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Yellowstone: Winter Photo Expedition

Capture Awe-Inspiring Scenery and Wildlife Images in the Silent Grandeur of Winter
Day 1: Bozeman, Montana
Arrive in the New West town of Bozeman and transfer to our hotel for a welcome dinner.

Day 2: Paradise Valley / Northern Yellowstone
We depart early, following the Lewis & Clark Trail over Bozeman Pass to the banks of the Yellowstone River where we’ll spend the morning in Paradise Valley in search of rough-legged hawks, eagles, mule deer and pronghorn antelope. The ragged heights of the Absaroka Range provide a dramatic backdrop for great landscape photo opportunities. Continuing to Mammoth Hot Springs for lunch, we often see wintering bighorn sheep in Gardiner River Canyon. Toward evening we enter Yellowstone’s Northern Range, the best place in the park to search for wolves.  We often spot coyotes, elk and bison against the snow-mantled landscape. Our day concludes with a presentation at the Hartman Gallery, famed for its outstanding photographs of Yellowstone’s wildlife. Owner Dan Hartman is one of Yellowstone's most renowned wildlife photographers, and we'll look forward to getting insights and tips on how to capture great shots during our time in the area. We spend the night just outside the park in Cooke City, Montana.

Day 3: Lamar Valley
As the sun breaks over the frosty meadows of the Lamar Valley, we’re up early to seize the chance to find wolves in their most pristine natural environment. This broad glacial valley offers wide-open vistas of a sublime landscape, and if wolves are present, they are likely to stand out against the snowy backdrop. Dan Hartman, who is a naturalist as well as a famous local photographer, will join us in the field today to share tips on capturing the best shots of the elusive wolves—bring your telephoto lenses! Other wildlife is abundant, and we're sure to come away with some outstanding images.  

Day 4: Snowcoach Tour / Old Faithful
This morning we board private snowcoaches to traverse Yellowstone’s wild interior, accessible in winter only by over-the-snow vehicles. Its plethora of geothermal features offers excellent photo subjects, as geysers spray hot steam into the frozen air and fumaroles bubble up from the snow. On the Central Plateau we'll be on the lookout to photograph large bison herds, and we'll hope for more wolf sightings, too, though they are less frequent. We’ll also visit the Upper and Lower Falls of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River—an iconic photo opportunity. If it’s cold enough, the falls may freeze into a cascade of ice plunging to the canyon floor.

Day 5: Geyser Basin Exploration
Board our chartered snowcoach again to explore the geyser basins surrounding the Firehole River. This part of the park boasts the highest density of geothermal features in the world. Opportunities abound to photograph all four types: geysers, hot springs, mud pots and fumaroles. Because of the warmth provided by the steam vents and hot mud, wildlife congregate in the area during the winter, and we’ll have a chance to see and photograph trumpeter swans, bald eagles, elk and bison.

Day 6: Grand Teton National Park
Today we head south by snowcoach to Wyoming’s other scenic treasure, Grand Teton National Park. En route we stop at West Thumb Geyser Basin on the edge of Yellowstone Lake to search for and photograph moose, river otters and trumpeter swans. Crossing the Continental Divide, we drop into the Snake River Basin. The first views of the Teton spires will undoubtedly provoke a flurry of snapping shutters. More great shots await, with the jagged range providing an awesome backdrop for wildlife photos.

Day 7: Jackson Hole / National Elk Refuge
Our winter safari continues in the National Elk Refuge, home to thousands of elk, bighorn sheep and bison that winter on the floor of Jackson Hole. A horse-drawn sleigh ride provides a festive finale to our wildlife odyssey, offering close-up opportunities to photograph the park’s enormous herd of elk.

Day 8: Jackson / Flights Home
After breakfast, the Lexington offers a complimentary shuttle to the airport to connect with flights home.

Please note: Every alternate trip runs in the opposite direction, from Jackson to Bozeman.

+ Interested in adding a few days to your trip? Click here to view our Extension Options.


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