Ultimate Yellowstone – Geysers and Wildlife
- 2024 Rates
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The Ultimate Yellowstone Experience – Geysers and Wildlife
- Old Faithful, Grand Prismatic Spring, Fountain Paint Pots, Gibbon Falls and more!
- Wildlife watching with an expert, who knows where to go for the best chances of seeing bears, wolves, bison and other iconic wildlife.
- Private and customizable
- Local naturalist guide for both days – get to know your guide better and allow us to know your interests so we can best craft this experience for you!
- We will customize these days to maximize our time and escape the crowds as best as possible.
- We may include hike(s) to some of the less well-known geysers or features in the park, catered to your interests and ability level.
- You will learn how the geologic events of Yellowstone’s past have shaped the landscape that supports the amazing wildlife we see today!
- Top-of-the-line optics for everyone to fully enjoy wildlife sightings.
- Gourmet picnic breakfast and lunch in scenic locations each day.
- Families with kids can work toward their Junior Ranger badge.
- Safe, fun and educational
This 2-day geysers and wildlife tour explores the major highlights of Yellowstone with an experienced and knowledgeable guide. The first day will take you on a journey exploring the geysers and other thermal features of the Old Faithful area and beyond, stepping back in time to experience the history of the first National Park. The following day, your same guide will bring along binoculars and spotting scopes, as you will head out on an early morning exploration of the Northern Range and Lamar Valley, looking for bears, wolves, bison and the countless other animals that call Yellowstone home. Throughout these two days, your guide will be sharing the fascinating and complex ways in which the geologic events of the past (volcanism, glacial periods, plate tectonics, and hydrology) have shaped the landscape and laid the foundation for the wildlife we see in Yellowstone today.
The Yellowstone Volcano is one of the largest active volcanoes in the world and contains more than 200 active geysers and over 10,000 geo-thermal features, including hot springs, geysers, mud pots and steam vents. As the world’s first national park, Yellowstone National Park was created to protect the area’s geysers, hot springs, mud pots, waterfalls and canyons that were deemed so unique and precious they should be protected forever for the benefit and enjoyment of the people. Those geological wonders remain among the most celebrated natural features anywhere in the world today.
In addition to its geologic wonders, Yellowstone National Park is now globally recognized as one of the top wildlife destinations on the planet. Almost every nation looks up to Yellowstone as the ultimate example of successful wildlife conservation. Yellowstone’s global recognition stems in large part from the successful restoration of the gray wolf 1995. With wolves roaming freely once again, scientists believe Yellowstone is currently just as wild and ecologically healthy as it has ever been – a truly remarkable feat in today’s world! In fact, all of the original wildlife species found here are thriving, living wild lives, and interacting with one another just as they have done for thousands of years.
Wolves, grizzly bears and bison roamed all across the West when Yellowstone was formed on March 1, 1872, but today there is no other place where we can find all three of our continent’s most iconic and arguably most important wildlife species. Throughout all of North America, only in Yellowstone can we witness a wholly intact ecosystem!
Lodging is NOT included. When booking your lodging, please note our departure locations:
- Day 1 (Geysers & Hot Springs) can depart from Gardiner, MT, Mammoth Hot Springs, Norris Geyser Basin, Madison Junction, Old Faithful, or Canyon Village
- Day 2 (Wildlife Watching) can depart from Gardiner, MT, Mammoth Hot Springs, Tower Junction, the Lamar Buffalo Ranch, or Canyon Village ($100.00 additional drive time fee)
Your Tour Includes
- 2 full-day (8-hour) private guided tours: 1 day exploring the geysers and hot springs, and 1 day searching for the charismatic wildlife that call Yellowstone home
- Local naturalist guide (the same guide both days!)
- Transportation in our fully equipped touring vehicle (we drive, you enjoy the scenery)
- Optics for everyone – top-of-the-line binoculars and high-powered spotting scopes for wildlife viewing
- Plenty of space for gear and extra clothing
- Breakfast pastries and hot drinks (coffee, tea, hot cocoa)
- Healthy and hearty snacks and beverages
- Full picnic lunch spread
- Dynamic and engaging discussions to interpret the wildlife, geology, and ecology you are observing – and how all the pieces of this Wonderland fit together to make it one of the most magical places on earth
Lodging is NOT included. When booking your lodging, please note that Day 1 (Geysers & Hot Springs) can depart from Gardiner, MT, Mammoth Hot Springs, Norris Geyser Basin, Madison Junction, or Old Faithful; Day 2 (Wildlife Watching) can depart from Gardiner, MT, Mammoth Hot Springs, Tower Junction, or the Lamar Buffalo Ranch. (See our partners page for lodging recommendations.)
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 be out in the elements during the cold hours of the dawn. 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!
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.
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 (such as Gardiner, MT, Old Faithful, and Tower Junction, WY, and working an average of those if you’re planning to travel around the entirety of the park.
Day 1 – Geysers & Hot Springs:
- Gardiner, MT or Sage Lodge: 6:00am
- Mammoth Hot Springs: 6:15am
- Norris Geyser Basin: 6:45am
- Madison Junction: 7:15am
- Old Faithful Visitor Center: 7:45am
Day 2 – Wildlife Watching:
May 1st – August 31st:
- Gardiner, MT & Sage Lodge: 5:00am
- Mammoth Hot Springs: 5:15am
- Tower Junction: 5:45am
- Canyon Visitor Center (beginning Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend): 6:15am
September 1st – September 30th:
- Gardiner, MT & Sage Lodge: 5:30am
- Mammoth Hot Springs: 5:45am
- Tower Junction: 6:15am
- Canyon Visitor Center: 6:45am
October 1st – October 31st:
- Gardiner, MT & Sage Lodge: 6:00am
- Mammoth Hot Springs: 6:15am
- Tower Junction: 6:45am
Custom Portrait Adventure Photography Package
Yellowstone Wild is proud to partner with Jess at Chocolate Moose Images to offer a unique custom portrait photography package as a special add-on option for your tour. 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. Jess specializes in classic portraits as well as highly candid photographs in and around Yellowstone National Park. She 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 of 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: $789 including a candid session on tour and a slightly more formal session (time to be arranged).
Final products: 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.
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.
Don’t see your preferred dates? Give us a call! We may be able to accommodate your requested timeframe!
Still have questions? Check out our FAQ’s page!