Yellowstone Wild is a local guiding service offering custom wildlife tours in Yellowstone National Park. We specialize in crafting personalized educational experiences with Yellowstone’s iconic wildlife, natural history and geology. Our highly-experienced naturalist guides and top-of-the-line equipment produce the highest quality wildlife sightings and wilderness excursions. Deep personal knowledge of Yellowstone’s wolves, bears, bison and other treasures fuel our teachings, which appeal to all ages. Our tours consistently prove to be meaningful and memorable to our guests, and we remain the highest-ranked outdoor activity at the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner, Montana.
(See our Trip Advisor reviews here https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g45184-Activities-c61-Gardiner_Montana.html)
Each Yellowstone Wild guide has years of experience sharing the wonders of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. We specialize in educational wildlife watching, day hikes, multi-day backpacking excursions, fly fishing, photography, geology, and winter tracking programs, and we offer specialized family-oriented tours to engage your young adventurers in discovering the wonders and beauty of Nature. Our tours are often focused on viewing and learning about Yellowstone’s dynamic wildlife, most notably wolves. Wolves are our passion, and they are what draw many of our guests to Yellowstone — partly because the Park Service successfully restored the grey wolf to Yellowstone in 1995-1996 in perhaps the greatest achievement of wildlife management in history, and partly because this is the best place in the world to see wild wolves. Our guiding service is especially well-suited for viewing Yellowstone wolves because our guides have years of experience following their movements and social dynamics on a daily basis. On our tours, it is common to witness a pack of wolves galloping across Yellowstone’s vast landscapes, hunting their wild prey, or traveling to and from their dens to feed their playful puppies. In the unforgettable beauty of a Yellowstone dawn, we often hear wolves howling across the breathtaking expanses of Yellowstone’s famed Northern Range.
We custom-build each expedition into the world’s first national park around your interests and expectations, and we fill your day with our intimate knowledge and personal experiences with the magical landscapes, wildlife, and geological wonders throughout Yellowstone. Each day in Yellowstone is different and special in its own way. This place is truly wild — it is Nature at its purest extremes, without restraint or control, and within that wildness lies Yellowstone’s unique beauty. Our tours are not scripted or filled with canned jokes and rehearsed speeches. Each tour is a unique full day of authentic adventure into North America’s most prized wilderness, carefully crafted specifically for you by your highly-experienced naturalist guide and shaped by Yellowstone’s very own unprecedented wild spirit and the special surprises that Yellowstone bestows upon us each day.
Meet Our Team
Emil was raised on a remote ranch in the mountains of southern Colorado, where from a very early age he developed a deep interest in the wildlife and wild places around him. As a child growing up in a wilderness environment, he spent much of his youth exploring the natural world and taught himself to track and observe the wildlife in the mountains and forests near his home. Emil earned a Bachelor´s degree in biology with an emphasis in ecology from Colorado College. He studied carnivore ecology on campus and abroad, and in 1997 he began formal field research in Costa Rica with leading jaguar scientists. Shortly after college he studied mountain lions in Yellowstone National Park, and gained valuable first-hand experience with Yellowstone´s amazing wildlife. Emil then spent an instrumental winter snow-tracking wolves through the Northwoods of Michigan, before attending graduate school to earn a Master´s of Science degree in Wildlife Conservation and Management from Humboldt State University. His graduate studies included five years of field research on mountain lion feeding ecology. Emil has authored many scientific publications and educational articles and taught courses on traditional and modern animal tracking.
Emil´s work to study and conserve wild carnivores has taken him to many unique locations throughout North and Central America, Europe, Southern Africa and the Saharan Deserts of Morocco. Prior to returning to Yellowstone, he spent five years working for the European Union on the reintroduction and conservation of the Iberian lynx, the world´s most endangered wild cat, in the Sierra Morena Mountains of Spain and Portugal.
Josh Welter, coming up from the deep south, hails from South Carolina though he made his way to Montana and Wyoming via the Mountains of southern California.
After earning a degree in Parks and Protected Area Management, focused on natural and historical resource interpretation, he worked in many different regions across the United States before landing in Yellowstone in 2012.
Finding a naturalist haven he chose to stick around and teach. In his free time he can be found (or not) delving deep into the backcountry… or lounging away reading a good book in a recliner by the fire.
