Yellowstone Day Hike

Yellowstone Day Hikes

Yellowstone Hiking Tour With a Local Expert

Take a closer look at Yellowstone by getting off the beaten path and onto a trail with a biologist as your guide. Our Yellowstone hiking guides will customize your half-day or full-day hike in the park according to your preferences, abilities, time of year, weather, and trail conditions.

While hiking with a biologist, you’ll enhance your knowledge of Yellowstone's natural history, ecology, scientific studies, and conservation efforts. Yellowstone has over 900 miles (1,450 km) of trails in a variety of landscapes, from lush pine forests to stark thermal basins.

Hikes can be steep mountain treks or casual strolls along boardwalks.

Choose from trails within Yellowstone National Park, or venture into the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem with hikes in nearby Gardiner, Paradise Valley, Cooke City, or Beartooth Pass.

Sample Yellowstone Day Hike Itinerary

Your private Yellowstone hiking tour can accommodate up to 10 people for a full day or half day of hiking. Start times may vary depending on your group’s preferences.

We'll tailor your hiking plan to match your physical capabilities, preferred difficulty level, and the time you need to return to the trailhead.

Here’s what you can expect on the day of your hike:

Morning

Meet at the Trailhead: Meet your guide at the designated trailhead. Your guide will offer clear directions to the trailhead and let you know how to find them. After a few safety and gear checks, you’ll head off on the trail.

Hike With Perspective: As you begin hiking, your guide will bring awareness to the plants, geology, and thermal activity all around you. Your guide will discuss what to do if we encounter a bear or other large wildlife along the trail.

Midday

Picnic Lunch: Eat freshly-made lunches with views of the world’s oldest national park – you’ll be hungry after a morning of hiking!

Half-Day Hike: Stop to have a snack, rest your legs, and refuel before the last part of your hike. Your guide will find a good place to relax with a view.

Afternoon

Make Your Way Back to the Trailhead: Whether hiking a loop or an out-and-back trail, your guide will make sure you get back to the trailhead on time. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and get the most out of your expert, naturalist guide!

Please note: We adapt our itineraries based on your abilities, interests, and seasonal conditions. When you book, we'll ask questions to help us tailor the perfect hiking experience for you.

$500/half day hike + $30/person

$700/full day hike + $50/person

What's Not Included

Gratuity National Park entrance fees: $20/person Weekly, annual, veteran, 4th grader & senior passes also accepted.

Payment Options

We will gladly accept online payment by credit card or by check if mailed in advance.

Have a Question?

Feel free to reach out and we're happy to answer any questions you may have.

Book your Yellowstone Day Hike Now

Choose Your Level of Hiking Ability

When booking a Yellowstone hiking tour, please specify the level of difficulty you prefer using the descriptions below as a guide.

Keep in mind: Yellowstone is in the Rocky Mountains. The starting elevation is 6,000 feet above sea level, and many hikes gain elevation from there.

Easy

Gentle and mostly flat terrain, with minimal elevation gain. May include boardwalks or stairs.

Moderate

Trails that include sections of rocky terrain and other obstacles with up to 700 feet elevation gain.

Difficult

Uneven rocky terrain and other obstacles with up to 1,000 feet elevation gain.

Strenuous

Steeper, rocky terrain, possibly off trail, with steep inclines and over 1,000 feet in elevation gain.

What’s Included in Your Yellowstone Hiking Tour

Our tours are family-friendly and can be easily adapted to various paces and abilities. In Yellowstone, there’s a hike for everyone. Please share your preferences with us in advance so that we can plan the right hike for you.

Here’s what’s included in the Yellowstone Day Hike:

Personalized Tour Design

Your expert guide will use their extensive park knowledge to select the perfect hike for your group. Enjoy the undivided attention of your guide on this private tour designed for small groups of 1-10 people, ensuring a personalized and intimate experience.

Bear Spray & Guides Trained for Safety

The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is home to nearly 1,000 grizzly bears. We take bear safety seriously by carrying bear spray and keeping a safe distance from all local wildlife: a minimum of 25 yards from most animals and 100 yards from bears, wolves and mountain lions.

Biologist Guide

Our local biologist and naturalist guides bring a holistic and in-depth lens to Yellowstone National Park. They’ll make sure you don’t miss things you might not see on your own.

Binoculars

You’ll get a personal pair of binoculars on your hike so you don’t miss any wildlife sightings!

Picnic Lunch or Snacks

Depending on the length of your hike, we’ll provide snacks or a hearty picnic lunch during your hike. We happily accommodate most dietary needs.

