You can always count on an extraordinary and first-class class experience with Death Valley Photo Tours. Michael is intimately familiar with the land, its moods, and its light and will help you make the most of your time and experience while in Death Valley National Park. Our tours are holistic experiences. It's not just about the photographs - you will come away with an understanding and appreciation of the region's human history; its geology; its plants and wildlife; and its incredible night sky.
Michael is your tour guide, itinerary planner, on-site naturalist/historian, and photographic expert. You simply show up at the appointed meeting times and we take care of the details.
We not only get you to the right place at the right time, our intimate familiarity with the Park and its photographic opportunities means that we know when current weather and seasonal conditions may present more desirable opportunities elsewhere. We never drop you off and leave you without guidance. You will be personally guided through visually-rich environments where Michael himself experiences repeated photographic success. Michael has explored and photographed extensively the Death Valley territory for nearly a quarter-century. We operate legally under Commercial Use Authorization from the National Park Service and are fully insured and First Aid/CPR trained and certified.
Death Valley Photo Tours accommodates all skills and experience levels. Choose a 3-, 4-, or 5-day itinerary or customize your own tour duration and locations to your specific interests and schedule. All private tours include an itinerary customized to your goals and fitness level; expert guiding on location; supplemental instruction/support by request; engaging discussions about the Park's natural and human history; unforgettable experiences; and Death Valley's incredible star-filled night sky. Park entrance fees, airfare, lodging, meals, and personal items are not included. We also offer by arrangement curbside airport pickups (Los Angeles [LAX] and Las Vegas [LAS] only) for those traveling from out-of-state and from abroad. For the fullest and most enjoyable tour experience, we recommend that all participants be in good health, partake in routine physical conditioning, and should be able to comfortably walk about five miles per day on sand, rocks, and other uneven terrain (Death Valley National Park has very few established and maintained trails).
WHich MONTH IS THE BEST FOR A PHOTO TOUR?
October-November: October days may still be hot (100F+/38C+) but nights are becoming beautiful and comfortable by this time. By November, days are no longer hot. The park begins to quiet for the winter while still enjoying mild daytime temperatures but chilly overnight temperatures. Early winter storms can deliver photogenic skies and fiery sunrises/sunsets.
December-January are the coldest and quietest months in the Park. Visitors are few; the desirable angle of light permits shooting through most of the day; and winter storms can and frequently do deliver photogenic skies and fiery sunrises/sunsets. Little wildlife will be found during these months, and many plants appear dormant.
February-March offers warmer days and nights while seeing a revival in the number of visitors. If wildflowers are to happen, these are the best months in which to find them. By March 1, flora and fauna have returned in abundance with dominant creosote shrub and mesquite thickets dressed in vivid green. Birdsong may accompany many of our shoots. Post-Equinox, the angle of light becomes less desirable and the length of our shoots may decrease (due to "harsh light").
April days can be HOT while still promising beautiful nights. The angle of light is less desirable in April and the length of our shoots may decrease (due to "harsh light"). Nighttime can be incredible: t-shirts, shorts, and sandals.
We do not offer tours May through September due to Death Valley's world-renowned heat.
Booking a tour is easy. Click the link below any Tour option and send us an email with your preferred dates and any specific details. Our scheduling is first-come first-served; we strongly recommend that you contact us a minimum of 90 days in advance of your desired dates - we fill early!
DEATH VALLEY HIGHLIGHTS
This exciting THREE DAY tour (three sunrises, three sunsets, and everything in between) is a great introduction to the finest of Death Valley's photographic highlights: The Racetrack, Zabriskie Point, Badwater Basin, Mesquite Dunes, and more! $995 - bring one friend for $1495 total (save 25%).
DEATH VALLEY HIGHLIGHTS+
This adventure-packed FOUR DAY tour (four sunrises, four sunsets, and everything in between) adds even more locations and one full day to our Highlights tour. We'll spend four days shooting towering sand dunes; textures, patterns, shapes, and shadows; and a bizarrely barren and salt-filled basin. This exciting tour features The Racetrack, Zabriskie Point, Titus Canyon, Aguereberry Point, Ubehebe Crater, Badwater Basin, Mesquite Dunes, and more!! $1495 - bring one friend for $2300 total (save 26%).
THE GRAND TOUR
It's not just a photography tour - it's an unforgettable experience. Live the dream for FIVE FULL DAYS moving through and photographing one of the world's most remarkable landscapes. This is an exciting off-road adventure that traverses some of the Park's major valleys and passes to reach remote corners: Mesquite Dunes, Eureka Dunes, Badwater Basin, Ubehebe Crater, The Racetrack, Rhyolite Ghost Town, Titus Canyon, Zabriskie Point, Aguereberry Point, and much more! Includes all 4WD transportation within the Park. $1895 - bring one friend for $2900 total (save 27%).
Don't have the right vehicle (4WD) or driving skills to get yourself into Death Valley's more remote areas? We can help. Have favorite locations or special requests? We can do it. We can customize your tour any way you like.
Death Valley lodging is available at Furnace Creek Ranch and Stovepipe Wells Village. Upon registration, we provide complete instructions regarding travel, lodging, required camera gear and clothing, etc. If you are an experienced camper, consider forgoing lodging for car-side camping (not backpacking). Camping allows us to reach more remote locations in Death Valley than we are otherwise able to when based out of park-central lodging. We are able to help long-distance travelers with tent, camp stove, fuel, cookware, camp chair, and more. When communicating with us, please let us know if camping is your preference.