Yellowstone in Winter: Wildlife and Landscapes

Yellowstone National Park is the oldest national park not only in the US but in the entire world. Made public in 1872, Yellowstone is home to a vast number of unique hydrothermal wonders and abundant and diverse wildlife, with 67 species of mammals roaming the park, and hundreds of species of birds, fish, amphibians, and reptiles. Winter in Yellowstone means fewer crowds, cold temperatures, and steaming geyser basins. Most roads are closed to car traffic, and for much of our time, we travel by private snowcoach through this quite, beautiful, pristine wilderness. Over the years, it has become our most sought-after photo workshop: our group size is very small, only six guests with two guides from MW. We have crafted our itinerary and transportation to maximize your chances for photography. You’ll always be able to get out quickly and easily to get the shot, when seconds count. Sometimes we even shoot from inside our vehicle where you will always have your own window seat as well, with plenty of room for you and your winter gear and photo bag.

Wildlife: Our photo targets are many! We spend time with vast numbers of bison, and sometimes just one bison. Each day, these giant mammals can look and behave differently in the winter, and you will learn to shoot “snowy" bison, “frosty" bison, and even “frozen” bison. Other mammals include moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, pronghorn, and elk. There are predators in the park: coyote are usually found and photographed well, as is a red fox. Somewhat more difficult to find and capture on camera, and requiring a bit of luck, are Yellowstone’s wolves, lynx, and even the tiny long-tailed weasel! In the rivers, we hope to photograph otters, ducks, swans, and other birds.

Landscapes: We have many favorite spots to shoot at, but we’re always on the lookout for interesting compositions in great light, and so expect to shoot a good number of landscapes as well. We have sweeping vistas and tiny micro-scenes as well. There are numerous thermal features, and you will see and photograph travertine terraces, geysers, mud pots, hot springs, and fumaroles. We can shoot long exposures of moving water, moving clouds, and moving steam! Of course, we'll maximize our time at sunrise and sunset if the skies cooperate.

Whether you are a beginner or advanced shooter, we’re there every step of the way with you. We’ll help you with technical settings, composition, and shooting techniques to get the best exposures in challenging environments. We’ll make sure you are getting sharp shots of the wildlife, both fast and slow movers. And we can work on advanced techniques like motion blur, panoramas, image blending, and focus stacking as well. We’ll have our signature image reviews and post-processing sessions as much as possible.

Everything is all-inclusive, including your ride from Bozeman airport to the park. We are riding in a huge Snow Coach, and there is a seat for you and a seat for your gear. Everyone has a window seat, and you won’t be in a coach with 12 or 14 people, it’ll just be six guests in a coach made for 12. This is important so that you can get out quickly for fleeting wildlife moments, as well as for your comfort in the vehicle, to have plenty of room for you and your gear. We will work hard, and you should expect that each day will be filled with photography from before sunrise until after sunset.

Muench Workshops works with the National Parks, and we always have the proper permits to operate in Yellowstone National Park.

“Authorized Permittee of the Yellowstone National Park.”

Location:

Yellowstone National Park

Tuition:

$7,495

Dates:

January 17–23, 2021

Fitness Level:

Moderate
Walks in snow of up to one mile
with elevation gains, at altitudes
of 7,000 to 8,000 feet

Your Pros:
Availability:

Sold Out – Wait List
Limited to 6 Guests

I wanted to thank you again for the amazing week in Yellowstone, it was an epic experience. Thank you for sharing your enthusiasm for the beauty and majesty of Yellowstone. As always you make everything a pleasure, the entire experience was perfectly executed.
— Rich Noren, Yellowstone '18 and 14 other Muench Workshops

Itinerary and General Information

The dates of this workshop are not yet final but are expected to be what we’ve published, possibly a day or two earlier or later. We will finalize the dates in early 2020. We will let you know if there is a date change.

January 17, 2021: You should arrive into Bozeman airport (BZN) no later than 1:00 PM on the first day of the workshop and depart no earlier than 1:00 PM on the last day of the workshop. We will pick you up at the airport and transfer to hotel in Gardiner. We‘ll photograph some of the wildlife and landscapes around Gardiner in the late afternoon. After dinner, we have an introductory meeting and go over conditions and wildlife reports and final itinerary. Overnight in Gardiner

January 18–22, 2021: Leave early on our private snow coach from Mammoth Hot Springs on our way to Old Faithful Snow Lodge. We’ll spend the day traveling through the park looking for landscapes and wildlife. We’ve chartered our private snow coach for five full days of wildlife and landscape photography within the park. We’ll have plenty of time to visit, Old Faithful Basin, West Thumb Geyser Basin, Biscuit Basin, Grand Prismatic Spring, and many more. We’ll also be looking for Bobcat, Elk, Bison, Fox, Coyote, and more.

January 22, 2021: Travel via private snow coach back to Mammoth and visit the “Grand Canyon of Yellowstone“ and look for wildlife and other scenic opportunities. Overnight in Gardiner.

January 23, 2021: Travel to Bozeman airport for departures. Flights home can be scheduled for after 1:00 PM.

What to Bring and How to Prepare for Your Workshop

Please see our How To Prepare For Your Workshop page now for guidelines on workshop prep, gear, and packing. Approximately 90 days before your workshop, you will be sent a PDF with more specific instructions.

What’s Included

  • Double occupancy lodging (single available, just ask)

  • All transportation during the workshop including snow coach and gratuities for snow coach driver

  • All meals during workshop + snacks + water in the vehicles

  • All permits and fees during the workshop

  • Photographic guiding and instruction from two pros

  • Inspiration, fun, and a great time!

Whats Not Included?

Your transportation to and from Bozeman Montana airport (BZN), and any lodging in Bozeman before or after the workshop dates (we can make lodging arrangements for you). Travel and trip cancellation insurance (optional). Alcoholic beverages, items of a personal nature. Anything specifically not mentioned as included.

Payment Terms

Your deposit of $3,500 is due at sign up and will hold your space in the workshop. The of $3,995 is due by October 1, 2020. If you are registering after that date, please make your payment in full. All of our other standard terms and conditions apply.

Additional Information

Yellowstone in winter is a magical place. Year after year, this workshop fills up more than a year in advance. Sign up now to reserve your spot on this workshop. Got questions?