Witness Wolves and Other Wintering Wildlife in Yellowstone

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A week-long wildlife expedition with Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris exposes you

to the wonders of wildlife in winter

Jackson Hole and Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks are where the wild beasts roam yearlong. But joining a multi-day expedition into the parks for winter wildlife viewing, tremendous scenery and experiencing the solitude of this snowy season is an even more special kind of priceless—not to mention a bucket list item you’ll always remember.

 

Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris now offers a winter seven-day, guided tour throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem with the cherry on top being the ability to witness wolves in the wild. While some species migrate to warmer climates or hibernate, wolves thrive during the winter here, and especially in Yellowstone National Park.

 

“The decision was made to expand to the seven-day itineraries in order to access the interior of Yellowstone in winter,” said Jenny Fitzgerald, naturalist guide, wildlife biologist and sustainability coordinator for Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris. “The only way in or out is by snowmobile or snowcoach, and that takes time. We wanted to include that piece for this itinerary because seeing the national park during the wintertime is such an exceptional experience.”

 

Spotting wolves in the snow can be easier than in summertime when they are well covered by varying vegetation.

To fully appreciate the splendor and regality of the grey wolf in its natural habitat, you must experience it for yourself. The search for the wolf during this tour—dubbed “Yellowstone Revealed”—allows you a wonderful window into the wild terrain that is the home of the apex predator. Wolves are the top predator of the ecosystem in the winter, not having to compete with bears often, and are well adapted to survive. The animals grow thick winter coats for the low temperatures, showing off their brilliant color patterns.

 

The professional naturalist guides will lead you on a once-in-a-lifetime experience to explore the wildlife of winter during this seven day, six-night excursion into the parks and around Jackson Hole. The exploration includes lodging, most meals, national park entrance fees and guide gratuity. One important aspect that sets Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris apart from any other tour company is that these multi-day expeditions are limited to six people so that each guest has access to the guide and in turn, that the guide can individualize the safari for each guest.

“The experience is richer, the opportunities to track, study and photograph wildlife are better and you’ll walk away with an incredible understanding of the area,” said Jason Williams, owner of Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris.

 

“Each guest has input on what they’d like to see the most or what they’d like to discover on their trip.”

 

The itinerary that is put together is merely a framework for the safari. For instance, on Day One, you’ll meet in the early evening at Gallery Wild—owned and operated by both Jason and his artist wife, Carrie Wild—for a guide introduction and expedition orientation. For dinner, you’re free to explore the town of Jackson on your own. Day Five features going into the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park in search of wolves and other wildlife. This valley is referred to as the “Serengeti of North America” because such a variety of wildlife—such as bison, coyote, moose and elk—are found there. Overnight accommodations will be at the Mammoth Hotel in Mammoth Hot Springs.

 

Perhaps most importantly, participants are not restricted by scheduled hourly stops or rehearsed presentations.

 

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“The goal of each day is to involve guests in discussions and discovery, not just talk at them,” Jason stresses.

 

A few highlights of these trips include visiting the National Elk Refuge in Jackson where thousands of elk hunker down in winter, experiencing an Old Faithful eruption and checking out the incredible Artists’ Paintpots in Yellowstone where you’ll see mud pots, one of five dominant thermal features in the park.

 

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The dates for this new, extraordinary winter offering are Jan. 11 to Jan. 17, 2020, Jan. 18 to 24, Feb. 1 to 7, and Feb. 8 to 14. The itinerary works in reverse (i.e. starts in Bozeman, Montana, and ends in Jackson) for the Jan. 11 and Feb. 1 trip dates. The cost is $5,995 per person with a six guest maximum. The age limit is 8 years old, but private tours have no age requirement.

 

For more details and to make reservations, visit jacksonholewildlifesafaris.com.

Julie Butler
julie@circ.biz

Julie Butler is the editor of Jackson Hole Traveler. She has been making a living for many moons as a journalist, newspaper and magazine editor, and national magazine copywriter. The mother of four adult children, she relocated from Connecticut to Jackson Hole five years ago after being a loyal visitor for 20 years.

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