Join a professional naturalist guide on safari into the National Parks for fall wildlife viewing on an all-inclusive wildlife expedition. As summer turns to winter, we have the opportunity to watch wildlife making preparations for the long winter months here in Jackson Hole. Some species start to migrate down to lower elevations, some species begin the process of hyperphagia, (bulking up on food before winter), and some species start their southward journey before the snows arrive.
Professional Naturalist Guide
Small Group Safari : 6 Guests Max
Activity Fees / Entrance Fees
Souvenir Water Bottle
Use of Spotting Scopes
Use of Binoculars
Gear / Personal Clothing
The meeting location for this expedition is Gallery Wild, located at 80 West Broadway, Jackson WY. Please be sure to arrange flights and check in to your hotel with plenty of time to arrive at the meeting location by 5:30 PM. You’ll have an opportunity to meet your guide, get an overview of the week, and ask questions about your expedition.
This is the best way to see Yellowstone and the Teton National Parks. Our guide was hilarious! His knowledge of the parks was impressive. He took us places that were just breath-taking. Along the way, he shared a lot of information on how the parks were created both geologically and historically. You come away with a great appreciate of these two parks, plus a camera full of some beautiful pictures.
Arrive in Jackson Hole, the last of the old west. The Jackson Hole Airport is the only commercial airport in the United States located entirely inside a national park. The impressive peaks of the Grand Teton range are poised to greet you on the runway. You’ll head into town to check in to your hotel and you’ll meet us at Gallery Wild in the early evening for an introduction to your guide and a mandatory overview of the week’s schedule. For dinner, you’re free to explore the town of Jackson on your own. There are a number of fine restaurants within walking distance. Overnight accommodations are at a local hotel.
- Gallery Wild: Owned and operated by Jackson Hole based wildlife painter Carrie Wild, and her husband Jason Williams, Gallery Wild’s works and philosophy are inspired by and directly impacted by thousands of hours in the field observing, studying and falling in love with all things wild. From the smallest bird to the biggest polar bear, Gallery Wild artists produce work inspired by actual subjects roaming the wild. Their mission is to inspire collectors and impassion others to help protect wildlife and wild places for future generations.
Grand Teton National Park
Rise early for a morning of wildlife watching in Grand Teton National Park. This morning you’ll explore the southern end of Grand Teton National Park. You’ll see highlights like Mormon Row, and Antelope Flats. At midday, we will break for lunch and head to the National Museum of Wildlife Art. After lunch at Palate, you will be free to explore the museum. In the early afternoon, we will head back out to Grand Teton National Park, in search of wildlife once again. The best time to see wildlife in the park is early morning and late afternoon/evening. We will eat dinner in the park so we can make the most of our day in the field. Overnight accommodations are back at your local hotel.
- Mormon Row: In the late 1890’s, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (Mormons), sent families out of Salt Lake City to establish new communities to support their growing numbers. Mormon homesteaders, settling east of Blacktail Butte because of the wind shelter and access to water in the Gros Ventre River, clustered their farms to share labor, not typical of traditional western homesteads. Irrigation ensured fertile soils and successful farms in spite of harsh living conditions in this valley at the time. In 1997, Mormon Row Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places as a “Historic District”.
- National Museum of Wildlife Art: In 1984, 10 founding trustees chose Jackson Hole as an appropriate setting for an art museum focused on images of wildlife because of the area’s abundant wildlife, beautiful mountain setting, and unique tourism qualities. The original museum opened as Wildlife of the American West Art Museum in 1987 on Jackson’s Town Square. By 1992 the museum had outgrown the town square space and moved to its present location overlooking the Elk Refuge. The Museum’s permanent collection of over 5,000 cataloged items includes paintings, sculpture, and works on paper by over 100 distinguished artists ranging from early American Tribes through contemporary masters. The Museum’s permanent and temporary exhibitions are augmented with innovative educational and scholarly programs emphasizing art appreciation, art history, natural science, creative writing, and American history.
