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Greater Yellowstone Multisport & Beer Adventure

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.

John Muir

This trip is not being offered as a public tour this year. Looking to book your own private tour? Check out our sister company, Montana Vacation Company!

Yellowstone was established in 1872 as the world’s first national park and is known for its diversity of wildlife and many geothermal features like Old Faithful. In our humble opinion, it is also one of the most beautiful places on earth! The surrounding communities (and breweries!) offer a great way to enhance your experience of the region.

We get to visit with brewery owners at beer-pairing dinners, hike ourselves silly, take a dip in some natural Hot Springs pools, drive over the scenic Beartooth Pass, raft the beautiful Gallatin River, and hmmm…what are we forgetting? Oh yeah! Beer! Each day you will build up a thirst that can only properly be quenched by a delicious, cold, regionally crafted brew from the tap at the local brewery. You don’t have to be a beer expert or a star athlete to enjoy this tour. You just need to be ready for some fun!

We are heavily involved in the craft beer scene because we produce the annual Beer Now Conference and have used this knowledge to create this fun, active beer tour.

Read more about our Greater Yellowstone Multisport & Beer Adventure in Outside Magazine.

Details

  • Cost Per Person: $0
  • Optional Single Supplement: $0
  • Activities: Hiking, horse back riding, and rafting
  • Difficulty: All Abilities
  • Guides: To Be Determined

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Trip Highlights

  • Taking in the stunning scenery in two states (Montana and Wyoming)
  • Experiencing the wonders of the world’s first national park – Yellowstone – as well as driving up to nearly 11,000 feet up and over one of the country’s most scenic byways, the Beartooth Pass All-American Road
  • Learning about aspects of the beer-making processes, and sampling plenty of the area’s finest varieties of microbrews
  • Exploring the Gallatin River on a Class II - IV raft excursion, soaking in natural hot springs and horseback riding in the Beartooth Mountains
DAY 1

We will meet you in Bozeman right before lunch, either at the airport or at the Lark Hotel. We start this tour out with a bang by heading directly to our first activity – rafting on the Gallatin River!  It is a fun, but wet, ride through rapids ranging from Class II – IV, depending on how high the river is. Once we’ve dried off, we’ll drive down the road a bit to our accommodations for the night — cute log cabins situated along the Buffalo Horn River at the 320 Ranch. Tonight’s welcome dinner is special, as we will have a local brewmaster (or two!) join us for a beer-pairing dinner in the ranch’s elegant western restaurant.  How many stars do you think you see from the bonfire pit tonight?  (Hint: probably thousands more than you can see at home!)

DAY 2

We begin our day with a hearty breakfast before we set out for our first morning in Yellowstone National Park. We’ll hike to get to one of the best views of the breathtaking Grand Prismatic hot spring (the one with almost every color of the rainbow!). We’ll stop for a tasty picnic lunch and to explore the Mammoth Hot Springs where we’ll most likely catch a glimpse of the elk herd that likes to hang out in the area. Tonight, we’ll be checking into another set of hot springs, but this time, they’ll be ones we can soak in! Chico Hot Springs Resort provides two natural hot spring pools where we’ll have a chance to relax and take in the mountain views while the stiffness in our muscles just melts away.  We’ll also enjoy another wonderful beer-filled dinner in the private cellar of their world-class restaurant.

DAY 3

Rise and shine!  Directly after breakfast we hit the road to spend a whole day in Yellowstone National Park.  Our first stop is the “Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone,” where we will hike from point to point along the Yellowstone River and two impressive sets of waterfalls.  From there, we’ll check out the mud volcanoes before having lunch at the beautiful and historic Lake Yellowstone Hotel. Next, we drive to Old Faithful, keeping our eyes open for the ubiquitous bison as well as elk, coyotes, wolves, and bear. We’ll check into the Snow Lodge and enjoy a beer tasting and dinner in the grand Old Faithful Inn, over a hundred years old and one of the most fantastic log structures ever created. After dinner, seeing Old Faithful erupt in the moonlight (perhaps with an Old Faithful Ale by Grand Teton Brewing in hand?) will be a memory you won’t soon forget.

DAY 4

This morning we slow down and relax by offering a little free time at Old Faithful.  There is so much to see and do here!  We encourage you to explore the brand new visitor’s center, the amazing geothermal features and boardwalk area before we depart after lunch.  Hopefully, we won’t encounter too many “bison jams” (Yellowstone’s version of a traffic jam) as we exit and say goodbye to the Park and hello to a wonderful place called Red Lodge, Montana. Red Lodge is not only a great small town, it also happens to be the world headquarters of Zephyr Adventures. To get there, we take the most scenic route, via the Beartooth All-American Highway, the highest elevation road in the Northern Rockies.  Many switchbacks later, we will arrive at Beartooth Plateau and almost 11,000 feet before heading back down the other side.  Along the way, we may spot skiers (yes, there is still a lot of snow up here even in July!) and mountain goats, and we’ll surely see beautiful alpine lakes, the “Bear’s Tooth” for which the mountain range is named, and plenty of wildflowers.  After checking into our hotel, we’ll head to dinner at one of Red Lodge’s newest restaurants (and quickly on its way to becoming the best restaurant in Montana), Ox Pasture. If you’re up for it, you’ll have the chance to visit a few of Red Lodge’s local watering holes after dinner.

