Montana & Wyoming: Yellowstone

Guided Walking Tour, Montana & Wyoming: YellowstoneGuided Walking Tour, Montana & Wyoming: Yellowstone

Montana & Wyoming

Yellowstone

overview

 

In this primeval land, natural spectacle has remained unchanged for millennia. Skyscraping moun­tains and broad valleys shelter extraordinary wildlife, epic vistas, and waterfalls, along with half the geothermal rarities—mudpots, fumaroles, geysers—on Earth. Your journey will reveal all the legendary sights: the ethereal, terraced beauty of Mammoth Hot Springs, glowing colors of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, monumental Old Faithful, serene Hayden Valley. You’ll go deeper into the park than most ever do, finding hidden thermal springs, jeweled lakes, blooming meadows, and river basins filled with vast bison herds. Grizzlies, wolves, elk, moose, pelicans, and other rare species traverse these awe-inspiring open places. At night, relax by the fireplace at historic waterfront Lake Yellowstone Hotel or in the heated pool of a 200-acre ranch, and admire this dramatic wilderness…the pride of the American West.

 

Activity Level
Easy to moderate;
5-6 miles daily
Meet
Bozeman, Montana
Depart
Bozeman, Montana
Daily Itinerary
Download printable
itinerary
Reading List
Recommended
pre-trip reading
Guided Walking 
6 days, 5 nights Trip Includes 

Trip Includes

  • Two expert, local guides (for groups of 8 or more), with you 24/7
  • All meals included; wine or beer included with dinners
  • All accommodations while on tour
  • Transportation from the meeting to the departure point
  • Entrance fees and special events as noted in the itinerary
  • The unbeatable and cumulative experience of the Country Walkers staff
per person double occupancy
Single supplement + $895
 

Solo surcharge + $0
 

Call 800.234.6900 to book this trip.

REQUEST RESERVATION
Number of Travelers
Total in your party
Price From
per person double occupancy

Call 800.234.6900 to book this trip.

REQUEST RESERVATION

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Itinerary and Accommodations

Days
Destination
1
Yellowstone National Park
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2
Yellowstone National Park
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3
West Yellowstone
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4
West Yellowstone
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5
West Yellowstone
View on map
6
West Yellowstone
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Day 1

Yellowstone National Park

Arrival in Bozeman; Mammoth Hot Spring Terraces; 1-2 miles, easy

You meet your guides and group in Bozeman, in southwest Montana, established in the mid-19th century as an offshoot of the Oregon Trail. You soon set out in your van(s) on the scenic 2-hour drive to the town of West Yellowstone, Montana. After following the Gallatin River south, your first steps in Yellowstone National Park are in its beautifully remote northern section, along a flat, easy trail paralleling the meandering Bacon Rind Creek through a verdant valley surrounded by high mountain peaks. Entering hushed stands of pines and fir, you emerge in a valley opening up to the Gallatin River. A short climb culminates at a meadow, habitat for moose, elk, and deer, and a perfect spot for a picnic lunch before returning on the same trail.

By late afternoon you reach your home for the next three nights, a guest ranch just outside the west entrance of Yellowstone Park near West Yellowstone, a mountain town at over 6,666 feet. Situated on 200 acres on the South Fork of the Madison River, here you can unwind in plush Western-style comfort, surrounded by breathtaking views. You may enjoy a cocktail by the fire in the ranch’s Great Room before proceeding to a dinner in its fine dining room and grill.

Bar N Ranch

West Yellowstone

Located just 6 miles from the Yellowstone National Park entrance, an elegant and authentic Western ranch on 200 acres offers spectacular vistas of mountains and rivers, a grand three-sided fireplace in the great room, and spacious rooms, as well as an outdoor heated pool and hot tub.

Day 2

Yellowstone National Park

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone; 5 miles, easy to moderate

Returning into Yellowstone National Park, today’s walk begins through lush forests and blooming meadows before arriving at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. This 1,200-foot-deep chasm reflects the bright red, yellow, and orange colors of volcanic rhyolite, hydrothermally altered and cooled some 600,000 years ago. In fact, the name Yellowstone is thought to come from a translation of native Minnetaree “Rock Yellow River” by 18th-century French trappers as “roche jaune,” and later by American trappers into its English name. The canyon is approximately 24 miles in total length, and you follow a trail along the rim above the rushing Yellowstone River. The route continues on to a lunch spot overlooking the spectacular Hayden Valley, famous for its congregations of big game. This valley, actually an old lake bed formed by glaciers in the last ice age, is home to swans, great blue herons, Canada geese, elk, deer, bison, and, occasionally, wolves, grizzly, and black bear.

