Rate your LPH Experience!

Visiting the National Parks of the American West

USA Workshop & Solar Eclipse 2017

USA - American West & 2017 Tetons Eclipse Photo Tour

Thu 17 Aug - Fri 01 Sep 2017

Visit the major parks of the American West in one amazing trip. And, witness a total solar eclipse over the Tetons Mountain Range at 11.35 on Monday 21st August 2017. This fast- paced itinerary gives you a chance to visit and photograph Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon and, last but not least, Grand Canyon National Park. In addition, we photograph Salt Lake City, Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell, Route 66 and the unbelievable Las Vegas 'Strip'. One of the unsung highlights is our visit to the remote North Rim Grand Canyon and our excursion on a remote dirt road to Toroweap, where we are treated to one of the world's most beautiful panoramas. John Gravett, our guide, has for more than 20 years run the very successful Lakeland Photo Holidays near Keswick in the English Lake District. He has a passion for passing on the skills he has acquired over the course of his career and is very much looking forward to this workshop in the USA. You will be blown away by the wealth of photographic opportunities that the American South-West can offer!

Sample Itinerary

  • Arrive Bozeman and transfer to the group hotel.

    Rendezvous at the group hotel in Bozeman (just north of Yellowstone). A single group transfer from airport to hotel is provided. Welcome to Cowboy Country and what may be considered the last of the Wild West! Bozeman, Montana, located in the Gallatin Valley and surrounded by a half-dozen mountain ranges, is the 4th largest city (37,000 habitants) in the state of Montana. Dating from 1864, Bozeman was originally established as a waypoint along a route that led eastern prospectors to the gold and resource rich lands of the west. Nowadays, Bozeman boasts fertile farming land, a healthy ranching industry, some of the best fly-fishing in the world, and the gateway to adventure. Let the adventure begin! KE Land Only package services begin with the overnight stay at the group hotel in Bozeman. 

    • ACCOMMODATIONHotel

  • First photographs at Yellowstone National Park.

    We will have an early rendezvous with the guide and drive out to take the first photos of the holiday. Our destination today is the world-famous Yellowstone National Park, known for its geothermal features and for being the largest remaining, nearly intact ecosystem in the Northern Hemispher temperate zone. Yellowstone was established in 1872 as the first national park in the world and attracts about 1 million visitors per year. We will follow the Yellowstone River to the south as it snakes its way to the northern entrance of the park and the state of Wyoming. The northern portion of the park is home to the Mammoth Hot Springs, a large complex of hot springs on a hill of travertine, created over thousands of years, as hot water from the spring has cooled and deposited calcium carbonate. Here, we will photograph the magnificent colours that are given to the pools by the algae that live in them. We will have excellent photo opportunities as the steam rises from the terraced pools in the evening light back-dropped by the regions expansive forests. Keep your eyes peeled for elk that frequent the area. Approximately 2 hrs driving. Overnight in a hotel at Gardiner near the north entrance to the park.

    • ACCOMMODATIONHotel

    •  
    • MEALSBL

  • Old Faithful and Grand Prismatic Spring.

    We start the day in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and continue to Old Faithful and Morning Glory Pool. Short walks are required to get to the best locations, such as Grand Prismatic Springs. Photography played a very important role in the development of the National Park System of the United States. Driving for about 1 hour, we will arrive at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, a deep ravine carved by the Yellowstone River. From Artist's Point, we will photograph the beautiful Yellowstone Falls (94m high) trying to remake the infamous scene captured by Thomas Moran in 1871. It was this photo that was responsible for convincing the US Congress to designate the region as Yellowstone National Park in 1872. We will then continue in the direction of Old Faithful and the Upper and Midway Geyser Basins to see some of the most colourful hot springs in the park, like the Grand Prismatic Spring. En route, we will pass through the Hayden Valley, known for its abundance of wildlife, including bald eagles, bison, bear, and others. Further along we will pass the West Thumb Geyser Basin, on the shore of Yellowstone Lake, one of North Americas highest lakes. We will stop for photos along the route and hope that the wildlife are in the mood to cooperate. Old Faithful provides us the opportunity to witness the world's most predictable geyser. Used as a laundry in the early days of the park, it was said to blast articles of clothing up to 50 metres into the air. Have your cameras ready, as even the most predictable geyser can surprise you! 2 to 3 hours driving time today. We spend a second night at our hotel in Gardiner.

    • ACCOMMODATIONHotel

    •  
    • MEALSBL

  • Grand Teton.

