15.11-26.11.24
Tour 1
11 days
Duration
Whitehorse
from / to
4–8
Group size

Bald Eagle Photography Tour

Yukon and Alaska

Accompany us along the St. Elias Mountains (second highest coastal mountain range in the world) to Haines (Alaska/USA) to the Chilkat River. From the end of October until November, the waters of northern Canada and Alaska freeze. Only in this one remote valley, under the influence of the warm coastal climate, the thousands of eagles living in North America on their way to the south have the last chance to eat their fill of the spawning salmon in the river. It’s the world’s largest gathering of eagles. In the right weather conditions, this completely unique natural phenomenon will pair up with the colorful and intense northern lights at the same time. The fulminant, unique and magical impressions are unforgettable and will enchant you.

During the trip and the special photography workshops you will be looked after by professional photographer Beat Glanzmann and his business partner Eva Riedwyl. Beat and Eva have been living in their log cabin resort in the Yukon Wilderness since 1995, just two hours from the eagle area, and are known as open-minded, warm and experienced hosts. Both like to share their enthusiasm for nature and their local knowledge. Beats photographs are published worldwide. He is one of the most experienced photographers in the field of animal and landscape photography and has been passionately photographing eagles for over 30 years. You will have the opportunity to benefit from the knowledge of the long-time wilderness guides and the professional experience in eagle photography and will be guaranteed to travel home with hundreds of spectacular eagle and landscape pictures!

No matter whether they’re a beginner or a professional, Beat Glanzmann supports the participants with his experience and detailed instructions to make every picture absolutely perfect. The planning of the eagle travels is perfectly coordinated with the spawning process of the salmon. Beat has been leading the bald eagle photography trips for over 28 years and will take you to selected places to shoot the most spectacular photos. He can assess the exact lighting conditions and support you in creating unique images. You will be able to observe and photograph hundreds of bald eagles in trees, on sandbanks, during their majestic flight and in aerial battles and experience unforgettable moments. All eagles are photographed in their natural environment and without being fed.

Our eagle photo journey not only offers animal photographers, but also lovers of landscape and the northern lights excellent possibilities for various motives. Your stay will be rounded off daily with informative photography workshops (see detailed program). The group size is a maximum of 8 people and therefore allows unlimited space for an individual choice of subject as well as the possibility of spreading out far across the landscape.

Requirements

The tour does not require a high level of fitness. However, you should be in good physical condition and be able to hike, at a leisurely pace on a good paths about an hour.

  • Observing and photographing bald eagles, the world’s largest collection with up to 3500 animals.
  • Expansion of photographic knowledge in photography workshops with the the topics flight and action shots of eagles, stars and winter landscapes
  • Magical northern light experiences in the quiet of the wilderness
  • Romantic log cabins with crackling wood-burning fire and sauna under an open, starry sky
  • Observing wild dall sheep during their rutting fights
  • Photographing ice structures and formations on short winter hikes across frozen lakes and along snow-covered landscapes

For all options, hotel accommodations throughout the entire trip are available upon request (with additional charges for hotels and transfers).

Option A:

11-day itinerary with 6 days of eagle photography, plus 5 days of Yukon landscapes, Northern Lights, ice photography, and cabin romance at Kluane National Park.

(6 hotel / 5 cabin nights)

 

Option B:

15-day itinerary with 12 days of eagle photography.

Includes 4 cabin nights at Kluane National Park.

(11 hotel / 4 cabin nights)

 

Option C:

8-day itinerary with 6 days of eagle photography.

(6 hotel / 2 cabin nights)

For all packages, the maximum number of participants is limited to 8 people, and with 6 or more participants, you will be accompanied by 2 guides during the eagle activities.

 

Day 1:

Individual arrival in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. Transfer by shuttle bus or taxi to your pre-booked hotel in Whitehorse.

 

Day 2:

You will be greeted at the reception of your reserved hotel at 10:00 AM.

We accompany you on a short city tour, followed by a visit to the supermarket where you can purchase your personal snacks (lunch) and drinks (not included in the tour price).

We head west to the Glanzmann Tours Base at Kluane National Park, making initial photo stops (3 hours drive).

Along the Alaska Highway and Takhini River, you may spot wildlife such as elk, moose, foxes, or ptarmigans. In the late afternoon, the stunning mountain and lake landscapes provide exceptional opportunities for landscape photography in good lighting conditions.

Finally, we reach the Glanzmann Tours Base directly adjacent to Kluane National Park with its charming log cabins.

