Yellowstone & Grand Teton in Autumn

Overview

As the leaves begin to change and the air temperatures drop below freezing at night – the greater Yellowstone Region comes to life in a kaleidascope of colors. Join me for an incredible eight day lodge-based photography tour of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks during the Autumn months. Crowds are gone at this point, many species of wildlife become very active as they move from the surrounding mountains into Yellowstone’s lower Northern Range and Teton Valley. This is really a great time to photograph the adjoining National Parks.

 Each day we will arise early to seek out wildlife such as Wolves, Bears, Bighorn sheep, Bison, Moose & Elk. I’ve spent years exploring the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and will show you some of the best and lesser known spots to photograph wildlife as well as breathtaking landscapes.
We’ll explore the better known spots such as Old Faithful, Oxbow Bend and Artists Point as well as some lesser known locales that are off the beaten path. Did I mention the tourists are mostly gone this time of year!? Fall is such a wonderful time in the Northern Rockies – there is a chilly bite to the morning air when the hot steam from Thermal Features appears more evident and the autumn colors begin to brighten the landscape with their foliage. Days are typically still warm however although there is usually a good mix of storm activity which can make for excellent photography conditions.

Join me this year for a Photography Tour of Yellowstone & Grand Teton in the Autumn months!

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Jackson Hole, Wyoming 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 2

Minimal hiking

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.

Day 3

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 towards Yellowstone. This evening we will photograph Geyser Hill as well as Old Faithful and stay at the historic Old Faithful Lodge.

Day 4

Hiking mileage: 4-7 miles, 200 ft elevation gain, and loss

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.

Day 5

Hiking mileage: 5.4 miles, minimal elevation gain and loss

Today we’ll hike to Lone Star Geyser then pack up and head out to Lamar Valley for wildlife viewing. We’ll spend the night in historic Cooke City, Montana which will give us ample access to the wildlife in Lamar.

Day 6

Hiking mileage: 1-3 miles, 300 feet elevation gain and loss

This morning we will rise early in search of wildlife and then go checkout the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. We will take a siesta and then head out to Hayden Valley for wildlife viewing this evening.

Day 7

Minimal hiking

We’ll do some wildlife viewing in the morning before making our way back towards Grand Teton National Park. We’ll celebrate a fantastic trip in downtown Jackson Hole on our last night.

Day 8

We will do one more morning shoot of the Teton Range before saying good-bye. Flights home out of Jackson Hole can be arranged any time after 11am.

Details

Physical Requirements
All participants must be in good physical condition and have the ability to hike with a daypack.

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

Accommodation
We will be staying at historic park lodges as well as in the quaint mountain towns of Cooke City, Montana and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Meals

All meals are included during the trip dates and we typically eat at park lodges in the evening as well as a hand picked local restaurants. We often do snacks on the trail and then return for a late breakfast during photography trips as we are often out early to capture the morning light.

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
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

What to Bring

Photo & Field Gear for Yellowstone & Grand Teton in Autumn

Required Camera Gear:

  • DSLR or Mirrorless Camera. (Nikon, Canon, Sony, Panasonic etc.)
  • Long fixed telephoto lens: 500mm or 600mm
  • Medium telephoto zoom lens (100–400mm zoom or equivalent)
  • Normal Lens (50mm or equivalent zoom)
  • Wide-angle lens (10-20mm, 16-35mm or equivalent zoom)
  • Sturdy but lightweight Tripod (must be able to carry this for hikes)
  • Memory Cards
  • Batteries, batteries, batteries (enough said?)
  • Battery Chargers
  • Filters such as a circular polarizer and neutral density are a must.
  • Lens cleaning pen & cloth
  • Camera Day Pack (this should appropriately carry all your camera & hiking gear)
  • Camera Rain Sleeve

Optional (but recommended) Camera Gear:

  • Back-Up Camera Body
  • Macro-capable lens
  • 1.4x tele converter
  • Extension tubes
  • Laptop Computer with Lightroom / Photoshop Pre-Installed
  • External Hard Drives
  • Bean bag
  • Remote Shutter Trigger
  • TTL Flash Unit
  • Camera’s Instruction Manual
  • Panorama Gear

Suggested Field Gear & Clothing:

  • Personal Field Clothing (think layers)
  • Warm top, such as a long-sleeved sweater or fleece jacket
  • Long pants, one pair of leggings or lightweight trousers to block sun and give warmth at night
  • Warm Hat & Gloves
  • Down Jacket
  • Long Underwear (synthetic top & bottom
  • Shorts & T-Shirts for on the trail during warmer months
  • Hiking Socks (Smartwool, Darn Tough etc.)
  • Brimmed Sun Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sturdy Hiking Boots
  • Casual wear, for your evenings off the trail
  • Water Bottle or Hydration System
  • Rain shell, waterproof/breathable jacket
  • Rain Pants
  • Gaiters (optional)
  • Bathing Suit
  • Shooting Gloves
  • Pocket knife
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Knee pads (for low-angle shooting)
This is a general list. Before we actually depart let’s have a quick chat or email about what you are planning to bring!

Highlights

  • Two of America’s most iconic National Parks
  • Photograph thermal features such as Old Faithful & Lone Star Geyser
  • Fantastic wildlife opportunities to photograph Elk, Bison, Moose, Bear, Coyote & more
  • Small Groups
  • Historic Park Lodges, Jackson Hole & Rustic Cooke City, Montana
  • All-Inclusive Trip, including top-notch meals
  • Learn from & shoot alongside a seasoned pro

Yellowstone & Grand Teton in Autumn

8 Days

$4395

Deposit: $2000

+$850 Single Occupancy

Jackson Hole, Wyoming


Dates

September 30th to October 7th, 2017

2018 Dates TBA


*Backcountry Journeys is an Authorized Permittee of the National Park Service

“A great trip overall! Yellowstone in the fall is something everyone should see at some point in their lives. Russ has been leading tours in the region for several years and knows the area well. Not only did we capture some stunning photos of the Geysers and Wildlife of Yellowstone but we also learned a great deal about the natural and human history of the park. Russ is a great workshop leader and treats you like family. We saw some great spots that were well off the beaten path but also got great images of Old Faithful, Lone Star Geyser and seemingly unlimited wildlife! On top of that the lodges and food were excellent and well thought out for this specific itinerary. Thanks Russ!”

Robert JCincinnati, Ohio