Spring Wildlife Tour of Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park is an awe inspiring destination for many reasons, but for wildlife watchers there can be no better place in North America for mammal watching. With wolves, bears, moose, elk, cougars, bison and over 55 other mammal species found in Yellowstone there is never a bad time to visit but during the spring you are in for a treat. It is the season of emerging giants and playful babies as black and grizzly bears come out of hibernation and wolves, bison and elk all have new born babies learning and playing. So join us in Yellowstone with expert guides and see the years first wolf pups playing at their den and watch as 2 species of bears emerge from their slumber and begin to feed ravenously.

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Watch grizzlies and wolves compete

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Guided by a Yellowstone Ecologist

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Explore all of Yellowstone

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Watching nesting bald eagles

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Hike through the forests of Yellowstone

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See bear cubs and wolf pups playing

  • Grey Wolf
  • Grizzly Bear
  • American Black Bear
  • American Bison
  • Bald Eagle
  • Bighorn Sheep

Destination:

USA

Tour Dates:

18/5/2013 - 24/5/2013

Duration:

6 nights

Type / Focus:

Wolves & Bears

Tour Difficulty:

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Price:

£2595 per person

Deposit:

£600 per person

Single Supplement:

£250

Minimum Passengers:

4 persons (total) before tour runs

book online

Holiday Breakdown

Day 1

Bozeman / Yellowstone National Park

Depending on your arrival time to Bozeman, you will either be transferred direct to Gardiner at the northern gate to Yellowstone National Park or if you travel late we will take you to a hotel in Bozeman for the first night. But whenever you arrive you will met your local expert guide and be transferred to your accommodation, level - 3* hotel (Bozeman Comfort Inn / Best Western Gardiner), in a private vehicle and after settling in you will have your welcome to Yellowstone evening meal.

Day 2

Yellowstone National Park

Whether you have stayed in Bozeman or Gardiner you will be met at the accommodation early by your guide and either transferred to Gardiner to settle in quickly before heading into the park, or taken straight into Yellowstone. Morning is one of the best time to see wildlife in Yellowstone as most of the parks predators are most active. We arrive here just in time to see the first calving of bison and elk, the birthing activity is like a dinner bell calling for the many grizzly bears that have recently emerged from their hibernation and now need to start feeding to make up for the energy used whilst hibernating. Your local guide is an expert in Yellowstone ecology and in fact lectures are the University of Montana on the same subject. He is personal friends with many of the scientists working in Yellowstone and so we have good idea of where the bears are likely to be as well as taking you to any wolf den sites which are close enough to the road that we may see the pups as they play around the den site. Each day inside Yellowstone will vary and the activities will depend wholly on what wildlife is around each day, but typically we use today as a good introduction of the wildlife here. We will bring packed breakfasts and lunches into the park with us so that we do not have leave the park until evening, when you will return to your accommodation, level – 3* hotel (Best Western Gardiner), for your evening meal.

Days 3-5

Yellowstone National Park

For the next 3 full days you will explore as much of this vast wilderness area as possible. With the snows melting and the last throws of winter finally leaving the roads are all open and all of the park is free for us to explore. During the spring black and grizzly bears can be seen all over the park, they move around a lot in search of elk calves and other food sources, the females are also very keen to avoid large male bears as they are likely to kill the cubs to induce mating in the female. So over these 3 days you will be taken off the roads and boardwalks and into the forests, valleys and along the numerous river systems here. This is the best way to appreciate the wildlife and see some of the smaller animals such as uinta ground squirrels, bobcats, red foxes, martens, chipmunks, red squirrels and jack rabbits. Whilst hiking you will also get a good chance to see some of the 330 species of birds that have been recorded from here. It is at this time of the year that the hardy winter resident birds are joined by dozens of migratory species from further south in the Americas. Whilst many of the species move around lots and coming across them is almost as much luck as anything else; but there are some other species which usually stay around particular areas so we will try and find some bighorn sheep, pronghorns, mule deer and American badgers around the northern border of the park, whilst bison, elk, wolves and coyotes are more commonly seen around the amazing Lamar Valley. All in all we are confident of seeing many of the mammal and bird species that help to make Yellowstone such an iconic and world class wildlife safari destination. We have great track records and have yet to fail in spotting wolves, grizzly and black bears during this tour. We also have a good record in spotting grizzly bears and wolves interacting; as the bears are set on feeding at this time of year they steal many kills made by wolves (one study recorded that a grizzly had commandeered a wolf kill with 30 minutes of every wolf kill made over an entire spring-summer-autumn period). Watching two of the worlds top predators aggressively interact like this is a breathtaking and unforgettable experience and one that we will try and show you on this tour. Also on this tour you will have the opportunity to take a dip in one of the many hot springs and relax the rest of the day away and no trip to Yellowstone would be complete without visiting some of the numerous geothermal features that dominate the park. We can arrange trips to the world famous Old Faithful Geyser Basin as well as the stunning Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone which is has a series of beautiful waterfalls over 100ft tall. We will try and show you a good variety of Yellowstones geothermal features but with over 10,000 known from the area it is impossible to see them all on this tour. You will also visit the wildlife hotspot of the Hayden Valley where pelicans, trumpeter swans, river otters and beavers are found on the Yellowstone River while large numbers of bison graze the grasslands; you will also be taken to the huge Yellowstone Lake which is the largest high altitude lake in North America. We will often bring a packed breakfast and lunch with us into the park and so we can spend much longer out here before returning to the accommodation, level – 3* hotel (Best Western Gardiner) for your evening meal.