These clean hand-built log houses are scattered across the 8-hectare forested property, offering unobstructed views of a breathtaking mountain backdrop.

Here, an indescribable silence awaits, so profound that you can hear your heartbeat. Pure nature.

After a communal dinner, we discuss the itinerary of the photo journey. Additionally, there’s an introductory photo workshop on “Eagle Photography” to prepare you for the first encounters with the eagles.

Throughout the trip, we have good chances to photograph the Northern Lights at night.

 

Day 3:

After breakfast, we embark on a two-hour journey over the Haines Pass to the “Valley of the Eagles” in Alaska, USA. The route, with the glaciated mountains of the St. Elias mountain range, is considered one of the most beautiful in northern Canada and Alaska.

 

As we approach the area of the bald eagles, we are increasingly amazed by the photogenic landscape. In the Valley of the Eagles, a grand spectacle awaits us.

Often, up to twenty eagles perch on a tree, and the valley resonates with the wilderness calls of hundreds of bald eagles feasting on spawning salmon.

It is an absolutely unique natural phenomenon.

The eagles crisscross the river delta, engage in battles for the fish, and perform spectacular dives and high flights.

They feed on the sandbanks or perch in the trees for digestion, against a majestic mountain backdrop. The “Eagle Fever” takes hold, captivating each of us. We will capture the eagles in various situations and lighting conditions during our visit.

The fascinating bald eagles can be observed and photographed in flight, while feeding on fish, engaging in aerial battles, resting on trees, or on the sandbanks.

 

Participants are getting prepared for various approaches and techniques, proceeding with great care to capture these majestic and impressive aerial acrobats up close (up to 5 meters) without causing any disturbance.

In the twilight, we drive to Haines (Alaska) to the best and most comfortable hotel the charming seaside fishing village has to offer.

Each room is equipped with a small kitchenette, allowing for individual catering. After settling into the rooms, we enjoy a communal dinner at the restaurant.

 

Days 4–7:

Breakfast at the nearby coffee shop-bakery.

We dedicate the entire day to the unique photo experience. To capture the first light on the glaciated mountains and make the most of the eagles’ most active time, we drive to the sanctuary in the early morning darkness. Throughout the week, your guide tirelessly scouts for the best locations, adapting to weather conditions to provide you with perfect photo opportunities.

Whether you prefer group photography or exploring individually for subjects nearby is up to you. Your guides take you to the best spots and assist with transporting your photography equipment.

After dusk, you have ample time to rest at the hotel and explore the fishing village, the coast, the fishing harbor, or the local brewery next to the hotel before dinner.

Photo seminars and workshops take place in the evenings at the hotel and are optional. They offer you, regardless of your experience and skill level, the opportunity to enhance your photographic techniques and creative composition.

You’ll be amazed at how much these workshops positively impact the quality of your images!

Each evening, some of the pictures taken that day are analyzed. Beat is happy to share his experiences and reveal proven techniques for action and portrait shots of the eagles.

Other topics include exposure, composition, experimental long exposures, as well as post-processing image planning.

You also have the opportunity to present your best images of the day, which we discuss and analyze in a relaxed atmosphere.

During these days, we also visit the nearby Chilkat River Valley. The journey takes us along the beautiful fjord to the mystical Chilkoot Lake.

A large landscape contrast awaits us with coastal forests, moss landscapes, and extensive fern fields. Here, too, eagles and, with a bit of luck, the large coastal brown bears (grizzlies) can be observed.

 

Day 8:

Breakfast at the nearby coffee shop.

The return journey takes us once again along the open Chilkat Valley, where we photograph the eagles one last time until the afternoon. As we move away from the coastline over the mountain pass road, the landscape becomes more mountainous and wild until we finally reach the pass summit at 1300 meters. Here, in the open tundra highland, we look out for moose, foxes, and ptarmigans. In the evening, we reach the Glanzmann Tours Base, concluding the day with a warm meal and cozy gathering.

 

Day 9:

Drive to Whitehorse (3 hours).

 

Option C: You will be transported to the hotel or airport around noon. Individual departure or onward journey from Whitehorse. Important: Do not plan your departure before 2:00 PM.

 

Option A and B: Visit the renowned “Wildlife Preserve.” Here, most native wildlife (bison, moose, caribou, sheep, mountain goats, lynx, etc.) is kept in vast and natural enclosures. This allows us to capture great shots and portraits of animals that are challenging to photograph in the wild. The day concludes with an optional visit to the newly renovated “Eclipse Nordic Hot Springs” – a wonderfully relaxing experience in warm water among natural rocks.

