Yellowstone Tours From Los Angeles

Strange as it seems, you can depart Los Angeles in the morning and be on a Yellowstone tour from Los Angeles that afternoon.  If you’re a later riser, there are also Yellowstone tours from Los Angeles where you can leave LA that night and be on tour in Yellowstone the next morning!

When describing our tours below, we refer to Yellowstone’s upper and lower loop tours, the Grand Teton/Jackson tour, as well as the Grand Tour. Please check out what that means at the bottom of this page .

los angeles to yellowstone tour

ALL YELLOWSTONE TOURS FROM Los Angeles

Los angeles’ best yellowstone tour.

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60 Hour Yellowstone Tour From Los Angeles

Yellowstone and grand teton tour from los angeles, yellowstone grand tour from los angeles, los angeles to yellowstone four day tour, los angeles’ best yellowstone tour: four days.

los angeles to yellowstone tour

Three day Yellowstone tour from Los Angeles which has you inside Yellowstone on all three days. On day one you’ll fly from LA to Salt Lake, and then travel by road to West Yellowstone, from where you will tour part of Yellowstone’s lower loop, including Old Faithful and the main geyser basins. Day two sees you touring Yellowstone’s entire upper loop. On day three you will do some more of the lower loop, and then tour Grand Teton National Park and visit Jackson, before returning to Salt Lake. There is an option to end the tour back in LA rather than Salt Lake.

You’ll fly from Los Angeles to Salt Lake on day one, and then take a shuttle to east Idaho, where you will overnight. The next morning you will travel to West Yellowstone and tour Yellowstone’s upper loop that same day, before spending the night in West Yellowstone. You’ll tour the lower loop the third day and return to the hotel in east Idaho that evening, before shuttling back to Salt Lake the fourth morning. There is an option to end the tour back in LA rather than Salt Lake.

los angeles to yellowstone tour

You’ll fly from Los Angeles to Salt Lake on day one and then take a shuttle to east Idaho, where you will overnight. The next morning you will travel to West Yellowstone, where you will spend the following two nights. You will tour Yellowstone’s upper loop that same day, the lower loop the next, and Grand Teton and Jackson the fourth day. The fourth evening sees you returning to the hotel in east Idaho, before shuttling back to Salt Lake the fifth morning. There is an option to end the tour back in LA rather than Salt Lake.

You’ll fly from LA to Salt Lake on day one and then take a shuttle to east Idaho, and spend the night there. The next morning you will travel to West Yellowstone, and will immediately be taken into Yellowstone for the Grand Tour, which is a tour of both the lower and upper loops in the same day. At the end of the day you will go back to your east Idaho hotel, to spend the night once again. The next morning you will return to Salt Lake City. There is an option to end the tour back in LA rather than Salt Lake.

los angeles to yellowstone tour

You’ll fly from LA to Salt Lake on day one and then shuttle to West Yellowstone, where you will spend the next three nights. You will tour Yellowstone’s upper loop on the second day and the lower loop on day three.  You’ll shuttle back to Salt Lake City on the fourth day. There is an option to end the tour back in Los Angeles rather than Salt Lake.

Unlike the three day Best Yellowstone Tour from LA, on this one you fly to Salt Lake and spend the night in Salt Lake the first night. On day two you will travel by road to West Yellowstone, from where you will tour part of Yellowstone’s lower loop, including Old Faithful and the main geyser basins. Day three sees you touring Yellowstone’s entire upper loop. On the fourth day you will do some more of the lower loop, and then tour Grand Teton National Park and visit Jackson, before returning to Salt Lake.  There is an option to end the tour back in Los Angeles rather than Salt Lake.

los angeles to yellowstone tour

Explanations of Yellowstone’s lower loop tour, the upper loop tour, the Grand Teton/Jackson tour and Grand Tour.

Yellowstone Lower Loop Tour

The lower loop tour focuses on Yellowstone’s thermal features. Sights and areas we hope to show you include the Madison Valley; the Lower Geyser Basin including Fountain Paint Pot and the boardwalk system; the  Midway Geyser Basin including Grand Prismatic Spring and Excelsior Geyser, plus the boardwalk system; the Upper Geyser Basin including Old Faithful, Old Faithful Inn and other geysers and hot springs; Biscuit Basin; Black Sand Basin; Isa Lake at the Continental Divide; West Thumb Geyser Basin with its boardwalks; Yellowstone Lake; Mud Volcano; the Hayden Valley; Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone; Gibbon Falls.

Yellowstone Upper Loop Tour

The upper loop tour has an emphasis on Yellowstone’s wildlife and beauty, while still including thermal features.  Places we hope to show you include the Madison Valley; Gibbon Falls; both Porcelain Basin and Back Basin at Norris Geyser Basin; Roaring Mountain; Mammoth Hot Springs; the Boiling River; the 45 th Parallel; Roosevelt Arch; the Lamar Valley; Tower Falls; Dunraven Pass.

Grand Teton Tour

The tour passes through the south part of Yellowstone and the Rockefeller Parkway before entering Grand Teton. The Grand Teton tour from West Yellowstone is a tour of mountains and lakes, with the possibility of seeing wildlife as well. Places we hope to visit include Jackson Lake; Jackson Dam; Signal Mountain; Jenny Lake; Willow Flats; Jackson Hole; Jackson.

Yellowstone Grand Tour

This Yellowstone tour from West Yellowstone combines a tour of Yellowstone’s lower loop and Yellowstone’s upper loop in just one day. Places we hope to show you include the Madison Valley; the Lower Geyser Basin including Fountain Paint Pot and the boardwalk system; the  Midway Geyser Basin including Grand Prismatic Spring and Excelsior Geyser, plus the boardwalk system; the Upper Geyser Basin including Old Faithful, Old Faithful Inn and other geysers and hot springs; Biscuit Basin; Black Sand Basin; Isa Lake at the Continental Divide; West Thumb Geyser Basin with its boardwalks; Yellowstone Lake; Mud Volcano; the Hayden Valley; Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone; Dunraven Pass; Tower Falls; the Lamar Valley; Mammoth Hot Springs; the Boiling River; the 45 th Parallel; Roosevelt Arch; Roaring Mountain; both Porcelain Basin and Back Basin at Norris Geyser Basin; Gibbon Falls.

los angeles to yellowstone tour

los angeles to yellowstone tour

Values Bus Tour

8 Best Bus Tours From Los Angeles To Yellowstone

By: Author Values Bus Tour

Posted on Last updated: July 20, 2023

What’s one of the best ways to see some of America’s most amazing sites? Take a bus tour! Here are 8 great bus tours from Los Angeles to Yellowstone. You’ll see everything from Hollywood and the Santa Monica Pier to the Grand Canyon and Old Faithful.

So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!

Table of Contents

How Long Does It Take To Reach Yellowstone From Los Angeles?

Yellowstone Hot Spring

The journey from Los Angeles to Yellowstone National Park is one that will take you through some of the most varied and beautiful landscapes in the United States. depending on your mode of transportation, the trip can take anywhere from two days to two weeks.

The most direct route is by car, and the drive will take you through the Mojave Desert, across the Great Basin, and into the Rocky Mountains. 

If you have the time, however, there are many wonderful attractions along the way that are worth a few extra days.

These include Bryce Canyon National Park , Grand Teton National Park , and Zion National Park . No matter how you choose to make the journey, reaching Yellowstone is sure to be an unforgettable experience .

See Related : Best Bus Tours From San Francisco, California

Popular Tourist Attractions That Can Be Visited On A Bus Tour From Los Angeles To Yellowstone

A bus tour from Los Angeles to Yellowstone is the perfect way to see some of America’s most popular tourist attractions. The tour will take you through the Joshua Tree National Park , where you can see the unique landscape that has made this park one of the most popular in the country.

You will also travel through the Mojave Desert , home to some of the nation’s most stunning desert scenery. 

The tour will then take you through Death Valley , where you can see the incredible geological formations that have made this park a must-see for many visitors. Finally, you will arrive at Yellowstone National Park, one of America’s most popular tourist destinations.

Here you can see Old Faithful , one of the world’s most famous geysers, as well as the other incredible features that make this park so special. 

A bus tour from Los Angeles to Yellowstone is the perfect way to see some of America’s most popular tourist attractions.

See Related : Best Trafalgar Bus Tours

Los Angeles is a great city to start your Yellowstone bus tour . It has a lot to offer in terms of things to see and do before you even get on the bus. Once you’re ready to hit the road, there are a number of different bus tours that can take you to Yellowstone . Here are eight of the best:

1. The Original Los Angeles to Yellowstone Tour

Yellowstone Landscape Scenery

This tour is a classic and takes you from Los Angeles all the way to Yellowstone National Park. You’ll see iconic landmarks like Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, and the Hollywood Sign, as well as other attractions like Joshua Tree National Park and the Grand Canyon.

See Related: Best Bus Tours from San Diego, California

2. The Luxury Los Angeles to Yellowstone Tour

Yellowstone Scenery

If you’re looking for a little more luxury on your trip, this tour is for you. It includes all of the same sightseeing as the original tour, but with upscale accommodations and Michelin-star-worthy meals included.

See Related : Best Route 66 Bus Tours

3. The All-Inclusive Los Angeles to Yellowstone Tour

Universal Studios

This tour includes everything you could possibly want or need on your trip, from airfare and hotels to meals and tours. You’ll see all of the same sights as the other two tours, plus a few extras like Universal Studios Hollywood and Disneyland.

See Related : How to Take a Bus from San Francisco to Los Angeles

4. The Budget-Friendly Los Angeles to Yellowstone Tour

Yellowstone Skyline

This tour is perfect for those on a budget. It includes all of the essential sightseeing without any extras, so you can save your money for other things like souvenirs or activities in Yellowstone.

5. The Off-the-Beaten-Path Los Angeles to Yellowstone Tour

Yellowstone Sunset

This tour is for those who want to get off the beaten path and see some of the less touristy parts of the country. You’ll still see all of the major sights, but you’ll also get to experience some of the smaller towns and less-visited parts of Yellowstone.

See Related: Explore Los Angeles – Discover the Best Tours of LA

6. The Family-Friendly Los Angeles to Yellowstone Tour

Yellowstone Nature Scenery

This tour is perfect for families with kids. It includes all of the major attractions that both kids and adults will enjoy, plus a few extra activities specifically for kids like a visit to Santa’s Village.

See Related: How to Book Cheap Bus Tickets [Step-by-Step]

7. The Adventure Los Angeles to Yellowstone Tour

Mammoth Hot Springs

This tour is perfect for those who want to add a little bit of adventure to their trip. You’ll whitewater raft through the Grand Canyon, hike in Joshua Tree National Park, and go on a wildlife safari in Yellowstone.

