New Winter in Yellowstone Tours

Yellowstone National Park is the world’s oldest national park, and although it is utterly spectacular, it is not a place many people visit in winter.

Filmmaker Ken Burns, his long time collaborator Dayton Duncan and the tour company Tauck are launching two new wintertime journeys that explore Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding area. The new itineraries – a one-time, eight-day event with the opportunity to personally meet Burns and Duncan, and a nine-day Tauck Culturious journey with multiple departures – will debut in January. Both will offer unparalleled access to the park, to naturalists and other park experts who will share their insights, and to experiences that travellers can’t typically enjoy on their own.

Burns and Duncan were the creators of the acclaimed PBS documentary “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” and Tauck is the award-winning leader in premium quality guided tours and cruises. The new Yellowstone trips are the latest product which crafts travel experiences based on the themes and topics explored in Burns’s films.

Wildlife viewing at Yellowstone is enhanced in winter because ground cover is thinner and animals stand out more clearly against a white background of snow. Heat from the park’s geothermal features can also reduce snow accumulations in specific areas, attracting grazing animals that dig through the shallow snow to reach underlying grasses. Those grazing animals in turn often attract wolves and other predators that help make a winter experience in Yellowstone so memorable.

The eight-day “Winter In Yellowstone” event is limited to 210 attendees, split into two groups of 105, starting on January 6 and January 8. The two groups will come together to personally meet Ken Burns and attend his keynote address at the Old Faithful Visitors Centre on January 11. Throughout the rest of the event, the groups will experience the various itinerary components in staggered schedules on different days.

The event features stays at the Chico Hot Springs Resort, Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Spring Creek Ranch. Activities include explorations aboard heated, motorized snow coaches (specially equipped vehicles with treads and skis instead of wheels) and wildlife viewing in areas including the Lamar Valley, Norris and Lower Geyser Basins, Yellowstone Lake, Hayden Valley and Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Optional activities during free time include ice skating, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.

Included in the event price are airport transfers, accommodations, most meals, all sightseeing, lectures and other presentations, and a farewell cocktail reception and dinner at the National Museum of Wildlife Art.

Tauck is also offering six departures of a similar itinerary as part of its Culturious collection of immersive, small-group trips for active boomer-age travellers. The nine-day “Wonderland: Yellowstone In Winter” itinerary will operate in January, February and March with an average group size of just 20 travellers per departure, and conclude with two nights at the Wort Hotel in Jackson, Wyoming.

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