Trip Overview

Venture across the snowbound wilderness of Yellowstone National Park by sleigh, dog sled, and snowshoe to revel in its pristine beauty and photograph and meet its bountiful wildlife at home in their natural habitat on this active winter vacation in Montana and Wyoming in February 2020.

Let geysers, wildlife, and the frosty drama of a Montana winter transport you, body and soul, on this vibrant journey through one of America’s greatest treasures, Yellowstone National Park. On your first full day, enter the Lamar Valley where the bear may be sleeping but wolves, bison, elk, and other wildlife are awake and roaming. Keep your camera warm and binoculars close! Mammoth Hot Springs puts some heat in your second day’s ramble as you walk close to these naturally terraced, steaming limestone pools.

Expect a visual feast on day-two because reaching Ouzel Falls in Big Sky requires passing though some of the most photogenic wilderness in America! The Absaroka Mountain Range dwarfs the mighty Yellowstone River below, and the Gallatin River (of A River Runs Through It) glitters and roils. The afternoon hike along a snowy trail takes you to the spectacular 40′ Ouzel Falls, covered in crystalline rime during the winter season. This glittering backdrop is nature-made for the best group shots ever!

Big Sky is equally peerless on a winter’s night. With snow crunching under hooves and harness bells ringing out into the dark, Percheron draft horses trot beside the Gallatin River, pulling you and your fellow travelers along on a joyful sleigh ride beneath the dark, star-studded sky. Bundled warm against the nighttime chill, you and your adventurous travel companions then return to a campsite to unwind and share stories over mugs of cowboy chili and hot spiced cider.

The following day, a four-hour snowshoe trek brings you to sweeping vistas of Yellowstone’s high country; watch for signs of winter wildlife! In the warmth of a private snow coach, travel to Old Faithful geyser to catch its famed eruption. Among the area’s many other geothermal wonders, Fountain Paint Pots displays regularly erupting geysers, bubbling mud pots, hot springs, and whistling fumaroles. The grand finale of your wilderness journey in Yellowstone features a team of revved-up sled dogs ready to take you on a ten-mile dog sledding experience! Bond with these magnificent animals, enjoy plenty of photo opportunities with the friends you’ve made on your trip, and try your hand as a “musher” guiding the dog team or simply snuggle down to enjoy the ride!

The joy of being out in the crisp, quiet beauty of Yellowstone’s snowy landscapes and sharing active fun and winter wildlife viewing with other Adventure Women will remain close to your heart for years to come.

PLEASE NOTE:

Our Yellowstone Winter Wonderland adventure begins the day after our Montana Big Sky Womens’ Ski Clinic ends. Stay in Bozeman for both of these trips, have a day in between to catch your breath, and experience the best of what the Bozeman and Yellowstone areas have to offer! You buy only one plane ticket for two vacations!

Need more incentive? Read guest reviews of our 2017 Yellowstone Winter Adventure Vacation with AdventureWomen!

Main Attractions

  • Snowshoe across rolling landscapes to spot wildlife
  • Learn how to “mush,” driving your own dog sled team
  • Witness geothermal wonders found nowhere else in North America
  • Ride on a jingling horse-drawn sleigh out into the star-filled night
  • Revel in the profound quiet and calm of a Montana winter

What You'll See and Do

  • Dog Sledding
  • Natural History
  • Photography
  • Sightseeing
  • Sleigh Ride
  • Snowcoach Tour
  • Snowshoeing
  • UNESCO Site
  • Wildlife Viewing

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Bozeman and Transfer to Gardiner, Montana
You will be picked up at 1:00pm from the GranTree Inn and transferred to Gardiner, Montana. Check into your hotel and relax before dinner.

Enjoy a lively welcome dinner as you get to know your fellow travelers this evening. Share stories and learn about why each woman in your trip is excited to explore Yellowstone!
Dinner

Overnight: Best Western Plus by Mammoth Hot Springs

Day 2

Yellowstone National Park
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning.

Head to the Lamar Valley in the northeastern part of Yellowstone National Park, where you can view wildlife with binoculars and a spotting scope, and have an overview of the local history and geology, as well as the ecology of the wolves, bison, elk, coyotes, birdlife, and other animals in Yellowstone.

Enjoy lunch on the road today.

Returning to Mammoth Hot Springs, explore the unique and famous “travertine terraces.” This is an amazing area to walk; the terraces were created over thousands of years. As hot water from the springs cools, it deposits calcium carbonate, which created this stunning landscape.

