1930s tour buses like this one return to Yellowstone National Park.
There’s a new way to see Yellowstone National Park, if anything dating to FDR’s first term can be considered new. Starting June 4, a small fleet of fully refurbished 1930s tour buses—sometimes called touring cars—will return to the bison-and-geyser circuit. With their convertible tops and chrome fenders, the 14-passenger vehicles have plenty of vintage appeal—enough to draw crowds in parking lots.
But the buses are even more impressive for the travelers inside. When the weather is decent, the driver can roll back the cloth top, putting riders that much closer to the great outdoors. Lap blankets and strategically placed heaters help fend off cool breezes. And when the bus stops for bears and other attractions, riders can stand up to take unobstructed photos—no more window reflections.
Best of all, the rebuilt vehicles ride lower to the ground than do modern buses, putting passengers eye to eye with roadside animals. Drivers spice up their tours with running patter on the area’s wildlife and history. The buses travel on several popular routes in the park, including the wildlife-rich trip from Mammoth Hot Springs to the Lamar Valley and the geyser-fringed roads around Old Faithful. For regular routes, schedules, and fares, see www.travelyellowstone.com or call (866) 439-7375.
Photography courtesy of Rick Hoeninghausen
This article was first published in May 2007. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.