Trails Through Yellowstone: Session 4

Trails Through Yellowstone: Session 4

$1,679 per person, double occupancy
$2,269 per person, single occupancy
Start date: July 12
Grant Village, Mammoth Hot Springs
Meals Included?:
Breakfast and Lunch
Institute Staff
Audience Type:
Program Type:
Lodging & Learning
Program Subject:
Conservation, Geology, Hiking, Natural History, Wildlife

The Trails through Yellowstone Lodging & Learning package is designed for those who want to enjoy a more active vacation adventure in Yellowstone National Park. The package is offered by Yellowstone National Park Lodges, covering lodging arrangements and some meals, with Yellowstone Forever providing educational programming. On this program you’ll spend less time in the bus, and more time exploring Yellowstone’s wild backcountry. You’ll hike along some of the most scenic trails the park has to offer, exploring features and unique backcountry habitat far from crowds and noise, led by an expert naturalist.

Each day you will venture out with a Yellowstone Forever naturalist instructor to explore a region of the park. Daily outings begin early to beat the crowds and increase odds of seeing exciting wildlife that are most active at dawn. After exploring the park, you’ll have opportunities to return to your lodging early every evening, so you can relax on your own.

We intentionally do not list specific hikes in advance for this package. We allow our instructors the flexibility to use their extensive knowledge to cater the hikes to your interests, the weather, and seasonal trail conditions.

Lodging is based at Yellowstone National Park Lodges’ locations in Mammoth Hot Springs and Grant Village.

Program Highlights

  • Getting away from crowds and finding secluded spaces to experience the wonders of Yellowstone
  • Wildlife watching in Lamar Valley followed by select hikes in Yellowstone’s northern range
  • A chance to see backcountry thermal features along the trail as well as along boardwalks
  • The day spent hiking and sightseeing along the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
  • An afternoon spent hiking and sightseeing along the shores of Yellowstone Lake
  • Exciting facilitated discussions about Yellowstone’s geology, ecology, natural history, current research, and management issues

Why Choose a Lodging & Learning Package?

Our award-winning Lodging & Learning packages are developed through a partnership with Yellowstone National Park Lodges. These packages combine the best lodging locations with an exceptional immersive field education experience. Here’s why this package stands out:

  • Yellowstone Forever is Yellowstone National Park’s official nonprofit education and fundraising partner. Our mission is to partner with Yellowstone National Park to create opportunities for all people to experience, enhance, and preserve Yellowstone forever.
  • You’ll help preserve Yellowstone. Proceeds collected by Yellowstone Forever for this package are used to preserve Yellowstone National Park and provide more opportunities for people to experience its magic.
  • Our naturalist instructors are world class. The Yellowstone Institute has been providing in-depth educational programs in Yellowstone for over 40 years. Our naturalist instructors are among the best expert field educators in Yellowstone. They’re professionals with academic credentials who are dedicating their careers to this vital work. They live in the Yellowstone ecosystem, they work alongside park researchers, and thus can provide accurate and exciting “behind the scenes” perspectives on the park’s history, management, geology, flora, and fauna. They know where to go and when, and they’ll handle all the details to make your experience is as enjoyable as possible.
  • Small group size. This program has a max capacity of 9 participants (up to 12 same family). You’ll enjoy camaraderie with fellow participants and receive a lot more attention in this small group package. It allows your naturalist guide to take an inquiry-based approach to learning, tailoring the experience to your specific interests.
  • We provide the essential equipment. Your instructor will provide high-quality digiscoping equipment to bring distant wildlife into crisp, clear view. We also provide snowshoes or safe travel over snow and ice on daily hikes. Our guides are Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder certified. They carry a first aid kit and handheld radio during all hikes, and provide bear spray if hiking in bear country. They will incorporate teaching aids such as skulls, tracks, pelts, books, i-Pads with videos, and test equipment such as temperature guns for thermal features.
  • You can’t beat in-park lodging. All lodging in this package is located in the park, within short walking distance from popular features and spectacular scenery. This minimizes drive time during daily outings, and allows more time to enjoy the park’s features at a relaxing pace. It also allows more time in the evenings, after daily outings, to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

Download Program Information:

Trails Through Yellowstone Course Letter

We are continually updating and refining our COVID-19 mitigation measures to ensure the health and safety our guests, staff and volunteers. Read our COVID-19 guidelines for program participants.


  • Be prepared to hike up to 1 mile per day, comfortably, through relatively flat terrain on maintained trails.
  • Be prepared to hike up to 3 miles per day, comfortably, with elevation gains up to 600 feet. Some off-trail hiking possible.
  • Be prepared to hike up to 5 miles per day, comfortably, with occasional elevation gains up to 1000 feet in undulating terrain.
  • Be prepared to hike up to 8 miles per day, at a brisk pace, comfortably, with climbs up to 1500 feet on dirt trails. Loose rocks, uneven footing, and off-trail hiking are possible. Good coordination is recommended.
  • Be prepared for brisk aerobic, destination-oriented hiking up to 12 miles a day. You should be physically conditioned to do these hikes comfortably. Elevation changes up to 2000 feet on dirt trails or off-trail. Loose rock, uneven footing, steep hillside traverses, and stream crossings are possible. Good coordination is required.


  • Leisurely hikes up to 1 mile per day through relatively flat terrain on maintained or snow-packed trails.
  • Hikes on snow-packed trails, or snowshoe or ski trips, up to 3 miles per day with climbs up to 250 feet.
  • Brisk hiking, snowshoeing, or skiing up to 5 miles per day with climbs up to 500 feet, including some trail-breaking in snow.
  • Brisk aerobic snowshoeing or skiing up to 8 miles per day with climbs up to 1000 feet; or steep, rugged, off-trail skiing or snowshoeing—including breaking trail in variable snow conditions.
  • Brisk aerobic snowshoeing or skiing up to 12 miles per day with climbs up to 1500 feet; or steep, rugged, off-trail skiing or snowshoeing—including breaking trail in variable snow conditions.