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Yellowstone Winter Wildlife In-Depth

The world’s first national park, Yellowstone is simply incredible and winter reveals a side most travellers will never experience. Explore the Lamar Valley with a wolf and wildlife tracking guide, take a cross-country ski lesson and a guided snowshoe tour in search of wildlife. Stay within the national park borders, at a time when animals are scavenging for food with fewer tourists to scare them away. On this unique lodge tour, you’ll enjoy rare access to this geothermal winter wonderland where you’ll make your own fresh tracks in the snow.

  • Duration: 7 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • Physical rating: Average
  • Supplier Tour ID: IWA/208606
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Starts: Bozeman, United States
  • Finishes: Bozeman, United States
  • Age requirement: 18 +
You will Visit
  • Bozeman
  • Mammoth Hot Springs
  • Lamar Valley
  • Yellowstone National Park



Day 1: Bozeman

Bozeman is the gem of 'Big Sky Country'! Winter brings powder to the peaks at Bridger Bowl Ski Area and nearby Big Sky Ski Resort, which means there is even more adventure to be had than usual. Historic Main Street district offers visitors trendy boutiques, bustling cafes and eclectic mix of restaurants so it’s worth leaving some time to explore the centre. A welcome meeting will be held at 18:00 hrs tonight to meet your fellow travellers and tour leader over a welcome dinner. Featured Hotel: C'mon Inn Hotel and Suites (or similar)C'mon Inn Hotel and Suites has a warm and friendly atmosphere. The unique open courtyard provides guests with a sense of tranquillity and has all the usual amenities including large pools and Jacuzzis. The hotel is beautiful on the inside and outside and there is a heavy influence of a wood build and finish. 

Meals Included: Welcome dinner included


Day 2: Mammoth Hot Springs

This morning, drive to Mammoth Hot Springs where you explore this bubbling and steaming geothermal area and take your first opportunity to witness Yellowstone under a blanket of snow. Follow the easily accessible boardwalks to explore and photograph this unique geothermal wasteland all around you. The perfect place to warm up after a day on the trails is with a nice drink in front of the lodge’s fireplace, or whilst relaxing in the included hot springs for that quintessential Montana experience. Featured Hotel: Chico Hot Springs Resort (or similar)This historic resort is located in the heart of Paradise Valley, just north of Yellowstone National Park and nestled in the foothills of the Absaroka Mountain Range. Chico Hot Springs offers an array of accommodation styles, dining options and entry into the relaxing hot springs. 

Meals Included: Breakfast and dinner included


Day 3: Lamar Valley

Often referred to as 'America's Serengeti', the Lamar Valley is one of the finest places to spot wildlife in Yellowstone. Home to an incredible array of animals such as wolves, elk, bison and Bighorn Sheep, you won't even have time to put your camera down. To reach Lamar Valley you must travel down Lamar Road and even on this stretch of road you're likely to encounter all kinds of wildlife, and 'bison jams' are a regular occurrence. For the first time in more than 70 years, wolves have been reintroduced to the park and their return has brought positive effects - including a decrease in elk, which in turn has stopped over grazing of the park’s grasslands. Today you'll be accompanied by a professional wolf and wildlife tracking guide who dedicates his life to working with the park’s wildlife (including wolves). As with most wildlife, we can never guarantee sightings but you’ll be in good hands when it comes to spotting wolves, because these guides really know what they are doing. In the evening, why not soak in the lodge hot springs or hit the bar area.  

Meals Included: Breakfast included


Day 4: Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone, the oldest and grandest of the national parks in the USA, is home to the lower 48's highest concentration of wildlife. It's the magnificent mountain scenery, abundant wildlife and spectacular geothermal activity that draws people here from all over the world. The road from Mammoth Hot Springs to Old Faithful Snow Lodge is closed to public vehicles so the only way through is by snow-coach or snow-mobile. Included today is a private full day guided snow-coach tour on the way to Old Faithful Snow Lodge, where you spend the next three nights. The benefit of having a private snow-coach is you can stop at various scenic points of interest and spot wildlife along the way. You will typically arrive at the lodge in the late afternoon. The lodge is situated close to Old Faithful and your tour leader will take you to watch Old Faithful erupt from the belly of the earth. Featured Hotel: Old Faithful Snow Lodge (or similar)Completed in 1999, the Snow Lodge has been recognised with the Cody Award for Western Design and Travel and Leisure's Inn of the Month. The heavy timber construction, exterior log columns and cedar shingle roof were part of the design that is destined to make the Snow Lodge a significant example of classic 'parkitecture'. The Snow Lodge features an open fire, full-service dining room and is 6 minutes' walk to Old Faithful geyser. 

Meals Included: Breakfast and dinner included


Day 5: Yellowstone National Park

For the next few days, you are in the middle of it all and can really dig beneath the surface of Yellowstone. Just because the roads are covered with snow, it doesn't mean you'll miss out on experiencing the trails which make Yellowstone so popular. An included cross country skiing lesson (equipment provided) will stand you in good stead for navigating your way through this winter wonderland, either as a group or in your free time. After a two-hour lesson and once you feel comfortable on your skis, you have use of the equipment for the afternoon and can pick a trail of your choice. 

Meals Included: Breakfast included


Day 6: Yellowstone National Park

Today you'll have more time to wander the geothermal pools, but not before a three-hour guided snowshoe tour to help you find your ‘snow legs’. Your guide will point out interesting facts about Yellowstone and the flora and fauna you encounter surrounding your lodge. You'll have the snow shoes for the duration of the day so you might like to make the most of what is right outside your front door. Take a walk along the boardwalk at the Upper Geyser Basin, or enjoy some time with a warm drink around the lodge. 

Meals Included: Breakfast included


Day 7: Bozeman

Sadly, your exploration of Yellowstone must come to an end but not before taking the scenic route back to Bozeman. Your guide will stop the snow coach at various points of interest along the way - keep an eye out for wildlife. This may be your last day, but a huge volume of wildlife has been spotted on the way back to the van. Upon arrival to Mammoth Hot Springs you pick up your vehicle and make your way back to Bozeman where this tour finishes.This tour ends at our gateway hotel at approximately 17:00 hrs. We recommend booking post-tour accommodation if time allows. If you are planning to fly tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 21:00 hrs.

Meals Included: Breakfast included

  • Services of a professional tour leader and local guides including wildlife and wolf tracker
  • All transportation by private vehicle and Yellowstone snow coach
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Hotel: 6
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Tour Highlights:
  • Unique entrance to the park’s interior when closed to the public and most vehicles
  • Full day wolf and wildlife tracking guide
  • Two full-day guided tours of Yellowstone by snow coach. Please note these two days will be spent travelling on roads closed to private travellers due to seasonality
  • Half day cross-country ski lesson and use of equipment for further exploration
  • Half day guided snowshoeing tour of Yellowstone with use of equipment for further exploration
  • Included visit to Chico Hot Springs
  • Experience the Yellowstone wilderness without the crowds