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CONTACT Toll free 1 800 724 7767 (USA) 435 658 2227 Email International phone numbers
Chicago's Best Yellowstone Tour!
Tour scheduled to run on blue dates.
Day 1 - Flight from Chicago to Salt Lake City - About 5.5 hours
| ||Pick ups for this Yellowstone tour from Chicago take place at hotels in the tourist parts of Chicago, and any other hotel within about half an hour of the airport. You will be shuttled from your hotel for the flight to Salt Lake. The cost of this fight is included in the tour price.|
Please note that if you book this tour within three weeks of the tour departure date, the price of this flight may increase. If it does, there may be a surcharge which we will let you know about beforehand. Unless you tell us otherwise, we will try and book a morning flight for you.
On landing in Salt Lake you will be picked up and shuttled to your hotel, which is normally the downtown Crystal Inn. The hotel is not too far from the famous Temple Square, and has a good, free, hot breakfast buffet.
| ||Like almost all our tours, this is a small group trip. The vehicle used generally has between nine and 14 seats. Our guides are skilled in the geology, customs, traditions, history and people of the areas through which you travel – feel free to ask all and any questions!|
Day 2 - Salt Lake City to West Yellowstone - 321 mi / 516.49 km - About 5.25 hours
|The route to Yellowstone goes up Interstate 15, past the Great Salt Lake and the Wasatch Mountains, before entering Idaho. At Idaho Falls you will leave the freeway behind, and start making your way through rural parts of the state. About 10 miles (16 kilometres) from West Yellowstone you go over the Continental Divide and into Montana.|
| ||When we get to West Yellowstone we will stop to get your sack lunches, before making our way into the world's first national park, and possibly the most unique!|
Day 2 - Yellowstone - About 5 hours
|The roads running through Yellowstone make up a massive figure of eight. The lower loop of the figure of eight comprises most of the thermal features that are to be seen in Yellowstone, including, of course, Old Faithful!|
From West Yellowstone we'll follow the Madison River to Madison Junction, where we'll turn right, or south. Depending on the time of the year, this area is often teeming with wildlife. With any luck you will see bison, elk, Trumpeter Swans and other animals and birds. A special treat in the spring is the baby bison calves.
|At Madison Junction we will turn right, or south, and follow the Firehole River which runs through the thermal areas of Yellowstone northward. The Firehole is famous amongst anglers for its pristine beauty and selection of brown, brook and rainbow trout. |
The first main thermal area we will be visiting is the Lower Geyser Basin, and Fountain Paint Pots. There is a boardwalk system running around and through the Fountain Paint Pots area, and it is a great place to go for a stroll, if the bison haven't got there first! Apart from the paint pots, there is also a selection of other thermal features in the area, including a number of geysers, one or other of which almost always seems to be erupting.
| ||The next stop is the Midway Geyser Basin, home to Grand Prismatic Spring - one of the largest anywhere in the world - as well as Excelsior Geyser, now dormant, but discharging thousands of gallons of water every minute.|
| ||It is now time to go back to West Yellowstone.|
Day 2 - West Yellowstone
| ||We will take you to Yellowstone Studios and Cabins, where you will be staying in a self catering studio. After checking in you can explore the town, take a walk through the forest into Yellowstone, go to the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center (a must see) or check out a movie at the IMAX.|
Day 3 - Yellowstone Upper Loop - About 8 hours, 15 minutes
|The route that the tour takes will depend on possible road closures in the park, as well as the time of year, but it will be something like the following ...|
|There is going to be a lot to see and do. We'll head out of West Yellowstone towards Madison Junction, where the Firehole and Gibbon Rivers meet to form the Madison River. Turning left (north) we'll make for Norris Geyser Basin. Along the way we'll stop briefly at Gibbon Falls.|
Although not as well known as the other geyser basins, Norris is the most thermally active part of Yellowstone. It is divided into two separate areas: Porcelain Basin and Back Basin.
|The next stop is Mammoth Hot Springs, headquarters of the park, and home to a fascinating array of weird rock shapes, bright colors and sizzling hot springs. Elk are generally plentiful in this area, wandering around the old park buildings, and, if you're lucky, you might even see a whole herd.|
You can stroll through the ever changing terraces at Mammoth, admiring the travertine creations and hot springs.
|Leaving Mammoth we will travel towards Tower Roosevelt, which is where the road to the park's north east entrance, through the Lamar Valley, is. There is almost always wildlife to be seen in this area, even bears!|
| ||At Tower Junction we will branch off the main upper loop road, and head through the Lamar Valley, towards the north east entrance to Yellowstone. This is a particularly beautiful part of the park, and where the keen wolf watchers are generally to be found.|
| ||Everyone wants to see a bear in the wild at Yellowstone, and the trip from Tower Junction to Tower Falls is one of the best places to do so. The spring can be a great time to go looking for bears, as you have the opportunity of seeing mothers with their new born cubs. Tower Falls is an impressive water fall.|
|Assuming that it is open, the road from Tower Falls to Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone towers up into the sky as it crosses the Dunraven Pass at almost 9000 feet. We then drop down to Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.|
The Yellowstone River has carved an impressive canyon through the rocks, over which two falls drop. It is in this area that you can catch a glimpse of the yellowish tinge to the rocks, from which the Yellowstone River got its name, but at a different location. We will check out the canyon and falls.
