Yellowstone Wildlife Safari

Yellowstone is without doubt one of the most diverse and unique natural habitats in the world and is the largest single intact ecosystem in the United States. Wildlife thrives across the vast woodlands, meadows and mountains ranges of what is often hailed as the American Serengeti. Bison roam across Yellowstone as they once did across the entire continent of North America as do the world’s largest population of Elk. Wolves hunt and play beneath the towering hills of Lamar Valley and Grizzly Bears wander the forests and grasslands in search of forage.

On this five-day vehicle based Wildlife Safari you will be immersed in Yellowstone’s thriving ecosystem and have the opportunity to photograph bald eagles, osprey, moose, coyotes, marmots, pronghorn, badgers, bighorn sheep and more. Group sizes are kept intentionally small so that each photographer gets access to one on one instruction. Unlike many of our Photography Tours & Workshops this is a less intensive trip and requires little hiking as we mainly travel through Yellowstone along it’s scenic roadways as well as off the beaten path backroads.

We will photograph wildlife as well as the iconic “wonders” of Yellowstone including Old Faithful, Grand Prismatic, Hayden & Lamar Valleys as well as the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River and Lower Falls from Artists Point. Each night return to a cozy lodge and enjoy a fantastic meal while pouring over your photos from the days adventures!

Join me this year on a Yellowstone Wildlife Safari and shoot alongside a seasoned Yellowstone Photography guide while exploring the world’s first national park.

Day 1 (Travel Day)

Plan to arrive on Bozeman, Montana by 6pm for an orientation and welcome dinner.

Day 2

We will depart Bozeman early this morning and head straight for Yellowstone’s Northern Range. Our first day will include photographing wildlife along the Blacktail Plateau, Mammoth Hot Springs and Lamar Valley. We will be out early this morning in search of Bighorn Sheep, Bison and possibly Lamar Valley’s wolves. We will spend the morning looking for wildlife in some of the lesser known hotspots. Later we will look for Black Bears and explore the Tower Falls area as we travel up and over Dunraven Pass towards the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. This evening we will head out to a special vantage point along the Yellowstone River with a jaw dropping overlook into Hayden Valley. Wildlife chances are fantastic in Hayden in the evening and we may see Black Bear, Bison, Elk, White Pelicans and / or Grizzly Bears. After a full day of shooting in the field we will retire to our cozy lodge in Gardiner, Montana.

Day 3

This morning we will head out early again and explore Hayden Valley in search of wildlife. After a great morning session of photography we will grab breakfast and rest up a bit before our next session. Later in the day we will explore along the shores of Lake Yellowstone and take in an amazing alpine sunset along the lake shore before retiring to our lodging in Gardiner.

Day 4

Today we will explore the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and spend some time learning how to photograph the canyon as well as the Upper and Lower Falls of the Yellowstone. We will have a chance to photograph the tallest waterfall in the Rocky Mountains from Artist Point which was made famous by the artist Thomas Moran. After a late breakfast at canyon we will pack up and head further into the Yellowstone Caldera and explore the Old Faithful area in the late afternoon light. The rest of the day will be spent amongst the various Geysers and Thermal features of the Upper Basin. In the evening we will make our way along the scenic Firehole River in search of wildlife such as bison, coyotes, blue heron and bears!

Day 5

This morning we will explore the Gibbon River Valley and the Madison River in search of wildlife early in the morning as well as a few more thermal areas. We will have breakfast in the field and then continue on up North towards Big Sky through the gorgeous Gallatin River Canyon. Chances of spotting Grizzlies, Moose and Elk are fantastic as is the scenery along the Gallatin River as we slowly make our way back to Bozeman. We will be back in Bozeman sometime in the late afternoon.

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.

Highlights

  • Abundant Wildlife Photography
  • Photograph thermal features such as Old Faithful & Grand Prismatic
  • Possible opportunities to photograph Elk, Bison, Moose, Bear, Coyote & more
  • Small Groups
  • Top-notch meals
  • Learn from & shoot alongside a seasoned pro

Yellowstone Wildlife Safari

5 Days

Trip Price: $2595 double occupancy

+$550 single occupancy

Deposit: $1000

Fitness Level: 1 (Easy)

Lodging: 4 Nights Lodging

Start/End: Bozeman, Montana

Open Daily: 6am-6pm MST


*trip difficulty ratings

2018 Departures

Dates Difficulty Availability
October 15th to 19th, 2018 1 Sold Out

2019 Departures

Dates Difficulty Availability
May 26th to 30th, 2019 1 Open
May 31th to June 4th, 2019 1 Open
Oct 8th to 12th, 2019 1 Open

“The food was great on and off the trail. They really make the most of our time on this trip giving us many opportunities to get the photos we were all looking for. The lodging was also very good! Russ and Crystal knew the Park very well and were very knowledgeable about all of the things in the park… the history of the park, the wildlife, and the landscapes. They were also very helpful in making sure everyone knew all of the rules and guidelines when it came to being around animals so that everyone was safe and had a good time as well as respecting our surroundings. 

Since this was a photography based trip Russ was always very helpful with guiding everyone on composition of shots and settings. Everyone had a blast and took tons of shots and we really did come away with some amazing memories. 

All in all I can’t thank Russ and Crystal enough for such an amazing trip. I will always remember this trip even if my photos and backups don’t survive the years…. 

I have already signed up to go to Katmai Alaska in September and can’t wait for the next adventure!!”

Craig HBoston, MA

Physical Requirements
All participants must be in good physical condition and have the ability to do some light walking with their camera gear and tripod.

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

Accommodation
We will be staying in the quaint mountain town of Gardiner, Montana.

Meals

Most meals are included during the trip dates and we typically eat at our lodge 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. There will be one meal on your own.

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

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