Scenic Drives of America

Yellowstone & Beartooth Pass Tour

Clouds Float Over The Peaks In The Beartooth Mountain Range That Can Be Seen From The Iconic Beartooth Pass
  • Destination
    Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness
    Yellowstone
  • Season
    Jun - Oct
  • Group Size
    Max 8
  • Duration
    10-11 Hours
From $895
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Overview

Yellowstone National Park offers opportunities to view a wide diversity of wildlife and landscape unmatched throughout the lower 48 States. This full-day journey from Cody into Northern Yellowstone and over the famed Beartooth Pass endeavors to highlight the hundreds of species of animals and birds that thrive in this protected ecosystem, as well as spectacular mountain vistas. Along the way we will explore the valleys, river systems, and forests where we search for our predators such as bears and wolves, and herds of ungulates such as bison, elk and pronghorn in a region lovingly referred to as America’s Serengeti. We will then climb over 10,000 ft in elevation and view the volcanic behemoths that are the Absaroka Mountains; an area referred to as the Top of the World. Each tour is led by a professional naturalist who will use high powered optics to find and observe wildlife at a distance as well as orient you to this fantastic corner of the Rocky Mountains.

Highlights

  • Beartooth Pass, One of the Most Scenic Drives in America
  • Potential Wolf & Bear Sightings
  • 5 Ecotones Traversed, from Sage Steppe – Tundra

Your exact route and itinerary will be determined by your interests, current wildlife sightings, 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.

Our safaris begin in the early morning hours from Cody, WY in order to give us the best opportunity to view wildlife movement.  The tour includes small amounts of driving between great wildlife habitats as well as exploring them on foot. Our private safaris are completely customizable and can even focus on individual species of interest as well as ample time for other passions such as photography. Each day is unique and is filled with exciting encounters, surprises and new experiences.

Our guides will share their knowledge and experience with you as you explore Yellowstone National Park together. Throughout the day they will educate and converse with you about the incredible ecosystem as it is revealed. They will help provide not only the understanding of wildlife habits, but also the story of their importance on the landscape. We take care of every detail so all you have to do is enjoy the day. We will pick you up and drop you off either at your lodging, or the most appropriate meeting point. We provide fuel for the journey including snacks, beverages, and fresh picnic lunches.  Additionally, each guest is provided their own pair of binoculars, and the group has multiple spotting scopes to use throughout the day. This equipment makes for incredible and personal moments of connection with this enigmatic, wild place. Your guide is at your service to provide you the best experience from start to finish.

Yellowstone is special amongst our public lands in that it is home to all notable animal species that were present when European explorers first traveled through this area.  Each season allows for unique focus and special experiences accordingly. This tour is offered during the peak spring, summer and fall seasons where roads are cleared and allow us access to every aspect of the ecosystem.

June is our Rocky Mountain spring, and when it arrives it brings new life from every corner of the land. Mother bears traverse meadows with their vivacious cubs or yearlings. Tiny bison calves entertain with furry, orange exuberance. Elk mothers guard their calves as hungry grizzlies attempt to steal one away. Higher elevations are still blanketed with snow, but small mammals like pikas, weasels and ground squirrels emerge hungry, as do their predators the owls and hawks and eagles. Mountain goats roam the high alpine tundra.

The summer months of July and August bring abundance and dispersal. Life spreads out over all the green fields and forests of Yellowstone as heat rises and days lengthen. Herds of ungulates move into the shade and predators shift to new areas for their somewhat slow and languid season. The often-tepid herds of bison become suddenly and incredibly active, as they court, fight and mate in the wild and violent rut season. Wildflowers explode into the high country and blanket the alpine lakes and grasslands with vibrant colors.

Fall brings cooler temperatures and unique wildlife viewing opportunities. The sparse deciduous trees of cottonwood, aspen and willow adopt a striking color change to the delight of photographers. Animals and birds start to prepare for winter. Impressive bull elk bugle to advertise their prowess and attract their harems of females, fighting away competitors in the hours of dawn and dusk. Beavers reinforce their dams against impending ice, and great migrations of geese, waterfowl and raptors move out of the region. Bears gorge on berries before their deep winter sleep, and a calm settles over the National Park in anticipation of winter.

What's Included

  • Hotel pickup
  • Professional naturalist guide
  • Private safari
  • Catered picnic lunch
  • Assorted snack basket
  • Non-alcoholic beverages (hot and cold)
  • Use of UHD binoculars and spotting scopes
  • Guide gratuities
  • National Park entrance fees

Private Safari

$895 for 1-2 guests; $250 for each additional guest. Maximum per vehicle, 6-8 guests.
This is a private safari.
From $895
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Pickup Information

For all private tours, all of our guests are picked up (and dropped off) at their lodging location.  We pick up in Cody, WY.  At the time of reservation, 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:

  • 6:00AM Cody
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The personal pride, knowledge of the area and enthusiastic presentation of our tour was outstanding. She was just a joyful person to have guide us. We saw lots of animals, learned the geological history and saw amazing sights. Her attitude just made the day excellent!!! Thanks so much.
Jan S.

FAQs

What is the best time of year to drive Beartooth Pass for wildlife sightings and alpine vistas?

The ideal time to visit the northeast region of Yellowstone National Park for scenic drives, like Beartooth Pass, and participate in outdoor activities is from May to October. This period offers the most favorable weather conditions for exploring the area. In particular, the summer months are great for enjoying the pleasant weather and witnessing some remaining snow in June or early July. Additionally, the fall season offers a chance to see beautiful fall foliage, although it’s colder and there’s a risk of snowfall closing the road​

Are there any specific vehicle requirements or driving tips for navigating Beartooth Pass?

Beartooth Pass is a thrilling route to drive, provided you follow some basic guidelines. The highway is paved and well marked, with tight switchbacks and large drop-offs in some sections. It is recommended to drive during daytime and adhere to speed limits. Make sure your vehicle is in good condition, with properly inflated tires and adequate fluid levels, especially because the drive involves climbing to high altitudes. There’s limited cell signal on the highway, so it’s important to be prepared for any eventualities.

If you would rather leave the driving to the professionals, you can join us on a full day tour of the region.  Your guide will do all the driving, while making adequate stops for photo opportunities, wildlife watching, and scenic vistas.

What are some must-see attractions and viewpoints along Beartooth Pass?

Along Beartooth Pass, there are several attractions and viewpoints that shouldn’t be missed. Beartooth Lake and Island Lake offer stunning alpine scenery and opportunities for leisurely strolls and picnics. The Top of the World Store is a notable spot for refreshments and souvenirs. Beartooth Pass itself, sitting at 10,947 feet, provides breathtaking panoramic views. Gardner Lake Overlook and Trail, and the Rock Creek Vista Point, are excellent for appreciating the natural beauty of the area.

Further Reading

Visiting Yellowstone in the Summer

Jun 18, 2021

Yellowstone is one of the most popular National Parks, and it’s no wonder why. Between the stunning scenery, unique wildlife, and hot springs, there’s plenty to do and see during your stay, no matter the season.

The Best Things to See in Yellowstone National Park

Mar 8, 2021

Yellowstone National Park truly has something for everyone.  From wildlife watchers to geyser gazers, and history buffs to the most intrepid of explorers, this iconic wonderland offers endless opportunities for observation, adventure, and inspiration.

 

 

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