Yellowstone In Winter
Tour Name: Yellowstone in Winter
Dates: January 18-22, 2019
Price: $1, 800 per person ($1,500 if registered by Nov 1, 2018)
Group of 5 only (2 spots left)
Deposit: $1,000 at time of Registration
Highlights: Once you have visited Yellowstone in winter, you will understand why for me it is my favorite time of the year. Although bear are hibernating, all the other species are present and much less shy than other times of the year. There are very few humans in the park as roads are closed to cars and trucks and the number of snowmobile and snow coaches are strictly regulated. It is the one time where Yellowstone again becomes wilderness. We will stay in a lodge just minutes away from the entrance to the park and travel into the park in private snow coach driven by an experienced local guide. A snow coach is a vehicle that looks a bit like some sort of hybrid: it has skis on the front and tracks in the back, ideal for traversing the snowy landscape. While we must remain on the roads, the wildlife are not shy and even tend to use the roads as an easy way to get from one place to another, so they are often close in where they are more easily photographed. Each trip is different but rewarding. Last year we saw coyote fishing in the Madison River (yes fishing coyote), a pack of wolf feeding on a recent kill in ideal light just a few feet off the road, bison stampeding through the snow, otter playing by the riverbank, pine martin running through the woods, eagles and other birds of prey and of course the incomparable landscapes of valleys, mountains, snow, geysers and thermal pools, and frozen waterfalls. If you think you know Yellowstone and have not visited in the winter, think again...and if you have been before, wait till you experience it our way.
About the Area: Yellowstone National Park is a 3,500 acre wildlife refuge that is heavily traveled at other times of the year. All of the same animals are present and only a few such as the Grizzly, hibernate in winter. Bison have roamed this area continuously since pre-historic times, wolves were reintroduced in 1985 and are now established residents. Over 20,000 elk live in the park and numerous other species are to be found and photographed, especially birds including eagle, duck, swan, and dipper
Nearby, and easily accessed before or after your trip with us if you have a car, is Grand Teton National Park with its iconic peaks and bend in the Oxbow river, which are always so fun to photograph. Winter vehicle travel is permitted in Grand Teton so wildlife are more distant from the areas one can access.
Details: Our trip starts on the morning of January 18 with breakfast in the lodge and 7 am departure from the lodge. Be sure you arrive on January 17 as once we leave at 7 am, we are out for the whole day. We will enter the park, spending the day traveling throughout the interior of the park looking for landscapes and wildlife to photograph. A packed lunch is provided and we will return to the lodge when the sun begins to descend about 6 pm. We meet again at 6 pm and walk to one of several nearby excellent restaurants for dinner and socializing and review and planning for the following day. All five days will have the same schedule, with the last day in the park on the 22nd. The morning of January 23rd is one of departure.
Where we will Stay:
We will stay at the Best Western Desert Inn in West Yellowstone. Pricing is about $100 per night, breakfast included. You must make your own reservations and the cost of dinners is your expense as well. Breakfast is part of the hotel fee and packed lunches are provided by us. We suggest you bring snacks and water for the day.
Clothing and Gear:
Temperatures in Yellowstone in winter are quite low, with overnight and early morning temperatures at 3 degrees and daytime highs of 28 degrees. Wind is often present. Photography mainly occurs outside of the vehicle while standing in snow. Good winter gear including good boots and socks are highly recommended and layers are the best so that you can add to or reduce your wardrobe for better thermal regulation. You will need a warm hat and some sort of gloves or mitten, be sure you can activate your camera with them. Toe and hand warmers are great and can also be used to help with camera battery life.
Day 1-5, Jan 18-22, 2019
Arriving in West Yellowstone by personal vehicle or shuttle from Bozeman on Jan 17 so you will be able to depart with us on the morning of Jan 18. A 7am departure each morning, following breakfast. Our private snow coach stops where we want and our driver/guide is one of the best. Lunch is mid-day in the park, either in one of the warming huts or a sunny spot.
Day 6, Jan 23, 2019
Following breakfast, departure for home, either a flight out of Bozeman, or drive back by personal vehicle.
Cancellations: All cancellations must be confirmed in writing and due to costs for this tour, deposits are not refundable.
What is included: What is not included:
Box lunches each day you are in the park Travel to/from West Yellowstone
Private snow coach for our group, expert local guide Dinner with Drinks each evening
All YNP fees Tips for the Driver/Guide
Water in the snow coach for the five days All lodging and breakfast