Five Wild West Yellowstone Throwdowns

For more than a hundred years, West Yellowstone has kicked off a few parties that have caught on, caught fire, and are still raging today.

March: World Snowmobile Expo

March 2016

Sledheads unite for the first debut (and demo rides) of next year’s models, a showing of over 200 vintage and antique sleds, a multitude of races, a poker run and live concerts.

If you can only make one event, make it the “hot laps,” when the vintage racers decorate their sleds and pull anything from doghouses to full bars around the track. 

August: Smoking Waters Mountain Man Rendezvous

July 31–August 9

If you’ve been itching to huck a tomahawk, feast on fire-charred meat, shoot black powder and basically go into mountain man or mountain lady mode, these ten days were made for you. Even if you just come for a single day, take a gander at the historically accurate costumes, learn to throw a knife, and enjoy a little nighttime fiddling and open-fire cooking.

Primitive camping, just a mile from the Park border, is part of the draw if you stay.

August: West Yellowstone Rod Run

August 6–8

It couldn’t get more classic Americana than this. For West’s annual Rod Run, up to 700 gleaming classic cars pour into town, then everyone eats ice cream and plays in the local park.

September: Fall Cycle Tour

September 19, 2015

Talk about an exclusive party—this 60-mile two-wheeled cruise from West Yellowstone to Old Faithful is limited to 350 intrepid riders. If you get in, plan on a cush ride, with roadside repair techs and two feed stations, including a dinner in the shadow of Old Faithful. Note: Registration opens June 15 this year. Bring your own Park pass or the $12 bike entrance fee.

November: Yellowstone Ski Festival

Thanksgiving Weekend, 2015

Rendezvous Trails are revered for their stable conditions and immaculate grooming, and usually, nordos can’t hold back their enthusiasm past the first snowfall or three. Enter the Yellowstone Ski Festival, usually over Thanksgiving weekend. Several thousand spandex-clad skinny-skiers take classes, do a little yoga or Pilates, kick back happy hour pints and, most importantly, compete for a trophy made of (yep) Spam.