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Scenic Safaris Snowmobile Adventures

Pickup & Drop Off Door-to-door transportation and hotel-pickups are provided. You will be picked up at your lodging by guides between 6am-7:30am on the morning of your trip. They will call the evening before to confirm exact pickup time. The tours also include return transportation to your lodging.

Hearty Meals Most tours include a grab-n-go breakfast and lunch.

Equipment & Training Guides and staff will assist you in getting outfitted. You will be provided with a full snowsuit, boots, and a full-face safety helmet. Wear warm sweat-wicking clothing and bring waterproof gloves and a balaclava (face mask). The guides will give a detailed explanation of how to use the machines before you set out on your trip. The fleet of 4-stroke snowmobiles are environmentally friendly, allowing for reduced pollution, emissions, and noise; they allow us to further increase our record of reliability, so you are not bothered by breakdowns and issues on the trail; and they are lightweight, making them easy to operate, even for the inexperienced rider.

What to Bring Warm winter clothing, cameras, waterproof gloves, balaclava, driver’s license, cash for park entrance fee ($50 per snowmobile) and optional guide gratuity.

Tour Options

Old Faithful Snowmobile Tour, Full Day 12 hours, pickup time between 6am-7am depending on location.

Start by driving the ~60 miles to the south gate of Yellowstone. Once at the South gate guides and staff will assist you in getting outfitted and operating the snowmobiles. Expect to be on your snowmobile between 8am-9am.

Once the entire group is ready, you will travel the 45 miles up to Old Faithful. You will travel behind a guide on a groomed trail that has a National Park enforced speed limit of 35mph. This entire trip is on groomed trails. The guide will make sure to stop at several points of interest which may include: Moose Falls, Lewis Falls, West Thumb Geyser Basin and any potential wildlife spotting!

Once you arrive at Old Faithful, you will have some time to explore the visitor center as well as watch Old Faithful erupt either before or after lunch, depending on the Earth’s timing! Your return journey back to Flagg Ranch will start after lunch, where a vehicle will be waiting to take you back to your accommodation. Expect to be back around 6pm, weather and traffic dependent!

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone Tour, Full Day 12+ hours, pickup time between 6am-7am depending on location.

Once the entire group is ready, you will travel 65 miles to Yellowstone Falls. You will travel behind a guide on a groomed trail that has a National Park enforced speed limit of 35mph. This entire trip is on groomed trails. The trail follows Yellowstone Lake and the guide will make sure to make stops for photography, wildlife and park history.

After lunch, your return journey back to Flagg Ranch will begin, where a vehicle will be waiting to take you back to your accommodation. Expect to be back around 6pm, weather and traffic dependent!

Classic Snowmobile Tour, Half Day 5-6 hours, pickup between 7am-7:30am, depending on location.

After your morning pickup, you will return to Scenic Safair's office to be outfitted with snowmobile gear; boots, one-piece suit, and helmet. Bring your own balaclava and gloves. After you are geared up, the guide will drive you to the trail head in the National Forest, it is about 45 minutes, so you’ll be on the trail around 9:30am.

We ride a groomed trail and make stops for photos. This is an excellent trip to choose for your first snowmobile experience or if you are looking for a shorter ride. Wonderful scenery with Teton views. Time on the trail is 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours. You’ll return to Jackson around 1:00pm. Refreshments are provided.

Scenic Safaris Snowmobile Adventures 1255 South Highway 89 Jackson, WY 83001

Mapped location of Scenic Safaris Snowmobile Adventures

Rustic Inn Jackson Hole

  • Rooms & Cabins
  • 1-800-323-9279

person snowmobiling with snow all around

rustic@dmin March 29, 2018

Back to Adventures

Jackson Hole Snowmobile Tours

Jackson Hole is a snowmobile haven! Snowmobile operators accommodate all experience levels with trips offered in a variety of areas, such as Grey’s River, along the Continental Divide, through the Gros Ventre area to explore wildlife, and more. Contact our Concierge staff today to find the best tour for you.

*Rates may vary depending on time of season and vendor availability

a person with a child on a snowmobile on a mountain with the valley in the background

Snowmobile on a Private Jackson Hole Ranch

Carve through fresh snow on the largest private ranch in Jackson, Wyoming. This guided half-day Jackson Hole snowmobile tour explores mountainous terrain to reach unobstructed views of downtown Jackson and the Teton Range.

