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Yellowstone Tour From San Francisco: 60 hours
Tour scheduled to run on blue dates.
| ||This tour is designed to really maximize your time in Yellowstone. Unlike our 72 hour Yellowstone tour, you can arrive at the San Francisco airport after 6.30 a.m., and still leave on your tour the same day you arrive. You will still see all of Yellowstone!|
On this 60 hour Yellowstone tour you can be back in Salt Lake where the tour ends, from Yellowstone, only 60 hours from the time you left! In other words, you can leave San Francisco as late as 6.30 p.m. on the first night. The second and third days are spent touring the entire park, and on the third evening you start making you way back to Salt Lake, an hour or so after you get out of the park. You will spend the third night in a hotel in Idaho, and then have the opportunity to get back to Salt Lake as early as 6.40 a.m. on the fourth morning.
Although you can depart San Francisco as late as 6.30 p.m., we suggest that we book you on a flight out of LA no later than about 2.15 p.m., otherwise you will not get much sleep on the first night!
Please note your flight arrival details in the comments section, when you check out.
Day 1 - Flight from San Francisco to Salt Lake City - About 2 hours
| ||This tour starts at the San Francisco airport. There will be a checked luggage fee which you will need to pay. After landing you will pick up your luggage, before waiting a short while for the ride to Yellowstone.|
Day 1 - Salt Lake City to Rexburg - 239 mi / 384.55 km - About 4 hours, 30 minutes
|You will take a shuttle through northern Utah and into Idaho, before being dropped off at your motel in Rexburg, where you will spend the night. There are stops at several towns along the way. The vehicle is generally a mini bus. Breakfast tomorrow morning is included in the tour price.|
Please note that today is an unescorted part of the tour. What this means is that although you obviously have a bus driver with you at all times, there is no tour guide providing a running commentary the way there is when you are in Yellowstone.
Day 2 - Rexburg to West Yellowstone - 81 mi / 130.33 km - About 1.5 hours
|You will be picked up from your hotel shortly after 6 a.m., and travel through rural Idaho, before ascending into the Targhee National Forest. After climbing up over the Continental Divide and into Montana, you will make the short drive to West Yellowstone, arriving a little before 8 a.m.|
| ||On some days when you get to West Yellowstone, you will now be free to explore the town for a few hours, before taking the upper loop tour at about midday. Amongst other things, we suggest visiting the well known Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center (a must see). On other days, you may go straight out on a tour of one of the loops, as soon as you reach West Yellowstone. Whichever way you do it, you will tour the entire park over the next two days.|
| ||A sack lunch is provided today, and you can select lunch options when you order the tour. At the end of the day, you will be dropped off at Yellowstone Self Catering Lodging, where you will be staying.|
Day 2 - Yellowstone upper loop tour - About 8 hours
|The route that the tour takes will depend on possible road closures in the park, as well as the time of year, but it will be something like the following ...|
|There is going to be a lot to see and do. We'll head out of West Yellowstone towards Madison Junction, where the Firehole and Gibbon Rivers meet to form the Madision River. Turning left (north) we'll make for Norris Geyser Basin. Along the way we'll stop briefly at Gibbon Falls.|
Although not as well known as the other geyser basins, Norris is the most thermally active part of Yellowstone. It is divided into two separate areas: Porcelain Basin and Back Basin.
|The next stop is Mammoth Hot Springs, headquarters of the park, and home to a fascinating array of weird rock shapes, bright colors and sizzling hot springs. Elk are generally plentiful in this area, wandering around the old park buildings, and, if you're lucky, you might even see a whole herd.|
You can stroll through the ever changing terraces at Mammoth, admiring the travertine creations and hot springs.
|Leaving Mammoth we will travel towards Tower Roosevelt, which is where the road to the park's north east entrance, through the Lamar Valley, is. There is almost always wildlife to be seen in this area, even bears!|
| ||At Tower Junction we will branch off the main upper loop road, and head through the Lamar Valley, towards the north east entrance to Yellowstone. This is a particularly beautiful part of the park, and where the keen wolf watchers are generally to be found.|
| ||Everyone wants to see a bear in the wild at Yellowstone, and the trip from Tower Junction to Tower Falls is one of the best places to do so. The spring can be a great time to go looking for bears, as you have the opportunity of seeing mothers with their new born cubs. Tower Falls is an impressive water fall.|
|Assuming that it is open, the road from Tower Falls to Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone towers up into the sky as it crosses the Dunraven Pass at almost 9000 feet. We then drop down to Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.|
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is normally visited on our Lower Yellowstone Loop tour, and not this tour. Depending on the number of people on this tour who have not seen it, and how late it is, we may take the opportunity of checking out the area. The Yellowstone River has carved an impressive canyon through the rocks, over which two falls drop. The Lower Falls is over twice the size of Niagara Falls! It is in this area that you can catch a glimpse of the yellowish tinge to the rocks, from which the Yellowstone River got its name, but at a different location. We'll check out the canyon and falls from a number of different locations. You get so close to the Upper Falls that you almost feel like you can reach out and touch the thundering water. Don't!
If there is time, other areas along the route that we may visit include Obsidian Cliff, Virginia Cascade and Undine Falls.
