Experience the magic of Yellowstone in the quiet of winter. Watch shaggy herds of bison shake snow off their backs as elk browse nearby. Learn about the return of Yellowstone’s wolves and a study, partially funded by the National Geographic Society, on their impact on the park. Take in Yellowstone's brilliant views as you discover steaming geysers and dramatic canyons.
Learn about a National Geographic-supported study on the reintroduction of wolves to the park, and seek out these elusive creatures on a safari in the sweeping Lamar Valley.
Meet an Emmy® Award-winning wildlife cinematographer and hear about his career shooting wildlife films for National Geographic.
Explore the remote reaches of Yellowstone in heated snow coaches, and see famous sites like Old Faithful without the crowds.
Day 1 — Bozeman, Montana/Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming
Travel from Bozeman, Montana to our hotel just outside Yellowstone National Park. Gather this evening for a private welcome reception and dinner.
Best Western Plus Mammoth Hot Springs (D)
Day 2 — Mammoth Hot Springs/Lamar Valley
At Mammoth Hot Springs, stroll the steaming, colorful mineral-spring terraces outlined in snow. Later, head to the open, rolling meadows and wide vistas of the Lamar Valley where wolves were first restored to Yellowstone in 1995. Using a spotting scope, search among herds of elk and bison for coyotes, eagles and the elusive wolf. An Emmy® award-winning wildlife cinematographer joins us this evening (schedule permitting) to discuss his career shooting films about wolves and other wildlife for National Geographic.
Best Western Plus Mammoth Hot Springs (B,L,D)
Days 3 & 4 — Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone/Old Faithful
Travel by private snow coach to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Walk to the rim of the spectacular gorge to see its thundering waterfall and the ice arch that forms from the spray. The following day, wander amid the bubbling mud pots and fumaroles of the Upper Geyser Basin. Continue to Old Faithful to explore a dramatic landscape of erupting geysers, frozen waterfalls and gem-colored mineral pools. Keep an eye out for wildlife—bison, encrusted in ice, often stand among the pools for warmth. After dark, step outside to admire the incredible canopy of stars in one of the world's best constellation-viewing spots. Old Faithful Snow Lodge (B,L,D DAILY)
Day 5 — Yellowstone/Big Sky, Montana
After visiting the whimsical Fountain Paint Pots, leave the park via the West Yellowstone gate. Travel to Big Sky, Montana and settle into a comfortable log cabin lodge at Lone Mountain Ranch - a member the the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World collection (December 30 through February 18 departures only). This evening celebrate your winter adventure in Yellowstone at a farewell dinner. Rainbow Ranch Lodge or Lone Mountain Ranch (B,L,D)
Kitty Coley is a geologist, wildlife naturalist, and avid birder who has led expeditions for National Geographic for more than a dozen years, including several to Yellowstone during both winter and summer. Since Kitty was a child, she has been visiting and camping throughout Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. Her lifelong love of the region has played an important role in her following the career path she has. She is deeply knowledgeable about western ecology, the parks’ unique geology, and their amazing wildlife. Kitty’s interactive and enthusiastic approach make traveling with her a delightful way for you to learn about and appreciate the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
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.