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Worldwide Photography Tours since 1980

Yellowstone in Winter

Explore Yellowstone's Snowy Interior by Private Snow Coach

When entering Yellowstone National Park in winter you sense that you have crossed into another world, one of quiet softness hushed by a thick blanket of snow. Trees wreathed in frost loom like wraiths against the blue winter sky and towering waterfalls stand frozen in mid-plunge. The crisp icy air enhances the ethereal effect of Yellowstone’s famous geothermal features. An exotic combination of mist-shrouded hot pools, bubbling paint pots, and steaming fumaroles creates an ever-shifting landscape of undulating clouds and mysterious shadows. It is an unearthly world of crystalline perfection.

Yellowstone Park 996 - yellowstone,yellowstone photo tour

Seemingly deep in winter sleep, Yellowstone is alive with wildlife. Bison plow through deep snow in search of buried autumn-cured forage. Elk patrol the glistening white meadows and graze on grasses still green from the heat of nearby hot pools and bubbling springs. Numerous animals have emerged from the park’s backcountry to congregate in the warmer and more hospitable lowlands and river valleys.

Our winter journeys to Yellowstone have always been marked by inspiring expeditions to the heart of the world’s first national park. These adventures, made possible using custom-built snow coaches, take us deep into Yellowstone’s snow-laden wilderness. This trip is entirely devoted to that pursuit. The most breathtaking winter landscapes and wildlife photography opportunities have consistently been found in the park’s remote interior valleys, canyons, and geyser basins. Over a span of five “shooting days,” we traverse Yellowstone’s most photogenic and snowy regions by private snow coach.

2014 Yellowstone Vanuga 0002 - yellowstone,yellowstone photo tour

To wander through the interior is to float through a fantasy landscape. Steam rising from numerous geysers becomes a super-cooled crystal fog. It drifts through the trees like diamond dust, collecting on every surface until entire groves become assemblies of ghostly druids bowing rigidly into the wind. Through this ever-changing landscape move the animals. Enveloped in fog, frost, and snow, they appear as apparitions from out of the shifting mists—living phantoms haunting the landscape to be captured with our cameras.

Starting from our lodgings in West Yellowstone, we embark on day-long journeys into Madison Valley, the Firehole River, and the Fountain and Norris Geyser Basins. We capture the icy majesty of the Upper and Lower Falls of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, their thunderous power encased in ice. Weather permitting, we venture further into the constantly evolving snowscapes and “skyscapes” of the Hayden Valley. To your right, trumpeter swans may forage along the icy banks of the Yellowstone River. To your left, the stark silhouettes of bare trees break up the expanse of white, where the drama of a stormy sky meets the tranquility of snow-draped, rolling hills.

We explore a variety of the park’s geothermal features that can best be photographed as we walk amidst the erupting geysers, pastel-colored hot pools, fumaroles and steaming run-off channels. Numerous big game species can be found in these areas—the most abundant being buffalo, elk, and coyotes. During the coldest days of winter, coinciding with the timing of our tour, the landscape is transformed into a winter wonderland of snow, “ghost trees” and graphic ice formations.

P 190130 AAA 6477 - yellowstone,yellowstone photo tour

The uniqueness of this trip lies in its flexibility—we don’t adhere to a fixed itinerary. Instead, each day unravels organically, considering the light, snow, and wildlife locations for the best photography opportunities. Wildlife and certain landscape features are more effectively captured under overcast conditions, while geysers are ideally photographed under clear skies, where their white steam stands out against the blue. Each morning, we board our snow coach and embark on a fresh adventure.

Join us on this magical photography journey through the crown jewel of America’s national parks with our exceptional leaders—wildlife photographers who live there and have photographed in the park for more than 40 years. You would be hard-pressed to find guides with a deeper knowledge of the park and who take such pleasure in introducing first-time visitors to the wonders of its winter landscape. Our time-tested itinerary offers maximum time in the field for photographing some of the American West’s most stunning panoramas and impressive big game animals.

image 1 - yellowstone,yellowstone photo tour

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 (January 25, 2025)
Participants fly to to Bozeman, Montana, and transfer independently via scheduled shuttle to West Yellowstone, arriving in time for dinner. (D)

Days 2 - 6
Embarking from the West Yellowstone area in our chartered snow coaches, we journey into the heart of the park. Our path takes us through the wildlife-rich landscapes along the Firehole and Madison Rivers and the Fountain Geyser Basin. This part of the park’s interior boasts a wide variety of wildlife, snow-capped trees, active geysers, frost-kissed grasses, and rugged mountain vistas. We continue our journey by capturing great images of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, followed by visits to the Hayden Valley and Norris Geyser Basin.

Our photographic travels continue to the Midway, Biscuit, and Black Sand Geyser Basins, as well as the Old Faithful area. These regions are teeming with active geological features and are home to majestic elk and bison. Despite winter being a challenging season for the park’s fauna, the warmth of these thermal areas provides some respite.