DAY 5

We save the best for last!  On our last morning together, we’ll take a lovely horseback ride into the foothills of the Beartooth Mountains. (If you aren’t a cowboy or cowgirl, you can take a hike, or just explore this cute town on your own instead).  After checking out of our hotel, we will head to Red Lodge Ales for a tour. Owner Sam knows his beer and the industry which makes it easy to understand how this once-small taproom is now growing into one of the region’s larger breweries, brewing and serving beers in its new LEED-certified brewery.  Afterward, we shuttle to Billings for either the airport (if you have an early afternoon flight) or lunch at Überbrew (if you have a late flight).  Überbrew was the winningest brewery at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival out of all breweries attending!  In fact, if you want to stay an extra night in Billings, we recommend resting your head at the fabulous Northern Hotel after a walking brewery tour of Billings.

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Trip Accommodations

NIGHT 1 >>320 GUEST RANCH / BIG SKY, MONTANA

One of our favorite places to stay, this is a classic and comfortable cowboy-style ranch (complete with horses) in the Gallatin River Valley. Their cozy log cabins are set up in a quiet canyon along the creek.

NIGHT 2 >> CHICO HOT SPRINGS / PRAY, MONTANA

This historic resort is located in the heart of Paradise Valley, just north of Yellowstone National Park. It offers comfortable accommodations, exceptional dining, and their very own natural Hot Springs pools that are emptied and refilled each night!

NIGHT 3 >> OLD FAITHFUL SNOW LODGE / YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, WYOMING

This is our favorite (and newest) lodge in the Park and we love the clean rooms and beautiful craftsman style construction intended to give a feel of being in the woods. We'll be right in the heart of the action as Old Faithful and many other geysers are right out our front door.

NIGHT 4 >> ALPINE LODGE / RED LODGE, MONTANA

This newly renovated quaint hotel is located in the heart of Red Lodge and within walking distance of many fun, small town shops, restaurants, and bars. BONUS: book early and reserve a a spot in one of their new log cabins or luxury teepees! (as available, by request)

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Arrival & Departure

We’ll meet you at 11 AM on the first day of the trip in Bozeman, Montana (airport code BZN), making it possible for some of you to fly in that morning. We finish in Billings, Montana (airport code BIL) on the last day, allowing you to fly out late that afternoon. However, as long as you’re coming all this way, why not tack on an extra night or two? You should get an “open jaw” ticket into Bozeman and out of Billings. Upon booking, we will send you a Pre-Departure Packet with complete travel information and suggestions for extending your trip.

What's Included?
  • A Zephyr guide accompanies each trip, with a second added as necessary.
  • Double occupancy lodging is included. If you are traveling solo, we will match you with another traveler of the same gender. However, you may pay a single supplement to have your own room.
  • All of your dinners and breakfasts are included. Gratuity for these meals is also included. In general, we leave lunches open so that you have time to explore and enjoy the local flavors en route.
  • All your transportation is included once you meet your guides on the first day.
  • All group activities and official beer tastings are included.
  • NOT INCLUDED Beverages, desserts, lunches, gratuities to your guides, personal expenses and travel to and from the destination.
Weather

Weather is always unpredictable in Yellowstone and autumn is no exception! The average temperature in September is in the mid 50s with highs in the upper 60s during the day and can drop to the upper 30s at night. Bring lots of layers, including rain gear.  We'll provide you with a detailed packing list.

Shuttle Time

We get to explore the 2.2 million acres of Yellowstone National Park – and given the sheer size of the park itself, we will have to have spend time shuttling from point to point. But no fear, keep your eyes peeled as we drive as we will get to see some amazing sights along the way!

Food and Lodging in Yellowstone

Staying inside the park is a top priority – you get to explore and experience so much more by staying in the heart of Yellowstone. Since it is a national park, the accommodations and food options are not going to be equal to a five-star hotel. But, we think the rustic experience just adds to the overall adventure!

Delays in Yellowstone

It is not uncommon to get stuck by one of Yellowstone's famous "Bison Jams".  This is when a herd of bison has decided to cross one of the roads within the park and causes a traffic jam.  Though they can be inconvenient while trying to stay on time, it is a one-of-a-kind experience that you won't find anywhere else.  Additionally, July is one of Yellowstone's busiest months so the park will be crowded.  Your guides try to manage this by timing the tour schedule appropriately as well as showing you lesser known (and frankly better!) vantage points for some of the biggest attractions.

Beer Activities

This beer tour is anything but typical. We will technically only be touring one brewery during our trip. We figure, being in the gorgeous setting of Montana and Wyoming, why keep our guests indoors? We'll certainly be quenching your thirst with a wide variety of beer throughout the trip with beer-paired dinners, meet and greets with brewery staff, and tastings in breathtaking settings (like overlooking Old Faithful!) You'll learn and taste just as much, if not more, than if we were taking you from brewery to brewery.

Changes to Your Itinerary

While everything under “What is Included” will remain the same, the actual restaurants, hotels, and activities listed in our itineraries are subject to modifications. Changes that are out of our control are common – a restaurant closes or loses its awesome chef, a winery changes its visiting hours, a hotel gets remodeled, a road or trail undergoes construction. You are entrusting us to create an outstanding vacation for you and so it is possible we may take the liberty of making necessary changes (even at the last minute, during the guides’ scout trip) to the itinerary that will improve your overall trip experience. If there is any one experience that is going to make or break your trip, please discuss this with us in advance! We will attempt to keep our website itinerary as current as possible and communicate any major changes with you in the weeks prior to the tour.

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