Yellowstone National Park
We leave early in the morning for Yellowstone National Park today. After winding our way back through Grand Teton National Park, we will pause for lunch in Grand Teton National Park before we enter Yellowstone National Park at the South Entrance and make our way north. Highlights today include the Snake River Overlook, Oxbow Bend, Jackson Lake, West Thumb, Hayden Valley and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Overnight accommodations are at Canyon Lodge in Yellowstone National Park.
- Snake River Overlook: Ansel Adams, prominent landscape photographer and champion of the outdoors made the Grand Teton National Park overlook famous with his 1942 photograph, “The Tetons – Snake River”. In 1941, the National Park Service commissioned Ansel Adams to create a body of work to be displayed at the Department of the Interior in Washington DC. Adams photographed several parks, including Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. The project was halted during World War II and was never reinstated. Adams managed to capture 226 iconic images, including the famous Snake River image, before the project was halted. The images are held at the National Archives in Washington DC.
- Oxbow Bend: An oxbow bend in the Snake River provides picturesque views of the river with Mount Moran in the background. Mount Moran has several distinct features, a squared-off peak, skillet glacier, (its name taken from the distinct shape of the ice) and a basalt intrusion visible on the face. This striking panorama draws photographers from all over and is especially impressive in the fall, when the autumnal colors frame the river and wildlife makes an appearance. The mountain takes its name from Thomas Moran, an oil painting and watercolor artist whose work was essential in the creation of Yellowstone National Park in 1872. One of his most famous pieces, The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. hangs in the Smithsonian American Art Museum in the Gallery of Thomas Moran Paintings.
Yellowstone National Park
We will stay in Yellowstone National Park for two full days, and head to the Lamar Valley and Hayden Valley in search of bears, wolves and other wildlife. Overnight accommodations continue at Canyon Lodge in Yellowstone National Park both nights.
- Grand Canyon of Yellowstone: While Native Americans, prospectors and trappers had knowledge of a massive river and canyon in Yellowstone, it was in the year 1869, on the Cook-Folsom-Peterson Expedition, that a description of the canyon appeared in Cook’s journal. While Cook’s description of the canyon described it as a place of awe and wonderment, it was Lt. Gustavus C Doane’s description, (of the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition of 1870), that went into more scientific detail of the canyon itself. Doane’s description tells of steep sparkling cliffs of gypsum encrusted with lime and sulphur with colorful mineral deposits from thousands of hot springs. The river itself, begins as thundering falls and crashes through the canyon in unending rapids.
- Lamar Valley: The Lamar Valley is often referred to as the Serengeti of North America. Photographers and wildlife enthusiasts often head to the Lamar Valley in search of wolves, but many other species call this corner of the park home. Wolves were hunted to extinction within Yellowstone National Park boundaries in 1926. Following the eradication of this apex predator, the elk population boomed. Amid much controversy, wolves were reintroduced to the park in 1995 and have flourished since then. The reintroduction sparked scientific evaluation of the true complexities of a healthy ecosystem. The debate continues today over the economic complexitiesof wildlife management and sustainable tourism.
- Mammoth Hot Springs: Travertine terraces are formed from very hot thermal water rising up through limestone, dissolving it and depositing the calcium carbonate at the surface when the carbon dioxide is released into the air. These deposits can form a terrace structure like the ones visible at Mammoth Hot Springs. These structures form quickly and can change the landscape dramatically in a short period of time. It’s wild to be able to witness geology in action.
- Hayden Valley: The Hayden Valley occupies approximately 50 square miles, (129.50 square kilometers) in central Yellowstone National Park. The valley floor is an ancient lake bed, once covered by water from Yellowstone Lake. The fine layers of sediment create a marshy environment with lush grasses and few trees. The valley is named for Ferdinand V. Hayden, a member of the first federally funded geological survey sent to the Yellowstone region in 1871 at the request of President Ulysses S. Grant. Other notable members of the geological survey include Thomas Moran (artist), William Henry Jackson (Civil War Photographer) and Lt. Gustavus C. Doane (military escort). Native American tribal leadership have recently contested the name “Hayden Valley” because of Ferdinand V. Hayden’s support of extermination policies targeting Native Americans who refused to comply with federal mandates.