See Related: Best Bus Companies to Book Your Journey

8. The Customizable Los Angeles to Yellowstone Tour

Mammoth Hot Springs

This tour is perfect for those who want to customize their trip to their own interests and needs. You’ll work with a travel agent to create your perfect itinerary, including all of the sights you want to see and the activities you want to do.

No matter what kind of traveler you are, there’s a Los Angeles to Yellowstone bus tour that’s perfect for you.

See Related: Trips to San Francisco from Los Angeles: Your Ultimate Guide

What Is The Cost Of A Bus Tour Ticket From Los Angeles To Yellowstone?

The cost of a bus tour ticket from Los Angeles to Yellowstone can vary depending on the company you book with and the time of year you travel. However, you can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $1000 for a round-trip ticket.

While this may seem like a lot of money, keep in mind that a bus tour includes transportation, lodging, and meals, so it is a great way to save money on your trip. 

Additionally, a bus tour allows you to sit back and relax while someone else does the driving, which can be a great way to see the sights if you are not comfortable driving long distances.

Ultimately, whether or not a bus tour is worth the cost is up to you, but it is definitely an option to consider when planning your trip to Yellowstone.

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Discover the Best Yellowstone National Park Tours From Los Angeles

Yellowstone National Park, the America's first national park that was designated in 1872 boasts the largest geyser collection in the world including Old Faithful and is located in the U.S. states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. Containing over 2 million acres, Yellowstone National Park is home to the largest high-altitude lake in North America and one of the biggest petrified forests in the world. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the park also features 290-plus waterfalls, more than 70 different mammals, 322 bird species, 1,100+ plant species, 12 campgrounds and 9 visitor's centers. There are plenty of bus, snowmobiling, hiking, bird watching, and horseback guided tours in Yellowstone National Park. A Yellowstone tour will bring you to popular sites such as Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone Lake, Mammoth Hot Springs, Grand Prismatic Spring, and much, much more! With so much to see and do, you'll need multiple days to explore this amazing national park with a Yellowstone vacation package.

Yellowstone National Park Overview

Yellowstone Means Adventure

Whether you’re an experienced outdoorsy kind of person or your explorations have, so far, been of the armchair variety, there’s something in Yellowstone National Park just for you. Spread over more than 2 million acres of diverse landscape, this is nature’s showcase with scenic mountain wilderness and unique hydrothermal features. The park is perfect for a wildlife tour in the Lamar Valley or simply viewing the spectacular scenery of the river valley. Sit back and relax in the comfort of your coach seat on a road trip and soak in all the incredible beauty. Yellowstone has something for everyone, from the serious photography enthusiast to groups of multi-generational family and friends traveling together. 

This year, the US National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversary. Yellowstone is the oldest national park in the country. What better way to take part in the celebrations than to get out there and explore one of the most majestic protected areas in North America! Whether you’re visiting in the summer, fall, or winter, every day at Yellowstone is special and will leave you spellbound.

Don’t let the endless planning for such trips bog you down. Please take a breath and don’t panic. You’ll be happy to know that times have changed. You can avoid the National Lampoon’s Vacation craziness of it all. Easily. These days, Yellowstone tours are so popular that there are a surprising number of great options to choose from. Well-planned tours with private guides take care of all the details. All you need to do is book the trip and get to the starting point. 

Travel aboard  Yellowstone tours from Jackson Hole , Salt Lake City, or even as far as Los Angeles. Depending on how much time you have, you can combine a trip to Yellowstone with more amazing destinations in the American Southwest. The services of a professional tour guide are included on these tours, so you don’t have to worry about anything. You’ll stay in a well-located and comfortable hotel every night. Yellowstone tours are very popular with international travelers, so you can look forward to enjoying the company of people from around the world.

The park is big, rather its huge at 3,472 square miles, and the landscape is varied. In terms of location, Yellowstone straddles three states: Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. The range of adventures and destinations is simply amazing. You can check  Yellowstone tour packages to find the right combination of interests and activities you’d like to enjoy on your trip.

Things  to do when you tour Yellowstone

Behold nature’s stunning beauty

• Go stargazing. The astonishingly clear skies in Yellowstone National Park allow visitors to see heavenly bodies with amazing clarity.

• Spot wild animals in their natural habitat. Yellowstone’s wildlife includes elk, bears, wolves, and bison.

• Marvel at iconic geysers and hot springs. The park is home to the world-famous Old Faithful, Mammoth Hot Springs, the upper and lower Yellowstone Falls, Yellowstone Grand Canyon, and many other natural wonders.

Explore the prehistoric past

Archeology fans, paleontology nuts, and history buffs, rejoice! Yellowstone is home to dinosaur and fossil museums, rock wall pictographs, and Native-American cultural sites. The armchair explorer in you will feel validated.

Get the adrenaline flowing

Set your inner outdoorsman loose! Yellowstone National Park tours will bring you to some of the best sites for hiking, fishing, and paddling. These activities and experiences will either quench your thirst or fire you up for more adventures.

• Hiking in Yellowstone is for everyone; there are even kid-friendly trails — or at least that’s what we, the less than fit, can use as an excuse for picking the shorter, easier routes.

• Fish in the park’s endless streams and catch what is the most popular attraction for anglers: the Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout.

• Paddle. Enjoy serene kayaking on Yellowstone Lake or feel the rush rafting down the rapids.

The beauty of undertaking such a trip is that there are plenty of other spots you can visit on the way to Yellowstone. South of Yellowstone is Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which means you can swing by the town of Jackson and the Grand Teton National Park.

Other attractions in the Southwest include the  Hoover Dam and the  Grand Canyon Sky Walk .

From the East, you’ll find Devil’s Tower National Monument, the Crazy Horse Memorial, and  Mount Rushmore . Yellowstone tour bus packages, in particular, have a choice of itineraries to suit your interests.

Experience the best Yellowstone has to offer. Multi-day tours have scheduled departures from Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and many others locations.

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los angeles to yellowstone tour

60 Hour Yellowstone Tour From Los Angeles

This 60 hour Yellowstone tour from LA enables you to depart Los Angeles as late as 7 pm on the first day and still be on tour in Yellowstone the next morning! The tour starts at the Los Angeles airport with a flight to Salt Lake, from where you will travel by shuttle to a small town in east Idaho, where you will spend the night.

Early the next morning, you’ll be taken to West Yellowstone, where your Yellowstone adventure will start.  You will be touring both Yellowstone’s lower loop as well as the upper loop over the next two days.

You can do the loops in either order but let’s assume you do the upper loop first.  Our main target today is Yellowstone’s wildlife, but we’ll also take in a several thermal features.  From West Yellowstone we’ll travel through the Madison Valley before heading for Norris Geyser Basin, where the upper and lower loops meet.  There are two geyser basins at Norris, Back and Porcelain Basins, and we’ll tour through parts of both of them.

los angeles to yellowstone tour

There will be several stops as we travel along the west side of the upper loop, towards Mammoth Hot Springs, passing the aptly named Roaring Mountain on the way. Our next major stop is the Lamar Valley, known for its abundant wildlife, and a small chance of seeing a wolf.

After stopping off at Tower Falls, we’ll climb up over Dunraven Pass, the highest road in Yellowstone, before dropping down the other side towards Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, which we will visit tomorrow. Today’s tour ends in West Yellowstone, where you will spend the night.

The following day you will tour the lower loop, passing again through the Madison Valley, before taking in the three main geyser basins.  The first stop is at the Lower Geyser Basin, where you’ll walk around the boardwalk, taking in Fountain Paint Pot, other mud pots, and various hot springs, fumaroles and geysers.

Next up is the Midway Geyser and Excelsior Geyser, now extinct, plus Grand Prismatic Spring. You’ll recognize Grand Prismatic as soon as you see it – it’s a Yellowstone icon!

geyser-yellowstone-tour-1356-from-los-angeles

The Upper Geyser Basin and Old Faithful are a short distance down the road, and there is a lot to see and do there, including watching Old Faithful erupt! The historic Old Faithful Inn is a must see, and there are hundreds of other thermal features to check out in the area.  If there is enough time, we may even detour to one or more of the smaller geyser basins, including Biscuit Basin and Black Sand Basin.

We’ll make our way over the Continental Divide towards West Thumb Geyser Basin, right on the shores of Yellowstone Lake. There is once again a boardwalk system to explore.

Continuing around the lower loop, we’ll stop at Mud Volcano, and then pass through the Hayden Valley, which is normally teeming with wildlife, before checking out the amazing views at Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.  We’ll start at Artist Point, and then cross over to the other side of the Canyon, and take in several of the viewpoints there.

It’s time to start our way back to West Yellowstone, stopping at Gibbon Falls, and then traversing the Madison Valley again.  You should have a short opportunity to do some souvenir shopping, before the shuttle takes you back to your hotel in east Idaho.  Tomorrow you have a choice of shuttle times back to Salt Lake, with the earliest dropping you back at the Salt Lake Airport shortly after 6 am.  If you prefer, we can get you a flight back to LA, at an additional charge.

Please be aware that the following details may apply to your tour.

Tour Price & Booking

$1290/guest.

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9-Day Enchanting West Coast Tour from Los Angeles: Yellowstone, Lake Tahoe, Lower Antelope Canyon and Grand Canyon

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Final Confirmation Needed

We open the 2024 departure dates for you to book in advance, but the accommodation, itinerary description and optional tours fee are subject to our final confirmation.

Tour Themes: Historical & Cultural, Nature

Learn about history and local culture with in-depth tours and activities; Get in touch with Mother Earth

Group Size: Standard Group

Tour with fellow travelers from all over the world

Activity Level: Moderate

Designed for travelers in good health who are comfortable with light walking or hiking

Quality: Budget

The most affordable tour service and/or accommodation with fast-paced itineraries. Eg.Budget hotels, certificated guide, about 10 year safe driving experience driver. Price is about $80.00-$150.00 per day per person.

Home - Los Angeles

Hotel: Hartford Hotel / Bw Signature Collection or similar

Meal: B:Excluded L:Excluded D:Excluded

Today we will take the flight to Los Angeles. Your tour escort will be waiting at the airport with detailed transfer arrangements to the hotel.

Visiting Attractions

Los angeles - 17-mile drive - san francisco.

Hotel: Wild Palms / a JDV by Hyatt Hotel or similar

San Francisco - Sacramento State Capitol - Lake Tahoe - Reno

Hotel: Circus Circus Reno Hotel Casino or similar

los angeles to yellowstone tour

Admission Fees

  • All mandatory fees must be paid in cash to the tour guide and tickets cannot be pre-purchased separatedly.
  • Any optional activities you wish to join must be paid to your tour guide in cash.

