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.
Watch for elk, bison, bighorn sheep, golden eagles, foxes, coyotes, otters,
and the elusive gray wolf. Yellowstone’s wildlife spend the winter in low
elevation valleys, where they are easier to spot against the sparkling snow.
See famous sites like Old Faithful geyser without the crowds and discover
some of the park’s lesser known areas, exploring in the comfort of heated
Learn about the reintroduction of Yellowstone’s wolves and a study, partially
funded by the National Geographic Society, on their impact on the park.
Ride a horse-drawn sleigh through Gallatin Canyon’s quiet, snowy landscape.
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.
Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel or 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. (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 daily)
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. Relax or enjoy a sleigh ride through the countryside. Then celebrate your winter adventure in Yellowstone at a farewell dinner. 320 Guest Ranch (B,L,D)
Few people know Yellowstone country better than wildlife biologist Jeremy Schmidt. He has worked in and around the park 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. Jeremy will identify flora and fauna and give you a new appreciation of the park's magnificent scenery. His knowledge of Yellowstone will enrich your experience.
Jeremy will join the following departures:
Dec 22 - 27, 2013 Dec 28, 2013 - Jan 02, 2014 Jan 19 - 24, 2014