Essence of Winter

Yellowstone National Park

January 26 to February 3, 2025
Private Trip Available
Cost: $7,000
Leader: Scott Davis assisted by Chris Desborough
Group Size: 8
Days: 9

Safari Overview

Capture images of snowy Old Faithful geyser, ice-covered bison alongside thermal pools, foxes, coyotes, and perhaps wolves with professional wildlife photographer Scott Davis. Step carefully around delicate, chalky mineral terraces at Mammoth Hot Springs and discover multi-hued steaming pools and bubbling mud pots in the Geyser Basins. Witness small crystals and flakes form into “geyser rain” as Old Faithful erupts. Track elk, pronghorn, and red fox amid a snowy and steamy landscape. Listen for the echoing howls of a pack of gray wolves haunting the stillness of Lamar Valley. Delve into the heart of Yellowstone National Park to create your own photographic stories of winter survival that leave your audience speechless.


  • Observe Yellowstone’s famous wildlife – bison, elk, gray wolf, and more.
  • Photograph spouting Old Faithful geyser and other fascinating geologic features.
  • Practice photographic composition and technique with wildlife photographer, Scott Davis.
  • Maximize wildlife viewing opportunities with ample stops and detours while traveling via private bus and snowcoach.

Itinerary Updated: April 2024

Wildlife Safari Coordinator: Elizabeth Coler

Private Trip Available

Print Trip
Date Description Lodge Meals
Jan 26 Arrive in Bozeman, Montana, USA. Hampton Inn, Bozeman
Jan 27-28 Meet Scott and follow the Yellowstone River south into the park and explore Mammoth Hot Springs and wildlife-rich Lamar Valley. Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, Yellowstone National Park B, L, D
Jan 29 Explore Hayden Valley by private snowcoach en route to central Yellowstone to photograph winter scenes and wildlife. Old Faithful Snow Lodge, Yellowstone National Park B, L, D
Jan 30–31 Capture images of wildlife and thermal features while exploring the geyser basins by foot and private snowcoach. Old Faithful Snow Lodge, Yellowstone National Park B, L, D
Feb 1 Walk among the geysers in the morning, then return to Mammoth Hot Springs by snowcoach alongside dramatic cliffs and geyser basins. Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, Yellowstone National Park B, L, D
Feb 2 Revisit Lamar Valley. Enjoy a farewell dinner, and then return to Bozeman. Hampton Inn, Bozeman B, L, D
Feb 3 Depart for home. B

Our Trip Leaders

Scott Davis

Scott, co-owner and co-CEO of Cheesemans’ Ecology Safaris, is an expert wildlife, nature, and travel photographer. Trained as a wildlife and marine biologist, he's explored all seven continents for research and photography. National Geographic, BBCAnimal PlanetNY Times, and other prestigious publications have featured his inspiring work. Scott's passion for teaching and talent for capturing the essence of his subjects make him a highly sought-after tour leader.

Chris Desborough

Chris, originally from the U.K., has been living near Yellowstone’s Northwest entrance for the last 34 years. He is passionate about wildlife photography and the Yellowstone Ecosystem. His background in optical engineering has led him to work with many optical lithography systems such as those of Canon and Nikon. Chris has completed several trips with Cheesemans’ and matches Cheesemans' Co-Owner and Co-CEO, Scott Davis', passion for photography and working with others.

Detailed Itinerary

A glimpse into our journey

Arrive in Bozeman, Montana

Jan 26

Meet Scott and explore northern Yellowstone

Jan 27-28

Mammoth Hot Springs
© Tom Murphy

Specific destinations within the park are subject to change depending on weather conditions and wildlife.

Meet Scott Davis in Bozeman to embark on this special photographic journey. Drive south along the Yellowstone River into northern Yellowstone National Park. Discover the wild countryside where bighorn sheep, elk, pronghorn, bison, and coyotes roam. Take in the distinct smells and sounds of Mammoth Hot Springs where colorful mineral terraces are as spectacular as the wildlife. Explore the wildlife-rich Lamar Valley, the best place to see gray wolves as well as bison, elk, and a host of smaller mammals and birds.

Explore Hayden Valley into central Yellowstone

Jan 29

Bighorn Rams
© Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris

Travel south from Mammoth Hot Springs to central Yellowstone by private snowcoach, passing Yellowstone Lake and exploring beautiful Hayden Valley. Work on perfecting photographic technique while composing images of bison, pronghorn, elk, and other wildlife in different park habitats and pristine winter landscapes.

Central Yellowstone National Park

Jan 30–31

Explore the Old Faithful area on foot by way of the extensive boardwalk system. Observe eruptions of Old Faithful geyser and discover other fascinating thermal features. The wildlife at the heart of Yellowstone is magnificent, creating striking photo opportunities amid the contrasting backdrop of steaming pools and snow-blanketed terrain. Spend a full day exploring the Upper and Lower Geyser Basin by private snowcoach. Search for ideal winter scenes and wildlife to observe and photograph, and delight in bubbling mud pots, smoky fumaroles, and thermal pools of rainbow hues. Weather permitting, capture early-morning images of geysers illuminated by the rising sun.

