Yellowstone Tour in Two Days

People Don’t Take Trips. Trips Take People.” (That applies to Yellowstone Tours!)

JOHN STEINBECK

Yellowstone, in our opinion, is the best national park in the world. And yet many people only see the main highlights with all the other tourists or, worse, only have one day to spend in the park.

We think hiring a local guide is almost always advantageous but this is especially true in Yellowstone where there is so much to see and learn. We also think our four-day Best of Yellowstone tour is a good amount of time to spend in the park but we realize some travelers might not have enough vacation days for that trip. Thus, we have created this two-day tour of the park featuring the top geologic features, amazing wildlife viewing, and (if you are interested) short walks or longer hikes in the park.

This two-day tour is unique because it gives us enough time to customize your itinerary based on your interests. Plus, we are the only tour company in the Park that includes a drive over the famous Beartooth Highway, a National Scenic Highway and one of the most spectacular roads in the United States. 

Yellowstone is large, at 2.2 million acres. There are five entrances, seven primary regions you can visit, nine lodges and nine visitor centers, approximately 600 active geysers, 900 miles of hiking trails, and 10,000 geothermal features. It takes over five hours to drive from the north entrance of the park to Old Faithful, Canyon Village, the Lamar Valley, and back – without any stops.

Planning a Yellowstone visit on your own is, to say the least, difficult. And doing it in one day can be unpleasant. That is why we do the work for you and take two days for the trip – and give you full 10-hour days with our guide.

Custom Tour Just For Your Group

Unlike most tour companies, we customize your experience in the park based on your interests. Upon registering, we ask you what your priorities are from among the following:

  • Seeing the park highlights, such as Old Faithful, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and Mammoth Hot Springs
  • Visiting lesser-known geologic features that can be just as breathtaking but are usually have fewer crowds, such as the Fountain Paint Pots
  • Viewing wildlife, which requires an evening drive to maximize our chance of seeing bears, elk, and bison
  • Watching wolves, which requires a pre-dawn start on the second day to give us the best chance at success
  • Hiking on paths that are away from the main sights and often scarcely traveled

Your interests will not only determine our itinerary each day but will affect other aspects such as our start and end times and where we book your hotel. But regardless of the itinerary, the following stays the same:

  • Departure from and return to either Red Lodge, Montana or Gardiner, Montana
  • One night’s hotel in Gardiner, West Yellowstone, or Cooke City / Silver Gate, Montana
  • Two lunches and one breakfast included
  • A professional guide versed in the area’s flora, fauna, history, and geologic features
  • 10 hours with your guide each day (eight hours if starting and ending in Gardiner)
  • Transportation in our vehicle
  • Park entrance fees

Why Book A Tour With Us Vs Visiting On Your Own

  • No Stress: Seeing Yellowstone National Park on your own is possible but difficult and often stressful. Our guides know the best times to see the most popular sights.
  • Two Ten-Hour Days: Two ten-hour days is enough time to see most of the highlights of the park
  • Individually Customized: We create the itinerary, change start and end times, and even book your hotel based on your interests.
  • Professional Guide: Our guides have extensive knowledge about the Park, wildlife, and geological features to make your experience even more memorable.
  • Beartooth Pass: We are the only tour company that includes a drive over on the National Scenic Highway over the Beartooth Pass.

See America’s favorite National Park on an efficient, fun, and stress-free tour! Looking to explore Yellowstone in the winter? Check out our Yellowstone Winter Vacation!

Travel Montana is an authorized permittee of Yellowstone National Park
Main Image Credit: Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development

Private Tour Info

All Yellowstone in Two Days tours are private groups. Minimize group size is two people.

Book Your Private Vacation Now

Details

  • Activities: Sightseeing, Wildlife Viewing, Optional Hiking
  • Duration: 2 days
  • Price Per Person
          4 - 5 people: $1,200
          6 - 7 people: $1,100
          8+ people: $1,000
  • Single Supplement: $200
  • Other Info:
    > The price of two-person and three-person tours is $1,500 per person.
    > This tour is only available from Memorial Day Weekend through October 15, when the Beartooth Pass is open.
    > Our guide will customize your tour based on the preferences you provide us when you register.
    > For this tour, all deposits and payments are non-refundable.
    >This trip is limited to 11 people. For groups larger than that, please contact us directly.

    To book this tour, please use this booking form

  • Public Tour Date: n/a

Book This Vacation

Trip Highlights

  • Experience the wonders of the world's first and possibly best national park
  • Watch Old Faithful erupt, see the Mammoth Hot Springs boil, and admire the colors of the Grand Prismatic hot spring
  • Search for wildlife including bears, bison, and wolves on morning and evening drives
  • Get off the tourist boardwalks on walks or invigorating hikes tailored to your ability level
  • Most importantly, maximize your time in Yellowstone on a customized tour with your own guide.

Your itinerary will be customized based on the information you provide us upon registration.

DAY 1

We meet you in the morning in either Red Lodge, Montana or Gardiner, Montana. If we meet in Red Lodge, we start with a drive up and over the Beartooth Pass, a National Scenic Highway and one of the most spectacular roads in the United States. Views of the Beartooth Mountains are breathtaking and we'll reach 10,947 feet at our highest point. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife throughout the trip and you might spot marmots, moose, coyote, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, grizzly bears and black bears. The road takes us to the small gateway communities of Cooke City and Silver Gate and then past the Northeast entrance into Yellowstone National Park. If we meet in Gardiner, we'll head directly into the park from there and your day with your guide will be shorter (eight hours) given the proximity to the park.