Expert snowmobile guides will pick you up at your hotel, outfit you with top-of-the-line DOT helmets, and show you how to operate the user-friendly sleds. The excursion includes a break along the Snake River to enjoy included snacks and refreshments.

Tours offered at four different times to suit your schedule: 7:00AM, 9:30AM, 12:00PM, 2:30PM

These snowmobile tours in Jackson, WY can be tailored to all skill levels, so that you can experience the very best of Wyoming winter.

48 Hour Cancellation Policy

7 Day Cancellation Policy for groups of 7 or more people

$299 per Driver

$199 per Passenger (ages 6+)

*Drivers must be at least 16 years old and have a valid driver’s license

Grey’s River Snowmobile Tour

This thrilling trip is ideal for those seeking off-trail adventure or experienced riders looking to delve into deep Wyoming powder! Breathtaking views of majestic alpine landscapes, along with a satisfying meal at a secluded guest ranch, provide you a taste of the backcountry lifestyle. The full-day journey lasts about 8 hours and includes transportation, lunch, and gear: two-piece snowsuit, boots, mittens, and helmet.

Driver age minimum of 16 years old with a valid driver’s license. Minimum child age of 6 years old for passengers. Tours available January 2 – March 22, 2024.

$390 per Driver

$290 per Passenger (ages 6+)

Gros Ventre Snowmobile Tour

Snowmobile through the beautiful Gros Ventre (pronounced grow-vont) area, offering stunning views of the Teton Mountain Range and chance to see wildlife such as elk, deer, mountain sheep, bison, eagles, and moose. Perfect for those looking for an easy, relaxing snowmobile ride. This full day tour lasts about 7 hours and includes lunch at a backcountry guest ranch, transportation, and gear: two-piece snowsuit, boots, mittens, and helmet.

Driver age minimum of 16 years old with valid driver’s license. Minimum child age of 6 years old for passengers. Tours available January 5 – February 28, 2024

Continental Divide / Togwotee Pass Snowmobile Tour

This remarkable 600-mile trail system offers breathtaking panoramas of the Tetons, Wind River Range, Gros Ventre Mountains, and Absaroka Mountains, making it among the most sought-after snowmobiling spots in the United States! The Togwotee Pass/Continental Divide area boasts a diverse landscape allowing for both on-trail and off-trail expeditions and a great fit for riders of all experience levels. This full day tour lasts about 8-9 hours and includes lunch, transportation, and gear: two-piece snowsuit, boots, mittens, and helmet.

Driver age minimum of 16 years old with valid driver’s license. Minimum child age of 6 years old for passengers. Tours currently available December 15 – December 25, 2023 and January 1 – March 22, 2024. Half day private tours may be available – please inquire for pricing.

Plan Ahead & Save on Winter Travel

Save up to 20% off your Jackson Hole 2024/2025 Winter Getaway with our popular Stay More, Save More Promotion!

BrushBuck Wildlife Tours

Yellowstone Old Faithful Snowmobile Tour

  • Destination: Yellowstone
  • Duration: Day Tour: (approx. 11-12 Hours)
  • Availability: December - March
  • Group Options: Public or Private Group Tour

Old Faithful Snowmobile Tour

Explore the Yellowstone wilderness on a snowmobile tour, viewing wildlife, fantastic scenery, majestic waterfalls, and thermal features on this private adventure. Most of Yellowstone’s big game animals come down into the lower warm valleys for food and shelter. Follow the course of the mighty Yellowstone River as it cuts through granite chasms, creating the spectacular Yellowstone Falls, chronicled by artists such as Thomas Moran and Ansel Adams.

Your guide will pick you up for your Old Faithful snowmobile tour between 6:00 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. at your lodging and bring you back to our location where you’ll be outfitted with snowmobile gear – boots, one-piece suit, and helmet. Breakfast will be a grab-and-go style on the way to Yellowstone. We will also pick up sandwiches for lunch. Please be sure to let us know if you have any dietary restrictions ahead of time.

You’ll travel the 45 miles of groomed trail to Old Faithful by snowmobile, making several stops along the way; points of interest may include Moose Falls, Lewis Canyon, and West Thumb Geyser Basin. You’ll return to your lodging between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Tour Highlights

  • 90 mile round-trip
  • Tour lasts 11-12 hours, Departs: 6-6:30 a.m.; returns: 5-5:30 p.m.