Ride by snowcoach to Mammoth Hot Springs

Feb 1

© Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris

Spend your last morning in central Yellowstone walking among the geysers, then return to Mammoth Hot Springs by snowcoach, stopping along the way to photograph wildlife and Yellowstone’s intriguing topography.

Lamar Valley and return to Bozeman

Feb 2

Return to Lamar Valley for more wildlife viewing. In addition to wolves and larger mammals, search for coyote, red fox, river otter, bald eagle, as well as trumpeter swan, bufflehead, and other waterfowl. Return to Bozeman and enjoy a final group dinner.

Depart for home

Feb 3


Travel to Yellowstone and capture images of snowy Old Faithful geyser, ice-covered bison, fox, coyotes, and perhaps wolves.

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Cost & Payments

Costs (in US$)

Type Cost Per Person
Trip Cost, double occupancy $7,000
Single Supplement Contact us

Costs are per person, double occupancy, not including airfare, singles extra. See Included and Not Included sections for more details.

If you are a single traveler, we will try to find a roommate for you, but if we cannot pair you with a roommate, we may charge you a single supplement. Single rooms cost extra and are subject to availability.

Payment Schedule

Payment Due Date Amount Per Person
Deposit Due now to reserve your space $1,500
Final August 19, 2024 Remaining balance

Payments are due based on the schedule above. All reservations require a deposit to confirm reservation of your space.


Until the Final Payment due date, deposits are refundable except for a cancellation fee of $150 per person, which can be applied toward another trip if reserved within six months of the cancelled trip’s departure date. Cancellations are non-transferrable. No refunds are given after the Final Payment due date.


  • Carbon offsets for the duration of this trip.
  • All leaders, transport, park entry fees, and permits for all activities unless described as optional.
  • Accommodations for the nights of January 26 through February 2.
  • Meals from breakfast on January 27 through breakfast on February 3.
  • Transfers on January 26 and February 3 via complimentary hotel shuttle between the Hampton Inn and the Bozeman Airport (BZN).
  • Gratuities to snowcoach drivers, meal services, and porters at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and Old Faithful Snow Lodge.
  • Trip Planning Materials – information about entry requirements, flights, packing, gratuities, etc.

Not Included

  • Carbon offsets for your flights to/from this trip.
  • All airfare, airport and departure taxes, and excess baggage fees.
  • COVID tests.
  • Extra hotel nights.
  • Gratuities for luggage porters and shuttle drivers at Hampton Inn Bozeman, and the assistant guide.
  • Emergency evacuation insurance and trip cancellation insurance.
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone calls, medical costs or hospitalization, room service, alcoholic and other beverages, items not on the regular menu, etc. If you have special dietary needs, please indicate them on your Traveler Form.


Daytime temperatures are usually around 0°F (-20°C) but may reach up to the 20s°F (-5°C). Subzero overnight temperatures are common. Warm winds will occasionally push daytime temperatures into the 40s°F (5 to 10°C), causing significant melting of the snowpack at lower elevations, but cold snaps may drive temperatures much lower. Snow is a good possibility.

Fitness Level

You should be comfortable walking with and carrying your gear or standing for several hours at a time. The group usually covers distances under one mile at a slow pace and may occasionally walk short distances in snow. Please contact us if you have any health concerns that may make this trip challenging. Please contact us if you have any health concerns that may make this trip challenging.


Detailed logistical information is included in the Trip Planning Materials we will send you.

Flights you book

  • Arrive in Bozeman, Montana (BZN) by 11:59pm on January 26.
  • Depart from Bozeman, Montana (BZN) after 12:00am on February 3.



Motion Sickness


Travel in a private 15-passenger bus between Bozeman and Yellowstone National Park, as well as around Lamar Valley, then in a snowcoach deep in the park to the geyser basins. For maximum flexibility, we charter a private snowcoach on two days.


Our company ethos has always regarded conservation as inseparable from responsible tourism. We struggle with the dilemma that traveling worldwide expends climate-changing carbon. However, we wholeheartedly believe that traveling with us will cultivate your passion for conserving our beautiful world while stimulating each destination’s local economy. We encourage you to explore the various ways in which Cheesemans’ operates within this context:

  • Cheesemans’ Trips are Carbon Neutral
  • Offsetting your Travel to/from our Trip: We ask you to pledge to offset the carbon emissions for your travel to and from our trips. Use this tool to calculate your emissions and purchase your carbon offset today through Sustainable Travel International, or through your favorite carbon offsetting organization.


Read our current Terms and Conditions.