Winter in Yellowstone Private Journey

Wolf Tracking, Wildlife Viewing, and Snowshoeing in a Snowy Wonderland

Overview

Experience the majesty of Yellowstone National Park as few others do—in winter, when peace and solitude permeate the land, the snowy forests are cloaked in mystical silence, and the rivers breathe clouds of steam into the frosty air. Accompanied by your private naturalist guide, you’ll journey into the glacier-sculpted Lamar Valley, a veritable Serengeti in the snow, in search of the herds of bison, elk, and pronghorn that descend to this lower elevation refuge, as well as their attendant predators—the iconic grey wolves. Yellowstone’s wildlife is easier to spot in the snow during this “secret season”—you can even see their tracks. The sight of steaming geysers and snowy mountains under crisp blue skies creates perfect photo opportunities, and you’ll have many on your snowshoe and cross-country ski outings on the park trails. All these outings are tailored to your interests, and they offer an ideal way to explore Yellowstone in winter. Having your own private guide maximizes your chances of seeing wildlife and also offers an “insider’s” opportunity to learn about the ecology, scientific studies, and conservation efforts in Yellowstone. Your final overnight is at century-old Chico Hot Springs Resort, a stone’s throw from the Yellowstone River, where you can soak in the big, open-air pools fed by natural mineral hot springs. We highly recommend our day-trip extension by snowcoach to Old Faithful, where you’ll have the famous geyser almost all to yourself!

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-3
Yellowstone / Wolf Viewing / Snowshoe and Cross Country Ski Outings

Arrive in Bozeman, Montana, where you are met for a scenic drive to your hotel in the Old West town of Gardiner, just outside the North Entrance to Yellowstone. With your private naturalist guide, head to the renowned Lamar Valley, “the American Serengeti,” for sunrise viewing of the iconic packs of grey wolf. The valley teems with other wildlife in winter, from bison to elk, pronghorn, river otters, osprey, bald eagles, and coyotes, and the birdlife is phenomenal. Wildlife viewing excursions fill your mornings, with afternoons for snowshoe and cross-country ski outings on the park trails, tailored to your interests.

Wonderland Lodge and Cafe
Gardiner, USA
Days 1 to 3 (3 nights)
Yellowstone Gateway Inn
Gardiner, USA
Days 1 to 3 (3 nights)
Days 4-5
Hot Springs Resort / Extension to Old Faithful Geyser

Your final night is in century-old Chico Hot Springs Resort, with its hot mineral pools, perfect for a soak. Depart on Day 5. The  2-day extension to see the Old Faithful geyser in winter, when it is free of the summer crowds, can begin on either Day 3 or Day 4 of the trip. You’ll travel to Old Faithful by guided snowcoach, overnight at Old Faithful Snow Lodge, and enjoy the park’s geological wonders in relative solitude and quiet.

Highlights

Highlights

Search for the famed wolf packs of the Lamar Valley with your private guide, a seasoned naturalist who is involved in the wolf-monitoring community
Look for bison, moose, pronghorn antelope, river otters, and more in the snowy landscape
Explore Yellowstone’s trails on snowshoe and cross-country ski outings tailored to your interest
Meet local wildlife photographer Dan Hartman at his cabin home for great birding and photo opportunities
Swim and soak in the thermal pools at historic Chico Hot Springs Resort
Extend with an exciting “snowcoach” journey to Old Faithful, the world’s most famous geyser—without the crowds of summer!

Details

Length: 5 days
Cost From: $5895  
Arrive: Bozeman, Montana
Depart: Bozeman, Montana
Lodging: 4 nights hotels and lodges
Meals: All meals included as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Walking, Wildlife & Natural History, Photography
Trip Level:

Wildlife viewing by private vehicle, optional snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, cold winter weather