Leaving Big Sky we’ll head south and enter a small portion of Yellowstone that is separated from the rest of the park by a small mountain range, before traveling to the small town of West Yellowstone. We will enter Yellowstone National Park at West Yellowstone, and make our way through the vibrant Madison Valley with its elk herd, towards Madison Junction. We’ll turn left or north at Madison Junction, towards the upper loop and Norris Geyser Basin, where you will visit both Porcelain Basin and Back Basin. The road to Mammoth Hot Springs goes past Roaring Mountain, and then alongside both Swan Lake and Golden Gate, before dropping down to Fort Yellowstone at Mammoth Hot Springs, which is Yellowstone’s headquarters.
You can explore the ever changing travertine terraces before we make our way towards the Lamar Valley, and the road to Yellowstone’s north east entrance. The Lamar Valley is known for its wildlife, with bison, elk, pronghorn, coyote and bighorn sheep amongst the species frequenting the area. This part of Yellowstone is also the best place to try and find wolves, and there is also a chance of seeing bears.
Rejoining the upper loop, we will travel towards Tower Falls, before making our way over Dunraven Pass, the highest road in Yellowstone. Dropping down the other side we’ll arrive at Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, which you will visit tomorrow. Today’s tour ends at the small town of West Yellowstone, located at Yellowstone’s west entrance, where you will spend the night.
The next day we will enter Yellowstone National Park at the west entrance, and make our way through the vibrant Madison Valley with its elk herd, towards Madison Junction. At this point we join Yellowstone’s lower loop, and will travel to the part of the park where the main geyser basins are located.
The first of these is the Lower Geyser Basin, home to Fountain Paint Pot, followed by the Midway Geyser Basin and both Excelsior Geyser and Grand Prismatic Spring. Old Faithful and the Upper Geyser Basin are just a short distance up the road. Time permitting, other locations we may visit in this part of the park include Firehole Lake Drive, as well as Biscuit and Black Sand Basins.
West Thumb Geyser Basin, on the east side of the Continental Divide, and lying alongside Yellowstone Lake, is the next major stop. From there we will continue north on the lower loop, past Lake Hotel and Fishing Bridge, to the Hayden Valley, where you can expect to see a lot of wildlife.
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, an unexpected surprise amongst the thermal wonders, is close by, and we will visit both the north and south rims of the Canyon, taking in the Upper and Lower Yellowstone Falls. We will head west across the road that divides Yellowstone’s lower loop from the upper loop, and make our way back to West Yellowstone, and then north to Big Sky, where you will be dropped off at your hotel.
Please be aware that the following details may apply to your tour.