Private Tours Available

Yellowstone Wildlife Safari

A Bighorn Sheep Ram Lays Down For A Rest In The Sunshine In The Northern Range Of Yellowstone National Park
  • Destination
    Yellowstone
  • Season
    May - Oct
  • Group Size
    Max 8
  • Duration
    8-10 Hours
From $350
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Overview

Yellowstone National Park showcases some of the best and most diverse wildlife in North America. Our full day wildlife safari endeavors to highlight the hundreds of species of animals and birds that thrive in this protected ecosystem. We will visit valleys, river systems, and forests throughout central and northern Yellowstone, a region lovingly referred to as America’s Serengeti. Throughout the Northern Range especially, we will search for predators, like wolves and bears, as they hunt through herds of bison and elk. 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 show you animal tracks and sign right at your feet.

Highlights

  • Wild Gray Wolves in the Northern Range
  • Observe Predator/Prey Interactions
  • Incredible Biodiversity & Pristine Landscapes

Our safaris begin in the early morning hours 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 at your lodging. 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. 

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.

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.

Spring 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, and our safaris concentrate on lower grass-filled meadows and valleys.

Summer brings 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. Our summer safaris spread out in order to follow wildlife and the events that drive their lives. During July and August, our safaris explore the eastern parts of Yellowstone including Hayden Valley, Pelican Valley, and Dunraven and Sylvan Passes.

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.

 Wintertime is one of the most special in Northern Yellowstone. Against the backdrop of clean white snow, animals are visible at great distances, and we can take advantage of our high-powered optics to view them up to several miles away. Winter is the time of the wolf, who rules as top predator while bears sleep. The story of Yellowstone National Park’s wolves is front and center for our winter safaris, and we have great success in seeing one, or multiple packs over the course of the day. Other wildlife becomes more visible as well including bighorn sheep, moose, foxes, coyotes and otters. Temperatures may be chilly, but wildlife sightings are hot and the very limited crowds make it one of the best seasons to visit the Park.

What's Included

  • Hotel pickup (private tours only)
  • Professional naturalist guide
  • Private or small group safari
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Snacks
  • Souvenir water bottle
  • Use of spotting scopes and binoculars
  • Guide gratuities
  • National Park entrance fees

Open Safari

$350 per guest. Two person minimum booking requirement. Maximum per vehicle, 6-8 guests. This is a mixed group safari.
From $350
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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

Pickup Information

For all open tours, you will meet your guide at a designated central meeting location in Bozeman, Paradise Valley, Gardiner, Big Sky or West Yellowstone.  When you reserve, we’ll confirm your exact pickup time, based on the season.  Please check your confirmation email for the full list of meeting locations for open tours.

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:

  • 5:30AM Bozeman
  • 6:15AM Paradise Valley
  • 6:45AM Gardiner
  • 6:45AM Big Sky
  • 7:45AM West Yellowstone

 

For all private tours, all of our guests are picked up (and dropped off) at their lodging location.  We pick up in Bozeman, Paradise Valley, Gardiner, Madison Junction, Canyon Lodge, Big Sky and West Yellowstone*.  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:

  • 5:30AM Bozeman
  • 6:15AM Paradise Valley (temporarily suspended for 2022)
  • 6:30AM Madison Junction**
  • 6:45AM Gardiner (temporarily suspended for 2022)
  • 6:45AM Big Sky
  • 7:00AM Canyon Lodge**
  • 7:45AM West Yellowstone*

Guests may request an optional 6:00AM pickup from West Yellowstone*.  This option includes a $100 charge for early pickup.

*For all West Yellowstone pickups, please meet at the West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce, 30 Yellowstone Ave., West Yellowstone, MT.

**Specialty pickups are available for an additional fee of $100.

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We’ve been to Yellowstone many times but never did a "wildlife tour". What a great experience! So much more wildlife we would have missed on our own. Saw grey wolves and their pups - bison of course but also elk, mountain goats and even a great horned owl. Our guide was great! He was very knowledgeable and ensured we had a thoroughly enjoyable day. We will definitely come back!
Bill L.

FAQs

What kind of wildlife can I see in Yellowstone National Park?

Yellowstone National Park is known for the diversity of wildlife found there. Because it was protected from settler development early on, it has maintained the integrity of a wild landscape, with opportunities to see a variety of species in their natural habitat. You may see bison, elk, wolves, grizzly bears, bighorn sheep, and other large and small mammals as well as avian species, reptiles, amphibians and insects.  It’s all here – a fully functioning ecosystem on display – you just have to know where to look.  A guided tour offers the best opportunities to see wildlife in the National Park.  A professional guide is also able to provide insight and education on animal behavior and give context to what you’re seeing on the landscape.

