The 60 hour Yellowstone tour from Salt Lake City enables you to depart Salt Lake City as late as 10 pm on the first day and still be on tour in Yellowstone the next morning!
From Salt Lake you will travel by shuttle to a small town in east Idaho, where you will spend the night. Early the next morning, you’ll be taken to West Yellowstone, where your Yellowstone adventure will start. You will be touring both Yellowstone’s lower loop as well as the upper loop over the next two days.
You can do the loops in either order but let’s assume you do the upper loop first. Our main target today is Yellowstone’s wildlife, but we’ll also take in several thermal features. From West Yellowstone we’ll travel through the Madison Valley before heading for Norris Geyser Basin, where the upper and lower loops meet. There are two geyser basins at Norris, Back and Porcelain Basins, and we’ll tour through parts of both of them.
There will be several stops as we travel along the west side of the upper loop, towards Mammoth Hot Springs, passing the aptly named Roaring Mountain on the way. Our next major stop is the Lamar Valley, known for its abundant wildlife, and a small chance of seeing a wolf.
After stopping off at Tower Falls, we’ll climb up over Dunraven Pass, the highest road in Yellowstone, before dropping down the other side towards Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, which we will visit tomorrow. Today’s tour ends in West Yellowstone, where you will spend the night.
The following day you will tour the lower loop, passing again through the Madison Valley, before taking in the three main geyser basins. The first stop is at the Lower Geyser Basin, where you’ll walk around the boardwalk, taking in Fountain Paint Pot, other mud pots, and various hot springs, fumaroles and geysers.
Next up is the Midway Geyser and Excelsior Geyser, now extinct, plus Grand Prismatic Spring. You’ll recognize Grand Prismatic as soon as you see it – it’s a Yellowstone icon!
The Upper Geyser Basin and Old Faithful are a short distance down the road, and there is a lot to see and do there, including watching Old Faithful erupt! The historic Old Faithful Inn is a must see, and there are hundreds of other thermal features to check out in the area. If there is enough time, we may even detour to one or more of the smaller geyser basins, including Biscuit Basin and Black Sand Basin.
We’ll make our way over the Continental Divide towards West Thumb Geyser Basin, right on the shores of Yellowstone Lake. There is once again a boardwalk system to explore.
Continuing around the lower loop, we’ll stop at Mud Volcano, and then pass through the Hayden Valley, which is normally teeming with wildlife, before taking in the amazing views at Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. We’ll start at Artist Point, and then cross over to the other side of the Canyon, and check out several of the viewpoints there.
It’s time to start our way back to West Yellowstone, stopping at Gibbon Falls, and then traversing the Madison Valley again. You should have a short opportunity to do some souvenir shopping, before the shuttle takes you back to your hotel in east Idaho. Tomorrow you have a choice of shuttle times back to Salt Lake, with the earliest dropping you back at the Salt Lake Airport shortly after 6 am.
Please be aware that the following details may apply to your tour.