Yellowstone Wildlife Trails
Experience three national parks, including the world’s oldest: Yellowstone.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Leisurely / Moderate
Group Size Small Group
In the middle of the Rocky Mountain Range there are three celebrated national parks offering the most varied scenery and wildlife: the spires and azure lakes of Grand Teton, the unique geology and wildlife of Yellowstone, and of course the towering sentinel peaks and broad valleys of Glacier. Specialist local guides will accompany you to spot and track wildlife including bison, bear, wolves, coyotes and eagles. From colourful meadows with wildflowers to mighty canyons, and geothermal volcanic pools to glaciated rocky spires, this is a full-on adventure with some seriously dramatic views.
* All accommodation
* 7 breakfasts
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout
* We can include flights from the UK. Please contact us for a quote.
PYH: 1: Salt Lake City
Welcome to Salt Lake City, the capital of Utah and the gateway to incredible national parks. Set in a beautiful location at the foot of Utah’s Wasatch Mountains, Salt Lake is also the home of the worldwide headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, best known as Mormons. A welcome meeting will be conducted at 18:00 hrs in your hotel.
PYH: 2: Jackson
Leave Salt Lake City behind, cross Idaho and pass through the beautiful Targhee National Forest en route to the valley of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. This mountain resort is popular during the winter months as skiers flock to the area, whilst summer sees walkers and other thrill seekers enjoying the area and its proximity to Grand Teton National Park. Why not take an optional aerial tram ride to the top of Rendezvous Mountain for 360-degree views of the Snake River Valley and Grand Teton National Park? You could also simply explore the town of Jackson Hole which maintains an authentic ‘Wild West’ feel.
3: Grand Teton National Park
Famed for its iconic soaring peaks, the 64 km Grand Teton Range explodes out of the ground with its jagged fang-like mountains. Rocky spires, lakes and forests fill the park, with more than 10 pinnacles reaching over 12,000 ft. Rich in fauna, inhabitants of the area include bison, elk, Black and Grizzly Bears, Bighorn Sheep, moose and Mule Deer, all of which have been seen on this trip. There are many self-guided hikes to choose from today, walking through dramatic scenery and appreciating the geology and nature of the area. If you choose, you could take the ferry across Jenny Lake and hike up to Inspiration Point and beyond, following the stream. It is commonplace to see moose and bears whilst hiking this trail.
PYH: 4: Yellowstone National Park
It’s a beautiful drive to the very first and most revered national park in America, Yellowstone – your home for the next four nights. Part of the highway clings to the side of the 24 km long Jackson Lake, and the expansive ice-blue water reflects the Teton Range on a clear day. Entering Yellowstone, the scenery starts to change from striking jagged peaks to colourful open meadows. See how the regular lava flows have flattened the largest geological features in the south of the park. This afternoon, take a walk amidst this fascinating volcanic environment before returning to set up camp. Yellowstone is home to an incredible variety of wildlife so always keep your camera at the ready!
PYH: 5: Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone overflows with geothermal features – geysers, bubbling mud pools, multi-coloured hot springs and fumaroles! The park is famous for its volcanic history and there are estimated to be around 10,000 thermal features – nowhere else on earth (not even Iceland or New Zealand) can boast this concentration of geysers, which are scattered amongst several distinct geyser basins. Spend half a day with a local geology guide to explore the many effects of volcanism and enjoy walks around some of the parks most interesting features. The brightly coloured springs, caused by the hot, nutrient-rich waters full of different species of coloured bacteria are a photographic highlight.
PYH: 6: Yellowstone National Park
When Yellowstone National Park was established in 1872, Northern Rocky Mountain Wolves (a subspecies of the Grey Wolf) were native to the area. In the years after, predator control saw the decline of this remarkable species but following a reintroduction programme there are now thought to be more than 1,000 wolves in the Greater Yellowstone area. You spend a full day with a specialist wolf and wildlife tracking guide, venturing into the park’s wilderness on foot and by vehicle to learn about these extraordinary animals. Your guide will explain how wolves live and hunt together in Yellowstone and how the pack hierarchy works. It’s important to note that you may not always be lucky enough to see wolves, however this is our goal and at the same time you’re likely to see numerous other wildlife species as you explore the park.
PYH: 7: Yellowstone National Park
Today you’ll take your new-found knowledge of Yellowstone’s wildlife and geology on a wilderness day walk in the park, leaving some of the well-known geysers and crowds behind to explore the wilds together. Your route will depend on the group’s general ability and fitness however, it’s likely to involve a walk to view the Upper and Lower Yellowstone Falls. You’ll also visit the Mammoth Hot Springs which literally feels like being on another planet.
PYH: 8: Glacier National Park
Today’s drive reveals the wide open ‘Big Sky’ scenery that Montana is so famous for. Journey through the ever-changing landscape of forest and mountain backdrops, all the way to Glacier National Park. Whilst this is essentially a long drive day to ensure you have two full days in Glacier for hiking and exploration, it is a great way to experience the different faces of Montana as you cruise through the countryside.
PYH: 9: Glacier National Park
With two full days to hike in Glacier National Park, you are in for a treat. The park puts on a shuttle bus for you to make the most of the trails, and hopefully spot wildlife. Commonly sighted in Glacier are bears, moose, elk and deer. There are some truly beautiful trails on offer above the treeline, with the chance to see wildflowers common to the area. Highly recommended is the Hidden Lake Trail, a five mile trail located near East Glacier Park, Montana that features a lake and is rated as moderate.NB: The National Park Service regulates guided hikes in Glacier. Tomorrow you will be led by a national park guide but on other days your tour leader is not permitted to walk with you on trails. They will however provide detailed briefings, directions, maps and transportation.
PYH: 10: Glacier National Park
Spend the day exploring the heart of the park with a Glacier National Park wilderness guide along the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road. Stopping en route for regular walks, your guide will help you try to spot some of the huge variety of animal species for which this park is renowned, including Grizzly Bears, wolverines and lynx. Big Horn Sheep, Mountain Goats, coyotes and wolves are also commonly sighted. If conditions are right, your guide will take you on the Iceberg Lake for more striking mountain scenes and wildflowers.
PYH: 11: Coeur d'Alene
You leave Glacier behind and make your way towards Coeur d’Alene in the state of Idaho. You’ll pass through small historic towns in Idaho’s ‘Silver Valley’, which was once the `silver capital of the world’. After reaching Coeur d’Alene, there may be time to walk the trail through forested areas which hugs the watery edge of the lake. If it’s a hot day make sure you don’t forget your swimsuit, but be careful, the water can be bracing! A good option for the afternoon is to enjoy a drink down by the marina and then watch the sunset over the sparkling lake.
PYH: 12: Coeur d'Alene - Seattle
Crossing into the state of Washington, you make your way towards Seattle, your final destination. Today’s journey takes you past the border of Mount Rainier National Park where the imposing Mount Rainier stands at 14,000 ft. This is Washington’s highest volcano and on a clear day you may be able to see it from Seattle. Upon arrival to Seattle your tour ends back at the hotel.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.