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Wrapped in winter white, Yellowstone National Park in January and February offers a dramatic vacation experience that summer visitors miss. Waterfalls frozen in midair, geysers erupting in an eerie mist, otherworldly landscapes… winter in Yellowstone National Park gives visitors a new appreciation for the majesty of nature. "Even the wildlife acts differently," says Montana professional photographer Tom Murphy.
America’s first national park and a UNESCO World Heritage site, Yellowstone's two million acres are home to bears, bald eagles, and herds of bison and elk. Explore it from the snug warmth of a Yellowstone snow coach, a vehicle outfitted with skis that can deftly maneuver wintry roads.
An experienced guide will point out wildlife and their tracks, and narrate as your group stops at various geothermic features, including such famous landmarks as Firehole Falls and Old Faithful geyser. Keep an eye out for bison and elk as they move across the landscape in search of food, their exhalations steaming into the chill air. And watch as foxes bound through snowdrifts tracking their prey.
Then spend two days in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where you'll thrill to the sights of Grand Teton National Park. Here, choose between two memorable experiences: A sleigh ride through the National Elk Refuge, winter home for thousands of these majestic animals, or a full-day snowmobile tour of Jackson's eastern mountains, culminating in a relaxing soak at Granite Hot Springs.
• 5 nights accommodations: 2 nights in Salt Lake City, 1 night in West Yellowstone and 2 nights in Jackson Hole
• Meals - Daily breakfast and 4 dinners
• A performance of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (choir schedule permitting)
• Sights - A guided tour of Yellowstone National Park's winter highlights via heated and secure snow coach
• Tour of Utah Olympic Park, site of the 2002 Winter Games
• National park admission fees as per itinerary
• Activities - Jackson Hole: A sleigh ride in the National Elk Refuge followed by a visit to the National Museum of Wildlife Art OR a full-day snowmobile tour to Granite Hot Springs, east of Jackson Hole**
**Note: There is an additional charge for the snowmobile option.
Optional Additions: Pre-tour or post-tour nights in Salt Lake City may be available. Please inquire at the time of booking. If you wish to participate in the Snowmobile Option on Day 4, also let us know at time of booking; rates from $330 per person.
Activity Level: This tour requires average physical activity each day. Participants should be in good health, able to climb stairs and walk reasonable distances, possibly over uneven ground or unpaved trails as well as on snow and ice. Since this is a winter tour, participants should come prepared for cold weather. The itinerary includes areas of higher altitudes including overnight locations above 6,000 ft. and touring above 8,000 ft. Some touring on this itinerary involves long hours on snow coaches or other modes of transportation which are not recommended for young children.
Day 1 - Arrive in Salt Lake City
Begin your winter vacation in Salt Lake City. The tour escort will meet you at the airport at 1pm to start the tour. Proceed to Utah Olympic Park where most of the ceremonies for the 2002 Winter Olympics were held then continue to the hotel for check-in. This evening you're invited to a get-acquainted dinner to meet your fellow passengers.
Accommodation: Red Lion - 1 night
Day 2 - Mormon Tabernacle Choir & West Yellowstone
Special seating has been arranged for us at Temple Square, where we will have a chance to hear the world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir's weekly broadcast performance (choir schedule permitting). Then depart the Wasatch Mountains and drive north past the Great Salt Lake, Hill Air Force Base, and Utah's first settlement, Ogden. Continue into Idaho’s potato-producing fields and on to the Island Park Region which is world-famous for its outstanding trout fishing on the Madison and Henry’s Fork Rivers. After crossing Targhee Pass, enter Montana and the town of West Yellowstone, the western gate of our nation's first national park.
Accommodation: Gray Wolf Inn - 1 night
Day 3 - Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks
This is our day to discover Yellowstone National Park via heated snow coach. Enjoy a clear view of the park and its wildlife while listening to the insights of an experienced Yellowstone guide. As the snow coach moves easily across the snowy landscape, see some of the landmarks for which Yellowstone is famous, including Firehole Falls, Fountain Paint Pots and the world's most famous geyser, Old Faithful.
After lunch and plenty of time to witness Old Faithful's dramatic display, continue south through Yellowstone and into Grand Teton National Park, where we will see America's youngest and most rugged mountains, the Teton Range. Leave the snow coach behind and enjoy the spectacular scenery as the journey continues to Jackson Hole.
Accommodation: The Lexington - 2 nights
Day 4 - Jackson Hole: Sleigh Ride or Snowmobile Tour
Enjoy a beautiful winter day in this city at the base of the rugged Teton Mountains. Today you have a choice of two fantastic winter experiences.
Option 1) Just a couple miles north of Jackson is the National Elk Refuge, winter home for thousands of these majestic animals. This morning, get a close-up view on a sleigh ride through the Elk Refuge followed by a visit to the National Museum of Wildlife Art. With collections of nearly 2,300 works of art, the museum strives to enrich and inspire appreciation of art and humanity's relationship with nature. The afternoon is at leisure.
Option 2)** A treat is in store for you today as you head out for a full-day snowmobile tour in the mountains east of Jackson. The destination is Granite Hot Springs. Relax in the natural hot spring waters surrounded by snow-covered mountains followed by a delicious BBQ lunch.
**Note: There is an additional charge for Option 2; rates start from $330 per person. The snowmobile tour is based on availability, we recommend those interested book it at least 30 days in advance.
Day 5 - Jackson to Salt Lake City
Travel through western Wyoming surrounded by silver streams, soaring peaks, and lush meadows on your way back to Salt Lake City. Drive through rugged Snake River Canyon, stopping in pastoral Starr Valley. This afternoon, arrive at Utah Olympic Park near Park City for a tour of the amazing facility that hosted events for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. See the Nordic Jumps along with the Bobsled and Luge Track, which is the fastest ice on earth. This evening, join the group for a Farewell Dinner.
Accommodation: Red Lion - 1 night
Day 6 - Depart Salt Lake City
Following breakfast, transfer to the Salt Lake City Airport via the hotel shuttle (available 24 hours a day) for your return flight home.
Limitations & Restrictions
*Prices are per person based on double occupancy, are subject to availability at time of booking, and may change without notice. Child rate applies to children 10 years of age and younger sharing a room with at least one paying adult; note that some touring on this itinerary involves long hours on snow coaches or other modes of transportation which are not recommended for young children. Single supplement may apply. Except for packages including air transportation, unless stated otherwise, airfare, taxes and government fees are not included. Offers valid for new bookings only. Member Benefits are per person and apply to first and second traveler only. Member Benefits are available only with advertised fare and are subject to change without notice. Your travel arrangements may be modified or canceled subject to the travel providers’ policies. Blackout dates and other restrictions may apply. We make every effort for accuracy at time of printing but reserve the right to correct errors. AAA Travel strongly recommends the purchase of trip protection insurance. Except for packages including air transportation, fares may not reflect additional fuel supplement or port charges and vary by provider.
CST #1003968-80. Registration as seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.