Winter is the season of the wolves! And Yellowstone is the best place on the planet to see wild wolves. Experience wildlife at its best on the pristine snow-covered landscapes of Yellowstone in winter.
Multi-Day Photography Workshop
- per person
- Double Occupancy
- Single Occupancy
All-inclusive Yellowstone Photography Workshop with Local Professional Photographer/Naturalist Guide
Workshop 2: Rob Harwood Photographer/Naturalist Guide https://www.instagram.com/harwood2020/
- Experience the magic of Yellowstone’s abundant wildlife and iconic beauty during the dramatic winter season
- 5 days with an experienced local photographer and naturalist guide
- Rare opportunity to travel into the interior of Yellowstone in winter on a private snow coach
- Small group – up to 6 guests
- Optics for everyone (spotting scopes/binoculars)
- 1 night lodging in Bozeman, MT
- 4 nights Lodging in Gardiner
- Hearty dinners at the Wonderland Cafe or other local eatery
- Breakfast and lunch – picnic style
- Safe, fun, and educational
Spend two and a half days immersed in Yellowstone’s wildlife-rich Lamar Valley and Northern Range, highly revered as the very best place on Earth to see wild wolves. We will depart Gardiner early in the morning in order to catch the sunrise and reach Lamar Valley during optimal light for photographing Yellowstone’s iconic wildlife. In addition to searching for bison, moose, wolves, and other fauna, we will also take advantage of opportunities to photograph the Northern Range’s magical landscapes.
On our third field day, we will venture deep into the interior of Yellowstone on a private snow coach tour, where we will have the opportunity to photograph Yellowstone’s world-famous thermal features during the quiet solitude of winter. Along the way, we will continue to keep a keen eye out for opportunities to view and photograph wildlife.
Each day provides new possibilities to see multiple wolf packs, frosty bison, long-legged moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, elk, otters, foxes, coyotes, eagles, owls, and more. Each evening, enjoy a hearty dinner at the Wonderland Café & Lodge and relax in the comfort of your cozy room at a locally owned and operated motel.
While Yellowstone’s numerous wildlife species are truly wild and are free to roam where they please, the winter season generally affords some of the best opportunities for wildlife viewing, including increased chances of those rare close-up encounters. The deep snows of winter have pushed wildlife down out of the mountains and onto the wintering grounds of the Lamar Valley and the Northern Range. Thousands of elk and bison, along with moose, big horn sheep, white-tailed and mule deer, and pronghorn have filtered out of the higher mountains of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and have concentrated in the lower valleys and grasslands where there is less snow and less extreme temperatures. Winter can be tough on these grazing animals, and partially because of that, this is where Yellowstone’s wolves and other carnivores thrive. Come and explore the unparalleled beauty and wildlife watching opportunities of Yellowstone National Park with an experienced local naturalist guide and photographer during the most beautiful and dramatic time of the year: winter.
This all-inclusive tour package is the ultimate way to experience the wild magic of Yellowstone National Park. Breakfasts and lunches are provided by a locally owned eatery and enjoyed picnic-style out in the park, overlooking one of our favorite vistas in Yellowstone. After a full day photographing the wonders of Yellowstone’s Northern Range, you will be treated to a hearty dinner at the delightful Wonderland Cafe, a boutique gallery style local eatery and a favorite of local artists, researchers, and residents. If you look closely, you may even notice some of your guide’s photographs adorning Wonderland’s walls!
- One-night’s stay in Bozeman, MT
- Four-night’s stay in historic Gardiner, MT, at North Entrance of Yellowstone National Park
- Round-trip transportation – Bozeman to Gardiner/Yellowstone
- Transportation in our fully-equipped touring vehicle(s) (we drive, you enjoy the scenery)
- 1/2 day photographing/discovering the beauty of a Yellowstone Sunset at the Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces
- Two full-day (9~10 hours) tours in Yellowstone’s Northern Range (including the wildlife-rich Lamar Valley), focusing primarily on wildlife photography
- One full-day (10+ hours) trip into the interior of Yellowstone on a private snow coach, focusing on both landscapes and wildlife
- Local naturalist guide
- All meals beginning with lunch on Day 2 and ending with breakfast on Day 6: Dinners at local eateries in Gardiner, most breakfasts and lunches enjoyed picnic-style in the field
- Optics (binoculars and high-powered scopes) are provided for viewing wildlife. Please bring your own camera and lenses for photographing.
