Yellowstone Winter Wildlife Walks

Yellowstone River

Yellowstone Winter Wildlife Walks

Yellowstone is the world’s oldest national park, founded in 1872. This massive park protects half of the world’s geysers as well as some of the largest herds of mega fauna in the northern hemisphere. Here we find a wilderness teaming with wildlife, such as bison, wolf, elk, deer, antelope, and of course bear. While it is one of the busiest parks in summer, winter is a season of quiet solitude within this land. All but one of the park’s roads are closed due to snow and hence the park is inaccessible to road- based tourists, while at the same time many of the animals descend from the mountains to spend the harsh winters in the valleys. Really the best way to enjoy Yellowstone’s wilderness is to visit during the winter months. On this unique journey we will explore all the wonders of Yellowstone and Grand Teton far away from the crowds. Come with us to witness the amazing phenomenon of “fire and ice” – exploding geysers in a winter wonderland of snow. Many of the park’s animals can be found close to the roads and trails, making winter an incredible time to observe wildlife up close. Our journey visits the park from all accessible angles. Along the northern entrance we go on safari looking for wolves and on snowshoes we walk over the calcite terraces of Mammoth Hot Springs. From the West Entrance we head out on a snow coach to explore the Upper Geyser Basin, the world’s largest geothermal area. We will witness the explosion of Old Faithful, as it shoots up to 32,000 liters of boiling water up to 56 meters into the ice-cold air. Winter makes this experience especially spectacular, as the hot water reacts with the winter air. Near the famed cowboy town of Jackson, we explore the National Elk Refuge by sleigh, gliding through a herd of 7,000 wintering elk. Last but not least we snowshoe through the silent winter wilderness below the stunning peaks of Grand Teton National Park. Full and Half board (breakfasts, picnic lunches and dinners) 7 nights in tourist class hotels (3-star) of which 2 nights are spent in cabins 6 picnic lunches (self-made) 4 dinners (group prepared) 7 breakfasts 5 days of guided snowshoe walks of 2-4 hours. Shorter or longer walks can be offered for those wanting to increase or decrease the time spent on trails Full day snow coach tour to Old Faithful Wolf watching with a naturalist Elk refuge sleigh ride Ample time to explore each national park in depth Amazing photography opportunities Centrally located hotels at the entrance to the parks and in downtown Jackson Cozy cabins and hotel suites for evening meals Small group tours with a maximum of 14 participants Expertly trained, dedicated, local tour directors Please note: Due to COVID-19, Active Tours West USA offers flexible departure dates on all multi-day tours. Please feel free to contact us to discuss your specific travel wants, dates and needs.

Amazing Views

Winter Time in Yellowstone is very special. No crowds and lots of wildlife to be seen.

Family Friendly

This tour is perfect for a family holiday and is an excellent opportunity to learn about the West and make memories that your kids and you will remember forever.

Professional Guide

Active Travel West USA ‘s professional guides will ensure your safety and help you maximize your time on tour.

Great Photo Opportunities

We design our tours to give you plenty of time to have photo opportunities to capture Yellowstone's beautiful scenery!

