Looking for family fun activities in Jackson, Wyoming? There’s ample plenty to choose from in the Jackson Hole area, so it pays to plan ahead. Our family of four chose a national park wildlife tour with BrushBuck Wildlife Tours. With scenic wildlife sightings and tons of information about Grand Teton National Park, BrushBuck delivered a memorable, fun, and educational experience.
Jackson Hole is an outdoor lover’s dream. We were fortunate enough to visit this summer at the height of its beauty and the tourism season. At that time of year, it’s vital that any activities or excursions are mapped out in advance to get the best in the business. And none are doing it better than BrushBuck Wildlife Tours.
Family Fun in Jackson Hole: Wildlife Touring with BrushBuck
BrushBuck knocked it out of the park (no pun intended) as an immersive nature and learning experience that brought us face to face with wildlife (or in some cases scope to scope).
Thanks to Brushbuck for hosting our fun adventures in the Jackson Hole area. As always, you can count on my honest feedback.
Wildlife Tour of Grand Teton National Park
BrushBuck Wildlife Tours specializes in one-of-a-kind wildlife tours in both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks as well as Alaska, Africa, and South America. Their Grand Teton Dawn or Dusk Half Day Tours are four-hour excursions focused on wildlife observation. And bonus: BrushBuck is a 100% military veteran owned company with over 20 years of military service combined in the United States Navy and Marine Corps among the three owners.
I’ve always wanted to have a guided tour when visiting a national park for the information alone. Nothing like letting other people be the experts and do the driving for you! So I jumped at the chance to try a wildlife tour with BrushBuck. Since the majority of our time in the are was at a dude ranch, we needed to maximize the two days we had before and after our ranch stay.
Come along and play “I Spy” with us!
So for visitors who are either short on time or budget but want to see the most of Grand Teton National Park, these tours are ideal. While I’m all for also doing the drive and go/do it yourself approach, there’s something to be said about absorbing knowledge and turning touring into teachable moments.
What to Expect
This is at least 4 hours of exploring and playing seek to the wildlife’s hide. It really becomes much like a game to see who can spot animals. And boy, are there many species to spy! Elk, moose, mule deer, pronghorn, bison, bighorn sheep, grizzly and black bear, and wolves can all be seen within the park boundaries. During our tour, we saw egrets, elk, moose, mule deer, pronghorn, beaver, and hawks.
Not only wildlife oriented, this tour also covers the human and natural history of Grand Teton National Park as well as the diverse geology within the park. Naturally, we stopped as often as we liked to spot and take photos of both wildlife and landmark points of interest. Case in point: the famous Moulton Barn–probably the most photographed barn in Wyoming, if not the world. This area, referred to as Mormon Row, was an early homesteading settlement in Jackson Hole before the Grand Teton National Park was formed.
Included in the tour are snacks and refreshments, binoculars for each guest, and a spotting scope. Boy, that spotting scope enabled us to see many animals, like the egrets and moose.
Our guide Luke was sensational: well trained and very knowledgeable. He was about to attend Harvard for dental school, so he clearly had a love of science and injected it into our tour. Each of the BrushBuck guides goes through a rigorous certified training program each year to ensure guests have fresh and updated information.
BrushBuck offers both private and public tours. Guests traveling between June 10th-September 10th on the public tour will be in an open air safari vehicle (weather dependent). In case of cooler mountain weather during these summer months, tours will be in an enclosed vehicle. One thing that stands out about BrushBuck is that every public tour is capped at 13 people per guide.
We had a private tour, which meant we could pepper Luke with questions and he could really spend time getting to know us and customizing the tour to our family of 4.
- With wildlife tours, going in you know that nothing is guaranteed. We are simply spectators hoping to see some animals. Go in with those expectations and it will make for a better experience.
- BrushBuck suggests that guests wear long pants, closed toed shoes, and bring a jacket. Shorts or capris are appropriate for summer months. We felt perfectly comfortable in shorts but did throw on jackets at the end. Keep in mind though we were in an enclosed vehicle.
- Have camera at the ready all the way through to the very end of the tour. Animals get active at dusk, and that’s when we really started seeing them. Like this moose which was feet away from our vehicle!
Private tours: 1-2 people $ 450; 3 people $ 525; 4 people $ 600; 5 people $675; 6 people $750. Parties of more than 6: call for pricing. Public tour pricing: $ 125 per person (minimum 2 people to operate).
What’s Not Included
The tour pricing does not include the park entry fee or gratuity. The park entry fee is $20.00 per adult (16 and up), good for seven days and is transferable to both National Parks. Guests who have a “Golden Age Pass” or an “Interagency Park Pass” can use these passes on the tour. Park passes can be purchased at the park entrance during the tour.
Guide gratuity is recommended at 10-15% of the tour price. We gladly paid this and then some in appreciation for having an excellent guide in Luke.
Finding not one but two moose; Luke spotting a wolf (but he wouldn’t count it since we all didn’t see it); watching a beaver build its dam; and using to scope to find pronghorn.
How to Get Around Out West: The Nissan Titan Midnight Edition
And while we’re talking travel tips, one of my biggest ones when traveling out West is to select a vehicle that really suits the terrain. With a Nissan Titan, we had capability and comfort. Plenty of horsepower to take on the roads, 4 wheel drive to face the hills and rugged terrain, and lots of space so kids won’t be whining about touching each other! Not to mention multiple power outlets so no one’s phone ran out of juice.
Between the Sirius XM satellite radio letting us jam out to 80s tunes, Nissan Connect with Navigation (embedded GPS system), a 5.6-L Endurance V-8 engine, and 4 wheel drive system, I can’t imagine touring the Western roads and national parks in anything but this truck.
I’ll be sharing more about the Nissan Titan on TravelingMom.com, but take my word for it: it can claim to be both a rugged and a sweet ride!
Thanks to Nissan for graciously providing us the Nissan Titan XL for our travels.
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