After a long, fun-filled day, it is time to return to West Yellowstone.
| ||You are on your own for dinner and will spend the night in the same place.|
| ||A sack lunch is included today, which you can enjoy on the road.|
Day 3 - Yellowstone lower loop tour - About 8 hours
|The roads running through Yellowstone make up a massive figure of eight. The lower loop of the figure of eight comprises most of the thermal features that are to be seen in Yellowstone, including, of course, Old Faithful!|
From West Yellowstone we'll follow the Madison River to Madison Junction, where we'll turn right, or south. Depending on the time of the year, this area is often teeming with wildlife. With any luck you will see bison, elk, Trumpeter Swans and other animals and birds. A special treat in the spring is the baby bison calves.
|At Madison Junction we will turn right, or south, and follow the Firehole River which runs through the thermal areas of Yellowstone northward. The Firehole is famous amongst anglers for its pristine beauty and selection of brown, brook and rainbow trout. |
The first main thermal area we will be visiting is the Lower Geyser Basin, and Fountain Paint Pots. There is a boardwalk system running around and through the Fountain Paint Pots area, and it is a great place to go for a stroll, if the bison haven't got there first! Apart from the paint pots, there is also a selection of other thermal features in the area, including a number of geysers, one or other of which almost always seems to be erupting.
| ||The next stop is the Midway Geyser Basin, home to Grand Prismatic Spring - one of the largest anywhere in the world - as well as Excelsior Geyser, now dormant, but discharging thousands of gallons of water every minute.|
|The road from Old Faithful passes over the Continental Divide twice, on its way to West Thumb, a geyser basin right on the shores of the incredibly blue Yellowstone Lake.|
|Yellowstone Lake is off to the east as we make the trip up to Fishing Bridge. From there we head through the Hayden Valley, following the Yellowstone River, up to Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. On the way we will pass Mud Volcano.|
The Hayden Valley is known for its wildlife, particularly large herds of bison at certain times of the year. It is also an excellent location to look for grizzly bears, especially in the spring and early summer when they may be preying on newborn bison and elk cubs.
| ||The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is an unexpected treat amongst the thermal wonders. The Yellowstone River has carved an impressive canyon through the rocks, over which two falls drop. The Lower Falls is over twice the size of Niagara Falls! It is in this area that you can catch a glimpse of the yellowish tinge to the rocks, from which the Yellowstone River got its name, but at a different location. We'll check out the canyon and falls from a number of different locations. You get so close to the Upper Falls that you almost feel like you can reach out and touch the thundering water. Don't!|
| ||It is now time to go back to West Yellowstone.|
Day 3 - West Yellowstone to Salt Lake City, overnighting in Rexburg - 321 mi / 516.49 km
|The shuttle back to Salt Lake City departs at about 6 p.m. this evening. You will drive through Montana, before crossing into Idaho, and spending the night in a small town called Rexburg. The hotel is included in the tour price.|
Tomorrow morning, you can depart from Rexburg to return to Salt Lake at various times. Please note that this is an unescorted part of the tour. What this means is that although you obviously have a bus driver with you at all times, there is no tour guide providing a running commentary the way there was when you were in Yellowstone.
|The shuttle to Salt Lake this morning makes several stops along the way. You can choose from several departure times from Rexburg. The shuttle will pick you up at your hotel, and drop you off at the Salt Lake City airport, or at a central downtown location, opposite Temple Square.|
Depart 2.05 a.m. Arrive 6.40 a.m.
Depart 3.35 a.m. Arrive 8.10 a.m. (Not available on Sundays)
Depart 5.05 a.m. Arrive 9.40 a.m.
Depart 6.35 a.m. Arrive 11.10 a.m.
Depart 8.05 a.m. Arrive 12.40 p.m.
Depart 9.35 a.m. Arrive 2.10 p.m.
Please note in the comments section which one you want.
|Tour ID ||1360|
Please note the following...
- The days and dates this tour runs can be seen in the calendar at the top right of this page.
- The entry fee to Yellowstone is included.
- Three nights' accommodation are included: Two nights at the Americinn in Rexburg. One night at a self catering studio at Yellowstone Self Catering Lodging. If lodging there is sold out, you will stay at a West Yellowstone motel or cabin instead.
- Prices are based on double occupancy. Single, triple and quad occupancy rates are also available and will be seen at checkout.
- The price of this tour assumes that you book with sufficient notice. Failure to do so may result in a higher price, as a result of higher air prices. We will always let you know ahead of time if this is the case, and ask if you want to continue. There are no taxes.
- The price includes the services of a guide/driver and transportation.
- Two sack lunches and two continental breakfasts are the only meals included.
- The upper loop tour may be an afternoon tour.
- The flight departs San Francisco at an approximate time of your choosing. You can be back in Salt Lake on the fourth morning as early as 6.40 a.m., depending on which shuttle you choose.
- The tour starts at the San Francisco airport and ends at the Salt Lake City airport.
- All times are approximate. We are not responsible for the consequences of any delays, and this itinerary may change without notice.
- Portions of this tour are sub-contracted to other reputable vendors.
- After ordering this tour please wait to receive a confirmation email from us before making any plans that are dependent on this tour.
- Payment And Cancellation Details: This tour has an air leg. An amount equivalent to the cost of the flight will be charged to your card at the time we make the air booking. Half the remaining balance will be charged 45 days from the tour date, and the other half will be charged 10 or fewer days from the tour date. Once we have started work on the air leg, we will not under any circumstances accept a cancellation. Please consider purchasing trip insurance as our cancellation policy is strictly enforced, irrespective of the reason for canceling.
This tour can be ordered online here. Please call us at 1 800 724 7767 or (USA) 435 658 2227, or mail us for additional information.