MAKE SURE YOU ASK AT THE GARDINER RANGER STATION ENTRY POINT, AND VISITOR CENTER IN MAMMOTH: WHERE RECENT SIGHTINGS HAVE BEEN REPORTED OF YOUR FAVORITE WILDLIFE.
Yellowstone’s main road is the Grand Loop, it is a difficult drive to tackle in one day. The Grand Loop serpentines 142 miles around Yellowstone like an inscribed circle closed in on the very heart of the park. This loop connects visitors to every classic gem, from Mammoth Hot Springs near the North Entrance to Fountain Pots and Old Faithful near the West and South. Simply driving the entire distance, whether going clockwise or counter, could take four to seven hours. And even if the speed limit is 45 mph, you’ll want to take your sweet time, especially around the winding turns, epic scenery and stopped traffic due to wildlife in or near the road.
The Grand Loop Road, however, is also set up like a figure eight allowing for drivers to at least take in half of the attractions along this circular road. For road trips, you can pick a side—any side—of the loop, taking three to four hours of driving and stopping by lakes, canyons, falls and hot springs.
If you don't get enough driving in, want to drive more...drive over Beartooth Pass to Red Lodge (good beer distillery there), To Cody, WY to Buffalo Bill Museum out the southern most east exit, and beautiful Teton mountains near Jackson Hole, WY in the southern most exit.
Roosevelt Stone Arch—one block away
Wildlife, Rafting, Horse rides, Barbecues, Yellowstone River—Right here and One block
Swimming Natural Boiling River Hot Springs—2 miles
(south, swim next to river, flat trail walk, 45th parallel)
Mammoth Hot Springs—4 miles
(south, terraces, boardwalk, fascinating features, good in winter for skiing too, headquarters visitor info center)
(east towards Lamar Valley and Roosevelt lodge, beautiful falls on way to upper and lower falls grand canyon)
Roosevelt Lodge—24 miles
(east towards Lamar Valley and Canyon falls, where you can take Stagecoach, ride horses in for scenic barbecue, or a lovely meal at the lodge. Reservations to be made with YNP 307-344-7311, Old West Cookout.
(where the most photographed upper and lower falls, inspiration point, spectacular outlook point)
Norris Geyser Basin & Madison Junction—21-35 miles
(geysers everywhere, paint pots, fascinating features, on way to Old Faithful)
LaMar Valley—38 miles
(east, towards Roosevelt Lodge and Tower, Serengeti of wildlife)
Lake Village—49 miles
(east or south loop, end of park farthest south, lake Yellowstone for fishing, thermal activity)
Old Faithful—51 miles south
(directly south on way through Norris, Madison Junction)
West Yellowstone—54 miles
south, then east (biggest town, has a wolf and bear discovery center & Imax Theatre)
Beartooth Hwy. Scenic Pass—77 miles directly east
(on top of the world view mountain pass)
Jackson Hole Teton Park—152 miles south
part of the grand loop, farthest south out of the park, Teton park)
My favorite restaurant—7 miles north out of Gardiner, right off of hwy 89.
"The Lighthouse Restaurant"
Private Yellowstone Tours Yellowstone Wild, LLC is a local family business based in Gardiner Montana, at the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park, offering year-round guided tours with local wildlife biologist, tracker, and educational guide, Emil McCain, M.S. With 20 years of experience in wildlife biology and guiding, we specialize in educational Wildlife Watching, Day-Hikes, Multi-Day Backpacking and Winter Wolf and Cougar Tracking. We also offer specialized Family-Oriented Tours for your young adventurers. We custom-tailor each trip to meet your specific interests, of course, welcoming the special surprises that Yellowstone bestows upon us each day.
Our tours begin as the first light peeks over the snow-capped Absaroka Mountains and drifts slowly across the Lamar Valley, illuminating century-old cottonwoods and warming one thousand American Bison grazing on the lush valley floor. Wolves howl from high on Druid Peak, and a mother grizzly bear leads her cubs across sage-covered hills in the unforgettable beauty of a Yellowstone dawn. So, come with us and allow that majestic wolf howl, the iconic call of North American wilderness, welcome you to an unforgettable adventure with us in Yellowstone!
