In the the heart of winter, wolves and wildlife are more plentiful than people in Yellowstone national park
In the remote reaches of the Lamar Valley we watch for wolves, silently snapping the stealthy predators as they move through the powder.
This all-encompassing nature adventure promises exquisite rewards for photographers.
YELLOWSTONE –WINTER PHOTO EXPERIENCE
Discover the phenomenal photographic opportunities of Yellowstone’s quiet season, during the heart of winter when wolves and wildlife are more plentiful than people. Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks contain the largest concentration of free-roaming wildlife in the Lower 48, a nature photographer’s grail. Shaggy bison forage for food, their coats rimmed in frost, nostrils creating steam clouds in the frozen air. Elk congregate in vast herds. In the remote reaches of the Lamar Valley we watch for wolves, silently snapping the stealthy predators as they move through the powder. This all-encompassing nature adventure promises exquisite rewards for photographers.
Day 1: Bozeman, Montana
Arrive in the New West town of Bozeman and transfer to our hotel for a welcome dinner.
Day 2: Paradise Valley / Northern Yellowstone
We depart after breakfast, following the Lewis & Clark Trail over Bozeman Pass to the banks of the Yellowstone River, where we’ll spend the morning in the Paradise Valley watching for rough-legged hawks, eagles, mule deer and pronghorn antelope. The ragged heights of the Absaroka Range provide a dramatic backdrop. Continuing to Mammoth Hot Springs for lunch, we often see wintering big-horn sheep in Gardiner River Canyon. Toward evening we enter Yellowstone’s Northern Range, where we find the highest densities of wolves, coyotes, elk and bison, often vividly spotted against the snow-mantled landscape. Our day concludes with a presentation at the Hartman Gallery, famed for its stunning photographs of Yellowstone’s wildlife. We spend the night just outside the park in Cooke City, Montana.
Day 3: Lamar Valley / Mammoth Hot Springs
As the sun breaks over the Lamar Valley, we’re up early to seize the opportunity to observe wolves in their most pristine natural environment. This broad glacial valley offers wide-open vistas of a sublime landscape and abundant wildlife. A local professional wildlife photographer joins us today to share tips on capturing the best shots of the often-elusive wolves – bring your telephoto lenses! This afternoon we explore the multicolored terraces of Mammoth Hot Springs, home to a large wintering elk herd.
Day 4: Snowcoach Tour / Old Faithful
This morning we board private snowcoaches to traverse Yellowstone’s wild interior, accessible in winter only by over-snow vehicles. Its plethora of geothermal features are striking, as geysers spray hot steam into the air and fumaroles bubble up from the snow. On the Central Plateau we look for large bison herds and wolves. We’ll also visit the Upper and Lower Falls of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. If it’s cold enough, the falls may freeze into a cascade of ice plunging to the canyon floor.
Day 5: Geyser Basin Exploration
Board our chartered snowcoach again to explore the geyser basins surrounding the Firehole River. This region of Yellowstone boasts the highest density of geothermal features in the world. Opportunities abound to photograph all four types: geysers, hot springs, mud pots and fumaroles. Because of the warmth provided by the steam vents and hot mud, wildlife congregate in the area during the winter, and we’ll have a chance to see trumpeter swans, bald eagles, elk and bison.
Day 6: Grand Teton National Park
Today we head south by snowcoach to Wyoming’s other scenic treasure, Grand Teton National Park, stopping at West Thumb Geyser Basin on the edge of Yellowstone Lake to search for moose, river otters and trumpeter swans. Crossing the Continental Divide, we drop into the Snake River basin. The first views of the Teton spires provoke a flurry of snapping shutters. More great shots await, with the jagged range providing an awesome backdrop for wildlife photos.
Day 7: Jackson Hole / National Elk Refuge
Our winter safari continues in the National Elk Refuge, home to thousands of elk, bighorn sheep and bison that winter on the floor of Jackson Hole. A horse-drawn sleigh ride provides a festive finale to our wildlife odyssey, offering close-up opportunities to photograph the park’s enormous herd of elk.
Day 8: Jackson / Flights Home
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for flights home.
Please note: Every other trip runs in the opposite direction, from Jackson to Bozeman.
Dates and Costs
Jan 14 - 21
Jan 21 - 28
Jan 12 - 19
Jan 19 - 26
This trip runs in the opposite direction, beginning in Jackson, Wyoming and ending in Bozeman, Montana, making all the same stops.
Single Supp.: $795
Prices are per person based on double occupancy and are given in US Dollars.
2013 dates and fees may change slightly
Location of Adventure
Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks, Wyoming
Group Size Limit
Approximately 12 Travellers
A very important feature of this adventure vacation is the limited group size as nature expeditions are best experienced with smaller groups of travellers.
Accommodations, meals from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on final day, bottled water, services of NHA Expedition Leaders and local guides, most gratuities, airport transfer on Day 1, use of warm parkas and boots during trip, permits & entrance fees, all taxes.
Travel to and from start and end point of trip, alcoholic beverages, some gratuities, passport and visa fees, optional activities, airport transfers on final day, items of a personal nature (phone calls, souvenirs, etc.), airline baggage fees, airport and departure taxes, optional travel insurance.
Easy to Moderate
Tracking wolves in Yellowstone will be in snowy, icy and/or wet conditions, and it can get very cold. However, hikes are moderate in physical exertion and a good amount of wildlife viewing takes place from our vehicles.
Because this is a photography trip, travellers should be prepared to spend extended periods of time outside, in very cold temperatures.
This adventure combines the rare chance to view wolves in the wild with an all-encompassing adventure in one of North America’s most renowned wildlife preserves: Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.
Travelers must understand that even though to date we have had a 100% wolf sighting rate on our trips, these are very elusive animals and they usually do not come within close range of people.
Much of our wolf viewing is done through spotting scopes to allow the wolves to go about their normal behavior. For those considering the photo tour please keep in mind that since this is a 100% wild experience the wolves are often far in the distance. However, the sheer beauty and grandeur of Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks in the winter provide remarkable nature imagery.
Getting There & Getting Home
You will be met at the airport on Day 1 and transferred to the hotel to meet your group for a 6pm orientation dinner.
You are free to depart anytime on the final day.