What is included and what you need to bring
- Full-days (8-10 hours) guided photo tour
- Local professional photographer instructor and naturalist
- One-on-one shooting and discussion with your instructor
- Transportation in our fully equipped touring vehicle (we drive, you enjoy the scenery)
- (1) Day private snowcoach tour (10 hours) exploring Yellowstone’s thermal landscapes and geologic wonders
- Plenty of space for your camera gear and extra clothing *please bring warm clothing
- Fresh-baked breakfast pastries to start each day
- Hot drinks (coffee, tea, hot cocoa)
- Healthy and hearty snacks (various bars and trail mix, etc.)
- Healthy fruit juice, soft drinks, and water
- Full picnic lunch spread (GF and vegetarian available)
- Interpretation of wildlife activity and behavior through observation and dynamic, engaging discussions
- Informed and accurate information on the biology, geology, and conservation issues surrounding the wildlife and landscapes you will observe on our tours
- Opening meet and greet lunch to become more familiar with place and subjects
- Closing dinner celebration and critique of everyone’s top five shots
While we are happy to accept all levels of photographers, there’s a few things you should know about gear, as you make your plans.
Wildlife in Yellowstone seems to either be right next to the road, or a mile away from it. While you don’t need professional photography equipment in Yellowstone to get an award-winning image, at least one telephoto lens reaching 400mm is encouraged. The best lens is the one you have ready, such as a 60-600 so you can cover a wide focal distance.
Batteries/Charger – Enough battery power to shoot the entire day (recommend 3 batteries per camera body).
Media – Enough memory to shoot the entire day. (recommend 512mb split between (2) cards per camera body).
Cleaning – Lens cloths, air blower, lens solution.
Filters – Clear UV, Polarizer
Tools: Allen wrenches or Leatherman type tool
At least one quality camera body (DSLR or mirrorless recommended) with lenses of their
At a minimum, we recommend one telephoto lens (maximum focal length of 400, 600, or 800mm would be ideal) for safely
photographing wildlife, as well as one wider lens (examples: 16-35mm, 14-24mm, 24-70mm, etc.) for photographing
Winter in Yellowstone is breathtakingly beautiful but also COLD! Please bring multiple warm layers, hat, and gloves that will
allow you to comfortably spend time outside the vehicle in temperatures as low as -30 degrees Fahrenheit. See “Clothing & Gear” below for more details
Canon 800mm f/5.6 I IS
Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3
Canon 100-400 f/4.5-5.6
Canon 24-105 f/4
Renting lenses is also an option at the following sites:
Yellowstone possesses some of the most extreme changes in temperature and weather conditions anywhere. Temperatures on a winter tour could range from -40°F to +40°F (-40°C to +10°C). We therefore recommend plenty of warm clothes that can be layered and easily removed; therefore, allowing you to adjust and stay comfortable throughout your tour.
For winter tours, here is what our guides wear:
- Long underwear. Starting with your base layers, synthetic or wool long underwear tops and bottoms are critical to your comfort (we can find places to shed this layer later in the day if necessary). Please stay away from cotton, which can hold moisture and drastically chill the body, whereas wool and synthetics wick moisture and can even insulate while wet.
- Sweater or fleece. Ideally more than one layer of insulating layers like fleece or wool sweaters will allow for effective layering and allows you to easily shed layers as the day warms up.
- Fleece or down vest. Vests are great as a layering item that can really hold in core body temperature, yet also allow for maximum comfort and mobility.
A windproof and water repellent insulated jacket is your most important protection from the biting Wyoming winds. Gore-Tex or something similar is highly advised as the best moisture/wind barrier and goose down insulation is the best insulation.
- Snow pants/ski pants – Insulated pants with moisture/wind barrier. You should have long underwear thermal layers in addition.
Heavy gloves or mittens with windproof barriers.
- Warm hat that covers your ears. We lose tremendous body heat from our heads. Protect your ears from the chilly wind with a wool or fleece hat.
Warm wool or synthetic socks are key to keeping those toes from hampering your good time. Be sure you have plenty of wiggle room inside your boots. If your socks are too thick and fit too tightly in your boots, you will actually reduce blood flow to your feet, resulting in cold toes, regardless of how warm your socks are.
- Insulated winter boots (roomy boots are better as you do not want to restrict circulation in your feet/toes)
There are several ways you can go for winter boots: the insulated rubber “muck” boots that farmers and ranchers like. These are slip on boots that come in varying levels of insulation (up to -50 degrees). They are fine for short walks, but you would not want them for full-day hikes. For the purpose of this trip, they would be fine. Good brands there are Muck and LaCrosse. These are probably the best bang for your buck.
The other option is a lace up insulated boot. There are lots of them on the market and you could spend a lot for a boot that you may never use again.