What's Included

  • Breakfast, Homemade picnic style lunch
  • Door-to-door transportation / Hotel pick-up
  • Use of snow boots, helmet, snowsuit
  • Use of snowmobiles

Day Tour Pricing

  • Solo Driver $525.00 depending on time of year
  • Tandem Driver and Passenger $855.00 depending on time of year
  • Departure Times:  6:00-7:30 a.m. – Exact trip departure time will be confirmed the night before
  • Trip Ideal For:  Those who want to enjoy the winter scenery, visit Old Faithful, and learn about the park’s history and geology!
  • Meals Menu:  Breakfast and lunch are included
  • Hotel Pick-up is included
  • Snowmobile Type:  2016 or ’17 Ski Doo 4-stroke machines
  • Age Restrictions: Drivers must have a valid driver’s license and passengers must be 8 years or older, although we recommend being at least 10 years or old.
  • WHAT TO BRING
  • Winter clothing
  • Driver’s license

READY TO BOOK AN UNFORGETTABLE YELLOWSTONE OLD FAITHFUL SNOWMOBILE TOUR?

Contact BrushBuck today to learn more about our snowmobile tours!

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Grand Teton Winter Wonderland – Full Day Tour

Available December - April. Public tours run every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. Private tours available seven days a week.

Wolf Watching Tips

Yellowstone Winter Wolf Tour 4 Day / 3 Night

Available Dec - Mar

Yellowstone Bison in Winter

4 Day Grand Teton and Yellowstone Winter Adventure

Available December - March

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  • Signal Mountain Lodge
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Scenic & wildlife tours, group trips.

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snowmobile tours from jackson hole to yellowstone

Closed for the Season - See you December 1st!

Teton tour company.

You have arrived at some of the most spectacular and popular snowmobiling destinations in North America! Stunning views of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, a wealth of wildlife, and surreal geothermal features will surround you. Join us for the trip of a lifetime to explore the wide-open spaces and the mountains encircling the Jackson Hole valley with Teton Tour Company, the premiere snowmobile company in town.

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Northwest Wyoming is known as one of the world's top snowmobile destinations and we've got the perfect adventure ready for you.

snowmobile tours from jackson hole to yellowstone

Take a relaxing ride on a groomed trail through a winter wildlife sanctuary with elk, deer, moose, eagles and more.

No matter the event, whatever brings you and your group to Jackson Hole, be sure to include time for some snowmobiling fun.

snowmobile tours from jackson hole to yellowstone

snowmobile tours from jackson hole to yellowstone

Gros Ventre Day Tour

  • Destination: Wyoming
  • Duration: 1 day
  • Price: $400

If you are a wildlife enthusiast or photographer, this is your trip!

A full day snowmobile tour, traveling through the Gros Ventre valley, with breathtaking vistas of the Grand Teton Mountain Range. This trip is for individuals wanting to see all the wildlife the Jackson Hole area is famous for; including moose, elk, deer, rocky mountain bighorn sheep, eagles and possibly wolves.

This is what our guests say on TripAdvisor – While it was a shorter ride and vastly different from the day before to Old Faithful it was probably my favorite. We saw wildlife on our way there but the cabin was “just like a mountain man cabin in the movies.” It is just amazing and the vistas from his “outhouse” are fabulous.

The day starts off with an 8.30am pickup at your local accommodations. After arriving at our office in Jackson, we will get you outfitted with all of the snowmobile gear that you will need for your adventure. Your adventure will begin after a 22 mile van ride to the trailhead North-East of town through Grand Teton National Park. During your 50-mile roundtrip snowmobile tour through the Gros Ventre River Valley you will have many opportunities to see wildlife. Lunch will be halfway during your day at the Red Rock Ranch. We will be traveling through critical winter habitat for the wildlife the entire day and therefor are not allowed to venture off-trail at all on this tour. The tour will return back to Jackson around 4.00pm.

Price and Policies:

  • $400.00 per single rider and $300.00 per passenger.   Guide gratuity is not included in the tour cost, but greatly appreciated by our guides.
  • Age Restrictions:  16 years of age or older with a valid drivers license in order to operate the snowmobile. 6 years of age or older to be a passenger on the snowmobile.
  • Cancellation Policy:  If cancellations occur within 48 hours of your scheduled tour date, you will be charged in full. There will be no charge if you cancel 48 hours or more in advance.

