Private Alaska Photo Tours Trip Ideas

These are not package tours – just ideas to help you get the most out of your custom Alaska photo tour.

A bull moose roaming off a trail in the Anchorage area. © Michael DeYoung

Gems of Anchorage: Chugach State Park

Within 2 hours of Anchorage is world class mountain landscape and wildlife photography both on the road system and in remote, roadless locations. From the road we can photograph big mountain landscapes, wildflowers, fall colors, waterfalls, and wildlife such as moose, dall sheep, waterfowl and even bears. In season, sizable bull moose are found right in town. If you are a hiker, there are several hike-to locations we can go to that rival scenery found in national parks. From Anchorage we can easily access Prince William Sound for spectacular marine wildlife, glacier and coastal mountain landscapes.

Turquoise blue glacial pools on Matanuska Glacier, Alaska. © Michael DeYoung


Matanuska Valley and Northern Chugach

Along the Glenn Highway from Palmer northeastward, the north slopes of the Chugach Mountains has some of the best mountain landscape and fall colors found anywhere in Alaska. Off road possibilities to glaciers via helicopter and boat offer even more quintessential and unique Alaska photography experiences.

Alaska fall colors along the Little Susitna River in Hatcher Pass. © Michael DeYoung


Hatcher Pass and Talkeetna Mountains

Near Palmer, this area complements what we find in the northern Chugach from the Glenn Highway. In Hatcher Pass, cascading streams and rivers, dazzling wildflowers and tundra fall colors with rugged mountains are abundant subjects. Scenery even more unique than what’s seen from the road gets better for those willing to hike.

Big coastal brown bear (grizzly bear) eating sedge grasses. Lake Clark National Park, Alaska. © Michael DeYoung

Lake Clark National Park Remote Bear Viewing

World class bear viewing and photography is just across Cook Inlet in Lake Clark and Katmai National Parks. These places are accessible via short bush plane flights from Anchorage, Kenai/Soldotna and Homer. Day-only bear viewing is possible at several locations but it’s best to do multi-day viewing to get the best odds of capturing memorable bear imagery. Bear viewing is the most popular photo activity in Alaska and there is limited space in the remote lodges so early planning is best. Sometimes we can get in on a cancellation but booking a year in advance is advised. If photographing coastal grizzlies is your main thing, consider joining a scheduled tour that already has reserved space at a bear viewing venue that hopefully has participant spots available. My long-time friend and colleague, Jeff Schultz, one of the best and most knowledgable Alaska photographers, offers premium bear photography tours, especially in the fall.

View of Denali (Mt. McKinley) rising above the Tokosha Mountains in Alaska. © Michael DeYoung


Denali – The Crown of North America

Some of the most stunning views of Denali, North America’s highest mountain, are from the south side with more accessible and economical locations than from the western end of Denali National Park (which does not allow photo tours). We know where to go and when to be there. We can use roadside locations or even better, hike-to locations for less photographed but equally great views of the “Mountain.”

Sunset view of Bear Glacier and Bear Glacier Lake. Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska.© Michael DeYoung

Kenai Peninsula and Kenai Fjords National Park

One could easily spend a week just on this magnificent piece of real estate accessed by 2 highways. The best part to me is the National Park and the area around Seward. This coastal gem, only a 2 hour drive south of Anchorage via the Seward Highway, offers a lifetime of stunning scenic and marine wildlife photography. The way to explore this park is via boat charter or air taxi to stunning remote locations where we can photograph tidewater glaciers and icebergs up close and personal. The Kenai Peninsula also has the densest network of hiking trails in Alaska and as elsewhere in Alaska, landscape and wildflower photography rivals what one sees in national parks except virtually no crowds.

River beauty line the shores of Spencer Glacier near Portage, Alaska. © Michael DeYoung


Prince William Sound

The gateway to the Sound, Whittier, is only about a 1.5 hour drive from Anchorage with a world of mountain, wildlife and glacier photography to be had. We access the best of Prince William Sound by boat taxi. A trip here can easily be combined with other venues in and around Anchorage. A short hike brings us to one of Alaska’s most accessible and very photogenic glaciers.

Northern lights (aurora borealis) dancing above foothills of Alaska Range along the Denali Highway. © Michael DeYoung


Denali Highway – Alaska Range and Northern Lights

This is best visited in the fall when the expansive tundra explodes with color below glacier-clad peaks of the Alaska Range including views of Denali. The bonus is northern lights which are seen more frequently starting here and northward than around Anchorage.

DeYoung Photo Workshops, LLC