 

As every evening, we are ready for the Northern Lights, which can be photographed in a fascinating mountain and forest landscape right outside your log cabin in the national park.

 

Option B: This travel option includes 12 days of eagle photography and is suitable for all ambitious bird and wildlife photographers who want to focus even more on eagle photography.

 

Day 10: 

Kluane Lake Continuation for Option A: The morning drive takes us along the Kluane National Park border towards the north. The first light touches the glaciated mountains of the St. Elias mountain range. The beautiful and renowned Kluane Lake is vast, with a length of 81 kilometers, making it one of the largest lakes in the Yukon.

At this time of year, absolutely fascinating “ice waves” and ice structures form along the shore, offering a variety of unique photo subjects. These photo spots immerse you as a photographer in the flow, where time ceases to exist, and you sink fully into the moment.

 

Optional sauna and Northern Lights photography are on the agenda in the evening.

 

Day 11: 

Wildfire Area and Kathleen Lake Today, in the first light, we visit a wildfire area. The black, bare, charred trunks against the backdrop of the Kluane Mountains provide us with unique photo subjects for stunning landscape shots. Subsequent drive to Kathleen Lake, the most famous lake in Kluane National Park. It is idyllically nestled in a breathtaking mountain landscape, symbolizing the Canadian wilderness.

Here, fascinating ice structures also form along the shore. The ice floes, air bubbles in the ice, and ice crystals offer excellent foregrounds.

Since clouds often move through the mountain valley from the west, we have good opportunities here to create unique long exposures with neutral density filters.

Before dinner, there’s a post-processing workshop and a final steamy sauna. The nights, in addition to the Northern Lights, provide opportunities for interesting astrophotography.

For example, Beat will show you how to illuminate a log cabin from inside and outside and integrate it naturally into the starry capture. The last night – once again, we marvel at the star-filled Yukon sky and enjoy the indescribable silence.

 

Day 12: 

After breakfast, we begin the return journey to Whitehorse, where the photo journey ends around noon.

Individual departure or onward journey from Whitehorse. We can book hotel accommodations in Whitehorse upon request.

 

Important: Do not plan your departure before 2:00 PM.

 

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

All routes and timings described in the tour program may vary depending on weather conditions.

 

ACCOMMODATIONS

For all options, hotel accommodations throughout the entire trip are available upon request (with additional charges for hotels and transfers).

 

Log cabin romance in the Glanzmann Tours Base, directly at Kluane National Park, in the silence of the Canadian wilderness.

For detailed information and photos of the accommodation, see www.glanzmanntours.com – “Log Cabins.”

The self-built, cozy guest log cabins are heated with wood. LED lanterns and candlelight, complemented by the crackling wood stove, create a cozy atmosphere for lighting in the cabins.

Each log cabin has a cooking facility, sink, water canister, and kitchen utensils. You will be supplied with the best drinking water from the private spring. Next to each cabin is an “outhouse,” an external toilet facility.

– Couples occupy their own log cabin.

Two participants share a log cabin. Upon early request, we can reserve two single or two double rooms for you.
A sauna with a shower cabin in a specially built log cabin, with a bucket shower, invites relaxation.

 

– There is an opportunity to charge camera, tablet, and mobile phone batteries during the day in the GlanzmannTours Lodge, powered by solar electricity.

 

FOOD/meals: All participants gather for communal meals (breakfast and dinner) in the largest log cabin. Both breakfast and dinner are included during all overnight stays at the log cabin base. Breakfast is provided in buffet form, and we cook dinner for you. Breakfast and dinner during our stays in Whitehorse and Haines (Alaska/USA) in restaurants are not included in the price.