    We try to make an early start ahead of our 2-hour drive to the Teton National Park, home of the famed Teton Mountains and their figure-head, the Grand Teton towering above the valley floor at (4199m). Following the Snake River, we will have many chances to capture the beauty of this region. We may witness the spectacular colours of the autumn leaves, herds of antelope, Oxbow Bend, as well as panoramic shots with the Teton Mountains as a backdrop. The highlight of the day is our leisurely 3-hour walk around Jenny Lake to Inspiration Point. We will then cross Jenny Lake by boat and complete our walk back to the bus. Overnight at West Yellowstone.

    • ACCOMMODATIONHotel

    •  
    • MEALSBL

  • Grand Teton and the eclipse.

    Today we will have another early start, before driving to our chosen spot from which to observe and photograph the ECLIPSE! At 1017, directly above Jackson, Wyoming on Monday, August 21st 2017, a total solar eclipse of the sun will begin. The first 1 hour and 18 minutes or so will just be a partial eclipse. Then, at approximately 1135, the moon will pass directly in front of the sun, blocking out the majority of the sun's light. We will have picked out the best vantage point and will make sure that everyone is in place to capture this once-in-a-lifetime event, as the shadow cone of the Moon races towards you from the west just before the moment of totality. Once the eclipse has passed, we will have plenty of time for more Tetons photo opportunities, before we continue our journey southwards to Montpelier.

    • ACCOMMODATIONHotel

    •  
    • MEALSBL

  • Great Salt Lake and Wasatch Mountain.

    No need for too early a start today, as we drive to the shores of the Great Salt Lake, at the foot of the impressive Wasatch Mountains. We can stop on the shores of the Great Salt Lake to try to capture the vast expanse of sky and salt. Overnight at Salt Lake City, home to the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormonism).

    • ACCOMMODATIONHotel

    •  
    • MEALSBL

  • Salt Lake City and drive to Moab.

    This morning we will have the option of photographing around downtown Salt Lake City. Subjects include the Salt Lake Temple, the centerpiece of downtown, and the Mormon Tabernacle. Construction on the Temple began in 1853, with granite blocks being transported by oxen from Little Cottonwood Canyon, twenty miles away. The impressive edifice took 40 years to complete and entry is prohibited to all non-Mormons. Approx 2 hours driving takes us to the south of Salt Lake City, the vastness of the San Rafael Desert will begin to unfold before us. The yellow flowers of the Rubber Rabbitbrush line the highway .We approach Moab from the north, guided along by the meander of the Colorado River. Tall towers of red sandstone jut from the earth. In the evening we drive to Dead Horse State Park, a vantage point giving us one of the best views of the Colorado River from above, with the Las Sal Mountains to the east. Mesas, cliffs, cacti, and far off mountain peaks will grace your viewfinders on this day. 4-5 hours driving time.

    • ACCOMMODATIONHotel

    •  
    • MEALSBL

  • Canyonlands and Arches and a second night in Moab.

    There are two theories for the origin of the name Moab. Some say it is derived from the Paiute Indian word 'moapa' meaning mosquito, and others believe it comes from the biblical Moab, an area on the eastern side of the Jordan River, known as 'the far country'. In spite of its contested naming theories, there remains one thing that is not contested, the beauty of this region. The predominant Navajo and Kayenta Sandstone create a unique and extremely photogenic landscape. Once described as the Uranium Capital of the World, the area has since begun mining a new resource: adventure tourism. Visitors come to take part in any number of outdoor activities including hiking, trekking, mountain biking, rock climbing and white water rafting.This morning, for those who are keen, we will depart before first light to make the 45 minute drive to the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park. Here, we will find Mesa Arch, a natural sandstone arch whose precarious location acts as a perfect frame for the desert country behind it. We return to spend the afternoon in Arches National Park where over 1000 natural sandstone arches have been discovered and documented. The park can easily be explored via short walks on well-maintained trails. Each trail leads to one or several arches including the Windows, Double Arch, and Landscape Arch, the longest arch in the world measured at a span of 88.4m. 3-4 hrs total driving time.

    • ACCOMMODATIONHotel

    •  
    • MEALSBL

  • Options in and around Moab. Overnight at Mexican Hat.

    This morning we have the option of re-visiting either Canyonlands or Arches National Park for some final photos, or visiting the town of Moab and its many Southwestern style art galleries. In the afternoon, we depart for Monument Valley. Monument Valley lies on the border of Utah and Arizona and, more specifically, within the borders of the Navajo Indian Reservation. The Reservation is a semi-autonomous Native American-governed territory that covers 27,425 square miles. The Navajo tribe is the largest federally recognized tribe in the United States with over 300,000 enrolled members. Monument Valley was made famous by director John Ford, who used the location in many of his Westerns. This valley and its sandstone buttes create an iconic image of the American West At an additonal cost, there is an optional 4x4 tour of the valley with a local Navajo guide. Overnight in Mexican Hat.