This day your guide will have a customized plan based on your interests, as you have indicated upon registering. You can even customize the customized plan a bit by talking to your guide and spending less or more time at each location. If you indicated an interest in hiking, we'll do a hike in the Lamar Valley. If your interest includes wildlife viewing, we'll do an evening drive in the Hayden Valley to watch for bears, elk, and bison. We'll very likely visit the Mammoth Hot Springs, gaze at Grand Prismatic's amazing colors, and perhaps even swim in the Firehole River. Dinner will be on your own, either in the park (if we are doing the evening wildlife drive) or in Gardiner, West Yellowstone, or Cooke City / Silver Gate, depending on where we have booked your hotel for you. Your guide will have plenty of recommendations for good places to eat. Please note, this is a full day of planned activities (~10 hrs) and the start/end times will depend on the activities you have chosen.

DAY 2

Again we will customize the day depending on your interests. If wolf watching is high on your list, we will get up very early to catch the wolves as the sun is rising. Yes, it is early but it is the best time to see wolves in the park. If hiking is on your list, we'll ditch the van to hike to Mystic Falls, where the Little Firehole River drops down from the Madison Plateau. We'll stop into Old Faithful Lodge to see the historic building, after which we will watch Old Faithful erupt and take a tour of the many smaller nearby geysers. In the afternoon, we might continue around the loop to the West Thumb geothermal area, which includes Fishing Cone, a hot spring in Yellowstone Lake in which visitors cooked fish immediately after catching them. We might continue on the loop drive to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and take a walk to view the impressive Upper and Lower Falls. We'll finish our journey by heading out of the park at the East entrance for a drive through Cody, Wyoming, and back to Red Lodge in time for you to choose your own dinner spot from among the many restaurants in town. If you chose to start and end in Gardiner, we'll finish back in Gardiner.

Book This Vacation

Trip Accommodations

NIGHT 1

We will book your lodging in one of the nearby gateway towns including Gardiner, West Yellowstone, and Cooke City / Silver Gate. Lodging in the Yellowstone region is scarce and expensive in the summer months, so we will choose your lodging based on availability and the interests you indicated when registering for the tour.

Book This Vacation
Arrival & Departure

This tour starts in either Red Lodge or Gardiner, Montana. Start time depends on whether you have prioritized Wildlife Viewing on your registration form. If we are meeting in Red Lodge and you prioritize wildlife viewing, your 10-hour day will run from approximately 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM on Day One, depending on the time of year (and thus sunset) when your tour will run. Starting from Gardiner, your day will run from 1:00 to 9:00 PM.

On the second day, your start and end times will vary based on whether you prioritized Wolf Watching. The best wolf watching is as the sun rises when the wolves are active, which could mean a departure time from our hotel as early as 4:30 AM in the second half of June when the sun rises earliest or as late as 6:30 or 7:00 PM in October. We know this is early but it is worth it if wolf watching is your priority. Your finish time will be approximately 10 hours later if we are returning to Red Lodge and eight hours later if we are returning to Gardiner, which is closer to the park.

What's Included?
  • One local Travel Montana guide will accompany your tour.
  • 10-hour days with your guide for trips departing from Red Lodge and eight-hour days for trips departing from Gardiner
  • Our trip prices are based on double occupancy. If you require your own room, based either on your choice or due to an odd number of people in your group, we will add a Single Supplement charge.
  • Two lunches and one breakfast are included. Dinner will be on your own.
  • Ground transportation is included once you meet your guide on the first day.
  • Entrance to Yellowstone National Park.
  • NOT INCLUDED - Dinner, gratuities to your guides, personal expenses and travel to and from the destination.
When To Travel

This tour is open from Memorial Day Weekend through October 15, when the Beartooth National Scenic Highway is open each year.

Shuttle Time

We get to explore the 2.2 million acres of Yellowstone National Park – and given the sheer size of the park itself, we spend significant time in the car. But no fear, keep your eyes peeled as we drive as we will get to see some amazing sights along the way!

Food and Lodging

Spending time inside the park is a top priority – you get to explore and experience so much more by staying in or very near the heart of Yellowstone. Our two lunches are picnics or trail lunches prepared by your guide. Breakfast will be either at your hotel or, if you select the Wolf Watching option, in the park. Accommodations in gateway cities surrounding the park are usually simple and sometimes chain hotels but we select the high quality ones that are more than adequate.

Delays in Yellowstone

It is not uncommon to get stuck by one of Yellowstone's famous "Bison Jams".  This is when a herd of bison has decided to cross one of the roads within the park and causes a traffic jam. Though they can be inconvenient while trying to stay on time, it is a one-of-a-kind experience that you won't find anywhere else. Additionally, July and August are Yellowstone's busiest months so the park will be crowded if you choose these months for your vacation. Your guide will try to manage this by timing the tour schedule appropriately as well as showing you lesser known (and frankly better!) vantage points for some of the biggest attractions.

Changes to Your Itinerary

We customize this trip based on your interests but you rely on us to plan a super vacation. If there is any one experience that is going to make or break your trip, please provide this information in your registration form. You can also discuss changes with your guide on the first morning of your tour.

Book This Vacation

I'm Interested

Interested in booking a vacation but still have questions? No problem!