Specializing in watching wolves and bears, Yellowstone Wild, LLC builds each wildlife watching trip around your specific interests. Your biologist guide will enhance your viewing and photographic opportunities, whether you want to photograph grizzly bears, witness social behavioral of Yellowstone wolf packs, or go on a scavenger hunt to ID the numerous wild animal species seen on our family tours. Something absolutely amazing is happening in Yellowstone every day, and we will make your visit with us a lasting impression for all.
Want to get off the beaten path and experience Yellowstone’s backcountry secrets, without the cars and crowds? Come with us on a walk through wonderland! Let’s get out and breathe that mountain air as we search for wildlife, explore waterfalls, mountain-top views, and even hidden geyser basins. Hiking with an experienced naturalist guide is key to safely and comfortably enjoying all that Yellowstone has to offer. Our hikes, structured specifically for your desired level of difficulty, are the best way to truly experience the wild spirit of Yellowstone.
Children have a strong fascination with the natural world and we passionately lead a fun and educational walk through the wonders of Yellowstone. Exploring a stream bank, we might find bird nests, animal tracks or even see where a beaver has been working. A nature walk leads us to the secret places where different animals choose to live and raise their young, and we stop to talk about why certain animals might live in one place over another. The baby animals of Yellowstone are especially appealing to youngsters, and we find an abundance of babies of all shapes and sizes to enjoy. Family trips are specially modified versions (or combinations of) our Wildlife and Hiking trips.
There is nothing better for the soul than a good hike in America’s most celebrated wilderness, followed by an evening around the campfire and a good night's sleep alongside a mountain stream. Multiday treks with Yellowstone Wild traverse spectacular wild terrain on a safe and educational journey, often following a meandering stream to its sources, crossing over a high mountain pass, then descending through hidden alpine basins to discover the wildflower-filled meadow where our campsite sits just above a bend in the river.
Yellowstone Wild is offering the unique opportunity to actually track wild wolves and cougars in the winter wonderland of Yellowstone National Park. This type of opportunity has never been offered before, and we are proud to offer a 5-day intensive carnivore tracking program in the heart of Yellowstone's famed Northern Range with expert tracker and cougar/wolf biologist Emil McCain, M.S.
Our Full Day Tours typically run from 6-8 hours, and you will be returned to your lodging in time for an afternoon siesta. These trips are fully catered, as we provide transportation, an assortment of food and drink options and high-end optics for your viewing pleasure.
1-3 guests $595
4-6 guests $645
For 7 or more guests, please inquire, as arrangements can be made to accommodate larger groups.Step-On Tours
A step-on tour is still our custom guided trip, but your guide will ride along in your vehicle rather than drive one of ours. This is a great option for larger groups or groups wanting to save a little money.
1-3 guests $495
4-6 guests $545
Greater than 6 guests $25 for each additional person
We highly recommend multi-day trips for a more complete view of Yellowstone's wildlife and to enhance your chances for multiple outstanding wildlife sighting and photography opportunities. All Multi-Day trips receive a $50 discount for each day after the first.
Our Backpacking Trips are custom-designed around your specific desires, level of difficulty and schedule and; therefore, rates can vary somewhat. We provide all meals and trail snacks and we can arrange some of the essential camping gear for you. Typically, our Backpack Trips cost:
One-Two Guests - $545 / Day
Additional Adults - $250 / Day / Person
Children 10-15 years old - $200 / Day / Child
Children under 10 are FREE
Upon receiving your booking request, we will promptly respond with our availability during your preferred date(s), and we will send your invoice and payment options. Payment is due within 10 days of receiving your invoice to save your date(s).
In order to reserve the date(s) of your trip, we require full payment at the time you make your booking. Payment can be made via personal check, cashier’s check, money order, electronic wire transfer, or any major credit card through our secure PayPal system. Checks should be made out to Yellowstone Wild, LLC and mailed to us at P.O. Box 484, Gardiner, MT, 59030 within 10 days of your booking date.
