Yellowstone Winter Wildlife Tour
February 2, 2022 - February 11, 2022£855 – £3495
Yellowstone Winter Wildlife Tour
Yellowstone is one of the most iconic wildlife destinations in the entire world. With around three quarters of all the worlds geothermal features inside the park and a wealth of wildlife that would make Yellowstone National Park, North Americas answer to the savannas of Africa. Yellowstone is such a special place there is no bad time to visit but we fully recommend the serenity and simplicity of winter. During the winter you will see pristine fields of snow as far as the eye can see, wolves, bison, elk and coyotes passing through this white-washed landscape and the amazing fumeroles, hot-springs, geysers and mud pots are even glorious as plumes of stream rise high into the freezing cloud free skies. So join this tour and explore the north and central sections of the worlds first ever national park and a wilderness that the Americans are rightly so proud of and what many people call Americas Best Idea.
100% past success with wolves
4×4 Safaris of the Lamar Valley
Guided by a Yellowstone Ecologist
See Old Faithful, Grand Canyon & more
See many bald & golden eagles
Snowshoe hikes across the snow
Top Animals on Tour
Tour Dates: 2/2/2022 – 11/2/2022
Duration: 9 nights
Type / Focus: Wildlife & Geysers
Bozeman / Yellowstone National Park
This morning you will be picked up from the airport by your local expert guide and depending on your arrival time you will either be transferred direct to the gateway to Yellowstone in Gardiner (2 hours) or you will have your first night in the town of Bozeman. Either way you will have a briefing and welcome to Montana evening meal this evening once you have settled into your accommodation, level – 3* hotel (Best Western Gardiner / Bozeman Comfort Inn).
Yellowstone National Park
If you have stayed in Bozeman on your first night we will transfer you to Gardiner early in the morning. This transfer is very beautiful as you will be driven through the Paradise Valley, there is the chance for spotting white-tailed deer and mule deer along the way as well as golden eagles and bald eagles. As your guide will be Dr. Steve Braun who has worked around Yellowstone for over 40 years and lectures in Yellowstone Ecology at the University of Montana you will be in good hands when it comes to finding, identifying and understanding the wildlife that you see. Then on arrival in the sleepy town of Gardiner and settling into the accommodation, level – 3* hotel (Best Western Gardiner) you will be taken into the park for the first time. If you have stayed in Gardiner then we will start early and be in the park for sunrise. Either way you will be taken into Yellowstone at the earliest possible time to start our quest for wolves and other wildlife in the northern valleys. To help us here we will use all of Dr. Brauns knowledge and contacts. He knows many of the wolf biologists and scientists working here and so when ever wolves or interesting wildlife is sighted we quickly hear about it and can go to find it. You will also be given amazing access to his experiences and stories throughout the tour, he knows and understands Yellowstone as well as anyone and you will be amazed at how everything (and we mean everything) interacts and connects together. You will also have a wolf identification chart that will help you identify the wolves you see as well as help you gauge an understanding of their pack structures. During the winter there are not many roads open to road vehicles and so you will be limited to where you can drive; however the roads that are open run through the best wildlife watching parts of the park such as Blacktail Plateau and the famous Lamar Valley. Here you can find hundreds of elk and bison on the snow fields being mobbed and shadowed by wolves and coyotes. We will also take you to locations where big-horn sheep, pronghorn, beavers and river otters can also be seen and you may get lucky and spot a wintering moose (as they often leave the park in winter) or a bobcat, cougar or mountain goat. Over each of the 5 days you will have around here we will bring a packed breakfast and lunch so that we do not have leave the park until you have had enough and feel like warming up at the hotel. There is also the option for snowshoe walking and skiing if you would like to get out of the car and explore the forests and valleys in depth; during these hikes you are likely to see some of the smaller mammals and birds that inhabit the frozen forests of winter. Clarks nutcracker, bald eagles, great grey owls, Stellers jays, Grays jays and Townsends solitaires should all be seen and Steve will be looking out for red squirrels, snowshoe hares, bobcats, martens and red foxes which are easier to see whilst walking. You will also have the chance to visit the amazing and unusual Mammoth Hotsprings. Here the geothermal features have produced some beautiful and strange rock formations and the small museum here will provide a good introduction to the park and to the geothermal features that will dominate your trip to the centre.
Days 7 – 8
Yellowstone National Park
On day 7 you will leave the hotel in Gardiner just like you have on the previous days except that today you will be checking out and instead of heading all the way towards the Lamar Valley you will be taken to the Mammoth Hotsprings snow coach station. From here you will board one of the unique snow coaches; these specially designed vehicles allow you to access areas of the park where the snow is just far too deep for even 4×4 vehicles. The snow coach drivers are very knowledgeable and you will be guided through the various areas of the park towards your next accommodation, level – 4* hotel (Old Faithful Snow Lodge) (3-4 hours). The journey will take you high to the surreal Yellowstone Plateau and then over the lip of the caldera that dominates the entire park and down into the Old Faithful Geyser Basin. This is the crater left from the super volcano when it last erupted around 640,000 years ago. Once inside here you will start to see endless frost covered forests and much more geothermal activity. Along the way you will see Roaring Mountain with its many fumeroles before arriving at the historic and wonderful Old Faithful Snow Lodge. After checking in and lunch we recommend checking the next estimated eruption from the most famous geyser in the world; Old Faithful. She blows around every 1.5 hours (although it is not an exact science), so you should witness at least one of the eruptions today. Then in the afternoon we recommend taking a walk around the Old Faithful Geyser Basin, there are many geysers and other features just off the boardwalks. It is hard to predict many of the geysers so it is luck if you see some of the other ones (Grand, Beehive, Riverside or Grotto) erupt but by spending a couple of hours around here you should see a few spectacular eruptions. Then one the second day at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge we will arrange a full day snow coach tour, this will take you to the amazing Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone as well as travelling through the wildlife rich Hayden Valley and other great sights such as the Upper and Lower Geyser Basins and the permanently warm Gibbon River. This full day around the central loop of Yellowstone will showcase as much of this park that is open during the depths of winter. During both these days your evening meal will be back at the restaurant at the Snow Lodge. It is possible to see as many geothermal features in action during these 2 days than you could in a month travelling around Iceland or New Zealand, such is the abundance of geothermal activity there is here.
Yellowstone National Park / Bozeman
This morning you will board the snow coach back from Old Faithful towards Mammoth, the route will be a little different from the one you arrived on and you will be taken to another geyser basin, here the famous and mesmerising Paint Pots formation will complete your geothermal feature set (geysers, fumeroles, hot-springs and mud pots). Then when you arrive a back at Mammoth you will be met once again by Steve and transferred to Gardiner for dinner (if it is quite late) or straight on to the accommodation, level – 3* hotel (Comfort Inn Bozeman) in Bozeman and then to a restaurant here for your last evening meal in Montana.
This morning after breakfast we will arrange for transfers to the 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 dates (subject to availability) please contact us for more details about running this tour on a date which suits you more.
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 February 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. So prepare for the cold and deep snow underfoot.
Everything mentioned in the itinerary is included. Including two meals per day (breakfast and 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. Jame 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 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 other 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.
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.
Reviews of this Holiday
Derek Howes, Essex
Sally Howes, Essex
Mr & Mrs. Matheson, UK
Arnold & Meg Wylie - Belfast, Northern Ireland