M-F 8am to 4pm Mountain Time 928-478-1521 

Frequently Asked Questions
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How can I contact someone at Backcountry Journeys?

We would love to hear from you! Click here for Contact Information.

What is included in the trip?

Each tour is a bit different, but most tours include lodging, meals, transportation, and all photographic instruction. For trip specific details please refer to the individual trip’s page for the trip you are interested in booking.

What safety precautions do you take?

Your safety is our top priority, followed closely by great photography and of course, fun. Our guides, some of which are certified Wilderness First Responders, are equipped with first-aid kits and have years of guiding experience. On some tours, the guide will also carry a satellite phone if no cell-service is available in the region.

Do I need to be a professional photographer?

Definitely not. But professional photographers are certainly welcome to join as well. We offer photography tours, workshops & safaris that cater to all levels and abilities. Our trips are field oriented as we spend a lot of time outdoors shooting and honing our photography skills.

Who are my guides?

At Backcountry Journeys we believe that the trip leader is one of the most crucial aspects of a successful photo trip and we pride ourselves on hiring the most personable, engaging and well-rounded photo guides. Our trip leaders are professional photographers with considerable experience leading groups in locations around the world and are excellent photography instructors. Our professional trip leaders are always by your side while shooting in the field to guide and educate – ensuing that when you leave a Backcountry Journeys trip that not only you leave with the shots you wanted, but that also you are a better photographer. Our photography pros are familiar with a variety of camera systems including Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, Fuji and more. You can read about our trip leaders here.

How do I choose the right trip?

Are you looking for wildlife or landscapes? Start by identifying the style of photography that interests you most. Is there a general region, park, or part of the world that you would like to visit/see? From there it’s all in the style, do you want to hike and be active, or would you like the shot selections to be more easily accessible without hiking? Would you like to camp or stay in more luxurious lodging? Choose from our extensive collection of domestic and/or international trip options that offer the right combination of what you are looking for. Feel free to contact one of our knowledgeable Photo Adventure Specialists if you have questions.

Are meals included?

Most meals are included. Included meals will be noted on the itinerary. We believe great food and sharing meals with like-minded new friends is a HUGE part of the experience!

What about special dietary needs/preferences?

We can usually accommodate most diets on our lodge-based photography trips. Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions!

Will my guides know much about the places we are visiting?

While photography takes center stage on our tours, we visit amazing places (often National Parks) that hold a tremendous amount of fascinating natural and cultural history. All of our guides are knowledgeable about the cultural and natural history of the areas in which they guide, and are happy to share this knowledge as a part of our tour offering.

What about non-photographer spouses / partners / friends?

Backcountry Journeys trips are great for couples or a group of friends, even if not everyone is a photographer. As long as you have the patience and an interest in the natural world our trips are a blast whether or not everyone wants to participate in all the itinerary activities. That choice is yours. Please note that trip prices are the same for all participants regardless of whether you are actively photographing.


How big are the groups?

Backcountry Journeys specializes in small group photography experiences, so we keep our group sizes from 4 to 12 participants, depending on the location and trip type. Often you’ll have two or more trip leaders to help ensure each guest gets quality one-on-one photography instruction.

What is the difference between "standard" and "hiker" photo trips?

'Standard' tours will involve very little hiking or extensive walking. The majority of our shots on 'standard' style tours will be designed so as to require little physically from you to get to "the shot." If you register for a 'standard' tour, please expect that shots that require hiking or extensive scrambling will NOT be on the itinerary, even if they are nearby.

'Hiker-Photo' tours are still photography-based and as such daily activities will be designed around the photography schedule. Please reference the day-to-day itinerary in the trip packet to ensure that you are familiar with the amount, and difficulty, of hiking, involved so that your expectations will properly be met.

Who goes on these trips?

Anyone with a sense of adventure and an interest in exploring our natural world is welcome on our photography trips. You don’t need to be a photographer! The average age of our guests is 40 to 75 years old, although we certainly do get older and younger people on occasion. Often our groups are a good mix of like-minded couples and solo travelers. Many of our guests are return clients however first-time guests quickly fall in love with our style of group travel. Our trips are enjoyable and we believe a huge part of the success of Backcountry Journeys is our fun, laid back travel style – our goal is to make sure your vacation is a once in a lifetime experience that you won’t soon forget!

What are the accommodations like?

It depends on the tour location. We strive to offer the best available accommodations which usually include upper mid-range hotels. On some of our trips, we stay at rustic eco-lodges, some of our trips are based in rural villages and sometimes we camp in the wilderness – so there are lots of options. We’re always upfront about what to expect and give details/links to accommodations so you’ll know what you’re getting. We research hotels through recommendations, Trip Advisor, and by scouting an area extensively before offering a tour.


How do I book a trip?

Click here to access our Upcoming Photography Tours, Workshops & Safari’s page. You may also call one of our Photo Adventure Specialists at 928-478-1521.

The best way to reserve your spot on a trip is to simply fill out our online reservation form which is accessible on each trip page. Simply hit 'Book Now' and fill out the form along with your deposit which can be paid via credit card or paypal. We will confirm your reservation and send you a welcome email along with trip & travel information. 