Once we receive your payment, we will send you additional information and collect further information from you so that we can plan the details of your trip to make your experience with us the very best. Again, thank you for your interest in Yellowstone Wild. We genuinely look forward to your visit. You may contact us with any questions or concerns at any time.
Please let us know where you will be staying during your visit to Yellowstone. If at all possible, we will pick you up at your hotel or local lodging. In case you do not have accommodations already arranged, we may be able to arrange a special stay overlooking the Yellowstone River on the edge of Gardiner at the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park. If you are not staying in Gardiner, we need to arrange an appropriate meeting location and time to facilitate the best wildlife viewing opportunities. Please let us know what your main interests are and what about Yellowstone captures your attention and curiosity. We would like to know just a little bit about you so that we can better plan and craft your tour specifically for you and your family. Additionally, if anyone in your family has any food allergies or medical conditions that we should know about, please give us ample time to prepare for those circumstances.
In case you need to cancel your trip with us, we will fully refund you up to 60 days prior to the starting day of your trip minus a $50 processing fee. In case you need to cancel your trip with us between 15 and 59 days prior to the starting day of your trip, we will refund half of the costs of your trip. Any cancellation made 14 days or less before the starting day of your trip will not be refunded.
Emil McCain, M.S.
Phone: (406) 224 - 0001
In 1872, it became the first national park in the United States covering an area of more than 3400 square miles
Largely situated in Wyoming and extending into Montana & Idaho
Montana's Gardiner North entrance is the original entrance, & only entrance with roads open all year
Park entrances are mostly in Montana
The Yellowstone National Park is a natural, scientific, and scenic unspoiled beauty
Yellowstone National Park was home to many Native American tribes, including the most recent groups- Crows, Shoshones, Bannocks, and Blackfeet
Now, it is a pilgrimage site for visitors who want to experience its unique and natural beauty-its geysers, mud pots, hot springs, mountains, lakes, rivers, canyons, wildlife, and much more
Yellowstone has one of the largest high-elevation lakes-Yellowstone Lake
As well as North America’s largest super volcano- Yellowstone Caldera. --Yellowstone’s wildlife is abundant and diverse. Dozens of species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and fish, as well as endangered or threatened wildlife inhabit Yellowstone
Grizzly bears, wolves, bison, elks, bighorn sheep, moose, deer, Canadian lynx, and wolverines are some of the more than sixty mammals that live in Yellowstone
Hundreds of species of trees and plants can be found in the park. The forested areas of the park is covered by lodgepole pine, and other conifers such as subalpine fir, Engelmann spruce, Douglas-fir and Whitebark pine can be found in groves all through the park as well
Deciduous trees such aspen, cottonwood, and willow, along with flowering plants including sand verbena, shooting star, kitten tails, and Jove’s buttercup, among others can be found in the park
The park has a vast network of trails that extends more than 200 miles, and leads to hundreds of secluded places where Yellowstone’s wildlife and majestic scenery can be thoroughly enjoyed and experienced. --Some trails are associated with various park attractions such as such as the geysers and hot springs, while others are in the Yellowstone backcountry
One of the best hiking trails is Mt. Washburn Trail which offers a combination of scenery, wildflowers and wildlife, and views of the Grand Canyon, a portion of Yellowstone Lake, the Tetons and even an eruption of Old Faithful is possible
The Pelican Valley has an abundant wildlife especially grizzly bears, bison, coyotes and birds, and mountaintop views of Yellowstone and backcountry lakes; a system of trails-Elephant Back Mountain Trail, Pelican Creek Nature Trail, Storm Point Trail, Turbid Lake Trail, among others makes Pelican Valley accessible
Yellowstone National Park’s hiking trails are numerous; other areas that are great for hiking are Mammoth, Norris, Lake, Old Faithful, Tower, Roosevelt, and West Thumb. Each offers a different view, making hiking the very best way to experience the treasure that is the Yellowstone National Park
*There will be a few spots you could picnic on the river with sandy beaches/big rocks to play on if water isn't too high.