Day 6

Bozeman

Today is your last day inside the park and we will try and find any animals which may have so far eluded us or maybe visit the magnificent and unusual Mammoth Hotsprings if you have not already be taken here. Then after lunch you will be taken back towards Bozeman and after arriving at the accommodation, level - 3* (Bozeman Comfort Inn) and then onto a local restaurant for your farewell meal.

Day 7

Home

After breakfast you will be transferred to the Bozeman airport in time to catch your return flight home.

Please note that the itinerary stated above is correct as our planned intentions for the tour. However adverse weather conditions and other local considerations can necessitate some modifications of the itinerary during the course of the tour; any changes will be made to make the best of the time and weather conditions available to us.

This tour is available on different date (subject to availability) please contact us for more details about running this tour on a date which suits you more.

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Extra Information

Weather Conditions

The weather in Yellowstone during spring is still cold as winter hangs on here longer then elswhere and the average temperatures are around 5-15 degrees C. The nights can also get very cold with temperatures well below freezing. The weather is also in a state of flux and it is not uncommon to have a sunny morning and a freezing snow storm in the afternoon. So expect all weather on this tour.

What's Included

Everything mentioned in the itinerary is included. Including three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner). There will be an amount of bottled water (approx 1ltr) available for each guest each day. We have our own private vehicle to be driven by a local guide for transfers and taxis when needed.

All our excursions including guided walks, back water hiking and park entrance fees are also included.

Personal Equipment

We recommend you bring along your own binoculars or spotting scope as well as appropriate clothing; which should be a very warm clothes, such as a down jacket or Parker, fleece, woolly hat, pair of gloves, scarf and long trousers, thermal underwear and other cold weather gear can be useful. Comfortable, waterproof walking shoes are a must. Any medication, books or other items of a personal nature is of course up to you to bring along. Oh and please bring plenty of memory cards or film for your camera.

Included Equipment

We provide a wolf ID chart which includes pack structures and maps of their territories; this is produced by Dr. James Halfpenny and is supplied by us free of charge. As is our comprehensive species list of all the vertebrates present in the areas we are visiting as well as some of the best field guides and reference books for the areas we are visiting. There is a pair of binoculars per guest as well as a group spotting scope. Camera Traps will also be used to try and capture hard to see wildlife in the dead of night and wildlife scanners etc are used when needed.

Extra Expenses

Nearly everything is included in this tour. The only things not included are international flights, travel insurance (contact us for more information one what is required from your insurance policy), any food bought outside of the three main meals, drinks outside of any offered with the meals and the bottled water provided each day and any items of a personal nature such as souvenirs and tips. Any applicable departure taxes and not included (but maybe included in the cost of your flights). Please check before departure.

Flight Information

As we are based in Manchester we recommend flights from Manchester International Airport

We recommend United, DELTA, Continental Airlines and US Airways as good airlines for flights to Bozeman (Yellowstone). One of the best websites to search for the best fares for these flights is www.odopo.co.uk; who are IATA accredited this is a link direct to their site. Please check our terms and conditions regarding booking flights.

Please contact us for more information about flights and we can provide you with a link direct to the flights from another supplier; in which case you only have to enter the passenger information and payment details. By using the above link you will leave our site and we at Royle Safaris hold no responsibility for the content on the site.

Visas and Health Information

All UK passport holders are not required to have a visa for USA but you are required to have a visa waiver form. This can be obtained at the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation and their website (https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/) these are essential and cost USD $14, (be aware that this link leaves our site and we at Royle Safaris hold no responsibility for information on the site).

There are no mandatory vaccinations needed to visit the USA. Please consult your GP about your individual requirements for visiting the USA as soon as you have decided on this trip.

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  • Thank you so much for making our holiday to Yellowstone so memorable. The encyclopaedic knowledge that Steve has is amazing...answering all of our many questions.

    5 Stars

    Mr & Mrs. Cox, London

    May 17, 2011

  • You really did make our holiday and we will certainly be recommending your company to all our friends and family.

    5 Stars

    Jeremy Junce, Romiley

    May 17, 2011