Originally from Portland, Oregon, Tyrene fell in love with Yellowstone and its ecological diversity during her first visit to fish in the park in 1996, while pursuing a BFA in Acting in Ashland, Oregon. It was a life changing experience, and in 2002, she made the choice to give up her dreams of Broadway to live the dream of moving to Yellowstone. Since 2007, Tyrene has worked in the park as an Interpretive guide, snowcoach driver, fly-fishing guide & instructor, Interpretive Trainer, and outdoor educator. Tyrene finds inspiration in guiding both new and seasoned park visitors to find a deep and personal connection to Yellowstone as well as encouraging them to discover what wildness means to them.
Tyrene’s greatest joy is the timeless beauty of a day on a river, and she spends as much time as possible in the backcountry of Yellowstone and the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness searching for wildlife (not just fish!), wildflowers, and her next great adventure. She passionately believes that fostering education through fun, interactive, hands on experiences has the power to inspire change, increase understanding of, and develop a voice for, our wild places.
Brad Bulin is an educator, guide, and trained wildlife biologist, as well as an accomplished wildlife videographer whose work has been shown on National Geographic and other outlets. Brad grew up on a dairy farm in southwestern Wisconsin, where he spent his days outside getting to know the local flora and fauna. After teaching and serving as school principal for several years, Brad earned his Master’s in Wildlife Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, studying songbirds for his thesis.
He then packed up his Jeep and headed to Yellowstone for a month-long stint teaching about Yellowstone’s wolves. More than 15 years later, he’s still here, guiding, teaching, and filming in Yellowstone. Additionally, he has given in-depth presentations around the country on a variety of species, most notably mountain lions and wolves, but also bears, raptors, and climate change.
Brad has spent years studying and filming cougars, wolves, and wildlife behavior in and around Yellowstone National Park and, more recently, has recorded his observations and stories in written form. Brad’s new book, The Grand Lady of Yellowstone and Other Yellowstone Wolf Stories, shares fascinating first-hand accounts from his guided trips and personal outings in the park.
Virginia comes to Yellowstone from a long history in outdoor education and the Girl Scouts. She first worked in the park in 2012, thinking it would be just a fun one- summer job. But after falling in love with the animals, the thermals, and even the lodgepole pines, she never left! Virginia has worked for 8 years as a Yellowstone Naturalist, working with families, teachers, school groups and everyone in between. In the Girl Scouts, she has worked as a summer camp counselor and Leadership Director, and as an international volunteer and Leadership Seminar facilitator. Virginia is a Certified Interpretive Guide, a Leave No Trace Trainer, and a Wilderness First Responder. After the initial shock of her first -30° Yellowstone winter days, this California girl now thrives in the winter and lives for summer hikes and paddle trips. She uses her degree in theater to make science and the outdoors come alive for students of all ages!
Kristi Johnson originally hailed from Kitsap Peninsula in Washington. It was there in her youth that she was never to be found once school was out because she was always in the thick woods that surrounded her house and community either on foot, or on horse. She developed a strong knowledge of the natural world that existed there, learning all about the plants, animals, geology, and climate of her home.
Completely on a whim in 2002, Kristi left Washington to take a summer job with the main concessionaire in the park, Xanterra. She has worked ever since in the ecosystem as a horse guide with Xanterra and Rockin HK Outfitters, and snowmobile guide & snowcoach driver for Xanterra and Two Top Snowmobiles. In her off time, she is still in the element somewhere either hiking in the summers or skiing in the winters.
Kristi has a great passion for this wonderful place and all that it has to show us. She is skilled in interpreting the landscapes, weather, and life that surround us, having spent near every day in the outdoors and strives every year to understand better the patterns in the wild that she finds. She has followed the stories that Yellowstone has to share and loves to share those stories with those that she meets.
Carolyn has been exploring, learning about, and sharing her passion for the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem for nearly two decades. During early family vacations to Yellowstone and Grand Teton from her home in Michigan, she dreamed of some day moving to the Yellowstone area and earning a living by sharing her love of this wonderland with others. While studying Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management, with emphases in ecology and cultural anthropology, at Northern Michigan University, Carolyn began to build the outdoor and pedagogical skills to do just that. She spent her college summers working in the park and moved here to become a full-time naturalist guide upon graduation.
