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Flagg Ranch is just outside of Yellowstone and the closest we could get without being on a snowmobile or in a snow coach. Neither of those was in our plans, so snowshoes would have to do. It was our first time snowshoeing (my second, but the first was in gym class in high school, so does that really count?) and we hadn’t been driving that direction yet so we figured, why not?
We didn’t really know where to go so we went into the lodge and asked. They pointed us down the road a bit and off we went. We followed the road for a bit before veering off down a little hill.
I don’t know how it happened, but I was walking down and got too close to a tree I guess. My foot, with the snowshoe, fell into the snow and I couldn’t pull it out. Like not even a little bit. I actually had to be pulled out like a sack of potatoes with legs. It was hilarious and I was laughing the whole time. I actually got stuck another time, too, when my snowshoe fell off and my entire right leg was in the snow. I needed help with that and laughed the whole time then, too.
After getting out, we continued on and walked along a little river for a bit, watching the ducks, listening to the coyotes, enjoying the mostly quiet, before heading back towards the path through the woods.
We spotted our tracks down the hill off to the left and headed back the direction we came on the road this time. Overall, we were out there for two hours, which felt like 30 minutes, and I really enjoyed my first time officially snowshoeing outside of a football field.
Where is Flagg Ranch?
Flagg Ranch is just outside of the south entrance of Yellowstone National Park. It’s about an hour and a half from Jackson. There are places to snowshoe a lot closer to Jackson, but this is great if you want to get away from people.
Can you stay at Flagg Ranch in the winter?
Unfortunately, no. The lobby was open when we were there, though and there were a couple people in there. They run snowmobile tours from the lodge.
What to bring snowshoeing at Flagg Ranch
Bear Spray – If you’re visiting in summer, definitely bring bear spray. You’ll want to have this on you when you’re out hiking and on the trails. We usually carried it around in winter, too, just because it gave me peace of mind. Also, this is used like pepper spray for bears, not like bug spray. And do not spray it indoors. Read more about bear safety here.
Hand and toe warmers – If you don’t want to get thicker gloves, bring some hand warmers. If your feet get really cold really easily, definitely bring toe warmers. They’re a game-changer. Buy hand warmers here.
Cozy Sweatshirt – I have a few different Patagonia sweatshirts and love them all. They’re great for layering in cold weather. I have two Re-tools, a Better Sweater, and a Synchilla. Sometimes you can find them on sale on REI or Backcountry. I also like to keep an eye out for them on Poshmark (use code REDAROUNDWORLD for $10 off your first purchase) and Mercari (you can save $10 with that link as well!) I’ve found some really good deals on both.
Long sleeve shirt – I just have one that’s like Underarmour but not. I think I found it at TJ Maxx. I also just like these from Parks Project.
Tips for snowshoeing at Flagg Ranch (or anywhere in the area):
- Bring water. Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you won’t get hot in all your snow gear. Gotta stay hydrated!
- If you’re at Flagg Ranch, ask at the lodge for recommendations on where to go. If you rent snowshoes in Jackson, ask at the rental place where you should go.
- Bring extra socks if for some reason yours get wet or your feet just get really cold.
- Bring toe warmers. This was the first time I used them and they were fantastic! My feet are always freezing, but not this time! They just stick right to your socks and keep your toes toasty. If you’re going for a few days and with other people, that box would be an awesome deal.
- Another awesome use for toe warmers is to keep your phone warm, too. Stick one to the back of your phone and it will help keep the battery going longer out in the cold.
Have you been to Flagg Ranch? What did you think of it? Do you like snowshoeing? What’s your favorite place to go?