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Wake Up to Wildlife Tour

Features Animals
Yellowstone National Park, WY, USA
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About Wake Up to Wildlife Tour
Dawn is really the best time to search out the wild things, so we’ll leave Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel or Roosevelt Lodge bright and early and head for Lamar Valley. Here, expansive views provide great opportunities to find spectacular megafauna grazing or hunting on the open hillsides, and your driver/guide will know where the action has been as of late (as we’re looking for genuinely wild animals, there are no guarantees of course!). Our Historic Yellow Bus will be provisioned with muffins and juice for all aboard. If you really want to take your best chance to glimpse the great beasts, come Wake Up to Wildlife with us!
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Wake Up to Wildlife Tour
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VLW wrote a review Oct 2019
Kellyville, Oklahoma1915 contributions256 helpful votes
We took the Wake Up to Wildlife Tour in June at about 6:30 am. Jack, our guide, picked everyone up at Canyon Village (no other pickups elsewhere). Our transportation was a 1938 White Touring Car named "Mason City". If I remember correctly, it was retrofitted with new mechanics but still retained the original body. It had a canvas/vinyl top that could be rolled back depending on the weather. We had 2 restroom breaks each way and muffins and juice were provided. Jack was very knowledgeable about the history of the bus, park and wildlife. He was willing to answer any questions we had and even offered to research and later send us the answers if he didn't readily know them. Some of the negative reviews complained about having to watch for wildlife - well the driver has a more important job to do. Jack did a great job with providing us opportunities to view and photograph the many animals. As we drove through Lamar Valley, he would stop and ask people that were parked alongside the road what they were watching. He would then make every attempt to park legally and let us out to join in. Even though Jack had to abide by park and company rules, he made sure all the passengers were able to view the many animals seen along the route. He would also set up a spotting scope and ensured everyone (even some who were not on the tour) was able to see the grizzly sow and cubs. We saw hundreds of bison, several black bears (one was eating a moose cow that had died giving birth 2 days prior), a coyote, hundreds of antelope, an osprey, several elk, a grizzly sow with 2 cubs, a fox, 2 moose, several mountain goats, deer, a golden eagle, and a couple of sheep. We made it back to Canyon Village about 1130 am. The morning started off cool but warmed up considerably. We later took the Evening Wildlife Encounters tour at 4:30 pm and had Jack as our guide again. It was another great tour but we didn't see as much wildlife as we did that morning.
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Date of experience: June 2019
1 Helpful vote
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mangiam0 wrote a review Aug 2019
Santa Cruz, California36 contributions29 helpful votes
What a fabulous experience! We gathered in front of the newly renovated Mammoth Springs Hotel at 6am, boarded a bright yellow nifty old bus and headed to the Lamar Valley armed with muffins and juice provided on the tour. Our guide/driver, Karla, was absolutely fabulous. She knows so much about the area and its critters, and is as enthusiastic as her guests when she spots wildlife. And man oh man did we spot wildlife. The Lamar Valley is known as the American Serengeti for very good reason. During our tour and the next morning when my husband and I drove back there, we saw herds of bison (and yes, they own the road and can go wherever they want!), pronghorn antelope, black bear, Sandhill cranes, a golden eagle, a Trumpteter swan, and even a wolf feeding on a bison carcass. (One of our group spotted the carcass during our tour; the bison apparently only recently died. Other bison were checking it out - reminded us of how elephants behave when one of their own dies. The next morning, we learned that grizzly bears had already fed on it - now, a lone wolf was taking a turn, joined by a coyote, magpies and ravens.) Make the Wake Up to Wildlife tour a part of your Yellowstone experience. Bring good binoculars although Karla did set up scopes for us. Also dress in layers - the August morning was quite chilly, but by the time our tour ended around 11 it was already 80F. (And fyi, there are rest stops along the way.) Thank you, Karla, for a wonderful experience!
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Date of experience: August 2019
3 Helpful votes
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msacks71 wrote a review Jul 2019
Scottsdale, Arizona143 contributions42 helpful votes
We left very early but it was the best way to see the animals. I liked that it was a small group. Jack was our knowledgeable guide. Since no one was in a rush we stopped and took our time looking at the animals. We saw bison, elk, an osprey in its nest and a mother bear and her two cubs! We also spotted a young moose. I would highly recommended this tour. The guides knew exactly where to go to find animals. We also got some park history and animal history of Yellowstone. Thanks Jack!
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Date of experience: July 2019
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Pinecastle51 wrote a review Jun 2019
Orlando, Florida142 contributions33 helpful votes
This was a wonderful tour on the 1936 Yellow Bus. Frank, our bus driver and tour guide knew where to find the wildlife. We saw bears, bison, wolves, badges, elk, and pronghorn. The Lamar Valley is beautiful. Frank was very knowledgeable and really had a passion for the Park.
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Date of experience: June 2019
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Ying Z wrote a review Jun 2019
Atlanta, Georgia49 contributions30 helpful votes
I didn't live in the park so I have to get up super early to catch this tour. However I think it's well worth it! We headed out to the Lamar Valley and we saw bears, coyotes, deers, goats and bisons. The guide Jack is really knowledgeable and funny!
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Date of experience: June 2019
2 Helpful votes
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