Here is a link with discussion about boots recommended for Antarctica tours.
- If you need to order boots, you could have them shipped here, and we will have them on hand for you when you arrive, not a problem at all. Just let us know.
Hand and toe/foot warmers. These are lifesavers! We advise everyone to place a full-sized foot warmer inside your boots every morning before the tour. This keeps the edge off and keeps you comfortable to be able to enjoy yourself to the fullest during those hard-earned wildlife encounters! Toe and hand warmers can be used as needed
- With high elevation sun, many of us burn easily, especially when we are distracted by something like watching wolves for extended periods of time.
A day pack is very handy for personal items: hand and toe warmers, water bottle, sunglasses, camera, and of course for all the extra layers you will want.
Please let us know if you have additional questions about gear.
Yellowstone National Park is a very large place divided by mountain ranges, deep valleys and a massive lake. The weather within the 2.2 million acres can vary widely, so checking the weather in the park can be a difficult task. We recommend checking several different NOAA weather stations around the park, and working an average of those if you’re planning to travel around the entirety of the park.
Tower Junction, WY
Cooke City, WY
It is important to remember that the wild animals we seek to observe and photograph are exactly that, WILD free-ranging animals that can roam across all of Yellowstone’s vast and rugged 2.2 million acres. The probability of locating and observing them is greatly elevated due to your guide’s intimate personal familiarity with the landscape and the animals themselves. We do not guarantee any wildlife sightings on our tours; however, we will guarantee that your guide will use their knowledge, skills, and network of other guides, wildlife watchers and photographers to do everything we can to find and photograph the animals you’d like to see. We are in the park nearly every day searching for and watching wildlife, and that consistent experience pays off in finding the animals you’ve traveled to see.
We Adhere to the Yellowstone Wild Code of Ethics
Winter Photography Workshop Photo Pkg (Public) Sunday – 1/22 or 2/19 Monday – 1/23 or 2/20 Tuesday – 1/24 or 2/21 Wednesday – 1/25 or 2/22 Thursday – 1/26 or 2/23 Friday – 1/27 or 2/24 Lodging
Bozeman – Best Western Gran Tree Yellowstone River Motel Yellowstone River Motel Yellowstone River Motel Yellowstone River MotelInteraryArrive and stay in BZN 10:00am – Guide pickup @ Best Western GranTree 6:30am – Guide pick up at motel 6:30am – Guide pick up at motel 6:30am – Guide pick up at motel and shuttle to Mammoth Hotel8:00am – Guide pickup for return to BZNNoon – arrive in Gardiner – lunch at WLFull Day in the field (Northern Range)Full Day in the field (Northern Range) 7:00am – Board snowcoach Full Day in park Interior 1:30-4:30pm – explore Mammoth Terraces 3:30-5pm – Return to Gardiner 3:30-5pm – Return to Gardiner 5:00pm – Return to Mammoth & shuttle to Gardiner 4:30pm Check in to Yellowstone River Motel.Free timeFree TimeFree Time Free time 6:30pm Dinner at Wonderland with instructor 6:30pm Dinner at Wonderland 6:30pm Dinner at Wonderland 7:00pm Dinner at Wonderland with instructor Meals (included) NO B – NO B – YES (field) B – YES (field) B – YES (field) B – YES (Livingston) L – YES L – YES (field) L – YES (field) L – YES (field) D – YES D – YES D – YES D – YES
As a licensed Commercial Use Permit holder with Yellowstone National Park, we must follow all park rules and regulations. Additionally, as life-long proponents of wildlife and wild places, we will also follow our own ethical wildlife viewing and photography practices.
We will take this opportunity to teach you about how we can have the very best viewing and photography opportunities possible without having negative impacts on wildlife by respecting the animals’ space and movements as they go about their lives.
While on tour with Yellowstone Wild LLC, we will observe the following park rules (subject to law enforcement):
Keep at least 25 yards from all wildlife, except:
Keep at least 100 yards from wolves and bears
Avoid remaining near or approaching wildlife, including birds, at any distance that disturbs or displaces the animal.
It is our ethical responsibility as visitors to the park to make sure that our actions do not inflict undue stress or hardship upon the animals that we are observing. Wild animals in a natural setting do not have easy lives, and the last thing we want to do is make their lives any more difficult. Your guide is an expert at reading animal behavior, and the moment that our presence is bothering an animal, we MUST back off until we are no longer disturbing its natural behavior. Failure to promptly respond to your guide’s instructions to back away from wildlife may result in the termination of your tour, subject to the discretion of your guide.