Frequently Asked Questions

What will be provided on a Yellowstone day trip?

Each Yellowstone day trip includes expert instruction and interpretation by your local Naturalist Guide. We also provide:

  • High-quality, high-powered Nikon spotting scopes and binoculars
  • Hot and cold drinks
  • Ample edibles for the day (snacks and brunch/lunch options)
  • Bear spray
  • First aid kit
  • Water jug from which to refill your bottles throughout the day
  • Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes

What should I pack for a Yellowstone trip?

For any of our Yellowstone day trip experiences, you should bring:

  • Water (We will have a canteen to refill your bottle. We recommend one liter of water minimum, preferably in a reusable bottle, 2-3 liters if hiking).
  • Layers for cool morning temperatures, including a rain/wind proof jacket and close-toed shoes with good traction. A light hat and even mittens might feel welcome especially in spring and fall. It is not uncommon to see a 50° temperature change over the course of a day here in the Rocky Mountains.
  • Sun hat and sunscreen.
  • Camera (Don't forget extra batteries and memory cards!)
  • Anything else to make you comfortable and safe (i.e. sunglasses, lip balm, personal medications, inhaler).
  • A guide gratuity
  • For winter in Yellowstone: A heavy jacket, warm winter boots, thermal under layers, a warm hat, gloves or mittens, neck gaitor or scarf. If cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, bring layers for activity (wicking base layers, fleece, snowpants, and a breathable shell).
  • If meeting outside the park, your National Parks Pass or entrance fee. Pre-purchase your pass here: If you're planning on visiting other national parks this next year, we suggest an annual Interagency Pass that allows access to other parks and federal lands. Click here for more information:
  • Personal day pack
  • Extra water (2-3 liters/day)

What Yellowstone wildlife will we see on our tour?

While we cannot guarantee any specific animal sightings, we do our best to take advantage of early mornings when wildlife is most active. Our Naturalist Guides know Yellowstone's landscape, wildlife behavior and habitat, and are connected to a network of wildlife spotters. While everyday is different, we have great success with finding the park's large carnivores (Yellowstone's wolves and bears in particular) as well as elk, bison, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, moose, coyotes, fox and more, along with a suite of smaller mammals. There are over 300 species of birds in Yellowstone. We are always listening and looking up! No two days are ever the same. Even if your day is not specific to wildlife, we always take advantage of animal sightings which present themselves while traveling through the park.

Can you make recommendations for food and lodging near Yellowstone?

Yellowstone Grill -- Where Locals Meet to Eat! Gardiner Market Wonderland Cafe The Corral Tumbleweed Bookstore and Cafe

How does Walking Shadow Ecology handle Yellowstone safety?

We take safety very seriously. While we expect a fun-filled, meaningful day, there are inherent risks here in Yellowstone National Park.

  • All our Naturalist Guides are certified as Wilderness First Responders or in Wilderness First Aid, and carry a comprehensive first aid kit.
  • We always carry bear spray.
  • We carry radios connected to networks within the park to call for help if out of cell range (Verizon works best, but still spotty in our vast wilderness area).
  • We keep a close eye on weather forecasts and adjust plans if necessary.
  • Yellowstone is a high-altitude, arid region. We encourage you to drink water before and during your trip with us.
  • We ask you to sign an Acknowledgement of Risk at the start of our trip. Feel free to bring a signed copy with you.
  • We have retrofitted our vehicle for Covid-19 safety by installing a plexiglass shield and personal air purifiers. For more information, please read more about our COVID safety protocols.

How fit do I need to be for my Yellowstone day trip?

We will customize your day to your group's interests and abilities. Yellowstone averages 5200' to over 10,000' in altitude, and can take some getting used to. We are in an arid environment, and you may need more water than normal. Drink lots of water and get rest in advance of your trip. Some of our experiences are low impact (maybe a short walk to a better wildlife viewing area). We will scale it up for those seeking deeper immersion in Yellowstone's wilderness.

What if I need to cancel my Yellowstone trip?

We understand life happens. We also appreciate you knowing we work hard to be able to provide top-quality Yellowstone educational experiences.

  • Your payment is refundable up to 14 days from your reserved date, minus a $40 booking fee. It is non-refundable within 14 days of your trip.
  • **For Summer '21, we will honor all Covid-related cancellations with a full refund (minus a $40 booking fee) up to the evening before your Yellowstone Experience. We encourage you to be safe, and to inform us if anyone in your group is not feeling well with this good-faith measure.
  • Please call 406-223-5967 or email as soon as you know your plans are changing.

What are the rates for my Yellowstone Experience?

  • Please visit our Trips & Rates page for up-to-date pricing and all that's included.
  • Please inquire for multiday trips, Customized Educational Experiences for your group, and any other questions by emailing, or calling 406-223-5967.