Wildlife viewing trip in the wild American West, from Whales on Monterey Bay to Wolves and Grizzly still roaming free in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, through the Giant Sequoia forests covering the Sierra and the Canyons and deserts of Nevada.
- Yosemite National Park and Sequoia National Park–the Sierra Nevada lower montane forests, Wapiti Deers, American Black Bears and giant trees.
- Zion N.P. –the spectacular landscape carved by water and time: canyons, towers, monoliths and waterfalls. The fastest land animal in the Western Hemisphere: the Pronghorn.
- Yellowstone N.P. – the Wolf, the Grizzly and the Coyote. The American Bison, the Bighorn and the incredible natural diversity of the world’s oldest National Park.
- Extreme geological forces – geysers and massive supervolcanoes underneath the largest intact temperate-zone ecosystem on Earth
- Pinnacles N.P. – the California Condor and one of the most dramatic and compelling stories in conservation.
- Monterey Bay – Dolphins, Whales, Orcas and the incredible Blue Whale, the largest creature ever to have lived on earth.
- Coastal California – Northern Elephant Seals, California Sea Lions and California Sea Otters.
The two main features of Yellowstone climate are cold temperatures and snowstorms in winter and mild daytime temperatures during summer. Rainfall unpredictability is a distinctive factor, with rainfall amounts depending heavily on the park sector. Coastal California experiences Mediterranean climate, while high in the Sierra is typically artic–alpine.
The itinerary starts from California’s coastline along the pounding Pacific, continues through the Sierra Nevada towards the North American desert and canyon areas, and ends in the core of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the largest intact ecosystem left in the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere. From a biogeographic perspective, the itinerary encompasses the “Mediterranean” California, the temperate conifer forests of Sierra Nevada (featuring the stunning Giant Sequoias) and the great variability in the physical characteristics of the area in the proximity of Zion National Park (Colorado Plateau, Great Basin and the Mojave Desert). The huge unspoiled area of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, one of the most treasured and iconic places on Earth, falls into the subalpine category for most of its surface.
Biodiversity: sea excursions off the California coast offer incredible chances to observe a great variety of Cetaceans (Balaenoptera spp., several Dolphin species, Humpbacks), Pinnipeds (Northern Elephant Seal, California Sea Lion) and California Sea Otters. Habitat heterogeneity of this itinerary leads to an impressive bird checklist of over 318 species for Yellowstone, 256 species for Yosemite, etc., including what is considered an incredible success story in conservation: the California Condor. Terrestrial mammals include the American Bison, the Pronghorn, the Mountain Goat, several deer species (the California Mule Deer, the White–tailed Deer, the Wapiti Deer), Moose, Wolves, Coyotes two species of Bears (the Grizzly and the American Black Bear), etc. The Yellowstone–Grand Teton Ecosystem is a “hyperdiverse” almost pristine biological hotspot and the largest “long connected landscape” ecosystem in the Earth’s northern temperate zone. It still supports all the original faunal species occurring before early European explorations, and together with the Parks of California (situated on the famous John Muir Trail) is a global symbol for both conservation and foresight. The California Condor, the American Bison and the Blue Whale are charismatic flagship species representing some of the major success conservation stories.
Cultural Value: evidences of the former presence of an ancestral civilization commonly known as the Anasazi, or Ancient Pueblo peoples, and possibility to visit reservations managed by tribes of Shoshone Indians.
Disclaimer 1: Please note this is an indicative and standard itinerary. Dates, activities and the succession and length of each part of the itinerary may change each year, and can be rearranged with the participants. Upon request by the participants, we will send the definitive and detailed programme to be evaluated at least some weeks prior to the confirmation deadline.
Disclaimer 2: We will generally honor the posted prices, but these are subject to change at any time due to action or decisions made by local authorities. In such situations, and in the hope that will not happen, we will send all the ministries official communications to all participants, free from ambiguity and in total transparency. We reserve the right to correct the final price to the fullest extent permitted by law.