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.
Bear and Wolf Watching Tour
- 2024 Rates
- 1 person
- 2 people
- 3 people
- 4 people
- 5 people
- 6 people
- 7 people
- 8 people
- 9 people
- 10 people
Wildlife & Bear Watching in Yellowstone with a Private Guide
- Experience the magic of Yellowstone’s iconic wildlife
- Your own local wildlife guide
- Private and fully customizable tours
- Small, single-party groups
- Vast wide open spaces and clean mountain air
- Breakfast and lunch – picnic style
- Optics for EVERYONE
- Safe, fun and educational
Yellowstone is the BEST place on the planet to see wild wolves, and wolves are our specialty! Our bear watching and wildlife watching tours are phenomenal!! Yellowstone National Park is world-famous for its abundance of iconic wildlife and historic conservation efforts to restore wolves, grizzly bears and bison. Our highly experienced naturalist guides and top-of-the-line equipment produce the highest quality grizzly tours and wilderness excursions.. Deep personal knowledge of Yellowstone’s wolves, bears, bison and other treasures fuel our teachings, which appeal to all ages. We specialize in crafting personalized educational experiences with Yellowstone’s iconic wildlife, natural history and ecology around your interests and expectations. Our tours consistently prove to be meaningful and memorable to our guests.
Our guides track the movements and behavior of Yellowstone wildlife almost daily and know the best places to find the animals you hope to see. Your guide will interpret the behaviors you observe and share stories about the individual bears and wolves that we have gotten to know over the years of observing them. Whether you want to spot foraging grizzly bears, witness the social and behavioral dynamics of Yellowstone’s wolf packs, or search to identify the numerous wild animal and bird species in the park, we make your Yellowstone adventure unforgettable.
Your guide will help you learn, through visual examples, how animals live in this beautiful landscape and what their relationships are like with the other animals and plants around them. Exploring a stream bank, you might find bird nests, animal tracks, or even see where a beaver has been working. A short nature walk may lead you to the secret places where different animals choose to live and raise their babies, and you stop to talk about why certain animals might live in one place over another.
For more information please visit our FAQ page!
Looking for something more?One popular option is to combine early morning wildlife watching (when animals are most active) with a day hike beginning mid-late morning. Check out the Wildlife Watching & Day Hiking Combo Package for more information!
For families with young kids: For a later start and a more kid-friendly experience, consider our Family Adventure Tour.
May 1st – August 31st:
- Gardiner, MT & Sage Lodge: 5:00am
- Mammoth Hot Springs: 5:15am
- 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.
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.