Whether you want to get incredible photos, be introduced to the best park trails or just get an insider’s perspective on Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, you’ll find an amazing customizable tour to take with these great family-owned guide companies. Sharing owners, Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris and Yellowstone Safari Company operate high-end, vehicle-based tours that allow you to experience the best of these iconic parks with a knowledgeable guide helping you understand what you’re seeing.
If you’re staying in Jackson, or nearby areas south of the parks, Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris will pick you up from your accommodations and take you on a half-day or full-day tour. Half-day tours, departing in the morning or mid-day, explore Grand Teton while full-day tours can visit either park. For a unique option, choose the photography tour that can be modified to fit any level of experience. Learn to get your camera off auto-mode or get the wildlife shots you’ve been dreaming of.
“There’s no better place to learn photography than Grand Teton and Yellowstone,” says owner Matt Scott.
These tours include instruction in editing your photos as well, so you can take home a finished product ready to print and hang on your walls.
Another unique Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris offering is the Grand Teton Track and Sign Adventure. Go beyond spotting wildlife from a vehicle and get out into the field where naturalists will help you learn to identify animal tracks and other signs to interpret animal behavior and increase your chances of spotting bears, wolves, elk and more.
If you’re staying north or west of Yellowstone, book a tour with Yellowstone Safari Company. From the North or West entrance, your tour can focus on wildlife in the expansive Hayden or Lamar valleys, hiking, or the park’s incredible geothermal features. You also have the ability to add on photography components to these tours.
Both companies pride themselves in having staff with incredible longevity. Most of their guides have more than seven years of experience guiding in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. One guide has been working in the park so long, he witnessed the 1995 gray wolf reintroduction. Another was the first female guide to work in Yellowstone.
“Their experience makes our tours unique and special,” says Scott. “They’ll show you a different angle on everything whether it’s Old Faithful erupting or spotting wildlife.”
Tours are purposely kept small so that participants have access to ask their guide all the questions they like, and so that everyone gets a window seat. While you’ll book a predetermined tour option on either company’s website, no two tours are the same. You’ll get the opportunity to share what you’re looking for upon booking and then with your guide on the day of your tour. Their experience means they can craft an excursion that meets your desires whether that’s getting a great bison photo or hiking to a waterfall.
On full day tours, you’ll be served lunch from Teton Lunch Counter or Cravin’s. These partnerships highlight both companies’ commitment to sustainability. All ingredients are locally sourced and sustainable and served in reusable containers. Scraps are composted meaning everything is zero-waste. While recycling and conserving energy is a no-brainer for these companies’ headquarters, they’ve gone above and beyond normal sustainability efforts by becoming BEST certified by the Riverwind Foundation. The only local tour operator to be awarded this prestigious certification, it means they are committed to sustainability in every aspect of their business from transportation to conservation to purchasing.
Looking for more than just a day trip? Both companies offer multi-day excursions to help you see more of both parks and even areas outside the parks like McCullough Peaks outside of Cody where wild mustangs roam. If you’re visiting in the winter, check out snowshoe safaris, wolf watching tours and more.
To learn more and to book your tour visit:
Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris – Grand Teton and Yellowstone Tours from Jackson
Yellowstone Safari Co. – Yellowstone Tours from Bozeman, Gardiner and West Yellowstone