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Explore two of America’s greatest natural wonders: Yellowstone and Grand
Teton National Parks. On a variety of excursions designed for families, discover
Yellowstone’s mud pots, geysers, and colorful pools, and look for bison,
bears, elk, eagles, and coyotes. Hike along the edge of the spectacular Grand
Canyon of the Yellowstone, and witness iconic Old Faithful’s thrilling eruption.
Embark on a scavenger hunt in search of wildlife and wildflowers, then head
south to the jagged peaks of the Teton Range. Hop on a boat on Jenny Lake,
and descend the thrilling rapids of the Snake River.
From vast canyons to alpine lakes, explore Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons with an expert, on the lookout for grizzlies, bison, bighorn sheep, and elusive gray wolves.
Meet a renowned wildlife photographer at his home studio.
Discover Yellowstone’s geothermal landscape of bubbling mud pots, brilliantly colored hot springs, and erupting geysers—including legendary Old Faithful.
Float on the Snake River beneath the peaks of the Teton Range.
Itinerary - 8 Days
Days 1 & 2 — Bozeman, Montana/Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming
Welcome to Bozeman, Montana the launching point for this adventure through Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Travelers take the shuttle to the hotel where the remainder of your day is free. The
next morning, the day begins with a visit to the Montana Grizzly Encounter a Grizzly Bear Rescue and Education Sanctuary, founded and run by Casey Anderson, host of the Nat Geo WILD television series Expedition Wild. All the bears at the Sanctuary were born in captivity and could never be released into the wild. Families will have the opportunity to view and understand these incredible creatures up close, in a safe environment. After a stop for a picnic lunch, we arrive at Yellowstone National Park—the world’s first national park. Once we arrive in Yellowstone, the rest of the day is spent exploring the geothermal features of the travertine terraces sculpted by hot springs. Later, gather
for a welcome reception and dinner. Hilton
Garden Inn Bozeman; Mammoth Hot
Springs Hotel (Day 2: B,L,D)
Day 3 — Lamar Valley
Rise early and head to the wildlife-rich Lamar
Valley, where gray wolves were first restored to
Yellowstone in 1995. Be on the lookout for bison,
bears, elk, eagles and elusive gray wolves in this
sweeping glacial valley. After lunch, we meet with a renowned wildlife photographer in his home/studio and learn about his experiences photographing for National Geographic. Enjoy hikes and wildlife sightings on the way back to Mammoth Hot Springs later this afternoon. Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and Cabins (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone/Hayden Valley
This morning we head south to the dramatic Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, where two staggered falls spill water twice the height of Niagara. Walk along the rim to view the cascading waterfalls set against a dazzling red and gold palette. In Hayden Valley, look for bison, coyotes,
elk and perhaps even a grizzly. This afternoon, choose between a kayak outing on Yellowstone Lake, paddling among the fumaroles, geysers and hot springs of the West Thumb geothermal area or a local hike. Continue up
and over the Continental Divide to the Upper
Geyser Basin, home to Yellowstone’s most famous
geyser, Old Faithful. Old Faithful Snow Lodge or Old Faithful Inn (B,L,D)
Day 5 — Old Faithful/Geyser Basins
Today in the Old Faithful area we discover, explore and learn about the bizarre and fascinating geothermal landscape. Numbering more than 300,
Yellowstone’s geysers make up two-thirds of all
those found in the world. Explore area with our expert, and marvel
at steaming fumaroles, belching mud pots, and
gem-colored mineral pools. Tonight, listen to a fascinating presentation from our expert to introduce the next destination on the trip. Then enjoy a private dinner at the Lodge. Old Faithful Snow Lodge or Old Faithful Inn (B,L,D)
Day 6 — Yellowstone/Grand Teton National Park
Our trip continues with some last moments in the Old Faithful area before we continue south to Grand Teton National Park where sawtoothed,
snowy peaks rise from the valley floor. After enjoying the spectacular scenery on our drive and a picnic lunch, take a scenic cruise on the emerald waters of Jenny Lake. This afternoon we check into Jackson Lake Lodge inside of the National Park. Later, choose between a horseback ride or wagon ride to the backcountry location for a true western cookout. Jackson Lake Lodge (B,L,D)
Day 7 — Grand Teton National Park/Jackson, Wyoming
This morning we head to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort for an exhilarating tram ride to the top of Rendezvous Peak. Choose from various hiking options or just relax and enjoy the scenery before taking the tram back down. Later, visit the National
Museum of Wildlife Art, the Teton Science School's Murie Museum or explore Jackson’s quaint streets. Then gather for a farewell dinner this evening.
Jackson Lake Lodge (B,L,D)
Day 8 — Snake River/Jackson
This spend your last morning of your adventure on an exciting whitewater raft trip on the Snake River.
and search for bald eagles, moose, and other
wildlife. After, transfer to the airport for
your return flight home. (B)
Award-winning Earth science educator, avid outdoorsman, and national parks aficionado Steve Kluge has taught New York Regents and college-level geology courses for more than 35 years. He’s planned and led day, week, and month-long field trips and expeditions that include geology and natural history, cave exploration, and backpacking. He has led a pre-college expeditionary science program on the Juneau Icefield in Alaska and taught geology on the flanks of Hawaiian volcanoes in a semester-long Cornell University field program. Steve has designed fun and rewarding standards-based instructional activities for kids and teens in partnership with National Geographic, the Geological Society of America, NASA, and New York public television. He has also built his own kayaks, one of which he's paddled along most of the coast of Maine. Kirk Johnson of the NY Times described him as a man of "rumbling enthusiasm,” and Steve brings that enthusiasm with him wherever he goes. He looks forward to sharing the wonders of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks with National Geographic travelers.
Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives on bumpy roads, or easy hikes.
Click here for a description of all activity levels.
What To Expect
This expedition is designed to accommodate both adults and kids at different activity levels. Choose hiking options ranging from easy one to three mile walks, to moderate hikes of four miles or more, depending on your preference.
In addition to our National Geographic Expert, every departure includes an extra leader as kids coordinator to ensure both kids and parents have an expedition of a lifetime.