Spring Wolf Watch~April 6-11~with Doug Smith

April 6-11, 2025
Places left:
Deposit required:
$500.00 per person

*Cost is per person based on double occupancy. $300.00 additional for single room supplement. Plus tax when applicable.

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Have you always wanted the vast expanse of Yellowstone's wild country all to yourself? This is a rare opportunity to enjoy wildlife watching in Yellowstone National Park at the transition to spring time. In April, few people visit the park, leaving it to the wildlife, which are abundant: wolves settling into their dens, herds of elk gathering on the first new fresh blades of grass, bison giving birth to their calves, and grizzly bears emerging from hibernation.

Join Yellowstone Wolf Tracker naturalists for this unique early season program that is sure to impart lasting memories of an awakening landscape rich with wildlife, fantastic gourmet food, and comfortable lodging all in one perfect package! Includes naturalist guiding for this 6-day, 5-night program with lodging, in-park transportation and shuttle to/from Bozeman, park fees, exceptional meals (as noted), and high quality optics for each guest.

Yellowstone Wolf Tracker (The Wild Side, LLC) is an authorized tour and transportation provider (CUA 13-133) in Yellowstone National Park.


April 6, 2025

Travel to Bozeman, Montana, served by major airlines (BZN), is on your own. Check in at the Best Western Plus GranTree Inn in Bozeman anytime after 3 PM (stay included in package). The GranTree Inn offers free shuttle service to/from the airport, and for visiting downtown shops or the famous Museum of the Rockies. Dinner is on your own.

April 7, 2025

Have breakfast at the GranTree with a tour voucher then after check out, meet our staff at 11 AM in the lobby for transport to Yellowstone National Park. The route is through the scenic Paradise Valley rimmed with rugged mountain peaks. A lunch stop is planned on route to the park. At Yellowstone, the group will visit the famous Roosevelt Arch for a formal arrival to the park, and explore the wildlife-rich winter range of pronghorn, elk, and deer.

Check in follows at the Absaroka Lodge in Gardiner, where the group stays until the last night. From your room, the views of the Yellowstone River and its rolling hills and snow-clad mountains astound! The Absaroka Lodge features wifi, cable tv, and balconies in each room overlooking the Yellowstone River. Our evening meal will be prepared and served by our chef Zac Kellerman of Zac's Montana Kitchen. Zac has been at the helm for our program's dinners for years with thoroughly rave reviews. Dinner is accompanied by an orientation for the days ahead.

April 8, 2025

An early morning departure creates our best chances of viewing active wildlife. Wolves will be our priority, but many wildlife species are seen along the way. We will search the park's northern range for wildlife from bison to bears, badgers to bald eagles. Search areas include the Blacktail Plateau, the Slough Creek valley, and the famous wildlife haven, Lamar Valley, for resident wolf packs. Our search will team with rangers, scientists, and the eclectic wolf-watching faithful in a mutual effort to find and observe wildlife. Lunch will be at Mammoth Hot Springs, followed by a walk through the terrace boardwalks to experience the amazing travertine hot springs, some of Yellowstone's finest thermal features. Doug will join us for an evening presentation to accompany a gourmet dinner at the Track Education Center in Gardiner.

April 9, 2025

Our schedule will be similar to the previous day, as the goal is to look for multiple wolf packs and make observations of a variety of behaviors and activities (hunting, playing, traveling, feeding, (sleeping!), etc.). Doug will join the group in the field for fascinating insights to the behavior of wolves and years of research on the animal in the wild. He will also join us for dinner and a presentation that evening session at the center in Gardiner.

April 10, 2025

To maximize our opportunities for viewing wolves, bears, and many other wildlife species we will return to the Northern Range and Lamar Valley. Lamar is one of the best areas in the park for wolves, bears, and vast herds of bison and elk. The sheer abundance gives this area its well-earned nickname, 'The Serengeti of North America.' Lunch will be at the home and photography gallery of our good friends, Dan and Cindy Hartman, who live in Silver Gate, a small and charming mountain town outside the northeast entrance of the park. They are exceptional naturalists that share their many insights to wildlife in the area. After an afternoon return drive through the park, a final celebration dinner follows with Chef Zac in Gardiner.

April 11, 2025

After breakfast we will transport to the Bozeman airport (or a nearby destination) for mid-day airlines departures no earlier than NOON.

NOTE: Best-laid plans are always subject to change pending weather, wildlife sighting opportunities, and/or any unforeseen circumstances. Please bear with us and remain flexible to better enjoy this experience. If you have any questions concerning the tentative itinerary, do not hesitate to contact us!

Terms and conditions

Cancellations: To book a package, multi-day group program, a per person deposit is required up front to reserve a space. The balance will be due prior to the beginning of the program, usually 30-60 days out, depending on the specific program. A full refund minus $45 processing fee will be given for all cancellations more than 45 days before the trip. For cancellations less than 45 days prior to departure, the deposit is non-refundable. We accept personal and/or cashier's checks made to THE WILD SIDE, LLC, and mailed to PO BOX 769, Gardiner MT 59030, or you may also sign up here at the Yellowstone Wolf Guides web pages.

Health and Safety: The trip requires good physical fitness and mobility, or the ability to walk up to 1 mile over uneven terrain. The trip is suitable for people of all ages, though children below the age of 14 must receive prior approval. If you have health questions, consult your doctor for more information. The tour leaders must be advised in advance of any special health needs. Weather conditions can change without notice and it is the responsibility of the traveler to have proper clothing and equipment. We will provide a list for the clothing and gear recommended for the trip.

Responsibilities and Conditions: We act only in the capacity of agent in all matters of transportation and tour operation. We are not responsible for delays, inconveniences, accidents, expense or mishap of any kind whatsoever resulting entirely, or in part, from the negligence of others or from causes beyond our control. We can accept no responsibility for losses or additional expenses due to delay or changes in air or other services, sickness, weather, strike, war, quarantine, or other causes. All such losses or expenses will have to be borne by the participant, as tour rates provide for arrangements only for the time stated. The right is reserved to substitute accommodations or modes of transportation and to make any changes in the itinerary where deemed necessary or caused by changes in transportation schedules. We take no responsibility for special arrangements or problems incurred by persons physically unable to participate in the planned activities. No refund can be made for absence from the tour unless arrangements are made at the time of the booking. The right is reserved to decline, to accept or to retain any person as a tour member for any reason which affects the operation of the tour or the rights and welfare or enjoyment of the other tour members. We will not discriminate against any individual because of race, sex, creed or nationality.

Cancelled Trips: We reserve the right to cancel any trip if conditions arise that are beyond our control and adversely affects the well-being of the trip members. In such a case, a full refund of the trip cost is given, but we are not responsible for additional expenses incurred by members in preparing for the trip including flights and other travel expenses.

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