Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions along with our answers to help prepare you for a wonderful, memorable experience with us at Yellowstone Insight.
Other questions or concerns? Please contact us.
How do we book a tour with you?
Booking a tour with us is as easy as checking the Book Your Tour page on this website. We will be happy to discuss your specific interests during your time in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. We can also help advise you on lodging options in the area. We have specific tour choices; all of your days can easily be customized outdoor experiences.
What is the cost of a tour with Yellowstone Insight? Any discounts for booking multiple days?
Are Yellowstone Insight tours suitable for children?
Our tours are very suitable for children. Your guide is well versed in interpreting the Park for visitors of all ages. We will make your experience with us memorable, enjoyable and educational. During the booking process please let us know that you will have children with you. That way our guide can facilitate an interactive learning experience for all who will be sharing the day with us.
What is provided? What should we bring?
Yellowstone Insight will provide an expert guide, high-powered spotting scopes (Swarovski and Nikon), binoculars (Nikon and Bushnell), as well as an upscale continental breakfast with beverages for our one-day and multi-day tours.
Here are some articles you should bring: camera, sunscreen, hat, rain/windproof jacket, gloves, sunglasses and maybe a daypack. Even in summer months, the morning hours can be quite chilly!
What type of footwear is appropriate?
Footwear is typically based on your specific activity. Footwear should be sturdy and already broken-in. All footwear should have a decent slip-resistant tread.
- In summer, light hiking shoes are good for day hikes and general touring. We do not recommend open-toed sandals or flip-flops for our tours.
- For winter tours, snow boots (“Sorel-style” with rubber bottom and leather upper) are best. Ensure that your winter boots are waterproof and insulated.
How cold does it get and what type of clothing do we need?
Average daytime summer temperatures may be in the 80s with morning lows in the 30-50°F. Average daytime temperatures mid-winter are about 25°F to 35°F. Winter nighttime and morning temperatures can regularly be less than 10°F. Keep in mind that these are average temperatures! The best way to handle the range and change of weather is to have a layered system of clothes. For example, a typical winter/fall/spring outfit may include rain/windproof outer jacket, vest/sweater, heavy long-sleeve shirt, pants, and thermal undergarments. During the summer, bring one extra layer in addition to what you think you might need. You can always store it in the back of our vehicle.
Guide Note: Be prepared and a raincoat is always a good thing to have!
What sort of fitness level do I need to be in to go on one of your tours?
Keep in mind that our tour will be at higher elevations in the northern Rocky Mountains, between 5,000-9,000 feet above sea level. We appreciate your discussing any pertinent medical issues with us in advance of the tour. For road-based tours, a specific level of fitness is not a requirement. Our day hikes are typically a mile or less. Hiking distance is certainly adaptable depending on your interest level.
Guide Note: Just ask us! We can remain road-based, complete a short hike or hike all day if that is your desire.
What are the restroom situations while on tour time?
Your comfort is of the utmost importance! Flush toilets are available in developed areas throughout the park. Vault toilets (non-flush), are more readily found at more accessible locations throughout the park. Guide Note: Toilet locations are just one aspect of the knowledge that our Insightful Guides can provide for you!
What animals do you expect that we will see on an average day in Yellowstone?
There are certainly no guarantees, but it is most likely that we will cross paths with bison, elk, pronghorn, eagle, and various other species! Wolf and bear sightings occur with a fairly high percentage.
Guide Note: If you wish for it, it just might happen!
What if we don't see wildlife during our tour?
Yellowstone Insight does not guarantee any particular species found throughout the park, though many of the most dramatic creatures, such as wolf and bear sightings are seen with a fairly high percentage on our tours, particularly during certain seasons and in certain locations. What we can guarantee is this – we will see animals, both large and small!
What if the weather is bad on our tour with you?
Weather doesn’t typically affect us in a negative way. Yellowstone is, overall, a dry climate so the weather is generally great! Your guide will plan your tour to best suit your interests and expectations no matter what the weather! Our goal is to provide you with a wonderful outdoor experience. Weather in mountainous zones can change suddenly. If we encounter rain or snow during your tour, we will plan accordingly.
We will not cancel a tour unless it is for safety reasons. As an example, a severe blizzard would make driving unsafe and may necessitate our tour to cancel. This has never happened on our tours. If we were to cancel for this reason, you would receive a full refund of all payments.
Is Yellowstone really crowded?
Yellowstone is definitely not crowded during the fall, winter and spring seasons.
During peak summer months (June, July and August), Yellowstone can be crowded in the vicinity of major site attractions such as Old Faithful and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. In addition, traffic jams can occur due to the presence of wildlife near roadsides. In Yellowstone Lingo this is referred to as an “animal jam,” e.g., Bear Jam, Wolf Jam, Bison Jam, Badger Jam. For this reason, we start our summer tours early to “beat the crowds”. We spend our tour time away from the masses, and away from the park’s major developed areas.
Few people venture beyond the developed areas. A short hike with an experienced guide can quickly immerse you in a true “wilderness” experience.
Guide Note: Yellowstone Insight offers YEAR ROUND tour opportunities.
We want to be away from people. What can you provide?
Yellowstone Insight can certainly guide you to areas with fewer visitors and allow you extraordinary experiences in Yellowstone. If you want a wilderness type of experience, we can facilitate that too (see our multi-day tours).
However, if you are visiting Yellowstone with a limited amount of time, keep in mind that some of the most notable features, such as Old Faithful Geyser and the Lower Falls of the Grand Canyon, are accessible to roads, parking areas, and boardwalk trails to facilitate public access. These areas are, for sure, the most “crowded” locations. While these areas are easy to access and find, visiting them with us can help you understand the natural and cultural history behind them.
What is the best season to visit Yellowstone?
In all honesty, there really is not a “best season.” Each season in Yellowstone offers amazing moments.
- Spring is the time of newborn creatures and bears emerging from their long winter sleep. Visitors can enjoy the overall wildlife diversity without the crowds of summer.
- Summer is lush and allows us full opportunity for accessing locations throughout the park.
- Autumn is the season of color for aspens and cottonwood trees and the time of breeding for the elk. Bears are considering dens and the cool temperatures make for great hiking!
- Winter is best for sighting the big mammals in large concentrations. Though bears are hibernating, Yellowstone’s wolves are most active and easily seen on a snow-covered landscape.
Can I smoke during a Yellowstone Insight tour?
Smoking is not allowed inside our tour vehicles. We ask that while on tour, if you need to smoke, you politely move downwind from those who are around you. We remind you to pick up any cigarette butts and matches, as leaving them on the ground is considered littering. We also remind you to stamp out any residual burning tobacco that you drop on the ground to avoid a fire hazard.
Can I bring a firearm on a Yellowstone Insight tour?
We do not allow any firearms on our tours. We ask that you leave any firearms in your locked vehicle or place of lodging during our scheduled tour time. Non-compliance of this request will be followed by immediate termination of your tour with us. We thank you for understanding.
Your guide will carry bear spray during any hiking we might do.