USA Canyonlands & National Parks 16-Day Tour (Private)

Regular price
$8,935.00 AUD
Regular price
Sale price
$8,935.00 AUD
Tax included.

Per person in twin-share (double occupancy)

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Group Size
Min 5, Max 8
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Daily Breakfast & 3 Dinners
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Air conditioned 14-seater Sprinter bus
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15 cosy nights in 3 & 4 stars hotel or similar

Immerse yourself in the grandeur of the American West, Deserts & Canyons. Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon, Joshua Tree, Death Valley and Yosemite are just some of the National Parks we’ll visit while exploring the full potential of your DSLR camera, build up your confidence & creativity. Gain the ability to plan ahead and understand the light, research your subject, what lens to use, set your exposure & how to frame your image in-the-field.





Be ready to be blown away by the Grand Canyon iconic 180 degrees view! At 445 kms long, 29 kms wide and as much as 1,857 meters deep, the Grand Canyon is home of the mighty Colorado River. Enjoy two nights and a full day at leisure to explore ‘The City of Lights’ Las Vegas. LA’s famous Venice beach, Santa Monica, Palm Springs and San Francisco are also on the card.

A unique opportunity to explore some of the most picturesque National Parks and canyons on the West Coast of the United States.

We focus on providing personal and expert services that meets all your expectations and needs. All our photography itineraries are carefully put together with the help of local boutique tour operators - small group travel, in a safe and friendly environment, allowing you to experience a diversity of culture, landscape and lighting with other like minded travellers.

Highlight and Inclusions

This Exclusive small-group photographic adventure has been carefully put together, allowing you to experience a diversity of breathtaking American landscapes and iconic canyons. We guarantee a wealth of photography opportunities, including small group tuition, practical notes and one-to-one support tailored to your individual needs while on-location learning the importance of image composition, available light and night photography techniques.

  • Experience a unique itinerary specially designed for photographers
  • 15 cosy nights in 3 and 4 stars hotel or similar
  • Twin-share room in specially selected accommodation
  • Refer to 'Date & Cost' for single room supplement
  • Daily breakfast and 3 dinner during the duration of the tour
  • Comfortable air conditioned vehicle (incl. 2 water bottle pp p/day)
  • Private driver guide (incl. tipping)
  • Boutique tour operator with local knowledge
  • All entrance fees to exhibits & locations that we visit for photography
  • Welcome meal in Santa Monica, CA
  • Night photography session at Joshua Tree & Death Valley
  • Sunset & night photo session in the Grand Canyon
  • A smorgasbords of photography opportunities throughout the 15 days
  • Spectacular panoramic views over Monument Valley
  • Traditional Navarro cooked meal in Page
  • Private tour to Antelope Canyon upper level
  • An array of iconic National Parks landscapes with plenty of photography time
  • 2x 'FIREFALL' sunset photo session at Yosemite NP (weather permitting - February tour only)
  • Short accessible walks to explore some of the best photo locations on tour
  • Free night in Las Vegas to your leisure
  • Star gazing evening with local guide in Sequoia National Park
  • Evening meal in Yosemite National Park
  • El Captain, Artist Palette, Refrigerator Canyon, Bad Water, Ghost Town, Colorado River are just some of the names on the list of places you’ll discover…
  • Guided tour in San Francisco with sunset session – Golden Gate Bridge
  • As it is our own personalised photo tour, we can stop when and where we want!
  • Professional photography advise
  • Fully escorted tour 
  • Photography group of 6 – 8 participants maximum


Dates:  2024

February 23 to 10 March | 2024 (16 days) USA Canyonlands & National Parks Photo Tour (Starts in San Francisco & Finishes in Los Angeles incl. Yosemite Firefall) (SOLD OUT)

September 15 to 31 | 2024 (16 days) USA Canyonlands & National Parks Photo Tour (NEW GROUP)

September 19 to 4 October | 2024 (16 days) USA Canyonlands & National Parks Photo Tour (SOLD OUT)

Dates:  2025 (proposed dates)

