West Yellowstone Offers Visitors Rocky Mountain Winter Memories without Breaking the Bank

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Explore outdoor recreation, wildlife and western entertainment, off the beaten path this winter

Looking for a Rocky Mountain escape this winter without traffic, high prices and congestion? Families and outdoor enthusiasts alike should consider a trip to West Yellowstone, Montana. Far away from the congestion of the I-70 corridor in Colorado, West Yellowstone's charm lies in its off-the-beaten path location, offering visitors an enjoyable, scenic, action-packed Rocky Mountain experience at a lower cost.

"With hundreds of miles of snowmobile and ski trails, as well as family activities like the Grizzly Discovery Center and IMAX Theater, you don't need to spend a lot to get to a more than memorable winter vacation," says Marysue Costello, director of the West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce.

For outdoor enthusiasts, West Yellowstone's trail network is one of the many undiscovered places in the area and includes 200 miles of groomed snowmobile trails that then join those in Idaho. Of special note is the Two Top trail that leads to stunning vistas and "ghost trees." With 40 kilometers of groomed cross country ski trails, the Rendezvous and Riverside Ski Trails are within walking distance from just about anyplace in town. And, Harriman State Park's groomed cross country trails offer inexpensive fun while Big Sky's downhill ski areas are world class by anyone's standards--both within just 45 miles of West Yellowstone. Free weekly ranger-led snow shoe walks along the Madison River in Yellowstone are a treat for the entire family. Back country experiences in the snow are nearly unlimited for the more adventuresome.

In addition to outdoor recreation, West Yellowstone offers inexpensive activities for children. The Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center's "Keeper's Kids" program invites children to learn about the feeding habits of bears, then they get to hide appropriate food all around the two-acre outdoor bear habitat while the animals are resting in their indoor dens. The children may then watch from a safe distance as the bears use their natural foraging skills to find the snacks. The nonprofit center is open from 8:00 a.m. until dusk 365 days a year, and children ages five and younger have free admission.

A Painted Buffalo "Treasure Trail Map" is available free of charge at various locations in West Yellowstone. The map shows the location of buffalo statues, which have been creatively painted by regional artists Answer the questions and redeem your quiz for merchant rewards. To see a calendar of events in West Yellowstone, visit http://www.destinationyellowstone.com.

Getting there is easy: drive to West Yellowstone from Bozeman in two hours, Helena in just over three hours, Salt Lake City in less than five hours, and Boise in six hours.

For information on lodging, Yellowstone Ski Festival World Snowmobile EXPO and other recreation, contact the West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce at 406.646.7701 or visit http://www.destinationyellowstone.com/specials to view exclusive winter specials.

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