Best of Yellowstone Tour
- 5 days of Yellowstone exploration
- Comprehensive hiking experience
- Cozy accommodations & wonderful meals
- Potential to see wildlife
- Amazing natural & cultural history
- Spectacular Yellowstone views
- Yellowstone meadows & river valleys
Our Best of Yellowstone Tour features a diverse offering of 5 hikes that well represent the amazing attributes of this exceptional national park. You’ll enjoy breathtaking mountain scenery, the most well-known and spectacular geysers in the park, and wildlife viewing. While driving, we can often stop at pullouts as animal sightings and additional attractions arise in this unpredictable ecosystem. You’ll also enjoy the luxuries of a lodge and rustic dining each evening in two to three different locations inside and around the Park. This trip is an exceptional way to soak up the magic of Yellowstone, to enjoy absolutely fantastic hiking, and to learn about America's first - and truly spectacular - national park!
What sets the 5-day tour apart is the ability to see so much in one visit. Staying in different lodges and going on five diverse hikes creates a comprehensive experience that is truly unforgettable!
Trip Dates & Booking
You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.
We may be able to add new trip dates.
- Shuttle from Bozeman: 2-hour drive
- Hiking Mileage: 5 miles
- Elevation Gain/Loss: 400 feet
This Yellowstone Hiking Tour begins with a visit to one of the Park's most iconic features - Mammoth Hot Springs. From the boardwalks, we will view steaming travertine terraces streaked with colorful microorganisms.
Next, we will leave the crowds behind and head out on the Beaver Ponds Trail. This 5-mile loop leads us along a variety of different animal habitats. We will hike through a forest that is frequented by a variety of wildlife including bears, eventually reaching a clearing of small ponds where it is common to see waterfowl. Open scenic views will greet us as we emerge onto a grassy hilltop that is a known grazing area for pronghorn, deer and elk.
- Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
- Elevation Gain/Loss: 1,400 feet
Our second hike is one of the most beautiful in the park, a hike to the summit of Mt. Washburn at over 10,000 feet. The trail to the summit travels through picturesque subalpine parkland where wildflowers abound. Bighorn sheep are sometimes seen grazing along the hillsides. This is one of the only places in the park where hikers can get close up views and photos of the majestic sheep as they are habituated to the presence of hikers. It is a steady climb over 3 miles to the summit where we'll have a tremendous view of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone - a giant rift in a landscape of forested hills. Other sites include Yellowstone Lake, the Teton Range, Electric Peak, and an overall sense that the entire park stretches out below your feet. Following this beautiful hike, we'll drive to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone for a short stroll out to Artist Point for one of the more phenomenal waterfall views in North America - the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River. The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is an amazing feature at 20 miles long, 1,200 feet deep, and a mere 4,000 feet in width on average. It was formed approximately 10,000 years ago when a large glacial ice dam in Hayden Valley burst, flooding the canyon and creating the two thunderous waterfalls and multicolored canyon walls it is known for.
- Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
- Elevation Gain/Loss: 1400 feet
Today we will start with a loop around Elephant Back Mountain. This moderate 3.6-mile hike has about 1,400 feet elevation gain and loss. The trail begins in an old growth lodge pole pine forest mixed with spruce and fir, an area also frequented by grizzly bears. After a mile of relatively mild uphill, we will climb switchbacks. Flecks of black obsidian will glitter beneath your feet. The ascent culminates to an awe-inspiring bird’s eye view of the lake. We can identify many prominent landmarks from our peak, before making our trek back down the Elephants Back. The glittering expanse of Yellowstone Lake will be the focal point of our next hike’s destination: Storm Point. This relatively flat 2.3-mile loop leads to a stunning vista of the largest lake above 7,000 feet in North America. In spring, the lakeshore is a corridor for grizzly bears. The hike begins at Indian Pond, a favorite locale for bison, and continues through the forest to a bluff overlooking the picturesque shore of this hydrothermal fed lake. Before completing our loop, we will walk past enormous boulders, which are home to a colony of Yellow-bellied Marmots. If we are lucky, we may see one basking in the sun.
- Hiking Mileage: appx 7 miles
- Elevation Gain/Loss: minimal
We'll start the day in the Upper Geyser Basin which hosts some of the park’s most iconic features. Yellowstone is home to 60% of the world's geysers and most of them can be found here, including Old Faithful itself. Walking the boardwalks, we'll experience the basins' diverse array of geysers from thin fountains to massive eruptions. It is an impressive scene. Next we’ll travel a few miles down the road for a hike out to Lone Star Geyser. This is a beautiful hike along the aptly named Firehole River to the largest backcountry geyser in the park: Lone Star Geyser. Lone Star is found in a clearing surrounded by dense forest; it erupts from a shed-sized cream colored mound. At full tilt it sprays scalding water 30-45 feet into the air. The geyser erupts about every 3 hours and a log book is kept nearby so that we'll know when the next eruption will occur.
