Spring and fall wildlife-watching
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|Trip Length||6 days/5 nights|
|Price||From $2,495 to $2,895|
|If you have questions about this journey or would like to receive a detailed trip brochure, call 800-445-2995 or click here.|
|*Price varies depending upon departure's group size.|
Day 1 (Yellowstone National Park) Meet your guide in Bozeman this morning and begin the week’s adventure with a drive down the scenic Gallatin Canyon. Keep an eye out for elk, bighorn sheep, and possibly moose throughout the drive. In West Yellowstone, we’ll visit the excellent Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, then follow the Madison River into the heart of Yellowstone National Park. Along the way we’ll explore boardwalks through geyser basins and see Old Faithful. Dinner will be early so we can enjoy some evening wildlife watching. Today’s sightings may include bald eagles, osprey, bison, pronghorn, mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, coyotes, black and grizzly bears, sandhill cranes, and great blue herons.
Day 2 (Yellowstone National Park) We get an early start this morning, driving north to the Hayden Valley looking for bison, moose, grizzly bears, black bears, and harlequin ducks along the Yellowstone River. We enjoy a picnic lunch then drive past bubbling mud pots and the steaming fumaroles of Dragon’s Mouth on our way to the breathtaking Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, with its spectacular waterfalls. A hike along the rim provides great photo opportunities! This evening, more wildlife viewing.
Day 3 (Yellowstone National Park) The broad Hayden Valley is one of the best places in the park to view wildlife, and we might see bison, elk, grizzly bears, coyotes, wolves, and more. The afternoon brings us to Mammoth Hot Springs, where we can walk the network of boardwalks through the fascinating travertine terraces, created by thousands of years of geothermal activity—and still going! Also in Mammoth, the Albright Visitor Center is well worth checking out.
Day 4 (Yellowstone National Park) Getting out early offers the best chances of seeing wildlife, so we’re off first thing to the Lamar Valley (“America’s Serengeti”) in the northeast corner of the park. This wide valley is home to several wolf packs and great herds of bison. The Lamar offers some of the best odds of seeing wolves. Around midday we go to Cooke City for lunch and a visit to the Silver Gate home and studio of wildlife photographer Dan Hartman. There will be optional, easy-going afternoon hikes today and additional, optional, wildlife-watching opportunities this evening for the die-hard naturalists.
Day 5 (Yellowstone National Park, Chico Hot Springs) If the group is up for it, we squeeze in one last wildlife-viewing morning in the Lamar before a nice hike to stretch our legs. Leaving the park behind, we follow the Yellowstone River through the aptly named Paradise Valley, and are settling into our accommodations at historic Chico Hot Springs by midafternoon, with time for a short hike or a soak in the hot-springs pool. Our grand finale is a fabulous dinner at Chico’s wonderful restaurant.
Day 6 (Bozeman for Departures Home) Take an early morning soak before breakfast if you'd like, then the group makes its way back to Bozeman for flights home anytime after 12 noon.