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Extended Winter Wolf Watch

Dates: Feb. 28 - March 6, 2010
Places left: 7
Cost*: $1,950.00
Deposit required: $500.00 per person
*Cost is per person based on double occupancy. $225.00 additional for single room supplement.
Plus tax when applicable.


Local wolf biologists Linda Thurston and Nathan Varley co-host this grand winter adventure with 5 days of wolf watching. Price includes lodging, meals, transportation, permitting, and special guest speakers for this 7-day, 6-night adventure. Join us to learn more about wolves in the wilds of Yellowstone.


February 28, 2010 — We will rendezvous with group members at Bozeman airport between about 12 and 1 PM. Our gathering place at the small Bozeman airport will be at the large Grizzly Bear bronze near the baggage claim. We can make special arrangements to pick up at local hotels prior to the airport stop, particularly for those needing to fly in the day before. Once gathered, we will serve lunch near Bozeman before we embark for Gardiner, Montana, at the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Transportation will be in the now famous “Adventure Bus,” an ideal vehicle for group touring purposes. Once in Gardiner, we will visit the famous Roosevelt Arch for an official welcome to Yellowstone Park. We will check in at the Absaroka Lodge overlooking the Yellowstone River where the group will be lodged for the week. Our evening meal will be in Gardiner accompanied by an orientation and presentation by your local guides, wildlife biologists Nathan Varley and Linda Thurston of The Wild Side, LLC.

March 1, 2010 — On our first and subsequent days, we will depart early (~6 AM) to the Northern Range for a search for wolves and other wildlife. We will visit such wolf-rich areas as Slough Creek and the Lamar Valley for viewing. The viewing will be mostly road-based during using binoculars and spotting scopes to find wolves and observe other wildlife like bison, elk, coyotes, and moose. Be prepared for possible short hikes to vantage points and have plenty of warm clothes including insulated winter boots for extended periods of largely sedentary activity while searching and viewing. Breakfast will be served on-the-go in the field to maximize our search and observation time. Lunch will be at the gallery of our friend Dan Hartman, a naturalist and wildlife photographer who lives in the forested mountains of Silver Gate, Montana. While enjoying lunch we will be treated to a presentation of Dan’s work as a naturalist, photographer, and wildlife film-maker. Dinner will be back in Gardiner at the Animal Track Education Center to conclude the day’s activities.

March 2, 2010 — Our schedule will be similar through the week, as the goal is to look for multiple wolf packs and make observations of a variety of behaviors and activities (hunting, playing, traveling, feeding, (sleeping!), etc.). This time period is the height of breeding activity for wolves, so courtship behavior may bring exceptional opportunities to learn. Lunch will be back in Gardiner. An after-dinner evening session at the Animal Track Education Center in Gardiner will feature one of our special guest speakers, to be announced. Past speakers have included Dr. Douglas Smith, film-maker Bob Landis, UCLA behavioral geneticist Dan Stahler, and other distinguished experts in the field of wolf biology and behavior.

March 3, 2010 — Again an early start will begin our search of the northern range of Yellowstone for wolves. Each day brings different sightings and different wolf activity, so multiple days create a diverse experience and will give us a chance to see rare moments. Lunch will precede a snowshoe adventure (2 miles) to the Pebble Creek canyon, nature’s colorful cathedral within a winter wonderland. Dinner will feature our second of three guest speakers.

March 4, 2010 — After our morning wolf watch, we will plan on another snowshoe trip to a destination of interest, perhaps a carcass after wolves have finished their use of it. Dinner will be preceded by a wine and cheese reception at a local fine art gallery in Gardiner, Yellowstone Gallery and Frameworks. Talented wildlife photographer Mark Miller will join the group to answer questions about his fabulous wild wolf images.

March 5, 2010 — Our final early morning in the field will be followed by an after-lunch snowshoe hike (up to 3 miles to the den formerly used by famous Wolf 9, mother of Wolf 21 who attended this den as a yearling. Our final night at the Track Education Center will feature the last of our 3 expert guest speakers.

March 6, 2010 — On our final morning, we will pack up and depart Gardiner after breakfast in town. Transport to Bozeman airport will be for flight departures no earlier than NOON, or a nearby destination of your choice by arrangement.

NOTE: Best-laid plans are always subject to change pending weather, guest speakers’ schedules, wildlife sighting opportunities, and/or any unforeseen circumstances. Please bear with us and remain flexible to better enjoy this experience. If you have any questions concerning the itinerary, do not hesitate to contact us!

Terms and conditions

Cancellations: To book a package, multi-day group program, a per person deposit is required up front to reserve a space. The balance will be due prior to the beginning of the program, usually 30-60 days out, depending on the specific program. A full refund minus $45 processing fee will be given for all cancellations more than 45 days before the trip. For cancellations less than 45 days prior to departure, the deposit is non-refundable. We accept personal and/or cashier's checks made to THE WILD SIDE, LLC, and mailed to PO BOX 769, Gardiner MT 59030, or you may also sign up here at the Yellowstone Wolf Guides web pages.

Health and Safety: The trip requires good physical fitness and mobility, or the ability to walk up to 1 mile over uneven terrain. The trip is suitable for people of all ages, though children below the age of 14 must receive prior approval. If you have health questions, consult your doctor for more information. The tour leaders must be advised in advance of any special health needs. Weather conditions can change without notice and it is the responsibility of the traveler to have proper clothing and equipment. We will provide a list for the clothing and gear recommended for the trip.

Responsibilities and Conditions: We act only in the capacity of agent in all matters of transportation and tour operation. We are not responsible for delays, inconveniences, accidents, expense or mishap of any kind whatsoever resulting entirely, or in part, from the negligence of others or from causes beyond our control. We can accept no responsibility for losses or additional expenses due to delay or changes in air or other services, sickness, weather, strike, war, quarantine, or other causes. All such losses or expenses will have to be borne by the participant, as tour rates provide for arrangements only for the time stated. The right is reserved to substitute accommodations or modes of transportation and to make any changes in the itinerary where deemed necessary or caused by changes in transportation schedules. We take no responsibility for special arrangements or problems incurred by persons physically unable to participate in the planned activities. No refund can be made for absence from the tour unless arrangements are made at the time of the booking. The right is reserved to decline, to accept or to retain any person as a tour member for any reason which affects the operation of the tour or the rights and welfare or enjoyment of the other tour members. We will not discriminate against any individual because of race, sex, creed or nationality.

Cancelled Trips: We reserve the right to cancel any trip if conditions arise that are beyond our control and adversely affects the well-being of the trip members. In such a case, a full refund of the trip cost is given, but we are not responsible for additional expenses incurred by members in preparing for the trip including flights and other travel expenses.

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