Yellowstone is America’s oldest and perhaps most beloved national park, inspiring innumerable written accounts of exploration and bringing in an influx of tourism each year. But even before this remote region attracted millions of visitors, Yellowstone had an extensive history of human occupation. Archeological evidence shows us that people have inhabited Yellowstone for more than 11,000 years. This was the traditional homeland of the Tukudeka—a band of Shoshone Native Americans—and many other tribes such as the Blackfeet and Nez Perce traveled through the area. They engaged in trade, gathered plants, hunted, fished, quarried obsidian, and held religious and medicinal ceremonies at sacred sites. Today, 26 tribes have historic connections to Yellowstone.
Bison, pronghorn and elk amble across Yellowstone’s grasslands. Aspens and willows speckle the forests of pine, spruce, fir and juniper, which shelter coyote, grizzlies and gray wolves in their depths. Thermal features found here include hot springs, mudpots, fumaroles, travertine terraces, steam vents and the famed geysers. Yet few may know that beyond national park boundaries the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem extends far into the Northern Rockies, encompassing 34,000 square miles. Our trip explores a wide swath of Yellowstone Country, including the northwest sector, where travelers revel in exceptional seclusion. The itinerary is specifically designed to take you away from the masses and into the less-visited parts of this expansive ecosystem. If you are looking for a Yellowstone trip where excursions reveal elusive wildlife and natural wonders, search no further.
Guests on this adventure have the opportunity to sojourn at the historic Rainbow Ranch Lodge on the banks of the Gallatin River near Big Sky. Sip fine wines and enjoy candlelit dinners that feature ranch-to-table ingredients such as stream-caught trout, garden-raised greens and summer berries. Travelers recount tales of the day under a night sky of countless stars, wind mingling with the fragrant scents of sagebrush and smoke from a crackling fire. A shining pond reflects the whirling constellations, and nearby, your room awaits. Fall asleep in cozy, handcrafted lodgepole pine beds where you can keep warm with down comforters and the woodburning river rock fireplace. A writing desk lit by wrought iron lamps awaits those eager to detail their adventures, and a veranda with Adirondack chairs lets one take in the view of the open range, the all-encompassing sky and the painted mountain peaks, which change in hue from dawn to dusk. Hike or horseback ride through the Gallatin Mountains, a refuge for moose, grizzly bears, wolves and elk in the valley’s meadows. From the top of Lone Peak, search for bighorn sheep and mountain goats in the steep canyons and birds of prey soaring overhead.
Our journey through Yellowstone is a trip for the true wanderer, embracing the spirit of remote nature travel. This adventure stands apart from the typical park tour, delving deep into Yellowstone’s wilds. Immerse yourself in the unknown, and join us on Yellowstone: Adventure Under the Big Sky.