HI

Yellowstone National Park is the world’s first national park, with 2.2 million acres (1 million ha) of incredible wilderness, abundant wildlife, geothermal wonders, and fascinating history. This huge park has an incredible variety of activities for you to enjoy depending on your interests and timing. There is no better way to make the most of your visit than by seeing Yellowstone on a private tour guided by one or our wildlife biologists or naturalists. We craft and adapt your day with our years of experience, knowledge and passion.

We are truly local, year-round, at Yellowstone’s north entrance in Gardiner, Montana. We offer the most options for trips in the northern parts of Yellowstone because this is the area that we know and love best! If you are staying inside Yellowstone, we can meet you at a central location that will give us strategic access for our activities. Choose from year-round wildlife watching trips,  day hikes, backpacking, cross country skiing & snowshoeing and other custom adventures.

Click on the + and – signs on the right, below to read about our tours:

  • Wildlife Watching
  • Bear Safety and Education Hikes
  • Day Hikes
  • Overnight Backpacking Trips
  • Snowshoeing
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Multi-day and Custom Adventures
Hiring a knowledgeable private wildlife guide is the best way to:
  • Maximize your likelihood of seeing wolves, bears and any other wildlife you are interested in
  • View and photograph wildlife through high quality spotting scopes
  • Hear accounts of wildlife interactions and population dynamics, as well as stories of well-observed individuals
  • Learn about Yellowstone’s natural history, ecology, scientific studies and conservation efforts


Whether you want to see and learn about members of a specific wolf pack or see how many different animals we can find in a day; We use our expert local and ecological knowledge and high quality Swarovski spotting scopes to give you the best chance of seeing the wildlife that you wish to see. This will ensure you have an excellent, safe and well-informed day out in the park. We love sharing the natural history of Yellowstone! You bring questions and we’ll bring delicious food and drinks for us to enjoy in the great outdoors.

All trips are private and we adapt our itinerary to your needs, changing conditions and opportunities. We do our best to ensure you have a marvelous day.

Wildlife Watching trips depart just before dawn (5:00 to 6:00 am in summer; 7:00 am in winter). We start out early because the majority of our wildlife are most abundant and active around dawn. Duration is typically 7 to 8 hours, sometimes a little longer depending on conditions. 

These tours are typically run in our comfortable SUVs. However, due to sudden local increases in Covid-19 infections, we are running these tours as follow-alongs. You follow your guide in your own vehicle and communicate via walkie talkies en route. At your destinations masks are required when you are within 6 ft of your guide or others. We want to ensure you finish your tour with nothing more than lasting memories.

Brunch, use of binoculars, and spotting scopes are included.

Hiking is not required for these tours but short hikes can be included upon request (as snow and weather conditions allow). They can be adapted to be accessible for all ages and people with disabilities. Please let us know in your booking if you have specific needs so we can make sure that we are appropriately prepared.

Please remember to bring clothing layers! In summer, it can be freezing in the morning and quite hot by midday. It is not uncommon to have 60 degree (F) temperature changes. Outside of June, July and August, expect cold and very very cold temperatures.  Please dress in seasonally appropriate layers, long pants and closed shoes. Bring a hat, sunscreen and your water bottle! Remember to drink plenty of water. Yellowstone has dry, high- elevation climate, where it is difficult to stay hydrated at any time of year. A water cooler with extra water for re-fills will be provided.

Prices and Bookings

Meeting Location

Seasonal Availability

Price for 1-2 people

Additional Person (each)

North Entrance – Gardiner Mammoth

All Year

$575

$60

Tower-Roosevelt, Lamar Canyon

All Year

$625

$60

Norris Geyser Basin

Late April – Early November

$625

$60

Canyon

Late April – Early November

$675

$60

Please contact us for pricing and availability if your group is more than 6 people.

Advanced bookings are required to ensure that we have time to prepare for your trip and to ensure that you get your preferred date. Please use the calendar and booking form at the bottom of your page to determine guide availability and book your trip today.

 

Day hikes are a great way to get out and enjoy Yellowstone! Yellowstone has over 900 miles (1,450 km) of trails, so there is plenty to choose from when optimizing your day.