All daily tours include:

  • Hearty Lunch
  • Professional Guide
  • Transportation to and from your hotel

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Jackson Hole Snowmobile Tours

Related Tours

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WY Continental Divide 3 Day Tour

Wyoming Snowmobiling Tours

Greys River Day Tour

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Togwotee Mountain Pass Day Tour

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Nature's Wonderland: Top Things to Know When Visiting Yellowstone National Park

A s America’s First National Park, Yellowstone offers a unique combination of natural beauty and geological wonders. Having visited this incredible park multiple times, I’ve gathered invaluable insights into making the most of the trip. Whether driving through or hiking the trails, here are some practical tips to know when visiting Yellowstone National Park that may save you time and money. 

Why Yellowstone is a Must-Visit

Yellowstone National Park is not just another stop on your travel map; it’s an irresistible destination that offers something for everyone. Here’s why:

  • Geological Marvels : The colorful hot springs, geysers, and fumaroles are unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
  • Wildlife Encounters : From bison herds to elusive wolves, the park is teeming with animal life.
  • Expansive Landscapes : With over 2.2 million acres, there’s always something new to explore.

Fun Fact : Yellowstone National Park is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site .

Understanding Yellowstone’s Layout

Yellowstone is enormous, spanning three states—Idaho (1%), Montana (3%), and Wyoming (96%). Covering everything in one visit is almost impossible, so planning is essential. The park’s layout features a main loop that can take 7-8 hours to drive with moderate traffic. This loop provides access to most of the park’s iconic landmarks and scenic views.

Driving Through or Hiking? Your Choice

Whether you prefer the comfort of your car or the thrill of hiking, Yellowstone caters to all types of adventurers. If you choose to drive, the park offers over 466 miles of roads, making it relatively easy to navigate. Just be prepared for heavy traffic during peak seasons.

For those who love to hike, Yellowstone has more than 900 miles of trails catering to all skill levels. Popular trails include the Fairy Falls Trail, Mount Washburn, and Uncle Tom’s Trail. Always stay on marked paths and inform someone about your hiking plans.

Wildlife Etiquette: Respect and Admiration

Yellowstone is a sanctuary for wildlife, including grizzly bears, wolves, bison, and elk. The Lamar and Hayden Valleys are prime spots for wildlife viewing. 

It’s hard to contain your excitement when you spot a beautiful bison herd or encounter a pronghorn traffic jam. But remember, Yellowstone is their home, and respecting their space is crucial.

  • Stay 25 yards away from animals; 100 yards from bears and wolves.
  • Do not stop or block the road.
  • Never feed or approach wildlife.
  • Keep food and trash in bear-proof containers.
  • Never run from a bear.

Fun Fact: Yellowstone is the only place in the country where bison (the National Mammal of the US) have lived continuously since prehistoric times.

Navigating Park Entrances

Yellowstone has five entrances: North, Northeast, South, East, and West. Montana has three entrances, and Wyoming has two. The South Gate, which enters through Grand Teton National Park, is often considered the easiest.

Before you go, always confirm the gate status, as they can close unexpectedly. I had to call the park for updates, so here are some helpful numbers: General Information (307-344-7381) and West Yellowstone (307-344-2876). You can also tune in at 1610 AM on your radio.

If you need to fly into the Yellowstone National Park area, the closest airports are Jackson Hole Airport (JAC) in Wyoming, Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) in Montana, and Yellowstone Regional Airport (COD) in Cody, Wyoming. 

Each offers rental car services, making reaching the park from these locations easy.

Admission and Reservations

Admission to Yellowstone National Park is $35 per car. Alternatively, for frequent park visitors, the  America the Beautiful annual pass  for $80 grants access to all national parks for a year.

Reservations are strongly encouraged for lodging. Whether you opt for hotels, campgrounds, or glamping at Under Canvas, plan ahead to secure your preferred accommodations.

Best Lodging Options

The choice of lodging will depend on the entrance gate you use. Here are some recommendations:

  • West Entrance : Best Western Desert Inn, Kelly Inn West Yellowstone.
  • Rexburg, Idaho : Super 8 by Wyndham Rexburg offers affordable accommodations with free parking, Wi-Fi, and breakfast.