Feb 17 - Mar 4, 2024 or Feb. 22 - Mar 9, 2024 USA Canyonlands & National Parks Photo Tour (Starts in San Francisco & Finishes in Los Angeles incl. Yosemite Firefall) 


Expression of interest is now open - New dates will be published shortly for February 2025 & September 2025

Cost: US$ 5,850 pp in double occupancy | single supplement US$ 1,575

(All pricing for this tour have been calculated in US$, exchange rates may vary between currencies)

Non Photographer companion welcome

Take 5% off of the total costs of any tours when you sign up for 2 or more tours. (*conditions apply, not valid with any other offers, applicable only for direct online bookings).  Spouse, companion & non-photographer welcome.

Escape the busy tracks and experience this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn how to shoot dramatic scenery from sunrise to sunset, and capture the breathtaking night sky shining over some f the most iconic landscape in America. This 2023 USA Canyonlands & National Parks photo tour is offered as a stand-alone tour with option to add a pre – Los Angeles tour extension September (2-Days) or a post San Francisco & Napa Valley tour (2/3-Days). It is a perfect tour to include a non-photographer companion

The only extra cost for non-photographers is US$3475 plus meals and transportation cost during the tour. (The single supplement fee also applies to the participant). Observers/ non-photographers companions can either tag along while you are out taking photographs, or do their own exploring of the surroundings and we’ll all meet up in the evenings to share a few stories of the day’s events.


Optional Activities

Palm Spring Aerial Tramway US$25 pp / 2hrs. (TBC)

Grand Canyon 25-30 minutes Helicopter Tour US$195 pp or 45-50 minutes US$265 pp (TBC)

A US$2000 deposit will secure your spot.


What is included?

  • 15 nights accommodations in 3 & 4 stars hotel or similar
  • Breakfast (15x) and dinner (3x) during the duration of the Tour
  • Private transportation & local guide for the duration of the tour (including driver’s tipping*)
  • All entrance fees to exhibits, national parks admission & locations that we visit for photography
  • Photography coaching and guidance, image editing sessions
  • Local boutique operator and professional photography instruction


Other Options Available

All prices have been calculated in US Dollars and may vary with the daily international exchange rates.

Level of physical difficulty: 3 out of 5

This 16-Day Tour starts in Santa Monica – Los Angeles and finishes in San Francisco. It is suitable for beginners and experienced photographers of all ages. A moderate level of fitness is required (some walking).

Please note that the February tour starts in San Francisco and finished in Los Angeles.



Optional. To be organised at time of booking.


Arrival on own – checking from 3pm

Short Walk to Santa Monica Pier/ Venice Beach

Sunset Photography session on the Beach

Dinner in Santa Monica

Accommodation: Courtyard by Marriott or Doubletree*


DAY 01


Pick-up 8 am at the Courtyard by Marriott or Doubletree (TBC) Santa Monica 

Transfer to Palm Spring

Sunset & Blue Light Photo Session at Joshua Tree

Accommodation:  Hilton Palm Spring

Optional – PM (2hrs) Aerial Tramway-PSP/ Cost: US$25.95 pp


DAY 02



Joshua Tree National Park

Landscape Photography Workshop

Intro to ND Filters & Post-Processing

Accommodation: Harrah’s Laughlin


DAY 03



Transfer to Grand Canyon National Park

Sunset photo session at Hermits (Grand Canyon)

Nightscape Photography Workshop

Accommodation: Yavapai Lodge West


DAY 04



Sunrise Photography session

Free morning at the Grand Canyon NP

Horseshoe Bend Photography session – PM

Post-Processing session

Accommodations  Best Western Plus at Lake Powell

Optional Tour: 25-30min. Helicopter Tour US$195 pp* (not incl.)

Optional Tour: 45-50min. Helicopter Tour US$265 pp* (not incl.)