Once back at the ranch, there is time to unwind in your spacious room and perhaps in the outdoor hot tub (or in your room’s jetted spa tub). You gather again for dinner in the ranch’s dining room, where you may enjoy a steak grilled to perfection, accompanied by a Cabernet from the extensive wine list.

Bar N Ranch

West Yellowstone

Located just 6 miles from the Yellowstone National Park entrance, an elegant and authentic Western ranch on 200 acres offers spectacular vistas of mountains and rivers, a grand three-sided fireplace in the great room, and spacious rooms, as well as an outdoor heated pool and hot tub.

Day 3

West Yellowstone

Lone Star Geyser; 5.4 miles, easy

After breakfast at the ranch, you drive back into the park to the trailhead of Lone Star Geyser. An easy walk on an old road closed many years ago along the Firehole River, you pass through forests of pine, fir, and spruce and several grassy meadows. Where the road ends, Lone Star Geyser comes into view—resembling a candle that has burned almost to its base. One of Yellowstone’s largest cones at 12 feet, this geyser predictably erupts at 3-hour intervals, lasting 30 minutes and spewing a water-and-steam plume 30-50 feet high. A nearby logbook records the last eruption, so you know how long your wait may be. Return is by the same service road.

This evening you enjoy a feast in the ranch’s dining room, perhaps opting for the rack of lamb with huckleberry mint jelly or Rocky Mountain trout.

Bar N Ranch

West Yellowstone

Located just 6 miles from the Yellowstone National Park entrance, an elegant and authentic Western ranch on 200 acres offers spectacular vistas of mountains and rivers, a grand three-sided fireplace in the great room, and spacious rooms, as well as an outdoor heated pool and hot tub.

Day 4

West Yellowstone

Old Faithful; 6 miles, easy

This morning, after breakfast, you depart the ranch making your way to your next hotel, one of the few log hotels still standing in the U.S. An example of the “National Park Rustic” style, the Old Faithful Inn was built in 1903-04 using local lodgepole pine and rhyolite stone. From the inn, you depart on foot to the Upper Geyser Basin, the largest concentration of geysers on the planet. Starting on the boardwalks, you leave the crowds behind as you follow the path to Biscuit Basin. Early settlers named the basin after the biscuit-shaped “sinter mounds” formed by deposits of minerals precipitated out of the water. Sinter also forms the scalloped edges around hot pools, ornate cones around geysers, and terraces which form the basin’s numerous runoff channels.

Crossing the bridge over the Firehole River, you travel through a regenerating lodgepole pine forest to Mystic Falls, where the river tumbles 70 feet down the rhyolite cliffs of the Madison Plateau—the perfect spot for a picnic. Nearby thermal features produce steam along the flanks of the river’s edge. Your route travels a more remote part of the Upper Geyser Basin as it leads you back to the park’s largest and best-known geyser, Old Faithful. As its name implies, Old Faithful is famous for the regularity and frequency of its 100- to 185-foot eruptions.

Returning to the inn on foot, you have time to relax before dinner and perhaps enjoy a drink on the porch while viewing another show from the geysers.

Old Faithful Inn

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987, and the world’s largest log hotel, the inn offers clear views of the iconic Old Faithful geyser. The grand multistory lobby of twisted and curved branches with its massive stone fireplace evokes memories of the Golden Age of rustic grand resorts.