Carolyn’s professional experiences in Yellowstone have been diverse: She has volunteered on snow tracking surveys with the Yellowstone Cougar Project, as an interpretive ranger at Old Faithful, and spent countless days leading classes on topics ranging from hiking and backpacking to nature journaling and wolf research through the Yellowstone Institute. As a certified trainer of interpretive guides through the National Association for Interpretation, she enjoys teaching others the art and science of interpretive guiding.
During her free time, Carolyn enjoys hiking, backpacking, canoeing, cross-country skiing, tracking and filming cougars, and otherwise immersing herself in the land around her. She lives in Gardiner, MT, with her husband and daughter.
Kyle Dudgeon is a naturalist, nature photographer, writer and guide with true passion and knowledge for the wildlife and wilderness of the American West. After pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in the Environmental Sciences in northern New York, Kyle found his home in Bozeman, Montana. It was here that he began several seasons of field work involving birds, spanning from the open prairies to the tall mountains across the state. Kyle discovered his true love for Yellowstone through numerous solo experiences throughout the park watching wildlife. Whether it be tracking great gray owls through dense, lodgepole pine forests in Yellowstone’s interior, or spending sub-zero mornings with American bison in Lamar Valley, Kyle is dedicated to his role of capturing the park’s essence through eyes and camera.
Through interpretive tours, Kyle strives to convey the importance of keeping our wild places wild, our flora and fauna thriving and our ecosystems as intact as the modern world will allow. What better place to do so than Yellowstone National Park?
Originally from Alabama, Gregor grew up developing a love and respect for nature through fishing and hunting. He has served Yellowstone’s visitors as a guide in the summer and winter seasons, and served the park itself through various National Park Service (NPS) programs.
While working for Yellowstone’s concessionaire company he has guided interpretive tours as well as unique activities such as fishing and cross-country skiing. Through the years he has worked with NPS in the Old Faithful Backcountry Office and as a field technician on Yellowstone’s Wolf Project. Through these experiences he picked up valuable information on the landscape, animal behavior and the history behind Yellowstone’s wildlife management. Additionally Gregor fills his time leading yoga classes for the employees and responding to emergencies as a volunteer EMT for NPS.
Travis developed a passion for the natural world at an early age while growing up in Utah. After spending a year studying Forestry at Utah State, Travis just had to get out into the thick of things. He first worked in Yellowstone the summer of 1991 as a groundskeeper at Canyon Village. Following that summer, he joined the U.S. Navy for a “4 year enlistment”, which turned into a 20-year career. After retiring with an honorable discharge, Travis returned to Yellowstone in 2014 as an interpretive guide for the main park concessionaire. He now works summer and winter seasons in Yellowstone… because there’s no cooler place on the planet!
After starting her pet photography business in the Twin Cities of Minnesota back in 2009, Jess soon found herself in a world deeply immersed in international travel. She was lucky enough to photograph horses in New Zealand, dairy cows in Portugal, chickens in France, and cats in Spain. Not to mention the beautiful, magical world afar for those several years. After moving and settling in Montana in 2018, she switched her focus to learning and exploring the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem plus photographing the adventurous people who come to visit via her business Chocolate Moose Images. Since then, she has had the privilege to work with hundreds of travelers and locals to give them a personal piece of Yellowstone they can treasure forever.
Jess feels incredibly strongly about the power of images. She says, “When you look at an image of your favorite people doing the most simple or extreme things, are you transported back to that moment? To those feelings? … I know I am! That is the incredible beauty of images. They allow for time travel. You can find my full range of thoughts about the importance of remembering HERE. For now, trust that photographs such as these are something no one will regret.”
Rob was first captivated by the grandeur of Yellowstone as a 9-year-old on a family vacation. Over the next two decades, the pull of Yellowstone grew ever stronger as he racked up hundreds of miles exploring the trails of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. When yearly trips were no longer enough to satisfy the Yellowstone craving, he decided it was time to make the park his home. Rob spent 3 seasons working in the park before relocating to Gardiner permanently to guide full-time. He is passionate about sharing Yellowstone’s eminent wildlife, geology, and natural history with others.
In addition to guiding, Rob is an avid landscape photographer, climber, and all-around lover of mountains. On his days off, he can be found exploring the deep backcountry of Yellowstone and the Beartooth Mountains, climbing in the Tetons, and capturing photos of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem’s world-class scenery.
Rob is a Certified Interpretive Guide and Certified Wilderness First Responder. He studied Outdoor Recreation Leadership & Management at Northern Michigan University.