Tour

The Ultimate Yellowstone in Winter 2022 – Trip 2

StartsJan 16th 2022
EndsJan 25th 2022
LeaderSteve Gettle & Nicole Sudduth
Price$5,250
Deposit$1,000
Participants6 (2 Spots left!)
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Yellowstone is a winter wonderland! Unlike most tours, we work from three locations, using snow coaches from West Yellowstone and Mammoth and a specialized bus to work Lamar Valley, giving you access to all the park has to offer this time of year. In winter, wildlife is pushed down into the valleys and rivers as they search for food, find warmth around geysers and fight for survival.  Imagine frost-covered bison, icy steam-veiled geysers, wolves, otters, big horn sheep, elk, coyotes and foxes against the wintery scene. We limit our group to just 6 clients allowing plenty of room for us and our gear. Come, capture the magic of the season with us!

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Logistics

We will stay at two lodges during this tour, one in West Yellowstone and one in Gardiner. Each day, we will have an early breakfast at about 6:00/6:30am and head out in our snow coach or bus to both catch the good light and wildlife activity. We will tailor our routes and destinations each day based on the conditions so we are in the best places with the best conditions for wildlife and photography.

To maximize our time in the field, we will have a box lunch each day and stay out through sunset, around 5:00pm. Upon return to our lodge, we will have some time to download images and enjoy a nice dinner together.

For the West Yellowstone and Mammoth portions of this tour, we use a private snow coach designed for wildlife viewing and photography. For the Lamar Valley portion, we have a photography-friendly bus that drops us off and picks us up as we find great situations that we want to shoot.

We have limited this tour to a very small group to allow enough room for both us and our gear and allow us to get closer to wildlife for the best shots possible. The other major benefit to a small group is it is less stressful to our wildlife subjects allowing us to get better, more intimate imagery.

You will not necessarily need a car during this photography tour as the roads within the interior of Yellowstone are closed to regular vehicles. However, you will need to get yourself from the Bozeman airport to Gardiner and West Yellowstone back to Bozeman. There are two options to do this: you can take an airport shuttle (Karst Stage offers shuttle service between the Bozeman airport and West Yellowstone and we can help arrange transport between Gardiner and the airport) or, you can rent a car. Some of our past clients have found that a rental car is more cost-effective and more convenient than taking a shuttle so it’s worth checking the prices. We are happy to try to arrange ride shares amongst travelers so you can share the cost of a rental if you want too. The other benefit to a rental car is that on our transfer day between West Yellowstone and Gardiner, you could take some time on your own to explore.

Gettle Photography Inc. is an Authorized Permittee of Yellowstone National Park.

Itinerary

1

January 16 – Travel Day and arrival at our hotel

Fly in to Bozeman airport and either rent a car or use other transportation which we can help arrange to get to Gardiner.
We will meet tonight for dinner.

2

January 17 – First full day in the Lamar Valley

Following breakfast, we’ll board our vehicle at about 6:30am and head into the park. We will spend the entire day out finding and photographing wildlife and landscape scenes. Lunch is a box lunch. We will return to our lodge at around sunset and enjoy dinner together.

3

January 18 – Photographing the Interior of the Park from Mammoth Hot Springs

We trek today via snow coach into the interior of Yellowstone, entering the park from Mammoth Hot Springs. Here the highlights are Sheepeater cliffs, Swan Lake Flats and Electric Peak. We will look for wildlife to photograph in this unique setting as well as the beautiful landscapes.

We will typically have breakfast at 6:00am, board our snowcoach at about 6:30 and head into the park. We will spend the entire day out finding and shooting wildlife and landscape scenes. Lunch is a box lunch. We will return to our lodge at around sunset and enjoy dinner together.

4

January 19 – Back to the Lamar valley

Today we will spend another full day in the Lamar – again looking for great situations with otters, foxes, coyotes, big horn sheep and…maybe wolves.

5

January 20 – Back into the Interior via Mammoth Hot Springs

We board our snow coach for another full day of adventure into the interior.

We will typically have breakfast at 6:00am, board our snowcoach at about 6:30 and head into the park. We will spend the entire day out finding and shooting wildlife and landscape scenes. Lunch is a box lunch. We will return to our lodge at around sunset and enjoy dinner together.