Included services

  • All trips according to the itinerary from/to Whitehorse
  • Transport to the respective photo locations
  • Photographer and guide Beat Glanzmann for the supervision of the shooting technique and image editing workshops
  • Experienced, licensed, English / German speaking guide
  • 6 nights hotels (Whitehorse & Haines, double room)
  • 5 nights in our log cabins
  • 5 x half board (breakfast and dinner);
  • Sauna

Not included in the tour price

  • Individual arrival and departure to/from Whitehorse
  • Transfers between airport and hotel on arrival and departure (by shuttle bus or taxi)
  • Breakfast and dinner in restaurants during stays in Whitehorse and Haines
  • Single room surcharge (6 hotel nights in Whitehorse & Haines CAD 710.00)
  • Snacks (can be bought locally in Whitehorse and Haines)
  • Drinks and alcohol
  • Tips
  • Personal equipment (see equipment list)
  • Travel cancellation and health insurance
  • eTA (electronic Travel Authorization) for entering Canada (CAD 7.00)
  • ESTA permit for entry into the USA (21 US$), as well as the fees for the border crossing to Alaska/USA (6 US$)

Clothing and personal material

  • Luggage
  • Casual trousers
  • Warm trousers
  • T-shirts, long-sleeved shirts, pullovers
  • Underwear
  • Warm winter socks
  • 2-3 pairs of gloves (2 pairs of thin gloves and 1 pair of warm mittens)
  • 1 pair of winter boots (best with removable inner shoe, can be rented with prior notification)
  • 1 pair of warm house shoes or bivouac boots (for cabins)
  • Goretex jacket (this should be wide enough for you to put on enough layers underneath)
  • Goretex trousers (under which you can put on long thermal underwear and/or fleece trousers)
  • Warm jacket or sweater and enough warm clothing
  • Down jacket (very comfortable to photograph)
  • 1 set thermal underwear
  • Warm hat with ear protection
  • Neck warmer “Buff”
  • 2 towels for the sauna
  • Toiletries
  • Wet wipes (optional)
  • Earplugs
  • Eyeglasses and replacement eyeglasses for those who need them (we recommend contact lenses additionally because of condensation/icing hazard of the lenses)
  • Headlamp (including spare batteries)
  • Thermos (min. 750 ml)
  • Pocket knife (carry it with you in your checked baggage for the flights!)
  • Binoculars (optional)
  • Wristwatch or mobile phone with alarm function (or travel alarm clock)
  • Rucksack (about 20 liters for spare clothes and snacks on the way; lunches can be bought locally)
  • Rain cover for the rucksack or waterproof bag in the rucksack to protect documents, photo equipment etc. from moisture
  • Personal medication (carry in hand luggage for flights)
  • Headphones for the flight (can be bought in the plane)

For December to April trips you need to bring

  • Sunglasses and Ski goggles
  • Sunscreen
  • Balaclava with face protection

What can be rented additionally

  • Baffin or Sorel winter boots (guaranteed warm during cold days) CA$ 40.00 per week (please reserve in advance)
  • Towel for sauna CAD 5.00 (washing fee)

Documents

  • Passport (valid for at least 6 months beyond the return date)
  • Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) for entry into Canada. NEW, this type of pre-authorization is mandatory to fly into Canada (arrivals by ship or land do not need eTA). This affects nationalities that do not normally require a tourist visa for Canada. So, for Swiss and EU citizens also. The permit must be obtained online before entry and costs CAD 14.00.
  • ESTA permit for entry into the USA (14 US$). Please also note the current entry regulations of the USA, as this trip leads by land to Alaska/USA. To cross the border, you need 10 US$ in cash.
  • Address of your accident, rescue and health insurance, as well as travel cancellation and liability insurance
  • Airline tickets
  • Credit card
  • Vaccination certificate or copy
  • Cash in CAD and US$

(recommended) Camera equipment

  • Camera
  • Memory cards
  • Lenses
  • Power-adapter for 110 volt (adapter north America)
  • Batteries, rechargeable batteries, charger
  • Cable release / remote release
  • Tripod
  • Various filters (if available)
  • Camera/lens bags
  • Camera weather protection

We strongly recommend several batteries/battery packs. It is possible to recharge the batteries at the Glanzmann Tours base during the days only.

Photographic equipment tips and details PDF

Photographic highlights that await you:

Eagle photography
  • Eagle photos in flight, partly with salmon in the claws
  • Airborne battles for prey with high-speed recordings
  • Eagles resting on trees and sandbanks
  • Portraits and close-ups
  • Eagles eating salmon in the Chilkat River delta
  • Acrobatic flight scenes in front of majestic mountain scenery
Landscape photography
  • Unique mountain, ice and lake landscapes in the middle of the natural paradise of Kluane National Park
  • Northern lights (without disruptive, man-made light influences)
Astrophotography
  • Crystal clear sky for photography of stars and the milky way
  • Star time lapses
Animal photography
  • Bald eagles
  • Dall sheep and other wildlife

Impressions of Bald eagle Photography Tour

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