Reno - Perrine Memorial Bridge - Shoshone Falls - Snake River Valley - Pocatello

Hotel: La Quinta by Wyndham Pocatello or similar

Yellowstone National Park

Hotel: Please check the itinerary details for the hotel or similar

Yellowstone National Park - Grand Teton National Park - Jackson - Salt Lake City - Provo

Hotel: Baymont by Wyndham Provo River or similar

los angeles to yellowstone tour

Provo - Bryce Canyon - Antelope Canyon - Horseshoe Bend - Tuba

Hotel: Moenkopi Legacy Inn & Suites Tuba City or similar

Tuba - East Rim - South Rim - Las Vegas

Hotel: Excalibur Hotel & Casino or similar

Las Vegas - Los Angeles

los angeles to yellowstone tour

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Yellowstone Tours

Yellowstone tours & lodging

  • Three Day Yellowstone Tour
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  • Shortest Yellowstone Tour Of The Entire Park From Salt Lake
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  • Yellowstone Upper Loop Tour From West Yellowstone
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  • Shortest Yellowstone Tour Of The Entire Park From Las Vegas
  • Las Vegas Tour To All Of Yellowstone In Just 60 Hours!
  • Four Day Yellowstone Tour From Las Vegas
  • Five Day Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Jackson Hole tour from Las Vegas
  • Yellowstone And Grand Teton Tour From Las Vegas: 84 hours
  • All Of Yellowstone Tour From Las Vegas In Just 72 Hours!
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  • Yellowstone And Grand Teton Tour From Los Angeles
  • All Of Yellowstone Tour From Los Angeles In Just 72 Hours
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  • Shortest Yellowstone Tour Of The Entire Park From San Francisco
  • San Francisco Tour To All Of Yellowstone In Just 60 Hours
  • Four Day Yellowstone Tour From San Francisco
  • Yellowstone And Grand Teton Tour From San Francisco
  • All Of Yellowstone Tour From San Francisco In Just 72 Hours
  • Three Day Yellowstone Tour From Denver
  • Shortest Yellowstone Tour Of The Entire Park From Denver
  • Denver Tour To All Of Yellowstone In Just 60 Hours
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  • Denver Yellowstone And Grand Teton Tour
  • All Of Yellowstone Tour From Denver In Just 72 Hours
  • Three Day Yellowstone Tour From Seattle
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  • Seattle Tour To All Of Yellowstone In Just 60 Hours!
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  • Three Day Yellowstone Tour From Phoenix
  • Yellowstone Tour From Phoenix: 60 hours
  • Four day Yellowstone tour from Phoenix
  • Yellowstone And Grand Teton Tour From Phoenix
  • One Day Yellowstone Tour From Idaho Falls
  • Overnight Yellowstone Tour From Idaho Falls
  • Two Day Two Night Yellowstone Tour From Idaho Falls
  • One Day Yellowstone Tour from Big Sky
  • Overnight Yellowstone Tour From Big Sky
  • One Day Yellowstone Tour From Rexburg
  • Overnight Yellowstone Tour From Rexburg
  • West Yellowstone Motel
  • Yellowstone Day Hikes
  • Yellowstone Step On Guides
  • Private And Custom Yellowstone Tours
  • Transportation To Yellowstone
  • Yellowstone Winter Tours

los angeles to yellowstone tour

[email protected] (USA) 406 646 1118

Los Angeles Tour To All Of Yellowstone In Just 60 Hours!

Unlike the 72 hour version of this tour, this shorter tour actually allows you to leave later in the day from the Los Angeles airport, fly to Salt Lake, and still have time to take in the whole park in just 60 hours!

After landing in Salt Lake, you will hop onto an unescorted shuttle, with several stops along the way, to a small city in East Idaho, where you will spend the night. Unescorted means that there is only a shuttle driver with you, and not a tour guide.

On day two you will be picked up from your hotel just after 6 am, and be driven for approximately 1.5 hours across scenic rural Idaho, through the Targhee National Forest, over the Continental Divide and into Montana and West Yellowstone. Depending on that day’s tour schedule, you will then either be free to explore the town of West Yellowstone until roughly noon, or go directly into Yellowstone and tour the upper loop. Either way, you will be seeing all of Yellowstone today and tomorrow.  If you do have to wait for the later tour, we strongly suggest taking in the Grizzly And Wolf Discovery Center where you will see live grizzlies, wolves, otters, and several birds of prey.

You will experience the full Yellowstone upper loop tour, which includes a guide offering insights on the geology, latest park updates and ecological studies. You will experience waterfalls, walks around geothermal features, take in the historic park headquarters, and wildlife viewing in the Lamar Valley – often called “America’s Serengeti” – due to the abundance of wildlife such as bison, pronghorns, elk, and depending on the season and time of day, bears or even wolves. A sack lunch is provided today. Please view the entire upper loop itinerary.

On the third day, your guide will pick you up and you’ll do the lower loop tour, offering a guided trip of much of Yellowstone’s geothermal areas, while still providing great wildlife viewing opportunities along the rivers and in Hayden Valley. You will take the time to watch Old Faithful erupt, explore the historic Old Faithful Inn and wander the boardwalks of the Lower, Midway and Upper Geyser Basins, checking out all four kinds of thermal features present in the park. You will then go to West Thumb on Yellowstone Lake, up through Hayden Valley and on to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone where you will stop at both the Upper and Lower Yellowstone Falls, before returning to West Yellowstone. A sack lunch is once again provided today. Please view the entire lower loop itinerary .

Once you return from your lower loop tour, you will be free to wander town briefly, until your shuttle picks you up at 6 pm to take you to your hotel in East Idaho. Please remember that the shuttle driver is not a guide and that this is an unescorted leg of your tour.

In the morning you will catch the shuttle back to Salt Lake City. It will pick you up at your hotel, make several stops along the way, and drop you off either at a central downtown location near Temple Square or at the Salt Lake City Airport. Please let us know which of the below departure times to book for you, in the comments area.

los angeles to yellowstone tour

Other Yellowstone Tours From Los Angeles

  • Three Day Yellowstone Tour From Los Angeles

Depart 2.05 a.m. Arrive 6.45 a.m. Depart 3.35 a.m. Arrive 8.15 a.m. (Only Monday through Friday) Depart 5.05 a.m. Arrive 9.45 a.m. Depart 7.05 a.m. Arrive 11.40 a.m. Depart 9.05 a.m. Arrive 1.40 p.m. Depart 11.05 a.m. Arrive 4 p.m.

The tour ends either at the Salt Lake City airport, or downtown Salt Lake, opposite Temple Square. If you prefer, we can get you a flight back to LA, at an additional charge.  Depending on how far ahead you book, and the day on which you’re flying, the cost of the flight starts at about $85.00.

Please Note The Following!

Great geyser in Yellowstone

We regret that cancellations and changes will not be accepted, and refunds will not be given. Half the amount may be charged to your card when you make the booking, and the balance will be charged 45 days from the tour date. An attempted or purported cancellation will result in the entire amount being charged to your card immediately. 

The credit/debit card you used must be with you when you travel, and should be in your name. If you are booking for someone else, please let us know as you will need to complete the credit card authorization documentation, which we will send you. 

This tour starts at the Los Angeles airport. When you get to Salt Lake, a shuttle will transport you between Salt Lake and West Yellowstone. The end location is the Salt Lake City airport and a central Salt Lake downtown location. We can assist you with getting a flight back to LA, if you prefer, at an additional cost.

This is a small group tour, with the possible exception of the shuttle between Salt Lake and West Yellowstone, where a bus may be used. The shuttle may make several stops on the way to east Idaho. 

Parts of this tour may be provided by other vendors we use. 

Times are approximate. The itinerary may change without notice, and we cannot be responsible for the consequences of delays.  At the beginning and end, of the season, road closures and weather conditions may prevent this tour being run as detailed. In particular, the road from Old Faithful to Grand Teton generally opens in mid-May. General road maintenance in the park may affect the way this tour operates.

Two nights’ lodging are included at the Americinn or similar in Rexburg, and one night at Yellowstone Motel , or similar, in West Yellowstone. 

Please do not make any plans that depend on this tour, until you receive our confirmation email.

The entrance fee to Yellowstone is included.

Two picnic or sack lunches, and two hotel breakfasts are the only meals included.

There will almost certainly be a checked luggage fee on the flight, which you will need to pay.

If you leave it too late to book, this tour may cost more as a result of higher flight prices. We will always advise you beforehand, and see if you still want to continue.

Important Links

  • Yellowstone tours from Salt Lake City
  • Yellowstone tours from Las Vegas
  • Yellowstone tours from West Yellowstone
  • Yellowstone Tours From Los Angeles
  • Yellowstone Tours From San Francisco
  • Yellowstone tours from Denver
  • Yellowstone tours from Seattle
  • Terms & Conditions

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming USA autumn river, panorama

Road Trip from California to Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore

Experience the great American west on a road trip to Yellowstone National Park and Mount Rushmore from the beautiful state of California. Travel through breathtaking wild scenery and get the chance to see enchanting Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore, Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, and so much more on this road trip of a lifetime.

The 1,840-mile road trip from California to Yellowstone National Park and Mount Rushmore will take about 30 hours to drive. Highlights include Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, Reno, Death Valley, Zion National Park, Dixie National Forest and Salt Lake City.

You'll get to explore some of the most stunning places in America on your way from California to Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore. Read on to discover the best routes to travel, our favorite places to stay, and the many must-see stops along the way.

How far is Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore from California, and how long will the road trip take?

If you're departing from Los Angeles getting to Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore will take you 30 hours, and covering 1,840 miles if you don't make any detours.

Starting from San Francisco in the Bay Area our suggested route will take you through Boise and Lake Tahoe, a somewhat more relaxed vibe but still jam-packed with unique attractions along the way. You'll drive for 33 hours and cover 1890 miles.

Because of all the amazing destinations and things to see along the way, we recommend taking seven days to make this journey. Continue on to learn more about our recommended routes, where to stay, and what to see along the way.

Presidential sculpture at Mount Rushmore national memorial, USA, on a sunny day with a blue sky.

Best road trip route from California to Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore

The Los Angeles Route will take you to Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore faster. This shorter and more direct route will take you through two major cities: Salt Lake City and Las Vegas.

You'll get to visit Zion National Park and Dixie National Forest along the way as well as the small but beautiful city of Idaho Falls. You'll pass strikingly beautiful mountain scenery and desert landscapes that will make any professional or amateur photographer fall in love.

The longer Bay Area Route will take you from San Francisco to Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore. You'll wind your way through the Californian Sierra Nevada Mountains and discover the largest alpine lake in North America, Lake Tahoe.