What to Bring on Your Yellowstone Hiking Tour

Here’s what to bring to make your Yellowstone experience even more comfortable:

Warm Clothing & Layers

Versatility is key in Yellowstone's ever-changing weather. Pack layers to stay warm, and don't forget a waterproof, wind-resistant outer shell.

Hydration

Hiking with plenty of water is crucial in Yellowstone's dry, high-altitude climate. Bring enough water bottles or hydration packs to carry 2–3 liters of water to stay properly hydrated.

Cameras

From canyons to wildlife, Yellowstone offers endless photo ops. Bring your camera or video recorder to capture memories.

Sunscreen & Sunglasses

The high elevation in Yellowstone amplifies UV rays. Slather on sunscreen (SPF 30+), wear sunglasses, and wear a hat for complete sun protection.

Comfortable Shoes

Sturdy, closed-toe sneakers or hiking boots offer support on uneven terrain. Coming in early spring or fall? Waterproof footwear with good traction is ideal.

Tour Pricing

- All hikes are private - Meet at Trailhead - Please contact us directly for groups larger than 10

Half Day Hike
near Mammoth WY, Gardiner MT or Paradise Valley MT
$500/day
  • + $30 per hiker, after the first
Half Day Hike
near Tower Jxn or Lamar Valley
$600/day
  • + $30 per hiker, after the first
Half Day Hike
near Grand Canyon of Yellowstone or Hayden Valley
$625/day
  • + $30 per hiker, after the first
Full Day Hike
near Mammoth WY, Gardiner MT or Paradise Valley MT
$700/day
  • + $50 per hiker, after the first
Full Day Hike
near Tower Junction or Lamar Valley
$800/day
  • + $50 per hiker, after the first
Full Day Hike
near Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone or Hayden Valley
$825/day
  • + $50 per hiker, after the first

Tour Memories From Past Guests

Cara was our guide on our recent family vacation to Montana and Yellowstone. She met us at the park and guided us on a hike off the beaten path. We got to see things the average tourist would never see. She truly loves what she does and is so in tune with nature and her surroundings! I feel like I made a lifelong friend. If you are in need of a guide set please do yourself a favor and book with Cara. She is fantastic and you won't be disappointed!
Debbie
September 2017
Brief summary: In Our Nature provided two fantastic hiking trips for my dad and for me in Yellowstone National Park. Their communication was excellent before the trip, their knowledge of both the landscape and the wildlife was exceptional, and their guiding service was by far the best I’ve ever experienced. The details: I recently took a vacation with my father to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks with the goal of both hitting the “top sites” in each park, and of getting off the roads and boardwalks into the back country. Knowing that he has some physical limitations and that I’d be wanting a more serious hike by the middle of the trip, I booked In Our Nature to provide each of us with a custom half-day hike. Cara (the owner) called me in advance and we discussed what our goals were for the trip, what sorts of snacks we liked (NO MAYONNAISE!), and what our fitness levels were. When we met up with Cara and Audra at Tower Roosevelt Junction the day of the trip, they went over our itineraries with us, checked to ensure we had everything we would need, and then hit the road to stage vehicles along the park road, allowing us to create loop hikes out of what would ordinarily be out-and-back trips. I won’t recount every detail, but combined, we hiked both on and off trail, experienced numerous wildlife surprises, saw grizzly and black bears, pronghorn antelopes, bighorn sheep, bison, marmots, ground squirrels, great horned owls, osprey, peregrine falcons, and many other birds, most with young. This is to say nothing of the fantastic scenery, in-depth knowledge of the region’s ecology, pleasant company, and of course, tasty mayo-free snacks. My dad and I were both extremely satisfied with our custom outings. I strongly recommend In Our Nature to anyone looking for a top-notch guiding service whether along the roads or in the backcountry.
Scott K
June 2019
We spent a day with Cara on a guided hike of the Garnet Loop Trail in Yellowstone and she made it the most comfortable experience for us. She was available for communication before, during and after the hike to answer any questions we had for her. She also took my pace into consideration and ensured we took it easy, had ample water breaks, food breaks, coordinated the trail so that we had less sun exposure which helped me to complete the entire loop along with the visit to the suspension bridge over the Yellowstone River. Her suggestions to visit the Beartooth pass and food options along the way just made the trip so much more memorable for us. We will be calling Cara again when we are back in Yellowstone.
Divya
September 2020
Book your Yellowstone Day Hike Now

Your Tour Questions Answered

Are there grizzly bears in Yellowstone?

