Winter is the season of the wolves! And Yellowstone is the best place on the planet to see wild wolves. Experience wildlife at its best on the pristine snow-covered landscapes of Yellowstone in winter.
6 Day Winter Wolf Watching Package
Duration: 6 days
Ages: Ages 12+
Further information: All-inclusive
- Single Occupancy
- Double Occupancy
Yellowstone 6 Day Winter Wolf Watching Package
- Experience the magic of Yellowstone’s abundant wildlife and iconic beauty
- Local naturalist guide(s)
- Small group – up to 8 guests
- Away from the crowds and into the wild
- Vast wide open spaces and clean mountain air
- Optics for EVERYONE
- Breakfast and lunch – picnic style
- Hearty dinners at the lodge or other local eatery
- Evening presentations from local wildlife experts
- Safe, fun and educational
Spend full days immersed in Yellowstone’s wildlife-rich Lamar Valley and Northern Range, highly revered as the very best place on Earth to see wild wolves. In the evenings, enjoy a hearty dinner, relax in the lodge, and listen to a local biologist, author, or filmmaker who will join us as a guest speaker. This tour is a visually stunning adventure through the pristine beauty of Yellowstone landscapes – towering peaks and sweeping valleys, blanketed by soft winter snow.
Each day provides new possibilities to see multiple wolf packs, frosty bison, long-legged moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, elk, otters, foxes, coyotes, eagles, owls and more. Your tour will also be highly educational, as we highlight the monumental reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone, the complexities of wolf social behaviors, wolves’ specialized hunting strategies and their ecological impacts on the Yellowstone ecosystem. We will explore how these factors, and others, have captured the human imagination for centuries, and over time have characterized the wolf as the ultimate icon of Wilderness.
The deep snows of winter have pushed Yellowstone’s iconic wildlife down out of the mountains and onto the wintering grounds of the Lamar Valley and the Northern Range. Thousands of elk and bison, along with moose, big horn sheep, white-tailed and mule deer and pronghorn have filtered out of the higher mountains of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and have concentrated in the lower valleys and grasslands where there is less snow and less extreme temperatures. Winter can be tough on these grazing animals, and partially because of that, this is where Yellowstone’s wolves and other carnivores thrive. Come and explore the unparalleled beauty and wildlife watching opportunities of Yellowstone National Park with experienced local naturalist guides during the most beautiful and dramatic time of the year: winter. Winter is the season of the wolves, and wolves are our specialty.
This all-inclusive tour package is the ultimate way to experience the wild magic of Yellowstone National Park. Breakfasts and lunches will be catered by a local cafe and enjoyed picnic-style out in the park, overlooking one of our favorite vistas in Yellowstone. Dinners will be shared with local artists, researchers and/or storytellers.
- One-night’s stay in Bozeman, MT
- Four-night’s stay in historic Gardiner, MT, at North Entrance of Yellowstone National Park
- Round-trip transportation – Bozeman to Gardiner/Yellowstone
- Transportation in our fully-equipped touring vehicle(s) (we drive, you enjoy the scenery)
- Half-day tour of Mammoth Hot Springs and Gardiner Basin
- Three full-day (8 hours) guided wildlife tours in Yellowstone’s Northern Range (including the wildlife-rich Lamar Valley)
- Local naturalist guide(s)
- All meals beginning with lunch on Day 2 and ending with breakfast on Day 6: Dinners at local eateries in Gardiner, Breakfasts and lunches enjoyed picnic-style in the field
- Private presentations with local wildlife experts
- Optics for everyone: top-of-the-line binoculars and high-powered spotting scopes
Winter 2022-2023 trips are scheduled for the following dates:
- 12/18 – 12/23
- 12/25 – 12/30
- 1/15 – 1/20
- 1/29 – 2/3
- 2/12 – 2/17
- 2/26 – 3/3
If these dates do not work for your party, please contact us to inquire about custom dates!
