From Jackson Hole to Yellowstone, a Day with Wolves Takes You Where the Wild Things Are

Animal attraction.

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  • Written by
    Darren Elms

It’s early March, and weeks of snowfall blanket the wilderness between Jackson Hole and Yellowstone. Perched on a bluff, our group gazes out into total white … white earth, white trees, white tips of towering Tetons.

From a distance, a few small specs move slowly across the landscape. Our guide’s mighty telescope turns tiny spots into fully realized creatures: wolves. Only three, but wow, grey wolves.

They circle a fallen elk, cautious of their surroundings, hungry yet alert. A moment before my eye leaves the lens, a bald eagle swoops in on the dining party, curious to see what’s on the menu. Welcome to the Wild West.

Fans of the television series Yellowstone no doubt delight in the romanticized ranch setting in the backyard of the beloved national park. But to experience this untamed territory in person eclipses any dramatization. Thankfully, due to years of thoughtful stewardship, this piece of Wyoming wilderness remains appreciably wild.

South of Yellowstone, the ever-fashionable and festive Jackson Hole enjoyed a better-than-average ski season last winter, drawing thousands of snow enthusiasts to its slopes. Yet beyond the lifts, the lodge and afternoon sips of Veuve Clicquot, a different kind of adventure awaits.

The Four Seasons Jackson Hole partnered with local naturalists to take a select number of guests front and center with the region’s wildlife, particularly its grey wolves. From the early-morning private flight into the horizon to the howls of packs serenading your departure, the A Day With Wolves excursion offers a glimpse into the world of these beautiful yet elusive predators.

The morning begins with a flight on a private, eight-seat Swiss Pilatus aircraft complete with a gourmet resort breakfast. Your guide from Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris or Yellowstone Safari Company will accompany you on the full-day journey, offering their take on the territory as you soar high above.

Arriving in Livingston, Montana, you’ll be joined by a second naturalist and wildlife biologist guide before setting out in a luxury four-wheel-drive SUV. Once in Yellowstone, you’ll pass the iconic Roosevelt Arch en route to Lamar Valley—prime viewing ground for the wolves and other park residents like bears, moose, elk, eagles and more.

Winter creates an especially unique experience. Not only will you enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the park covered in snow, but the guides will help you observe winter hunting, feeding, playing and mating behavior. Through specialized Swarovski scopes, the action plays out in a clear but unobtrusive panorama.

Jackson Hole expects another lengthy ski season, which kicks off November 24 and will run through April 14, 2024. Daily mountain capacity will be managed to elevate the guest experience. Winter visitors enjoy slope-side access directly from the resort’s door to premier skiing and snowboarding at Rendezvous Mountain.

The Four Seasons on-site ski concierge makes ski mornings a breeze, with top-of-the-line rentals, retail and everything needed for a day of winter adventure. Snowshoeing tours in the shadows of the Tetons can also be booked directly through the resort.

Whether you spend the day sloshing through fresh snow cover or roaming the wild with canines (après-wolf?), warmth and comfort await at the resort spa and dining destinations—like the Westbank Grill steakhouse, where elk is on the menu. So gather your pack and take advantage of all Jackson Hole and Teton Village have to offer.

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