Winter Wolf Watch-early March 2020
*Cost is per person based on double occupancy. $150.00 additional for single room supplement. Plus tax when applicable.
This is our mid-winter expedition for full immersion in the world of Yellowstone's wolves. Yellowstone Wolf Tracker biologists Linda Thurston and Nathan Varley have been tracking wolves for over 20 years. They co-host this grand winter adventure with 3+ days of field time. Package price includes naturalist guiding, lodging, meals, transportation, permitting, premium optics, and special guests.
Join us for the WINTER WOLF WATCH for an incredible experience with wolves in the wilds of Yellowstone!
Yellowstone Wolf Tracker (The Wild Side, LLC) is an authorized tour and transportation provider (CUA 13-133) in Yellowstone National Park.
ScheduleMarch 1, 2020
Travel to Bozeman, Montana, which is served by Bozeman Yellowstone Airport at Gallatin Field (BZN). Check in on your own at the Best Western GranTree Inn in Bozeman anytime after 3 PM (stay included in package). The GranTree Inn offers free shuttle service to/from the airport, and for visiting downtown shops or the famous Museum of the Rockies. Dinner is on your own.March 2, 2020
Have breakfast at the GranTree with a tour voucher, then at check out, meet with The Wild Side staff at 11 AM in the lobby for transport to Yellowstone National Park. The route is through the scenic Paradise Valley rimmed with rugged mountain peaks. A lunch stop is planned on route to the park. At Yellowstone, the group will visit the famous Roosevelt Arch for a formal arrival to the park. Our first destination in the park is Mammoth Hot Springs where we will walk the terrace boardwalk to experience the amazing travertine hot springs, some of Yellowstone's finest thermal features.
Check in follows at the Absaroka Lodge in Gardiner, where the group stays until the last night. From your room, the views of the Yellowstone River and its rolling hills and snow-clad mountains astound! The Absaroka Lodge features wifi, cable tv, and balconies in each room overlooking the Yellowstone River. Our evening meal will be prepared and served by our chef Zac Kellerman of Zac's Montana Kitchen. Zac has been at the helm for our program's dinners for years with thoroughly rave reviews. Dinner is accompanied by an orientation for the days ahead.March 3, 2020
The first and subsequent full field days will start early (~6 AM) and focus on the Northern Range, a low elevation grassland ecosystem where wildlife collects in the winter. The search for wolves and other wildlife is fruitful among the patchy forests and meadow openings throughout the Northern Range. We will visit such wolf-rich areas as Slough Creek and the Lamar Valley for viewing. The viewing will be mostly road-based using binoculars and spotting scopes to find wolves and observe other wildlife like bison, elk, coyotes, and moose. Be prepared for possible short hikes to vantage points and have plenty of warm clothes including insulated winter boots for extended periods of largely sedentary activity while searching and viewing. Breakfast will be served on-the-go in the field to maximize our search and observation time.
Lunch will be at the gallery of our friend Dan Hartman, a naturalist and wildlife photographer who lives in the forested mountains of Silver Gate, Montana. While enjoying lunch we will be treated to a presentation of Dan's work as a naturalist, photographer, and wildlife film-maker. Dinner with Zac will be back in Gardiner at the Animal Track Education Center to conclude the day's activities.March 4, 2020
Our schedule will be similar to the previous day, as the goal is to look for multiple wolf packs and make observations of a variety of behaviors and activities (hunting, playing, traveling, feeding, (sleeping!), etc.). This time period is at the tail-end of the breeding season for wolves, so courtship behavior may bring exceptional opportunities to view and learn. Lunch will be back in Gardiner. An after-dinner evening session at the Animal Track Education Center in Gardiner will feature one of our special guest speakers, to be announced. Past speakers have included Dr. Douglas Smith, film-maker Bob Landis, UCLA behavioral geneticist Dan Stahler, and other distinguished experts in the field of wolf biology and behavior.March 5, 2020
Again an early start will begin our search of the Northern Range of Yellowstone for wolves. Each day brings different sightings and different wildlife sightings and wolf activity, so multiple days create a diverse experience and will give us a chance to see rare moments. Lunch will precede a snowshoe adventure (2 miles) to the Pebble Creek canyon, nature's colorful cathedral within a winter wonderland. Dinner will feature another one of our guest speakers.March 6, 2020
After breakfast we will transport to the Bozeman airport (or a nearby destination) for mid-day airlines departures no earlier than NOON.
NOTE: Best-laid plans are always subject to change pending weather, wildlife sighting opportunities, and/or any unforeseen circumstances. Please bear with us and remain flexible to better enjoy this experience. If you have any questions concerning the tentative itinerary, do not hesitate to contact us!
Terms and conditions
Cancellations: To book a package, multi-day group program, a per person deposit is required up front to reserve a space. The balance will be due prior to the beginning of the program, usually 30-60 days out, depending on the specific program. A full refund minus $45 processing fee will be given for all cancellations more than 45 days before the trip. For cancellations less than 45 days prior to departure, the deposit is non-refundable. We accept personal and/or cashier's checks made to THE WILD SIDE, LLC, and mailed to PO BOX 769, Gardiner MT 59030, or you may also sign up here at the Yellowstone Wolf Guides web pages.
Health and Safety: The trip requires good physical fitness and mobility, or the ability to walk up to 1 mile over uneven terrain. The trip is suitable for people of all ages, though children below the age of 14 must receive prior approval. If you have health questions, consult your doctor for more information. The tour leaders must be advised in advance of any special health needs. Weather conditions can change without notice and it is the responsibility of the traveler to have proper clothing and equipment. We will provide a list for the clothing and gear recommended for the trip.
Responsibilities and Conditions: We act only in the capacity of agent in all matters of transportation and tour operation. We are not responsible for delays, inconveniences, accidents, expense or mishap of any kind whatsoever resulting entirely, or in part, from the negligence of others or from causes beyond our control. We can accept no responsibility for losses or additional expenses due to delay or changes in air or other services, sickness, weather, strike, war, quarantine, or other causes. All such losses or expenses will have to be borne by the participant, as tour rates provide for arrangements only for the time stated. The right is reserved to substitute accommodations or modes of transportation and to make any changes in the itinerary where deemed necessary or caused by changes in transportation schedules. We take no responsibility for special arrangements or problems incurred by persons physically unable to participate in the planned activities. No refund can be made for absence from the tour unless arrangements are made at the time of the booking. The right is reserved to decline, to accept or to retain any person as a tour member for any reason which affects the operation of the tour or the rights and welfare or enjoyment of the other tour members. We will not discriminate against any individual because of race, sex, creed or nationality.
Cancelled Trips: We reserve the right to cancel any trip if conditions arise that are beyond our control and adversely affects the well-being of the trip members. In such a case, a full refund of the trip cost is given, but we are not responsible for additional expenses incurred by members in preparing for the trip including flights and other travel expenses.Sign waiting list >