Invitation to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons

Have you ever wanted to see the Serengeti of North America? To be in a place that is as wild and scenic as it was in the days of Lewis and Clark? To experience the crown jewel of American’s iconic National Parks – the world’s first National Park – in a way that very, very few ever have?

early morning reflections are not uncommon here, stunning for photography!

early morning reflections are not uncommon here, stunning for photography!

Arrowleaf Balsamroot in the spring covers the hillsides

Arrowleaf Balsamroot in the spring covers the hillsides

The recent award winning Ken Burns series on PBS: The National Parks, America’s Best Idea has awakened a passionate interest in America’s National Parks and rightfully so. Have you thought about going to Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks before? Is it on your bucket list? Often, we travel literally around the globe to find the unique, inspiring and extraordinary only to learn we have it in our own backyard.

“Today, across our land, the National Park System represents America at its best. Each park contributes to a deeper understanding of the history of the United States and our way of life; of the natural processes which have given form to our land, and to the enrichment of the environment in which we live.” – George Hartzog, NPS Director, 1964-1972.

We have explored Yellowstone National Park over 100 times in the spring, summer, fall and winter and yet it remains firmly ensconced on our bucket list. Why?

These are the typical up close photos you see of Yellowstone.  That's because it REALLY happens like this, you have to look around every corner!

These are the typical up close photos you see of Yellowstone. That’s because it REALLY happens like this, you have to look around every corner!

The greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is such a unique area of rich wildlife, stunning scenery, abundant geothermal activity and rich history that all the way back in 1872, the United States Congress invented the idea of a national park so that this area could be protected from development and homesteading. This idea was so far ahead of its time that the park predates the formation of the three states in which it now rests! But even back then when the west was still wild, everyone knew there was something uniquely special about Yellowstone.

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.” – John Muir, conservationist.

Watched these moose go at each other in the fall

Watched these moose go at each other in the fall

Yellowstone by the numbers:

  • 2.2 million acres – the size of YNP. The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is over 15 million acres.
  • Over 10,000 – the number of geothermal features.
  • Over 30,000 – the number of elk in the summer.
  • 1 – the number of genetically pure, wild populations of bison remaining the world.
  • Over 290 – the number of waterfalls.
  • 10+ – the number of wolf packs.
  • 1872 – the year the world’s first National Park was created.

Experience the flow of nature, stunning rivers, thundering waterfalls and herds of bison and elk. See firsthand the complex social interactions of a pack of wolves and learn more about canines than you ever thought there was to know.

Stand in a geothermal area of belching mud pots, crystalline hot springs and roaring fumaroles with no crowds, no fences, no paths – no other people. Swim in a glistening mountain lake that is rarely visited. See pristine mountain valleys carved in the last ice age and changed little since.

We will take you to our secret spots and into the backcountry of Yellowstone – an extraordinary place that fewer than 1/2 of one percent of all who have ever visited Yellowstone have experienced.

Our trip through Yellowstone with Ridlon was an extraordinary experience. His knowledge and attention to detail were impressive and added significantly to our enjoyment of the parks. – comments from previous guests who traveled with us through Yellowstone and Grand Teton.

This adventure is perfect for wildlife watchers, nature and natural history lovers, photography buffs, walking/hiking enthusiasts, outdoor types, history lovers and adventure seekers.

a haven for photography

a haven for photography

You don’t have to want to do everything on the list above as we will offer a mix of activities each day customized for you in an exclusive, completely custom itinerary that is limited to only 8 adventurers.

We can stop when we want to stop and spend as much time as we want in any given place – and we can’t emphasize enough to you how important this is. Most “tours” to Yellowstone are on a set schedule and this simply does not work well because nature often isn’t on your schedule. You have to know what is happening around you and what natural events are occurring at any given time because the elk and bears aren’t in the same places doing the same things in July as in September.