On top of that, you'll pass through the smaller town of Sutcliffe as well as the city of Boise. On the way, stop at Craters of the Moon National Monument, a unique natural attraction that boasts an ocean of blackened lava and unique rock formations

Either route you choose, you will drive through Yellowstone National Park, one of the most celebrated parks in the US and a favorite for lovers of the outdoors. Then drive onwards to the iconic Mount Rushmore, just make sure to account for the additional 8 hours it takes to get there!

The Los Angeles Route

From the fun-in-the-sun city of Los Angeles, get on I-15 towards Las Vegas. Drive through the wild Mojave Desert until you reach Sin City, Las Vegas.

After living it up in one of the world's party capitals, continue on I-15 until you reach UT-9. Drive into beautiful Zion National Park and explore the wondrous natural rock formations and wilderness.

Continue on US-89 north until you get to Dixie National Forest. Explore the endless hiking trails of this one-of-a-kind natural area.

Drive north and get back on I-15. Drive north through Utah and into Salt Lake City. Explore the museums and the Great Salt Lake before hitting the road to Yellowstone.

Head north into Idaho and drive through the beautiful community of Idaho Falls. Continue on and head east into Montana and Wyoming and into your destination of Yellowstone.

Continue on through Wyoming and see Bighorn National Forest. After exploring the area, drive east into South Dakota to see the iconic Mount Rushmore.

Red Canyon a shallow valley near Bryce Canyon, surrounded by much exposed, orange red limestone and it is also part of Dixie National Forest, Utah, USA.

The Bay Area Route

From the city by the bay, San Francisco, head east on I-80 towards California's capital Sacramento. Continue on through the central valley and up into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Take a detour to explore the coastline and mountain scenery of Lake Tahoe. Get back on the route and head into Reno, Nevada.

After Reno, you can drive on a detour north to see Sutcliffe. After seeing the beautiful Pyramid Lake, continue back on route and travel up I-80 and US-95 north into Boise, Idaho.

From Boise, travel on through Montana and Wyoming and into your first destination of Yellowstone. After that, drive through Wyoming and Bighorn National Forest before heading east into South Dakota and the famous American landmark Mount Rushmore.

Pond in front of the Grand Teton Mountains. On the Snake River near Oxbow Bend. Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA.

Best places to stop between California and Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore

On your drive, you'll have several incredible places to rest and explore. Below, we've included our picks for the best overnight stops so you can get the most out of your trip.

Hit the slopes in Salt Lake City

About halfway along the Los Angeles Route you will reach Salt Lake City. This beautiful city and its surrounding area offer endless activities and stunning natural landmarks including the Great Salt Lake. On top of that, there's plenty of nightlife to enjoy after your long drive.

Every year, tens of thousands of tourists come to the region's ski slopes to enjoy the world-famous snow and slopes. Visitors can also experience watching sports teams like the Utah Jazz in their home stadiums.

The first thing to see in Salt Lake is, of course, the Great Salt Lake! This salty inland sea is known as America's Dead Sea. Surrounding its multicolored waters is the Spiral Jetty, a famous sculpture made by the famous sculptor Robert Smithson.

Spiral Jetty, an art installation at the Great Salt Lake in Utah

If you'd like to unwind and relax in luxury, there is no better place to stay than the Grand America Hotel . This incredible hotel, voted #1 Best Hotel in Salt Lake City, is just minutes from the city's attractions including the Museum of Church, Salt Lake City Hall, and Washington Square Park.

You can enjoy tons of amenities and opportunities to relax after a long day of driving, including indoor and outdoor pools, a gym, and a five-star spa. Before sightseeing, check out its award-winning Sunday Brunch served at their Laurel Brasserie and Bar.

Take in the city vibes of Boise, Idaho

About halfway on the Bay Area Route is Boise, Idaho's capital and the largest city on this route before reaching Yellowstone. The city boasts some stunning architecture and unique cultural attractions that give an interesting contrast to the natural attractions in Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore.

Boise is known as the “City of Trees” for its many outdoor spaces boasting gorgeous trees. The nearby Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area has great hiking and skiing as well.

While in Boise, we recommend visiting the Idaho State Capitol Building and making a stop at the Old Idaho Penitentiary Site. A must-visit if dropping by Boise, this historic prison boasts daily tours that detail the lives of its famous inmates.

State capitol building with flags and sky, Idaho

When you reach Boise after your long drive, rest in luxury at The Grove Hotel . Located downtown, the hotel is within easy access of the Idaho Black History Museum, Zoo Boise, the Morrison Center for Performing Arts, and the Old Idaho Penitentiary either on foot, or via a short drive.

Make sure to enjoy the free Wi-Fi and on-site bar as well as the on-site restaurant. There are free rental bikes, a fitness center, and an indoor pool as well so you can really make the most of your stay.

Where to stay when you reach Yellowstone

When you reach your destination of Yellowstone National Park, we recommend staying at the highly rated and luxurious Bentwood Inn .

About an hour's drive from Yellowstone National Park's main entrance, this cozy and comfortable accommodation has tons of luxurious amenities, including spacious rooms and private fireplaces.

Bison Paradise in Yellowstone National Park, USA

Take advantage of the free breakfast before heading out to explore the nearby green spaces. In nearby Wilson, you have tons of incredible restaurants and bars to choose from.

Things to see on a road trip from California to Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore

Driving from California to Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore will take you through almost endless sights and worthy destinations. Below, we've chosen our favorites for you to choose from.

  • Mojave National Preserve - Discover this stunning desert wilderness, spanning over 1.6 million acres and offering tons of opportunities for outdoor sports like hiking and 4WD.
  • Death Valley National Park - This National Park is known for its scorching heat and vast expanses of the desert; it's located about an hour off-route but definitely worth visiting!
  • Las Vegas - It doesn't get more iconic than Sin City, located right along your route and boasting live entertainers, casinos, and world-class hotels and dining.
  • Maqui Cave - Enjoy this former speakeasy turned natural history museum, Moqui Cave has a wonderful collection of rocks in its extensive gift shop.
  • Temple of Sinawava - Check out this natural amphitheater in Zion National Park. Walk along its paved trail that follows the Virgin River and become absorbed in the flower gardens and waterfalls.
  • Parowan Gap Petroglyphs - Make sure to visit these Native American Petroglyphs. They are free to visit and thought to be almost a thousand years old.
  • Giant Soda Cans - Just 20 minutes off route are the massive and quirky art installations resembling giant soda cans.
  • BYU Museum of Paleontology - This unbeatable museum belonging to Brigham Young University offers exhibits featuring fossils and ancient rocks. If you love dinosaurs, you'll love this museum.

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA at the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign at dusk.

  • Sacramento, CA - California's Capital, Sacramento is located right along your route and boasts tons of cultural attractions, including the California State Railroad Museum and the California State Capitol.
  • Lake Tahoe - Straddling the border of California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine like in North America and a favorite vacation spot for locals.
  • Reno, NV - Located close to Lake Tahoe, Reno is a stunning city surrounded by beautiful mountains and boasts a rich casino and tourism industry.
  • Thunder Mountain Monument - Assembled by American Architect Frank Van Zant in the sixties, Thunder Mountain Monument consists of a series of outdoor art sculptures.
  • Humboldt Museum - Located in Winnemucca, Nevada, the Humboldt Museum explores the history and culture of North Central Nevada.
  • Paradise Valley Hot Spring - Take a deep in these mineral-rich soaking pools, the ultimate relaxation experience on your route.
  • Pillars of Rome - So named because of their resemblance to Roman Ruins, these imposing rock formations are a must-see.
  • Salmon-Challis National Forest - Covering over 4.3 million acres in east-central Idaho, the Salmon-Challis National Forest is one of the largest parks in the lower 48 states.

Both Routes

  • Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest - Enjoy this pristine forest and park on your way to Yellowstone. The area is full of beautiful hikes, fields full of wildlife, and mountain vistas. You can also hike along the Missouri River.
  • Pictograph Cave State Park - Come see the caves and their famous 2000-year-old pictographs.
  • Bridger-Teton National Forest - Over 3.4 million acres of wilderness and hiking trails cover the area around the Bridger-Teton National Forest. It is a must-see for hikers and nature lovers keen on seeing wildlife.
  • Jackson Lake Dam - This concrete dam dates back to 1916 and has panoramic views of Jackson Lake and the Grand Teton mountains.
  • Cress Creek Nature Trail - This 1.25-mile trail winds along the Snake River and is the perfect spot to take a breath of fresh air after a long drive. It's also partially wheelchair accessible.
  • Caribou-Targhee National Forest - The Caribou-Targhee National Forest offers outdoor activities year-round and covers over 3 million acres of wilderness.
  • Granite Hot Springs - Come enjoy the 100 degrees Fahrenheit natural hot springs. The springs are surrounded by rock formations and pine forest and are the perfect place to rest after a long drive.

Jackson Lake dam in the Grand Teton National Park near Jackson Wyoming with rushing water and bright blue sky.

Best time to go on a road trip from California to Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore

You can visit Yellowstone National Park and Mount Rushmore year-round but keep in mind that some roads will be closed to driving in Yellowstone during winter.

It is also good to keep in mind that while Mount Rushmore National Memorial is open all year, the Sculptor's Studio closed from October - April, so plan your visit accordingly.

Depending on what you're interested in experiencing, you can experience a wintery wonderland or a summer outdoor paradise. The colder months see fewer people and are still very beautiful. You can still explore the national park on a snowmobile or a snowcoach.

The warmer months see larger crowds yet often great weather, so if you aren't bothered by crowds, late spring and summer might be the best times to visit.

Summer is the busiest tourism season. You can expect the clearest skies during this season and temperatures between 38 degrees and 76 degrees Fahrenheit lasting between mid-June and mid-September.

Mount Rushmore memorial in winter with snow on the ground, the flags flying with a blue sky behind

Winter sees the fewest tourists and the area's accommodation is generally cheaper. During this time, you'll get to enjoy this natural wonder covered in snow which is one of the most prized sights for nature photographers.

Temperatures during the winter season lie between 4 degrees and 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Be aware, as the lows can drop as far as -15 Fahrenheit. Parts of the park close during the winter! Keep this in mind when planning your trip.

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5-Day Los Angeles/Las Vegas to Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park Tour - SLC OUT

Tour code: gol-la-178, duration: 5 day(s) / 4 night(s).

Tour Guide: Chinese, English

Quality: Budget

5-Day Los Angeles/Las Vegas to Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park Tour - SLC OUT

  • 7 Days left

Departure City

Destination, return city, departure location.

Experience: UNESCO, Family

Extra (Excluded): Wifi, Meal etc...

