The Ultimate Grizzly Bear and Landscape Photography Workshop
- Join Hunts Photo Adventures and Jacques Adventure Lodge for an epic wilderness and wildlife experience in Alaska.
- (Arrival: June 30th) Workshop: July 1st to July 7th, 2021
- Instructors: Don Toothaker and local guide Jerry Jacques
- Price: $6799 (includes lodging & most meals- see below for details)
- This listing is for deposit only.
- Recommended prerequisite: Basic Knowledge of your Camera
- All Skill Levels Welcome
A $1000 deposit is required to hold your spot for this trip. The total cost of this trip is $6799. Final payment is due 90-days prior to the trip. Cancellations can only be made up to 90-days prior to the trip.
When you sign up for this Adventure, you will receive a confirmation email that you have paid.
You will also receive a second email within 48-hours with other pieces of information from us, including a brief survey and waiver.
Welcome to Alaska! Our Base Camp will be Jacques Adventure Lodge. The lodge, on the north shore of Lake Iliamna and nestled between Katmai National Park, Lake Clark National Park, and Bristol Bay, is surrounded by 18 million acres of wilderness that is accessible only by bush plane. This remote region is home to Alaska's highest concentration of coastal Grizzly Bears, an abundance of other wildlife, and stunning scenery.
Each day bush planes take us in search of Grizzly Bears, Walrus, Wolf, Moose, Dall Sheep, Sea Otter, and Caribou along The Bering Sea Coast, The Katmai Coast, Lake Clark, and Brooks Falls. In addition to wildlife the landscape opportunities include glaciers, steaming volcanoes, waterfalls, sedge grass meadows, black sand beaches, emerald colored bays, and crystal clear rivers. At night we will enjoy the comforts of the Lodge, fantastic food, photography discussion, and photo editing. This unique workshop has it all.
We guarantee that you will photograph Grizzly Bears
For us to stand behind this guarantee requires a combination of experienced guides and reliable transportation that gets you where you need to be. Jacques Wilderness Lodge has boats, 2 sea/float planes, and 3 tundra tire equipped planes as well as years of experience guiding visitors in this remote wilderness. As avid photographers themselves, the guides locate bears and other wildlife, but also get you into the proper position for light and background. Helping you capture fantastic images of wildlife is what Jacques Adventure Lodge has been doing for the last 42 years.
Your trip includes:
•Guiding by Hunt's Photo Adventure's Don Toothaker & Jacques Adventure Lodge
•Image Critique & Post Processing session
•Transportation from Anchorage, Alaska to Basecamp and from Basecamp back to Anchorage
Your trip does not include:
•Flight to Anchorage, Alaska
•Trip insurance (recommended for all attendees)
•Certain meals at start and conclusion of Workshop in Anchorage
Notes about transportation and lodging
•Attendees must fly to Anchorage, Alaska on/before June 30, 2021
•Attendees must make all of their own flight arrangements to and from Anchorage
•Attendees must make their own hotel reservations in Anchorage (for June 30th and July 6th). We Recommend Staying in one of two Anchorage hotels. Both hotels are close to the airport and have airport shuttles.
The Lake Shore Inn & Sweats (907) 248-3485
Very Basic Hotel with good prices
The Lakefront Anchorage Millennium (907) 243-2300
Upscale Hotel Overlooking Lake Hood
July 1st-July 6th- Jacques Wilderness Lodge: “Our Alaskan style great room provides a cozy atmosphere for guests to enjoy our spectacular lake and mountain views. Guests may relax by the fireplace in our living room or enjoy a game of pool in the recreation room, all the while reminiscing about the day's adventure while planning tomorrow's. Our standards are high when it comes to atmosphere and comfort. Our lodge bedrooms and cedar paneled guest cabins are all fully equipped with individual bathrooms and unlimited hot water along with the assurance of privacy and rest after a full day of adventure.”
Skill Sets: All Levels of Photographers are Welcome. While this is a photography workshop, non-photographers may also register, but please note that we will emphasize photographing on the workshop.
Physical Ability: The tour is open to all ability levels. While this is not a hiking tour, we will be as active as conditions allow and make short walks and potentially hike up small 100-200 meter hills. Please also note that we will be on smaller planes, float planes, and boats.
Recommended photo gear:
•Camera with a variety of lenses. Wide, standard, telephoto, super-telephoto are all recommended. You don't need to bring every lens, but you will likely want a variety, from 24mm to 600mm. Rentals are available from rentals.huntsphoto.com!
•Sturdy Tripod with head and quick release. A gimbal head would be helpful, but not necessary.
•Extra memory cards & Extra camera batteries are essential
•Laptop and external hard drive
Misc: When we get closer to the Adventure, we will send recommendations for what gear to bring, both photographically and personal wear. When necessary, Jacques Adventure Lodge will provide gear, such as Gore-Tex waders and wading boots.