First you have to have this intimate knowledge Second, you have to have a flexible and custom itinerary that can take advantage of it. Third, you can’t be in a big bus. This is how you will experience the best that Yellowstone has to offer.

Yellowstone may or may not be what you are expecting. It is an area larger than the states of Delaware and Rhode Island combined. It has the most remote, roadless area in the lower 48 states. Yet, it receives over two million visitors each year. The key is that 99 1/2% of all those visitors all go to the same few places at the same times. So we concentrate our experience in pristine places and at times when we can literally have the park to ourselves and we explore in September – a prime time of the year for wildlife but not for crowds.

“Our national parks system is a national museum. Its purpose is to preserve forever certain areas of extraordinary scenic magnificence in a condition of primitive nature.” – Robert Sterling Yard, 1923.

We could easily teach a college semester course on Yellowstone – there is so much to see, learn and understand. There is wildlife, natural history, ecology, geology and a unique and interesting human history as well. There are buildings so unique that they coined their own architectural term – parkitecture. And while we will share our extensive knowledge and decade + experience so you will see your surroundings with a whole new set of eyes and at a whole different level of understanding, there will be time for quiet, communing with nature and exploring on your own.

We will explore the parks as an intimate group of fun and interesting, like minded travelers by van and on foot. The level of physical exertion can be as much or a little as you like. You can spend your evenings enjoying a glass of wine by the fireplace of a majestic old lodge or you can sit in the grass along a meandering river and watch elk fording and eagles flying overhead as geysers erupt in the background.

You could explore Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks on your own and you would miss 75% of what is there. You could go with a large tour and you would miss 50% of what is there. You can travel with us to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks this September and have a truly unique experience and see something that you have never seen before.

“One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, what if I had never seen this before?” – Rachel Carson, author, ecologist.

Join us! If you have interest, please hit reply now and contact us to reserve your spaces.

The Details You Want to Know:

Dates: September 8-15, 2013 (7 nights)

Limited to 8 guests

Included: Accommodations for 7 nights including inside both Yellowstone and GT National Parks, all meals including dinner on arrival day and breakfast on departure day, airport transfers, private transportation for 7 days, services of expedition leader, use of Swarovski spotting scope, guided hikes and walks, nature and wildlife photography instruction, special activities, cocktail party and special dinner on final night.

Arrival and Departure

Arrival Airport: Jackson WY (JAC)

Departure Airport: Bozeman MT (BZN)

Several major airlines service both airports.

Airport transfers included. Please do not book early AM departure flights as the BZN airport is 1 1/2 hours drive from our resort.

Hotels and Resorts

We have carefully chosen these lodges and inns for their prime locations, ambiance and activities.

Jackson Lake Lodge, Grand Teton National Park (nights 1 & 2)

Grant Village Lodge, Yellowstone National Park (nights 3 & 4)

Yellowstone Basin Inn, Paradise Valley MT (nights 5 & 6)

Chico Hot Springs Resort and Spa (night 7)

Incredible views of the Tetons from the lodge.  Morning and evenings, moose, elk, coyote,'s all around these parts!

Incredible views of the Tetons from the lodge. Morning and evenings, moose, elk, coyote, bear….it’s all around these parts!


Price: $2995 per person/dbl occupancy

Deposit: $750 per person

Payments accepted: Check, Visa, Mastercard, PayPal (small children will not be accepted as payment).

Enjoy these images of Yellowstone wildlife.

Enjoy  these images of Yellowstone scenery.

“Yellowstone and Grand Teton were much more than we thought. After only four days, we felt like we had barely scratched the surface”. – comments from previous guests who traveled with us through Yellowstone and Grand Tetons.

Feel free to contact us with any questions you have about our Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks Adventure. Please keep in mind that this trip is exclusive and limited to only eight guests. We expect that it will fill quickly.

Join us! If you have interest, please email to: Sharkman (at) now and contact us to reserve your spaces.

We look forward to sharing one of the world’s greatest natural treasures with you. Happy adventures, Ridlon & Carin

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