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Inside a Three-Day Trek Through the Serengeti of North America - http://travelporn.info | luxury travel sites

April 21, 2018 4:58 pm
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After being eradicated for 70 years, eight grey wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park’s ecosystem in 1995. As a result, the wolves regenerated the park, bringing it back to life with proper a balance of predator and prey—and bringing species such as beavers, birds, bears, and mice, as well as plant life, back into the mix. While the park sits dormant during the winter season, travelers flock to the area to observe nature in the raw come spring and summertime, and there’s no better way to experience what’s referred to as the “Serengeti of North America” than by embarking on a multi-day safari trek through the wild.

An African-style safari on U.S. soil, Jackson Hole Eco Tour Adventures will effortlessly set up a bucket-list journey of Instagram-friendly accommodations in tipis and glamping tents, memorable meals witness to sunsets like you’ve never seen before, and a series of day trips. “Our multi-day programs allow you to see many of the different nooks and crannies of the parks,” says Taylor Phillips, the company’s owner. “There is the likelihood to observe elk, moose, bison, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, mule deer, eagles, coyotes, fox, badgers, and good chances to observe bears and wolves.”

The beauty of a customized trek is that it’s completely tailored. Tip off Phillips if you’re into star gazing, history, animal tracking or photography, and he’ll add in extraordinary tidbits along the way. “There are countless dirt roads off the beaten path that we have time to explore for wildlife and short natural history hikes,” he says. May, he notes, is one of the best times to adventure into the parks. Grizzlies and wolves are often active and visible, birds make their migratory pilgrimage out west and there’s an influx of baby animals frolicking around. And, safari purists will be happy to ride around in a 4×4 vehicle equipped with roof hatches and sliding windows. 3 days are all that’s needed for a trek through one of North America’s most alluring natural wonders and it can unfold like this:

Safari expedition

Day One

Park itineraries require an early rise, but not to worry, endless cups of French press coffee await as you depart the town of Jackson to slowly make your way to Yellowstone National Park—observing wildlife in Grand Teton National Park along the way. Rising at dawn also means avoiding large crowds and diving into secluded areas. “The alpenglow on the summit of the Teton peaks is a nice bonus as we watch antlered moose browse along the Snake River bottom,” Phillips adds. “We love being in the parks at sunrise, allowing us to maximize our time viewing the huge array of wildlife that is active.” Stay alert for buffalo roaming in these parts—it’s a sight to see the majestic, wild beasts interact in real life.

Today’s journey stops at one of Yellowstone’s most hyped sites: Old Faithful, the first geyser in the park to receive an official name. Phillips orchestrates a hike around prized thermal features like mud pots, hot springs, and fumaroles (steam vents) as a discussion on the creation of the world and its living wonders takes place. Refuel with a half-pound bison burger and huckleberry lemonade at the Old Faithful Inn’s dining room, housed in the world’s largest cabin.

Check into Under Canvas Yellowstone, a true glamping experience located just a stone’s throw away from the park’s entrance, and prepare for the ultimate post-dinner sunset: a wildlife drive along the Madison River. Nosh on homemade dessert with a view of wildlife interacting in their natural habitat.

Rest easy after an adventurous day with a soak in a freestanding claw tub and a good night’s rest in a king size bed with luxurious linens. The wooden stove will keep you cozy and warm all night, plus the tent’s private deck is an obvious spot for a nightcap while admiring the stars in the stillness of the night.

Dreamcatcher Tipi Hotel

Day Two

Stay in the park’s parameters and whip out binoculars (Maven makes a great pair) to zoom in on pronghorn antelope running wild. Phillips tells they’re the fastest animal in North America, coming in just behind the cheetah, as he skims the land and sky for various other creatures.

Today is a day to take it all on, as the journey continues through a scenic drive through the park as you sneak up on the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. The upper and lower-falls are the largest in the park, with the lower-falls triumphing the height of Niagara Falls by three feet. If time allows, dip in the Boiling River, a hydrothermal pool, makes for an epic, natural “hot tub” experience that will soothe the soul.

Dreamcatcher Tipi Hotel, on the north entrance of Yellowstone, is a solid choice for discerning travelers, as the tipis are equipped with all the small details: nap-inducing down pillows, beautiful chandeliers, leather bound chairs, baskets filled with tempting treats, organic bath products, a fireplace to keep you snug at night when the temperature drops, and most importantly, complimentary S’mores.

Wolf in Yellowstone National Park

Day Three

“The sounds of howling wolves at sunrise with very few other travelers around is truly a magical experience,” notes Phillips, who takes guests out into the Lamar Valley at the wee hours of the morning to maximize chances of viewing wolves and bears in the wild. After that, enjoy a field breakfast.

Keep an eye out for grizzlies and wolves today, as this valley is prime stomping grounds for both, and if you’re lucky, grizzly cubs, too. “There will be more wildlife to see on this day, as well as the famous Mud Volcano, which is the park’s best bubbling mud pot,” he notes. A picturesque hike around the West Thumb Geyser Basin to view some of the prettiest, most vibrant hydrothermal pools will leave you in awe.

End the safari at Turpin Meadow Ranch, one of Wyoming’s best-kept secrets, where one can reflect on the past few days over a delightful “prairie-to-plate” meal. The pan seared Idaho trout with Northern white beans and smoked acorn squash purée will be just enough to set you into a dreamy food coma. Pendleton blankets and fireplaces are in every room, so you’ll have no problem heading into a deep sleep. Don’t sleep past breakfast, as it includes a spread of freshly baked goods, egg soufflé dishes and breakfast sandwiches with provisions from Sweet Cheeks Meats—a local butcher shop in Jackson, Wyoming.