Join the guided bus tour starting from Los Angeles to visit Mojave Desert, Fashion Outlet, Las Vegas, Colorado Plateau, Glen Canyon Dam, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Jackson, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Old Faithful, Grand Prismatic Spring, Fountain Paint Pot, Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone waterfall, Yellowstone Canyon, Old Faith Geyser, Morning Glory Pool Trail, Norris Basin, Salt Lake City, State Capitol building, Temple Square of Mormon Church and the Great Salt Lake.

  • In-depth tour of Yellowstone National Park
  • Only the guides and drivers who have COVID 19 negative can provide services from now onwards. Drivers and Guides will wear the mask. They will disinfect the bus daily. Travelers will have to wear the mask and their temperature will be monitored regularly. Travelers will be provided with hand sanitizer and wipes. We recommend travelers to bring their own hand sanitizer also. Bus sitting will be based on the standards set by the Government.

Day 1 Los Angeles - Las Vegas - St. George

In the morning we will travel along Interstate 15 freeway, passing through the largest desert in North America: Mojave Desert. We will visit the Seven Magic Mountains. In the afternoon we will stop by Las Vegas to take a quick break and then head towards St. George. Stay overnight in St. George.

Seven Magic Mountains:Renowned Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone’s colorful large-scale, public artwork Seven Magic Mountains is a two-year exhibition located in the desert outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring seven thirty to thirty-five-foot high dayglow totems comprised of painted, locally-sourced boulders.

Mojave Desert:   Largest desert in North America, crossing four states. On the way you will see the unique Joshua trees as well as the Pacific Railroad serving as the economic vein that connects the East Coast to the West Coast. You will also pass by the mysterious “Ghost Town” during the Gold Rush era and the world’s largest solar electric power plant invested by Google.

St. George:  The crossroad of Colorado Plateau and Mojave Desert, St. George is popular for winter vacation getaways and also an important stop before continue on into Utah.

Attractions

Fashion Outlet, CA

Fashion Outlet California is the most suggested spot for shopping. Many famous local and international brand labels are available at this outlet.

Las Vegas, NV

Refers to a resort town in Nevada’s Mojave Desert Known as Las Vegas which is popular for its buzzing energy, casinos and infinite options related to entertainment. Main areas to visit is the Las Vegas Strip.

Day 2 Antelope Canyon – Horseshoe Bend – SLC

Colorado Plateau: The only desert plateau in the United States. After years of erosion from the Colorado River, some of the most stunning nature sceneries had formed here. Red Rocks, arches and mesas decorate this vase landscape with their brilliant colors.

Glen Canyon Dam, Lake Powell(PASS BY): Lake Powell is the second largest artificial water reservoir in the U.S. and it also marks the starting point of the Grand Canyon. See the depth of Lake Powell as we travel across the Glen Canyon Dam.

Antelope Canyon(optional): One of the most recognizable and famous natural landscapes in the world and a must see for photography enthusiast. Millions of years of flash flood and natural erosion gifted us these slot canyons, with their smooth wavy curves and gorgeous colors from the sand sandstone, it truly is a wonder of nature.

Horseshoe Bend: Carved by the Colorado River, you can witness the water slowly flowing pass underneath your feet in this horse shoe shape bay as you stand above it on the edge of the cliff.

Hotel:  Ramada Inn SLC or Similar.

Antelope Canyon, AZ

Antelope Canyon which is a slot canyon in the American Southwest is a gorgeous place to explore. It is a beautiful site to explore the history of the Navajo people.

Colorado Plateau, CO

Colorado Plateau is also known as the Colorado Plateau Province. It covers an area of 337,000 km2, the plateau largely consists of high deserts and forests, some part of the province lies in the Grand Canyon.

Glen Canyon Dam, AZ

A concrete arch dam located on the river of Colorado is called Glen Canyon Dam. It has been opened in the year 1963. It is one of the major sources of producing hydroelectricity.

Horseshoe Bend, AZ

The meander with a shape of horseshoe in the river of Colorado Arizona is called Horseshoe Bend. The Grand Canyon is located in the north of this place.

Lake Powell, AZ

It is a reservoir located on the river of Colorado precisely between the border of Arizona and Utah, the area is considered as a well-known spot for vacation visited by 2 million people annually.

Day 3 Great Salt Lake – Utah State Capitol – Temple Square – Yellowstone NP

In the morning we will see the State Capitol building, Temple Square of Mormon Church and the Great Salt Lake. Then going to the Yellowstone National Park.

Utah State Capitol: the governor’s office is located in inside of this building. Sitting on top of the Capitol Hill in Salt Lake City, this building gives you a full view of the city that surrounds it. It is also the icon of the most famous historic landmark of the state.

Temple Square of Mormon Church: this is the headquarter of the Mormon Church and its 15 million followers around the world. It’s the center of Mormon history and the location of the famous Salt Lake Temple.

Great Salt Lake: Western Hemisphere’s largest saltwater lake, also North America’s largest inland Salt Lake. The lake is more than six times the salinity of seawater, thus known as “Dead Sea of America”. Krill is a unique creature growing inside of the Great Salt Lake.

Yellowstone National Park: the very first national park in the whole world, Yellowstone attracted countless visitors over the year with its unique geothermal activities and fascinating wild life. You will find all four different kinds of geothermal activities, geyser, hot spring, fumarole and mud pot as we take you travel through the park.

Gibbon Falls: The falls were first described by William Henry Jackson during the second Hayden geological survey of 1872. There is no historical record as to how they got their name, but by the mid-1880s, they were routinely referred to as Gibbon Falls in both government and commercial accounts of the park.

Norris Basin: This is the most concentrated location of geothermal activities in Yellowstone National Park. While walking on the trail in this steamy fairyland, you'll be treated to a great view of all the hot springs along the way.

Mammoth Hot Springs is a large complex of hot springs on a hill of travertine in Yellowstone National Park adjacent to Fort Yellowstone and the Mammoth Hot Springs Historic District.

Hotel: Yellowstone Big Rock inn, Absaroka Lodge or Similar.

Fountain Paint Pot, WY

Fountain Paint Pot is a beautiful and interesting thermal feature in Yellowstone Park. There is lots of diversity, including mud pots, geysers, and hot springs. There are great colors, and in winter visitors can walk on the snow around the geysers and bubbling sulfur pots.

Located in the heart of Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Prismatic Spring is one of the world’s largest hot springs. It is primarily known for its rainbow coloration which is the ultimate result of microbial mats around the boundaries of the mineral-rich water forming a spectacular colorful complexion in Yellowstone National Park.

Great Salt Lake Marina, UT

The Great Salt Lake State Marina is a state park in Salt Lake County, Utah, USA. Great Salt Lake is full of thrilling adventures and adrenaline-raising activities. Relax and take pictures of birds and wildlife, get into boating and sailing gear, bike your way around or up the mountains or just explore the lake on a horseback.

Jackson Hole, WY

Jackson Hole is essentially a valley that is situated between the famous Teton Mountains and Snake River. It was given the name of “Hole” because when people enter it, it feels as if they entering a hole.

Jackson Town Square, WY

Jackson town square is well known as within the Wyoming state, the Jackson Hole Town Square, serving as the local activity and events hub. The Town Square is popular, or its distinctive arches that are in shed elk antlers and these arches serve as the park gateways.

Mammoth Hot Springs, WY

On a hill of travertine in a YellowstoneNationalPark, there is a large complex of hot springs known as Mammoth Hot Springs. It is located in Wyoming.

Mormon Temple, UT

It is also known as the salt lake temple and is being run by the church of Jesus Christ. The temple is situated in the city of Utah.

Mud Volcano, WY

A Mud Volcano is sometimes also known as a mud dome. They are formed by geo-exuded mud or slurries, water and gases. These volcanoes do not produce any lava what so ever.

Norris Geyser Basin, WY

Norris Geyser Basin is the oldest, hottest and Yellowstone’s most dynamic thermal areas. Norris offers evidence of thermal features for nearly 115,000 years. The features may change daily owing to seismic activity frequent disturbances and water fluctuations. The water here is acidic

Old Faithful Geyser, WY

In the Yellowstone National Park of Wyoming, US, the Old Faithful Geyser is known for grand, scenic view. This name was given to the building in 1870, when the first geyser in the park got the honor of a name.

Temple Square, UT

Temple Square is a religiously attractive place spread over 10 acres. It was constructed in 1853 and is functional as personalized by The Church of Jesus Christ. The spiritual appeal of the temple is remarkable among the tourists.

Utah State Capitol, UT

The House of Government in Utah has been established in December, 1912. There are offices of State Auditor, Attorney General, Lieutenant Governor and Utah State Legislature located in Utah State Capitol.

Day 4 Yellowstone NP

we will continue our tour inside Yellowstone National Park, and Stay overnight at West Yellowstone.

The Roosevelt Arch is a rusticated triumphal arch at the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner, Montana, United States. Constructed under the supervision of the US Army at Fort Yellowstone, its cornerstone was laid down by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903. The top of the arch is inscribed with a quote from the Organic Act of 1872, the legislation which created Yellowstone, which reads: "For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People".

Tower Fall is a waterfall on Tower Creek in the northeastern region of Yellowstone National Park, in the U.S. state of Wyoming. Approximately 1,000 yards (910 m) upstream from the creek's confluence with the Yellowstone River, the fall plunges 132 feet (40 m). Its name comes from the rock pinnacles at the top of the fall. Tower Creek and Tower Fall are located approximately three miles south of Roosevelt Junction on the Tower-Canyon road.

Yellowstone Waterfall: you might see the waterfall from afar along the way, but we'll take you one step closer and give you a view right next to the waterfall to experience in person its power.

Artist Point is an overlook point on the edge of a cliff on the south rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. The point is located east-northeast of Yellowstone Falls on the Yellowstone River. Artist Point was originally named in 1883 by Frank Jay Haynes who improperly believed that the point was the place at which painter Thomas Moran sketched his 1872 depictions of the falls. Later work determined that the sketches were made from the north rim, but the name Artist Point stuck.

Hayden Valley is a large, sub-alpine valley in Yellowstone National Park straddling the Yellowstone River between Yellowstone Falls and Yellowstone Lake. The valley floor along the river is an ancient lake bed from a time when Yellowstone Lake was much larger. The valley is well known as one of the best locations to view wildlife in Yellowstone.

Mud Volcano: one of the highest concentrations of onus pots in the national park. See the Mud Cauldron, Dragon mouth spring and Mud Volcano along with a chance of seeing some wild life in the area.

Fishing Bridge: The original bridge was built in 1902. The Fishing Bridge was historically a tremendously popular place to fish. Angling from the bridge was quite good, due to the fact that it was a major spawning area for cutthroat trout. It finally became to the best place to observe the Yellowstone Trout. Usually the trout will spawn in this area and jumping out the water during the summer time.

