Overview

There is nowhere in North America as iconic as Yellowstone National Park. Towering mountains, spewing geysers, vast forests and valleys harbouring the highest megafauna density on the continent make this a must-visit destination for anyone wanting to experience the classic American West. But the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, as it is known by locals and researchers, is much more than what is found within the National Park’s borders, despite its enormous size. The ecosystem includes huge, pristine prairies, alpine crags and meadows, near-arid desert, and the most diverse and lovely scenery one could hope for.

For birders, a visit to the Yellowstone region means Longspurs parachuting over Mountain Plover chicks, Western Tanagers at the same feeders as Red Crossbills, Black Rosy Finches foraging at the feet of Mountain Goats, Brown-headed Cowbirds on the back of the original bovine of the continent – the Bison. Yellowstone means time spent observing wolves and bears foraging, hunting, in their natural habitats, otters and Barrow’s Goldeneye frolicking in the Lamar River, and some of the most spectacular geothermal sites on Earth. Any visit to Yellowstone is memorable and unique, but there is so much more to be seen and enjoyed than most visitors could conceive.

Tour Facts Top Birds
Black Rosy Finch; Sprague’s Pipit; Thick-billed & Chestnut-collared Longspurs;, Mountain Plover; Dusky Grouse; Three-toed Woodpecker; Williamson’s Sapsucker; Sagebrush Sparrow;, Baird’s Sparrow.
Top Mammals
Gray Wolf; Grizzly & American Black Bears; Bighorn; Mountain Goat; American Bison
Habitats Covered
shortgrass and mixed-grass Prairie, Riparian Deciduous Forest, Sagebrush Steppe, Lake and Marsh wetlands, Montane Coniferous Forest, Alpine grassland
Expected Climate
daytime temperatures typically range 65 -80F, with cool evenings in the 50s – 60s. Though the odd afternoon thunderstorm is likely, weather is typically very enjoyable with little precipitation.
Max Group Size
6 with 1 Rockjumper Leader and local leaders where necessary
Tour Pace & Walking
tour pace is relaxed, with a few short hikes that are best for species like Black Rosy-Finch and Grouse. Overall, easy and pleasant walking conditions on road and trails.
Accommodation
3-4 star accommodations throughout the tour.
Ease of Birding
generally easy, though sometimes species like Northern Pygmy Owl or Gray Partridge can be a little tricky to pin down.
Number of Species Expected
220+
Other Attractions
wildlife and photography, of course, are amazing. Soaking in Chico Hot Springs, viewing Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park, driving the beartooth highway over the second-highest drivable pass in the country, art galleries and shops in Livingston, visit the Yellowstone Film Ranch.
Photographic Opportunities
incredible photo ops of dozens of bird species and some 14 species of mammal, minimum
Tour Route Map Route Map Client Testimonials

This being my first Rockjumper tour, it far surpassed my expectations. Stephan was a fantastic guide, attentive to the entire group and making sure everyone had a good look at the bird in front of us (sometimes, several birds!) The depth of his knowledge along with his raport and friendly/kind demeanor made him feel more like a good friend on a bird walk - with tons of knowledge and ability on top of a love for birds. Thanks Stephan/Claudia and Rockjumper for providing an amazing experience!

I just wanted you to know that the trip to Texas with Stefan and Claudia went fantastic. The birding was unbelievable and the logistics to pull that all off in such a large state as Texas were near flawless. Stefan is an amazing birder and his persistence and patience made certain everyone got on the birds; the views were amazing. Claudia was a great help for him and was fantastic at quickly getting the scope on the birds as well. It was all wonderful Rockjumper birding until you drop at its finest! On side notes, the food was great.

Loved Stephan and Claudia! They were a great team and made the experience very pleasant and enjoyable. The sit down lunch on the last day was great! Pre-ordering lunch might help expedite the meal if needed for time. The Bat flight was worth the wait! Thank you! We look forward to birding with Rockjumper again.

Stephan & Claudia were so hardworking, friendly & fun! And I feel their personal efforts made a huge impact for our first ever RJ birding tour, a success.

This was my 4th tour with Stephan, and he continues to be welcoming, caring, and on-point the entire trip. He always goes the extra mile to ensure everyone has a chance to see the birds and is very informative throughout the tour, always slipping in identification characteristics, sounds, or habitats that will help us in the future. He does all this with a very easy-going manner despite his high energy level and excellent people skills to ensure comraderie within the group. Despite the varied skill levels of the group’s participants, he is able to make each of us feel special, whether it is for me as a beginner birder with limited name associations to the species and a brain that doesn’t recall the information from day to day, all the way for those who are excellent at spotting birds and already knowing the species, perhaps due to a career in the field. This tour provided more challenges with some restaurants and toilets closed due to the pandemic or limited hours which did not mesh with the tour route, but Stephan and Claudia did an excellent job of rounding up food, supplies, meals, drinks, and toilet breaks. Because of the intense nature and number of miles/hours required each day to see the target species, they arranged for one vehicle to return to lodging each night at dinner time to provide an early night for those of us who needed a bit more sleep or for those whose abilities limited nighttime walking on uneven surfaces! I really appreciated that effort and concern, even though I love to see owls, etc. They are wonderful guides and friends!!!

Dates, Leaders and Pricing
2022 DEPARTURES
2023 DEPARTURES
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