Current Operating Status:
On March 17th, we made the difficult decision to close, even though we had two busy weeks ahead of us. Big Sky Resort closed on the 16th, folks were trying to find flights home, lifts were closed, and the hotels encouraged folks to head home. With several thousand people in the Big Sky area, this was the largest evacuation of people in Big Sky history, a scene repeated at ski areas all over the country. Sun Valley, ID wasn’t so lucky.
Crowding the week of March 16th was huge. This is a time when most of the park is closed for spring snowplowing and the Northern Range is all that is open. With record numbers of visitors, Yellowstone was forced to close at the request of MT, ID, & WY’s governors and health departments in the surrounding counties.
We know Big Sky’s 5 bed hospital could quickly become over run if the virus, which at this point had been detected in the community, were to have a rapid spread, we could be in trouble. At this point Big Sky/ Bozeman/ Gallatin County ended up being the “hot spot” for Montana with only 153 cases by the end of April.
We want to thank our Montana governor Steve Bullock, for listening to science, shutting down restaurants and schools before California, and being one of the quicker states to shelter in place. As a result, Montana is at the point of minor contract tracing. We need to keep it that way with our small, remote hospitals, and long distances between medical facilities.
At this time Yellowstone Tour Guides is closed…We are open for advance reservations.
Because Yellowstone Park is currently closed to all visitor use, we are closed as well.
Any new reservations made for the summer of 2020 or the winter of 20-21 will not be charged a deposit. Although we could use the money, we do not feel it is wise to charge folks until the trip happens.
We do advise folks to plan their trip for the summer of 2021and beyond. There is a ton of uncertainty about Yellowstone’s re-opening.
Yellowstone Tour Guides plan for a phased re-opening:
When the park opens:
We will remain closed for a few days to see what the situation is in the park, and to see if it looks safe to operate.
We are planning to start with day hiking and backpacking trips, which are great for social distancing, we will meet you at the trailhead.
We will require guides and guests to wear facemasks, correctly.
We will be offering Family Backpacking trips for locals at reduced rates! Now is a great time to get the kids outdoors after being cooped up all spring. Learn a great, healthy outdoor activity and social distance in the park’s backcountry for a night or more. Good for Montana, Wyoming and Idaho residents when the park re-opens. We have some great easy trips for the little ones!
What guests can expect in Yellowstone when it opens in the summer of 2020:
***Be advised the park may close again without notice at anytime if Yellowstone becomes a virus hotspot.***
We are expecting extremely limited services when the park re-opens, just restrooms. On June 15th, there is a tentative plan for the park to re-open campgrounds, cabin rentals and some restaurants will be open for take out only.
There is a slim chance for the hotels inside the park this summer.
We do not expect many facilities to open because of social distancing.
At this time, MT, ID & WY are requiring visitors to quarantine for 14 days when they arrive before heading out for your adventure.
All of this is subject to change without notice.
SUMMER OF 2021
This is the safer choice for planning a trip. We recognize many of you were planning on this summer, but there is a ton of uncertainty and after watching thousands of people’s vacations get ruined, we don’t want that to happen to you.
We want to thank those of you who have already booked your trip for postponing your trip to 2021. These are trying times, and we do not want to see anymore vacations ruined. Those of you booking in the future are helping to keep us alive as we have already lost 1 ½ months, and it is likely we will not be open in May either. Your advance reservations are keeping us intact, for that we are offering this special deal:
Most people when they come to Yellowstone underestimate the size, and wished that they had planned more time. We are offering you a chance to not make the same mistake.
Day trips from Big Sky and West Yellowstone
We will be offering 3 days of small group tours in 2021, the Lower Loop, Upper Loop and the new Central Yellowstone.
Book you trip for 2021 and you will receive 1 free additional day! Turn your 1, 2 or more day’s trip into another day into the park with our expert guides for free! Offer good for Small Group Tours, Private Tours from Big Sky or West Yellowstone.
This offer is good until Yellowstone Re-opens the gates, which may be by the middle of May! So hurry!
Multi Day and Backpacking trips for 2021 through 2022
These are uncertain times, and with the likely loss of the summer season, we are finding some hotels willing to work with us for some great pricing for future trips. For multi day and backpacking trips we are offering 20% of your vacation if you book before June 15th. In addition, you can choose any date in 2021 or 2022. Also, you can wait up to 3 months prior to your multi day trip (we recommend 5 months during the peak season) to choose your dates, so you don’t have to make a commitment to your dates.
For backpacking trips we recommend setting your dates before mid-February.
Deal ends on June 15th!