Big Sky, Montana is a wintertime wonderland. From December to April the region is draped in beautiful snow and ice, and there are many activities available for our visitors to partake in in the great outdoors.
One of the best ways to see the area in winter is to snowshoe, an ancient activity that allows us to walk on top of snow like a winter hare. Snowshoeing is a great activity for any ability level, and affords intimate encounters across the meadows, forests and river bottoms that comprise this stunning landscape. Keeping warm is also important, and this safari will provide a hot meal in West Yellowstone, followed by an educational tour of the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, a unique opportunity to view bears, wolves and many other animals who can no longer live in the wild. The combination of outdoor excursion and wildlife makes for an incredible day of adventure in the Big Sky region.
Your exact route and itinerary will be determined by your interests, current wildlife sightings, and current weather and road conditions. Our guides are all highly experienced, with thousands of hours in the field, and will expertly tailor your safari to you and your group.
This full day adventure begins with a journey from Big Sky to the beautiful and remote Northwest corner of Yellowstone National Park, about a 30 minute drive. The Gallatin River Canyon is the hallmark for this region, and includes towering basalt cliffs which are wintering home to Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, old growth forest which harbors nesting pairs of bald eagles, crimson willow stands which are wonderful habitat for moose and elk and riverside meadows where coyotes and foxes hunt voles under the snow. Our guides are natural enthusiasts who will take time to highlight and educate about every encounter with wildlife along the way.
Outside the comfort of the vehicle, the real adventure begins. The use of modern snowshoes, poles and equipment prepares us for any winter terrain we encounter. The sights and sounds of the landscape will come alive as you move further away from the din of the road and the human bustle. Any point of interest the guest or guide might be drawn to is a valuable pursuit. Small details will become apparent; the scratch marks of a bear on the bark of an old fir, century old lichen hanging from the branches of a spruce tree, the flighty trail of a deer escaping a predator, or the loud “caw” of a raven as it flies, unconcerned, overhead. We provide hot drinks on the trail, and plenty of healthy snacks.
After enjoying the exertion of several miles on your snowshoes, we will then transfer to the town of West Yellowstone, MT, about 30 minutes further down the road, where your guide will escort you to a local restaurant for a warm meal. We then spend the afternoon exploring the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, which offers an indoor museum as well as outdoor exhibit spaces with a diversity of wildlife to observe including 8 grizzly bears, 2 wolf packs, otters, beavers and more. The Center is AZA accredited and is a special opportunity to get up close and personal to wild animals. Yellowstone Safari Co is proud to be a partner for this incredible facility.
Professional naturalist guide
Private or small group safari
Use of spotting scopes and binoculars
Use of snowshoes and poles
National Park entrance fees
This is a private safari.
For private tours, all our guests are picked up (and dropped off) at their lodging location. We pick up in Bozeman, and Big Sky. When you reserve, we’ll confirm your exact pickup time, based on the season, as well as your exact pickup location.
Please allow your guide an additional 5-10 minutes before and after the scheduled pickup time in case of weather delays or traffic conditions.
Approximate pickup times include:
- 7:00AM Bozeman
- 8:00AM Big Sky
Luckily you were recommended to us by the cottage owner where we were staying. We had such a great experience! Excellent service. Our guide was amazing, very polite, extremely knowledgeable and outstandingly passionate about his work. Every second of the trip he made sure we were getting the best of this experience. We booked this tour as one out of seven days we spent in Montana, mostly skiing at Big Sky. We can tell for sure, it is the first time, when in one of our ski trips, the day spent out of the slopes was better than skiing. We enjoyed the beauty of the area in wintertime, and thanks to our awesome guide we got to meet all the dwellers of the area, except for the moose, who chose to hide, postponing his show to ensure us a future return. The entire Montana and Bozeman experience was exceptional, but thanks to Yellowstone Safari Co and our guide, the experience became unforgettable.
Safari Tour Gallery
I don't know how to snowshoe; will I be able to participate?
Absolutely. Snowshoeing has a small learning curve. It will likely test your balance at first, but once you get the feel of the large shoes under your feet and how they assist you in walking on top of the snow, you will plod right along. Our guides are there to help you in the learning process and will assist with any gear or personal complaints. It is great activity for anyone who can walk with ease.
What kinds of wildlife will we see in winter?
Wintertime can be a good time to see wildlife such as moose, deer, coyote, elk, bald eagles and bighorn sheep. We will also discover many animal tracks, (their paw or hoof prints in the snow), and sign, (chew marks on trees, dugouts in the snow where canines have been hunting), and many other physical reminders of who and what is out there on the landscape.
What will we see at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center?
At the center we will have a chance to visit the indoor museum which has great educational information about the region, and predators such as bears and wolves, with both written explanations and stunning visuals. Outside we get to see the animals up close. They are kept in wild-natured enclosures that mimic the environment that they came from, and thrive in. You will get to see natural behavior in bear’s feeding, and wolves interacting with one another. You may also see otters playing and feeding and birds of prey resting on their perches.
Why You Should Book A Winter Wildlife Safari
Feb 22, 2021
One of the most common responses that I hear when I tell my summer-time clients about our winter wildlife safaris is: I didn’t even know that Yellowstone was open in the winter! Not only is Yellowstone open, but winter is arguably one of the most spectacular times to visit!
Snowshoe Safari Tours in Big Sky Country
Dec 16, 2021
Southwest Montana is well established as one of the premier locations for outdoor adventure and awe-inspiring natural beauty. The world renowned ‘Big Sky Country’ has something for everyone, no matter what the season. For thousands of years, people have traversed this snow-covered landscape by mimicking how the most winter-refined wildlife have been roaming here for even longer…