    • ACCOMMODATIONHotel

    •  
    • MEALSBL

  • Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell.

    In the early morning, we spend some time photographing the features of Monument Valley at sunrise. Once we've had our fill, we journey to the shores of Lake Powell, with an optional visit to Antelope Canyon en route (a fee must be paid locally, for this optional visit). Lake Powell was known as 'Glen Canyon', before the construction of the hydro-electric dam. The lake region is dominated by slick-rock formations, created by millions of years of wind erosion of the Kayenta Sandstone layer. Just before leaving the Navajo Reservation, we will explore the depths of Antelope Canyon, arguably one of the most photographed locations in the world. A mid-morning wander through this magnificent slot canyon that was once home to herds of Antelope (hence the name), will easily produce some of the best photographs of the tour. Stock up on memory cards for this one! In the evening we will enjoy a spectacular sunset over Lake Powell. Optional boat cruises. 3 hours driving time. Overnight in Page. 

    • ACCOMMODATIONHotel

    •  
    • MEALSBL

  • Horseshoe Bend to Bryce.

    After a leisurely morning, we take a short walk to Horseshoe Bend, just a few minutes from our hotel. This large turn in the Colorado River is an incredible site under the morning sun. A wide-angle lens can enhance your chances of capturing this phenomenon. After this photo stop, we head north and west to the Paunsaugunt Plateaus and Bryce Canyon National Park, home of the Hoodoos. Largely made up of Limestone, frost weathering and stream erosion have shaped this natural amphitheater into the spectacle that it is. The Paiute Indians in the area developed a mythology surrounding the hoodoos (pinnacles) in Bryce Canyon. They believed that hoodoos were the Legend People whom the trickster Coyote turned to stone. At least one older Paiute said his culture called the hoodoos Anka-ku-was-a-wits, which is Paiute for 'red painted faces'. Enjoy a sunset photo shoot from the rim of the canyon. 3 hours driving time. Overnight in Bryce.

    • ACCOMMODATIONHotel

    •  
    • MEALSBL

  • Bryce Canyon.

    Sunrise at Bryce Canyon is one of the most popular sunrises in the American West, and we will be there to see it! The moment the awakening sun hits the amphitheater, you will know why. Once we've exhausted the gears in our cameras, we will take a hike inside the canyon, allowing us to see the photograph the hoodoos from up close and all angles. Any number of hikes of all distances and difficulties can be undertaken. As usual, the best sites are furthest from the parking lot. Once you've entered the canyon you'll understand why Ebenezer Bryce described it as 'a heck of a place to lose a cow'. In the afternoon, we follow the Sevier River south to Kanab, where we stay in an authentic Mormon Village with lots of opportunities for photography. 1.5 hours driving time.

    • ACCOMMODATIONHotel

    •  
    • MEALSBL

  • North Rim of the Grand Canyon (Toroweap).

    Today, adventure awaits us. We will climb aboard a 4WD vehicle to be shuttled across the unforgiving terrain of the Arizona Strip, the land to the north of the Grand Canyon. As we rumble across barren sage flats and through Ponderosa Pine forests, we will have to wonder what it was like to cross this rough country on a horse. Toroweap and the North Rim experience much less tourism than other parts of the Grand Canyon, due to this difficult access and colder temperatures. Standing on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, we will gazing into one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, with the Colorado River more than a kilometer below. The best light is during the day and afternoon. Return to overnight at Kanab. 7-8 hours driving time.

    • ACCOMMODATIONHotel

    •  
    • MEALSBL

  • Buckskin Gulch and Wire Pass Slot Canyon. Overnight in Las Vegas.

    Today we will discover one of the most amazing and unfrequented wilderness areas in the American West. We drive to the Buckskin Gulch trailhead and hike into the extraordinary Wire Pass Slot Canyon. The surrounding cliffs become gradually higher and closer together, and the last half mile has two good deep stretches of narrows. The cliffs open out suddenly to another amazing canyon; Buckskin Gulch, the longest continuous slot canyon in the country. It is possible (clients would need to apply online for a permit - at least 4 months before travelling) to visit 'The Waves'. This unique and much-photographed formation is accessed from Wire Pass Canyon and its undulating strata display an amazing spectrum of colours. In the afternoon, we drive to Las Vegas via St George and Mesquite. Overnight in Las Vegas with the opportunity in the evening to walk 'The Strip'.

    • ACCOMMODATIONHotel

    •  
    • MEALSBL

  • Depart Las Vegas.

    KE Land Only package services end with breakfast at the hotel. The hotel provides a free shuttle service to Las Vegas Airport.