Wildside Weekender

NEVADA: Desert Bighorns, Canyons, & Valley of Fire



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2024 :: March 7 - March 10



From: $2,450 (See details)
Cost is per person, double occupancy from Las Vegas, Nevada (LAS)


2 - 3 Participants



This tour is available as a private trip for any size group. The tour cost will vary with the number of people and any custom requests.

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Highlights of NEVADA: Desert Bighorns, Canyons, & Valley of Fire

  • Hands-on photo instruction for wildlife and landscape photography with Tamron Ambassador, Alyce Bender
  • Traverse the Nevada desert and seek out the stunning and unusual geological formations of fiery red Aztec sandstone, that can be found throughout the region.
  • We will use practically every lens in your bag from ultra-wide to telephoto, giving you a better understanding of the kit you carry and how to compose for different situations.
  • This tour coincides with desert bighorn lambing season with very high potential to photograph the newest members of the herd!

Description of NEVADA: Desert Bighorns, Canyons, & Valley of Fire

Spend a weekend exploring the Nevada desert and meet its wild inhabitants! We’ll enjoy the stunning Aztec Sandstone formations found in Valley of Fire State Park. Within Valley of Fire, we will meet the hardy desert bighorn sheep and their newest editions as early spring is lambing season! Further into the park we will explore the beautiful geological features such as sandy washes, ancient arches, and formations that look to have been molded from red clay by giants.

Length of Tour


Brief Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive in Las Vegas (LAS), head to lodging

Day 2-3 – Concentrating on the morning and late afternoon light, we explore Valley of Fire State Park for both wildlife and the distinctive geological landscape images that can be found here.

 Day 4 – We have one last sunrise in the desert before driving back into Las Vegas to return home.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive in Las Vegas, head to lodging

We will meet in Las Vegas and have a meet and greet dinner. At dinner we will discuss what to expect, photography strategies, logistics, wildlife photography ethics, and desert photography protocol. 

Day 2-3 – March Concentrating on the morning and late afternoon light, we explore Valley of Fire State Park for both wildlife and the distinctive geological landscape images that can be found here.

Starting before sunrise we will leave the hotel for Valley of Fire, Nevada’s first state park. Once there we will alternate between photographing sunrise on the landscape and looking for the park’s herds of wild desert bighorn sheep. The timing of this trip is tuned to be in the park during lambing season allowing us to catch glimpses of the newest members of this species of special concern. As the sun rises and the sheep climb back into the mountains to seek shade and solitude, we will explore some of the washes for small scenes or visit the park’s birding station to seek out some of the area’s avian species before heading back into town for lunch. Mid-afternoon we head back into the park until sunset focusing on landscape photography with the chance to catch the desert bighorns once again.

Day 4 – We have one last sunrise in the desert before driving back into Las Vegas to return home. 

We will pack out early, catch one last sunrise session in this exceptional landscape before driving back into Las Vegas for evening flights home.


Cost is $2,450 per person, based upon double occupancy, from Las Vegas, Nevada (Airport code LAS.
This trip ends in same as arrival city (Airport code ).

Cost Includes

Cost includes airport transfers, all ground transportation, accommodations, entrance fees and services of your professional leader(s).

Cost does not Include

Flights to/from destination city, meals, trip insurance, or anything that is not specifically mentioned in the itinerary.

Minimum Number

If fewer than the minimum number of participants registered the trip can still run with a small-group supplement fee per person determined by the number of participants.


Single Supplement

If a single hotel room is preferred, or we are unable to find a suitable roommate for you, a single supplement fee of $270 will be assessed.

NOTE: For boat-based tours, see pricing options for single cabins. Single cabin cost includes the single hotel cost above.


Minimum Number

If fewer than the minimum number of required participants are registered, we may still be able to run the trip by adding a small-group supplement fee, per person, determined by the number of participants registered.


Deposit Requirements

A $500 deposit per person is required to hold each space on this tour. Deposit may be made online by clicking the "Book Your Trip Now" button and using any credit card. If you prefer, you may call us at 888-875-9453 to pay by phone. You may also mail us a check, however, remember that all space is held on a first come-first served basis as deposits are received.

How to Book

In order to hold your space, click the "Book Your Trip Now" button above and complete the deposit process, including payment of the deposit through our Paypal portal using ANY CREDIT CARD. Upon completion of deposit, please visit our secure, online CLIENT INFORMATION FORM to complete your registration.

Final Payment

For all land-based tours: full payment by check is due 120 days prior to the departure date.

For all boat-based adventure cruises of 7-days or longer: full payment by check is required 180 days prior to departure.

NOTE: If you prefer to use credit card for final payment, a 3% fee may be added to cover the credit card merchant fees we incur.

This trip includes standard hotel rooms.

Activity Level Rating: (Note: 1 is easy and 5 is difficult)

Intermediate – several miles of hiking over uneven ground of sand, slick rock, and gravel in a dry, desert environment with limited shade.

As this tour covers a multitude of subjects you want to have a good selection of lenses with you on this trip; telephoto for wildlife and then wide to ultra-wide for landscape. Here are my suggestions:

  • Your longest telephoto for wildlife – I use the Tamron 150-600mm G2 here.
  • A wide or ultra-wide and mid-range lens for environmental and landscape images.
  • Filters – a polarizer can help with glare reflecting off rocks or snow. Neutral density filters will help create long exposures if we have interesting skies that we want to accentuate.
  • Tripod for landscapes or for wildlife watching.
  • Microfiber towels/lens cloths for cleaning lenses – we are shooting in a dusty environment so keeping your glass clean will be very important throughout the day.
  • Gear and trip insurance – because you never know what might happen. Working around this much water, I always highly suggest having gear insurance as, should the worst come to pass, you want to know that at least you can replace what is damaged.

Purchasing Flights

Do not purchase your flights until the trip has been confirmed to go.

Detailed Trip Information

Upon notification that final payment is due (120 days prior to departure for land based tours / 180 days for boat based tours), you will receive a trip package of detailed information for your tour.

Any additional information about the trip, including lodgings, contacts, participants, meeting locations, etc., will sent about 2 weeks prior to the trip departure, or after final payment is received for late registrants.

Travel Insurance

As with all tours, we recommend purchasing Travel Insurance to help cover your investment, for covered reasons. Please see our section on Travel Insurance.

Passport & Visa

US Citizens may require a visa to enter certain foreign countries. See above for any required visa information.

Participants arriving to the USA from a foreign country may need to get a travel visa to enter the United States. Be sure to check the requirements for your country of origin.

Itinerary Changes

The trip itinerary is developed many months ahead of time. Occasionally, despite our best planning, changes may occur during the trip, or we may be forced to alter our plans. Changes may occur because of weather, road conditions, safety concerns or other circumstances. In these situations, it is the leader(s) responsibility to carefully consider and implement appropriate alternatives. Any additional costs incurred because of changes will be the responsibility of each individual participant. Refunds will not be issued as a result of itinerary changes.

Location Map