Want to know more about the natural history, wildlife, ecology, plants and history of this world renowned National Park? Come take a closer look at our natural wonders with a professional wildlife biologist and certified wilderness first responder as your guide. We offer guided half-day and full-day hikes at a variety of locations throughout Yellowstone National Park. We customize our plans for the day depending on the time of year, weather, local conditions and your preferences. 

When booking a hike, please specify the level of difficulty (easy, moderately easy, moderately strenuous or strenuous) you prefer. We will provide bear spray, delicious snacks and lunch (on full day trips) as well as plenty of fascinating information. Just bring your curiosity, suitable clothing, hat, sunscreen and footwear with good tread. Don’t forget your water bottle! Yellowstone has very dry, high-elevation climate. Expect to drink a minimum or 3 liters of water per day when moderately active to ensure you stay well hydrated, healthy and happy.

We’ll have a great day out!                

Prices

Prices shown are for 1-2 people. Additional participants are $15 each for half day hikes and $25 each for full day hikes.

Trail-head Areas

Half Day Hike (5 hrs)

Full Day Hike (8 hrs)

North Entrance – Gardiner/Mammoth or $300 $400
Tower-Roosevelt or Lamar Valley $350 $450
Canyon, Hayden Valley or Norris $400 $500

Entrance fees into Yellowstone National Park are not included 

Entrance into Yellowstone National Park is not included. Entrance fees are $20 per person of $35 per family. A receipt is good for one week. Annual passes are also available. Please see a park entrance kiosk for more information.

Are you keen to leave the roads, get off the beaten path and enjoy the real Yellowstone? Getting into Yellowstone’s backcountry is an unforgettable experience. We offer fully custom backpacking and overnight hikes throughout Yellowstone with a wide variety of options of varying duration and difficulty. Check out the options below if you need inspiration or if you’ve already got an idea of what you want, contact us today and we’ll set it up.

Short and Sweet Overnighters in the Backcountry

Short, beautiful, easy overnight hikes – great for those short on time, or who want to introduce their shorter people (aka children) to the joys of camping under the stars. ​

Classic Backcountry Treks

Moderate and longer routes that fully immerse you in the wonder of Yellowstone’s splendor – choose routes with hot springs, water falls, abundant wildlife, peaceful lakes or mountain scenery.

Our favorites include

  • Bechler’s Waterfalls and Hot Springs (moderate-easy 4 to 5 days)
  • Black Canyon of the Yellowstone (moderate 2-3 days)
  • Pebble – Slough Creek (moderate 2-3 days)
  • Heart Lake (and Mt Sheridan) (moderate – easy 2 – 4 days)

Cabin-based hikes in the Beartooth Wilderness

If you hiking and being in far from the maddening crowds but don’t fancy sleeping on the ground with bears all around, we also have an incredible cabin-based option for hiking in the Beartooth wilderness adjacent to Yellowstone in such stunning landscapes few will speak of them. The cabin can sleep up to 12 people. Hiking conditions are best after July 1st, once the snow has melted at this higher elevation.

 

There’s a nearly infinite number of other options…

 

Want to get outside the vehicle, off the road and explore the wonders of winter in Yellowstone? Choose the snowshoeing or cross country skiing adventure duration of your choice below to find out more!

If you would like to combine a morning of wildlife watching with a little bit of cross country skiing or snowshoeing, please contact us and we can customize a day for your group.

Snow Sampler (2-3 hours)

Want to get out for some fresh air but have limited time? Snow sampler trips are a great way to get out and enjoy snowshoeing or cross country skiing on a short, beautiful, easy trail. Depending on your abilities and our snow conditions, we may take in geothermal features and quiet forests near Mammoth Hot Springs, or a section on the Blacktail Plateau. All trips include equipment rental, hot drinks on the trail and your knowledgeable guide, Cara. Price excludes park entrance fees or gratuity.

Start times are flexible. Departures from Gardiner MT, Mammoth WY, Tower Junction, WY

$250 for one or two people. $50 for each additional guest, up to 6. Please contact us for groups larger than 6.

