Yellowstone National Park is one of the most beautiful locations on the planet and during the winter months this park turns into a winter wonderland. The challenges its wildlife faces in the deep cold of winter are well known. After some initial days exploring the world famous Lamar Valley in search of its wolf pack, Bison, Red Fox, Elk and dramatic landscapes we will board our own privately-hired snow coaches with drivers and access the heart of the park. Closed throughout the winter months, we will have a privileged opportunity to explore the park with a decent degree of comfort and tranquility.
We’ll look to capture the harsh challenges this tough season brings to the landscape and inhabitants of the park, from the iconic Bison, Coyote, Tundra Swans and Bald Eagles. With some dramatic geysers such as Old Faithful (where we will also be staying) and a true winter landscape. This is an amazing photographic opportunity for the lovers of what this unique season can offer in one of the world’s truly dramatic settings.
As part of our ongoing aim to support conservation, research and education with our work, we will make also a substantial donation to the Yellowstone Wolf Project for each booking.
Itinerary Open +Close -
Day 1: A day of travelling as it’s a long flight to Bozeman airport in Montana and you will almost certainly not be arriving until around 23.00 hours that evening too, so it’ll be off for a well-needed first nights rest at the local Best Western Hotel which is only a ten minute drive.
Days 2 – 4: We will transfer ourselves to our base for the next 3 nights, which will be the Absaroka Lodge in Gardiner, a small town on the edge of Yellowstone National Park. From here, and using the large vehicles we have at our disposal, we will look to explore and photograph under our own steam the dramatic settings, scenery and wildlife along the Lamar Valley, the only area of the park open to the public during the winter months. The valley is one of the best places to see wolves during your time here, (there are several territories that the road cuts through), and they are attracted to this area because of the large groups of elk who gather in the northern reaches of the park. You will also expect to encounter bison, bald eagle and coyote as well as plenty of landscape, scenic and macro winter opportunities in this 40 odd mile long valley – there’s plenty to explore.
Day 5: We will drive back into the park and leave our vehicles at Mammoth where we will transfer to the snow-coach that we have at our disposal for the next few days. We will head to our base for the next 3 nights at Old Faithful Snow Lodge; we will again be looking for wildlife en route. (Our guide/driver will be up-to-date with what’s happening and where in these otherwise non accessible parts of the park that species like bison, elk, otter, bald eagle, red fox and trumpeter swans can be found). We will certainly be looking for scenic opportunities at Roaring Mountain and Norris Geyser Basin en route.
Days 6 and 7: Although there will and has to be a degree of flexibility with this based on what we’ve achieved to date and want to prioritise, our potential programme for the next couple of days should include a day travelling over Craig Pass and photographing along Lake Yellowstone, the Hayden Valley and Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and another day exploring Upper and Lower Geyser Basin. Whilst we are based at Old Faithful Lodge the geyser itself is an obvious additional target, and the geysers generally are the main attraction for bison too, so steam and bison combinations will be high on the wish list for sure. You should also have the opportunity (given some clear overnight skies) for some low light long exposure photography here too – the paths are not lit though so bring a torch if you’re interested in this option.
Day 8: We’ll look to prioritise areas we want to revisit and work on as we begin our snow coach trip back to Mammoth for the cars and then the drive back to Bozeman where we will once again stay at the Best Western near the airport before our flights home the next day.
Day 9: Return flights to Europe, but please note that we won’t actually land until the morning of the 27th January.
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