Are there bears in Yellowstone?

Yellowstone National Park is home two both grizzly bears and black bears.  In fact, it’s one of the only areas south of Canada where you can find grizzly bears and black bears coexisting.  During the summer months they are both active in certain areas of the park and during the winter months, both bear species will hibernate.  Their physical characteristics are quite different, easily identified if you know what to look for.  They exhibit behavioral differences as well.  Your guide will be able to speak to these differences, how their physical and behavioral characteristics are identified and how they interact in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

What do others say about this tour?

5 Stars
We had a fantastic day with our guide. He was so knowledgeable about all of the wildlife & geography of the park. He was funny and kind and went out of his way to make sure our girls got to see all kinds of animals including the most exciting one, a black bear. They provided a delicious gourmet picnic lunch for us and snacks and drinks whenever we needed them. Spotting scopes were available for all of us too. We learned so much from him and had a terrific first day in Yellowstone. I highly recommend Yellowstone Safari Company.
Kelli C.

5 Stars
FANTASTIC experience – such a knowledgeable guide and a joy to talk with. The incredible experience makes me want to visit Yellowstone again AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. He taught me to see wildlife in a whole new light! SO EXCITING to see wolves, coyotes, foxes, and more. I’d book them again in a heartbeat. Hope I get the opportunity.
Darcy D.

5 Stars
Our tour guide was perfect for the journey we wanted. He was connected with the watchers (especially wolf watchers, which is what we wanted in addition to coyotes, mountain goat, of course bison, bears, and other native species), obviously interested in the wildlife and their lives, connected to what makes his clients happy, caring about the wildlife AND the clients. The BEST part was following a long female wolf near Little America and her adventures among bison, mousing, crossing the road. And then we were with him when a young black bear was too familiar with people and had some kind of injury or disability. I learned a lot, and I could have continued tracking wolves for days. He made sure we understood the key landmarks for watching wolves, bison and mountain goats, which we wanted; took us to the perfect picnic spot; and despite all kinds of opportunities, got us back to our car at the agreed-upon time (though I could have gone on and on). Definitely recommend. And if you don’t really know what you want, he’ll find wildlife for your connection, which I think is what most people want / need.
CL B.

5 Stars
Booked a day tour for just my husband and myself. We were staying at Old Faithful Inn and were met our guide at Mammoth Springs Lodge. About an hour away due to speed restrictions at 25mph (bison do not pay attention to the green cross code). Our guides met us on time and immediately we both knew that this was going to be a highlight of our trip. They drove us through Lamar Valley explaining the landscape the whole time. Our first sighting was of a grizzly with her cubs in the distance. I would have been happy if that is all we saw. We then saw a bison carcass with a wolf, coyote and a lot of ravens. If there is a large amount of ravens this is usually due to there being a carcass. Took a little detour down Slough Creek which was so beautiful. Driving further on in to the valley our guide spotted a mountain goat high in the mountain. I think he must have Superman vision!!! We stopped at a lovely spot for lunch. Picnic areas in the UK do not look like that. On the drive back to Mammoth Springs we saw another wolf who was trying to cross the road to get to the carcass we saw originally. Our guide then spotted a Bald Eagle that was just sitting in the middle of the grass. I could carry on forever with how amazing this day was. We both wish that we had booked another day to maybe go further in to Lamar. Need to get myself one of the amazing scopes so that better pictures could have been taken. Only a small point as the memory of this amazing with Yellowstone Safari company will be with me forever. This company cares about Yellowstone as even during the tour our guide reported a photographer who was getting too close to the grizzly to the Park Ranger. The animals deserve their space as Yellowstone is their home and we are merely visitors.
Paula B.

Will we see any hot springs on this tour?

Each of our tours is tailored to the desires of our guests.  On this wildlife safari tour, we have the option of stopping at Mammoth Hot Springs, one of Yellowstone National Park’s most famous thermal features.

Will we see the Lamar Valley?

Due to the flooding in northern Yellowstone in June 2022, the access to the Lamar Valley has been severely restricted.  The National Park anticipates restoring access to all areas of the park by summer 2023.  In the meantime, we are free to explore several similar areas, and we have made adjustments to our tours to provide an equally exciting experience.

How much time will we spend walking?

We tailor each departure to the wishes of our guests, so we will spend as much, (or as little), time spent walking as you desire.

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