Step off the roads and crowded boardwalks with an experienced naturalist guide who will lead you safely into the wild beauty of Yellowstone to our favorite mountain meadows and inspiring vistas.
- 1 Guest Plus $50/person after the first guest
Yellowstone’s breathtaking landscapes are a result of various geological processes spanning over 150 million years. The Earth’s crust has been compressed and pulled apart, glaciated, eroded and superheated by a shallow source of magma, resulting in frequent volcanic activity. The mountains, canyons and plateaus in Yellowstone tell the stories of these dramatic event, some of which are still happening before our eyes!
- We’ll first visit Mammoth Hot Springs and see the coral-like travertine terraces from the boardwalks while getting an understanding of why these formations are so unique.
- You’ll then travel towards the interior of the park, visiting the Norris Geyser Basin and the World-famous Steamboat Geyser, the biggest active geyser in the world. Escaping the crowds and traffic, we will walk one mile down a quiet trail through the forest and into the geyser basin to get a real feel for what the explorers of the park experienced.
- After our picnic lunch, we will head to the colorful, breathtaking vistas of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River and see the legendary Lower Falls of the Yellowstone.
- Time permitting, we’ll drive into Lamar Valley for some epic western landscapes carved by glaciers.
For more information please visit our FAQ page!
Your tour includes:
- Full-day (8 hour) private guided tour
- Local naturalist guide
- Transportation in our fully equipped touring vehicle (we drive, you enjoy the scenery)
- Plenty of space for your extra clothing – please bring warm clothing (see “What to Bring” list)
- Optics for everyone- top-of-the-line binoculars and high-powered spotting scopes for all
- Fresh-baked breakfast pastries
- Hot drinks (coffee, tea, hot cocoa)
- Healthy and hearty snacks (various bars and trail mix, etc.)
- Healthy fruit juice soft drinks and water
- Full picnic lunch spread (GF and vegetarian/vegan and kosher options available)
- Dynamic and engaging discussions interpret the wildlife activity and behavior observed
- Informed and accurate information on the biology and conservation issues surrounding the wildlife you will observe
- Optional photo/video package ($50 value – see website for details)
Gratuity is NOT included in the price of the tour. Tipping your guide is a common practice in North America, and tips are an important part of their income.
What to bring:
- Warm clothes for cooler early morning hours
- Dress warmly so that you can comfortably stand out in the elements during the cold hours of the dawn. Expect the best wildlife sightings to be in the early morning hours when the temperatures are the lowest. You will be at high elevations in the Rocky Mountains, and temperatures will be unseasonably cold. Be prepared!
- Close-toed shoes/hiking boots
- Long pants
- Windbreaker/rain jacket
- Hat and gloves
- Duffle/backpack to store warm clothing as the day warms up
- Water bottle (reusable) *please remember to drink plenty of water at this high altitude
- Sun hat
- Sun glasses
- Lots of questions and curiosity!
Yellowstone National Park is a very large place divided by mountain ranges, deep valleys and a massive lake. The weather within the 2.2 million acres can vary widely, so checking the weather in the park can be a difficult task. We recommend checking several different NOAA weather stations around the park, and working an average of those if you’re planning to travel around the entirety of the park.
Can you expect to see all the wildlife you hope for?
It is important to remember that the wild animals we seek to observe are exactly that, WILD free-ranging animals that can roam across all of Yellowstone’s vast and rugged 2.2 million acres. The probability of locating and observing them is greatly elevated due to your guide’s intimate personal familiarity with the landscape and the animals themselves. We do not guarantee any wildlife sightings on our tours; however, we will guarantee that your guide will use their knowledge, skills, and network of other guides, wildlife watchers and photographers to do everything we can to find you the animals you’d like to see. We are in the park nearly every day searching for and watching wildlife, and that consistent experience pays off in finding the animals you’ve traveled to see.
