Yellowstone wolves, grizzly bears, bison and moose await you on an unforgettable adventure with your own passionate and knowledgeable local naturalist guide.
Wildlife Watching and Day Hiking Combo
- 2024 Rates
- 1 person
- 2 people
- 3 people
- 4 people
- 5 people
- 6 people
- 7 people
- 8 people
- 9 people
- 10 people
The Best of Yellowstone: Wildlife at Sunrise and a Hike to Explore Yellowstone’s Treasures!
- Experience the magic of Yellowstone’s iconic wildlife and landscapes
- Your own local wildlife guide
- Private and fully customizable tours
- Difficulty level to match your fitness level
- Small, single-party groups
- Away from the crowds and into the wild
- Vast wide open spaces and clean mountain air
- Breakfast and lunch – picnic style
- Optics for EVERYONE
- Safe, fun and educational
Our wildlife sightings are best in the crisp cool early morning hours, when wildlife activity is best and Yellowstone is quiet, empty of park visitors and wild! As the sun climbs toward midday, the temperatures increase, as does the number of park visitors, and animal activity drops off. We stop for a picnic and revel in the magical moments from our morning’s encounters with wildlife. We discuss how animals live in this beautiful landscape and what their relationships are like with the other animals and plants around them.
A moderate hike of 2-5 miles, depending on everyone’s abilities and energy levels, will fill the rest of the day. Each hike will be planned specifically for your group, and could follow developed trails or bushwhack off trail to explore some unknown corner of Yellowstone’s vast wilderness. Your input helps us craft the tour best suited for you.
Our hike may lead us to places where different animals choose to live and raise their babies, and we stop to talk about why certain animals might live in one place over another. Exploring a stream bank, we might find bird nests, animal tracks, or even see where a beaver has been working. Something absolutely amazing is happening in Yellowstone every day, and we welcome you to explore Yellowstone’s treasures with us.
Looking for a completely customized Yellowstone trip? We can plan a trip that is just what you’re looking for. Reach out to us!
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): 6:00am
September 1st – September 30th:
- Gardiner, MT & Sage Lodge: 5:30am
- Mammoth Hot Springs: 5:45am
- Tower Junction: 6:15am
- Canyon Visitor Center: 6:30am
October 1st – October 31st:
- Gardiner, MT & Sage Lodge: 6:00am
- Mammoth Hot Springs: 6:15am
- Tower Junction: 6:45am
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
• Breakfast pastries and hot drinks (coffee, tea, hot cocoa)
• Healthy and hearty snacks and beverages
• Full picnic lunch spread
• 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
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.
In order to reserve your tour, a $200.00 deposit per tour day is due at the time of booking. Preferred payment method is via credit card through our secure booking system. The balance due will be charged to the credit card on file 30 days prior to your tour departure date and a receipt will be emailed at that time.
Should you need to cancel your tour with us more than 30 days prior to your tour departure date, your deposit is fully refundable. Should you need to cancel your tour within 30 days of your tour departure date, your payment is non-refundable. We strongly recommend that you purchase third-party travel insurance that will protect you in case of unforeseen cancellations or changes to your travel plans (for suggested travel insurance companies, see Forbes Advisor).
Should your tour need to be canceled due to factors beyond our control, including (but not limited to) extreme weather conditions, wildfire, natural disaster, park closure, airline cancellations, or an “Act of God” we are unable to offer a cash refund.
As a small business, we regret that we are rarely able to make exceptions to our cancellation policy.
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.
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.
Still have questions? Check out our FAQ’s page!