6

January 21 – Back into the Lamar Valley

We will venture again into these wild lands looking for bison, wolves, coyotes, fox and more.

As with our other days, we will have breakfast at 6:00am, board our bus at about 6:30 and head into the park. We will spend the entire day out finding and shooting wildlife and landscape scenes. Lunch is a box lunch. We will return to our lodge at around sunset and enjoy dinner together.

7

January 22 – Transfer to West Yellowstone

Following breakfast, you’ll be transported via shuttle to West Yellowstone and the rest of the day is yours to explore the town and get settled in the hotel. If you have a rental car, the day is yours. We will meet as a group for dinner.

8 and 9

January 23 and 24 – Exploring the Interior from West Yellowstone

Going into the Park via snow coach from West Yellowstone gives us unique access to the wildlife rich areas of the Madison River and Hayden Valley as well as opportunities to go to the geyser basins and even Old Faithful.

We will typically have breakfast at 6:30am, board our snowcoach at about 7:30 and head into the park. We will spend the entire day out finding and shooting wildlife and landscape scenes. Lunch is a box lunch. We will return to our lodge at around sunset and enjoy dinner together.

10

January 25 – Travel day

After breakfast we will say our goodbyes and head home.

Booking

Price
$5,250
Deposit
$1,000
Payment schedule
  • $1000 deposit due with registration
  • Balance of $4,250 due by October 10, 2021

    Cost includes:

  • 9 nights lodging double occupancy. Single supplement please add $750*
  • All breakfasts, lunches
  • Private snowcoach and/or specialized bus and Driver/Guide

    *As always, we are happy to help coordinate a roommate and/or rental car/shuttle ride share for anyone interested.

  • Not included
  • Airfare
  • Dinners
  • Park pass
  • Travel between airport and Gardiner
  • Travel between airport and West Yellowstone
  • Newsletter Signup

    Description

    Yellowstone, with its wildlife, is the Serengeti of North America and being able to explore all of the accessible areas of park this time of year – both the interior and the Lamar Valley – makes this The Ultimate Yellowstone tour! Photographing wildlife will be our focus for this trip but we will of course photograph the striking landscapes of this time of year as well.

    In winter, Yellowstone reveals a very different mood – one of survival. Snow in the mountains pushes wildlife down into the valleys and rivers in search of food and warmth, ice and snow surround geysers veiled in steam, mud pots bubble in freezing fog, waterfalls are veiled in icicles that reveal the water’s flow. The landscape is austere, while herds of bison or elk stand dark against the white.

    This is a great time of year to see and photograph wildlife in their best coats. They are concentrated into smaller valley areas: hunting, feeding, or sometimes simply standing stoic against the cold. Bald eagles, river otters, beavers, trumpeter swans may emerge along a river. Coyote, fox may hunt through a field, diving into snowbanks to catch mice and voles under the snow. Wolves hunting in packs may make a kill and feed there for a days. We will look for it all each day.

    While using Gardiner as our base, we will alternate days between going in to Lamar or Mammoth so we have the best chance to catch action.
    We will enter the interior via snowcoach through Mammoth and spend 2 days looking for and photographing wildlife and landscapes at iconic spots like Mammoth Hot Springs, Swan Lake Flats, Electric Peak and Sheep-eater cliffs. And we will explore the Lamar Valley over 3 days by private bus with a professional driver/guide. This is one of our best opportunities to photograph Wolves, otters, big-horn sheep, and moose.

    In West Yellowstone, we will visit Hayden Valley in search of foxes and river otters, explore Madison river area in search of elk, bison, bobcats, trumpeter swans, coyotes; visit the icy Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, and stop at geyser basin and other thermal spots to capture those ethereal settings.

    During this entire tour, we will be working hard to photograph mammals but throughout our search, we will take advantage of the beautiful austere winter landscapes and photograph them as well.

    Unlike other tours, we will work the park from three location and put you in every corner of the park that you can possibly see this time of year. We know of no other tour that provides this much access to the incredible wonderland that is Winter in Yellowstone.

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