Half-day Snowshoe or Cross Country Skiing (5 hours)

Enjoy the sights and silence of winter! We will venture out to a destination of interest and back or complete a scenic loop in Yellowstone’s northern range. We have several routes to choose from depending on your abilities, snow conditions and weather.  All trips include equipment rental, hot drinks on the trail and your knowledgeable guide, Cara. Price excludes park entrance fees or gratuity.

Start time is flexible but before noon. Departures from Gardiner MT, Mammoth WY or Tower Junction, WY

$350 for one or two people. $60 for each additional guest, up to 6. Please contact us for groups larger than 6.

Full-day Cross Country Skiing

Indulge in winter’s splendor exploring varied terrain, searching for fresh animal tracks and taking in stellar views of Yellowstone’s northern range. There are different routes to choose from depending on your abilities, snow conditions and weather.  All trips include equipment rental, binoculars, hot drinks and lunch on the trail and your knowledgeable guide, Cara. Price excludes park entrance fees or gratuity.

Starts between 7:30 and 8:30 am. Departures from Gardiner MT, Mammoth WY or Tower Junction, WY

$450 for one or two people. $70 for each additional guest, up to 6. Please contact us for groups larger than 6.

We are always happy to mix things up a bit! Please contact us to discuss custom options if you’re looking for something different to our advertised options…

Want to hike AND watch wildlife? We can do a combination day or multiple days. You get a 10% discount on your subsequent days’ trip.

Do you have specific accessibility needs but would still like to get out and see the best of Yellowstone? We can use our knowledge of the park’s facilities to custom design an awesome day out for you!

We may be able to provide transport assistance to/from trail heads for your unguided through-hike.

Departure times as arranged

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments you have. We are often in the park outside of reception, so please allow some time for us to respond; almost always within 24 hours.

Meet Your Guides

Cara McGary

On a winter visit to Yellowstone, Cara was smitten by the wonder of this ‘American Serengeti’. She wanted to help others to develop develop and feed their fascinations in the natural world. She has worked as a naturalist guide ever since. Cara is a qualified biologist (B.S. Aquatic Biology, M.S. Biology) with over 15 years of experience working in ecology and wildlife biology. Before finding her place in Yellowstone, she worked extensively in Redwood National Park in Northern California, the outback of Western Australia, and the jungles of Papua New Guinea.

When not guiding, she can usually be found doing construction on her cabin or hiking in the national forest around Yellowstone or indulging her travel habit in some far-flung part of the globe, usually somewhere there’s good tidepools or snorkeling.

Nancy Lewis

Nancy is an educator by trade and a naturalist at heart. She has been fostering passion for the outdoors and wild places since she first became a naturalist leader in junior high school. Before coming to Yellowstone, she was an English teacher and an Arizona Wilderness Steward, doing trail maintenance, eradicating invasive species, and reporting illegal use of wilderness areas. Now, she combines her experience in education with her love of the park to help lifelong learners look closely at nature. She takes her passion for the outdoors south for the winter, working as a naturalist in Arizona. She speaks Chinese conversationally and Spanish fluently.

Mike Rosekrans

Mike Rosekrans has been leading trips and environmental education programs around the Western United States for over a decade. Growing up in the Great Lakes Region of the Upper Midwest, Mike took a keen interest in the natural world at a young age. He received his bachelors degree in outdoor recreation from Winona State University in Minnesota and promptly moved west to begin his career and pursue his passion of exploring and teaching in the mountains and forests of the Western United States. In 2016 Mike completed his graduate studies, earning an M.Ed from Western Washington University in Partnership with North Cascades Institute. While in graduate school Mike began developing an interest in the ecology and natural history of grizzly bears and upon graduation spent a summer season in Denali National Park before permanently moving to Yellowstone where he was able to realize his dream of teaching programs related to grizzly bear natural history while also developing and implementing curriculum-based youth programs within Yellowstone National Park. Mike is a passionate guide who hopes that in providing people with a more holistic view of the Yellowstone Ecosystem that people will be inspired to preserve, protect, and make sound decisions in preserving our natural world.

Book Now!

Contact Us Directly

1-406-579-3838
cara.mcgary@gmail.com
In Our Nature Guiding Services LLC
PO Box 501
Gardiner, Montana 59030