Yellowstone in Winter

Yellowstone in Winter

Led by Historian Megan Kate Nelson

January 11-16, 2023
February 8-13, 2023

Yellowstone Spasm Geyser steam rising in a wintry landscape

Overview

As America’s first national park, Yellowstone is often teeming with people. The HISTORY® Channel invites you to visit in winter, when you will have the chance to experience all the park has to offer away from the crowds. Journey deep into Yellowstone over snow-packed roads, stopping often to explore the wilderness. See the dramatic iced-over Upper Falls at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, and watch Old Faithful’s dramatic eruptions. Hike the boardwalks and trails around the Upper Geyser Basin to see colorful thermal pools and steaming fumaroles. Take in the breathtaking views on the drive from West Yellowstone to charming Bozeman through Big Sky, Montana. Admire the spectacular landscape – and the extraordinary foresight of our leaders to preserve and protect this vast wilderness more than 150 years ago. (Please note: Guests will need to navigate icy areas and be able to climb into and out of a snow coach.) 

 

Highlights

    • Enjoy exclusive access to sites at Yellowstone 
    • View wildlife in their natural winter habitat as few see them 
    • Hike the geysers, hot springs, and mud pools of Yellowstone 
    • Curl up with a book or board game in front of a cozy fire in an award-winning winter snow lodge 
    • Learn from local naturalists and HISTORY® Channel-selected experts about the animals and ecosystems surrounding you, the centuries-old efforts to preserve and protect them, and the history of human settlement in this vast wilderness 
Trip accommodations, Megan K. Nelson

Trip Historian

Megan Kate Nelson

Megan Kate Nelson is a historian and writer, with a BA in History and Literature from Harvard and a PhD in American Studies from the University of Iowa. She lives in Lincoln, Massachusetts but grew up in Colorado, and her most recent books have taken her back to the West. Saving Yellowstone: Exploration and Preservation in Reconstruction America, was published on March 1, 2022 (the 150th anniversary of the creation of the park) and her previous book, The Three-Cornered War: The Union, the Confederacy, and Native Peoples in the Fight for the West, was a finalist for the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in History. Dr. Nelson has appeared in two The HISTORY Channel docuseries: I Was There (“Jesse James” and “Lincoln’s Assassination”) and Theodore Roosevelt. She writes about the Civil War, the U.S. West, and American culture for The New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, TIME, and Smithsonian Magazine. In her free time she enjoys road cycling and making cocktails – though not simultaneously.  

Itinerary

Meet your Historian and fellow travelers at the Bozeman Airport and transfer as a group to the recently renovated Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel located below the steaming limestone terraces of Yellowstone National Park. Today you will begin your exploration of this extraordinary national treasure; established as the world’s first national park in 1872 by President Ulysses S. Grant. Gather this evening for a welcome reception and dinner and begin to learn about the park’s fascinating history, which has welcomed visitors and served as a home, hunting grounds, and transportation route for more than 11,000 years.   

Included Meal: Dinner, Reception
Accommodations: Mammoth Hot Springs

Today, you will depart before dawn to discover the diverse wildlife in the region. With the assistance of spotting scopes, you will observe the valley’s resident bison herds. You will also search for elusive wolves, which were reintroduced to Yellowstone in 1995 and have flourished, creating a new dynamic in the valley.

Return to your hotel to relax this afternoon or enjoy a walk around Mammoth Hot Springs’ travertine terraces, which appear like a snow-covered mountain range. Tonight, join a local naturalist to learn about the challenging history of wolf reintroduction in the park

Included Meal: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodations: Mammoth Hot Springs

This morning, board a motorized snow coach specially equipped to traverse the winter terrain, for a full day’s journey across the park. You will view several geyser basins and a multitude of hot springs and other unique geologic features of the park. View the dramatic winter landscape, including the iced-over upper and lower falls of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. Marvel at the icy exoskeleton covering the racing water beneath the surface. Continue by snow coach over the Dunraven Pass, the Washburn Overlook, and Hayden Valley, which rests in an ancient lakebed.  