DAY 05



Antelope Canyon National Park (Upper Tour)

Monument Valley National Park

Landscape Photography Workshop

Monument Valley Drive

BBQ Dinner/ Navajo Cookout

Accommodations: Best Western Plus at Lake Powell


DAY 06



Transfer to Zion NP via Kanab Utah

Colorado River crossing Navajo Bridge,

Ghost Town Western Landscapes

Zion National Park

Accommodations: Best Western Plus Zion Canyon


DAY 07



Zion National Park

Accommodations: Best Western Plus Zion Canyon


DAY 08



Zion National Park

Refrigerator Canyon

Valley of Fire State Park

Downtown Las Vegas evening/ night tour

Accommodations: Luxor Hotel*


DAY 09



Free leisure day

Accommodations: Luxor Hotel*

Optional: One-on-One Post processing hands-on tuition** (morning)

Optional: Private Lightroom/ Photoshop tuition** (morning)

Private & group critique session


DAY 10



Death Valley National Park

Badwater, Artists Palette, Devel’s Golf Course, etc.

Nightscape Photography Session

Accommodations:Hotel Stovepipe Wells Village Hotel


DAY 11



Death Valley National Park

Nightscape Photography Session

Accommodations:  Hotel Stovepipe Wells Village Hotel


DAY 12



Transfer to SNP via Kings Canyon (TBC)

Sequoia National Park

Stargazing with Park Ranger

Accommodations: Wuksachi Lodge


DAY 13



Mariposa Grove

Yosemite National Park

Sunset Session at Mercedes River (LTBC)

Dinner at the Lodge

Accommodations: Yosemite View Lodge


DAY 14



Sleep in optional

Sunrise Photography Session at Tunnel View (LTBC)

Full-day exploring the Park

Accommodations: Yosemite View Lodge


DAY 15



Transfer to San Francisco

Sunset at Baker Beach (Golden Bridge)

Farewell Dinner

Accommodations: Hilton Union Square


DAY 16



Departure on own – Checkout by 11am


(NOT INCLUDED IN TOUR COST) To be organised with BTT at time of booking.

Photography Outline

Nature, Architecture, Landscape, Wildflowers in season

In addition to great daily photo opportunities and night excursions, we will also touch on the following photography topics, including:

  • Dare to go manual Vs Auto camera settings, when to change
  • Working with available light [read & understand the light]
  • What lenses should I use
  • Understanding your DSLR camera
  • Camera settings for macro
  • Camera settings for landscape photography
  • Camera settings for nature photography
  • Image composition, the golden rules and how to break it!
  • How to read your histogram and how to fine-tune-it?
  • Depth of Field calculation, be in control
  • Camera settings to take the perfect shot every time
  • Image composition, the golden rules and how to break it!
  • Adjust your image exposure in relation to your subject
  • Capturing raw

Personal Items & Weather Conditions

Temperature range for this time of year: 8C to 25C but it can get down to 5C

Average monthly rain for this time of year: 3

Be organized and pack smart on this Canyons & National Parks Photo Tour, as you will be on the go to fit as much photography session as we can and you will have to wheel your luggage from the bus to your hotel room during the trip. You will have access to your luggage at anytime during the trip, however I recommend to pack a basic easy to grab change of cloth (jacked or light weight rain coat, etc.) in a smaller backpack or in your camera bag for the overnight or in case the weather changes suddenly.

Two pairs of shoes: One sturdy pair for in the field that you can get wet if we have a rain day. One pair for evenings or the next day in case the first pair is not dry.

Light weight rain jacket and rain pants. You don’t have to go all out here, but it will also help you to keep warm at night. * I really suggest a rain jacket if nothing else, the rain gear will keep you dry when walking in the parks. I have a pair of Teflon rain pants & jacket, super light and perfect to keep in you camera bag in case of a sudden change in the weather.

A warm jacket, long trousers and a jumper or light jacket for those late evening and early morning shoots.  It can get really cold at high altitude all year round, and specially at 4am as we wait for the sun to rise in Death Valley or Yosemite National Park.

Hat and sun screen protection.



Camera Equipment.