June 30, 2021 – 6:30pm
Don Toothaker from Hunt's Photo will meet everyone at The Lakefront Anchorage Millennium's Hotel for check in, introductions, and dinner. This is the night BEFORE the workshop begins.
After dinner we will walk along the shore of Lake Hood looking for waterfowl and moose so have your camera gear with you and ready to go. Lake Hood is North America's busiest sea plane base so we are sure to see many sea planes coming and going during our walk as well.
July 1, 2021
Recommended Breakfast is at Gwennie's Old Alaska Restaurant 4333 Spenard Rd, Anchorage. Gwennie's is easy walking distance from the hotels and opens at 6:00 AM. Breakfast is on your own.
7:30 AM: We will meet at Iliamna Air Taxi's Terminal, 6231 S Airpark Pl. Anchorage AK 99502. (907) 334-9845
We board the 9 passenger Pilatus PC-12 Aircraft for the one hour flight to the village of Iliamna where we will be met by the Staff of Jacques Adventure Lodge and transported to the lodge to get checked into our rooms.
After check in everyone will gather in the main lodge for a mandatory safety orientation. Next, everyone is individually fitted with state of the art Gore-Tex waders and wading boots, all supplied by the lodge. Waders give us the ability to remain perfectly dry sitting on wet tundra or crossings creeks. The gear is lightweight, comfortable for all-day wear, and impervious to the weather! After a hearty lunch we will board the lodge's float planes and our wilderness adventures begin! We will fly out to Brooks Falls where the grizzly bears provide plenty of opportunity to capture iconic images as they fish for salmon. At 7:00 PM we fly back to the lodge where the staff is waiting to serve us dinner. After dinner Don Toothaker will help with editing questions, discussion, and necessary information for the morning.
July 2, 2021
Today we are heading to black sand beaches of the Bering Sea. Our goal is to photograph walrus, sea otters, and caribou. This involves flying in a specialized bush plane on giant tundra tires and landing on the beach. One of the main things that sets this trip apart from any other is the diverse aircraft fleet always at our disposal. Capable of landing on rivers, lakes, beaches, gravel bars and ridge tops. The planes paired with 10 boats, all set aside for our exclusive use brings an unparalleled access to wildlife and landscape.
July 3, 2021
Today, we leave early in the morning in float planes for the Katmai coast. The mission for today: photographing bears digging for clams and eating sedge grasses. Here, it is also common to see a wolf walking the river bank and tidal flats or just napping in the sedge grasses meadows. The entire day is spent with a background of a steaming volcano partly covered by glaciers. For lunch, you are spoiled by the pilot with a field cooked meal, consisting of shrimp jambalaya cooked over an open fire. And to fill in the cracks, hot Dutch oven baked cornbread. A 45-minute flight back to the lodge will fly you low over the glaciers and ice fields of Mount Douglas. And of course, a hot shower, Hors d'Oeuvres, dinner, and fellowship at the lodge will follow.
July 4, 2021
Today, we leave the lodge arriving on the Katmai coast, landing on the beach in a tundra tired wheel plane, just in time for low tide. The mission for today: photographing bears digging for clams and eating sedge grasses with the glaciers and ice fields of Mount Douglas in the background. Here, it is also common to see a wolf on or near our secluded beach. Today may require more walking than other days, because the bears may be spread out along the tidal flats, or napping in the sedge grasses. On the 40-minute flight back to the lodge we fly low over salt water estuaries and tidal flats. As always hot shower, Hors d'Oeuvres, dinner, and fellowship will follow.
July 6, 2021
Today, we fly by float planes to Twin Lakes in Lake Clark National Park to view and photograph the Dick Proenneke log cabin. (One Man's Wilderness). Lots of photo ops while flying over the turquoise water of Lake Clark, In the high Alpine mountain passes view Dall sheep, caribou, and the glaciers of Lake Clark National Park. The plane will touch down on Upper Twin Lake a mere 100 yards from the historic homestead site built by Dick Proenneke. The history is well documented and preserved by the Park Service. You will find no shortage of subjects to keep your camera clicking through the day. On the flight home the pilot a lifelong Alaskan lands at the Dena'ina Gghayi Indian Village population of 32. He has family ties here with the village elders.
The Dena'ina Gghayi Clan are a proud independent people that have inhabited the area since the end of the last ice age. Dena'ina live a subsistence life, based on salmon, berries, edible plants, moose, birds and the unique fresh water seals that live in the lake. The Denaina coexists with the giant bears that also live here. We tour of the village, see the traditional smoke house, and learn the way salmon are prepared. Return to the lodge in time to transfer to Iliamna Airport for our flight back to Anchorage. Arriving in Anchorage by 8:00 PM.
July 7, 2021
Flights home begin depending upon traveler and destination