As we traverse these stunning landscapes, we’ll be on the lookout for compelling compositions accentuated by complementary light. Our leader is on hand to assist you with camera settings, composition, and shooting technique to ensure you achieve the best possible images, even in challenging environments. This trip is not just about visiting breathtaking locations; it’s about honing your photography skills and capturing the essence of Yellowstone in Winter.

Day 7 (January 31)
Following breakfast, return independently this morning via scheduled shuttle from West Yellowstone to the Bozeman airport. The shuttle departs West Yellowstone at 9 AM and arrives at the Bozeman Airport by 12:30 PM in time for afternoon flights home. (B)

 

Note: The above flexible itinerary is subject to daily changes, depending on local weather, light and snow conditions, and location of wildlife. Temperatures well below freezing are possible with the probability of ice and snow on roads and trails. Elevations on this tour range from 6,000 to 8,000 feet. To participate in this tour, you should have reasonable endurance for short walks with your camera gear in wintery conditions.

 Van Os Photo Safaris is an Authorized Permittee of the US National Park Service

Tour Details

Jan 25 2025 – Jan 31 2025
Register Now
*Additional trips will be scheduled as needed
Fee: $7,795 from West Yellowstone, Montana
Deposit: $2,000
Limit: 6 participants
Activity Level: Moderate
Single Supplement: $490

Tour Highlights

  • Discover the park’s snowy interior using comfortable heated snow coaches with 6 participants and a leader in a 13-passenger vehicle
  • Five shooting days using snow coaches, daily
  • Explore the image-rich geothermal thermal areas with short walks for up-close photography
  • Photograph wondrous snowy interior landscapes rich in wildlife
  • Unscheduled itinerary allows maximum flexibility to pursue images in the park’s most photogenic areas as conditions permit
  • One of Joe Van Os’ Top Ten recommended best wildlife and winter landscape photography trips in the world
  • Includes all meals, lodging, chartered private snow coach, national park fees, photo guides and instruction

YouTube Video

Testimonials

Yellowstone in winter is magical. It is truly a winter wonderland. See it with Jeff Vanuga who has been photographing Yellowstone for more than thirty years.
— Glenn W.

The Yellowstone in Winter photo tour under Jeff Vanuga’s leadership was a memorable experience. The tour itinerary, locations/stops and other details were expertly planned and implemented.
— R.C.

An awesome trip. An aspect of Yellowstone that very few people see—the wintery sights and sounds and having the park to yourself.
— A. V.

The ice formations are fabulous, from icicles in trees to the feather crystals on the grasses and fences, plus the frost on the eyelashes of bison.
— Frank N.

Tour Details

Jan 25 2025 – Jan 31 2025
Register Now
*Additional trips will be scheduled as needed
Fee: $7,795 from West Yellowstone, Montana
Deposit: $2,000
Limit: 6 participants
Activity Level: Moderate
Single Supplement: $490

When entering Yellowstone National Park in winter you sense that you have crossed into another world, one of quiet softness hushed by a thick blanket of snow. Trees wreathed in frost loom like wraiths against the blue winter sky and towering waterfalls stand frozen in mid-plunge. The crisp icy air enhances the ethereal effect of Yellowstone’s famous geothermal features. An exotic combination of mist-shrouded hot pools, bubbling paint pots, and steaming fumaroles creates an ever-shifting landscape of undulating clouds and mysterious shadows. It is an unearthly world of crystalline perfection.

Yellowstone Park 996 - yellowstone,yellowstone photo tour

Seemingly deep in winter sleep, Yellowstone is alive with wildlife. Bison plow through deep snow in search of buried autumn-cured forage. Elk patrol the glistening white meadows and graze on grasses still green from the heat of nearby hot pools and bubbling springs. Numerous animals have emerged from the park’s backcountry to congregate in the warmer and more hospitable lowlands and river valleys.

Our winter journeys to Yellowstone have always been marked by inspiring expeditions to the heart of the world’s first national park. These adventures, made possible using custom-built snow coaches, take us deep into Yellowstone’s snow-laden wilderness. This trip is entirely devoted to that pursuit. The most breathtaking winter landscapes and wildlife photography opportunities have consistently been found in the park’s remote interior valleys, canyons, and geyser basins. Over a span of five “shooting days,” we traverse Yellowstone’s most photogenic and snowy regions by private snow coach.

2014 Yellowstone Vanuga 0002 - yellowstone,yellowstone photo tour

To wander through the interior is to float through a fantasy landscape. Steam rising from numerous geysers becomes a super-cooled crystal fog. It drifts through the trees like diamond dust, collecting on every surface until entire groves become assemblies of ghostly druids bowing rigidly into the wind. Through this ever-changing landscape move the animals. Enveloped in fog, frost, and snow, they appear as apparitions from out of the shifting mists—living phantoms haunting the landscape to be captured with our cameras.

