Winter Wolf Watch ~Premium~ JAN 7-12
*Cost is per person based on double occupancy. $300.00 additional for single room supplement. Plus tax when applicable.
Winter brings a wonderland to the Yellowstone landscape and is perhaps the best season of the year to find and observe wolves. Dramatic behavior revs up with competition among packs for territory and within packs for mating opportunities. Among the daily sightings are frosty bison lumbering by, bighorn rams gathering on snowy cliff ledges, tall moose nibbling leafless twigs, and prowling coyotes pouncing on unsuspecting prey. But be cautioned--winter participants must be prepared to withstand frigid conditions!
Our premium program includes naturalist guiding for a 6-day, 5-night program with lodging, transportation in-park and shuttle from/to Bozeman, Montana (BZN), park fees, exceptional meals (as noted), and high quality optics for each guest. Join us for an incredible experience with wolves and other wildlife in the wilds of Yellowstone!
The difference between our 2 program offerings is that premium programs include 4 gourmet dinners (not exaggerating) in a private setting followed by a presentation by one of our local experts. For our standard offering, dinners are on your own each evening.
COVID19 Vaccination encouraged for the safety of our guests and staff.
Yellowstone Wolf Tracker (The Wild Side, LLC) is an authorized tour and transportation provider (CUA 13-133) in Yellowstone National Park.
ScheduleJanuary 7, 2024
Travel to Bozeman, Montana, served by major airlines (BZN), is on your own. Check in at the Best Western Plus 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.January 8, 2024
Have breakfast at the GranTree with a tour voucher then after check out, meet our 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, and explore the wildlife-rich winter range of pronghorn, elk, and deer.
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.January 9, 2024
An early morning departure creates our best chances of viewing active wildlife. Wolves will be our priority, but many wildlife species are seen along the way. We will search the park's northern range for wildlife from bison to bears, badgers to bald eagles. Search areas include the Blacktail Plateau, the Slough Creek valley, and the famous wildlife haven, Lamar Valley, for resident wolf packs. Our search will team with rangers, scientists, and the eclectic wolf-watching faithful in a mutual effort to find and observe wildlife. Lunch will be at Mammoth Hot Springs, followed by a walk through the terrace boardwalks to experience the amazing travertine hot springs, some of Yellowstone's finest thermal features. An evening presentation accompanies Zac's gourmet dinner at the Track Education Center in Gardiner.January 10, 2024
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 beginning of the breeding season for wolves, so courtship behavior may bring exceptional opportunities to view and learn. Lunch will be back in Gardiner, followed by an optional short hike. An after-dinner evening session at the 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, canine geneticist Dr. Dan Stahler, and other distinguished experts in the field of wolf biology and behavior.January 11, 2024
To maximize our opportunities for viewing wolves, bears, and many other wildlife species we will return to the Northern Range and Lamar Valley. Lamar is one of the best areas in the park for wolves, bears, and vast herds of bison and elk. The sheer abundance gives this area its well-earned nickname, 'The Serengeti of North America.' Lunch will be at the home and photography gallery of our good friends, Dan and Cindy Hartman, who live in Silver Gate, a small and charming mountain town outside the northeast entrance of the park. They are exceptional naturalists that share their many insights to wildlife in the area. After an afternoon return drive through the park, a final celebration dinner follows with Chef Zac in Gardiner.January 12, 2024
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 up for trip >