For a luxurious experience, consider glamping at Under Canvas, just 10 minutes from Yellowstone’s West Entrance. Enjoy daily housekeeping, camp activities, a fire pit, and West Elm furnishings.

I also stayed at Jenny Lake Lodge once in the Grand Tetons, which was just a short drive away and super luxurious.

The Norris Geyser Basin: A Must-Visit

One of my favorite spots in Yellowstone is the Norris Geyser Basin. This area has hydrothermal activity, including fumaroles, mud pots, geysers, and hot springs. The boardwalks and easy trails make it accessible for everyone. 

Don’t miss Steamboat Geyser and Excelsior Geyser at the Midway Geyser Basin, along with the stunning Grand Prismatic Pool.

Exploring Mammoth Hot Springs and Yellowstone Lake

Mammoth Hot Springs is a geothermal zone shaped by water and ground slope, featuring stunning travertine terraces. Yellowstone Lake offers 286 miles of shoreline at a high elevation, though it may be iced over from December through early summer.

Capturing the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

For breathtaking photos, head to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. The best views are from Inspiration Point, where you can see the water cascading between the North and South Rim toward Lower Falls, a dramatic 308-foot drop.

The Iconic Old Faithful

No visit to Yellowstone is complete without seeing Old Faithful . This predictable geyser erupts every 54-114 minutes, and with an average interval of 94 minutes between eruptions, it’s a sight to behold. Located in the Upper Geyser Basin, you’ll find plenty of amenities nearby, including the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center, inns, lodges, and eateries.

Have your cameras ready; the water and steam show is quite spectacular.

Dining in the Park

Several lodges and general stores within the park offer dining options, from casual cafes to full-service restaurants. Popular choices include the Old Faithful Inn and the Lake Yellowstone Hotel Dining Room. Pack snacks and water for day trips, as some areas have limited dining options.

Yellowstone has numerous picnic areas where you can enjoy a meal surrounded by nature. Pack a picnic basket with your favorite foods, and store food securely to avoid attracting wildlife. PB&J gets my vote; it is easy to pull the car over and whip up a tasty snack. 

Planning Your Visit: When to Go

Choosing the right time to visit can significantly enhance your Yellowstone National Park experience. Each season offers its own unique charm and activities.

Spring: Nature’s Awakening

Spring (March to May) brings new life to Yellowstone as animals emerge from hibernation and wildflowers bloom. While some roads and facilities may still be closed, the lack of crowds and the beauty of the park coming to life make it a worthwhile time to visit.

Summer: The Peak Season

Summer (June to August) is the most popular time to visit, thanks to the pleasant weather and fully accessible roads and trails. However, be prepared for larger crowds and higher accommodation prices. Early mornings and late afternoons are the best times to explore popular sites with fewer people around.

Fall: A Spellbinding Spectacle

Fall (September to November) is a fantastic time to visit if you prefer cooler temperatures and fewer crowds. The fall foliage adds a touch of magic to the landscape, and it’s also an excellent time for wildlife spotting, as many animals are more active in the cooler weather.

Winter: A Quiet Wonderland

Winter (December to February) offers a serene and less crowded experience. While some areas of the park are closed due to snow, you can enjoy unique activities like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and guided snowmobile tours. It’s a magical time to see the park’s geothermal features surrounded by snow.

Gear and Gadgets

Bring binoculars for wildlife viewing, a camera to capture the stunning scenery, and a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated. A reliable flashlight or headlamp is essential for evening activities, and a daypack can help carry all your essentials during hikes.

Be sure to include sunscreen and insect repellent. Bear spray will be necessary if you are hiking in Bear Country.

Activities Within Yellowstone

Yellowstone’s rivers and lakes offer excellent fishing opportunities. A Yellowstone National Park fishing permit is required, and catch-and-release regulations apply to certain species. Boating is allowed on Yellowstone Lake and Lewis Lake. Motorized boats require a permit, while non-motorized boats need an inspection for aquatic invasive species.

Rentals are available at certain locations within the park.

Embrace the Adventure

Yellowstone National Park is a treasure trove of natural beauty and awe-inspiring sights. Whether you’re drawn to the geothermal wonders, the abundant wildlife, or the scenic landscapes, your visit will surely be a memorable adventure.

