Like all our tours, this is almost always a small group trip. The vehicle used generally has between nine and 14 seats. Our guides are skilled in the geology, customs, traditions, history and people of the areas through which you travel – feel free to ask all and any questions!
The route to Yellowstone goes up Interstate 15, past the Great Salt Lake and the Wasatch Mountains, before entering Idaho. At Idaho Falls you will leave the freeway behind, and start making your way through rural parts of the state. About 10 miles (16 kilometres) from West Yellowstone you go over the Continental Divide and into Montana.
When we get to West Yellowstone we will stop to get your sack lunches, before making our way into the world's first national park, and possibly the most unique!
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.
Depending on how long we spend at each location, other areas we may visit include Firehole Drive, Biscuit Basin, Fountain Flats and Black Sand Basin.
We will now retrace our steps, traveling through the various geyser basins again, stopping on the way at Firehole Lake Drive, a less visited part of the park that is home to some great hot springs and geysers. Geysers that we hope to be able to show you erupting here include White Dome as well as a couple of very small geysers.
Please be aware that park entry is not included on this tour, and you will need to pay it on arrival.
The days and dates this tour runs can be seen in the calendar at the top right of this page.
A minimum $15 per person driver gratuity is required. After your tour, if you are not happy with the service, this will be refunded.
A minimum of four people is required for this tour to operate. This is a total of four, and not four in your group alone.
The entry fee to Yellowstone is not included, and will need to be paid on arrival.
One sack lunch is the only meal included. You will have the opportunity to buy other meals.
All times are approximate. We are not responsible for the consequences of any delays, and this itinerary may change without notice.
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.
Portions of this tour may, at our discretion, be sub-contracted to other reputable vendors.
This tour departs Salt Lake City at about 5.45 a.m.
The tour gets back to the Salt Lake City airport at about 7.30 p.m.
The flight from Yellowstone back to Salt Lake City is included.
Please do not bring any checked luggage with you.
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.
The vehicle used is almost always a small mini bus, or an executive van, which is a van with individual, high back, reclining seats. On very rare occasions a 24 passenger mini bus, or coach, may be used.
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.