Field Notes

Guides of Jackson Hole

by Monica RobinsonMar 18, 2024

At Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris, quality, professional, and passionate guides are what make our tours truly unmatched. There are many guide companies to choose from, but the way we hand select our professionals to lead you into the wonders of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks ensures excellence in a tailored, five-star experience.

We don’t just look for one quality in our guides, we look for a diversity in backgrounds, education and personalities to round out our staff to better serve you and your family’s needs. We have guides who are longtime residents of the area with intimate knowledge of historic changes in the park, guides with a scientific background holding bachelors and even masters degrees in wildlife and environmental subjects, former rangers with exciting stories to share, skilled photographers with an eye for the most beautiful scenic spots known only by a few, and more. Many of our guides have traveled the world for wildlife projects in different ecosystems and continents, and guided in other countries and national parks. This is not just a job to them, it is a lifelong passion.

We have several senior guides who have been with the company for many years- a testament to how passionate they are about this ecosystem. We recognize the importance of retaining the top talent in the valley, so we value the importance of providing a career path in this field, averaging guide tenure at roughly a decade. By choosing guides with a genuine passion for the area, they are continually learning about the finer details of every aspect of the park. They build on their knowledge, keep up with current scientific findings, and stay up to date on the the national park news. No matter which one of our guides leads you on your adventure, you are in for a day of fascinating information and exciting stories!

What Are Your Interests?

We not only value knowledge, we hire guides who are excited to share their knowledge every day with a range of guests from children to seniors, and wildlife enthusiasts to history buffs. They see the immense beauty and value of our national parks and they can’t wait to share that with visitors. In order to do that, they find out what your personal interests are and shape your tour around them.

Many visitors taking a tour have wildlife as their top interest, so our excursions naturally focus on finding animals and talking about their unique habits and biology. Interested more in plant life? No problem! The native vegetation varies throughout the park and is abundant. Our guides will tell you how different plants come into play with other native species, highlighting the interconnected relationship of everything in the ecosystem.

If geology and natural history is more up your alley, Grand Teton and Yellowstone are treasure troves of geological wonders. You will be amazed at the story of the Teton mountains and the Yellowstone supervolcano, and every detail surrounding them.

Guides also hold a personal interest in human history of the place they call home, from native tribal history dating back 11,000 years to more recent 19th century homesteaders. Not only will they illuminate fascinating human stories, but they bridge the gap between then and now, allowing you to relate to the people in the past in a personal way.

Casey McFarland teaching Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris guides how to tell how fast the elk was traveling by measuring the distance between tracks.
Wintering moose are a common site in Grand Teton National Park throughout the winter season. It is important to maintain a safe distance which is at least 25 yards while in a National Park (though even greater distances are recommended just to be safe).

Specialty Tours

Our tours are always tailored to your particular interests, but you can also choose from a selection of specialty tours that focus on specific aspects.

Track and Sign Tour

Ever imagined yourself tracking wild animals out in the wilderness, or wishing you knew how? We offer a specific Track and Sign tour that focuses on finding and identifying tracks left behind in various terrain such as snow, mud, dirt, and grass. Tracking goes beyond paw prints- we investigate signs like marks left in trees by woodpeckers, shafts of hair stuck in the bark of a tree that an elk grazed passed, or a bed of grass that a moose previously rested in. When you start paying attention to the details of the world around you, the landscape comes alive with the movement and activities of every and any animal that calls this special ecosystem home. Sometimes, seeing the remnants of an animal’s activities that occurred not long before you stood in that spot is as exciting as seeing them!

These tours are led by professional track and sign guides who hold an internationally recognized Level 3 or Level 4 CyberTracker certification.

Photography Tours

Traveling with your camera and eager to capture the beauty of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem? Whether you’re a photography expert or a novice, booking a photography tour with us launches you into the heart of our scenic national parks in pursuit of awe-striking landscape views and stunning iconic wildlife. Our photography tours are led by a seasoned guide who holds not only extensive knowledge on the best viewpoints and local wildlife behavior, but also an impressive list of professional photography credentials. You will receive top-notch creative direction, technical guidance, and lessons in post production. You’ll leave Yellowstone with photographs that you’ll adore for a lifetime.

Educational Specialties

We cater to all kinds of groups with different interests and goals, including groups in search of specific educational experiences. The GYE is the perfect place to focus on topics like geology and natural history, as so much of the landscape can be explained by geologic processes. These concepts are very abstract in the classroom, but in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks they are very much real and tangible, offering an extremely valuable hands-on learning opportunity. Biology is everywhere in the plant and animal life that roam the landscape, and understanding the interconnected relationships between these native species is illustrated through our guides’ skillful interpretations of what you find around you.

When booking your tour, make sure to indicate your areas of interest as we want to tailor each tour specifically to your goals. We take your wishes into consideration to pair you with a guide who will be the best fit for your group to ensure an exceptional experience!

We take reservations both online and over the phone. Book now to secure your preferred date. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Our Expert

Monica Robinson

Naturalist Guide
See Bio