Winter Wolf Discovery (Gardiner)

Winter Wolf Discovery (Gardiner)

$827 per person, no lodging
$977 per person, double occupancy
$1,127 per person, single occupancy
Dec. 21, Dec. 25, Dec. 28, Jan. 1, Jan. 8, Jan. 25, Jan. 29, Feb. 1, Feb. 5, Feb. 8, Feb. 12, Feb. 15, Feb. 19, Feb. 22, Feb. 26, March 1
Gardiner, Montana
Meals Included?:
Breakfast and Lunch
Institute Staff
Audience Type:
Adult, Families
Program Type:
Lodging & Learning
Program Subject:

The Winter Wolf Discovery program package focuses on exploring the world of wolves and other charismatic wildlife along Yellowstone’s grand Northern Range. Winter is prime time to view wolves in Yellowstone, and this package is designed to take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity. You will be led by a world-class Yellowstone Forever Field Educator who will share up-to-date information about Yellowstone wolf biology, behavior, ecology, and cultural history. Days will be spent in the field, followed by relaxing evenings at the Yellowstone Overlook Field Campus. Nightly, guests can hop on the shuttle into Gardiner, MT to eat at a local restaurant of their choosing.

The first evening includes an informative orientation and meet-and-greet with fellow guests and a Yellowstone Forever Field Educator. The following three full days involve getting up early and traveling to viewing sites in hopes of observing wolves in the wild. Afternoons are spent exploring wildlife habitats and traveling on snowshoes to examine tracks and other animal sign. Participants will likely encounter many other wildlife species during daily outings, where field educators will discuss the role these other species play in the ecosystem in relation to wolves.

Most sightings of wildlife occur at a distance; the field educator will provide high-powered spotting scopes and binoculars for group use. However, participants are encouraged to bring additional scopes and binoculars if they have them.

Program Start Dates:

  • Dec. 21
  • Dec. 25
  • Dec. 28
  • Jan. 1
  • Jan. 8
  • Jan. 25
  • Jan. 29
  • Feb. 1
  • Feb. 5
  • Feb. 8
  • Feb. 12
  • Feb. 15
  • Feb. 19
  • Feb. 22
  • Feb. 26
  • March 1

Airport Shuttle from Bozeman-Yellowstone International Airport

Yellowstone Forever will be offers an optional shuttle service with pick-up and drop-off from the Bozeman International Airport. There is an additional fee for the shuttle. You can reserve a spot and pay during your registration.

Why choose this program?

This package has been developed to create an all-inclusive Yellowstone National Park winter experience. From the opportunity to stay at the Yellowstone Overlook Field Campus, to delicious daily meals, transportation, and world-class educational programming; this program has everything you need to experience the best of Yellowstone’s renowned wolf watching opportunities.

Here’s why this package stands out:

  • Yellowstone Forever is Yellowstone National Park’s only official nonprofit education and fundraising partner. Yellowstone Forever’s mission is to protect, preserve, and enhance Yellowstone National Park through education and philanthropy. Through educational experiences and fundraising efforts, YF provides significant support to Yellowstone National Park each year.
  • Support Yellowstone National Park. Proceeds collected by Yellowstone Forever educational programs are used to preserve Yellowstone National Park and provide more opportunities for people to experience its magic.
  • Yellowstone Forever Field Educators are world class. The Yellowstone Institute has been providing in-depth educational programs in Yellowstone for nearly 50 years. Yellowstone Forever field educators are among the best experts in Yellowstone. Educational staff are passionate professionals with significant training who are dedicating their careers to this vital work. They live in the Yellowstone ecosystem, work and train alongside park researchers and educators, and thus can provide accurate and exciting behind the scenes perspectives on the park’s natural and cultural history. They know where to go and when, and they handle all the details to make the experience as enjoyable as possible.
  • Small group size. Winter Wolf Discovery programs have a max capacity of 14. The program capacity size allows participants to enjoy camaraderie with fellow participants and receive more attention in a small group setting. It allows the educator to take an inquiry-based approach to learning and tailoring the experience to the group’s specific interests.
  • Essential equipment provided. Yellowstone Forever provides high-quality scoping equipment to bring distant wildlife into crisp, clear view. Educators are at a minimum Wilderness First Aid certified. They carry a first aid kit and handheld radio during all outings and provide bear spray to participants if hiking in bear country. Additionally, they incorporate teaching aids such as skulls, tracks, pelts, and handouts, and field equipment such as temperature guns for thermal features.
  • Lodging with views. All lodging in this package is located at the Yellowstone Forever Overlook Field Campus. The YOFC is located a few miles outside of Gardiner, MT at the boundary edge of the Yellowstone National Park. The Overlook provides amazing opportunities to take in magnificent views of Yellowstone National Park. Field Educators will pick up folks from the Overlook daily to travel into the park where guests will spend time wildlife watching at a relaxing pace.

Download Program Information:

Winter Wolf Discovery - Gardiner

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.