Starting from our lodgings in West Yellowstone, we embark on day-long journeys into Madison Valley, the Firehole River, and the Fountain and Norris Geyser Basins. We capture the icy majesty of the Upper and Lower Falls of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, their thunderous power encased in ice. Weather permitting, we venture further into the constantly evolving snowscapes and “skyscapes” of the Hayden Valley. To your right, trumpeter swans may forage along the icy banks of the Yellowstone River. To your left, the stark silhouettes of bare trees break up the expanse of white, where the drama of a stormy sky meets the tranquility of snow-draped, rolling hills.

We explore a variety of the park’s geothermal features that can best be photographed as we walk amidst the erupting geysers, pastel-colored hot pools, fumaroles and steaming run-off channels. Numerous big game species can be found in these areas—the most abundant being buffalo, elk, and coyotes. During the coldest days of winter, coinciding with the timing of our tour, the landscape is transformed into a winter wonderland of snow, “ghost trees” and graphic ice formations.

P 190130 AAA 6477 - yellowstone,yellowstone photo tour

The uniqueness of this trip lies in its flexibility—we don’t adhere to a fixed itinerary. Instead, each day unravels organically, considering the light, snow, and wildlife locations for the best photography opportunities. Wildlife and certain landscape features are more effectively captured under overcast conditions, while geysers are ideally photographed under clear skies, where their white steam stands out against the blue. Each morning, we board our snow coach and embark on a fresh adventure.

Join us on this magical photography journey through the crown jewel of America’s national parks with our exceptional leaders—wildlife photographers who live there and have photographed in the park for more than 40 years. You would be hard-pressed to find guides with a deeper knowledge of the park and who take such pleasure in introducing first-time visitors to the wonders of its winter landscape. Our time-tested itinerary offers maximum time in the field for photographing some of the American West’s most stunning panoramas and impressive big game animals.

image 1 - yellowstone,yellowstone photo tour

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 (January 25, 2025)
Participants fly to to Bozeman, Montana, and transfer independently via scheduled shuttle to West Yellowstone, arriving in time for dinner. (D)

Days 2 – 6
Embarking from the West Yellowstone area in our chartered snow coaches, we journey into the heart of the park. Our path takes us through the wildlife-rich landscapes along the Firehole and Madison Rivers and the Fountain Geyser Basin. This part of the park’s interior boasts a wide variety of wildlife, snow-capped trees, active geysers, frost-kissed grasses, and rugged mountain vistas. We continue our journey by capturing great images of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, followed by visits to the Hayden Valley and Norris Geyser Basin.

Our photographic travels continue to the Midway, Biscuit, and Black Sand Geyser Basins, as well as the Old Faithful area. These regions are teeming with active geological features and are home to majestic elk and bison. Despite winter being a challenging season for the park’s fauna, the warmth of these thermal areas provides some respite.

As we traverse these stunning landscapes, we’ll be on the lookout for compelling compositions accentuated by complementary light. Our leader is on hand to assist you with camera settings, composition, and shooting technique to ensure you achieve the best possible images, even in challenging environments. This trip is not just about visiting breathtaking locations; it’s about honing your photography skills and capturing the essence of Yellowstone in Winter.

Day 7 (January 31)
Following breakfast, return independently this morning via scheduled shuttle from West Yellowstone to the Bozeman airport. The shuttle departs West Yellowstone at 9 AM and arrives at the Bozeman Airport by 12:30 PM in time for afternoon flights home. (B)

 

Note: The above flexible itinerary is subject to daily changes, depending on local weather, light and snow conditions, and location of wildlife. Temperatures well below freezing are possible with the probability of ice and snow on roads and trails. Elevations on this tour range from 6,000 to 8,000 feet. To participate in this tour, you should have reasonable endurance for short walks with your camera gear in wintery conditions.

 Van Os Photo Safaris is an Authorized Permittee of the US National Park Service

Tour Highlights

  • Discover the park’s snowy interior using comfortable heated snow coaches with 6 participants and a leader in a 13-passenger vehicle
  • Five shooting days using snow coaches, daily
  • Explore the image-rich geothermal thermal areas with short walks for up-close photography
  • Photograph wondrous snowy interior landscapes rich in wildlife
  • Unscheduled itinerary allows maximum flexibility to pursue images in the park’s most photogenic areas as conditions permit
  • One of Joe Van Os’ Top Ten recommended best wildlife and winter landscape photography trips in the world
  • Includes all meals, lodging, chartered private snow coach, national park fees, photo guides and instruction

YouTube Video

Testimonials

Yellowstone in winter is magical. It is truly a winter wonderland. See it with Jeff Vanuga who has been photographing Yellowstone for more than thirty years.
— Glenn W.

The Yellowstone in Winter photo tour under Jeff Vanuga’s leadership was a memorable experience. The tour itinerary, locations/stops and other details were expertly planned and implemented.
— R.C.

An awesome trip. An aspect of Yellowstone that very few people see—the wintery sights and sounds and having the park to yourself.
— A. V.

The ice formations are fabulous, from icicles in trees to the feather crystals on the grasses and fences, plus the frost on the eyelashes of bison.
— Frank N.

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