February 28, 2023 –
 March 6, 2023

Montana Winter Adventure

What you'll do

This unique EarthCruiser Adventure offers unparalleled access to one of the most iconic national parks in the world coupled with a chance to hone winter driving and camping skills. We will spend three days exploring Yellowstone National Park during the winter, when wildlife viewing, and stunning vistas are at their finest. We will spend a full day in Yellowstone National Park on a private snowcoach tour led by Forrest Rowland, a local to the area and a world-renowned wildlife guide. We will spend a night deep in the backcountry at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch where we’ll be treated to a dinner and cooking class by an area chef featuring local, wild ingredients. We’ll also drive through some of Montana’s most scenic back roads, camping in the remote Crazy Mountains and explore the frozen wonderland of Hyalite Canyon. Along the way you’ll pick up new skills in winter driving and camping including winching and traction management. Incredible wildlife and mind-blowing scenery are practically guaranteed.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Exclusive access to areas of Yellowstone National Park in the winter few get to experience
  • Private snowcoach full-day tour of the park with guide Forrest Rowland
  • Overnight at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch
  • Dinner and cooking lesson with chef Mike LaGodny
  • Wildlife tracking session with professional naturalist
  • Hyalite Canyon winter driving lesson
  • Crazy Mountains backcountry camp and winching lesson

2/5 Comfort Level

Moderate-tough. Mostly dispersed camping with no water/power or facilities. Few services available some days. Cold weather, snow and ice, wildlife in campgrounds.

4/5 Driving Level

Moderate-tough. Basic recovery and winching helpful, able to drive over difficult terrain, some gravel, rocky, snow and ice.

your adventure hostS

ellen wayte

ellen wayte

Ellen Wayte has spent over a decade working in tourism as an overlanding tour leader, scuba instructor, naturalist, park ranger, and concierge. As a tour leader, she has led adventure holidays through over 40 countries on five continents. She has guided clients on expeditions from Cape Town to Cairo, across the Silk Road, throughout South America, and the Indian subcontinent. She is passionate about wildlife and can often be found with binoculars in hand.

ITINERARY:

Day 1 Bozeman, Montana area, February 28, 2023
We begin our adventure outside of Bozeman, Montana where we will camp for the night in the snowy backcountry. We’ll get to know our new travel companions and go share tips for camping in snow and winter conditions. We’ll enjoy a welcome dinner and pre-departure meeting this evening at our campsite.
Meals included: Dinner

Day 2 Crazy Mountains, Montana, March 1, 2023
This morning we’ll begin our drive through Montana’s winter wonderland. Our first stop will be a drive through the stunning Hyalite Canyon region. Depending on weather and conditions we may be able to go for a snowshoe or hike in the canyon to see its famous frozen waterfall formations. We will continue on to spend the night camping in the remote and scenic Crazy Mountains, conditions permitting. We will spend the afternoon practicing driving on snow and ice with lessons on traction control, winching, and vehicle recovery including the use of snow anchors.
Inclusions: Winter driving and recovery lesson

Day 3 Gardiner, Montana, March 2, 2023
We’ll leave the Crazy Mountains and head towards Gardiner area. Time permitting, we will make a mid-day stop for a swim in an open-air natural mineral hot springs pool. Our evening tonight is spent camping just outside of Yellowstone National Park where we’ll meet our local guide for the next few days.
Inclusions: Chico Hotsprings soak

Day 4 Gardiner, Montana, March 3, 2023
Today is a full day, private tour of Yellowstone National Park. We’ll traverse the snowy back roads of the park in our private, comfortable snowcoach with world-renowned naturalist and wildlife guide, Forrest Rowland. When not traveling the world guiding clients to view birds and wildlife, Forrest lives just outside the park and is intimately familiar with its ecology and history. Conditions permitting, we should be to slowly make our way past Norris Geyser Basin, and Grand Prismatic, to Old Faithful, watching for elk, bear and wildlife along the way.
Inclusions: Full-day private Snowcoach tour of Yellowstone NP

Day 5 Lamar Buffalo Ranch, Yellowstone National Park, March 4, 2023
Today is for more wildlife watching and visiting Mammoth Hot Springs, en-route to the Lamar Buffalo Ranch. This historic ranch was established in 1907 to preserve Yellowstone’s bison after they had been hunted to near extinction. We have the very special honor of being able to spend the night here in the ranch’s rustic cabins. In the afternoon we’ll head east through the Lamar Valley towards Soda Butte in search of otter, moose and wolves. Dinner tonight will be a very special Chef Mike LaGodny cooking class featuring local, wild ingredients.
Inclusions: Wildlife watching in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone NP. Overnight at the historic Lamar Buffalo Ranch. Dinner and cooking lesson with chef Mike LaGodny

Day 6 Gardiner, Montana, March 5, 2023
This morning we’ll have the option of going on a short winter tracking class, which will expand on winter ecology and animal survival adaptations and techniques. We’ll then slowly make our way back towards Gardiner area for the evening, watching for wildlife and opportunities for landscape photography along the way. Evening camping in the Gardiner area.
Inclusions: Winter wildlife tracking class

Day 7 Gardiner, Montana, March 6, 2023
Today our trip ends, and we say goodbye to our new friends. If you would like help in planning a continued adventure in Montana and beyond, please reach out to EarthCruiser Adventure.

*Please note that the itinerary listed here represents the intended route and day to day schedule. EarthCruiser Adventure reserves the right to make any itinerary changes with or without notice, which may become necessary, as is the nature of overlanding.

Included activities

  • Private full-day tour into Yellowstone NP via Snowcoach with world-class private wildlife guide
  • Overnight at the historic Lamar Buffalo Ranch in Yellowstone NP’s backcountry
  • Entry into Yellowstone National Park
  • Wildlife tracking in Yellowstone National Park
  • Local dinner and cooking lesson
  • Winter driving skills including winching and traction control
  • Hyalite Canyon Recreation Area visit
  • Crazy Mountains backcountry camping
  • Visit to Chico Hotsprings
  • Donation to Park County Environmental Council

Meals Provided

  • 2 dinners

Accomodations

  • Camping (5 nights)
  • Rustic Cabin (1 night)

VEHICLE & EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS

EarthCruiser or Terranova purchased new from EarthCruiser, used via EarthCruiser’s pre-owned program, or used via a third party with membership to the Cruiser Crew program.

Spare tire and full set of Maxtrax recovery board, shovel

Basic recovery gear including Snatch Block, Tree Saver, one pair each hard and soft shackles, and gloves.

INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS

You will be asked to show proof of valid insurance for operating your vehicle in the state of Montana

Starting at $3,500.00 / guest

Pay a 50% deposit per item

Minimum 50% deposit required for booking. The remaining balance will be automatically charged 30 days before your adventure begins.