Follow these tips to make the most of your trip, and always be prepared for the unexpected.

Read more about National Parks in these posts:

Dry Tortugas, FL

Grand Canyon, AZ

Big Bend, TX

Here are the best things to know visiting Yellowstone National Park, a family's must-take, must-see vacation.

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Move over grizzlies and wolves: Yellowstone visitors hope to catch a glimpse of rare white buffalo

The recent appearance of a rare white bison calf has excited wildlife watchers in Yellowstone National Park.

Visitors to Yellowstone National Park are seen looking for wildlife through binoculars in the Lamar Valley area of Yellowstone National Park, Thursday, June 13, 2024, near Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyo. The park has about 5,000 buffalo, or bison. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Visitors to Yellowstone National Park are seen looking for wildlife through binoculars in the Lamar Valley area of Yellowstone National Park, Thursday, June 13, 2024, near Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyo. The park has about 5,000 buffalo, or bison. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

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A rare white buffalo calf, reportedly born in Yellowstone National Park’s Lamar Valley, is shown on June 4, 2024, in Wyo. The birth fulfills a Lakota prophecy that portends better times, according to members of the American Indian tribe who cautioned that it’s also a warning more must be done to protect the earth and its animals. (Erin Braaten/Dancing Aspens Photography via AP)

Andrew Scott of Salt Lake City, Utah, takes photographs of bison, also known as buffalo, in Yellowstone National Park, June 13, 2024, near Cooke City, Mont. A rare sighting of a white buffalo calf in Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley has spurred visitors to try to catch a glimpse of the animal. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

TJ Ammond is seen looking for buffalo, also known as bison, in Yellowstone National Park, Thursday, June 13, 2024, near Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyo. Ammond said he was hoping to show his children a rare white buffalo calf recently photographed in the park. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Andrew Scott of Salt Lake City, Utah, takes photographs of bison, also known as buffalo, in Yellowstone National Park, Thursday, June 13, 2024, near Cooke City, Montana. A rare sighting of a white buffalo calf in Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley has spurred visitors to try to catch a glimpse of the animal. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Two buffalo calves are seen at the edge of a road in Yellowstone National Park, Thursday, June 13, 2024, near Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyo. A rare white buffalo calf was seen in the park earlier this month. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

A herd of buffalo, also known as bison, are seen near the Lamar River in Yellowstone National Park, June 14, 2024, near Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyo. A rare white buffalo calf was seen in the park earlier this month. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Bison are seen crossing a road in Yellowstone National Park, Thursday, June 13, 2024, near Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyo. Visitors have been trying to catch a glimpse of a rare white buffalo calf that was seen in the park earlier this month. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Buffalo, also known as bison, graze in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park, Thursday, June 13, 2024, near Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyo. A rare white buffalo calf was photographed earlier this month in the park, spurring visitors to try to catch a glimpse of the animal. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) — Standing at the edge of a bluff overlooking the Lamar River in Yellowstone National Park, TJ Ammond stared through binoculars at hundreds of buffalo dotting the verdant valley below.

Tan-colored calves frolicked near their mothers while hulking bulls wallowed in mud.

As his wife and young children clustered behind him, Ammond panned the vast herd and cried out: “I see a white one!”

“Or no — that’s a pronghorn,” he soon corrected. “It’s white and it’s small.”

Grizzly bears and wolves are usually the star attractions for wildlife watchers in Yellowstone but this spring, a tiny and exceedingly rare white buffalo calf has stolen the show.

White buffalo — also known as bison — are held sacred by many Native Americans who greeted news of the birth of one in Yellowstone as an auspicious sign.

It all began when Kalispell, Montana, photographer Erin Braaten snapped several images of the tiny, ungainly creature nuzzling with its mother on June 4, soon after its birth near the banks of the Lamar River. Braaten and her family had been driving through the park when she spotted “something really white” and got a closer look through her telephoto lens.

They turned around and pulled over to watch and shoot photos of the calf with its mother for over half an hour.

