Yellowstone: Ultimate Wolf & Wildlife Safari
(Central Route, Bozeman to Jackson)
7 days with Natural Habitat Adventures Rating:
Day 1: Bozeman, Montana
Arrive in the New West town of Bozeman and transfer to our hotel for a welcome dinner.
Day 2: Paradise Valley / Northern Yellowstone
We depart early, following the Lewis & Clark Trail over Bozeman Pass to the banks of the Yellowstone River where we’ll spend the morning in Paradise Valley in search of rough-legged hawks, eagles, mule deer and pronghorn antelope. The ragged heights of the Absaroka Range provide a dramatic backdrop for great landscape photo opportunities. Continuing to Mammoth Hot Springs for lunch, we often see wintering bighorn sheep in Gardiner River Canyon. Toward evening we enter Yellowstone’s Northern Range, the best place in the park to search for wolves. We often spot coyotes, elk and bison against the snow-mantled landscape. Our day concludes with a presentation at the Hartman Gallery, famed for its outstanding photographs of Yellowstone’s wildlife. Owner Dan Hartman is one of Yellowstone's most renowned wildlife photographers, and we'll look forward to getting insights and tips on how to capture great shots during our time in the area. We spend the night just outside the park in Cooke City, Montana.
Day 3: Lamar Valley
As the sun breaks over the frosty meadows of the Lamar Valley, we’re up early to seize the chance to find wolves in their most pristine natural environment. This broad glacial valley offers wide-open vistas of a sublime landscape, and if wolves are present, they are likely to stand out against the snowy backdrop. Dan Hartman, who is a naturalist as well as a famous local photographer, will join us in the field today to share tips on capturing the best shots of the elusive wolves—bring your telephoto lenses!
Day 4: Snowcoach Tour / Interior Yellowstone / Old Faithful
As dawn illumines the snowy meadows of the Lamar Valley, we return once more in search of wolves. If we are fortunate to sight them, our onboard spotting scope is at the ready to observe their activities from a distance without disturbing their natural behavior. Many of our Expedition Leaders have worked for years with the on-site researchers who track these wolves daily, and together they provide us every opportunity to find these magnetic animals in their natural surroundings. Board our chartered
Day 5: Geyser Basin Exploration
Board our chartered snowcoach again to explore the geyser basins surrounding the Firehole River. This part of the park boasts the highest density of geothermal features in the world. Opportunities abound to photograph all four types: geysers, hot springs, mud pots and fumaroles. Because of the warmth provided by the steam vents and hot mud, wildlife congregate in the area during the winter, and we’ll have a chance to see and photograph trumpeter swans, bald eagles, elk and bison.
Day 6: Grand Teton National Park
Today we head south by snowcoach to Wyoming’s other scenic treasure, Grand Teton National Park. En route we stop at West Thumb Geyser Basin on the edge of Yellowstone Lake to search for and photograph moose, river otters and trumpeter swans. Crossing the Continental Divide, we drop into the Snake River Basin. The first views of the Teton spires will undoubtedly provoke a flurry of snapping shutters. More great shots await, with the jagged range providing an awesome backdrop for wildlife photos.
Day 7: Jackson Hole / National Elk Refuge
Our winter safari continues in the National Elk Refuge, home to thousands of elk, bighorn sheep and bison that winter on the floor of Jackson Hole. A horse-drawn sleigh ride provides a festive finale to our wildlife odyssey, offering close-up opportunities to photograph the park’s enormous herd of elk.
Day 8: Jackson / Flights Home
After breakfast, the Lexington offers a complimentary shuttle to the airport to connect with flights home.
All This Included
In the pale light of sunrise, we survey the open expanse of Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley, searching for wolves. With expert naturalist guides at our side and spotting scopes poised, we hope to see a pack emerge from the forest, energized by the awakening day. In the distance, a large male halts and sniffs the frozen air as we sense the mystical aura of this beast of legend. Elegant predators, wolves are an important part of the Yellowstone ecosystem, where elk, bison and other prey provide sustenance. Winter’s white mantle offers a pristine backdrop against which to search for these elusive wilderness icons. The land itself is part of the magic, too, with steaming geysers and trees covered in ice crystals beneath an immaculate blue sky. Discover Yellowstone with us on this rare winter wildlife safari—your spirit will never be the same.
Yellowstone National Park: To be determined
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.