Dinner is on your own tonight.
Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight: Best Western Plus by Mammoth Hot Springs

Day 3

Gardiner to Big Sky
Depart Gardiner this morning and drive north through Paradise Valley and along the famous Yellowstone River. Travel along the Gallatin River (where much of the movie “A River Runs Through It” was filmed), to Big Sky, Montana.

This afternoon, take a guided walk to Ouzel Falls, walking on a snow covered trail for one mile each way. Designed and built by the Gallatin Valley Land Trust, the trail accesses a spectacular 60-foot waterfall where the South Fork of the Gallatin River falls over a break in the Canyon. In the winter, these falls are frozen with magical ice crystals, forming a lacy curtain of rime (an accumulation of granular ice tufts on the windward sides of exposed objects that is formed from supercooled fog or cloud and built out directly against the wind) and other treasures that the cold weather brings.

The name “Ouzel” is taken from a small aquatic songbird which easily survives difficult winter conditions where there are clear, fast-flowing streams. Also known as the American Dipper, the Ouzel has the benefit of several unique adaptations such as an inner protective eyelid and an extra layer of downy feathers, which allows it to dive into cold, often turbulent rivers and streams, to swim, and to walk along the bottom of the river. It uses the pressure of water on its wings and tail to help keep it down while it searches for insect larvae and other small animals on which to feed.

Enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at leisure. Dinner tonight is on your own at Buck’s T-4 Lodge and restaurant.
Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight: 320 Guest Ranch

Day 4

Big Sky, Montana
Take a short drive to a remote corner of the Yellowstone ecosystem close to the National Park. Put on your snowshoes and begin your adventure at the trailhead. You will quickly access the hidden wonders of Yellowstone’s high country winter.

See signs of how wildlife survives the struggles of winter, the magic sculptures that snow-covered trees form, and hear the silence that such a snow-blanketed landscape offers. Your route follows a large creek most of the way as you travel along rolling terrain for about four hours. The distance you travel depends on snow conditions and how often the group stops. Enjoy a boxed lunch along the way.

At 5:30pm, get ready to glide beneath a deep-black, star-dotted Montana sky, with only the sound of crunching snow and the jingling harnesses of the Percheron draft horses, which are skillfully guiding you along the frozen Gallatin River. The wool-wrapped wranglers talk about the 320 Guest Ranch’s remarkable history, and will maybe tell a few tall tales along the way. Arrive at the mountain man campsite, where you will be handed a steaming mug of cowboy chili and some hot cider spiced with rum!

Return to the ranch for a scrumptious dinner in the 320 Steakhouse Restaurant, before turning in after a busy day, to your comfortable, cozy log cabin.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: 320 Guest Ranch

Day 5

Discovering West Yellowstone
In West Yellowstone, take a private and spacious 14-passenger snowcoach tour into Yellowstone National Park and to see Old Faithful. Sit back and relax in the winter wonders of Yellowstone while enjoying a guided tour in comfort and warmth into the park’s pristine winter environment.

Travel at a comfortable pace with outstanding views and opportunities to get out and take pictures along the way. You will look for bison, elk, and coyote, and experience the greatest concentration of geysers in the world. Journey along the Firehole and Madison Rivers where you can see bird life that includes Trumpeter Swans, Bald Eagles, and a variety of ducks, geese, and possibly water ouzels. Continue to Fountain Paint Pots and Biscuit Basin, and see the sights at Old Faithful. If you’re lucky, you just might catch a glimpse of Old Faithful geyser erupting. Winter around Old Faithful Geyser Basin is magnificent, and you can see lots of animals, steaming pools, geysers, and surreal surroundings that glisten like diamonds in the sun and snow.

Dinner is at the 320 Guest Ranch this evening.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: 320 Guest Ranch

Day 6

West Yellowstone to Bozeman
No other method of travel over snow can compare with dog sledding! This trip is one you will never forget. The energy, excitement, and enthusiasm of these amazing huskies is a wonder to behold. The dogs love to run and their high spirits and big, lovable hearts will quickly win yours.

Experienced guides give hands-on instruction so you can feel, first-hand, the thrill of driving a sled dog team. Lift your foot off the brake and make for the hills as the dogs “mush” ahead. The ten-mile trip allows for plenty of photo opportunities and snack time as you travel through the beautiful mountain scenery of Moonlight Basin Ranch. If riding is more your style, you are welcome to ride inside the sled.

