2017 Yellowstone Winter Photo Tour with Zack Clothier

January 19 - 25, 2017

Join professional photographer Zack Clothier on a one week visit to a winter wonderland. This is a unique opportunity to photograph Yellowstone's wildlife in a stark and beautiful winter environment. You'll also have a chance to spend an extended period of time in the park interior, which can only be reached by specialized winter vehicles. Zack will serve as your primary guide and advisor on this adventure. Though this is primarily a tour rather than a hard-core workshop, Zack will be on hand to shoot alongside you and advise you as needed as you photograph Yellowstone's great variety of subject matter.

To get an idea of some of the wildlife we might see during the trip, check out the photo gallery. If you would like to inquire about a customized tour or extension, read more here.

Reserve Your Spot!

Tour Dates and Activities

Thursday, January 19: 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 Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

Red fox
Red foxes are commonly seen in Yellowstone in winter.
From Bozeman, we make the hour-and-a-half drive south to Gardiner, Montana and Yellowstone National Park. We will immediately be on the lookout for wildlife, so have your gear ready! Our arrival will give us an opportunity to check into our lodging before gathering for a group dinner and orientation.

Gardiner, 1 Night

Friday, January 20: Into the Interior, Norris Geyser Basin or Hayden Valley, Madison River
Our first full day in Yellowstone is dedicated to exploration of the park's interior using a privately-chartered, track-converted snow coach. We will wake up early in order to meet our snow coach driver who will lead us deep into the snowy interior of the park. On the way south we will keep an eye out for wildlife, and will also stop at some of the geyser basins and other thermal areas along the way. Or we may make a detour to the Hayden Valley, which can be a hot spot in the wintertime for foxes and river otters. We will spend the afternoon exploring the wildlife-rich Madison River in search of bobcats, elk, foxes, trumpeter swans, coyotes, and other wildlife commonly spotted along this scenic stretch.

West Yellowstone, 2 Nights

Trumpeter swan
Trumpeter swans congregate on the Madison River.
Saturday, January 21: Old Faithful & Geysers, Madison River
In the morning we will scour the Madison for wildlife again while on our way to Old Faithful. There should be some excellent landscape photo opportunities in the geyser basins, with hot, steaming thermals providing great contrast against snowy surroundings. We will cap the day off with a visit to iconic Old Faithful and its neighboring geysers and pools before returning to the Madison in the afternoon.

Sunday, January 22: Geyser Basins, Hayden Valley, Canyon
Another early departure will have us again scouring the Madison River for bobcats and other wildlife before heading south to photograph some of the geyser basins we may have passed over on the previous day. If temperatures are cold enough, this area also gives us the best chance of photographing bison covered in hoarfrost. Heading north we will make a detour towards the vast and snowy landscape of the Hayden Valley, where we will have our best chance at photographing "mousing" foxes. Other wildlife such as bison, river otters, trumpeter swans, and beavers are also fairly common in the area. We will also stop to photograph Lower Falls and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, if time allows, before returning at the end of the day to the park's Northern Range.

River otter
Otters are among the potential wildlife highlights on a winter tour.
Monday & Tuesday, January 23 & 24: Northern Range
We'll dedicate the rest of the trip to exploration of the park's Northern Range. After breakfast we will tour the area between the north and northeast entrances, where there will be numerous wildlife and scenic landscape photo opportunities. For this portion of the trip we will be based out of Gardiner, Montana, in the park's north corner. Our excursions will take us all along the Northern Range, between the north and northeast entrances (including the famed Lamar Valley), considered to be one of the best areas of the park to photograph wolves, moose, bison, elk, otters, bighorn sheep, foxes, ermines, eagles, coyotes, and other wildlife.

Gardiner, 3 Nights

Wednesday, January 25: Return to Bozeman
We pack up to leave today, returning to Bozeman by late morning for flights home.

Tour Prices

  • $3350 per person, based on double occupancy
Single Supplement: $265

A 25% deposit is required to reserve your place. This tour is limited to four guests.

Reserve Your Spot!

Tour Prices Include:

  • Lodging in Gardiner and West Yellowstone during the tour
  • Transportation from and to Bozeman at the start and end of the trip via group shuttle
  • Continental Breakfast and Boxed Lunches, as well as welcome dinner on first night
  • Photo Instruction (if desired) by Zack
  • Guides and Drivers
  • Snow Coach Fees
  • 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.
  • The majority of our park exploration during the winter tour takes place in a vehicle. Many photo opportunities in Yellowstone take place close to the road. However, during our visit to thermal areas, we will be exploring on foot using the boardwalks and trails. Occasional wildlife sightings may prompt us to venture off the road, depending on walking conditions. Tour participants should feel comfortable carrying their photo gear on these short walks.
  • Deposits are refundable up to 90 days prior to the start of the tour, minus a $250 administrative fee. Within 90 days, deposits will not be refunded unless your spot is taken by another client and the tour sells out.
  • Your balance is due 90 days prior to the start of the tour. 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, your full deposit will be refunded. However, we are not responsible for any additional expenses incurred.