We offer two versions of this one day Yellowstone tour from Salt Lake City. The longer one you see on this page runs most days during the season. The shorter tour, is less expensive, but has more limited availability.
Day 1 - Salt Lake City to Yellowstone - About 1.25 hours
Our one day Yellowstone tour is an opportunity for you to take in the best that the world's first national park has to offer. This tour begins at the Salt Lake City International Airport, from where you will fly to Yellowstone. Your guide will be waiting for you when you land, and you will be inside the park literally within minutes of landing!
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 (geysers, hot springs, mud pots and fumaroles) that are to be seen in Yellowstone, including, of course, Old Faithful! These are Yellowstone's main attractions, and this, plus wildlife, is what we will be focusing on today.
We frequently get asked how often we stop inside Yellowstone. Basically we stop any time there is something to see or do, or any time there is a picture to be taken! This means that you spend a lot of time outside the vehicle, walking around, shooting images, and touring the various geyser basins and other sights on foot, rather than sitting in the vehicle all the time. Having said that, if you would rather stay closer to the vehicle, you can almost always see much of what there is to be seen without having to go too far. This tour does not involve any hiking, but rather walking around the great sights.
From West Yellowstone we'll follow the Madison River to Madison Junction. At Madison Junction we will turn right, or south, and travel along the Firehole River which runs through Yellowstone's thermal areas. The Firehole is famous amongst anglers for its pristine beauty and selection of brown, brook and rainbow trout. 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.
The first main thermal area we will be visiting is the Lower Geyser Basin, and Fountain Paint Pot. There is an extensive boardwalk system running around and through the Fountain Paint Pot 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 - plus Excelsior Geyser, now dormant, but discharging thousands of gallons of water every minute. There is also a boardwalk system through this Basin, and you will be able to explore all of it.
It is a short drive to the Upper Geyser Basin, home of Old Faithful, the world's best known and most reliable gusher. Soon you'll be watching Old Faithful erupting - no tour to Yellowstone would be complete without that! This may also be a good time to enjoy the sack lunch we have prepared for you.
There is a lot more to the Upper Geyser Basin than Old Faithful. Old Faithful Inn is a wonderful and historic old wooden building, one of the greatest in the National Park system, and well worth a visit. There are many other geysers in the area as well, and you should also be able to walk around and take in some of them.
A tour of Yellowstone is by nature very fluid. We never know what we may see around the next corner, or when we will run into a buffalo jam! For this reason, this itinerary may change.
Leaving Yellowstone's main geyser basins behind us, we will take a delightful drive north, up the west side of the lower loop, viewing several interesting thermal features on the way, before we stop for photos at Gibbon Falls, on the Gibbon River.
A little further up the road is Norris Geyser Basin, which is the most thermally active part of Yellowstone. Norris actually consists of two geyser basins, Back Basin and Porcelain Basin, and we'll take a look at both. Steamboat Geyser, the world's highest geyser is to be found in Back Basin, but the chances of seeing it erupt are slim. As the name suggest, however, there is always steam spewing forth from this gusher.
Roaring Mountain is an uprising in the land, which is full of fumaroles, and there will be a brief photo stop there.
Another highlight of this Yellowstone tour is Mammoth Hot Springs. In addition to the ever changing terraces, Mammoth is Yellowstone's headquarters, and where the US Army was based when it was sent to the park to combat poaching. There is an elk herd that hangs out at Mammoth, and the contrast between the wild animals and historic buildings always makes for a great photo.
From Mammoth we'll make our way past the Boiling River and the 45th Parallel, through an area known for its bighorn sheep, before we come to the historic Roosevelt Arch, just outside Yellowstone's north entrance. There is also a possibility that you may see pronghorn in this area. We'll continue north, through very rural Montana, until we reach the small town of Livingston, where we will pick up Interstate 90, and continue towards Bozeman.
This tour is subject to a 4.00% per person fuel surcharge.
Payment And Cancellation Details: CANCELLATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED FOR THIS TOUR. Changes will also not be accepted, and refunds will not be given. Please consider purchasing trip insurance as our cancellation policy is strictly enforced. The payment schedule is as follows: This tour has an air leg. The cost of the flight, plus half of the remaining balance will be charged any time from when you make the booking. The final balance will be charged 30 or fewer days from the tour date, at our discretion.
The credit/debit card used must be in your name and must be present, so we can take an imprint. Please contact us if this is not possible. If the card is not in your name please let us know ahead of time, as our credit card authorization process will need to be completed.
A purported or attempted cancellation will result in the entire amount being due, and being charged to your card immediately.
The name on your credit card statement will be USA Park Tours.
The days and dates this tour runs can be seen in the calendar at the top right of this page.
This tour starts and ends at the Salt Lake City airport.
We need a minimum of two people for this tour to depart. This is a total of two, and not two in your group.
The entry fee to Yellowstone is not included, and must be paid on arrival at the park.
All times are approximate. We are not responsible for the consequences of any delays, and this itinerary may change without notice.
The flights to and from Yellowstone are included.
After ordering this tour please wait to receive a confirmation email from us before making any plans that are dependent on this tour.
The price includes the services of a guide/driver.
A sack lunch is included. You will have the opportunity to buy other meals.
Portions of this tour may, at our discretion, be subcontracted to other reputable vendors.
If you leave it too late to book this tour, the price may be higher, due to higher flight prices. We will always advise you ahead of time if this is the case and ask if you want to continue.
We would rather you not bring checked luggage, but if you have to, please be aware that there are checked bag fees, which you will need to pay.