View Full Version : West Yellowstone (need advice)

09-02-2010, 10:36 AM
So we are planning a trip to ride west. not 100% sure on where to go and here is why. The group going only has a little(most only been once or twice) expierence out west. Most of them went to Tog last year for the first time(no guide and still had fun) however we are bringing a couple of ladies with us this time who are very good riders but have never been to the mountains. I want the guys who are going to have enough steep and deep to ride but yet didnt want the women to sit in the hotel for a week. I am told that West yellowstone might be a good spot for us. (i have never been there so not sure.)

Some of the guys that went to Tog last year seem to think that it is the only cool place to ride out west even though that is the only place they have been. But im not sure that is the best spot for the women with zero mtn expierence. That way the girls if they wanted could trail ride and take pictures till the cows come home and the rest of us guys could go get stuck? Dont get me wrong these girls are no sissys and can ride, they both do 2000+ on the trail each year But i dont think they are gonna wanna want to do the getting stuck thing for 5 days.

Any advice? I dont want an arguement about guide vs no guide. Just wanna know where a good spot to go where everyone would be satisfied? Some are worried that west yellowstone is all trails? Going mid march.

And leaving the women at home is not an option. Are the steep and deep guys gonna be dissapointed comparing west yellowstone vs tog? (remember thats the only place they have been.)

09-02-2010, 11:13 AM
So are you willing to split up the group, men vs. women for a few rides?

Also, a wise guide once told me, "I want your to bring you wives or girlfriends out here to Togwotee. I will show them how to ride the mountains no matter their comfort or skill level. I want them to have fun and show them it's not a scary way to sled. Then maybe the ladies will also be more willing to let the boys go off to ride the mountains and not worry."

I say you bring them out to Tog or at least some place with a guide service that'll show them a good riding experience, while you guys can still go off and ride to your abilities. Allow the guide to help them learn the skills instead of them getting frustrated with their significant other and making it a unpleasant trip for you all.

Then near the end of the trip join up with each other and go out for a day. You'll probably be amazed at how much confidence they'll have even off trail.

09-02-2010, 11:17 AM
Island Park, Idaho has amazing trails. It is close to West Yellowstone, but far enough away! There are over 650 miles of trails for the ladies to ride, and plenty of steep and deep, boondocking, hillclimbing areas in between. So much that you may never make it to your planned destination. We go several times a year. The scenery is beautiful, the people are fabulous, and the riding is AMAZING! We ran into a group from Iowa that usually goes to Togwotee every year. They decided to try IP last year, and LOVED IT. We are going to meet them in late February 2011 back there. The trail system is great, so I think if you bring a GPS you would be fine without a guide.
I found out about this place from a friend and went to islandparksnowmobiling. com and found trail maps, webcams, cabins to stay in (that were amazing!), snow info.
check it out. If you were thinking West Yellowstone area, you can't go wrong riding in Island Park.

09-02-2010, 05:42 PM
Tog. Has trails too. You can trail ride to Brookes lake and treat the ladies to the day spa while the guys ride upper brookes. The ladies also like Jackson Hole for the shopping. Tog. Can shuttle you back and forth. Get a cabin alone with your honey, check out the hot tub, happy hour,etc. Just like a honeymoon all over again!

09-02-2010, 05:43 PM
Man I miss winter.

09-02-2010, 10:35 PM
I guess kind of what i was asking was, does west yellowstone have enought to keep the trail riders happy and the steep and deep guys happy?

09-03-2010, 03:48 PM
I guess kind of what i was asking was, does west yellowstone have enought to keep the trail riders happy and the steep and deep guys happy?

I don't think you can keep both happy on the same trip. Each opposing team will have to try the other teams game (trail vs. off trail) and smile while doing it. You never know. I personally will never take trail riders with me to Tog. ever again. These guys were to closed minded to the off trail concept. Thier goal was to burn miles off. They quickly found out that the 240 mile (old railroad grade) Michigan Bar hopping days turn into 60 miles of Tog. scenic twisty trail days.
No matter where you go, plan on riding more trails than you like.

