Yellowstone, Montana – Spring 2017

montana2017logo608NANPA Regional Event – Yellowstone National Park

May 18-21, 2017

Event Details –

This Spring tour will focus on the wildlife of Yellowstone. Early spring in the park provides for some of the best wildlife viewing, the roads are clear, the crowds are smaller and the bears will be out of their dens. Join Trent Sizemore (a West Yellowstone resident) and Walt Anderson for this NANPA Regional Event.

Grizzly Bear with Cubs © Trent Sizemore

Grizzly Bear with Cubs © Trent Sizemore

What to Expect –

This tour is designed for anyone who is interested in improving their photography skills and receiving valuable coaching, as well as professionals interested in capturing wildlife images of this dramatic region. Participants will be divided into groups to ensure top shooting locations in the area. This tour is limited to 28 participants (We have additional leaders standing by if needed) to give time with each instructor and to retain flexibility based on weather and the best opportunities.

Red Fox © Trent Sizemore

Red Fox © Trent Sizemore

Just the Facts –

Date: May 18-21 (Check-in Thursday, May 18 @ 6:00 p.m.)

Cost: $395 NANPA member, $595 non-members (Sunday Brunch included)

Location: West Yellowstone, MT

Last date to register: May 5, 2017

Maximum number attendees: 30


Lodging –

ejwnwwskgcaqbcab7fpeibpbxxc_mknybh2_bqaizj05wougtnxzywh5np6q1uhcpqofl8vx5s1qzvdq_bobnvdggurmh0glfcqBrandin’ Iron Inn
201 North Canyon Street
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
Phone: 406-646-9411

NOTES: A block of rooms has been reserved under NANPA.  Call the hotel to make reservations and mention NANPA Photography Group rate when registering.  This room rate is not available online.

Rooms: $64.00/night (+10% tax and $1/night city tax)
Cutoff date for room rate is May 15, 2017 (or when block is full)

Map & Directions

Leaders –

Trent Sizemore Bio Photo for 2017 Spring Yellowstone Regional Event

Trent Sizemore

Just a day after graduating college, Trent packed up and headed west. His travels led him to the Grand Teton National Park and eventually landing in his current location of West Yellowstone, Montana. Trent is a licensed Yellowstone guide and leads both wildlife and landscape tours in the park. Trent has a formal education in art, with a focus on both photography and graphic design. Most of his recent photography work involves wildlife: the predators and prey of the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. The stunning volcanic landscapes of Wyoming and Montana also make up significant portions of his portfolio.


Walt Anderson

Walt Anderson is an award-winning photographer/inventor specializing in wildlife, landscapes and Americana subjects. In addition to being published in both books and magazines, he has sold prints at art shows, led tours and workshops in North America, and is teaching photography classes at Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL. He was a leader for NANPA’s Bosque del Apache Regional Event in 2015.

Inspired by Larry West at an early 1990’s workshop, Walt started to explore the capabilities of the new TTL flash units that were just being introduced. He founded VisualEchoes Inc. to produce and market his products including the Flash X-tender™ (It is also marketed under the name “Better Beamer”) and the Panning Plate.

Walt’s photos have been published in books and calendars by Capstone Press, Compass International, The Creative Company, Everyday Learning, and Chicago Wilderness magazine and Outdoor Photographer magazine among others.

Photo Locations – 

Northern Range – Lamar Valley –
The northern range of Yellowstone, from Mammoth Hot Springs to the Lamar Valley, is a wildlife sanctuary during late winter and early spring. Wolves, grizzly and black bears, coyotes, foxes, and other large mammals are commonly seen all around this area. Wide open spaces allow for dramatic landscape scenes with backgrounds ranging from rolling hills to the sharp peaks of the Absaroka Mountains. Trout Lake is just a short hike (1/3 mile) from the road near the Lamar Valley. During spring, it’s possible to see both osprey and otters trying to catch some of the trout found in the lake.

Hayden Valley
The area from Canyon to Yellowstone Lake features another wildlife hotspot – Hayden Valley. The Yellowstone River flows through here, and can be home to otters, foxes, and several species of birds. Bears coming out from hibernation can often find food in the wide open expanse of this area. Wolves can be seen throughout Hayden Valley and along the banks of the Yellowstone River. Aside from the wildlife, the landscape also offers an endless, possibly snow-covered, view in early May.

Firehole River Area
The Firehole River, fed by thermal sources like hot springs and geysers, stays relatively warm throughout the year. This entire area hosts bison, coyote, elk, and otters during spring, as the warm ground keeps snowpack low in many areas. Grizzly bears are often seen in early spring around the Old Faithful area as they search for post- hibernation meals. The Firehole Canyon is a short drive through vertical canyon walls, where the Firehole River flows over several stunning waterfalls. The geyser basins here feature the majority of the park’s hydrothermal features, including Grand Prismatic Spring and the Old Faithful area.

Yellowstone Lake
The lower loop road runs along the north shore of Yellowstone Lake, the largest freshwater lake above 7,000’ in North America. The lake may still be frozen in May, offering an opportunity to photograph a vast, white landscape of ice with snow-covered mountains in the background. The West Thumb Geyser Basin is a unique hydrothermal area offering a background unlike the other geyser basins. The forests near the lake are home to elk, and grizzly bears may be coming out of hibernation to patrol the water’s edge.

Madison River
The closest area to the town of West Yellowstone is the Madison River along the west entrance road. This valley is home to bald eagles, osprey, elk, bison, and coyotes. A crisp morning would offer the opportunity to photograph a beautiful fog floating over the warm waters of the river. Surrounded by steep mountains formed by volcanic lava flows, the Madison River offers a scenic opportunity to start and finish the day. Terrace Spring is another small hydrothermal area near the Madison Junction area.


• Old Faithful – Geyser Grill, Bear Paw Deli, service station, general store
• Canyon – Yellowstone Adventure Store (hot dogs, soup, chili), service station, general store (May 13th)
• Mammoth – Terrace Grill, service station, general store
• Fishing Bridge – general store, service station

Schedule –

Basic 2017 Spring Yellowstone Regional Event Schedule
(subject to change depending on weather, etc.)

Thursday, May 18, 2017 – 6:00pm

Registration, orientation, and evening program in the Brandin’ Iron Inn in West Yellowstone.
Please eat dinner prior to the meeting.

Friday, May 19, 2017 and Saturday, May 20, 2017

Morning and afternoon field trips to photography locations.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Morning field trips followed by a group brunch/lunch (included in your event registration fee).

Meals: all meals are on your own except Sunday brunch/lunch, which is included in the event registration fee. Attendees are encouraged to eat together with their groups as part of the overall experience. We will stop at Mammoth or Fishing Bridge for lunches on Friday and Saturday (not included in your registration fee).

Transportation: is on your own. We will be based at the Brandin’ Iron Inn in West Yellowstone.


NANPA is authorized by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, to conduct services in Yellowstone National Park.