Here are FAQs for our Yellowstone tours.  These frequently asked questions and our answers should help you come prepared for your safari.
 However, we will be more than happy to discuss your specific questions and concerns on the phone in more detail.  Contact us directly if you still have questions.

How do we arrange for a safari?

Please feel free explore our website, then contact us with any questions you have. We will be happy to discuss the particular goals you have for your time in the Greater Yellowstone area.  We do have set departures, but all outdoor experiences are unique and we therefore recommend personal communication if you have questions about your safari experience and activity options. Book online or over the phone.  After your deposit is received, you will receive an email confirmation with other relevant documents.

Are these safaris suitable for children?

Our safaris are indeed very suitable for children. In general, all our tours are great for all family members to share and remember. Our guides are experienced with facilitating an interactive learning experience for kids. We feel that from about 4 years old and up, kids can very effectively use optics and participate in the safari experience. Playing in a meadow or along a stream and looking at natural curiosities are great activities for small children.

Are these safaris suitable for seniors?

We can accommodate most levels of desired activity, from a completely motorized safari to multi-day treks, so seniors would be fine. To be able to see certain features, you may be required to walk along uneven surfaces, like a boardwark. In most cases, an auto tour with short walks will allow us to see all the major features. If you are able to participate at this level of activity, we look forward to having you on safari with us.

What is provided on safari?

For most of our tours, we provide everything you need for the experience. There are some accessories you should consider: hat, gloves, sunglasses, sunscreen, camera and maybe a daypack for further personal items.

What’s included on these safaris?

Each full day safari is provided with a professional naturalist guide, private transportation, binocular and spotting scope use for each participant, snacks, beverages, and lunch. Half-day tours do not include lunch.

Should we be physically fit to participate?

The safari tours can be as strenuous or laid back as you like. We can hike all day, or not at all. Due to the private nature of each tour, we can extend or shorten hiking times or stops. Typically, our safaris are a combination of motorized travel and short to medium length walks.

Will I have access to a bathroom?

On single day events in developed areas we will provide every consideration for your comfort. In some areas of Yellowstone, only pit toilets are available. In others, plumbing and toilet facilities are common. Certainly one of the most called upon levels of “special knowledge” provided by your guide is to know where the ideal toilet locations are!

What if we don’t see wildlife?

We do not guarantee any particular animal species, although many of the most dramatic (wolf and bear) are seen regularly, particularly during certain seasons and in certain locales. We expect to see a variety of animals, including birds, on any given safari, but we never promise a sighting.

What if the weather is bad?

Generally, the weather doesn’t affect us in a negative way. Keep in mind, Yellowstone has a dry climate,  and the weather is generally excellent. If we have rain or snow, you’ll be glad you’re not driving your own vehicle, as we are best able and equipped to deal with the uncertainties of mountain weather. However, mountain weather can change suddenly and our intent is to provide an outdoor experience. We will not cancel unless it is for safety reasons. For example, a severe blizzard would make driving unsafe and may necessitate cancellation. This does not happen on a regular basis, but it is possible. If we do cancel for this reason, you will receive a full refund of all payments.

Is Yellowstone National Park really crowded?

In summer, Yellowstone can be crowded in the vicinity of major site features such as Old Faithful Geyser. Traffic jams can also occur due to the presence of wildlife; (gridlock can occur when a bison crosses the road, or a bear or moose forages roadside). In general, Yellowstone is not really crowded. Very few people go beyond the developed areas, so a short hike can quickly take you in to a “wilderness” experience. Yellowstone is least crowded during fall, winter and spring seasons.

We want to avoid crowds. Is this possible?

We can guide you to less frequented areas and rare experiences in Yellowstone and the surrounding area. If you truly would like a wilderness experience, we offer multi-day vehicle-based tours. However, if you are visiting the greater Yellowstone area and you have a limited amount of time, keep in mind that some of the most dramatic and impressive features, such as Old Faithful Geyser and the Lower Falls of the Grand Canyon, are near roads, parking areas, and boardwalk trails to facilitate public access. These areas are the most “crowded”. While these are easy to access and find, visiting them with us can help you understand the natural history and facilitate an efficient experience. 

In general, Yellowstone is not nearly as crowded as you might believe. It really is crowded only at key site locations and features, and we can best help you maneuver efficiently through these areas.  Most groups, on average, want some measure of “away from roads” time, but do not want a strenuous hike. It is not necessary to exert yourself strenuously to experience the wonderful values of the National Park.

What is the best season to visit Yellowstone National Park?

Truth be told, there is no “best season.” Some seasons are better for certain experiences and others are not. For example, winter is not the time for watching bears since they are hibernating. Winter is best for big mammals on big landscapes, like wolves. Spring is best for bears, wolves, and overall wildlife diversity, but the weather can be extremely variable. We always keep our fingers crossed for excellent weather. Fall is a season of color and select wildlife sightings associated with breeding.  Fall is “the season of the rut” and is great for watching large grazing animals, both males and females, interacting and courting in complex and dramatic displays. Most visitors come in the summer season, so the roads are busier at that time. The weather is also most accommodating in the summer. Summer is a great season for being at low elevations near rivers, or for being at high elevations where temperatures are cooler.

How cold does it get?

Average daytime temperatures in mid-winter are about 20’F to 30’F. Winter nighttime temperatures may be less than 10’F. Average summer temperatures may be in the 80’s with lows in the 40’s. These are averages, so keep in mind, the range of temperatures can be quite a bit more dramatic. The best way to deal with this range of temperatures is to have a layered garment system such as: windproof jacket, vest, sweater, heavy shirt and undergarments. One rule of thumb: even in summer, consider bringing one more layer than you expect to need. Of course, in all seasons: hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and sturdy walking shoes are best. Rain gear is also a good idea.

What type of footwear is best?

Footwear is sometimes governed by activity. In general, footwear should be sturdy, broken-in walking shoes. In summer, light hiking shoes are good for day hikes and general touring. Heavier boots are better for backpacking. Snow boots, “Sorel” style with rubber bottom and leather upper, are best for winter conditions.  See your trip confirmation for the best recommendations based on your chosen activity.

Will I be allowed to bring firearms on safari or in the backcountry?

We do not permit firearms on any of our tours.  Non-compliance will result in immediate termination of your tour without a refund.  Thank you for understanding.

Where should I stay?

If you’ve booked a multi-day tour, not to worry, your accommodations during the tour will be taken care of.  For overnight stays prior to your departure and before you depart for home, we recommend finding lodging in Bozeman, Livingston, Gardiner or Mammoth.
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