2019, 2020 or 2021 Yellowstone & Grand Teton Fall Photo Tour

Dates TBD

Below you'll find a sample itinerary for an autumn photo tour in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Please use our contact form to inquire about the next possible fall tour we may schedule.

Join Max or Zack on an autumn photo adventure in Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons! This fall photo tour has several days allocated for shooting and exploration to take advantage of the beautiful autumn scenery and excellent wildlife opportunities found in these two iconic western parks. This trip has been scheduled to coincide with the peak of the fall color (which is never exact, but we're making our best guess based on past years). We'll photograph everything from colorful autumn landscapes, to the abundant wildlife found throughout the parks at this time of the year. Fall is an important season for many animals as they prep for the coming winter. Bears, both grizzly and black, will be actively moving about the landscape seeking out every available food source to help them prepare for hibernation. Fall is also a great time to observe rutting elk, moose, pronghorn, and mule deer. If you've never heard the sound of a bull elk bugling on a chilly autumn morning then you're in for a treat! We will also be on the lookout for the more elusive wildlife such as wolves, pine martens, otters, owls, and other animals that call the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem home.

Max will serve as your driver, guide and advisor on this adventure. This tour is open to photographers of all skill levels, but a basic understanding of your camera and its settings will make your experience all the more productive and enjoyable, especially during those moments of fleeting light and wildlife action! Though this is primarily a tour rather than a hard core workshop, Max will be on hand to shoot alongside you and advise you as needed as you photograph Yellowstone's great variety of subject matter.

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Tour Dates and Activities

During our daily drives in the park, we will take advantage of your guide's experience and knowledge to seek out the best photo opportunities for the widest variety of species and landscape opportunities possible. Our itinerary each day will be determined by the weather, the latest wildlife reports and other factors.

Day 1: Pick up in Bozeman, Arrival in Yellowstone
Today we'll pick you up via group shuttle and transport you to Yellowstone National Park. Pick up is scheduled for early afternoon, so be sure to arrive in Bozeman either Friday night or Saturday morning.

Bull Elk
Bugling bull elk will be among the wildlife highlights.
From Bozeman, we make the hour-and-a-half drive south to Yellowstone National Park. We will arrive in time to check into our hotel and relax before going out for an introductory group dinner and orientation.

Gardiner, 3 nights

Days 2 & 3: Yellowstone
The first portion of this tour is all about Yellowstone. We'll have two full days to explore Yellowstone at the beginning of the trip, primarily looking for autumn wildlife, but we will not pass up any landscape opportunities along the way either. Our focus today will be the wildlife-rich Lamar Valley and surrounding areas. We may also have a chance to drive the spectacular Beartooth Highway, considered one of North America's most scenic drives. The Beartooths are a great spot for mountain vistas, brilliant foliage displays, and other landscape opportunities. It is also an underrated wildlife area, home to pikas, mountain goats, grizzly bears, moose, marmots, elk, and many other species of wildlife.

Here are just a few of the animals we may encounter:

  • Black Bear
  • Grizzly Bear
  • Gray Wolf
  • Coyote
  • Red Fox
  • American Bison
  • Elk (Rutting)
  • Moose (Rutting
  • Mule Deer (Rutting)
  • Pronghorn (Rutting)
  • Bighorn Sheep
  • North American River Otter
  • American Pika
  • American Beaver
  • American Badger
  • Long-Tailed Weasel
  • Bald Eagle
  • Golden Eagle
  • Great Gray Owl

Oxbow Bend in Autumn
Fall is the best time to photograph the Grand Tetons.
Day 4: Yellowstone to Grand Tetons
An early morning departure will bring us to the Madison River, where we may have a chance of photographing big bull elk battling it out for mating rights. After the early morning shoot we will slowly begin heading south towards Grand Teton National Park, stopping at a few of the geyser basins along the way. After checking in to our lodging in Jackson we'll head back out into the park by late afternoon to look for wildlife, followed by a sunset shoot that evening.

Jackson, 3 nights

Bull Moose
Moose sightings are likely in autumn (Photo © Zack Clothier)
Days 5 & 6: Grand Tetons
We should be arriving in the Tetons as the park's autumn colors are nearing their peak, making for some memorable shoots. We will dedicate early morning to sunrise photography at some of the park's landmark viewpoints. The rest of each day will be spent looking for wildlife and additional scenery. We'll specifically seek out moose, rutting elk, black bears, owls, beavers, otters and more. Given time, we may take midday breaks back in Jackson when the light is harsh, before returning to the park for afternoon and evening photography.

Day 7: Grand Tetons to Yellowstone
We'll participate in a final sunrise shoot and short wildlife drive in the Tetons before returning north to Yellowstone in late morning. Our arrival back in Yellowstone signals a renewed quest for wildlife, waterfalls, geysers, and autumn color.

Gardiner, 1 night

Day 8: Return to Bozeman
We pack up to leave today. We will return to Bozeman by noon for flights home.

If you are interested in a trip extension or private tour, please contact us. Also see more about private tours and extensions.

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Tour Prices Include:

  • Lodging during the tour
  • Transportation from and to Bozeman at the start and end of the trip via group shuttle
  • Picnic Breakfast and Lunches, as well as welcome dinner on first night
  • Photo Instruction in Yellowstone (if desired) by Max
  • Guides and Drivers
  • Park Entrance Fees
  • Taxes on all services

Tour Prices DO NOT Include:

  • Airfare to/from Bozeman
  • Lodging in Bozeman before/after the tour
  • Transportation to the park from Bozeman if you miss the shuttle
  • Gratuity for Guides and Drivers
  • Single supplement fee listed above
  • Dinners, except for welcome dinner on first night
  • Additional snacks, alcohol and other food not provided with breakfast or lunch

Please Note:

  • The itinerary listed above is subject to change, due to unpredictable weather or other factors.
  • Many photo opportunities in Yellowstone take place close to the road. However, occasional wildlife sightings may prompt us to venture off the road. There may be one or two short hikes during the tour as well, which are short (no more than a half mile uphill) but steep. Tour participants should be in reasonable shape and feel comfortable carrying their gear on these short walks.
  • A deposit of 25% is due upon booking. Deposits are refundable up to 60 days prior to the start of the tour, minus a $250 administrative fee. Within 60 days, deposits will not be refunded unless your spot is taken by another client and the tour sells out.
  • Failure to pay the balance in full will lead us to invite the next person on the waiting list.
  • Payments may be made via check or personal Paypal payment. If you wish to use a credit card, please add 2.9% to the total fee. We must wait for checks to clear before considering tour slots reserved or filled.
  • We reserve the right to cancel the tour for any reason, including but not limited to a lack of participants. In such a case, the full tour cost listed above will be refunded. However, we are not responsible for any additional expenses incurred.