YAI Private Tours of Yellowstone: Go for it!

By David Currier -

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A YAI group discusses the weathered bones of a skeleton. Did it die from disease, old age, or as prey to a wolf?

Visitors participating in YAI tours discuss the weathered bones of a skeleton. Did it die from disease, old age, or as prey to a wolf?

You came all the way to Yellowstone National Park. The park is huge! Whether you are there for a week (minimal) or a day (really rushing it), I cannot stress enough how much you need a tour guide to ensure your get as much out of your experience in one of most spectacular places on earth! I spent 6 months there,took several tours, and there is too much I did not see.

The Yellowstone Association Institute (YAI) is now offering guided tours! These people are some of the most educated guides you will encounter, and their enthusiasm about the features of Yellowstone is contagious. Go for it!

Yellowstone Association Institute Private Tours Offer Unparalleled Combination of Value and Expertise

 

Groups looking for an experience that will help them achieve a deeper understanding of Yellowstone National Park need look no further than the non-profit Yellowstone Association Institute (YAI).

The park’s official educational partner, YAI offers small groups and participants of all ages a wide range of programs covering Yellowstone National Park’s geology, wildlife, plant life and history.

“We take a tremendous amount of pride in our ability to deliver to groups a high level park experience that is always tailored to their interests and individual preference,” said Wendie Carr, marketing manager for the Yellowstone Association. “At the same time, our in-depth private tours are one of the region’s best value.”

The organization has developed four Private Tours which are subsequently refined to accommodate special interests after the YAI naturalist/guide opens a dialog with participants. Guides for the tours start by picking up groups at one of various locations throughout the park or at the YAI Yellowstone Overlook Field Campus. Tours last approximately eight hours and start in the morning at various locations throughout the park.

Private Tours appeal especially to families and other small groups that want an age- and interest-appropriate introduction to Yellowstone wildlife, geology or hiking or an advanced look into aspects of the park they have not been able to explore before.

Private Tours currently offered by the Yellowstone Association Institute are:

 

Yellow bellied marmots can often be found in dry, rocky areas sunning on the rocks or even up on dead tree limbs.

Yellow bellied marmots can often be found in dry, rocky areas sunning on the rocks or even up on dead tree limbs.

Wildlife Watching on the Northern Range. The group spends the day observing the diverse and abundant wildlife of Yellowstone’s Northern Range, the hotbed of wildlife in Yellowstone. Naturalist—guides demonstrate techniques for searching for wildlife using binoculars and spotting scopes while sharing insights about biology and ecology.

Natural History and Geology: Yellowstone Lake and Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Groups explore the natural and geologic history of the Yellowstone Lake Area, and the spectacular Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. Activities include searching for wildlife in the rich Hayden Valley and learning about the Yellowstone volcano while taking strolls among geological features.

The beautiful, delicate, constantly boiling Punch Bowl in the Upper Geyser Basin near Old Faithful.

The beautiful constantly boiling Punch Bowl in the Upper Geyser Basin near Old Faithful.

 

Geysers, Mudpots, and Hot Springs: Old Faithful Area is the name of the tour that lets participants learn about how the various hydrothermal features formed as they view the world’s greatest concentration of them.

Day Hiking in Yellowstone. These active tours include carefully chosen hikes that allow participants to explore Yellowstone’s diverse landscape and learn the basics of safe, low-impact backcountry travel. Working with an Institute naturalist—guide skilled in backcountry travel, the group determines which hikes match its ability level and interests.

 

Standard daily rates for each of the tours are $560 for one to five participants, $765 for six to 14 participants and $1,515 for 15 to 28 participants. Custom trips are available as well. Participants should call for rates. Yellowstone Association members receive a $10 discount on all programs, and family memberships begin at just $35 per year. Instruction, spotting scopes, binoculars, snacks and in-park transportation, are provided. Participants bring their own meals and water.

YAI will also offer its popular lineup of Field Seminars, multi-day Lodging & Learning programs and Youth and College programs. Lodging & Learning programs are offered in partnership with lodging operator Yellowstone National Park Lodges and combine daily field trips with comfortable lodging in park hotels. Youth and College programs are aimed at middle-school through college-age groups and are designed to engage the next generation of park stewards.

A complete summer 2015 catalog is available online. Reservations can be made by calling 1-406-848-2400. For more information about any Institute program visit www.YellowstoneAssociation.org or FaceBook.com/YellowstoneAssociation.

What is the Yellowstone Association Institute?

 

YAI is a membership-based organization. For information about becoming a member visit www.yellowstoneassociation.org/membership/. For more information about any Institute program visit www.YellowstoneAssociation.org or FaceBook.com/YellowstoneAssociation.

Sandhill cranes arrive in their dusty meadows summer-homes of Yellowstone in mid-April.

Sandhill cranes arrive in their dusty meadows summer-homes of Yellowstone in mid-April. Tours along major routes in the park may encounter these beautiful residents of Yellowstone.

The Yellowstone Association Institute is a non-profit field school operated by the Yellowstone Association in partnership with the National Park Service.  The Institute was founded in 1976 and offers more than 500 courses each year on the park’s plants, animals, geology and history.  Courses are based at the organization’s Lamar Buffalo Ranch and Yellowstone Overlook field campuses, at park hotels and in the backcountry.

The Yellowstone Association was founded in 1933 to foster the public’s understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of Yellowstone National Park and its surrounding ecosystem. In addition to operating the Institute, the Association manages educational bookstores and a membership program that generate revenues for the National Park Service.  Since its inception, the organization has raised more than $59 million for Yellowstone.

To receive a course catalog or for more information, go to www.YellowstoneAssociation.org, write to the Yellowstone Association at PO Box 117, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190 or call 406-848-2400.

Information provided by Mesereau Public Relations.

A hike into the nearby backcountry at the Grand Canyon reveals a flock of young mallards hiding and feasting in lily pads.

Hiking tours into the nearby backcountry at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone may reveal a flock of young, well camouflaged mallards hiding and feasting in lily pads.

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