Old Faithful Geyser: the most famous landmark inside Yellowstone, it's also the logo of the national park. Erupting roughly every 91 minutes no matter the weather, this is a must see when you are inside Yellowstone.

Morning Glory Pool Trail: Discover more must-see attractions on the 'Natural Wonders'. This is an easy 1.4 mile (2.8 miles round trip) paved trail in the Upper Geyser Basin that passes by some of biggest geysers in the Upper Geyser Basin, coming to an end Morning Glory Pool. Castle, Grotto, and Riverside geysers are among the main features you'll see along the way.

Grand Prismatic Spring: the third largest hot spring in the world, it's the most renowned hot spring in the national park. Setting foot into the area will surround you with steam and allowing you an up-close view of the brilliant colors inside the hot spring.

Biscuit Basin contains a small collection of thermal features. Many, however, are small, gem-like encrusted pools and geysers, including Silver Globe Spring, Sapphire, and Black Opal pools, Jewel, Cauliflower, and Black Pearl geysers. The Firehole River and a highway divide the basin. A smaller group, located east of the river, contains mainly hot springs. Cauliflower Geyser is the main feature of this group, and it is identified by the cauliflower or biscuit-like sinter masses surrounding the crater.

Hotel: Traveler Lodge, White Buffalo, Dude & Roundup or Similar.

Artist Point, WY

Artist Point is the best place to experience the picturesque beauty of the nature with the natural colors of geothermal features and Yellowstone falls.

Biscuit Basin, WY

It is located near to the Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park. It is a renowned biscuit-like natural warm pool for swimming. Biscuit Basin is comprising of bright blue waters of Sapphire Pool. It is one of the most famous attractions in Yellowstone National Park,about 400-meter long boardwalk guides the visitors directly to the Biscuit Basin. This pristineSapphire Pool is the most recommended attraction while touring the Yellowstone National Park.

Fishing Bridge, WY

The Fishing Bridge, WY is a recreational vehicle park located near the Yellowstone River mouth. The Fishing Bridge is a wooden vehicle bridge that provides a great platform for the visitors to park and fish for native Cutthroat trout. Now, fishing is not allowed from the bridge, but visitors can watch White Pelicans and other waterfowl gliding in the crystal clear water.

Hayden Valley, WY

Hayden Valley is a sub-alpine, large valley in Yellowstone National Park. It is between Yellowstone Lake and Yellowstone Falls. Along the river is the valley floor where Yellowstone Lake is much larger. This valley is renowned for its view of wildlife in Yellowstone.

Yellowstone Canyon, WY

The first biggest canyon the river of Yellowstone is known as Yellowstone Canyon. The Yellowstone Falls provides an ideal view from the top of this canyon. It is located in state of Wyoming.

Yellowstone Falls, WY

Located in Wyoming the Yellowstone Falls consist of 2 major waterfalls namely Upper Yellowstone Falls and Lower Yellowstone Falls on Yellowstone River in the Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone National Park, WY

The US state of Wyoming is blessed with breathtaking waterfall through a cascade is Yellowstone National Park. The Park has been established in the year 1872.

Day 5 Yellowstone NP – Grand Teton NP – Jackson

In the morning, we will head to Grand Teton National Park from Yellowstone.

Then want to the small town of Jackson, Wyoming, a famous frontier town during the Western development.

The West Thumb Geyser Basin including Potts Basin to the north, is the largest geyser basin on the shores of Yellowstone Lake. The heat source of the thermal features in this location is thought to be relatively close to the surface, only 10,000 feet (3,000 m) down. West Thumb is about the same size as another famous volcanic caldera, Crater Lake in Oregon, but much smaller than the great Yellowstone Caldera which last erupted about 640,000 years ago. West Thumb is a caldera within a caldera.

Grand Teton National Park: one of the most beautiful national parks with its snow-covered mountain peaks year-round and wide range of wild life ecosystem. It even attracted great writer Ernest Hemingway to fall in love with this place and had been the backdrop for countless Western movies.

Jackson, WY: famous frontier town, located at the crossing of Grand Teton and Rocky Mountains, it became a heaven for outdoors sports enthusiast. It is also the third largest artwork exchange location in the world and a popular vacation destination for the wealthy. The widely praised Elk Antler Arches Park, with its four arches made with thousands of elk antlers is a must see.

Grand Teton National Park, WY

In Northwestern Wyoming is located the Grand Teton National Park, it is almost 310,000 acres. The park also include some of the major mountains and peaks which are as long as 40 miles.

Great Salt Lake, UT

The Great Salt Lake is located in the Northern part of Utah and is the largest salt water lake in the West, The Great Salt Lake covers an area of around 1700 square miles.

Salt Lake City Tour, UT

Salt Lake city is the capital city of the US state of Utah. There are several organisations who arrange a single day city tour which covers all the important landmarks and places to visit. Such tours include dine outs at famous restaurants for local cuisine, and shopping spree to buy souvenirs.

West Thumb Geyser Basin, WY

The largest geyser basin on the shores of Yellowstone Lake is known as West Thumb Geyser Basin. Like Crater Lake (famous volcanic caldera), West Thumb is about the similar size. It is the best sight for many tourists across the globe.

Yellowstone Bear World Park, ID

A famous wildlife adventure park in Rexburg Idaho is known as Yellowstone Bear World. The gray wolves and grizzly bears are the center of attraction at this zoo-like amusement park.

Itinerary - Important Notes

los angeles to yellowstone tour

What's Included

What's excluded.

los angeles to yellowstone tour

Important: We never encourage customers to purchase admission packages from outside sources and try using them in this tour with discount. If they do, they must arrange transport on the same day. If you skip some attraction, you cannot do it on your own. You can sit near the bus or visit some nearby place, but you will not be allowed to sit in the bus.

Attraction Prices

Pricing - important notes, return location, important notes.

  • 16555 Von Karman Ave, (Walmart Irvine) Irvine, CA 92606 at 6:30 AM
  • 603 S New Hampshire Ave, (Best Western Plus) Los Angeles CA 90005 at 6:30 AM (Hotel Guest Only)
  • 800 N Alameda St, (In front of Main Entrance) Union Station, Los Angeles, CA 90012 at 06:45 AM
  • 1500 S Raymond Ave, (Crowne Plaza Hotel) Fullerton, CA 92831 (Hotel Guest Only) at 06:45 AM
  • 5250 W El Segundo Blvd, (Ramada Plaza Hotel LAX) Hawthorne, CA 90250 (Hotel Guest Only) at 6:45 AM
  • 9125 Recreation Circle, (Motel 6 Hotel Fountain Valley) Fountain Valley, CA 92708 at 06:50 AM
  • 7828 Orangethorpe Ave, (Fairfield Inn Marriott) Buena Park, CA 90621 at 07:00 AM
  • Mandarin Plaza 1015, S Nogales St, (99 Ranch Market) Rowland Heights, CA 91748 at 7:00 AM
  • 400 S Baldwin Ave, (In front of Cheesecake Factory) Arcadia Mall, Arcadia, CA 91007 at 07:00 AM
  • 14635 Baldwin Park Town Center, (Courtyard Marriott) Baldwin Park, CA 91706 (Hotel Guest Only) at 7:00 AM
  • 15000 Hawthorne Blvd, (Best Western Plus South Bay Hotel LAX) Lawndale, CA 90260 at 07:00 AM (Pick-up only, no drop-off)
  • 1 Industry Hills Pkwy, (Pacific Palm Resort Hotel) City of Industry, CA 91744 (Hotel Guest Only) at 07:15 AM
  • 123 S, Lincoln Ave, (Lincoln Plaza Hotel) Monterey Park, CA 91755 at 07:15 AM
  • 225 W Valley Blvd, (Hilton Hotel) San Gabriel, CA 91776 (Hotel Guests Only) at 07:15 AM
  • 303 E Valley Blvd, (Sheraton San Gabriel) San Gabriel, CA 91776 at 7:15 AM (Hotel Guest Only)
  • 3633 N, (Bokai Garden Hotel - Knights Inn) Rosemead Blvd, CA 91170 at 07:30 AM
  •  7272 E, Gage Ave Best Western Plus Commerce, CA 90040 (Hotel Guests Only) at 07:45 AM
  • 7709 Telegraph Rd, (Quality Inn Montebello) Montebello, CA 90640 (Hotel Guest Only) at 08:00 AM
  • At Starbucks Coffee of Terminal 1 , Las Vegas, NV 89111 (you will meet your tour guide) at 1:30 PM
  • 2000 Las Vegas Blvd S, (Stratosphere Casino Hotel) Buffet Area, Las Vegas, NV 89104 at 03:30 PM
  • Kindly book your flights to depart from Salt Lake City airport (SLC) after 8:00 PM
  • Cancellation
  • Reservation Booking

Responsibility

Cancellation and refund policy.

No matter what the reason of cancellation is no refund or reschedule for any cancellation request made with in last 9 days of departure date. Even if the cancellation request comes in because of COVID. No matter the reason for the cancellation, we are forced to carry costly charges from out travel and hotel providers in the form of penalties and fees that re-incurred when there is a cancellation of confirmed or pending bookings. As such, there are cancellation penalties or fees incurred. Determination of the time of cancellation will be done when the notice is received and confirmed by our office. You must make any notice of cancellation directly to GoldenBusTours by email or webmail at the Contact Us section.

We reserve the right to cancel or re-schedule any tour departure with respect to operating requirement or circumstances beyond control. In case a cancellation is made at any given moment in time before departure, our only liability as GoldenBusTours will be to refund you, the passenger with the amount we received for the booking of the tour. We will try our best to re-book the same or similar tour. We are not responsible for any cancellation penalties that may have been incurred on any other travel arrangements inclusive of separate purchase of air tickets.

We are not liable for any other travel arrangements that have been affected as a result of the cancellations.

Cancellation Charges

⇒   A 14% cancellation fee of the total tour purchase will be incurred if the cancellation occurs 33 days or more before the departure date.

⇒   A 35% cancellation fee of the total tour purchase will be incurred if the cancellation occurs 17 to 32 days before the departure date.

⇒   A 50% cancellation fee of the total tour purchase will be incurred if the cancellation occurs 10 to 16 days before the departure date.

⇒   A 100% cancellation fee of the total tour purchase will be incurred if the cancellation occurs 9 days before the departure date.

Any Amount paid in cash to the Tour Guide is not refundable.

There is no refund for unused features. You forfeit the entire payment when you are a no-show on the departure date and unable to join the tour for any reason including COVID.

Cancellation or Reschedule charges are applicable even if you are NOT able to take the tour because of visa rejection.

In order for there not to be a cancellation, a minimum number of participants are required. We reserve the right to cancel a scheduled trip although every effort is made by us to ensure that normal operations are maintained.

