Yellowstone Junior Rangers Safari
Grand Teton & Yellowstone National Parks
At a Glance
Designed with shorter travel days and fun and engaging activities for children 8-14 years
Spot Yellowstone’s wildlife from bison, bears, moose and wolves
Stay at Grizzly Lodge in a rustic family cabin and roast s’mores around the campfire
Learn about Yellowstone’s super volcano; from bubbling Dragon Mouth to Old Faithful Geyser
Tailored 3-day and 2-night private experience with expert naturalist guide
Fun activities for children including the Junior Rangers Programme
Completely flexible in terms of schedule and extensions available to 3 or 4 nights
Your guide will organize all your meals in the park, so you can let us know if you have any special requests or requirements. We can even organize for your guide to bring a few bottles of your favorite wine to enjoy around the camp fire while the children roast marshmallows!Maudie Tomlinson
We recommend speaking to your consultant in detail at the time of booking about the kinds of activities your children enjoy so we can tailor the experience to you. Some will love the Junior Rangers quizzes and games, while others might rather get getting muddy making casts of animal tracks!Maudie Tomlinson
Meet our specialists
Call us on 858 523 9000 to start planning your vacation to Yellowstone Junior Rangers Safari or take a look at our itineraries to The Rockies
Designed with wildlife loving families in mind, this three-day guided private tour of Yellowstone and Grand Teton offers plenty of opportunity for wildlife viewing from Bison to Bears, learning about Yellowstone’s super-volcano activity from iconic Old Faithful Geyser to the belching and bubbling Dragon Mouth cauldron, to roasting marshmallow s’mores and telling stories around a campfire under the starry sky.
Your naturalist guide will be used to touring with families, working on a relaxed schedule with short hikes and fun and engaging activities for the children, so that the whole family get the most out of the experience. From getting involved with the popular American National Park’s Junior Ranger Program where kids interview the Ranger and ‘swear in’ before completing the rangers activity books needed to earn a Rangers Badge, to completing animal check-lists and casting animal tracks for those willing to get messy in the field, there is sure to be plenty to keep the children excited.
On day one, your guide will meet you at your hotel and you’ll begin by searching for the abundant wildlife of Grand Teton National Park. Over the last several years, Grand Teton has become one of the best wildlife viewing parks in the world, with all of the region’s wildlife represented. Moose, elk, deer, bison, pronghorn, fox, coyote, bald and golden eagles, black bears, grizzly bears and even wolves can be spotted. With their young naturalists adventure kit, which includes a journal, National Park Passport, and Junior Ranger guide, children can begin counting off their animal sightings from the beginning.
The tour will then travel north into Yellowstone National Park along the Snake and Lewis rivers, past Lewis Falls and Lewis Lake to the continental divide. From here you’ll drop into the Yellowstone Lake Basin to West Thumb Junction. Usually you’ll travel to the east side on day one around Yellowstone Lake where the Yellowstone River flows out to the north at the famous Fishing Bridge. From here on is some of the best bear and wolf watching in Yellowstone! We will see the bubbling Mud Volcano on the way to Hayden Valley where the river flows through open sage meadows towards the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. At the top of the canyon the river falls over both the upper and lower falls creating the 20-mile long canyon that is one of the most scenic places in Yellowstone!
From here you’ll make your way to the Lamar Valley, often called the Serengeti of North America. This is the single best wildlife viewing area in Yellowstone and known for the abundance of bears and wolves and children will enjoy learning all about how to track animals and find their whereabouts.Your guide will equip you with binoculars for safe viewing of these wonderful animals and can help with photography tips for any budding young photographers!
The day will end in Silvergate Montana at the Grizzly Lodge just half a mile from the park entrance, where you’ll stay in a family cabin. Enjoy dinner at a local eatery and then roast marshmallows over a fire under the starry night sky, surrounded by Soda Butte creek and huge mountains. This is one of the most wonderful places on earth.
The next day, wake for a hot chocolate and head back to the Lamar Valley to see if you can track any more Grizzly Bears. The day will be relaxed and includes time for exploring classic park sites including Mammoth Hot Springs and Tower Falls. Enjoy a picnic lunch at Mammoth or Gardiner, take some short hikes and enjoy plenty of ice-cream stops in between sights. The evening will be spent back in the Lamar Valley area in search of the region’s abundant wildlife, returning back to Silvergate for dinner and time to enjoy another campfire.
Today you can opt to wake early for more wildlife viewing, or have a sleep in ready to take on the day. Your guide will take you to marvel at the geyser basins with colorful hot springs and steaming fumaroles - and of course time to see the most famous geyser of all erupt, Old Faithful. Your guide can call in to ensure you’re there on the viewing platform ahead of the show for when Old Faithful shoots high into the air! Today is the last day to complete the Junior Ranger Program before leaving Yellowstone, with Old Faithful or Mammoth being our favorite places for the children to get their rangers badge.
Travel back south over the continental divide three times on the way back to Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole on a scenic drive. Your guide will get you back to Jackson in good time if you’d like to check into your hotel early, or you can enjoy a full day adventure traveling through the parks into Grand Teton, searching for wildlife at dusk and enjoying amazing sunset vistas that make for a beautiful end to your adventure.
Grizzly Lodge is a no-frills rustic National Park lodging in Silvergate, the lodgings are ideally located for wildlife viewing in the Lamar Valley (the 'Serengeti of Yellowstone') and the spacious cabins offer an ideal set up for families traveling together as the majority of park lodgings do not have connecting options. The accommodations may be rustic, but the focus is all about exploring the parks and making the most of the great outdoors.
The Grizzly Lodge is a rustic lodge on the banks of Soda Butte Creek. Originally built in the mid-1800's when Silver Gate was a thriving mining community, it's located just 1 mile from the entrance to Yellowstone and the Lamar Valley. Accommodations are extremely basic and no frills, but its friendly and local and the best choice for prime wildlife viewing in the Lamar Valley.
Location & Directions
Grand Teton & Yellowstone National Parks
This itinerary starts and ends in Jackson Hole. You'll travel north through Grand Teton National Park and into Yellowstone via the southern gate. To explore the park, two-nights will be spent at Grizzly Lodge in Silvergate, the ideal location for wildlife viewing in the Lamar Valley and for accessing the iconic sites of Yellowstone National Park.
When to go
Jackson Hole has five distinct seasons: summer (usually June to August), fall (September through October), off-season (November), winter (December through March) and off-season (April and May).
Multi-day Yellowstone trips can run from May through to October. July and August is the region's busiest time when two-thirds of Yellowstone's annual visitors go to the park and families make the most of the long sunny days. During the peak summer months a guide becomes even more valuable, able to get you off beaten track, with knowledge of animals territories and where to find them at the coolest parts of the day (dawn and dusk).
It is in spring that newborn elk, moose, bison and bears start appearing. Summers offer warm days and cool nights and a profusion of brightly colored wildflowers. In autumn, the aspen and cottonwood run gold and red. It's also a great time to see bears, who are on a feeding frenzy in preparation for hibernation. In November, the Elk will start to come down to the Elk Refugee bordering town.
When the snow starts to fall, day safaris can be taken by jeep in the Grand Tetons and snow-mobile or snow-coach in Yellowstone. It's a magical time to visit, as the animals come down to lower elevation for winter and wildlife watching becomes all the easier against a crisp white background.