Yellowstone National Park / Grand Teton National Park
We will slowly make our way south through the National Parks and head back to Jackson. We will see Old Faithful and the Grand Prismatic Spring as we head south. We will work our way through Grand Teton National Park, stopping for any wildlife. Our last night will be back at a local hotel. We will enjoy a special dinner together at the Wort Hotel and the evening will be free to explore the town of Jackson, or enjoy live music and dancing at the Silver Dollar Bar.
- Old Faithful: During the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition of 1870, the men observed regular eruptions from a geyser in the Upper Geyser Basin. Due to the steady intervals of the eruptions, the men called this geyser “Old Faithful”. Early mathematical models were employed to predict the eruptions of the geyser, but seismic activity over time has rendered these models obsolete. Today, Old Faithful will erupt every 65-90 minutes, depending on the length of the prior eruption. The clockwork nature of the eruptions is due in part to the absence of other thermal features connected to Old Faithful.
- Grand Prismatic Spring: The Grand Prismatic Spring, arguably the most colorful feature in Yellowstone National Park is found in the Midway Geyser Basin. The vibrant colors around the hot spring are formed from microbial mats, sheets of microorganisms like bacteria and archaea that live in extreme environments. The ratio of chlorophyll to carotenoids determines the visible color of the microorganisms and can vary according to temperature of the water.
Depart Jackson Hole. If your flights allow you a free morning in Jackson Hole, you can enjoy a crisp fall morning at any one of our fine restaurants or coffee shops.
Safari Tour Gallery
What is your cancellation policy?
Due to the complex nature of our multi-day expeditions, our cancellation policy is 90 days on all domestic and international expeditions. Cancellations made before the cancellation policy goes into effect will receive a full refund. Cancellations made within 90 days of departure will not be refunded. We recommend obtaining travel insurance before your departure to protect you from incurring any costs associated with unforeseen circumstances that prevent you from joining us.
What is the weather like in the summer?
Summer in Jackson Hole runs from early May to late October. Average high temperatures in the valley during the summer season range from 61F to 81F (16C to 27C), and daily temperatures can fluctuate quite a lot. The high elevation often creates cool mornings and evenings but hot afternoons. It is important to come prepared for a variety of conditions throughout the day as they can change quickly in the summertime.
Average highs and lows by summer months:
May: Average High 64F/17C, Average Low 30F/-1C
June: Average High 76F/24C, Average Low 37F/2C
July: Average High 81F/27C, Average Low 40F/5C
August: Average High 80F/26C, Average Low 39F/3C
September: Average High 73F/22C, Average Low 31F/-1C
October: Average High 61F/16C, Average Low 23F/-5C
Is this a set itinerary?
The exact routes and itineraries will depend on a number of factors – the most important being your areas of interest, current wildlife sightings and road conditions. One of the great things about our safaris and expeditions is our ability to customize each safari for you. Our guides are all highly experienced with thousands of hours in the field allowing them to make suggestions and calibrate the adventure to your experience level and desires. Every day in the field is different which makes our safaris more fun for both you and your guides. We hope that you’ll join us on an expedition and walk away with an education and appreciation of this remarkable place we are privileged to call home.
Is this tour sustainable?
Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris combines a love of adventure with a passion for wildlife and wild spaces to create a premium, once in a lifetime experience exploring the natural world. It is our belief that active stewardship is the only way to ensure the same experience for future generations. This is why Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris is committed to a culture of sustainability and is dedicated to purchasing products, establishing partnerships and educating the public in a way that values the protection and conservation of our most valuable resources. Each part of this tour has been carefully crafted with sustainability in mind.
Guides and Staff
Local, experienced, and passionate guides and photographers.