Trip Itinerary

Day 1. Arrival in Bozeman
Arrival in Bozeman, our hotel offers a free airport transfer. Comfort Inn or similar (3-star), 1 night
Day 2. To Yellowstone National Park’s Mammoth Hot Springs
8 AM: Your guide welcomes you at the hotel and we drive to nearby Yellowstone National Park. We settle into our rustic cabins on the Yellowstone River before exploring the park and the amazing travertine terraces at Mammoth Hot Springs. Then a remote trail takes us through the wildlife rich valley of Gardiner towards the Boiling River. We have a great chance to see elk, bison, antelope and deer. In the evening we get together for a communal meal in our cabin. Riverside Cottages in Gardiner, MT or similar, 2 nights Drive time: 80 miles / 130 km or 1.5 hr Mammoth Hot Springs: 5-6 hrs, ca. 5-6 miles / 8-9 km, elevation difference: +100m/ -400 m
Day 3. The Wolves of Yellowstone
After an absence of 100 years, wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park in 1995. Reintroducing the top predator to this complex ecosystem has been an incredible experiment. Today, we join a naturalist looking for wolves in the Lamar Valley. For sure we will see herds of bison that spend the winter here. On snowshoes we explore trails among the herds of bison and antelope. Tonight grab a swimsuit and try the hot springs! Dinner in the cabins.Trails in Lamar Valley area: 3-4 hrs, ca. 3-5 miles / 5-8 km, elevation difference: +/-200 m
Day 4. Snow Coach Tour to Old Faithful
Today, we head out on snow covered park roads to famous Old Faithful. Most of Yellowstone’s roads are closed in the winter and only accessible via snow coach. Our excursion takes us to multicolored boiling mud pots and fumaroles before arriving at the steaming Upper Geyser Basin. Here we enjoy a walk through the very active geysers and geothermal features while waiting for the explosion of Old Faithful. There is a chance at seeing frost covered bison, elk and bald eagles. Upon return we settle in for another group dinner.
Day 5. Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is a deep canyon carved into soft rock and basalt cliffs. We walk along the flat surface of the snow packed road with amazing views of the canyon and Calcite Springs. Elk, bison, mule deer and big horn sheep are our companions today. Tower Falls is one of the highlights of any snowshoe trip in Yellowstone. In the afternoon we depart to the West Entrance of Yellowstone. Group dinner in our family suite. Gray Wolf Inn or similar 3-star, 2 nights Drive time: 165 miles / 260 km or 3 hrs Tower Falls: 4-5 hrs, ca. 5 miles / 8 km, elevation difference: +/-200 m
Day 6. Madison River Trails
Hidden trails take us along the Madison River into the park. We have a chance at close wildlife encounters, such as bison and bald eagle. With luck we may see trumpeter swan and river otter as well! In the afternoon we continue our journey towards the historic cowboy town of Jackson, Wyoming. The evening is free to explore the fun town. Springhill Suites or similar 3-star, 2 nights. Madison River: 3-4 hrs, ca. 3.7miles / 6 km, elevation difference: +/-100 m Drive time: 130miles / 200 km or 2-3 hrs
Day 7. Grand Teton National Park and Elk Refuge,
Grand Teton National Park adjoins Yellowstone National Park on the southern boundary. This popular park is blissfully quiet in the winter months, as most park roads are closed to cars. We spend the day here in the shadow of the mighty 4198-meter Grand Teton. Then, we enjoy a ranger led sleigh ride through the National Elk Refuge, the winter range of 7000 elk. Grand Teton NP: 3-4 hrs, ca. 4 miles / 6 km, elevation difference: +/-100 m
Day 8. Departure
Our tour concludes today. We recommend you take a shuttle or taxi to the nearby airport for your departure.

Tour Pricing

Adult Double Occupancy
$1959/person
  • 7 nights in tourist class hotels (3-star) of which 2 nights are spent in cabins
  • 6 picnic lunches
  • 4 dinners (group prepared)
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 5 days of guided snowshoe walks of 2-4 hours - shorter or longer walks can be offered for those wanting to increase or decrease the time spent on trails
  • Full day snow coach tour to Old Faithful
  • Wolf watching with a naturalist
  • Elk refuge sleigh ride
  • Ample time to explore each national park in depth
  • Expertly trained, dedicated, local tour directors
Adult Single Occupancy
$2159/person
  • 7 nights in tourist class hotels (3-star) of which 2 nights are spent in cabins
  • 6 picnic lunches
  • 4 dinners (group prepared)
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 5 days of guided snowshoe walks of 2-4 hours - shorter or longer walks can be offered for those wanting to increase or decrease the time spent on trails
  • Full day snow coach tour to Old Faithful
  • Wolf watching with a naturalist
  • Elk refuge sleigh ride
  • Ample time to explore each national park in depth
  • Expertly trained, dedicated, local tour directors

$2159/person

Have a Question?

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Does this Winter Tour like fun? Download full tour info. here

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