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Western Winter Traditions

3 Enduring Western Winter Traditions 

Each year’s arrival of winter brings the return of annual traditions that are special to the West: snowy scenes at Yellowstone National Park, serene skates on North Idaho’s frozen lakes and a cattle drive down Washington’s oldest scenic byway and into the ancient Yakima River Canyon.

Because of COVID-19, please take recommended safety precautions if you are planning a future trip, and always check the availability of services, events, amenities and other details before you go.

A bison at Yellowstone National Park in winter
A bison at Yellowstone National Park in winter (Photo by LifeJourneys/iStock)

Yellowstone National Park and Bozeman in Winter

There are some places where you travel to escape cold weather, and then there are places where you go to experience the sensations that only winter can provide. Here’s a look at winter thrills such as skiing, sightseeing and even snow yoga in and around Yellowstone National Park and Bozeman, Montana.

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Hockey skaters on frozen waters in Northern Idaho
Ice skaters playing hockey in Northern Idaho (Photo by Chris Bessler/Idaho Travel Bureau)

Top North idaho Ice Skating Spots

When the Idaho Pandhandle’s winter freezes the lakes, ponds and bays in and around Bonners Ferry, Sandpoint and Coeur d’Alene, ice skaters of all ages and abilities lace up and head out for a day on the ice or a weekend trip — after checking to make sure the ice is safe, of course.

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Pregnant cattle mosey down the Yakima RIver Canyon Scenic Byway each winter.
The Eaton family cattle drive along the Yakima River Canyon Scenic Byway (Photo by Sofia Jaramillo/Yakima Herald Republic)

The Yakima River Canyon Cattle Drive

A decades-long tradition takes place in the middle of winter on Washington state’s oldest scenic byway. For a few hours on a typically frigid January or February morning, the Eaton family herds pregnant cattle down Washington State Route 821 from their winter range near Selah to spring pastures in the Yakima River Canyon.

–Jeff Layton, Douglas Scott and Nicole Foy
–Top image of a skier at Bridger Bowl Ski Area courtesy of Bridger Bowl

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