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New Photos: Yellowstone Winter 2020 Wildlife & Scenery

My 2020 winter Yellowstone trip was the best winter experience I’ve ever had in the park. I headed over in mid-January to spend a week on my own in the northern range before kicking off my winter photo tour. For the tour, we spent three days on a private snow coach in the park interior, followed by three more days back in the north. You can read the trip reports I posted from the park here.

Throughout the two weeks, I was treated to some marvelous wildlife encounters and photo opportunities. The main highlight of this trip involved wolves, and I will be publishing a separate gallery of wolf images soon. But I’m kicking things off with the rest of the subjects I photographed. There was a lot of good stuff aside from wolves on this trip. I enjoyed my best otter encounter in a few years. During my tour we had not one but two weasels running around at the same time (probably my best weasel encounter ever). Bison, moose and other animals put on a great show. And there was even some nice scenery along the way. It was a truly memorable trip.

If you missed it, I shared some monochrome images from this adventure in last week’s article on black and white photography.

You can see the full gallery of 167 new (non-wolf) photos here. A short preview is below.

American Badger

This was my first time seeing an American badger in winter. This one was active for several days, and at one point a second badger was seen further down in the Lamar Valley.

Common Raven

One of my more frequent subjects during winter trips is the Common Raven. They’re quite handsome, and are tolerant of the attention they get.

American Bison

Bison are perhaps the most common winter subject in the park’s northern range, but they still manage to provide me with new and interesting photo opportunities.

North American River Otters

I enjoyed my best otter shoot in a few years during this trip.

I was fortunate to spot a pair of otters while driving in the eastern Lamar Valley. They put on a nice show below the road.

Norris Geyser Basin

Typically Norris Geyser Basin is one of my least favorite thermal areas… but it’s fantastic in winter. Only at this time of year can you find the extra vibrant thermophilic green algae in some of its thermal features.

Norris Geyser Basin

Porcelain Basin at Norris Geyser Basin boasts some lovely pastel colors.

Coyote and Bison

A coyote watches bison from across the Madison River.


Bull moose in the eastern Lamar Valley were in the process of losing their antlers during this trip, and this fellow seemed to be the last holdout.

Red Fox

During one of our private snow coach days in the interior, we saw six or seven foxes.

Red fox

This fox provided the best encounter and photo opportunities as it roamed the floor of Hayden Valley.

Bighorn Sheep

In the Lamar Valley, Bighorn rams often come down lower to graze closer to the road during winter.

American Bison

This cow had a very distinct look with raccoon eyes and forward-facing horns.

Long-Tailed Weasel

This weasel was a prolific hunter, securing at least four voles in an hour or so. It was one of two weasels we saw (at the same time) one afternoon.

Check out the full Yellowstone Winter 2020 Wildlife & Scenery gallery. And remember that you can order prints of nearly all of these images instantly through the website.

If you’d like to join me on next year’s winter photo tour, it’s currently full but there’s a possibility we may get some cancellations. I encourage folks to learn more about the trip and get on the waiting list in case spots open up.


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