Holiday adventures in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

Here at the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, we think that winter and the holiday season is just the best. We all take some time off to reconnect with the landscape, our families and friends, and ourselves. Here’s what some of the staff will be doing to enjoy Greater Yellowstone!

Allison Michalski skiing at Grand Targhee Resort in Wyoming. (Photo Allison Michalski.)

Allison Michalski skiing at Grand Targhee Resort in Wyoming. (Photo Allison Michalski.)

I’ll be spending the holidays enjoying quality time with family, friends, and the mountains! I love to ski in the backcountry and at my local hill - Grand Targhee Resort. It’s a great place to give thanks and celebrate. The Teton views are grand, and the powder is bottomless!

-Allison Michalski, Idaho Conservation Associate, Driggs, Idaho

Emmy Reed nordic skiing on a favorite trail in Hyalite Canyon near Bozeman. (Photo Emmy Reed.)

Emmy Reed nordic skiing on a favorite trail in Hyalite Canyon near Bozeman. (Photo Emmy Reed.)

My favorite part of celebrating in Greater Yellowstone is cross-country skiing with my husband and pup Luna on a quiet, snowy trail. Maybe we’ll try skijoring since Luna is an active Siberian husky mix! Our wide and no-wax skis also make it fun to trail blaze through the deep snow of the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone, finding wildlife tracks along the way. Afterwards, I like to warm-up with some tea from Townshend’s Bozeman Teahouse and a good book.

-Emmy Reed, Communications and Digital Media Associate, Bozeman, Montana

One of my favorite activities in December is our annual Christmas tree outing up Hyalite Canyon. We haul food, drinks, saws, and cross country skis in on sleds and hike to our favorite spot in the woods. There, we build a bonfire, sled, ski, and spend time with friends and family before we search for the perfect tree to cut down. This time of year, we always remember to fill up a growler on the way with our favorite local beer from Bridger Brewing Company – Hyalite American Pale Ale!

-Kristina Martin, Director of Development, Bozeman, Montana

Mac Dukart enjoying the powder on Teton Pass in the Bridger Teton National Forest. (Photos Mac Dukart.)

Mac Dukart enjoying the powder on Teton Pass in the Bridger Teton National Forest. (Photos Mac Dukart.)

After visiting family in Colorado for Christmas, I will be eager to flee the hustle and bustle and return to my home in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. I plan to celebrate the season by spending these cold, brilliant blue days outside playing in the snow with family and friends. A lifetime of ski missions in Grand Teton National Park and the Gros Ventre Wilderness help to keep my bucket list full. And when the New Year rolls around, I'll celebrate with gourmet elk cheeseburgers having successfully harvested a healthy cow on our public lands (use your voice to keep public lands in public hands)!

-Mac Dukart, Communications and Engagement Associate, Jackson, Wyoming

Brooke Shifrin backcountry skiing near Goose Creek in the Custer Gallatin National Forest. (Photo Brook Shifrin.)

Brooke Shifrin backcountry skiing near Goose Creek in the Custer Gallatin National Forest. (Photo Brook Shifrin.)

I’m excited to pack in lots of skiing with my husband Wes and dog Lola over the holidays. I’m looking forward to some windy Bridger ridge hikes, snowy tours up at Hyalite, powder turns, and après-ski brews at MAP with friends. I plans to spend my evenings winning lots of games of cribbage and National Parks Monopoly over glasses of whiskey-egg nog, and curling up by the fireplace to finish my latest read, Shantaram.

-Brooke Shifrin, Wildlife Program Associate, Bozeman, Montana

Kristen Hollum out cross country skiing with her dog near Red Lodge, Montana. (Photo Kirsten Hollum.)

Kristen Hollum out cross country skiing with her dog near Red Lodge, Montana. (Photo Kirsten Hollum.)

During the holidays I like to take a break from the festivities, fill my hydration pack with hot tea, line my pockets with meat, cheese, and dog treats, and head up the West Fork for a nordic ski with my best friend. The West Fork Road is closed and groomed by Beartooth Recreational Trails Association, a local nonprofit, and is a popular destination for nordic skiing, fat biking, snowshoeing, walking, and snowmobiling. The start of the road can be busy, but kick and glide 2 or 3 miles down the road and you're in pure, nordic solitude; often times breaking trail on the gentle road or following the tracks of others in search of the same thing. The deeper you go, the landscape opens up to burned hillsides and a seemingly endless canyon of public lands. Once we've recharged, we head back to town to cheers good friends with WidowMaker at Red Lodge Ales Brewery

-Kristen Hollum, Events Associate, Red Lodge, Montana