Other areas along the route that we may visit, time permitting, include Obsidian Cliff, Virginia Cascade and Undine Falls.
| ||One of the beauties of Yellowstone is that you never know what is around the next corner. This means that extra time could be spent looking at grizzlies, or perhaps trying to spot an elusive wolf, or even being stuck behind a buffalo jam for a while. For these reasons, today's itinerary is very flexible, and one or more of the above stops may be left out, depending on other activities as the hours progress.|
A sack lunch is once again provided today. After a fun-filled day it is time to return to West Yellowstone.
| ||You are on your own for dinner and will spend the night in the same place.|
Day 4 - West Yellowstone to Grand Teton National Park - About 5 hours
|You will be picked up from your motel for the ride through the southern part of Yellowstone to Grand Teton. On the way we will once again go past the various geyser basins, and then climb over the Continental Divide twice, on the way to West Thumb.|
As we drop down off the continental divide there are great views of Yellowstone Lake, the largest alpine lake in North America.
|West Thumb is a delightful geyser basin, located right on the shores of the incredibly blue lake. We will stop to stroll around the boardwalk system that accesses the basin. An added bonus is that there are often elk at West Thumb.|
|The road between Yellowstone and Grand Teton is called the Rockefeller Parkway. It is only six miles and leads directly into the north entrance of Grand Teton. The main features of the park are the Grand Teton mountains, and a number of beautiful lakes.|
You will see historic Colter Bay, Signal Mountain, Jenny Lake, Jackson Lake, Mount Moran, and much more. We also know the best places to find moose, and we will do our best to locate one or more for you.
You will take a leisurely drive through Grand Teton National Park, before arriving in Jackson. A sack lunch is provided today, which you can enjoy somewhere on the road.
Day 4 - Jackson
| ||Jackson is a quaint, touristy western town, and there will be a brief stop there.|
Day 4 - Jackson to Salt Lake City - 304 mi / 489.14 km - About 5.5 hours
|The route back to Salt Lake generally climbs up over Teton Pass, and into Idaho, meeting up with Interstate 15 again near Idaho Falls.|
On some days, if there is time, we may take more picturesque, scenic back roads, through very rural Wyoming and Idaho, and return to Utah that way.
|Tour ID ||1289|
Please note the following...
- The days and dates this tour runs can be seen in the calendar at the top right of this page.
- The entry fees to Yellowstone and Grand Teton are included.
- The following meals are included: One breakfast, three sack lunches.
- One night's lodging is included at the Crystal Inn in downtown Salt Lake City. Two nights' accommodation are included at a self catering studio at Yellowstone Studios and Cabins. If lodging there is sold out, you will stay at Al's Westward Ho Motel or similar in West Yellowstone.
- Prices are based on double occupancy. Single, triple and quad occupancy options are also available and will be seen at checkout. There is no tax.
- Flights may be more expensive over holiday periods. We try and use an airline which does not charge for checked luggage, but if this is not possible, you will need to pay that fee. We will advise ahead of time. The flight generally has one stop, but we may give you the option of upgrading to a non stop flight.
- After ordering this tour please wait to receive a confirmation email from us before making any plans that are dependent on this tour.
- The price includes the services of a guide/driver and transportation.
- Vehicles are mini buses or executive vans, which are vans with individual, high back, reclining seats.
- Portions of this tour may, at our discretion, be sub-contracted to other reputable vendors.
- A minimum of two people may be required for a tour to depart. That is not two in your group, but a total of two.
- This tour picks up as detailed above. It drops off in the Salt Lake City downtown area.
- If there are fewer than six people on the tour we reserve the right to have a shuttle take you from Salt Lake City to Idaho Falls on the second day, where our guide will pick you up. The same may apply on the fourth day, if there are fewer than six people. Our guide will take you from Jackson to Rexburg on the fourth day, where the shuttle will transport you to Salt Lake City. If this happens, the tour will start and or end at the airport, and not downtown.
- At the start and perhaps very end, of the season, seasonal road closures and weather may prevent this tour being run as scheduled. In particular, the road from Old Faithful to Grand Teton generally opens in mid May. If that road is not open when you do your tour, more time will be spent in parts of Yellowstone, and Grand Teton will be omitted. In addition, Dunraven Pass (between Tower Falls and Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone) also generally opens in mid May. Finally, general road maintenance in the park may affect the way this tour operates.
- All times are approximate. We are not responsible for the consequences of any delays, and this itinerary may change without notice.
- Payment And Cancellation Details: This tour has an air leg. An amount equivalent to the cost of the flight will be charged to your card at the time we make the air booking. Half the remaining balance will be charged 45 days from the tour date, and the other half will be charged 10 or fewer days from the tour date. Once we have started work on booking the air leg we will not under any circumstances accept a cancellation. Please consider purchasing trip insurance as our cancellation policy is strictly enforced, irrespective of the reason for canceling.
This tour can be ordered online here. Please call us at 1 800 724 7767 or (USA) 435 658 2227, or mail us for additional information.