Do I really need travel protection?

We strongly recommend protecting your travel investment by purchasing a trip insurance policy that includes Cancel For Any Reason and emergency evacuation coverage. Life happens, and travel insurance can provide you with trip cancellation/interruption, travel delay, medical expenses, emergency assistance, air flight, baggage, and baggage delay coverages. Medical coverage purchased with your policy is crucial and required if you do not have health insurance. See Trip Insurance plans here.

Can Backcountry Journeys arrange pre or post trip lodging?

Unfortunately we aren't able to book lodging outside of our pre-designated trip dates. However if you would like to come early or stay late feel free to give one of our Photo Adventure Specialists a call & they can let you know the exact hotel our group is staying at during the trip dates. 

What is your cancellation / transfer policy?

Click here to read our Cancellation / Transfer policy. 

How far in advance do I need to book?

Many of our tours often sell out over a year in advance – occasionally even before we post the tour on our website. You can sign up for our email Newsletter to be notified immediately when new trip dates are posted.

When is final payment due?

To book your reservation with Backcountry Journeys a deposit is required for each person on a trip. Depending on the trip, deposits are usually 30%-50% of the trip cost. If booking within 120 days of departure full payment is required in order to make a reservation. Your final balance will be due 120 days prior to the departure date. We will send a reminder email a few weeks out. 

What does "double occupancy" mean?

Our prices are per person based on two people sharing a room. Guests who wish to have their own room they will be charged a Single Supplement fee (in most cases) provided there is room availability on the desired trip.

What if I am traveling solo or would like my own room with no roommate? What is a "single supplement"?

The Single Supplement is a fee added to the trip price which secures a private room with no roommate for guests who prefer to room alone. Single Supplements will vary trip to trip, so please reference the trip page on the website, and/or ask your friendly Photo Adventure Specialist.

Is there anyway I can share a room with someone  to avoid the single supplement fee?

If you are open to rooming with another solo traveler please let us know at the time of booking. It may be possible to connect you with another solo traveler in order to share a room.


Where does my trip start / end?

When you register for a photography trip you will receive an information packet that details when and where you will meet your guide and group on day one. This meeting normally takes place in the evening on day one and will meet in the hotel lobby.  At this orientation meeting, we will prepare for the days ahead with a group welcome dinner.

Will someone meet me at the airport? Are airport hotel transfers included?

Since guests arrive from different places on different flights and at different times, we’ll meet for the first time at our scheduled pre-trip meeting/dinner site, details of which are provided in individual trip itineraries that are available on our website and in trip packets. Airport transfers are typically not included unless provided by the hotel - although we often utilize hotels that have free airport transportation. On some international trips you will be met be a Backcountry Journeys staff member upon arrival. Detailed meeting instructions are provided with your final trip documents.

On most trips we can typically deliver you directly to the airport after your trip - just ask!

Do you offer equipment rentals?

We do not offer equipment rentals at this time. We recommend inquiring online at BorrowLenses.com as they offer a great selection of photography gear to choose from. Often they can ship gear directly to our arrival hotel.

For international trips, what kind of travel documentation do I need?

For all international trips, you will need a passport that is valid at least 6 months from your return date. Please reference individual trip packets for additional information on passports, visas, currency, cell phones, etc. as that varies between countries.

What should I pack?

A packing list will be included in your trip packet that you will receive at the time of booking. There is also a packing list as a part of a detailed itinerary that can be requested at the top of any trip page on the website if you’d like to see a packing list for a particular trip prior to booking

How much should I tip my Backcountry Journeys guides?

Gratuities for your Backcountry Journeys guides are not included in your trip price nor are they compulsory. They are however customary and a nice way to thank them for a high level of service. We recommend tipping guides 10-20% of your trip price (Tips will be divided and shared by your guides if there are more than one). We ask that you tip your guides at your discretion, based on their level of professionalism, guest care, and service.
"Backcountry Journeys offers guests the unique opportunity to explore our natural world from behind their own lens. We run a selection of hand-crafted Photo Tours, Workshops & Safaris connecting passionate people to exceptional experiences. Locations include Yosemite, Alaska, Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, Hawaii, Utah as well as Botswana & Costa Rica."

- Russ Nordstrand, Backcountry Journeys Founder & Director
8am to 4pm Mountain Time


Download our Trip Catalog for detailed information on our many destinations for photography tours, workshops, and safaris.

All Images & Content are property of Backcountry Photography Tours, Workshops & Safaris LLCs - Copyright 2023
"Backcountry Journeys offers guests the unique opportunity to explore our natural world from behind their own lens. We run a selection of hand-crafted Photo Tours, Workshops & Safaris connecting passionate people to exceptional experiences. Locations include Yosemite, Alaska, Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, Hawaii, Utah as well as Botswana & Costa Rica."
All Images & Content are property of Backcountry Journeys Photography Tours, Workshops & Safaris LLC - Copyright 2023
8am to 4pm Mountain Time


Download our Trip Catalog for detailed information on our many destinations for photography tours, workshops, and safaris.