Although Yellowstone National Park has not yet been recognized as a Dark Sky Park, it is 2.2 million acres with few light sources, and supports the most remote areas in the lower 48. With all the other amazing aspects of the Yellowstone, it has been easy to overlook the importance of its pristine night skies. Explore and connect with a part of Yellowstone unseen by most. Bring your camera and be ready to learn night sky photography techniques to capture celestials such as the Milky Way, meteor showers, the moon, and more.
Tours depart from Gardiner, Mammoth, or other central locations inside Yellowstone as arranged. Winter and summer start times vary based on the best hours for night sky viewing.
This activity is easy and can be done by most well-behaved people 8 years and older.
Starry skies on the Northern Range (approx. 4 hour duration)
- ● This tour takes place in the expansive plateaus and wide mountain rimmed valleys of northern Yellowstone.
- ● $400 for a private tour with up to 4 participants, $60 per additional person (maximum of 8 participants).
Yellowstone’s Dark Heart (approx. 8 hour duration)
- ● This tour takes place in Yellowstone's central interior at lakeshore and geyser basin locations.
- ● $600 for a private tour with up to 4 participants, $100 per additional person (maximum of 8 participants).
What's Provided / What to Bring
We provide hot drinks, telescope, and your knowledgeable guide.
You’ll need a camera with manual options, a tripod, and a clicker (not required but preferred).
Recommended smartphone apps: Moon, Skyview, and Star Walk.
Clear Skies & Clouds Policy
Our guides are excited to provide you with a memorable tour. If the guide determines that the weather conditions are unlikely to give enough clearing to make your night sky tour ideal, she will make a last-minute decision to adjust the tour itinerary/route to get to clear sky.
It is a rare possibility that a tour may be impacted by weather or other conditions to the point that the tour would have to be cancelled prior to departure, or that a tour may have to be cut short, so as to ensure the safety of all participants. In the case of extreme or extenuating circumstances, the guide has full authority to cancel a tour.
If your tour is cancelled due to weather conditions, you can:
- 1) reschedule your tour at no charge (subject to availability)
- 2) receive a full credit for the original amount paid, with no expiry date
- 3) receive a full refund less 10%.
In the event that you need to cancel your tour for any other reason, the following conditions will apply:
Cancellations up to 30 days before your trip date will receive a full refund minus a $50 processing fee.
Cancellations between 29 and 5 days before your trip date will receive a 50% refund.
Refunds are not provided within 5 days of your booking.
We understand that exceptional circumstances occur from time to time. Please contact us if you have a special case.
To reduce the risk of Covid-19 spread and keep everyone safe during our trips, the National Park Service requires that masks be worn at all times when you are inside the vehicle with your guide. If you would prefer to follow your guide in your own vehicle, we can supply walkie talkies to accommodate you.
Please remember to bring clothing layers! It is not uncommon to have 60 degree (F) temperature changes in one day. In the winter, that could mean a change from -20 to +40 degrees (F). In summer, we could start the morning below freezing, and end the day in short sleeves. Be prepared!
Yellowstone has a dry, high-elevation climate, where it is difficult to stay hydrated at any time of year. It is important to drink lots of water in this environment. Be sure to have a water bottle with you. We provide water for refills in the field.
Park entrance fees are not included. Entrance fees are $20 per person or $35 per family, and are good for one week. Annual passes are also available. Please see Yellowstone's website: https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/fees.htm or a park entrance kiosk for more information.
We strive to make tours in Yellowstone National Park accessible to all. We are happy to help you navigate the obstacles that will be encountered in the remote wilderness nature of this special place. If you are considering a tour and have specific needs, please let us know. We have experience guiding wheelchair users and others with a variety of needs. For more information about accessibility in Yellowstone, please see the Yellowstone National Park website at the following link: https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/accessibility.htm
Gratuity is not included.