Field Notes

Yellowstone Guided Tours in the Winter

by Monica RobinsonFeb 24, 2023
A Red Fox Walks Through The Snow As It Hunts For Prey In Yellowstone National Park

Winter in Yellowstone


Yellowstone National Park is a story of fire and ice. The park has one of the most extreme winters in the US due to its inland geographical location away from temperate oceans and sitting at an average of 7,500 feet of elevation. It also sprawls atop a volcanic plateau, responsible for the abundant geothermal features for which Yellowstone is famous. Freezing temperatures that challenge our survival house deadly hot springs, creating plumes of dramatic steam. Fueled by the super volcano that churns only a mile beneath the surface, these geysers and hot springs starkly contrast with the fierce cold and heavy snowpack. It is otherworldly and worth a visit!

Touring With Yellowstone Safari Co. In Winter

Winter in Yellowstone is the epitome of the classic “winter wonderland.” Of the 4 million people who visit annually, only about 2% of visitors come between December and March. Almost every road in the park closes down to personal vehicles. The road between the north entrance and the northeast entrance remains open; visitors can drive their vehicles through Lamar valley and navigate the snowy landscape to search for wildlife. The park quiets down as the people disperse from the landscape, and the thick blanket of snow dampens the remaining sounds creating a rarely experienced hushed, silent, peaceful world.

Think of how often you hear silence in your life. There is almost always something going on that our senses are reacting to. Whatever does break the muffled peace will be something worth seeing! In this vast, open landscape, you get a genuine break from the rest of the world.

Booking a Yellowstone guided tour with us will take the stress out of the logistical pressures of finding and viewing wildlife and navigating winter roadways. Bozeman is a beautiful place to take advantage of the best of the season in Yellowstone; it is a vibrant town full of lodging options, fantastic restaurants, shopping, and its own airport for easy accessibility. A comfortable, warm vehicle will pick you up right from your place of lodging and can start right from Bozeman, Emigrant/Paradise Valley, and Gardiner. Every tour includes a variety of snacks, hot drinks, and high-quality spotting scopes and binoculars for each guest to maximize your viewing experience. Each trip is led by an exceptionally well-trained, passionate, and knowledgeable guide who will give you background and context to everything you will see, from the area’s human history to the intricate interactions between the species you will encounter. Their passion for this incredible ecosystem is one of the best highlights of our tours!

Several Bison Cluster On The Road, Blocking Traffic Through Yellowstone National Park
A Creek Runs Freely In The Middle Of A Snowy White Landscape Outside Of Big Sky Montana

Off The Beaten Path

Want to get out of the car and get up close and personal with the wild? Consider a snowshoeing trip! Traverse the landscape the way our adapted local wildlife does, like the lynx or snowshoe hare, passing over the deep snow with their wide feet. Getting out on the trails opens up the surrounding scenery to the activities of what animals came before you. The snow records the moose that passed through earlier or a predator stalking prey nearby. You see the story of the ecosystem unfold right where you are standing. We offer a dedicated snowshoe tour that takes you to West Yellowstone or Big Sky, where sheer basalt cliffs and wild riverways provide the stage for local wildlife like elk herds, moose munching on willow stands, and coyotes and foxes hunting for their smaller prey of rodents amongst the snow-frosted evergreens. The magnificent bighorn sheep call this area home for the winter, adding to the rich list of possible sightings. This trip caters to all ages and ability levels, and we are happy to adjust the trip to suit your needs.

Mule Deer Browse For Food In The Snow Covered Sage Flats In Yellowstone National Park

An Extended Adventure- Multi-day Tours


There is so much to see that one day is never enough time to soak it all in. Luckily we offer a three-day winter wolf tour that will satisfy your hopes for an incredible national park adventure! This is the optimal way to see the famous wolves of Yellowstone. With several packs in the park, our guides are honed in on their up-to-date movements and know the best places to look. Your chances of viewing wild wolves will never be better than going with our highly trained and experienced guides equipped with high-end optics: a spotting scope and personal binoculars for everybody. Winter is the season of the wolf. They easily travel over the snow while hunting the heavier, less mobile elk. Lamar valley is often affectionately referred to as the American Serengeti, and for a good reason. The snow-coated valleys are the ideal setting to spot wolves. Their gray and black fur pops against the bright white, while in the summer season, they are more challenging to spot as the tall sagebrush obscures their shape, and they blend into the earthy colors.

Let us lead you into the thrilling frozen wilds with all the comforts you need. You will come away with invaluable memories and an experience unmatched by any other, with stunning photos and an appreciation for a favorite destination in a version of itself that most people never see!

A Red Fox Hunts For Prey In The Snowy Landscape Of The Hayden Valley In Yellowstone National Park