Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Private Tours In Yellowstone Assure a Customized, Educational Vacation

April 14, 2010, 12:29 pm

Much as it has been for tourists for many decades, discovering new facets of Yellowstone National Park makes for a fascinating and unforgettable visit. To assist travelers in getting the most out of the park, the Yellowstone Association Institute (YAI) leads day tours for small groups covering wildlife, geology, natural history and hiking as well as the opportunity to explore parts of the park that 49 out of 50 visitors never see.
 
“Our Private Tours round out a comprehensive lineup of offerings and serve the needs of small groups who seek get as much out of their time in the park as they possibly can,” said Jeff Brown, director of education for the Yellowstone Association Institute.
 
YAI naturalist—guides pick up groups at one of various locations throughout the park or at the YAI Yellowstone Overlook group lodging facility. The goal of the tours is to enhance the visitor experience and foster a greater appreciation of the park. This private small group setting, under the leadership of an expert naturalist—guide, creates an unforgettable personal experience. Tours last approximately eight hours and start in the morning at various locations throughout the park. A popular option is reserve several single-day programs covering different topics to create a multi-day adventure.
 
An Institute naturalist—guide shows participants where, when and how to look for animals using high-powered spotting scopes and binoculars. The hiking trips enable visitors to explore backcountry trails with an experienced guide. Private Tours appeal especially to families and other small groups that want an introduction to Yellowstone wildlife, geology or hiking or an advanced look into aspects of the park they have not been able to explore before.
 
Specific YAI Private Tours are:
Wildlife Watching on the Northern Range. The group spends the day observing the diverse and abundant wildlife of Yellowstone’s Northern Range, the hotbed of wildlife in Yellowstone. Naturalist—guides demonstrate techniques for searching for wildlife using binoculars and spotting scopes while sharing insights about biology and ecology.
 
Natural History and Geology: Yellowstone Lake and Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Groups explore the natural and geologic history of the Yellowstone Lake Area, and the spectacular Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. Activities include searching for wildlife in the rich Hayden Valley and learning about the Yellowstone volcano while taking strolls among geological features.
 
Geysers, Mudpots, and Hot Springs: Old Faithful Area is the name of the tour that lets participants learn about how the various hydrothermal features form and act as they view the world’s greatest concentration of them.
 
Day Hiking in Yellowstone. This active tour includes carefully chosen hikes that allow participants to explore Yellowstone’s diverse landscape and learn the basics of safe, low-impact backcountry travel. Working with an Institute naturalist—guide skilled in backcountry travel, the group determines which hikes match its ability level and interests.
 
Custom Backpacking. For the traveler seeking a more strenuous adventure, YAI will provide a backpacking expert to lead an expedition to the park’s backcountry where only two percent of the park’s 3 million annual visitors get to see the park’s hidden gems.
 
Standard daily rates are $495 for one to five participants, $650 for six to 13 participants and $1,300 for 14 to 26 participants. Custom trips are available as well. Participants should call for rates. Yellowstone Association members receive a $10 discount on all courses, and family memberships begin at just $35 per year. Instruction, spotting scopes, binoculars, snacks and in-park transportation, are provided. Participants bring their own meals and water.
 
The Institute also offers Field Seminars and Lodging & Learning programs. Field seminars are multi-day courses taught by experts focusing on topics such as wildlife, geology, history and more. Lodging & Learning programs combine field experiences with a YAI naturalist/guide during the day and comfortable lodging in park hotels at night.
 
To make reservations for a Field Seminar or Private Tour, call 406-848-2400; for Lodging & Learning program reservations, call 866-439-7375. For more information on any Institute program, go to YellowstoneAssociation.org.