yurt trips in particular, but I strongly endorse visiting Yellowstone in winter - however it works for you. I just got back to my nice warm house tonight and I already wish I was still up there freezing my butt off.
 

scatman

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Package lengthDouble OccupancySingle Occupancy
4 days/3 nights$1560/person$1760/person
5 days/4 nights$1900/person$2150/person
8 days/7 nights$2700/person$3000/person

These prices really aren't out of line, considering what things are going for these days. I mean, REI charges $3500 (3800 non-members) for 6-days of guided summer hiking in Yellowstone and you get to sleep in tents. It does include all meals and a can of bear spray. :)

To me, the yurt experience would be more interesting because it wouldn't be something I could just go do on my own. (@scatman, there's your retirement supplement, guiding tours in Ystone. You could even do muleback tours with Dooley and people could take turns riding.)

Hey, I'd do it for free for spring/summer/fall backpacking. If REI is charging $3500, save your money and buy a nice tent, backpack, sleeping bag and a stove and come with me.

Now for winter trips, it might be worth it.
 

TheMountainRabbit

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Let's not knock winter camping too hard. You've never heard a silence as silent as the morning after a few inches of snow fall in the backcountry.

I stayed at Mammoth CG this past week to test my winter kit and it was fantastic. Might spring for a 0° bag at some point though.

Those prices are remarkably reasonable though - not much more than just staying at the Mammoth Hotel for the same amount of time. (Though you can do a lot better than Mammoth in Gardiner - especially in winter.)

20220124_084254.jpg
 
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Rockskipper

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Let's not knock winter camping too hard. You've never heard a silence as silent as the morning after a few inches of snow fall in the backcountry.

I stayed at Mammoth CG this past week to test my winter kit and it was fantastic. Might spring for a 0° bag at some point though.

Those prices are remarkably reasonable though - not much more than just staying at the Mammoth Hotel for the same amount of time. (Though you can do a lot better than Mammoth in Gardiner - especially in winter.)

View attachment 106694
Were you the only one at Mammoth?
 

Janice

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Let's not knock winter camping too hard. You've never heard a silence as silent as the morning after a few inches of snow fall in the backcountry.
I'm sure I would love the silence and beauty of a snowfall in the backcountry. I just can't imagine how I'd be warm enough. When I'm moving (hiking or skiing) I stay plenty warm. But when I'm at rest, I get really cold and layer upon layer of clothing just doesn't help.
 
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TheMountainRabbit

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I'm sure I would love the silence and beauty of a snowfall in the backcountry. I just can't imagine how I'd be warm enough. When I'm moving (hiking or skiing) I stay plenty warm. But when I'm at rest, I get really cold and layer upon layer of clothing just doesn't help.
It's definitely an acquired taste - my first go at it was in my backyard when I knew we had a mild winter storm coming through. Lately though I struggle with getting too warm while I'm moving and having trouble managing the associated perspiration; it's no good being wet in freezing conditions.

I have to say though, the yurts looks like a pretty cool option to get a pretty similar experience without the notable downsides. I didn't actually know they were a thing (in Yellowstone at least) until your post.
 

Rockskipper

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I spent a year after my freshman year in college trying to decide whether to go back to school or not. I was hired as a land surveyor for that time, which included working all winter around Steamboat Springs, CO as the instrument person and thereby having the fun of not only carrying a heavy tripod and instrument, but also digging a pit to set it on the ground, sometimes three or four feet deep. I worked on snowshoes and cross-country skis. We worked from before dawn, often getting stuck several times before arriving at the survey site (I learned a lot about using a winch) and not getting out until after dark. We drove an old Jeep Wagoneer with no rear window. We would get so cold that we'd build a fire at lunch time. I had a pair of electric battery-powered socks. I decided to go back to school after that. :)

I've never had any desire to winter camp since then though I've done it a few times. I love to see photos by others who do it and read their accounts, because it makes me feel appreciative to be in a nice warm shelter. I have winter camped in a trailer up to minus 5, but it's not the same, as I had a heater, even though the rugs would freeze to the floor. So, beautiful as it is, I'm not tough enough for it, or maybe I should say it's too tough for me. Even worse than the cold are the long nights. A heated yurt would be heaven.
 

Ugly

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It's definitely an acquired taste - my first go at it was in my backyard when I knew we had a mild winter storm coming through. Lately though I struggle with getting too warm while I'm moving and having trouble managing the associated perspiration; it's no good being wet in freezing conditions.

I have to say though, the yurts looks like a pretty cool option to get a pretty similar experience without the notable downsides. I didn't actually know they were a thing (in Yellowstone at least) until your post.
Winter in Yellowstone looks awesome. It has long been on my list.

Do not get me wrong. I enjoy winter camping. The quiet, emptiness, no bugs, camp wherever you want to stomp out the snow (when there is snow), and many other things are great. The nights are long, but I have learned to bear those too by forcing myself to step outside at 2 or 3am for a little while to chill back down and stretch to get the blood flowing again. It is kinda like when I was a kid and turning the pillow over to get the cold side in the middle of the night.

But, definitely my attitude has to be "Embrace the Suck". Some of it sucks! and mentally I have to psyche up for it sometimes.
Cold desert vs sleeping on snow in the mountains makes good variety. I also heartily endorse wool, the Xtherm, and booties for around camp (I had frostbite back in my early 20s and the toes need extra help).
 

Bob

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Approx $500 night reasonable? What kind of wages are people making.? Haven't seen any guided trip that reasonable?
 

Yvonne

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I've been several times in winter in Yellowstone but didn't stay in the yurts as they were too pricey.
I did Snow Lodge and a cheap motel in Gardiner, so prices were reasonable.
Love the silence in the park and all the cross-country skiing. It was super amazing.
I would have gone again this winter but I'm moving out of state end of March which will be expensive enough.
But I hope I can do another Yellowstone winter trip one of these years
 
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