I am thinking about making a trip out west from Minnesota in December and I have several questions. Please help with any that you can.
1. Where can I kite from the road in the Big Horns without the use of a snowmobile? 2. Is a trip to Cooke City, MT worth it without the use of a snowmobile and is there reasonable lodging in the area? 3. Is it possible to kite Yellowstone or Jackson Lake? 4. Is Bondurant the best and most accessible area near Jackson Hole? 5. Is the drive to Craters of the Moon worth it in December? 6. Do you have any other advice for a snowkiting trip via minivan to and from Big Sky/Lone Peak?
Your best bet is to be extremely flexible in December. Typically you'll have good spots & some that aren't ready yet & that time of year it changes quickly. There are a bunch of park & ride areas in MT, WY,& ID.
1. I think they usually close the road in the Bighorns Thanks. weekend. If you have backcountry gear skinning from the parking lot to Bald MT isn't too bad. If its truly epic conditions or a weekend there'll probably be some kiters coming up that could help you get there by bile. Even hitching a ride with slednecks may not be all that tough to do. 2. Not aware of anything in Cooke City that is park & ride. Skinning to the goods there would be tough. 3. Unless its changed this year - no snowkiting allowed inside Nat'l Park. 4. Craters area could be good. Watch the ID, MT, & WY highway dept web cameras to get a sense of the best places. They have current weather/wind data also.
Watch this site & facebook & Montana kite forum, & even NWkite to see where people are stoked on & be willing to drive.
There are several park and ride locations in the Bighorns near Burgess Junction and Powder River Pass. I don't go to Burgess because I keep my sled staged near Baldy/Little Baldy area. I've been to Powder River Pass twice and never had the right wind conditions to fully utilize the terrain up high. I must try again this winter.
Cooke City is not worth your time unless you have a sled.
If you are based out of Big Sky, MT then just up the road you will find West Yellowstone and Island Park/Raynolds Pass. There are a number of fine park-n-ride spots in that area. Btw, don't be kiting along the highway in Yellowstone Park. That spot, on the way to West Yellowstone (at the Big Horn trailhead), was shut down by the Park Service two years ago...
Stay tuned to here or Montanakitesports forum when you visit and you will know where the locals are riding. See ya out there,
Jackson is a good central location to get to many areas. bondurant is the closest spot that has terrain. A few big open flat areas in the valley. You can kite on jackson lake but not yellowstone. Craters is always worth it if there is enough snow but its kinda advanced riding. If you can make it to the big horns you will be stoked!!!