09-03-2010, 05:57 PM
We are not opposed to splitting the group up. Just hope there is good trails there for the trail rides and good off trail for the rest in the same trip

09-09-2010, 10:37 AM

I have been going to west for years, yes there is plenty of awesome riding for both trail riders and backcountry fun, you can do a ton of back country just riding trails! an easy trail riding trip is going up to the top of two top mtn, plus there is so much steep and deep just off the trail that you could make a half day trip turn into an all day trip with a lets go back there tomorrow trip!! the horse butte loop is a loop with not too much steep but rolling prairie deep pow heaven, super easy for girls but still good riding for guys.

The beauty about west is that town lives on snowmobiling in the winter, that is their number one source of income, it is what the locals live and breathe. tons of miles of awesome trails and so much backcountry you will never find the end. I could keep going on and on about different good trails with sweet back country just off to the side. plus get the girls to take a snowcoach into the park and hit it hard!

as rideisland park said island park is great too, it was just to far to back country for us, but if you dont stay down there, ride down there, big springs, mesa falls, sawtell it is all cool!

oh yea black canyon is flippin sweet! plus trails right through it

09-21-2010, 01:10 AM
Both are excellent, I prefer the Wind River Range south of Tog down to the Green River for taking the Women. The scenery is a little better than Island Park or West Yellowstone in my opinion.

There is plenty of good off Trail riding in Island Park (tomk needs to check out Mt Jefferson)and if they want to look at Animals, Island Park is a little better for spotting Moose(Red Rock) and the Buffalo are up by West Yellowstone.

Both areas have good places to stay.

09-21-2010, 09:41 AM
Grand Lake Colorado or the Snowies.

09-22-2010, 02:24 PM
Longtrack does make a good point i have not been up there but it looks freakin awesome up there. Maybe this year I will get out there. there is so much out there, after the years we have been going out there I still feel like I havent even scratched the surface

09-22-2010, 09:01 PM
Island Park, looking off Kegs Peak to where we came from.

09-22-2010, 09:17 PM
Another from Lions Head. High avalanche warnings when we were out there. Saw the left over of a few slides that occurred throughout the week. All backcountry riding for a week. As always, saftey gear a must.

09-23-2010, 01:45 PM
check out the link for pics from out trip. last year we were mainly north of west yellowstone, be we ran to two top too


09-23-2010, 05:32 PM
Another from Lions Head. High avalanche warnings when we were out there. Saw the left over of a few slides that occurred throughout the week. All backcountry riding for a week. As always, saftey gear a must.

Your pic "DSCF0715.jpg" dang, that looks glorious!

09-23-2010, 09:57 PM
I keep returning to them this time of year. Glad to share them. At 63 years my brothers and I appreciate the time we're able to ride with him.

09-24-2010, 09:51 AM
At 63 years my brothers and I appreciate the time we're able to ride with him.

That's awesome! I hope to be still rolling at 63! From Houghton, how long does the drive take you to Island Park Idaho?

09-24-2010, 10:47 AM
about 23 hours end to end. We drive to Billing first and then catch a motel. Get a little pre adjustment at 4000ft in Billings for the night and in the morning drive to yellowstone for breakfast. Get some odds and ends and then drive to Island park. Get unpacked by lunch time and go for a ride.

Long trip but worth every mile. People ask why even leave Houghton. But if a person hasn't been out there they wouldn't understand.

09-24-2010, 08:54 PM
gotta agree with that, guys try to say there can be just as deep snow and as good of conditions here, but there is no comparison, it is just something you gotta do, but be careful it only takes one to get addicted. lol

the 18+ hour drive with no sleep, usually through a blizzard (with our luck) with 3 or 4 good buddys is 60% of the fun!