J. Armand Bombardier patented the Bombardier Snowbus in 1939. Built in Valcourt, Quebec, these tracked vehicles were used for many things ranging from school buses, to military transport to oil exploration in the frozen north. Snowcoaches, as they have come to be known, were first brought to Yellowstone in 1955 and placed into commercial operation that winter. They have been running in Yellowstone ever since.
Yellowstone Alpen Guides began operation in 1984 with two 1953 Bombardier snowcoaches that we believe were part of the original fleet from 1955. We currently operate 8 snowcoaches, the newest a youngster built in 1981! Through the years we have added soundproofing, newer engines with better exhaust, double-paned windows to avoid fogging, nice upholstery, and many other features to improve our visitor experience. We love these classic old snowcoaches and believe they are the best winter touring vehicle in the Park.
The “Bombs” have the smoothest ride of all oversnow vehicles in Yellowstone, are close to the ground allowing easy entry and exit. They have two large hatches in the top that make it easy to stand up and get a quick picture or better look. Everyone gets a window and the horseshoe shaped seating provides a more intimate atmosphere for visiting with your fellow “coachers”. Take a look and we think you?ll agree, they are very COOL rigs!
Sally 1953– was purchased locally from friend and famed cowboy artist Gary Carter. Considered “Sweet Sally” by our guides, she has the smoothest ride of all.
Chip 1953– purchased locally was on the assembly line with Sally in December 1953. She was brown when bought and looked like a big buffalo “Chip”!
Kitty 1956– from Medicine Hat Alberta. When unloading at the body shop, the guy said, this is no snow cat it’s a snow Kitty.
Griz 1956– is our most recent purchase and is the only “Griz” in winter Yellowstone.
Rosebud 1965– used on a gas pipeline in Saskatchewan, it was our first Red snowcoach. Remember Citizen Cane?
Shoshone 1979– from Hudson Bay and named for the Indians once living in Yellowstone.
DeLacy 1981– from Hudson Bay, named after an early explorer/prospector; it is the newest Bombardier snowcoach in Yellowstone.
Cygnet 1952– is the oldest snowcoach operating in Yellowstone. It was owned by a veterinarian in Red Lodge, Montana. We purchased it from Mike Swanson. “Swanny” drove for us and it was his baby, hence the name.
Read more about the history of snowcoaches in yellowstone on wiki