Check into your hotel, then walk the short distance to Old Faithful to watch its spectacular eruptions, wreathed in steam. Old Faithful was named by members of the Washburn Expedition that charted the area in 1870, for its frequent and somewhat predictable eruptions. Though not necessarily hourly (as some believe), there have been more than one-million eruptions since Yellowstone was first designated a national park in 1972. Enjoy dinner at your leisure.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 
Accommodations: Old Faithful Snow Lodge

Your Historian will start the day with a lecture about the long history of America’s first national park. After you’ll join the group to hike the boardwalks and trails of the Upper Geyser Basin, which contains the world’s largest concentration of geysers. You’ll explore the area’s fascinating array of geothermal features including the amazing colors of the Morning Glory Pool, bubbling mud pots, fumaroles steaming with volcanic gases, and Castle Geyser. You can continue to explore on your own this afternoon – with snowshoes or cross-country skis from the lodge. Or you can relax in front of one of the hotel’s many fireplaces. Those who choose can bundle up this evening for a moonlit “Steam, Stars, & Winter Soundscapes Tour” of Old Faithful and the geyser basins.  

Included Meals: Breakfast
Accommodations: Old Faithful Snow Lodge

Spend a final morning in Yellowstone as you board a specially equipped snow coach and head toward the park’s west entrance. Follow the path of the Firehole River, with stops to admire more of Yellowstone’s extraordinary geological features, including bubbling springs, colorful pools, powerful geysers, and steaming fumaroles. Continue to Bozeman through the wide-open skies and scenic views of Big Sky, Montana. Join your travelers for an exclusive private tour of the Gallatin History Museum and learn about the Gold Rush, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and early settlers in the region. After, enjoy a final celebratory dinner at a local tavern, where you can toast your adventure with a local beer or whiskey flight.  

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 
Accommodations: Element Bozeman

Depart Bozeman this morning on individual flights home. 

Included Meals: Breakfast

Available Dates & Pricing

January 11-16, 2023


Pricing will be announced soon
  •  
Coming Soon

February 8-13, 2023


Pricing will be announced soon
  •  
Coming Soon
  • Comprehensive educational program by professional on-site guides
  • Accommodations and meals as outlined in the itinerary
  • Sightseeing and visits, including entrance fees, as specified in the itinerary
  • Megan Kate Nelson’s book, Saving Yellowstone: Exploration and Preservation in Restoration America
  • Group airport transfer on arrival; small-group transfers in accordance with your flight times on departure
  • Ground transportation within the itinerary
  • Gratuities to porters, drivers, and guides
  • The assistance of an ATA tour manager for comprehensive logistical and customer service management on the trip
  • The assistance of an ATA professional travel team to assist with pre-trip questions, travel
    arrangements, including flights, extra hotel nights, and other services
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information about the destination and what to expect on the trip, including a suggested reading list
  • Fully vetted program that meets COVID-19 health and safety protocols
Mammoth HotSprings Hotel
Old Faithful Snow Lodge
Element Bozeman
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Accommodations

Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel | Yellowstone

Located inside Yellowstone National Park, Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel was first established in 1937, but recently renovated. The signature Map Room provides the perfect atmosphere for guests to congregate, and the hotel offers a warm winter welcome to guests. Cross-country ski and snowshoe rentals are available on site so that guests can explore the namesake springs nearby. Renovated rooms feature modern amenities and tasteful furnishings.

Old Faithful Snow Lodge | Yellowstone

Old Faithful Snow Lodge is Yellowstone’s newest hotel. Accessible only by snow coach, this rustic winter lodge offers a peaceful retreat. The award-winning design features heavy timber construction and western lodge-style furnishings with creative wildlife and park themes. Cozy fireplaces invite guests to sit and relax in the lobby and bar and miles of winter trails await just outside. Cross-country ski and snowshoe rentals and a free ice-skating rink (with complementary rentals) are available to guests.

Element Bozeman | Bozeman

Element Bozeman is located steps from Bozeman’s charming Main Street. On-site amenities include a saltwater pool and fitness center. Open-flow guestrooms are spacious and comfortable. The hotel is conveniently located just 15 minutes from Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport.

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