Yellowstone Wildlife Trails
Explore the land of glaciers, geysers, wolves and bears.
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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 and mighty canyons to geothermal volcanic pools and glaciated rocky spires, this is a full-on adventure with some seriously dramatic views.
* All accommodation (10 nights participatory camping and 1 hotel night)
* 10 breakfasts, 11 lunches and 9 dinners
* 10 nights participatory camping and 1 night hotel
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout, group normally 1 to 13, plus leader. Min age 16yrs
- Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)
- Arrival & departure transfers
- Optional activities (pay locally)
- Track wolves in Yellowstone N.P.
- Glacier and Grand Teton N.P.
- Specialist wildlife guides
Start Salt Lake City.
Welcome to Salt Lake City, the capital of Utah and the gateway to five incredible national parks. Set in a beautiful location at the foot of Utah’s Wasatch Mountains, Salt Lake is the home of the worldwide headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Mormons. A welcome meeting will be conducted at 6.00pm in your hotel.*Optional Activities:*• Mormon History Museum US$free*Standard Hotel*
To Jackson Hole; short walk.
Leave Salt Lake City behind, cross Idaho and pass through the beautiful Targhee National Forest en route to the valley of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. This mountain resort is popular during the winter months as skiers flock to the area, whilst summer sees walkers and other thrill seekers enjoying the area and its proximity to Grand Teton National Park. Why not take an optional aerial tram ride to the top of Rendezvous Mountain for 360 degree views of the Snake River Valley and Grand Teton National Park, or simply explore the town of Jackson Hole which maintains an authentic ’Wild West’ feel.*Optional Activities:*• Western Saloons US$varies• Jenny Lake Ferry US$15• Western Rodeo in Jackson US$20-$25• Bar J Chuckwagon Dinner in Jackson US$25-$35• Aerial Tram US$23*Basic Camping*
Walk amid the Grand Teton Range.
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 Bear, Bighorn Sheep, moose and Mule Deer, all of which have been seen on our trips. There are many self-guided hikes to choose from today, walking amidst dramatic scenery and appreciating the geology and nature of the area. Perhaps choose to take the ferry across Jenny Lake and hike up to Inspiration Point and beyond, following the stream. It is commonplace to see moose and bear whilst hiking this trail.NOTE: The National Park Service regulates guided hikes in Grand Teton National Park so it is not possible for your leaders to accompany you today.*Basic Camping*
To Yellowstone N.P.
It’s a beautiful drive to the very first and most revered national park in America, Yellowstone, and 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 and rolling terrain. 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!*Basic Camping*
Full day in Yellowstone N.P. with a local geology guide.
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 particular photographic highlight.*Basic Camping*
Full day with specialist wildlife and wolf tracking guide.
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 tracking guide, venturing into the park’s wilderness by 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.*Basic Camping*
Wilderness day walk in Yellowstone N.P.
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 but it’s likely to involve a walk to view the Upper and Lower Yellowstone Falls. More strenuous options are available if you’re feeling more energetic – simply ask your leader for different options. You’ll also visit the Mammoth Hot Springs which literally feels like being on another planet.*Basic Camping*
To Glacier N.P.
Continue through the mountains of Montana to the famed Glacier National Park where you’ll spend the next two nights, with time to explore this immense expanse. Keep your eyes peeled for deer and bear which frequent this area, as well as taking in the stunning scenery and glacial lakes. You’ll have time on arrival for a short walk to stretch your legs and to admire some of the scenery and prepare for a big day of hiking tomorrow.NOTE: 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.*Basic camping*
Full day exploring Glacier National Park.
Full day exploring Glacier National Park.*Basic Camping*
Daywalk in 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 Bear, wolverine and lynx. Big Horn Sheep, Mountain Goat, coyote and wolves are also common, so make sure you keep your camera at the ready! If conditions are right your guide will take you on the Iceberg Lake or Hidden Lake Trail for more striking mountain scenes and wildflowers.*Basic Camping*
To 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.*Basic Camping*
To Seattle via Keechelus Lake; end 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 in Seattle at approximately 5.00pm. We can book your post-tour accommodation if required. If you are planning to fly tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 9.00pm.
We use national and state park campsites and also a wide assortment of private campgrounds. Most will have flush toilets and hot showers however, some may charge an additional fee of $1-$3 for showers. You will sleep in heavy duty tents which single travellers share with one other passenger of the same sex. Our camping equipment also includes field kitchens, inflatable sleeping pads, food storage and camp lanterns and chairs. Most campsites have a quiet time from 22:00 hrs to 07:00 hrs. Please respect your fellow campers who are there to enjoy the peace and tranquility of camping.
An essential part of a camping tour is helping out with the day to day camp duties and everyone will assist with the setting up and packing up of the campsite. Your tour leader will provide guidance on what to do, and typically it will only take 15 minutes to set up or break down the tents and camp kitchen. Before you know it you’ll be enjoying ‘home sweet home’ in the great outdoors.
Your tour leader will also co-ordinate and assist the group with food shopping, preparing meals and cleaning up. Sharing the camp duties is a great way to bond with your fellow travelers and the group camaraderie is all part of the experience.
10 breakfasts, 11 lunches and 9 dinners are included whilst camping.
On all camping tours, most of the meals are included whilst camping. Your tour leader will coordinate local shopping and assist the group in preparing healthy, hearty breakfasts, picnic lunches and delicious dinners.
Occasionally, you will eat out in local restaurants. To help you budget for these meals on average hotel breakfasts cost from US$6-$12, lunches from US$8-$15 and dinners from US$13-$30; this does not include alcoholic beverages. Wine costs approximately US$5 per glass and beer US$4 per bottle. Please be aware that a tip of approximately 17%-20% is added to group meals in North American restaurants. Applicable taxes will also be added to all listed menu prices. Please make sure we are aware of any special meal requirements before travelling.
This is a trip for those who are interested in the incredible wildlife and geology of Yellowstone and the Central Rockies. All the hikes are entirely optional and you can often take tougher or lighter walks than those chosen for the group, so this trip’s grading is only a guide. We use specialist local guides, in addition to the tour leader, to make the most of our visit to the parks; their skills in tracking and spotting wildlife as well as their unique and intimate knowledge of the surroundings is invaluable.
Although each tour follows an itinerary, there is a certain amount of flexibility and from time to time your tour leader may suggest changes. This may be due to road conditions, weather or a visit to a special attraction or event that happens to be in progress. Flexibility is key and often a side diversion will be a highlight of the tour. Hikes and optional activities cannot be guaranteed and may vary depending on ability, group interest, local weather conditions and time of year. Please do note that in order to reach certain places long drives are required so be prepared for some lengthy journeys.
There are opportunities for optional activities during your tour. Your tour leader will organise these on your behalf and you will pay locally in cash. You’ll find the main optional activities listed above under each itinerary day description, along with guideline prices. It may not be possible to do all optional activities listed on each tour.
All travellers over the age of 70 will be requested to complete a self-declaration of fitness form prior to travel. Our tours are a unique holiday experience and much of your enjoyment will come from the team spirit of your group and the fun you’ll have together, as well as from the local setting. We cannot stress strongly enough the importance of bringing a positive attitude with you on tour; a sure guarantee to enjoying each and every moment, even in the adversity of the odd rainstorm!
All group members joining this tour will be asked to sign a liability waiver at the start of the holiday ‘Customer’s Acknowledgement of Risk’. This document limits the liability of our main supplier and is standard practice in the United States and on all their tours.