An add-on fee of 6% for handling fees is charged in addition to the above penalties. No matter what the reason of cancellation is this processing fee will be deducted on each refund.

Note:  More than 30 days after the completion of the tour, we cannot grant any refunds.

Reservation, Booking & Redemption

Terms & Conditions

Any travel service purchases indicate your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions set out herein.

You are advised to carefully read through and understand these Terms & Conditions before making your booking.

Tour Confirmation

You will get an email immediately once you place an order. Tour Confirmation usually takes 2, 3 days except for urgent order. Urgent orders can be confirmed in a day or even few hours, but we can’t assure success in these cases. On fewer occasions, some of the others may require a longer period of time for confirmation. You are advised not to book airline tickets unless you have received the confirmation.

E-Ticket (Mandatory to be on bus)

Your e-ticket includes complete operator information such as local telephone numbers at your destination. You are required to print the e-tickets and bring them along with you on the trip. They will be needed as proof of purchase.

Changes in Booking

You may incur a fee for any revisions or alterations made to the reservation when the booking has already been confirmed. Cancellation fees may be applied to things such as name changes or corrections. They may also apply to tour date changes or tour itinerary changes. Please note that no departure changes are permitted 72 hours before departure.

Changes in Tour Itinerary

We are continuously striving to improve tour itineraries and features. In the event of unforeseen circumstances that are beyond the control, we do reserve the right to vary the itineraries and to substitute hotels. Duplicate departures may operate during certain peak periods, sometimes in reverse order. As such, hotels may vary from those included on the itinerary pages.

​If you wish to reschedule charges will apply. Please note that all reschedule requests should be made before 15 days of tour departure. Requests made after the mentioned duration shall not be entertained.​

1.  One room can accommodate maximum 4 people. Even if you are 5 people including 1 month old baby you still need 2 rooms.

2.  If you can carry your child up to 2 years of age then you do not need to book seats for him. It may vary from one tour to another.

3.  Service providers hold the right to change the itinerary and hotel arrangements without any notice.

4.  Child (0-9 years) and Single traveler going on the tour have special rates. These prices vary from one tour to another.

5.  Meals and Attractions are not included. You can ask your tour guide to try to arrange the meal for you as per your requirements. For attractions, admission fees pay it to the tour guide on the tour.

6.  Prices may change without any notice because of prices fluctuation in the market.

7.  All prices mentioned on the website are in US dollars.

8.  In Case of Bank Wire Transfer customer have to bear Wire transfer fee.

9.  Tour package price is inclusive of taxes.

10.  Tour Prices are every individual and in view of room inhabitance.

Child rates are applicable for children between (0-12 years) of age. Parents are advised to bring car seats for the safety of their child.

Buy 2 Get 3rd discounted: Get 3rd Ticket on special discounted rates on the purchase of 2 tickets.

Leave Feedback

This tour package actually tempted us to take this tour and it was a nice option. We spent a great time and were kept busy all the time with information and viewing places.

I always travel by this bus tour company. The thing I like most is their services and economical packages. Sights were beautiful, it is beyond my imagination and expectation. We visited all the places mentioned in the itinerary. We visited good food and coffee places. The accommodation has been just basic but comfortable. Satisfied with the tour. Recommended.

This 5-day bus tour was amazing. I went with my colleagues and everybody spent a remarkable time while exploring Horseshoe Bend, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Hill Aerospace Museum, Great Salt Lake, Cedar Break and several other locations. The offer was reasonable as they provide hotel accommodations.

I Started a trip from Los Angeles with my wife. It was a very well planned and well-managed tour. The tour guide was a reasonable man; he takes care of us and knows the best viewpoints of places. He is a good photographer as well. The bus seats were comfortable and wider. We started our tour early in the morning so we have enough time to visit places. I must suggest bringing snakes, mobile and camera charger and the extra pair of hiking shoes. Outstanding sights enhance the joy and excitement of the trip. Highly recommended.

It was one of the best 4 days for me and my fiancé. We started the journey in a fair bus from Los Angeles that took us to Stanford University, Solvang City, Silicon Valley, Yosemite National Park, and we explored the amazing San Francisco. It was a reasonable offer from goldenbustours.com because they provided the best hotel services at the locations in 4-day tour.

I am taking my kids to this 5 day tour as it covers canyon, national park and Mojave Desert. It was absolutely their choice, I actually was less interested, but that does not change things. My kids got they want, anyway I was happy. Things were as they wished.

The tour was really very well organized, we moved exactly on time, there was no delay and even during the tour we were right on schedule, it was a great job from the tour guide who was a great guy . The accommodation was really comfortable and we saw some amazing places like Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Jackson, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park . It was really a great tour and great experience. I really hope i can do it again some time.

The best thing in that tour was Yellowstone, it was our first time to go there, and it was really much greater than i even expected. Also Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone waterfall, Yellowstone Canyon, Old Faith Geyser were amazingly beautiful. Also Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Jackson, Grand Teton National Park were really great. That tour was really amazing and i hope i can do that again with my family.

That tour was really almost everything i had hoped for, the only thing that i did not like is that admissions to Yellowstone were not included, it was actually also mandatory. But other than that the tour was really great and well organized, we enjoyed all activities and transportation was nice. Hotels were not 5 stars but they were clean and comfortable enough for us.

i really had a great time during that tour. We saw some pretty amazing places like Glen Canyon Dam, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Jackson, Grand Teton National Park. We also spent a night at Yellowstone and saw Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone waterfall, Yellowstone Canyon, Old Faith Geyser. I liked the accommodation and transportation. Our tour guide was very friendly, The only thing that i did not like is that admissions were not included.

Recommend This Tour To A Friend

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A portrait of a bison.

14 bison came to Catalina for a movie. 100 years later, what’s next?

The invasive species was brought to Santa Catalina Island in 1924. Now, conservationists face a complicated decision about bison's impact on the island.

In the winter of 1924, 14 American bison weighing 1,500 pounds arrived in crates at the harbor of Santa Catalina Island, off the coast of Los Angeles, California, where they were set free to roam the hillsides.

Local lore has it that they were brought here to film a movie, though there’s little evidence they made a Hollywood debut. But over the last century, the bison have become the unlikely stars of Catalina’s ecosystem.

It’s unclear how much longer that will last. The herd that once numbered as high as 524 is now stunted at 90 and no longer reproducing. While some argue the bison are integral to the island’s cultural identity, others point to the ecological concerns of allowing this invasive species to remain. 

Now Catalina stands at a crossroads, facing a complicated decision on what’s best for the bison, its critical ecosystem, and its human residents. 

Why are there bison on Catalina?

Bison are not native to the Mediterranean climate of the 75-square-mile island that sits off the coast of Southern California. 

Why the bison were brought to Catalina is still shrouded in uncertainty with several contradictory tales. The most common—which can be recited from memory by most Catalina residents—is that 14 bison were transported to the island for the production of Zane Grey's western film, The Vanishing American.  

( Bison or buffalo? Possum or opossum? What's the difference? )

“The stickler of it all is there are no bison in that movie,” says Gail Fornasiere, deputy director of external affairs at the Catalina Museum for Art & History. “The story for a long time was [the bison scenes] must have made the cutting room floor. But a good chunk of that movie was filmed in Arizona… so it doesn’t make any sense.” 

Still more theories abound. In 1938, the Catalina Islander recounted the famous stampede scene in another Grey movie, The Thundering Herd , claiming it was captured on Catalina; however, a 1925 New York Times article  says the scene was filmed in Yellowstone National Park. Neither can be confirmed, as the film reels remain missing to this day. 

“It's still a little bit of a mystery,” Fornasiere says, “and probably always will be.”

One of many problematic invasive species

“There’s not too many places on this planet that are better than Catalina Island,” Lauren Dennhardt says, as we approach a vista with sweeping views of a sparkling Pacific Ocean.

Dennhardt is the senior director of conservation at the Catalina Island Conservancy, the nonprofit that manages 88 percent of the island’s 48,000 acres. Catalina, the southernmost of the Channel Islands, is geologically pivotal in preserving biodiversity that exists nowhere else on the planet, including the Catalina Island fox and the Catalina Island mountain-mahogany, the rarest tree in North America.

But the island’s biodiversity has faced a growing threat ever since the 19th-century ranching industry introduced cattle, horses, sheep, and other non-native herbivores to the fragile ecosystem.

( What are invasive species—and how can we control them? )

The most notorious of these newcomers were the mule deer, which arrived in the 1930s. The deer, which are managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), are wildly overpopulated and suffering from dwindling resources—while in turn causing extensive habitat destruction and threatening the island’s unique and endangered species.

The Conservancy initiated a plan in 1990 that eradicated 12,000 feral pigs from the island and 8,000 feral goats by 2004. Recently, the Conservancy proposed a similar plan—still being reviewed by the CDFW—to kill the island’s 1,800 deer as a last resort under a major restoration project . 

But one ungulate remains unaddressed on the island—the bison. And their future is a little more uncertain.

An on-again, off-again relationship

When William Wrigley Jr.—the chewing gum mogul and owner of the Chicago Cubs—purchased Catalina Island in 1919, he invested millions to make it a premium resort destination with a vision for what he referred to as a “ playground for all. ”  

After it was agreed the bison would remain on the island, he acquired 10 more in 1934.

As the herd grew, so did the enthusiasm from island residents who revered the giant grazers as a symbol of the island. In the 1950s, stores sold gold-painted bison dung referred to as “buffalo chips.” And in the 1970s, bartender Michael Hoffler of Two Harbors is credited with inventing the Buffalo Milk cocktail.  

( How the return of bison connects travelers with Native cultures .)

Eco tours and bison expeditions have also been offered for decades, and the bison can be found in gift shops everywhere as stuffed animals and figurines and plastered on t-shirts, keychains, and books.

“The bison have become this link with the island,” Fornasiere says. “The residents are very protective and proud of their history.”

Their celebrity status has set the bison apart from other invasive ungulates—except for their impact on Catalina's ecosystem.

While the bison do help keep back some of the invasive grasses, Dennhardt explains that they create wallows and cause erosion. Other scientific studies have attributed the impact of bison activity to reducing plant diversity , damaging endemic plants and tree species like oak trees, and spreading non-native plant seeds through their hirsute coats and droppings.

The bison themselves also began to suffer.

“Twenty years ago, the major problem the managers were having was overpopulation, and the bison weren’t doing well,” says James Derr, a professor in the department of veterinary pathobiology at Texas A&M University. “The bison weren't getting enough to eat. They were pretty skinny-looking animals.”

Determining a strategy to control the herd’s population has proven to be particularly challenging.