Yes, there are grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park. It is one of the few remaining areas in the lower 48 states where grizzlies still roam. Your guide will bring bear spray, teach you proper precautions, and help you follow bear safety guidelines when hiking in Yellowstone.

Is hiking in Yellowstone hard?

The difficulty of hiking in Yellowstone depends on the trail, time of year, each hiker's experience level, and the group’s preferences. Some trails are relatively easy and well-maintained, while others involve steep inclines, rough terrain, and higher elevations that can make hiking more strenuous.

Our trip planners will work with your booking info to select a route appropriate for the timing of your visit, your interests and your physical abilities. If you have any questions or concerns, contact us.

Do I need a guide to hike in Yellowstone?

While it is not strictly required, hiring a guide for hiking in Yellowstone is highly recommended, especially for first-time visitors or those planning to explore backcountry areas.

Our biologist guides are knowledgeable about the park's trails, wildlife, and safety protocols, ensuring a more enriching and secure experience. They carry bear spray and will teach you about ways to minimize your risk in bear country.

Are bathrooms available during the tour?

Restrooms are available at designated locations throughout Yellowstone National Park, including most trailheads. However, bathrooms aren’t usually available on trails.

Be prepared to use the restroom outside using Leave No Trace best practices. Your guide can answer any questions you might have and explain Yellowstone-specific considerations.

What is your cancellation policy?

Cancel more than 30 days before your trip date to get a full refund minus a 10% credit card and processing fee. Cancel 5-29 days before your trip date to get a 50% refund.

We typically do not issue refunds if you cancel within 5 days of your booked tour. However, please contact us if exceptional circumstances keep you from attending as we may be able to make alternative arrangements.

Looking for Another Adventure?

Make the most of your visit on a private tour with In Our Nature Guiding Services. One of our local wildlife biologists will craft your adventure to your personal interests.

Paradise Valley Day Hike

Your biologist guide will lead you on beautiful trails suited to your interests and abilities. Choose from a private half-day hike (up to 5 hours) or private full-day hike (up to 8 hours).
Yellowstone Nat’l Park Trails
May – October
from $500 per day

Read More »

Yellowstone Birding Tour

Birding in Yellowstone is incredible! Yellowstone is home to about 300 species of birds during the summer months, creating a unique birding opportunity in the Rocky Mountains. Your biologist guide will use their expert local ecological knowledge to target specific species in a variety of habitats. Watch birds through our highest quality optics and learn about their ecology.
Throughout Yellowstone National Park
May – October
from $780 per day

Read More »

Yellowstone Geyser & Hot Spring Tour

Visit geysers, hot springs & mud pots with your own expert guide. Yellowstone sits on top of one of the largest volcanic hot spots in the world. Learn about the chamber of partially molten magma underneath and how it causes all of the fanciful thermal activity in the park. There is no other place like this on earth!
Yellowstone Nat’l Park’s Mammoth, Norris, Madison and Old Faithful areas
late April to early November
from $780 per day

Read More »

Llama Day Hikes

Llama hikes are among the many incredible adventures available in Paradise Valley and Gardiner area, on Yellowstone’s fringe. You’re lucky to have multiple ways to join Susi from Yellowstone Llamas, who can answer all of your questions about the llamas.
late May – late October
from $150 per day

Read More »

Yellowstone Backpacking

Enjoy places others rarely see. Fully custom, private backpacking trips throughout Yellowstone with a duration and difficulty level designed just for you. Wander in the wonders of the wild.
Yellowstone National Park
May – October
from $700 per day

Read More »

Yellowstone Vacation Packages

Choose the guided activities and tours you would like to do and stay at Wanderlust Haven, an ideally located, beautiful two bedroom, two bathroom house in Gardiner with amazing views!
Bozeman Airport transfers can be arranged.
Yellowstone Nat’l Park & Gardiner MT
All Year
from $1,200 per day incl. luxe lodging

Read More »

Yellowstone Snowshoe & XC Ski Tours

Come indulge in Yellowstone’s winter splendor: explore varied terrain, follow & identify fresh animal tracks, and take in stellar views of Yellowstone’s northern range.
Northern Yellowstone Nat’l Park
December – March
from $350 per day

Read More »

Beartooth Pass Tours, Hikes & Backpacking

Beartooth Mountains offer awe-inspiring views from a high-elevation winding road, abundant wildlife and many hiking and backpacking opportunities.
Beartooth Mountains, Custer-Gallatin & Shoshone Nat’l Forests
June – October
from $500 per day

Read More »
Comments are closed.