Day 5

West Yellowstone

Mt. Washburn; 6 miles, moderate; 1,384-ft. elevation gain

An ample breakfast fuels you for the spectacular walk to the summit of Mt. Washburn—presiding at 10,264 feet over the entire Greater Yellowstone ecosystem, with views extending to the Grand Tetons, 75 miles to the south. Part of the Washburn Range, one of two mountain ranges entirely located within the national park, the peak was named in honor of the 19th-century expedition leader, Henry Washburn. Both a stagecoach and a wagon road in the past, the wide trail provides clear views of seven different mountain ranges, including the Beartooth, Absaroka, and the snowcapped Spanish Peaks. In July and August, the slopes are awash in blossoming wildflowers and grasses, a colorful palette of lupine, asters, buttercups, alpine harebell, forget-me-nots, and light green, silvery sage. Reaching the rocky summit, your efforts are rewarded with spectacular views and a welcome picnic lunch. You descend by the same wide trail, returning by late afternoon to your hotel to relax before dinner.

This evening you enjoy a final feast in the historical log-cabin ambience of the lodge’s dining room, celebrating the day’s hike, and your adventures in one of America’s classic national parks.

Old Faithful Inn

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987, and the world’s largest log hotel, the inn offers clear views of the iconic Old Faithful geyser. The grand multistory lobby of twisted and curved branches with its massive stone fireplace evokes memories of the Golden Age of rustic grand resorts.

Day 6

West Yellowstone

Mammoth Hot Spring Terraces; 1-2 miles, easy. Departure from Bozeman

Leaving Yellowstone National Park this morning, you depart for Bozeman, Montana, exiting the park through its North Entrance. Following the Yellowstone River through Paradise Valley, you make a stop en route for one final walk among the Mammoth Terraces. The uniquely colorful and steamy tiers for which this area is named represent an incredible natural process—underground magma heats groundwater that flows through limestone as it rises to the earth’s surface. The limestone is then re-deposited as travertine, stacked up as terraces that are brilliantly colored by bacteria thriving in the hot water. It is common to see elk, which are attracted to these salty steamy terraces. After this easy walk, you continue on the approximately 2-hour drive to Bozeman, saying goodbye either at the Bozeman Airport or in downtown Bozeman.

Itinerary Disclaimer

Bear in mind that this is a typical itinerary, and the actual activities, sites, and accommodations may vary due to season, special events, weather, or transportation schedules. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary since tour arrangements are made up to a year in advance, and unforeseen circumstances that mandate change may arise. Itinerary changes are made to improve the tour and your experience. If you are currently booked on a CW adventure, an itinerary has been sent to you for your exact departure date. Please call CW at 800.464.9255 if you have any questions about the exact itinerary or hotels selected for any of our tours.

Guides

Dave Akers

Dave has worked as a year-round guide in Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons for the past 15 years. Prior to living in Montana for 30 years, Dave grew up near the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. In addition to guiding he enjoys his family, hiking, biking, kayaking, fishing, and most outdoor activities.

Brenda Goltz

Brenda has lived and guided in Yellowstone National Park for the past 10 years. A dedicated environmentalist and educator, she loves sharing her passion for the area with Country Walkers guests. Brenda is also an active volunteer assisting with wetland and habitat restoration projects and a graduate of NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School). In her free time she guides ski trips, teaches yoga and coaches youth in nordic skiing.

Scott Carsley

Scott has a deep passion for the outdoors and our natural surroundings. As owner of Yellowstone Alpen Guides for over twenty five years, he has guided, recruited, and trained guides for both our Montana Yellowstone and Family Yellowstone tours. With a degree in geology, Scott understands the intricacies of Yellowstone’s diverse geological make up, and imparts, and generously shares his knowledge with guests on our tours.

Guest Comments

A. Candia, Pennsylvania, July 2009

CW offers the opportunity to experience a locale in a truly authentic way. From the local lodgings to the superb guides, delicious local cuisine, unique landscapes, and encouters with the local inhabitants (both 2 footed and 4 footed!), the travel experience is uniquie and memorable.

B. Gray, North Carolina, August 2008

From beginning to end it was a truly memorable trip–great scenery, great guides, great food and now, so many new friends that I feel like I’ve known forever!

J. Townsend, Pennsylvania, July 2011

The scenery was beautiful, the geological stuff was fascinating, we learned a lot about Yellowstone and saw lots of wildlife.

E. Hamblen, Florida, July 2011

It is difficult to rate Yellowstone after the seeing something as awesome as Iceland. The staff were fine. Before Iceland was New Zealand so I've seen lots of hot spots and Geysers before I got to Yellowstone.

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