Park Rules and the Yellowstone Wild Code of Ethics
As a licensed Commercial Use Permit holder with Yellowstone National Park, we must follow all park rules and regulations. Additionally, as life-long proponents of wildlife and wild places, we will also follow our own ethical wildlife viewing practices. We will take this opportunity to teach you about how we can have the very best viewing and photography opportunities possible without having negative impacts on wildlife by respecting the animals’ space and movements as they go about their lives.
While on tour with Yellowstone Wild LLC, we will observe the following park rules (subject to law
- Keep at least 25 yards from all wildlife
- Keep at least 100 yards from wolves and bears
- Avoid remaining near or approaching wildlife, including birds, at any distance that disturbs or displaces
It is our ethical responsibility as visitors to the park to make sure that our actions do not inflict undue stress or hardship upon the animals that we are observing. Wild animals in a natural setting do not have easy lives, and the last thing we want to do is make their lives any more difficult. Your guide is an expert at reading animal behavior, and the moment that our presence is bothering an animal, we MUST back off until we are no longer disturbing its natural behavior. Failure to promptly respond to your guide’s instructions to back away from wildlife may result in the termination of your tour, subject to the discretion of your guide.
This is where our optics prove invaluable. We use only the finest quality Swarovski and Vortex spotting scopes so that we can thoroughly enjoy our wildlife sightings at a distance that allows the animals to carry on about their business, as if we were not there. In fact, much of the time they probably don’t know we are there, yet our high powered and crystal clear optics give us an up-close and personal view. Furthermore, we must be mindful of any animal feeding on or resting near a carcass. Approaching such an area may drive the animal(s) away and deprive them of valuable food. It is important to remember that a carcass is regularly scavenged upon by any number of other animals, including grizzly bears, who will violently defend such a food source. Approaching such an area is strictly prohibited and can seriously put people and wildlife in danger. Finally, it is important to be mindful of the other park visitors and biologists who may also be observing the same animals. We promote quiet, respectful behavior to maximize everyone’s wild Yellowstone experience.
Photo Package Add-On Options
Yellowstone Wild is proud to offer two unique photography packages with our tours. Now you can cherish visual souvenirs of your Yellowstone experiences for years to come.
Wildlife Photo Package
Our Wildlife Photo Package includes photos and videos of the wildlife you observe on your tour. Most of the wildlife will be too far away to photograph, unless you have a large telephoto lens. However, our top-of-the-line spotting scopes offer a magnified view into the lives of the animals in the park, even at a great distance. These high-powered optics allow us to observe the natural behaviors of the wildlife from a safe distance, where our presence does not bother them, therefore offering the best sightings of animals carrying on about their lives as though we are not there. The images we take through our spotting scopes capture the memories of your wildlife sightings and are perfect to share with friends and family or on social media; however, they will probably not be adequate quality to print in a large professional format. (For examples of these images, please see our Instagram site.)
Final products: USB memory stick with wildlife photos from the tour
Custom Portrait Adventure Photography Package
If you are visiting Yellowstone to celebrate an important milestone in your life (anniversary, birthday, honeymoon or graduation) or are simply on a much-needed family trip, our Portrait Adventure Photography Package is designed to capture your special moment. Our partner, Jess, at Chocolate Moose Images specializes in classic portraits as well as highly candid photographs in and around Yellowstone National Park. Jess has a special gift for capturing genuine moments that vividly portray personality and emotion – and in a setting like Yellowstone, personality and emotion shine bright!
Jess will visit with you before your tour to develop a rapport, share ideas with one another and discuss how her photo shoot works. She will then join us on your tour out in the wilds of Yellowstone. She works discretely to capture meaningful moments of you exploring Yellowstone, while also keeping her trained eye open for the perfect Yellowstone-themed backdrop for your portraits. To see a sample images from a winter tour, please visit the gallery here. If you have more specific questions about how to customize this for your adventure, please reach out to Jess.
Cost: $589 including a candid session on tour and a slightly more formal session (time to be arranged).
Final products: All in total, she’ll spend between 3-5 hours with your family providing around 70 images in an online gallery. Printing services are available and highly encouraged.