When the snow falls in Yellowstone our adventures are just beginning. The central and southern parts of the park are off limits but the North Entrance is open year-round for and it is here and in particular Lamar Valley where the wolves are mostly found. Large herds of bison and elk congregate along the Lamar River and big horn sheep graze atop the ridges making this a great hunting ground for wolves. Coupled with the fact that January through March is prime time for watching gray wolves in this area as they are breeding; this winter tour will live long in the memory. An early morning start and listening to a wolf howl is an experience not soon forgotten.
Leading wolf biologists
Worldclass Wolf Wacthing
Great Bald Eagle Watching
Drive the Famous Lamar Valley
Rare Bighorn Sheep Watching
Animal Tracking & Snowshoeing
Tour Dates: 9/1/2021 – 14/1/2021
Duration: 6 nights
Type / Focus: Wolves
Bozeman / Yellowstone National Park
Depending on the time of the incoming flight to Bozeman, you will either stay in Bozeman or carry on to Gardiner on the outskirts of the northern gate to Yellowstone National Park. Either way 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.
Yellowstone National Park
Today will be an early start (whether it is an early transfer to Gardiner to settle in quickly before heading into the park, or heading straight towards the Lamar Valley before dawn if we have stayed in Gardiner last night). Whatever the plan though the early morning is a very good time to see the wolves in action as this is when most of the animals are active, especially the wolves. We have some tricks up our sleeves for finding the wolves, our local guide is a lecturer in Yellowstone Ecology at the University of Montana and he is personal friends with many of the wolf researchers out here. So when they spot a wolf we will know soon after. We are in constant communication with the 70-80 wolf researchers out here and are all but assured of sightings with their help. We also provide a wolf chart which documents all of the wolves in the north of the park including their pack structure, so hopefully you can identify the individuals yourself and then Dr. Braun will be more than happy to fill you in on their life histories. We will spend the whole day around the Northern section of the park, throughout the day we will drive around searching for wildlife as well as doing some simple hiking and animal tracking. With far less people around we will have great chances to spot packs of wolves as they settle into their winter territories. There are often hundreds if not thousands of bison and elk to see here in the valleys as well. You will return to your accommodation, level – 3* hotel (Best Western Gardiner).
Yellowstone National Park
Over the next 3 full days you will be taken to various parts of the northern section of the park in search of the many wolf packs that call this section of the park home. Whilst driving the roads and scanning the snow covered hillsides we will also be looking for bison, elk, moose, coyotes, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, mule deer, white-tailed deer, beavers and river otters which help make up the 61 species of mammals inside the park. During one of the days we will leave the warmth of the vehicle and head out through the snow for a 6km snowshoe walk to Yellowstone Grand Canyon. This is a wonderful sight and one which along the way should bring us into contact with some of the smaller animals of the park including some of the many bird species. Bald eagles, Clarks nutcracker, rosy finches, Stellers jays, Grays jays, Townsends solitaires as well as many more species. We will also be searching squirrels, snowshoe hares, bobcats, red foxes and many other species of mammals that are hard to spot whilst driving and are easier to see whilst hiking. There is also the chance during one of the afternoons to take a dip in one of the many hot springs and relax in the midst one of Americas true wilderness. As well as the hours spent in the presence of wolves and other wildlife of northern Yellowstone we will also visit the magnificent Mammoth hot springs. The area of the hot springs is very dramatic and offers superb photo opportunities. The entire landscape is incredible and looks like another planet, with stunning rock formations sculpted by millennia of geothermal activity. 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).
Today is your last day inside the park and we will try and find any animals which may have so far eluded us. With snow hiking and snowshoeing as well this is a great way to end your exploration of Yellowstone and take in the wilderness one last time. After you will be transferred to the town of Bozeman for your last night in Montana. Accommodation, 3* (Bozeman Comfort Inn).
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.
The weather in Yellowstone is cold in December and January with an average temperature of just -5 degrees C. There is also a fair amount of snow fall during the winter too with around 14inches falling per month.
Everything mentioned in the itinerary is included. Including all breakfasts and packed field lunches. 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, snow-shoeing, snow hiking and park entrance fees are also included.
We recommend you bring along your own binoculars or 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.
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.
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), dinners and any food bought outside of the two 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.
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.
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.
Jerry Clouther, Cambridge
Bran & Ivan, Prague
Mr. W.B. McCall, Wimslow
Mr & Mrs. Broadchurch, Spain
Derek & Sally Howes, Essex
Duncan Matheson, UK