YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK LODGES ANNOUNCES LINE-UP OF WINTER-SEASON LODGING & LEARNING PACKAGES

Yellowstone National Park Lodges, operated by Xanterra Parks & Resorts, the manager of lodging, restaurants and activities in Yellowstone National Park, and the Yellowstone Association Institute will offer five “Lodging & Learning” packages this winter in Yellowstone.
The park’s winter season begins Dec. 18, 2011 with the opening of the Old Faithful Snow Lodge. The Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel opens Dec. 20, 2011. The lodges provide the only wintertime accommodations within the park. Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel will close for the season March 5, 2012, and Old Faithful Snow Lodge will close March 4, 2012.

The popular multi-day vacations are collaborations between concessioner Xanterra Parks & Resorts and the non-profit Yellowstone Association Institute. Each program includes accommodations, some meals and Xanterra’s “Snow Card” good for 10 percent off meals, in-park transportation, tours, ski shop services and select retail items. Some Lodging & Learning package components vary based upon location. Rates quoted here are per person, double occupancy, plus tax and utility fee. Rates vary based on location, room type, number of people and applicable tax rates. Yellowstone Association members pay $10 less than the quoted rate.

The “Old Faithful Winter Expedition” features two nights at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and two nights at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge. Under the guidance of an Institute instructor, stops throughout the park include the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, Yellowstone Lake and various geyser basins. Available beginning Dec. 20, 25 and 27, 2011 and Jan. 3, 8, 17, 22, 24, 31 and Feb. 5, 7, 14, 19, 21, 28, 2012, rates start at $1,019 per person for double occupancy and $1,239 for single occupancy.

The “Winter Wildlife Expedition” allows participants to observe and learn about bison, elk, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, coyotes, wolves and other wildlife. Available Wednesday through Saturday Dec. 28, 2011 to March 1, 2012, this program features four nights of lodging at the Mammoth Hotel. Rates start at $629 per person for double occupancy and $789 for single occupancy.

“Yellowstone on Skis” features five days of cross-country skiing with daily trips to the Blacktail Plateau, Lamar Valley, Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon and the foot of the Gallatin Range. The program is led by a naturalist/guide from the YAI, and a professional cross-country skiing instructor will accompany the group on two days to help participants improve their skills. Offered beginning Dec. 31, 2011 and Jan. 14 and 28, Feb. 11 and 25, 2012, the package includes three nights of lodging at the Mammoth Hotel and three nights of lodging at the Snow Lodge. Rates start at $1,489 per person for double occupancy and $1,825 for single occupancy. Ski rentals are available but not included in any of the packages.

The “Winter Wolf Discovery” is offered Sunday through Thursday Dec. 25, 2011 to March 4, 2012. Instructors provide expertise on the reintroduction of wolves to the park and lead wildlife viewing excursions through the Lamar Valley. This four-night package includes accommodations at the Mammoth Hotel. Rates start at $669 per person for double occupancy and $829 for single occupancy.

“Winter in Wonderland is designed as a comprehensive introduction to Yellowstone in winter. Guests receive four nights of lodging at the Mammoth Hotel and two nights at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge. Guests explore the park via snowcoach, skis and snowshoes and learn about wildlife in the Lamar Valley, geology in the Old Faithful region and more. This program runs Monday through Sunday, Dec. 22, 2011 through March 1, 2012. Rates start at $1,309 per person for double occupancy and $1,613 for single occupancy.

Xanterra also offers a variety of self-guided winter “Getaway Packages” and “Adventure Packages” as well as lodging and transportation options for those who want to explore the park on their own.

Except for the road from Gardiner, Mont. to Cooke City, Mont. via Mammoth Hot Springs, transportation within the park is limited to snowmobiles and enclosed heated snowcoaches during the winter. Snowcoach transportation is available daily to a variety of park locations. Xanterra also offers a wide range of half- and full-day snowcoach, ski and snowshoe tour and ski and snowshoe rentals as well as expert instruction and other services.

Lodging & Learning programs can be booked by calling (1) 307-344-7311 or toll-free 866-GEYSERLAND (866-439-7375).Yellowstone Association members receive a $10 discount on all courses, and family memberships begin at just $35 per year.

Complete details about “Lodging & Learning” “Winter Getaway” and “Adventure” packages, accommodations, restaurants and activities in Yellowstone can be made by calling (1) 307-344-7311 or toll-free 866-GEYSERLAND (866-439-7375), or visiting the web site www.YellowstoneNationalParkLodges.com.