Great Family Adventures: National Habitat's 'Yellowstone: Winter Photo Expedition'

Yes, we know: The family vacation is a much-parodied event, and perhaps rightfully so. But fumbles, foibles, and hassles aside, families keep taking them for the same good reason: They’re priceless sources of memories.

    Photo: Scott Catron/Wikimedia Commons

HIGHLIGHTS: People tend to associate national park visits with summertime. But seeing Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons in winter is an unparalleled experience. Crisp temperatures mean fewer people, which also means that animals have less fear. To that end, Natural Habitat guarantees a 100 percent wolf-sighting rate and can pretty much assure that you’ll also see bison, raptors, antelope, elk, and bighorn sheep. This is an eight-day photography tour, and for those purposes, these unhurried landscapes don’t disappoint: The geothermal wonders here are beyond photogenic, Old Faithful is as surprising as ever, and the Tetons’ spires put everything human-sized into puny perspective. Yellowstone Falls is often frozen this time of year, making for a stunning, chilling shot. A snow-coach tour gets you into the parks’ interiors, and guides are experienced photography teachers who are happy to train beginners.

OUTFITTER: Natural Habitat partners with WWF to provide wildlife-oriented nature travel all over the world to small groups at a leisurely pace. The company’s specialties include photography tours, family tours, and active expeditions.

ITINERARY: Bozeman to Paradise Valley, Mammoth Hot Springs, Old Faithful, Geyser Basin, Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Hole, the National Elk Refuge, and Jackson.

DATES: Departures January 18 and 25, 2014.

PRICE: $5,895 per person, including lodging, all meals, guidance, photography instruction, ground transportation, entrance fees, taxes, some gratuities, and use of cold-weather gear.

INFO: nathab.com, (800) 543-8917.

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