- Hiking Mileage: 5.4 miles
- Elevation Change: 200 feet
- Shuttle to Bozeman: 2.5-hour drive
Our final day’s hike takes us through classic Yellowstone meadows and lodgepole pine forests to Fairy Falls, a 200-foot waterfall plunging off a pine-studded cliff. After we soak up the sights and sounds of Fairy Falls, we will end our tour with a stop at the Grand Prismatic overlook. The Grand Prismatic is the largest hot spring in the United States and one of the most iconic features in the park. It’s a great way to close out our Yellowstone adventure. We will conclude our trip with a shuttle back to Bozeman and fond farewells. What a week it's been!
Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes.
- 4 nights of lodging at Canyon Lodge & Cabins, Old Faithful Snow Lodge, Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and/or Lake Yellowstone Hotel. (Lodging Details)
- Top-of-the-line daypack and trekking poles
- All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
- A professional, knowledgeable, certified Yellowstone hiking guide
- Double-occupancy lodging at 3 different lodges in and around Yellowstone National Park (single occupancy requires an additional single supplement)
- Roundtrip transportation from your hotel in Bozeman, Montana to Yellowstone and back
- Entrance fees and national park permits
- Bear safety equipment including bear spray cannisters
- Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
- You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!
- Clothes, raingear, and footwear (Oboz hiking shoes and boots recommended)
- Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
- Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
- Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)
We provide all your meals from breakfast the first day through lunch the last day. Your guide will prepare breakfasts and lunches with a variety of hot and cold meals that are appropriate for the day's activities. Feel free to tell us about your food preferences, as we're more than happy to tailor the menu to your needs/desires. For dinners, we'll visit local restaurants you're sure to enjoy!
We provide all group gear which includes the following:
- Deuter or Osprey backpacks
- Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
- Bear spray cannisters
- Company-issued first-aid kit
- Emergency communication device(s)
We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.
Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, and non-cotton and cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.
NOTE: See the Packing Lists page for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.
Ready to hike? In the Dates section of this trip page, the green dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($500).
Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!
You'll meet your hiking guide and group in Bozeman, Montana for an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM the evening before the trip begins. Your guide will be in contact approximately 2 weeks before your trip and will specify the exact location of the orientation meeting at that point. The next morning we'll pick you up at your hotel for transport to the trailhead. For Private Yellowstone Tours, you also have the option to originate your trip in West Yellowstone.
Check out our Travel Resources page for information on flights, shuttles, lodging and more.
Your guide will inform you of the first day's pick-up time at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 5 and 8 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will drop you off at your hotel on the final day no later than 7 PM.
Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.
Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.
Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time...etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides' off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.
The standard group size on this trip is 6 guests and 1 guide, with a maximum of 12 guests and 2 guides. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and we'll answer all your questions.
Age restrictions are as follows:
- 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
- 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis
Being a Northern mountain environment, Yellowstone is prone to sudden temperature and weather shifts. This is an exciting aspect of being in Yellowstone. On the Spring/Fall Trekking Adventure in June, snow is a slight possibility, and the rest of the summer you're likely to get rained on at least once during your trip. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). See below for average summer temperatures in Yellowstone:
|Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)|
All trip dates include two nights at Canyon Lodge, which is a large, historic national park hotel, featuring some of the most popular accommodations in Yellowstone. Situated on the east side of the park near the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River and Upper and Lower Falls, it puts us right in the action.
Old Faithful Inn
Some trip dates include two nights at Old Faithful Inn, which is the large, prominent, historic lodge right next to Old Faithful. Built in 1904 with local resources and wonderful architecture, it provides us excellent access to Old Faithful and the surrounding geysers and thermals, Yellowstone Lake and more.
Old Faithful Snow Lodge
Some trip dates include two nights at Old Faithful Snow Lodge. This is Yellowstone's newest and most modern full service hotel. It won the prestigious "Cody Award for Western Design" and Travel and Leisure’s "Inn of the Month." As the name implies, it's near Old Faithful and gives us amazing access to many Park highlights.
Some trip dates include two nights at the Roosevelt Hotel in Gardiner, Montana. This hotel is located just outside the northern entrance to Yellowstone National Park, very close to the famous Yellowstone River and offers fantastic access for us with a quieter feel and more culinary options.
Named in honor of Ulysses S. Grant, who was president when Yellowstone was formed in 1872, this comfortable lodge is located not far from the shores of Yellowstone Lake. It boasts views of the lake and a perfect location for the last 2 nights of our adventure.