You’ve probably heard about hiking in Yellowstone or even skiing in Yellowstone National Park, but have you heard about a Yellowstone safari?
What is a Yellowstone safari you ask?
A Yellowstone safari is an expedition to one of the most premiere wildlife viewing spots in North America. Often referred to as the “Serengeti of the West” we set out for the Lamar Valley to observe animals in their natural habitat!
Related Read: Reasons to Visit Yellowstone National Park in Winter
What to expect on a safari in Yellowstone
Our morning starts off at 5am at our hotel in Mammoth Hot springs, early morning is the best time to view the wildlife. Then we drove into the Lamar Valley, to catch a glimpse of grizzly bears, wolves, elk, herds of bison, antelope, black and brown bears.
We arrive in the Lamar Valley just as the sun is rising and spot a herd of Bison, doing some early morning grazing. As were looking at the herd of Bison, someone spots a pack of wolves on the hillside. Three wolves roaming the valley, this is a pretty rare opportunity. Although the wolf population has recovered well in Yellowstone, it’s not everyday that you get to see one or three! Lucky for us our guides had some spotting scopes and we were able to view these amazing animals without disturbing them in their natural habitat.
Once the wolves were out of sight we continued our safari deeper into the valley, only to spot a grizzly in the meadow. This was another special moment, I have seen plenty of bears in my day, but I hadn’t ever seen a grizzly in the wild. It was only 6am and we had already seen, bison, elk, wolves, deer and a grizzly! We made one more stop in the valley, only to find another wolf, another grizzly and a black bear with her cub!
As far as safaris go…. we did real good!
Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park
After our safari, we headed back to Mammoth Hot Springs to see the Mammoth Terraces. The Mammoth Terraces are created by the Morris-Mammoth Fault, where boiling water is pushed up from below carrying dissolved calcium and bicarbonate to the surface. Along with the escaping carbon dioxide they combine to precipitate as travertine. The geothermal activity creates an ever changing shape and color of the terraces.
If that wasn’t enough, we headed to the town of Gardinar to do some rafting on the Yellowstone River. White-water rafting is a real adventure and the Yellowstone offers class I-III rapids, that are accessible to anyone. This stretch of the Yellowstone runs through the Paradise Valley, with views of the Absorokas Mountains and wildlife along the way.
That’s it folks! My Yellowstone Safari, one of the highlights of my traveling career.
I have been going to National Parks since I was a little kid and I have never seen more wildlife in one place then in Yellowstone. If you want more information on a safari in Yellowstone, check out this tour available on Viator.
Prefer to do your own trip? Check out our itinerary for 2 days in Yellowstone!