If you have never experienced the piercing scream of a bull elk during the rut, you’re in for a treat during this ELK RUT Photo Tour 2020!
If you have witnessed the elk rut, you know what an awesome experience it is to photograph the bulls in action.
Rocky Mountain National Park is the go-to spot for elk rut photography. That’s where we’ll spend our mornings and late afternoons capturing the drama and majesty of these giant deer (ground transportation included in your tour).
When not occupied by rutting elk we’ll go in search of other wildlife. With some luck we’ll also train our lenses on the world’s biggest deer species (Alces alces), better known as moose.
This time of year is really special! The aspens will be changing and pikas will be busily laying in a last batch of hay before winter sets in. Also keep an eye out for mule deer, yellow-bellied marmots, black bear, bighorn sheep, pikas, beavers, and more!
Limited to six (6) photographers. ALL-INCLUSIVE (meals, lodging [double-occupancy] & ground transportation included)
IMPORTANT NOTE: This is an estimated schedule & we’ll do our best to stick to this itinerary, but certain conditions may necessitate changes. Good photographic experiences & plenty of chances to view wildlife remain goal at all times.
Monday September 21:
Get settled in your Estes Park hotel (double-occupancy lodging included) — with its Rocky Mountain view — then meet for our Welcome Dinner.
This dinner — as well as the rest of your meals through breakfast on Friday, September 25th — is included in your ELK RUT Photo Tour 2020.
September 22 & 23:
We’ll head out in the pre-dawn to catch the elk as they wrap up a night of carousing. Mature males (“bulls“) have spent the night bugling and bargaining in the hopes of adding females (“cows“) to their “harems.”
Bull elk challenge one another by bellowing and walking back and forth to assess one another’s prowess. If neither backs down, the challenge is on! We may get to watch — and photograph — them battling one another with their antlers.
Once the elk fade back into the forest we will seek landscape photography opportunities. This time of year, brilliant yellows, golds, and oranges paint these scenes in shades of autumn. Deciduous aspen and cottonwoods nestled into evergreen conifers make for some great images.
Come afternoon we’ll stake out our spot for the evening elk party.
Overnight: Estes Park
Thursday September 24:
The morning begins as did the 22nd and 23rd: with an elk-rut photo shoot followed by shooting landscapes.
After breakfast, we’ll check out of our Estes Park hotel & head up the famous Trail Ridge Road.
Plan to stop along the way for photo ops and also at the top where marmots and pika zip about. The mountain vistas are breathtaking here!
Spend your final night of the tour in the town of Grand Lake, which is where the Colorado River begins. After checking in and a small rest, it’s time to explore these new environs for photogenic wildlife and landscapes.
Overnight: Grand Lake
Friday September 25:
Our final photo shoot of the tour takes place this morning. After the elk hit the sack and the sweet light fades, we’ll eat breakfast together a final time.
Be sure to exchange contact info with your new friends before we journey back over the mountains and home!
WHAT YOU CAN LEARN ON THIS TOUR:
- How to do pan blurs
- Techniques to get images featuring silky smooth waterfalls
- How to get a starburst in your image
- How to master manual exposure (& when it’s better than priority exposures)
- How to understand what your histogram is telling you
- Tips for landscape images
A note about instruction on my photo tours:
Since skills levels vary so much on photo tours, I tailor my teaching to individual needs. Please do not be shy about telling me what you need.
- Double-occupancy accommodations for four (4) nights.
- Meals & non-alcoholic drinks from the first night of the tour through breakfast the last day of the tour.
- Ground transportation, including airport pick up & drop off for those who fly into Denver.
- Jeff’s guidance, instruction and image review throughout (reviews after you return home, too).
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:
Any lodging outside the tour dates. Travel insurance, alcoholic beverages, medical expenses, laundry service or any other personal items.
LOGISTICS, EQUIPMENT & SUCH:
There are minimal physical requirements for this tour. Some shot locations may be on inclines or rocky terrain. It will depend on the elk activity and the fall foliage.
Estes Park is at an elevation of 7500 feet and Grand Lake is at about 8300 feet.
Click on this EQUIPMENT CHECKLIST (PDF) to see what equipment I suggest you bring along. You do NOT have to own it all nor bring it all.
If you have any questions about suitable or minimum equipment needed, please do not hesitate to contact me.
The nearest airport is Denver International Airport (airport code: DIA).
We will provide airport pickup & dropoff if you’re flying into Denver (in addition to other ground transportation during the tour).
Your flight will need to arrive before 4 PM on Monday September 21 to make it to the Welcome Dinner. Schedule your return flight after 2 PM on Friday the 25th.
FOOD & LODGING & TRANSPORTATION:
This tour is all-inclusive, double-occupancy.
Meals are provided from dinner Monday night to breakfast Friday morning.
Ground transportation — including Denver airport pickup and dropoff — is also included.
GENERAL INFO / SIGN UP:
- DURATION: 4 days, 4 nights
- DATES: Monday, September 21 — Friday, September 25, 2020
- PRICE: $2495 ~ ALL-INCLUSIVE
- SPACE FOR: Six (6)
- DEPOSIT AMOUNT: $500
- PAYMENT DUE DATES: A total of half the cost of the tour due 6-months before departure. Remaining balance due 60-days prior to start date of tour.
Please read our Cancellation Policy before purchasing.(Follow the provided link or go to link under “MORE” on sidebar to the right.) Thanks!
At the start of each event, we’ll ask you to sign this liability waiver. We encourage you to review it before signing up.