Stop for lunch on your own at a local restaurant. 

After your dog sledding adventure, return to Bozeman and check into the Best Western Plus GranTree Inn.

Have a farewell dinner with your new AdventureWomen friends. Reminisce over all of the memories you have made and celebrate the end of an amazing journey through this truly spectacular area.

Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight: GranTree Inn Bozeman

Day 7

Depart from Bozeman
Say goodbye to your new AdventureWomen friends as you take the shuttle to the airport for your flights home.

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Traveling to Yellowstone National Park



Arrival/Departure Information

February 2 Departure:

Arrive: Arrive at the Best Western Plus GranTree Inn in Bozeman, Montana on February 2, 2020, by 1:00pm.

Depart: Depart Bozeman, Montana (BZN) any time on February 8, 2020.

February 9 Departure:

Arrive: Arrive at the Best Western Plus GranTree Inn in Bozeman, Montana on February 9, 2020, by 1:00pm.

Depart: Depart Bozeman, Montana (BZN) any time on February 15, 2020.

We are happy to help you make your flight and travel arrangements. Please contact us at:

(800) 804-8686 or (617) 544-9393
email: info@adventurewomen.com

If you’d like to do anything prior to or following the AdventureWomen trip, we’d be delighted to help you arrange any trip extensions you’re interested in.

Note: The recent trend in travel is for travelers to finalize their plans much closer to departure time than was customary in the past. While we try to be as flexible as possible booking last-minute registrants, we must release hotel rooms two to three months prior to departure! Please keep this in mind when making your travel plans.

Activity Level

You should not have any health conditions that would be adversely affected by cold weather, or altitudes of approximately 7,000 feet.

We rate this trip as Active with High Energy options. Our Active adventures get you on your feet. You should be in good physical condition and be prepared to hike for up to five hours, multiple days in a row, on uneven surfaces with some steep ascents and descents. Our High Energy trips are designed for women who enjoy a physical challenge and crave being on the go! You should be prepared for itineraries that include (but are not limited to): a full day of biking on rolling terrain, hiking 5-8 miles on moderate to steep trails, being active at high altitudes, whitewater rafting, or skiing.

We recommend training before your trip (with your doctor’s permission!) to make the most of your adventure. We have a partnership with FitForTrips, a company that will design an individualized fitness plan for you with this itinerary in mind. Best of all, AdventureWomen guests get a 25% discount with the code FITWOMEN. Learn more here.

You should come with a flexible, adventurous, and enthusiastic spirit, and a wonderful sense of humor that adventure travel requires.

Money

Suggested Gratuities:

  • AdventureWomen Guide: $100
  • Dogsled Guides: $15
  • Snowcoah Driver/Guide: $10

How To Register

Call the AdventureWomen office at (800) 804-8686 to determine space availability and register for this trip. We can complete your registration, including taking your credit card deposit over the phone.

If you prefer, you can register online by clicking “Sign Up for this Trip” on the trip page.

Please be sure to read the AdventureWomen policies before registering!

Forms and Final Payment:

Once you book, you will need to fill out and return to AdventureWomen:

  • Information Form
  • Booking Conditions Form
  • Copy of Flight Information

Final payment is due to AdventureWomen in a cash form (check, money order, or wire transfer).

February 2 Final Payment Date: November 4, 2019
February 8 Final Payment Date: November 11, 2019

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

What's Included

Included

  • Accommodations based on double occupancy
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary
  • All ground transportation
  • All park fees
  • Fully-guided sightseeing as indicated in the itinerary
  • Professional guide throughout the trip
  • One AdventureWomen Ambassador

Not Included

  • Round-trip airfare
  • Optional activities as listed in the itinerary
  • Meals not specified in itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Costs of hospitalization or evacuation
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Accommodations

Best Western Plus by Mammoth Hot Springs
The Best Western Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel is conveniently located next to the park’s north entrance and is a great place to stay.

320 Guest Ranch
In 1898, when the west was wilder, two homesteads totaling 320 acres were combined to form the 320 Ranch. In 1936, Montana’s first woman doctor and first pathologist, Dr. Caroline McGill, purchased the working cattle ranch as a rest and relaxation retreat for her friends and patients. Today, picture a quiet place, just north of Yellowstone Park and just south of Big Sky Ski Resort, where the pristine Gallatin River winds through sage and towering pines, snow-covered mountains rise against crystal-clear blue skies, and there’s an abundance of pure, clean mountain air! That’s where you find the 320.