Day Location Accommodation General Comments 1 Bozeman, MT
Arrive in Bozeman, Check In
Shuttle provided from Bozeman airport to lodging
2 Bozeman to Gardiner, MT Gardiner, MT Transportation provided from Bozeman to Gardiner
Introduction to Northern Range Wildlife
Mammoth Hot Springs
Check-in to Gardiner lodging
3 Gardiner, MT & Lamar Valley Gardiner, MT
Northern Range Wildlife,
Evening Guest Speaker
4 Gardiner, MT & Lamar Valley Gardiner, MT Northern Range Wildlife,
Guest Speaker in the Field
5 Gardiner, MT, and Lamar Valley Gardiner, MT Northern Range Wildlife,
Evening Guest Speaker
6 Gardiner to Bozeman, MT Travel Back to Bozeman, and Say Our Farewells! Until Next Time!
In case you need to cancel your trip with us, we will fully refund you up to 60 days prior to the starting day of your trip minus a $50 processing fee (note that if you booked online, the “fees” charged by the booking platform – which is separate from our company – are also non-refundable).
In case you need to cancel your trip with us between 31 and 59 days prior to the starting day of your trip, we will refund half of the costs of your trip.
Any cancellation made 30 days or fewer before the starting day of your trip will not be refunded.
We regret that as a small business, we are rarely able to make exceptions to our cancellation policy.
We reserve the right to cancel the trip if minimum enrollment of 3 guests is not met by 30 days prior to the trip departure date, or due to extreme weather conditions or other factors that are outside of our control. Full refunds, minus a $50 processing fee, are given if this occurs, and Yellowstone Wild is not liable for reimbursement of travel-related expenses such as airfare.
We highly recommend that you purchase trip insurance, such as that offered by https://www.travelguard.com, to cover unexpected cancellations or changes to your travel plans.
Yellowstone possesses some of the most extreme weather conditions anywhere. Temperatures on any given tour could range from -40°F to +40°F (-40°C to +10°C). We therefore recommend plenty of warm clothes that can be layered and easily removed; therefore, allowing you to adjust and stay comfortable throughout your tour.
Here are our suggestions and what our guides wear on winter tours:
- Long underwear. Starting with your base layers, synthetic or wool long underwear tops and bottoms are critical to your comfort (we can find places to shed this layer later in the day if necessary). Please stay away from cotton, which can hold moisture and drastically chill the body, whereas wool and synthetics wick moisture and can even insulate while wet.
- Sweater or fleece. Ideally more than one layer of insulating layers like fleece or wool sweaters will allow for effective layering and allows you to easily shed layers as the day warms up.
- Fleece or down vest. Vests are great as a layering item that can really hold in core body temperature, yet also allow for maximum comfort and mobility.
- A windproof and water repellent insulated jacket is your most important protection from the biting Wyoming winds. Gore-Tex or something similar is highly advised as the best moisture/wind barrier and goose down insulation is the best insulation.
- Snow pants/ski pants – Insulted pants with moisture/wind barrier. You should have long underwear thermal layers in addition.
- Heavy gloves or mittens with windproof barrier.
- Warm hat that covers your ears. We lose tremendous body heat from our heads. Protect your ears from the chilly wind with a wool or fleece hat.
- Warm wool or synthetic socks are key to keeping those toes from hampering your good time. Be sure you have plenty of wiggle room inside your boots. If your socks are too thick and fit too tightly in your boots, you will actually reduce blood flow to your feet, resulting in cold toes, regardless of how warm your socks are.
- Insulated winter boots (roomy boots are better as you do not want to restrict circulation in your feet/toes) (see below for boot recommendations).
- Hand and toe/foot warmers. These are lifesavers! We advise everyone to place a full-sized foot warmer inside your boots every morning before the tour. This keeps the edge off and keeps you comfortable to be able to enjoy yourself to the fullest during those hard-earned wildlife encounters! Toe and hand warmers can be used as needed
- With high elevation sun, many of us burn easily, especially when we are distracted by something like watching wolves for extended periods of time.
- Even if you are not a serious photographer, a camera is nice to have on tour.
- A day pack is very handy for personal items: hand and toe warmers, water bottle, sunglasses, camera, and of course for all the extra layers you will want.
There are several ways you can go for boots: the insulated rubber “muck” boots that farmers and ranchers like. These are slip on boots that come in varying levels of insulation (up to -50 degrees). They are fine for short walks, but you would not want them for full-day hikes. For the purpose of this trip, they would be fine. Good brands there are Muck and LaCrosse. These are probably the best bang for your buck.
The other option is a lace up insulated boot. There are lots of them on the market and you could spend a lot for a boot that you may never use again.
Here is a link with discussion about boots recommended for Antarctica tours. https://www.coolantarctica.com/Shop/antarctica-clothing/antarctic-boots.php
If you need to order boots, you could have them shipped here, and we will have them on hand for you when you arrive, not a problem at all. Just let us know.
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.