New Year's in Yellowstone 2015/2016

At-A-Glance

Trip Dates:

December 28, 2015 through January 3, 2016

NPCA Member Price

$3,895-$4,295 per person double occupancy; $850 single supplement.

Deposit

$500 per person

Related Parks

Yellowstone National Park

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Contact ParkScapes at 800.628.7275 or travel@npca.org

December 28, 2015-January 3, 2016

Experience extraordinary opportunities to watch and photograph wildlife in the transformed snowy landscapes.

Pronghorn and elk will likely greet you en route to Mammoth Hot Springs. Head into Lamar Valley in search of wolf packs that call this wintry valley home. Ride aboard snowcoaches into the park’s interior for more views of bison, coyotes, and trumpeter swans. Walk the snowcovered boardwalk around Old Faithful and the Upper Geyser Basin.

Accomplished naturalists will show you rarely seen sights. They know where to find wildlife and can share stories of their unique experiences in this park. Learn about park issues from local NPCA staff, and be entertained by a Yellowstone historian’s stories of early park explorers and visitors.

Each day of this trip offers unforgettable adventure.

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For details about this trip, download the brochure (pdf)

Tour Highlights

Wildlife Watching

Blanketed in snow, Yellowstone comes alive with wildlife—coyotes, eagles, elk, wolves, and huge herds of bison. Watch through binoculars and spotting scopes with knowledgeable naturalists. Learn how the reintroduction of the wolves has altered the interactions of all Yellowstone wildlife.

The Quiet Season

Discover the magic of winter in Yellowstone. Enjoy strolling through the heart of the park past steaming geysers and snowshoeing through pine forests.

Superior Guides

Explore Yellowstone’s hidden jewels with some of the most admired wildlife guides and naturalists in the region from Off the Beaten Path.

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Tour Details

Arrive/Depart

Bozeman, Montana

Length of Tour

7 days/6 nights

Pace

Moderately active, offering a choice of activities each day to suit different activity levels and interests. Be prepared for a variety of hikes and walks on uneven trails.

Price Includes

All accommodations, meals as noted (B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner), ground transportation, entrance fees, professional guide services, park and other entrance fees, and miscellaneous program expenses.

Price Does Not Include

Roundtrip airfare to and from destination, gratuities for naturalist guides, alcoholic beverages, or personal expenses.

Payments/Cancellations

Space is confirmed by calling the NPCA at 800.628.7275. A $500 per person deposit is due at registration. Final payment will be invoiced separately and is due 90 days prior to departure. Cancellation notice must be submitted in writing and is effective upon date of receipt. Cancellations up to 90 days prior receive a refund, less the $250 per person handling fee. Cancellations 90-61 days prior to departure, 25% of the tour cost is forfeited; 60-31 days prior to departure, 50% of the tour cost is forfeited; 30 days or fewer prior to departure result in the loss of 100% of your total cost.

Travel Insurance

To protect yourself from the loss of deposit and cancellation fees, you are encouraged to purchase travel insurance. Information on a comprehensive travel insurance coverage plan will be included with trip confirmation packets.

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Daily Itinerary

Note: NPCA suggest individual arrivals the day before your trip begins, allowing for possible delays due to winter weather. Much of the wildlife watching will be done close to the van or snow coach. Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are optional.

December 28: Group Meets in Bozeman

Meet your guides this afternoon in Bozeman for the drive to Yellowstone National Park. On the way, pass through the scenic Paradise Valley along the Yellowstone River, flanked by the 11,000-foot peaks of the Absaroka Range. Dinner includes a brief orientation on the week ahead. Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel (D)

December 29: Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park

After an early breakfast, depart for a dramatic drive through the remote Lamar Valley in the northeast corner of Yellowstone. This is home to many of the wolves now roaming the park. We arrive at daybreak for the best opportunities to see the wolves. A wildlife biologist will provide in-depth background on their successful and controversial reintroduction in 1995. Learn how other animals have adjusted to their presence. The wildlife viewing in the Lamar Valley is incredible, with vast herds of elk and bison, bighorn sheep, and coyotes heading the list. Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel (B,L,D)

December 30: Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park

Start your morning with a visit to the Albright Visitor Center at Park Headquarters; enjoy a lively discussion with a park historian. Explore the marvelous and everchanging limestone terraces of Mammoth Hot Springs. After lunch, try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing with your naturalist guides. Learn how to track wildlife along snowy trails. Equipment can be rented from the hotel. Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel (B,L,D)

December 31: Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park

After breakfast, climb on board heated snowcoaches for a 50-mile trip to Old Faithful and the Upper Geyser Basin. On the way, we stop at the colorful Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone for amazing views of frozen waterfalls. After checking into the beautifully designed Old Faithful Snow Lodge, gather for special New Year’s Eve festivities and dinner. For those who’d like to venture outside, we strike out after midnight for the Old Faithful Geyser and witness its first eruption of the New Year! Old Faithful Snow Lodge (B,L,D)

January 1, 2012: Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park

Today is all about geysers! In addition to Old Faithful, guides will point out fumaroles, mudpots, and brilliantly colored hot pools. Wander the Upper Geyser Basin, home to many of the park’s 10,000 thermal features, including most of its geysers, with names like Castle, Beehive, Lion, and Grotto. See the famous Morning Glory Pool, as well as Beauty Pool, Crested Pool, and Chinaman Spring. In the afternoon, you may opt to cross-country ski or snowshoe on trails around the Old Faithful area, or curl up with a cup of tea and a good book at the lodge. Old Faithful Snow Lodge (B,L,D)

January 2: Norris Geyser Basin to Paradise Valley, Montana

On your final full day in the glorious Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, travel by snowcoach from Old Faithful north to Mammoth along the famed Firehole River. Perhaps you will catch a glimpse of a dipper (or “water ouzel”), or maybe a trumpeter swan. Wander through Norris Geyser Basin, the hottest and most active geyser basin in the world, complete with its icy “ghost trees” in winter. At day’s end, enjoy a soak in the outdoor hot springs pool, followed by a festive farewell dinner. Chico Hot Springs (B,L,D)

January 3: Chico Hot Springs to Bozeman Departure

Transfer to Bozeman airport for flights home after noon. (B)

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Pricing Details

NPCA Member Price

$3,895-$4,295 per person double occupancy; $850 single supplement.

Deposit

$500 per person

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Map

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Alternate Departures

If you cannot join us for the NPCA departure there are alternate departure dates for this tour which are

December 21-26, 2014
January 25-30, 2015
February 15-20, 2015

If you choose to travel on an alternate departure date rest assure that 10% of your tour cost will still be donated to NPCA from Off the Beaten Path.

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Travel Partner

Off the Beaten Path

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Lodging Info

Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel

Old Faithul Snow Lodge

Chico Hot Springs

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Booking Info

To contact NPCA's ParkScapes program for questions or reservations please call 800-628-7275 or email travel@npca.org. You may also book directly online.

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