Tour

The Ultimate Yellowstone in Winter

StartsJan 8th 2021
EndsJan 18th 2021
Price$5,250
Deposit$1,000
Participants6 (Join us for great adventure!)
Register

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 three lodges during this tour, one in West Yellowstone, one in Mammoth and one in Gardiner. Each day, we will have an early breakfast at about 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 each day.

To maximize our time in the field, we will have a box lunch each day and stay out through sunset, around 6:00pm. 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 have 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 West Yellowstone and from Gardiner back to Bozeman. Due to the possibility of inclement weather, we recommend flying into Bozeman a day early.

Karst Stage offers shuttle service from the Bozeman airport to West Yellowstone and from Gardiner to the airport however some of our past clients have found that a rental car is more cost-effective and more convenient since the Karst Stage operates on a schedule. We are happy to try to arrange ride shares amongst travelers so you can share the cost of a rental if you want. The other benefit to a rental car is that on our transfer day between West Yellowstone and Mammoth, you could take some time on your own to explore.

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

Itinerary

1

January 8 – Travel Day and arrival at Three Bear Lodge

Fly in to Bozeman airport and either rent a car or take the Karst Stage and drive to West Yellowstone.
Check in to Three Bear Lodge
Welcome dinner tonight

2 thru 4

January 9 through 11- Photographing the interior West Yellowstone in Winter

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.

5

January 12 – Transfer to Mammoth

Today we leave West Yellowstone and drive to Mammoth.

6 thru 7

January 13 and 14 – Back into the Interior of the Park from Mammoth Hot Springs

We trek again via snow coach into the interior of Yellowstone, this time 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 6:30am, 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.

8 thru 10

January 15 through 17 – Into the Lamar Valley

Transitioning to Gardiner and a private bus designed to take us into the Lamar Valley, we will venture each day into these wild lands looking or bison, wolves, coyotes, fox and more.

As with ourother days, we will have breakfast at 6:30am, board our bus 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.

11

January 18 – 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, 2020
  • Note: cost includes 10 nights lodging double occupancy. Single supplement please add $825*
  • All breakfasts, lunches and the 1st nights welcome dinner included during the tour
  • Private snowcoach and/or specialized bus and Driver/Guide
  • *As always we would be happy to help coordinate a roommate and rental car ride share for anyone interested.

Not included

Airfare
Dinners (except 1st night)
Park pass
Travel from airport to West Yellowstone
Travel from Gardiner to airport

Description

As winter comes to Yellowstone, 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.

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!

In winter, Yellowstone reveals a very different mood – one of survival. The landscape is austere with ice and snow, while herds of bison or elk stand dark against the white. Trees glow as sun hits snow and hoarfrost that covers limbs. Rivers glisten with sinuous curves and mist, while geysers erupt sending hot water against freezing temperatures. Imagine Old Faithful erupting as a plume of steam against an icy backdrop!

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 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.

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. From Mammoth, we will visit Mammoth Hot Springs, Swan Lake Flats, Electric Peak and Sheep-eater cliffs. To wrap up the tour we have 3 full days exploring the Lamar Valley by private bus with a professional driver/guide. This is one of our best opportunities to photograph Wolves, otters, big-horn sheep, and moose.

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.

Unlike other tours, working from thee three locations, we will 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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