Yellowstone and Grand Teton Tours – A Photographer’s Dream
This tour is located in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks and is available May through September, which is a fabulous time to be in the Wyomings national parks. This region offers the best wildlife photography in North America. Come join us and follow in the footsteps of Ansel Adams.
5-Day Photography Tour Overview
On this Yellowstone and Grand Teton tour, you will be accompanied by a professional photographer and an experienced tour guide during the photography workshop. This tour will focus on finding and safely photographing the diverse wildlife and picturesque landscapes of the Greater Yellowstone Region. We will spend most of our time in the prime wildlife habitat areas of the parks and learn photography techniques along the way. Destination areas include Willow Flats, Pacific Creek, Hayden Valley and the famous Lamar Valley, also known as the Serengeti of North America. We will also be visiting popular landmarks in the area, including Old Faithful, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Mammoth Hot Springs and several tranquil waterfalls. Small groups provide a quality experience with your guide.
National Parks in the Spring and Fall
Spring is a popular season to attend this tour with artistic skies and white mountains shadowing over Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. Bright flowers and vegetation offer colorful scenes perfect for photography. Wildlife migration is frequent with large mammals often moving around with newborns, especially bears exploring the valley grounds from their mountain dens. Alternatively, fall provides vibrant seasonal colors, snowy mountains and and wildlife activity as animals prepare for the coming winter.
5-Day Photography Tour Itinerary Details
Day One: Grand Teton National Park
After your breakfast, you will be picked up at your hotel by your guide, and you will begin your tour by traveling north to photograph some of the great scenery in Grand Teton National Park. The first morning will include a field orientation on the best camera settings, framing and tricks for capturing this fantastic landscape into a still image. Once the sun rises too high to continue with our landscape photography, we will switch gears in preparation for wildlife photography by discussing settings, strategies and techniques for optimal photographs.
Grand Teton National Park is known to be one of the world’s best destinations for wildlife viewing with its large abundance and diversity. Wildlife includes moose, elk, deer, bison, pronghorn, fox, coyote, bald and golden eagles, black bears, grizzly bears and even wolves. You can also expect lovely wildflowers and spring vegetation for a colorful effect on landscapes. Your guide will support you in choosing the best camera settings to enhance your chances of capturing great images of mammals in different lights and backgrounds.
We will be providing lunch on day 1 before exploring the Elk Ranch and traveling further north to a prime grizzly habitat, where you will learn how to spot and safely photograph the bears. You will have a lesson on techniques for behavior and traveling safely in the bear locations; including recognizing bear signs, and how to use bear spray.
We will have a break in the afternoon at our park lodge where we will process images and have an early dinner to prepare ourselves for the sunset photography session behind the Tetons.
Day Two: Sunrise in the Tetons
With an early start, we will have a photography session at sunrise of the Tetons capturing early morning wildlife. With the sun rising, we will move along the lesser explored roads in the northern part of Jackson Hole in search of wildlife before an early lunch at the lodge. We will have a mid-day break and the option of a photo-processing class for those interested in learning about image management, editing, post processing and outputting images for different uses.
We will continue by returning to the field for further photography opportunities in softer lighting in the afternoon and evening. Exact locations of the photography session will depend on conditions, personal interests and activity of the prior day. Ensuring flexibility will allow us to plan our trip based on wildlife sightings and other opportunities for great photographs. After sunset, we will return to the lodge for dinner.
Day Three: Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park Tour
Starting bright and early again, we will begin by tracking bears, photographing classic landscapes and searching for wildlife in Grand Teton National Park. We will continue north into Yellowstone National Park, traveling east of the Lower Loop to the great Yellowstone Lake where the Yellowstone River flows with tranquility north at the famous Fishing Bridge. This location is where some of the best sightings of bears and wolves in Yellowstone can be experienced. We will visit the Mud Volcano en route to Hayden Valley where the river flows peacefully through open sage meadows toward the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Here, the mesmerizing river scene can be observed from the top of the canyon, falling over the upper and lower falls, creating the 20-mile long Yellowstone canyon.
We will then be traveling to the Lamar Valley, which is the single best wildlife habitat, perfect for photography in the Yellowstone region with its high abundance of grizzly bears and wolves. Guests will spend the afternoon and evening at this destination searching for perfect shots while learning about and photographing wildlife and landscapes. We will spend the next two nights at the most remote lodging in Silvergate, Montana, which is only half a mile from the park entrance.
Day Four: Yellowstone National Park
Starting early, we will be up for the sunrise. This offers perfect timing to search and photograph wolves in Lamar Valley. Time in this area will be spent tracking wolves and capturing still images of the picturesque surroundings. We will then continue the day by exploring the northern region of Yellowstone, including the Tower Falls, Mammoth Terraces and the northern entrance by Gardiner, MT. We will also have a mid-day break for a well-deserved rest and preparation for another fantastic evening in Lamar Valley. We will be filling our evening with bear, wolf and wildlife photography in Lamar and Slough Creek before returning to Silvergate for dinner.
