Skip to content

Yellowstone in Winter Photo Workshop

Wary bison watches wolves howling in Yellowstone National Park
8 Days
From $7,695
Interests
Landscape, Wildlife
Activity Level
Moderate
Group Size
Max 6

View All Dates & Prices

Ask a Question

Spectacular winter wildlife and scenery in America’s first national park

Winter in Yellowstone National Park provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to photograph wildlife and steaming geothermal features against pristine snow-blanketed landscapes. Temperatures are cold, and access is limited in the winter, keeping crowds small. If you’ve visited Yellowstone in other seasons, winter is unlike any other.

Yellowstone is home to 67 mammal species and hundreds of bird species. During this season, the struggle for survival is stark, as the wildlife seeks food in frigid temperatures and snow, giving us excellent photography opportunities.

We’ll travel by private snow coach to access the snowbound interior of the park, which is inaccessible to regular vehicles in the winter. We’ll also travel in a private van, accompanied by local wildlife guides. Along the way, we’ll seek wildlife encounters and wintry landscapesWe’ll have wildlife drives through hotspots like Hayden Valley, Lamar Valley, and others.

Akari Photo Tours is an authorized permittee of the National Park Service.

Highlights

  • We will seek a variety of wildlife species, including bison, bighorn sheep, elk, moose, river otters, wolves, coyotes, trumpeter swans, bald eagles, red foxes, and pronghorn. Other possible encounters include mule deer, bobcats, and long-tailed weasels.
  • Landscape photo opportunities of geothermal features and snow-covered mountain ranges.
  • Three days of private, chartered snow coach access to the park’s interior areas, including Hayden Valley, Old Faithful, waterfalls, and geyser basins.
  • Two days of wildlife photo drives through Lamar Valley, the Blacktail Plateau, and Cooke City, accompanied by a local naturalist.
  • Photograph wildlife we may not see in the park in Paradise Valley and Gardiner.
  • Small group size allows plenty of extra space for you, plus your winter and photography gear, in snow coaches and chartered van.
  • Photo guiding, instruction, and image reviews from a professional photographer with years of experience in Yellowstone National Park.
  • Limited to six guests.

Your Guides

Activity Level

Most of our wildlife photography will be from snowbanks alongside the road, close to the vehicle. When visiting geothermal features, we will walk up to one mile (1.6 km) along snow-covered boardwalks. You should be comfortable walking on slippery, uneven snow. We will be in the vehicles from early morning until evening and pack a lunch to maximize our time in the park.

Winter temperatures in Yellowstone can vary from extremely cold to reasonably mild. We will prepare you before the trip to ensure you have the proper winter clothing to stay warm, and you will always be close to the warm vehicle.

This tour has an activity level of Moderate. Read more about the Activity Levels for our trips.

Itinerary

  • This tour offers opportunities to photograph wildlife. We'll maximize our chances of encountering wildlife, but we want to remind you that we don't control wildlife and cannot guarantee encounters with particular species. Itineraries for wildlife trips are subject to change based on wildlife activity.

  • Day 1: Arrive in Bozeman

    Arrive at Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) before 2:00 PM on this day. Air travel delays are possible, so please consider arriving early, possibly the day prior. We don't want you to miss out on trip activities. Airport transfer is included on arrival.

    You will be picked up at the Bozeman airport and transferred to our hotel in West Yellowstone. We will meet for a welcome dinner and introductory briefing. We’ll get to know one another and discuss wildlife camera settings, our itinerary, and park rules to set the stage for the adventure ahead.

  • Day 2–4: Interior of the park via snow coach

    Some of the best geothermal and wildlife areas are in the park’s interior, a snowbound area inaccessible to regular vehicles in the winter. We will travel in a privately chartered snow coach to access these areas.

    Our itinerary is packed with scenic geothermal areas, including the Norris, Upper, and Middle Geyser Basins, Old Faithful, West Thumb, and Fountain Paint Pots. We’ll also have the opportunity to marvel at the beauty of waterfalls at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Firehole Falls, and Gibbon Falls.

    Our daily drives will be guided by wildlife reports, allowing us to be in the right place at the right time to observe animal activity. We’ll visit well-known wildlife spots like Hayden Valley and keep a keen eye out for wildlife activity around the Madison, Gibbon, and Firehole Rivers, always prepared for unexpected encounters.

    Hotel in West Yellowstone.

  • Day 5: Gallatin Canyon, Paradise Valley, Gardiner

    We’ll check out of our hotel in West Yellowstone and make our way to Gardiner via private van. We’ll photograph hidden gems outside the park, including Gallatin Canyon, Paradise Valley, and Gardiner along the way.

    In the winter, some wildlife migrates to lower elevations, and these beautiful locations are opportunities to photograph wildlife such as pronghorn, bighorn sheep, bison, eagles, and more.

    Hotel in Gardiner.

  • Day 6–7: Lamar Valley & Blacktail Plateau

    We’ll drive along the Northeast Entrance Road between Gardiner and Cooke City daily using a private van accompanied by a local wildlife guide. The Lamar Valley and Blacktail Plateau are typically reliable spots for wildlife encounters, and we’ll maximize our chances by visiting them multiple times. We’ll also seek scenic sunrises at Mammoth Hot Springs and Lamar Valley.

    Hotel in Gardiner.

  • Day 8: Departure

    As our Yellowstone adventure concludes, we’ll check out of our hotel and grab breakfast before driving back to the Bozeman airport for our flights home.

    Book your departing flight no earlier than 12:00 PM on this day. Airport transfer is included on departure.

Why Travel With Us

Our small-group trips are designed for photographers, with guides who know the best locations and offer instruction to help improve your photography. Read more about why you should travel with us.

Dates & Prices

  • Jan 18–25, 2025
    $7,695 USD Per Person
    Double Occupancy
    $825 USD
    Single Supplement
    Guides: Kevin Lisota
    Payment Terms: Deposit: $3,000 USD
    Remainder Due: Sep 20, 2024
  • Jan 10–17, 2026
    $7,950 USD Per Person
    Double Occupancy
    $850 USD
    Single Supplement
    Guides: Kevin Lisota
    Payment Terms: Deposit: $3,000 USD
    Remainder Due: Sep 12, 2025

All of our standard Terms & Conditions apply. Be sure to read our Cancellation Policy.

What's Included
  • Double occupancy lodging. Single lodging is available with payment of a single supplement fee.
  • All transportation during the tour.
  • Airport transfers at arrival/departure.
  • All meals, soft drinks, water, and snacks during the tour.
  • All permits and entry fees.
  • Instruction, guidance, and image reviews from our expert photography guides.
  • Personal pre-trip phone consultation.
What's Not Included
  • Airfare to and from destination, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees.
  • Passport and visa fees, if applicable.
  • Travel medical & evacuation insurance (optional but recommended).
  • Trip cancellation insurance (optional but recommended).
  • Gratuities for local guides & crew.
  • Alcoholic beverages.
  • Any accommodations or meals before or after the tour dates.
  • Items of a personal nature.

Sign up for our newsletter.

Photography tips and resources, plus our latest trip announcements. Subcribers receive a free copy of our wildlife photography eBook.