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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.
See famous sites like Old Faithful without the crowds, and explore
remote reaches of Yellowstone in the comfort of heated snow coaches.
Watch for elk, bison, elusive gray wolves, and more. Yellowstone’s
wildlife spend the winter in valleys, where they are easier to spot
against the sparkling snow.
Learn about the reintroduction of wolves to the park and a National
Geographic–supported study on their impact.
Itinerary - 6 Days
Day 1 — Bozeman, Montana/Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming
Travel from Bozeman, Montana, to Yellowstone National Park, on the lookout for bald eagles, mule deer, antelope, and bighorn sheep. At Mammoth Hot Springs, settle into a historic national park lodge, and stroll the steaming, colorful mineral spring terraces outlined in pure white snow.
Best Western Plus by Mammoth Hot Springs (D)
Day 2 — Lamar Valley
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 to discuss his career shooting films on wolves and other wildlife for the National Geographic Society.
Best Western Plus by 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. Wander amid the bubbling mud pots and fumaroles of the Upper Geyser Basin. Then continue to Old Faithful to explore on foot or by snowshoe 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)
Day 5 — Yellowstone/Big Sky, Montana
After visiting the whimsical Fountain Paint Pots, leave the park via the West Yellowstone gate. Travel to the Gallatin Canyon—near Big Sky, Montana—and settle into a comfortable log cabin lodge. This evening celebrate your winter adventure in Yellowstone at a farewell dinner. Rainbow Ranch Lodge or Lone Mountain Ranch (B,L,D)
Few people know Yellowstone country and America's national parks better than wildlife biologist Jeremy Schmidt. He has worked in and around Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons for more than 30 years, including stints as a park ranger, a naturalist, a photographer, and an author, writing several articles for National Geographic and National Geographic Traveler magazines. He has also written several books for National Geographic, including titles on Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and the Northern Rockies. His knowledge and passion for America's national parks will enrich your experience.