Photographing Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is one of the most traveled national parks in the United States. Knowing how to utilize your time at Yellowstone is essential in capturing the most scenic areas as well as the beautiful sunsets and sunrises.

Yellowstone national park is massive and getting from one end to the other could take you most of the day so planning your trip accordingly is essential in making the most of your trip. What are some things to consider when making your trip to Yellowstone?


  1. Camera
  2. Tripod
  3. Zoom Lens
  4. Backpack
  5. Water
  6. Food
  7. Hat
  8. Bear Spray
  9. Knife
  10. Hiking Boots

When traveling through Yellowstone you will find that there will be many people on the sides of the roads photographing wildlife. This is common and often times it will take a lot of time to get through the line of onlookers. If you decide to pull over, make sure that you pull off the road or use a pull off or the rangers will ask you to move your vehicle. When deciding to pull off the road make sure that you check where you are pulling off because there are objects to puncture your tire and this can be a problem late at night with limited cell phone service.

What you need for gear?

Having the right camera gear when you go is essential. You can take any camera you find comfortable, however if you are serious about photographing Yellowstone you need take the equipment necessary for the type of photography you are going to be doing. Landscape photography is not going to require a zoom lens but definitely gives your photos and interesting perspective. If you want to get some photos of wildlife, a zoom lens is essential. Preferably a 400mm with a 1.5 mag or higher would be ideal. You will be able to capture wildlife like buffalo, wolves, deer, mountain goats and really interesting birds like hawks, and eagles. Of course there are many other types of animals. There are plenty of animals at this park. Bears seem to be the most sought after. You could run into some grizzly and black bears.

Take a camera with a wide or zoom lens or both is possible. Take a tripod! This is essential for landscape photography. Being able to capture those HDR photos and making sure that you are able to get everything in focus will require a tripod. This is especially important in low light. Your camera should have an internal timer, however if it doesn't I would recommend that you take a shutter release cable or external timer depending on your camera. These are great when using ND filters.

If you are going on hikes, then you will need to bring a backpack to haul your gear. There are easy short hikes and there are long arduous ones. Pick your poison. There are wild animals there so don't approach animals as they are very unpredictable. People have been seriously hurt. Water, food and some good hiking boots can make a big difference. Be sure to break in your boots before you go or you will get blisters. Be sure to bring a hat, knife and bear spray. We have never had to use bear spray while there, but don't chance it and just have one by your side. Lastly take yourself a good knife. The ESEE-5 1095 Carbon Steel, Black Kydex Sheath is a sharp and very durable knife.


Unfortunately drones are prohibited in Yellowstone. There are many reasons why drones are banned, but there are exceptions and those exceptions will have to go through the regulatory department.