Best Western Plus GranTree Inn
A modern hotel, each room offers free WiFi, flat- screen TVs with HD channels, desks, minifridges and coffeemakers. You can relax in the indoor heated pool or hot tub!

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

What to Bring

As you get ready to pack for your adventure, have a look at The AdventureWomen Store at www.theadventurewomenstore.com - we have picked out our favorite travel clothes and outdoor gear to help make packing easy for you. You can also see our recommendations for this trip on the AdventureWomen Pinterest page.

IMPORTANT: You will be traveling in a 12-15 passenger van, and there is not a lot of room for luggage! It is imperative that you do not bring a large suitcase or duffel bag.

Your duffel bag should be no larger than 30” x 14” x 14”. It can have wheels. Your carry-on bag should be your daypack, which you will need to carry for most of your activities during the day time. It should be able to fit under the seats in the van (the size that would fit under an airline seat).

Note: Winter weather in Montana can be variable and extreme; one day it may be above 50 degrees, and the next day may be below zero! We recommend layering as it allows you to add or shed clothing according to the weather, snow conditions, and your level of exertion.

It is strongly recommended that you do not wear cotton clothing outdoors in the winter, especially next to your skin. Cotton absorbs your body moisture and remains cold and wet, whereas the proper synthetics or merino wool allow moisture to wick and will keep you dry and warm.

Clothing and Gear

  • Daypack
  • Duffel bag
  • 2 light or medium weight top and bottom long underwear
  • 1 lightweight fleece shirt/sweater
  • 1 mid-weight fleece sweater/jacket
  • 1 down vest
  • 1 wind shell with hood (should stop wind but remain breathable)
  • 2 pairs wool or fleece liner gloves
  • 1 pair insulated mittens
  • 1 pair shell mitten (waterproof to cover the insulated mittens)
  • 1 hat that covers your ears
  • 1 synthetic neck warmer/gaiter
  • 4 pairs light sock liners
  • 4 pairs wool socks
  • 1 pair fleece pants
  • 1 pair nylon wind pants or Goretex pants
  • 1 pair knee-high gaiters
  • 1 pair waterproof hiking boots
  • Casual clothing for evenings
  • Casual shoes for inside
  • Bathing suit (for hot tub at 320 Guest Ranch
  • Pajamas/robe
  • Water bottle (minimum 1 quart)
  • YakTrax Pro for added traction on walks that do not require snowshoes
  • Your favorite snacks
  • Hand and foot warmers
  • National Park Pass - if you have a senior pass or any National Park pass, please bring it with you

AdventureWomen Essentials

  • Travel documents (identification documents, airline tickets, money)
  • Write down/print out travel insurance number
  • Locks for your suitcase/duffel bag
  • Travel alarm clock with spare batteries or phone
  • Headlamp or small flashlight with spare batteries
  • Binoculars (8x40/42 models are excellent choices; center focus models are easiest)
  • Digital camera, memory cards, battery charger
  • Sunglasses, case, and strap
  • Spare glasses, contact lenses, cleaner, saline, etc.
  • Money belt or neck pouch
  • Your AdventureWomen insulated bottle (good for hot or cold drinks!)
  • Sunscreen and lip balm with SPF
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Hand wipes/hand sanitizer
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Soap, shampoo, and conditioner
  • Small packet of tissues
  • Tampons and panty liners (avoid plastic applicators)
  • Earplugs: We recommend Mack’s Pillow Soft White Moldable Silicone Snore Proof Earplugs. Available at most drugstores or at www.earplugstore.com
  • Assortment of stuff sacks and Ziploc bags
  • 1-2 bandanas/Buff
  • Reading material/journal and pens

Personal First Aid Kit

  • Prescription medicine you usually take
  • Personal epi pen (if you need one, don’t forget to pack it!)
  • Bandages, Gauze, Ace bandage, blister prevention
  • Antiseptic wipes/spray
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Cotton-tipped applicators
  • Oral rehydration tablets/packets
  • Antidiarrheal medication
  • Mild laxative
  • Antacid
  • Cold remedies
  • Ibuprofen/acetaminophen
  • Eye drops
  • Tweezers, scissors (travel size), safety pins

If you prefer to buy a complete kit, we recommend the Smart Travel first aid kit.

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686