THE YELLOWSTONE EXPERIENCE
“A Wildlife Safari” June 19 & July 31, 2017
Map and Highlights - This tour is a "Guaranteed Departure"
Price Per Person: Twin - $ 1,995.00
Day 1: SALT LAKE CITY - IDAHO FALLS
Today, your western adventure begins! Fly into Salt Lake City and meet your tour director at the Airport by 1:00pm. (*Please arrive at the Salt Lake Airport before 1:00pm). Depart and travel north into Idaho and pass through fertile farmland where Idaho’s famous potatoes are grown. Arrive Idaho Falls and your hotel right on the bank of the Snake River for a one night stay. Tonight join the group for a welcome dinner. Hilton Garden Inn, Idaho Falls, ID (D)
Day 2: YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
Depart Idaho Falls and continue north along the west side of the Teton Range through Island Park on the famed Henry’s Fork River. After a rest stop in West Yellowstone, enter Yellowstone National Park for sightseeing. The world’s first national park is a wonderland of natural beauty and geologic oddities that has delighted visitors over 100 years. It is a mysterious land of steaming geysers, fumaroles and bubbling mud pots. A land so amazing that the first explorers to bring back tales of Yellowstone were called liars. Today you will visit the centerpiece of the park, Old Faithful! There will be plenty of time to explore the area, witness an eruption of the world's most famous geyser and have lunch on your own. After enjoying Old Faithful, explore more of the geyser basins including Midway Geyser Basin and Fountain Paint Pots. Travel along the beautiful Madison River as you return to West Yellowstone and check in for a two night stay. The evening is free for dinner on own. Gray Wolf Inn & Suites, West Yellowstone, MT (B)
DAY 3: YELLOWSTONE WILDLIFE SAFARI
This morning enjoy touring of the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center where you will gain insight into the lives of Yellowstone’s two top predators. The mission of this center is to educate the public and give them a chance to uniquely experience the grizzly bears and grey wolves. A naturalist on staff will lead a guided tour of the facility, and then there will be free time to wander through the exhibits and enjoy a variety of presentations on bears, wolves, birds of prey and more. Then enjoy some free time to explore West Yellowstone and have lunch on your own. This afternoon, depart on a Yellowstone Wildlife Safari. After breaking into small groups, you will meet your local naturalist guide and return to Yellowstone National Park for an afternoon and evening of exploration. First, travel through Norris Geyser Basin, then make your way to Mammoth Hot Springs for a walk through the colorful terraced formations of calcium carbonate that continues to change and grow. Next travel east into the beautiful Lamar Valley where the search for wildlife begins in earnest. Your expert guides will provide high quality optics to help you locate and view a wide variety of wildlife. Enjoy a picnic dinner as the sun begins its slow descent, the best time of the day to view wildlife. Keep the cameras ready: elk, bison, moose, wolves and bear frequently make an appearance in these areas at dusk. It will be a late return to West Yellowstone after an unforgettable experience in Yellowstone. Gray Wolf Inn & Suites, West Yellowstone, MT (B,D)
DAY 4: YELLOWSTONE - GRAND TETONS
Depart West Yellowstone and return to Yellowstone National Park for another great day of sightseeing. First visit the awe-inspiring "Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone," with a chance to see both Upper and Lower falls, where the mighty Yellowstone River has cut its way through sheer rock to cascade down hundreds of feet to the foaming torrents below. Next, drive through scenic Hayden Valley, famous for large herds of buffalo and other wildlife. Travel the shores of Yellowstone Lake as you travel south with a stop for lunch on own along the way. In the late afternoon, exit Yellowstone via the South Gate and enter Grand Teton National Park. Visit historic Jackson Lake Lodge which is listed on the National Historic Register and boasts 60 foot windows that perfectly frame the Tetons. An agreement between the U.S. and Soviet governments signed here in 1989 led to an end of the cold war. Enjoy picture perfect views of Jackson Lake and the Tetons from scenic points such as Oxbow Bend, the Snake River Overlook and more. This evening arrive at the Hatchet Resort and check in for a two night stay. The Hatchet Resort is a historic gem nestled in the Buffalo Valley. Fully renovated in the spring of 2014, the Hatchet offers a glimpse of the life of early settlers to Jackson Hole. Built in 1954, the Hatchet is honored to be listed with the Teton County Historical Preservation Board. Uniquely situated at the gateway to both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park, the Hatchet combines western charm with an authentic Jackson Hole experience. Dinner will be included at the hotel restaurant. Hatchet Resort, Moran, WY (B,D)
DAY 5: SNAKE RIVER - JACKSON - GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK
Start the day early as you return to Grand Teton National Park and enjoy a Scenic Float Trip on the Snake River. With this giant mountain range as a backdrop, you will see the wildlife, the flora, and the sheer magnitude of nature. Your river guide will point out wildlife, explain the geology of the area and tell stories about local history and folklore. It will be a morning to remember. Next visit the fun western town of Jackson with free time to explore and have lunch on your own. This old cowboy town is now home to hundreds of art galleries, shops, attractions and restaurants but still maintains an old west charm. Later in the afternoon, return northward with additional sightseeing of Grand Teton National Park with picture stops at various scenic view points along the way including Jenny Lake which offers unique photo taking opportunities. Return to your hotel with a little time to relax and freshen up before you join the group for a fun western style BBQ dinner and cowboy entertainment with a view of the Tetons! What a wonderful way to end an incredible day. Hatchet Resort, Moran, WY (B,D)
DAY 6: JACKSON - SALT LAKE CITY
We will travel in three states today: Wyoming, Idaho, and Utah, on our way to Salt Lake City. Drive through rugged Snake River Canyon, then pass through the pastoral Star Valley, which is a fertile farming valley that stretches across the Idaho border. We’ll make a stop at picturesque Bear Lake for an included lunch with a view of the lake. Next travel through beautiful Logan Canyon and then along the shore of the Great Salt Lake on your way to Salt Lake City for a driving tour of this premier western city. After checking into a downtown hotel, join the group for a special farewell dinner at The Roof restaurant overlooking Temple Square. Red Lion, Salt Lake City, UT (B,L,D)
DAY 7: HOME
This morning enjoy the “heavenly singing” of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (choir schedule permitting). Then plan on a 12:00PM or later flight, as transfers will be provided to the airport. You will take not only the memories of incredible scenic attractions, but also the friendships of those who have shared these days with you. (B)
Please Note - * This tour requires average physical activity. Participants should be in good health, able to climb stairs and walk reasonable distances, possibly over uneven ground or unpaved trails. This tour covers areas of higher altitudes including overnight locations above 6,000 ft. and touring above 8,000 ft.
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