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  • Explore the rich and vibrant fauna of Yellowstone’s Norris Geyser Basin on this epic wildlife watching tour. Meet grizzlies, wolves, elk, bison, and other colorful species with the help of state-of-the-art spotting equipment and a seasoned local guide. Yellowstone boasts the largest free-roaming animal population in the Lower 48—time to meet them all!
    • To get to the Norris Geyser Basin, most people enter the park at the north entrance. From there it’s around 50 miles of driving. Meet your guide at a predetermined location near the Basin at dawn. 

      Colorful lakes at the Norris Geiser Basin in Yellowstone
    • What you get on this adventure:

        • An experienced biologist guide with extensive knowledge of the area
        • Full day of wildlife watching starting at dawn (tour duration depends on starting location)
        • A safe vehicle to cover more ground
        • Binoculars and spotting scopes
        • Short hikes on request
        • Brunch

      What’s not included:

        • Transportation to the trailhead
        • Accommodations
        • Park entrance fees ($20 per person, $35 per family)
        • Guide gratuities
    • Many people think that you have to hike through the backcountry to find animals, but that’s not the case! Wildlife watching is most effective from viewpoints, overlooks and short trails, not so far from the road. Using a vehicle helps you cover a larger area faster, so you can see more of the animals you’re interested in. For example, it takes 100 miles (160 km) on average to see wolves. Of course, if you prefer to add a short hike to your tour, your guides are always up it!

    • All of them! Depending on your preferences of temperatures and wildlife, you can choose between winter season (from mid October to mid May) and summer season (from mid May to mid October).

      Wildlife watching and birding expeditions are a great activity throughout the year. Baby season is usually in May and June. Your guide will help you plan the trip to be in the right place at the right time and help increase your chances of seeing the animals you’re most interested in. Wildlife is as dynamic and adventurous as possible but animals get shy too, so there is a chance you won’t see every type of animal in Yellowstone.

      Yellowstone hosts more than 4 million visitors each year, with peak season being June through September. If you don’t love crowds, you might want to consider visiting in the winter. That’s not to say if you do visit in the summer you’ll be walking the trails conga-line style. Remember, the park spans more than 2 million acres, so if you’re up for hiking in the backcountry you’ll be able to put some space between yourself and other visitors.

      Here is a table showing the best months to visit northern Yellowstone.
      A chart showing the best time to see certain wildlife

    • Your guides have a very high success rate for finding wildlife such as wolves and bears. However, these are wild animals and sightings are not guaranteed. July and August are some of the most challenging months to see larger mammals because high temperatures cause reduced wildlife activity. The more days you spend in the wilderness, the better are you chances of spotting a wolf.

    • Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

      • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 25-40L bag)
      • Hiking poles — optional
      • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
      • Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
      • Spare clothes for layering
      • Waterproof rain jacket
      • Sunhat
      • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
      • Bear spray — provided by the guide
      • Headlamp or flashlight
      • Sunglasses
      • Camera — optional (but recommended)

      Please DON’T bring firearms, smoke or wear synthetic fragrance on our trip.

      In the summer, temperatures can swing from freezing to 85°F (29°C) in a single day, with thunderstorms and blue-bird skies thrown in for good measure. In the winter, it can get as low as -40°F (-40°C), and just because the sun is out doesn’t mean you’ll feel its warmth.

      If you’re sensitive to bug bites, bring loose clothing that covers the lengths of your arms and legs. Also, bring lots of sunscreen no matter the season. You’ll be at a high base elevation (about 5,000 feet) and often go over 9,000 ft in the course of the day.

    • These wildlife watching tours in Yellowstone are suitable for people with no hiking experience. While your trip will last for up to 8 hours, there won’t be long walking sections since you will largely cover the terrain with a vehicle. This is optimal as it increases your chances for spotting animals. For example, it takes 100 miles (160 km) on average to see wolves.

      Keep in mind that the minimum starting elevation is at 6,000 ft above sea level, that weather in summer can be very hot, and that you’ll also be packing a daypack filled with water and other things you’ll need throughout the day. Your guide will always be by your side, making sure all the walking sections are suitable for your level. 

    • If you are a wheelchair user or have some other specific needs, this shouldn’t stop you from experiencing Yellowstone! Make sure to contact us if you’re considering a tour and we will make arrangements with your guide. They have experience guiding people of all ages and with specific needs and they’ll be happy to help you navigate the obstacles in this wild and remote area. You can visit the Yellowstone National Park website to find out more about the accessibility in Yellowstone.

    • Group sizes and prices:

      • For these private hiking adventures, the maximum client to guide ratio is 6:1. 
      • The cost per person decreases as the group grows, so it’s the perfect opportunity to hike with friends and family! 

      Hiking in Yellowstone can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

      Min. age requirements:

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
      • Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to join the hike on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

      If your group has hikers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

    • Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies. 

        • Cancellations up to 30 days before your trip date will receive a full refund minus a $50 processing fee.
        • Cancellations between 29 and 5 days before your trip date will receive a 50% refund.
        • For cancellations within 5 days of booking refunds will not be provided.
    • To get to the Yellowstone National Park, most people fly into Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, which is 3 hours away. From here, you can rent a car to get to the park. 

      Your guide can meet people at the following locations: Gardiner MT or Mammoth Hot Springs WY, Tower Junction, Norris Geyser Basin, Canyon Visitor Center

      While the price remains the same, the duration of the trip changes depending on our meeting location. Durations are not exact because wildlife jams and other unplanned circumstances can delay our end time.

      We suggest you lodge in Gardiner or somewhere else by the north entrance to the national park, since it is the closest one to the wildlife watching areas you can choose from. Once you and your guide agree on the details of the itinerary, they will suggest the exact meeting time and place, whether at the trailhead or a predetermined location.

    • Wilderness can get dangerous if you don’t have the proper skills and experience, but don’t worry — your guides carry bear spray and are trained in trail safety in Yellowstone’s bear country. They take grizzly bears seriously!

      57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

      We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, their guides, and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Yellowstone, WY, please refer to the official guidelines for air travel into the US and Yellowstone National Park’s COVID-19 guidelines.

      Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

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