Yellowstone National Park
Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park is America’s first national park. Located in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, it is home to an astounding variety of wildlife including grizzly bears, wolves, bison, and elk. Preserved within Yellowstone National Park are Old Faithful and a collection of the world’s most extraordinary geysers and hot springs, and the stunning ‘Grand Canyon’ of the Yellowstone. And being only 45 minutes from most of our properties, this is a MUST SEE on the agenda for most visitors.
A trademark of the American West, this vast stretch of pristine landscape is a destination for millions of visitors every year. West Yellowstone and western border of the park are just 18 miles from Big Sky. Scenic driving routes, hiking trails, fishing access points, guided tours, and camping options are all things with which we can help you, any time of year.
Here are a few sample tours:
The Lower Loop Tour:
The tour begins at the West Yellowstone Entrance, 30 minutes from the ranch, and an area which can be good for wildlife, especially in the spring. The tour continues with a visit to Gibbon Falls, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Lower Falls, Upper Falls and Crystal Falls and the Hayden Valley. This trip will break in the Lake or Old Faithful area for lunch. In the afternoon it is off to Old Faithful to visit the geyser and Inn. There will be a short hike at the Fountain Paint Pots and a visit to Firehole Lake Drive. Common Wildlife: Elk, bison are common; coyotes, grizzly bears and moose are sometimes spotted in the spring and fall. The Bison Rut is in mid August.
Geysers and thermal activity is at its best in the warmer summer months.
Yellowstone in a Day:
This tour will take you to the best of Yellowstone’s Upper and Lower Loops. First you will visit Old Faithful, before traveling over to Yellowstone Lake for a picnic lunch. After lunch, the tour will visit the Lake Hotel, the Hayden Valley and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone including Upper and Lower falls. After the Canyon, the tour will continue to Mammoth for a short hike through the brightly colored hot spring terraces. The tour will also visit the Fountain Paint Pots or the Mud Volcano. Common Wildlife: Elk, Bison and sometimes Coyotes and Bears, Eagles and water fowl
Beartooth Highway and Wildlife Safari:
This tour will take you into some of the most spectacular countryside in the Lower 48 States. Charles Kuralt has even called this stretch of highway, straddling the Montana and Wyoming boarder, the most beautiful in America. The tour will be begin from West Yellowstone with a trip to the Lamar Valley, considered America’s Serengetti because of the large numbers and varieties of wildlife. The tour will continue will beyond Cooke City climbing over the 10,947 Beartooth Pass with the view stretching for miles into Yellowstone and plains of Montana and Wyoming. The highway also gives you unforgettable views into the Absorka Beartooth and North Absorka wilderness areas, some of the largest tracks of roadless land left in the Lower 48 States. The tour will break for a box lunch at one of the numerous high alpine lakes, many of which above the tree line, many above the tundra line (the point where most vegetation will not grow. On the Montana side of the Pass, visitors are greeted with a 4,500 foot vertical drop down into the Rock Creek Canyon. Snow clings to the walls year around. Visitors in May, June and July will be treated to watching skiers navigating some of the most extreme terrain found in the Rockies. Common Wildlife: Because of the wide variety of terrain and elevations found on this tour, it is possible, especially Memorial Day through the Forth of July, to see every specie of wildlife found in the Yellowstone area. Elk and Bison are viewed every tour. Pronghorn, Black Bears, Grizzly Bears, Wolves, Coyotes, Mule Deer are fairly common in the spring and are still possible to view throughout the year. Big Horn Sheep, Mountain Goats and Moose are also a possibility.