A rare white buffalo calf, reportedly born in Yellowstone National Park's Lamar Valley, is shown on June 4, 2024, in Wyo. The birth fulfills a Lakota prophecy that portends better times, according to members of the American Indian tribe who cautioned that it’s also a warning more must be done to protect the earth and its animals. (Erin Braaten/Dancing Aspens Photography via AP)

Despite throngs of visitors with scopes and photographers with telephoto lenses in the Lamar Valley, a prime spot for wildlife viewing in Yellowstone, few others saw the calf and no sightings have been reported since. Even Braaten and her family did not see the calf again despite going back to look over the next two days, she said.

As in legend, the calf remains mysterious in life.

Some speculate it was a short one. Bison calves often don’t survive when their herds decide to plunge across waters like the Lamar, which has been flowing high and muddy with mountain snowmelt.

Yet even if it has died, the event is no less significant to Native Americans, said Chief Arvol Looking Horse, spiritual leader of the Lakota, Dakota and the Nakota Oyate in South Dakota, and the 19th keeper of the sacred White Buffalo Calf Woman Pipe and Bundle.

“The thing is, we all know that it was born and it’s like a miracle to us,” Looking Horse said.

The creature’s birth fulfills a Lakota prophecy that portends better times, according to members of the American Indian tribe who caution that it’s also a signal that more must be done to protect the earth and its animals. They plan a ceremony in the coming weeks to commemorate the event.

Word of the white buffalo has meanwhile spread far and wide. Ammond had heard about the white calf on The Weather Channel and was keen to see it on his family’s trip to Yellowstone from Ohio.

Usually, white bison are born in ranch herds due to interbreeding with cattle. They are rare but not unheard of, with births making local headlines every so often.

Two genetic variations, leucism and albinism, account for an unusually light-colored animal. Experts doubt the Yellowstone calf is an albino.

In any event, a wild white buffalo is exquisitely rare — maybe even unheard of in Yellowstone, one of the last sanctuaries for free-roaming American bison. The animals once numbered in the tens of millions before commercial hunting drove them to near extinction. Yellowstone’s herd numbers about 5,000.

For Yellowstone’s dedicated wildlife watchers, a good look or photo of a wolf, grizzly — or especially an elusive wolverine or lynx — makes for a good day in the field. A glimpse of the white bison calf would be the privilege of a lifetime.

Employees at several of the businesses that offer guided tours, hikes and horseback rides in Yellowstone said they had not seen the white bison calf. At least one was skeptical the sighting was authentic but a cellphone video provided by Braaten’s son, Zayne Braaten, showing the calf in a wide scene looking very much like the Lamar Valley left little room for doubt the calf is — or was — the real deal.

Amateur photographer Sabrina Midkiff, from Houston, said getting pictures of buffalo calves was the main purpose of her trip to the park this summer. She’d taken thousands of photos so far and wondered if the white calf was hidden somewhere in the crowd in one of her images.

Seeing it would be thrilling, Midkiff said, but she’d heard talk that it may have died — by drowning, getting eaten by wolves or coyotes, or simply being too weak to survive.

“There are a lot of things that could happen out here in the wild,” she said.

Near the site where Braaten said she took her photos, New Mexico native Bob Worthington stood outside his truck Thursday and scoped a distant hillside. He said he’d been visiting Yellowstone for 26 years with a singular focus: Seeing grizzly bears.

Worthington gruffly dismissed a query about the valley’s bison herds. But when the white calf was mentioned, he lit up with a grin.

“I’d love to get to see the little rascal,” he said.

TJ Ammond’s first name has been corrected.

Gruver reported from Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Hanson from Helena, Montana.

snowmobile tours from jackson hole to yellowstone

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  1. 2023 Yellowstone Old Faithful Full-Day Snowmobile Tour from Jackson Hole

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  2. 2023 Yellowstone Old Faithful Full-Day Snowmobile Tour from Jackson Hole

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  3. Jackson Hole & Yellowstone Snowmobile Tours

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  4. Yellowstone Snowmobiles (Jackson)

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  5. Yellowstone Old Faithful Full-Day Snowmobile Tour from Jackson Hole (2023)

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  6. Jackson Hole & Yellowstone Snowmobile Tours

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    Old Faithful Snowmobile Tours750 W Broadway. Jackson, WY 83001. DetailsOpen in Google Maps. Map. 6 Spectacular Snowmobile Destinations. Jackson Hole boasts the most spectacular and diverse snowmobiling destinations in the country. Whether you enjoy wildlife viewing, soaking in natural hot springs or playing in deep powder fields, Jackson Hole ...

