It’s All in the Style. Standard vs. Hiker Style BCJ Tours

While Russ is away in Alaska firing off images of the Aurora Borealis, and the spring season is lighting the stoke fires of the Backcountry Journeys folks back on the home front, we thought this would be a great time to discuss our tours, more specifically the difference between our ‘hiker’ and ‘standard’ versions of our tours.

While we hope there hasn’t been confusion with the different styles of trips offered by Backcountry Journeys, we feel there is certainly value in describing the differences between the styles so that you can choose the best trip for you and your group of intrepid adventure photographers!

No matter which style you go with, ALL Backcountry Journeys Photography Tours & Workshops will offer world-class service and personal instruction, as well as a seamless adventure travel experience. We do still think that when looking at our tours it is important to consider the trip style before getting registered!

We can provide nearly whatever you’re looking for whether that be a camping and hiking experience, in the case of our Coastal Brown Bears and Brown Bears of Katmai in Summer tours, or if your thing is more luxury and little to no hiking, our Yellowstone Wildlife Safari tour, as well as our boat-based Marine Wildlife of Alaska tour where we eliminate the hiking and the camping in lieu of a cushy ride and an inviting bed in a lodge at night.

Backcountry Journeys offers lodge-based photography tours and wilderness camping trips in the most pristine and remote mountains, deserts and wilderness areas of the world. Joining a Backcountry Journeys Photography Tour is really embarking on the trip of lifetime. All of our locations are hand selected to provide truly unique, one of a kind, photographic experiences in areas of the world that are unmatched.

Backcountry Journeys Photography Tours & Workshops will include most meals, lodging, ground transportation while on the tour, National Park entrance fees, guide fees and other items essential to a successful trip – meaning that once your there all you have to worry about is your experience!

We are set apart by our commitment to offer the finest outdoor photography travel experience in the industry.

Our trips give you more time in the field to work on your photography while getting personalized instruction from your guide as we’ve got the logistics handled. We focus on the quality of the experience and the photography. That means that we don’t rush anything and if the light is right you get to stay and keep shooting rather than rush on to the next planned stop on the itinerary. We keep it flexible so that you get the experience you want.

So, what should you expect if you choose a hiker or standard trip type?

Standard trips will always have a difficulty rating of “1” and hiker trips vary in physical difficulty with the scale being from “1” (easiest) to “5” (most difficult). Click here to read about the various difficulty ratings on our hiker trips.


Regular light hiking on most, if not all, days of your tour – with the goal being to hike to certain photo destinations that are not otherwise accessible. On some tours you will be camping, including meals designed and cooked by your guide and some trips you will be staying in excellent lodging. For example, on our Canyons of Utah: Zion & Bryce Hiker tour, which runs November 4-9, 2018, we’ll hike three to five miles -on Day two of our trip- on slick and uneven terrain with minimal elevation gain. On Day three however, we’ll gain 400-2,000 feet of elevation over the course of five to nine miles of hiking. Day four will see a much shorter hike between zero and three miles with a bit of elevation gain depending on how far we hike. On the final day we’ll plan to hike three to eight miles with up to 700 feet of elevation gain. All in the name of “getting the shot”.

This is one example of this style of trip. When looking at trip choices, you will be able to find the total estimated hiking mileage and elevation in the Daily Itinerary part of the trip page. If you consider yourself a hiker you won’t find our hiker trips necessarily difficult – but it’s all relative. Basically if you like to hike these are the trips for you – if you would rather not and for you it’s all about the photograph see below :)


Very little to no hiking. Great accommodations at a local lodge, including restaurant meals. Our standard trips are all about the photography and our standard itineraries will give you more time to focus (no pun intended) on your photographic masterpieces without hauling all of our camera gear up and down the mountain! Most of these trips include light walks to / from our vehicles to fantastic photographic locations in the various locales and National Parks we explore. We spend plenty of time on each composition to get it right – in camera!

Backcountry Journeys is in the business of providing not just photography tours but, real vacations where you will leave with memories that will last a lifetime!

So, please do take a look at our trips this year (and or next year, too), and consider whether you’d like to hike, camp or enjoy the comforts of a comfy ride and soft bed, then join us for some excellent photography in wild places, great food (regardless of inn-based or camping), and some fun laughs after long, rewarding days in the field.

Kenton Krueger







Kenton Krueger has spent the past several years guiding guiding backpackers, hikers and photographers into the wild places of the American West such as Havasu Falls, Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Parks as well as in the Grand Staircase Escalante in southern Utah. In addition to backpacking and camping, his adventures include rock climbing, exploring the slot canyons of southern Utah, mountain biking, and bagging 14ers in Colorado’s San Juan Mountain Mountain Range. Kenton is a trail runner, former pilot, newspaper photographer and writer. Kenton looks forward to utilizing his years of guiding experience, combined with his passion and experience behind the lens to provide memorable and unforgettable experiences at the wild places we will visit together.



Don’t Miss the Next Session of BCJ “Live”

Image Review: Landscape Edition

with Matt Meisenheimer & Kenton Krueger
Tuesday, Feb 23rd, 2021 at 11 am (Mountain)

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