Your favourite DSLR camera, a multi focal lens (i.e 18-70mm) or fix lens, the wider the angle the better (i.e 14, 18 or 20mm full frame camera and 10, 12mm cropped sensor camera), and a medium to long-range lens (i.e. 80-300mm), plenty of memory cards and fully charged batteries. A small steady tripod & cable release for long exposure is essential. Don’t forget to bring your camera manual if you are not 100% sure about your camera functions. Please note that for better results a recent DSLR digital camera is preferable (0-5yrs old) as technology changes. Polarizer filter, Neutral Density and grabs filters are not a prerequisite but are great tools to have for long exposure and colour saturation.

This workshop is suitable for beginners and advanced photographers of all ages, however a good sense of humour and minimum fitness is recommended. Sturdy shoes, suitable warm cloths, drink bottle, a head torch and a good camera bag… remember, you will be the one carrying your own photography gears!

Tour Extensions

A perfect add-on before your Canyonlands & National Parks Photo Tour is our candid 4 Day Los Angeles photo tour or after your Canyonlands & National Parks Photo Tour to join us on a 5 Day San Francisco & Napa Valley Photo Tour

Take 5% off of the total costs of any tours when you sign up for 2 or more. 


City of Angeles Photo Tour | Los Angeles Photo Tour

September 17 to 19 | 2024  (2 to 3 nights options)


Napa Valley in the autumn | San Francisco & Napa Valley Photo Tour

October 4 to 7 | 2020  (2 to 3 nights options)

Cancellations, Refunds, Guides & Weather Policy

Cancellations and Refunds

Cancellation Policy: A 25 – 50% non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your seat depending on the tour that you have selected - refer to individual itinerary. Seats to be paid in full at the time of booking or within 4 weeks of departure on all Australian tours except all extended tours; 8 weeks for Karijini, Exmouth to Broome, Golden Outback & Southwest WA, Margaret River, Kalbarri Coral Coast 5-Day and Wave Rock, and 12 weeks on all extended European & USA tours including: Paris, Zermatt, Venice, Tuscany, Italian Dolomites, Swiss & French Alps tour and USA Canyons & National Parks. Cancellations less than 30 days on day tours no refund; 12 weeks for all extended tours, including: Karijini, Exmouth to Broome, Golden Outback & Southwest WA, Margaret River, Kalbarri Coral Coast 5-Day and Wave Rock, it also includes all our international tours & workshops: Paris, Zermatt, Venice, Cinque Terre, Tuscany, Italian Dolomites, Swiss & French Alps tour and all the North American tours. Deposits non refundable except tours cancelled due to sever weather, mechanical failure or minimum numbers not met; full refund will be given. Minimum and maximum numbers are at the discretion of the operator. Tours already commenced no refund. No refund for tours missed due to lateness & sickness. Travel insurance and public liability (in the even you accidentally damage someone else property) are mandatory on all our extended tours and highly recommended on day tours as well. Check-in 15 minutes prior to departure. Maximum 1 baggage* per person i.e. Camera bag water bottle jumper (Extra luggage* allowance on all extended tours (1 pp – personal effects) NOTE: We cannot guarantee that you will see kangaroos emus or any wild animals on our tours nor wildflowers as they are seasonal. For MasterClass workshops extended tours and international travel policy please check our website or individual tours.


Tour Guides

Our tours leader is Martial Fatton – Blue Tongue Tours Owner/ Operator, however we reserve the right to provide a photographer of our choosing, which we guarantee is competent of their position. Your assigned photographer might change from initial notification until the tour departure due to illness, engagements or any other reason deemed necessary by Blue Tongue Tours, not limited to the photographers listed on this site. While we do our best to match you with a photographer of your choosing if requested, for these reasons we cannot guarantee a specific photographer for an individual tour.


Inclement Weather Policy

In the event of inclement weather, before the tour commences, you have the option of a) continuing the tour as planned and we’ll do our best to concentrate the tour to areas sheltered from the elements. At prior request, we can provide an umbrella. Or b) rescheduling the tour at no additional cost (availability permitting). 

Itineraries are subject to change depending on weather and other circonstances beyond our control. Changes in the itinerary are always made to provide the best possible experience and safety of our clients!