Day Five: Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park Tour
Expect another early start for a final opportunity to photograph the wonderful wolves of Lamar Valley before starting our adventure back into the interior of Yellowstone along the west side of the Lower Loop. This route will provide us with ample time to explore and photograph the more classic destinations of Yellowstone, including the Upper, Middle and Lower Geyser Basins with a unique opportunity to photograph an eruption of Old Faithful. You can expect to travel south over the Continental Divide three times en route back to Grand Teton National Park and Jackson. We will plan a mid-day break at Old Faithful where we can explore the terrific geysers, lounge in the lodge and enjoy a lunch at the Old Faithful Inn.
We will continue our search for wildlife through the evening as we travel through the Grand Teton National Park and embrace the incredible sunset vistas for a great finish to our memory-filled adventure. Dinner will be provided in Jackson where we can exchange our best images as a group and share our favorite parts of the tour!
5-Day Photography Tour Includes
This 5-day Yellowstone and Grand Teton photography tour is limited to a maximum of 6 guests to ensure a personalized and intimate experience with the guides. Small groups also allow for photo processing instruction and photo critiques during mid-day breaks. Lodging is provided, along with delicious meals (breakfast and lunch daily, and dinner on the last night) and snacks. Hotel pick-ups and drop-offs are included from the Jackson Hole area. We pride ourselves for our superior spotting scopes and binocular equipment and are free for your group’s use while on the tour. Guide gratuity and national park entrance fees are not included with the tour price.
Hotel Pick-up Times
The pick-up and return of visitors to their designated lodgings of hotels and condos in Jackson and Teton Village is complimentary on this expedition. Exact hotel pick-up times are location dependent, but you will be given advance notice of departure. Please also allow your guide 5-10 minutes before and after the scheduled time for other pickups and traffic conditions, and changes may be made due to seasonal changes of daylight and/or optimum wildlife viewing conditions. Approximated pickups times for Jackson Hole are as follows:
- Downtown Jackson Locations: 6:30 A.M.
- Greater Jackson Hole Area Locations: 6:45 A.M.
- Teton Village Locations: 7:00 A.M.
The open safari tour is set at $2,900 on a double occupancy basis; single supplement is $700. There is a minimum age restriction of 12 years old for this wildlife expedition.
What to Bring
Essentials may depend on your personal preferences and what your guide may suggest, but the seasonal conditions should be considered as they can differ drastically. We recommend checking the weather forecast prior to the trip start date. Prepare for temperatures below freezing in mornings and evenings, particularly in Yellowstone. Heavy and/or windproof outer layers are very beneficial for beating the cold, alongside layers which can be removed as the temperature warms up throughout the day. Winter hiking boots are perfect for exploring in the snow; comfort with footwear is key. Other items of clothing may include, but are not limited to, wool/synthetic socks, cap/hat, sunglasses and gloves. You may also wish to bring a small backpack to carry your personal belongings such as a headlamp, earplugs, phone, tablet, toiletries and medications.
Camera gear is emphasized on personal preferences and style, but weight restrictions must be considered when exploring on this tour. As the participant, you can bring whatever equipment you own or would like to purchase. Here is a rough guideline for the desired camera equipment (or similar) to bring along with you which may include; 2 Camera bodies, Canon 24-105L, Canon 70-200 2.8L, Canon 400 5.6L, Canon 2x Tele, Canon Circ Polarizer and Canon Remote Trigger. Other accessories you may wish to consider could be a camera bag, charger, extra batteries, memory cards, waterproof camera cover and a Gitzo tripod with a head. Alternatively, for those who have little knowledge or equipment, it is important to note excellent photographs can easily be taken with a simple camera on a mobile phone with the support and guidance from our professionals – it is not essential to buy all the expensive equipment just for this trip unless desired!
We will be traveling in a 15-passenger van, therefore you’ll be restricted with regards to luggage space. Noting this, please try to limit your baggage to include no more than 1 camera bag, 1 tripod and one carry-on size bag for spare clothing, personal items and computer. Additionally, if you are traveling to Jackson Hole for an extended trip, we can arrange for secure storage for additional luggage that is not needed until after your return from your exhilarating time with us.
There is a 48-hour cancellation policy for single day safaris and a 7-day cancellation policy for all 2-day and 3-day wildlife tours. Groups of 15 or more members and multi-day tours of 4 or more days have a cancellation policy of 30 days. Cancellations made outside of the stated time period will be fully refunded with no penalty; for those made within the cancellation policy, we will retain a 50% deposit. Cancellations made on the day or no-shows of reservations will receive a 100% charge. We highly suggest considering travel insurance to protect yourself and your group from incurring costs associated with unforeseen cancellations.
The Yellowstone and Grand Teton tour is very popular and as a result we suggest booking early to save disappointment.