Controlling the bison population

Early efforts to manage Catalina’s bison dovetailed with a nationwide initiative to restore thundering herds to their ancestral lands in the Great Plains—where only 350,000 bison remain of an estimated 30 million that roamed in the mid-1800s. 

From 2002 to 2004, the Conservancy repatriated Catalina herds to the Lakota Indian reservation ,   Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Lakota Indian reservations , and Rosebud Indian Reservation. 

Unbeknownst at the time, however, the animals were not actually purebred bison. A study from the University of Southern California and Texas A&M University revealed in 2007 that 45 percent of the bison they sampled contained domestic cattle mitochondrial DNA . 

To keep mainland bison as “pure” as possible, it was recommended that the Catalina bison no longer be reintroduced to natural populations. Instead, the Conservancy resorted to a five-year experimental birth control plan in 2009, injecting female bison with the contraceptive porcine zona pellucida.

Now, the bison aren’t reproducing at all. 

With a declining population and an ever-present threat to the island's habitat, multiple different management strategies have been proposed with no clear-cut answer. A 2005 study developed different options for consideration such as managing a “relatively small bison herd” and restricting them to smaller portions of the island. 

In the meantime, the bison—which are significantly smaller than their mainland counterparts—receive supplemental water troughs and hay to help them cope with  ongoing droughts and nutritionally poor conditions.

But not everyone agrees that the herd should remain on the island at all—and some argue the bison are not as essential to the island’s economy as it may seem.

“Less than 10 percent of visitors to the island make their way into the interior,” Calvin Duncan, a former wildlife biologist at the Conservancy told National Geographic in a statement. “A survey conducted on the island found that less than half of new visitors were aware that bison were present on the island, and more than half of all visitors surveyed stated that the presence of bison in the interior would not influence their desire to purchase an interior tour.” 

“If the ecological integrity of the island, human safety, and the welfare of the bison themselves are given the highest priority, a significant reduction and restriction of the Catalina bison population, or its complete removal, should be considered,” writes Duncan. 

Currently, no decisions have been made about the bison’s future management plans, but the issue is reevaluated every year. It’s a decision that Dennhardt says has “moral and ethical considerations” and one that needs to be both “thoughtful and informed.”

So what’s to become of this hundred-year-old island herd? Only time will tell. 

Read This Next

How to survive an encounter with wildlife—from bears to bison, 13 stunning photos from this year’s best wildlife photographers.

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At long last, the American buffalo has come home

How can you tell if a wild animal really needs your help.

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IMAGES

  1. 60 hour Yellowstone tour from Los Angeles

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  2. The Best Yellowstone Tour From Los Angeles

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  3. Driving from Los Angeles to Yellowstone National Park 2021

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  4. The Best Yellowstone Tour From Los Angeles

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  5. All of Yellowstone from Los Angeles tour in just 60 hours

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  6. 8 Best Bus Tours From Los Angeles To Yellowstone

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COMMENTS

  1. Yellowstone Tours From Los Angeles

    Find the best tour for you from Los Angeles to Yellowstone National Park, with options for different lengths, dates, and activities. Learn about the lower loop, upper loop, Grand Teton, and Grand Tour tours, and book online with Yellowstone Tours.

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  3. Yellowstone tours from Los Angeles

    Yellowstone Grand Tour From Los Angeles; Order here: Itinerary : This tour is designed to really maximize your time in Yellowstone. Unlike our 72 hour Yellowstone tour, you can arrive at the Los Angeles airport after 6.30 a.m., and still leave on your tour the same day you arrive. You will still see all of Yellowstone!

  4. Road Trip From Los Angeles To Yellowstone National Park

    The drive from Los Angeles to Yellowstone National Park takes about 15 hours and 30 minutes without any stops. Splitting the trip up into 2 or 3 days, you could check out Valley of Fire State Park and Zion or enjoy the nightlife at Las Vegas and Salt Lake City.

  5. 8 Best Bus Tours From Los Angeles To Yellowstone

    Last updated: July 20, 2023 What's one of the best ways to see some of America's most amazing sites? Take a bus tour! Here are 8 great bus tours from Los Angeles to Yellowstone. You'll see everything from Hollywood and the Santa Monica Pier to the Grand Canyon and Old Faithful. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!

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  7. Tours4Fun

    Find the best Yellowstone tours from Los Angeles with private guides, comfortable hotels, and scenic views. Explore the park's wildlife, geysers, hot springs, and scenic attractions with various activities and options. Enjoy the 100th anniversary of the park's centennial celebration.

  8. The Best Yellowstone Tour From Los Angeles

    The Best Yellowstone Tour from Los Angeles provides a 3 day Yellowstone tour of Yellowstone's lower loop, Yellowstone's upper loop, Grand Teton and Jackson.

  9. Yellowstone Tours From Los Angeles

    60 Hour Yellowstone Tour From Los Angeles. Our 60 hour Yellowstone tour from Los Angeles also shows you the entire park, but devotes separate days to Yellowstone's lower and upper loops, and is therefore a more leisurely way to tour Yellowstone. View Detail. Order Here.

  10. 60 hour Yellowstone tour from Los Angeles

    60 hour Yellowstone tour from Los Angeles - Yellowstone Tours Home Yellowstone Air Tour Yellowstone Tours From… Private Yellowstone Tours Yellowstone Transportation Contact 60 Hour Yellowstone Tour From Los Angeles

  11. Yellowstone Tours & Vacation Packages Old Faithful Geyser

    Yellowstone Tours From Los Angeles 7-Day Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore, Grand Teton, Antelope Canyon, Salt Lake City Tour Package from Los Angeles/Las Vegas 7 days $999 $969

  12. 8-Day Yellowstone National Park Tour from Los Angeles

    Book this 8-Day Yellowstone National Park Tour from Los Angeles. Drive through the 17-Mile Drive to explore the fantastic San Francisco city view. Visit Old Faithful Geyser and the Grand Prismatic Hot Spring in Yellowstone National Park which will leave you wanting for more! Take advantage of the convenient transfer service and have fun hassle-free

  13. 9-Day Enchanting West Coast Tour from Los Angeles: Yellowstone, Lake

    Book the 9-Day Enchanting West Coast Tour from Los Angeles, having a nice trip to Yellowstone, Lake Tahoe, Lower Antelope Canyon and Grand Canyon. Tours4Fun. X $ USD $ USD € EUR £ GBP. A$ AUD. ... 9-Day Enchanting West Coast Tour from Los Angeles: Yellowstone, Lake Tahoe, Lower Antelope Canyon and Grand Canyon (1 Reviews) Product Code: 49797 ...

  14. Los Angeles Tour To All Of Yellowstone In Just 60 Hours!

    All Of Yellowstone Tour From Los Angeles In Just 72 Hours Shortest Yellowstone Tour Of The Entire Park From Los Angeles Depart 2.05 a.m. Arrive 6.45 a.m. Depart 3.35 a.m. Arrive 8.15 a.m. (Only Monday through Friday) Depart 5.05 a.m. Arrive 9.45 a.m. Depart 7.05 a.m. Arrive 11.40 a.m. Depart 9.05 a.m. Arrive 1.40 p.m.

  15. Yellowstone Tours from Los Angeles with Discounted Prices and Deals

    29 reviews Tour Code: 773-402 Available: Wed Depart From: Las Vegas, NV; Los Angeles, CA; Irvine, CA Language: English; Mandarin Chinese Duration: 7 6 Highlights: Visit Yellowstone, Antelope Canyon, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Grand Teton National Park, Crazy Horse, Devils Tower, Page, Salt Lake City.

  16. Road Trip from California to Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore

    Distance. Driving Time. The Los Angeles Route. 1,840 miles. 30 hours. The Bay Area Route. 1,890 miles. 33 hours. If you're departing from Los Angeles getting to Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore will take you 30 hours, and covering 1,840 miles if you don't make any detours.

  17. Other Yellowstone Tours from Los Angeles

    Other Yellowstone Tours from Los Angeles. $568. 7-Day Yellowstone, Antelope Canyon, and Arches National Park Tour from Los Angeles/Las Vegas. Visit 10 amazingly picture-perfect locations! Antelope Canyon, Yellowstone, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Zion National Park, Arches National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Monument Valley Tribal Park ...

  18. Los Angeles to Yellowstone tours

    Los Angeles to Yellowstone tours - Yellowstone Bus Tours and Vacation Packages Best of Yellowstone: Home > Tours & vacations > Yellowstone national park tours from Los Angeles 3/6 Yellowstone from Los Angeles $888 10-Day Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore and West Coast Tour from Los Angeles/San Francisco

  19. 7-Day Los Angeles, Mt. Rushmore, SLC & Yellowstone Tour

    Destination Map Return City Salt Lake City UT Overview Itinerary Pricing Departure Location Policies Reviews Book Now Overview Available Days : Thu,Sat (2024-05-04 To 2024-10-05) | Thu,Sat (2024-06-17 To 2024-08-19) Highlights :

  20. 5-Day Los Angeles/LV to Antelope Canyon & Yellowstone N.P Tour

    5-Day Los Angeles/LV to Antelope Canyon & Yellowstone N.P Tour Home 5-Day Los Angeles/Las Vegas to Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park Tour - SLC OUT 5-Day Los Angeles/Las Vegas to Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park Tour - SLC OUT Tour Code: GOL-LA-178

  21. Los Angeles to Yellowstone National Park

    Recommended option Fly Los Angeles to Jackson, drive • 6h 13m Fly from Los Angeles (LAX) to Jackson (JAC) LAX - JAC $106 - $584 6 alternative options Fly Burbank to Jackson, drive • 7h 56m Fly from Burbank (BUR) to Jackson (JAC) BUR - JAC $117 - $683 Fly Burbank to Bozeman, shuttle • 8h 49m Fly from Burbank (BUR) to Bozeman (BZN) BUR - BZN

  22. Yellowstone Lower Loop Full-Day Tour 2024

    Tour the lower loop of Yellowstone National Park with an expert guide on this all-day tour. Visit popular sites like Old Faithful, Grand Prismatic Spring, Lake Yellowstone, and more. Stop for an included lunch and many photo ops throughout the day. As you travel through the park, keep your eyes open for bears, elk, and bison that are commonly spotted in the area.

  23. 14 bison came to Catalina for a movie. 100 years later, what's next?

    Published January 18, 2024. In the winter of 1924, 14 American bison weighing 1,500 pounds arrived in crates at the harbor of Santa Catalina Island, off the coast of Los Angeles, California, where ...

  24. Pierce Brosnan pleads not guilty to walking in prohibited areas at

    FILE - Pierce Brosnan, a cast member in "The Out-Laws," poses at a special screening of the film, Monday, June 26, 2023, at the Regal LA Live theaters in Los Angeles.