Spring Comes to Yellowstone & Grand Teton

Come explore and photograph the vibrant landscapes & thriving wildlife populations of Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks in the Spring. Many species of wildlife are calving this time of year such as Elk, Bison and Pronghorn. You will have the opportunity to photograph these incredible creatures as well as the possibility of seeing Wolves, Bears, Moose, Bald Eagles, Fox, Osprey and more.

Yellowstone in known as the Serengeti of the West and for good reason. At the time of this writing over 4,900 Bison roamed the park, 95

Wolves, 834 Grizzly Bears as well as thousands of Elk plus Big Horn Sheep and Moose. There are 67 species of mammal living within the park as well as about 300 species of bird. Lamar and Hayden Valley’s teem with wildlife during the springtime and the opportunities to learn how to properly photograph these creatures during a Yellowstone Sundown or a Teton sunrise is absolutely spectacular.

We have been guiding, hiking and photographing Yellowstone & the Tetons extensively for years and can show you areas of these parks and wildlife spots that most people will easily miss. You will photograph the best spots in the parks during the exact right lighting conditions.

Yellowstone is the World’s first national park and the Tetons may be the most beautiful! Aside from countless wildlife opportunities they are both full of beautiful mountain landscapes and Yellowstone contains over 10,000 thermal features including over half of the world’s known geysers. You will have the opportunity to photograph Old Faithful at night, hike to Lone Star Geyser (Hiker tour), search for Grizzly Bears in the Tetons and photograph the rising sun as it illuminates the mountains from Oxbow Bend.

We will be staying in quaint Jackson Hole, West Yellowstone & near Yellowstone’s Northern Range for close access to Lamar Valley. Each day we will explore the parks via foot and vehicle to the best wildlife and landscape photography spots. We will visit the iconic locales such as Lamar Valley, Hayden Valley, Grand Prismatic, Old Faithful and Lower Falls but also seek out dramatic vistas teeming with mountain wildflowers. This is an excellent time to visit the World’s First National Park and Photograph its wonders alongside a professional photographer who will be your guide and instructor for the duration of the trip.

Join us in Yellowstone & Grand Teton National parks this Spring for the trip of a lifetime and leave with a plethora of excellent new images for your portfolio!


Please note: We are excited to offer both a standard and “hiker” version of this trip for photographers who like to get out and hike! Although the Spring version of our “hiker” trip does feature 2-3 hikes we don’t hike nearly as much during the springtime as we do in the Fall. There is often still snow on the ground in the higher elevations and there are often Bear Closures. Not sure which one suits you best? Give us a call at or fill out the contact form below!

Highlights

  • Two of America’s most iconic National Parks in one trip!
  • Photograph newborn wildlife
  • Bears, Coyotes, Moose, Elk, Bald Eagles & possibly Wolves
  • Photograph iconic spots such as Old Faithful, Grand Prismatic & the Tetons
  • Cozy lodges
  • Learn from & shoot alongside a seasoned pro

Spring Comes to Yellowstone & Grand Teton

8 Days

$4295

Deposit: $1000

Meals: Most meals from dnner day 1 through breakfast day 8

Lodging: 7 nights lodging

Start/End: Bozeman, Montana

Open Daily: 6am-6pm MST


*trip difficulty ratings

2019 Departures

Dates Difficulty Availability
May 4th to 11th, 2019 2-3 (Hiker) Open
May 12th to 19th, 2019 1 2 spots left!

2020 Departures

Dates Difficulty Availability
May 2nd to 9th, 2020 2-3 (Hiker) Open
May 10th to 17th, 2020 1 Open

*Backcountry Journeys is an authorized permittee of the National Park Service

Details

Physical Requirements (for “hiker” trips)
All participants must be in good physical condition and have the ability to hike with a daypack up to seven miles per day.

Group Size
We keep groups small to maximize your one on one time with the guide / instructor.

Accommodation
We will be staying in cozy lodges just outside Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks.

Meals

Most meals are included during the trip dates and we typically eat at local restaurants in the evening with early breakfasts out in the field.

Weather

Expect warm pleasant days with cold mornings and nights. The weather can prove unpredictable in the Northern Rockies and can change on a moments notice. Remember some of the best photographs are made before, during and immediately after a storm cycle. There is no such thing as bad weather just poor layering and gear choices – please plan accordingly! For more info on what to bring please email or call us.

Price Includes
Most meals, ground transportation, accommodation during the trip dates, professional photography instruction, medically certified wilderness guide.

Price Does Not Include
Airfare, alcoholic beverages, accommodations before or after the trip dates, guide & staff gratuities

Itinerary

Please note: We offer both a standard and “hiker” version of this trip for photographers who like to get out and hike! Although the Spring version of our “hiker” trip does feature 2-3 hikes we don’t hike nearly as much during the springtime as we do in the Fall. There is often still snow on the ground in the higher elevations and there are often Bear Closures.Not sure which one suits you best? Give us a call at or fill out the contact form below!

Day One (Travel day) 

“Standard” Itinerary, and “Hiker” Itinerary

Arrive in Bozeman, Montana by 6 pm for a trip orientation as well as a fantastic meet and greet dinner. We’ll go over camera gear and itinerary. Our hotel has a complimentary airport shuttle.

 Day Two 

“Hiker” Itinerary:  Hiking mileage 5.4 miles minimal elevation gain

This morning we will make our way down through Mammoth Hot Springs en route to a hike to Lone Star Geyser. Along the way we will search for wildlife. Lone Star Geyser is one of the most unique features in Yellowstone and has spectacular, fairly predictable eruptions.