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    Tours embark from Jackson, WY, and West Yellowstone. Our expertly guided tours focus on the geothermal features and vast wildlife including grizzly and black bear, wolves, elk, moose, bison, bald eagles, and much more. During winter we offer half-day/full-day tours to Grand Teton National Park and can book you Yellowstone snowcoach and ...

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    Experience winter in Yellowstone National Park on a full-day snowmobile tour from Jackson Hole. You'll cover about 90 miles (145km) on your round-trip journey by snowmobile, and have the chance to see the Old Faithful geyser and other geothermal wonders, native wildlife of Wyoming, vast tracts of snow-covered forest, and landmarks like Moose Falls, West Thumb geyser basin, and Fountain Paint ...

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    This tour goes from Jackson Hole to Yellowstone National Park during the winter. Transportation is provided. ... Explore the expansive and awe-inspiring Yellowstone wilderness on a snowmobile tour. Experience fantastic scenery, wildlife, majestic waterfalls, and thermal features ... Home; Tours; Plan; Contact [email protected] (307) 200‑9358

  8. Yellowstone Old Faithful Full-Day Snowmobile Tour from Jackson Hole

    Experience winter in Yellowstone National Park on a full-day snowmobile tour from Jackson Hole. You'll cover about 90 miles (145km) on your round-trip journey by snowmobile, and have the chance to see the Old Faithful geyser and other geothermal wonders, native wildlife of Wyoming, vast tracts of snow-covered forest, and landmarks like Moose Falls, West Thumb geyser basin, and Fountain ...

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    Enjoy a tasty grab and go breakfast snack and get outfitted with your snowmobile gear. Along the way to Yellowstone, pass through the Grand Teton National Park, with breathtaking views of Teton Range. Once in Yellowstone, travel the 45 miles of groomed trail to Old Faithful, making several stops to view wildlife and breathtaking winter panoramas.

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    Ignite your adventurous spirit with an immersive 8-hour snowmobile tour that carves through the granite chasms that create the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone's stunning winter backdrop. Gaze upon the majestic Yellowstone Falls and encounter big game animals along the scenic 65-mile path. Surround yourself in photo-worthy moments and snippets of ...

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    Scenic Safaris Snowmobile Adventures. 1255 South Highway 89. Jackson, WY 83001. Pickup & Drop Off. Door-to-door transportation and hotel-pickups are provided. You will be picked up at your lodging by guides between 6am-7:30am on the morning of your trip. They will call the evening before to confirm exact pickup time.

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    Yellowstone Old Faithful Snow Coach Tour. Ride in comfort on a snowcoach tour to Old Faithful, Yellowstone's legendary geyser. Learn about the park's history, marvel at the landscape, and snap plenty of photos on the way through the 45-mile trail. Take in the views at other scenic spots along the way, like Moose Falls, Lewis Canyon and West ...

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    Tandem Driver and Passenger $855.00 depending on time of year. Departure Times: 6:00-7:30 a.m. - Exact trip departure time will be confirmed the night before. Trip Ideal For: Those who want to enjoy the winter scenery, visit Old Faithful, and learn about the park's history and geology!

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    Additional Information Departure Times: 6:00-7:30 a.m. - Exact trip departure time will be confirmed the night before Trip Ideal For: Those who want to enjoy the winter scenery, visit Old Faithful, and learn about the park's history and geology! Meals Menu: Morning snacks and lunch are included Hotel Pick-up is included; Snowmobile Type: 2016 or '17 Ski Doo 4-stroke machines

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    Best Yellowstone Day Tours From Jackson Hole Take a day trip and check out some amazing views from the famous Old Faithful, the stunning Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, and the Upper Geyser Basin. 1.

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    The Iconic Old Faithful. No visit to Yellowstone is complete without seeing Old Faithful.This predictable geyser erupts every 54-114 minutes, and with an average interval of 94 minutes between ...

  24. Yellowstone visitors hope to catch glimpse of rare white buffalo

    Andrew Scott of Salt Lake City, Utah, takes photographs of bison, also known as buffalo, in Yellowstone National Park, Thursday, June 13, 2024, near Cooke City, Montana. A rare sighting of a white buffalo calf in Yellowstone's Lamar Valley has spurred visitors to try to catch a glimpse of the animal. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

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