“Standard” Itinerary 

This morning we will explore Mammoth Hot Springs and search for wildlife along Yellowstone’s Northern Range. There are ample opportunities for fantastic wildlife and landscape images along the Gibbon River and the in upper Geyser Basins.

This evening we will photograph Geyser Hill where (time permitting) we will walk the boardwalk and attempt to catch a lesser known geyser eruption. We will visit the historic Old Faithful Lodge as well as the famous Old Faithful Geyser itself.

Day Three

“Hiker” Itinerary:  Hiking mileage: 4-7 miles, 200 ft elevation gain

Our morning shoot will be at Grand Prismatic and the Midway Geyser Basin. We’ll have an opportunity to photograph several different geothermal areas including Black Sand Basin and the Fountain Paint Pots. Today we will do a hike out to an impressive Geyser Field and a beautiful mountain waterfall. This evening we will explore the Firehole and Madison River areas looking for wildlife.

“Standard” Itinerary: Total walking about 1.5 miles in short stints along boardwalks.

Our morning shoot will be at Grand Prismatic and the Midway Geyser Basin. We’ll have an opportunity to photograph several different geothermal areas including Black Sand Basin and the Fountain Paint Pots. This evening we will explore the Firehole and Madison River areas looking for wildlife.

 

Day Four

“Hiker” Itinerary:  Hiking mileage: 1-3 miles, 300 feet elevation gain

This morning we will rise early in search of wildlife then visit the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. We will photograph Yellowstone’s lower falls from many angles. There are several shorts hikes that we can attempt in the canyon area. On our way to the Tetons we will explore Hayden Valley for wildlife viewing and then make our way past Lake Yellowstone.

This evening we will setup for some dramating back-lighting and the sun sets behind the Teton Range! After dark we will settle into our accommodations and go out for a fantastic dinner in Jackson Hole!

Standard” Itinerary:

This morning we will rise early in search of wildlife then visit the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. We will explore Hayden Valley for wildlife viewing and then make our way to Grand Teton National Park for our evening shoot.

This evening we will setup for some dramating back-lighting and the sun sets behind the Teton Range! After dark we will settle into our accommodations and go out for a fantastic dinner in Jackson Hole!

Day Five

“Standard” Itinerary, and “Hiker” Itinerary

This morning we will arise early as we set out to photograph the Teton Range before sunrise at one of the iconic locations. Later we’ll grab breakfast in town and then cruise for wildlife.

We’ll take a midday break to rest and go over photos and then head back into Grand Teton National Park for more wildlife and mountain photography this evening.

 

Day Six

“Hiker” Itinerary:  Hiking mileage: 2-4 miles, minimal elevation gain

We’ll arise early again to photograph the Tetons from another location before heading back to our lodge, grabbing a quick breakfast and then making the drive up through Grand Teton National Park back towards Yellowstone. We’ll hike one of the geyser basins en-route and then settle in to our accommodations in Gardiner, Montana for the evening.

This evening we’ll have a great dinner in town and then head out for wildlife photography along the Blacktail Plateau.

“Standard” Itinerary:

We’ll arise early again to photograph the Tetons from another location before heading back to our lodge, grabbing a quick breakfast and then making the drive up through Grand Teton National Park towards Yellowstone.

This evening we’ll have a great dinner in town and then head out for wildlife photography along the Blacktail Plateau.

 

Day Seven

“Standard” Itinerary

This morning we will arise early as we set out to photograph wildlife along the Blacktail Plateau and in Lamar Valley before sunrise at one of the iconic locations. We’ll spend the day exploring the “American Serengeti” as we look for Wolves, Bison, Coyote, Big Horn Sheep, Pronghorn & more.

We’ll take a midday break to go over our images and get some rest and then once the light is good again we’ll head right back out! Today is a wildlife bonanza!

“Hiker” Itinerary

This morning we will arise early as we set out to photograph wildlife along the Blacktail Plateau and in Lamar Valley before sunrise at one of the iconic locations. We’ll spend the day exploring the “American Serengeti” as we look for Wolves, Bison, Coyote, Big Horn Sheep, Pronghorn & more.

Our hike today will take us up towards Tower Falls on Dunraven Pass which is closed in early spring. This is a great place to view and photograph Black Bears as well as other wildlife including Owls, Bighorn Sheep etc.

We’ll take a midday break to go over our images and get some rest and then once the light is good again we’ll head right back out! Today is a wildlife bonanza!

 

Day Eight

We will do one more morning wildlife shoot through Lamar Valley before saying good-bye. We will be back in Bozeman, MT by 12pm for flights home. After the trip we can deliver you right to the airport if you want!

Please Note

Please note that the exact sequence of the itineraries on all photography trips will be based on weather and lighting conditions. The goal on these trips is to make sure we are at the right place at the right time for the perfect light on our subjects. Also, itineraries can change for a variety of other circumstances including floods, forest fires, national park closures, road closures and more.

“Russ and his wife Crystal led us on the most amazing Yellowstone journey! They both are extremely knowledgeable about the wildlife, flora and fauna, landscape, history, geology, and more! Their passion for their work was very evident! We saw nearly every example of wildlife in the park – grizzly bears w/ cubs, black bear w/ cubs, wolves, coyotes, fox, marmots, ground squirrels, elk, bison, osprey, eagles, deer: I think we saw it all. The wildlife was paired with stunning landscape views! Everything we did was so very well executed – the food, travel, lodging, and the people in our group were fantastic! I will most certainly be planning to attend one of their tours in the near future! This journey was above and beyond all expectations!”

Amy SBoston, MA

Other Recommended Trips

Yellowstone in Winter

Yellowstone & Grand Teton in Autumn

Glacier National Park