Wednesday, September 20, at 5 p.m. to Saturday, September 23, 2023 at 1 p.m.
Registration and Meet & Greet
Wednesday, September 20, 2023 at 5 p.m.
Big Horn meeting room at Best Western Plus Silver Saddle Inn
Join professional and award-winning nature photographer, Dawn Wilson, on an adventure to explore Rocky Mountain National Park at the beginning of fall colors and the peak of elk rut season.
This regional event is scheduled during the beginning of fall colors in the upper elevations and the peak of the elk rut season in the mountain meadows. Wildlife encounters may include moose, elk, mule deer, coyotes, pikas, bighorn sheep, yellow-bellied marmots and more. Photo outings will occur at sunrise and sunset for the best morning and afternoon light on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (morning only) along with some exploring in different regions of the park during the day and lunch as a group in Grand Lake on Thursday and Friday. We will wrap up late Saturday morning with a group brunch in Estes Park.
NANPA is an authorized permittee of the National Parks Service.
$699 NANPA Members/$899 Non-members
Last Date to Register: August 18, 2023
Maximum Number of Participants: 10
Dawn Wilson will be your leader for this event. Dawn, a resident of northern Colorado for more than 20 years, including six in Estes Park on the border of Rocky Mountain National Park. She holds a permit with Rocky Mountain National Park where she has guided for more than six years. As a result, she knows the best-of-the-best locations that this park has to offer for wildlife and landscape photography. Dawn is also a past President of NANPA and a co-host for The Nature Photographer Podcast. You can view Dawn’s unique images at www.DawnWilsonPhotography.com
The base for this event will be at:
Silver Saddle Inn (Best Western Plus)
1260 Big Thompson Avenue
Estes Park, Colorado 80517-8929
Phone: (970) 586-4476
NANPA is holding a block of rooms for the event participants.
Room rates are $229 + tax (currently 14.2%) per night for rooms with 1 or 2 beds.
This rate is valid for the 3 nights of the regional event: check in September 20, check out September 23. The rate includes breakfast. Silver Saddle Inn will honor the group rate for up to 3 additional consecutive nights prior to the block dates. For additional consecutive nights after the block date the rate is 7% off the standard rate.
Participants will need to make their own reservation secured by their own credit card. When the individual reservation is made by a guest, the guest’s credit card will be charged for their entire reservation at the time of booking. The individual guest will have until August 20, 2023 to cancel. Individual reservations cancelled prior to August 20, 2023 will be refunded. Individual reservations cancelled after August 20, 2023 will be non-refundable. Reservation requests received after August 20, 2023 will not be eligible for the group discount.
The hotel is a 100% non-smoking facility. There is a bike path near the hotel for smoker’s use. If a guest is found to be smoking on the property, they will be assessed a $500 fine.
For hotel reservations, call the hotel directly at (970) 586-4476 and ask for a room in the NANPA Photography Event room block.
To secure a room at the NANPA rate, reservations must be made before the August 20th cutoff.
AIRPORTS AND GROUND TRANSPORTATION
Transportation to and from the hotel and during the event locations is not included and is the attendees’ responsibility.
Denver International Airport (DIA) is the closest airport. It is about a 90-minute drive from DIA to Estes Park. Several car rental companies and all major airlines operate at DIA. There is also a shuttle service that runs between Estes Park and DIA (Estes Park Shuttle).
We will be starting each day from the Silver Saddle Inn in Estes Park, CO. Ride sharing is encouraged to reduce the size of our vehicle presence and improve the traveling / following experience. Parking at roadside wildlife sightings can be very limited. You are welcome to either drive or ride with someone. This is also a great way to meet people and make new friends during the event!
Note that NANPA does not have insurance for carpooling arrangements and assumes no liability for them. Carpooling, ride sharing or anything similar is strictly a private arrangement among the participants. Participants assume the risks associated with this travel.
Anyone entering the National Park will be required to have a park pass. Attendees are responsible for park entrance fees. If you have an annual pass (Annual, Senior, Military or Access Pass) bring it with you. If you don’t have one, please buy one in advance. Note, only one national park pass is needed per vehicle, another benefit of carpooling.
All meals except Saturday brunch are on your own. The group brunch location will The Bird’s Nest café in Estes Park.
Thursday September 20 to September 23, 2023
Registration and Meet & Greet
Wednesday September 20, 2023 at 5 p.m. in the Big Horn meeting room at
Silver Saddle Inn (Best Western Plus)
1260 Big Thompson Avenue
Estes Park, Colorado 80517
Your leader is familiar with the areas that you’ll be visiting, and locations will be based on what’s most photogenic at the time, wildlife activity, weather conditions, etc.
Some of the locations that we will most likely photograph include:
On Wednesday night at 5 p.m. we’ll gather in the hotel meeting room for a “meet and greet” and orientation.
Please note schedules are fluid due to weather conditions, recent wildlife sightings and other variables. Sunrise is at approximately 6:45 am and sunset at approximately 7 pm. We may leave the hotel as early as 5:45 am for a sunrise shoot and eat breakfast in the field. There will be some opportunity for rest between shoots. There will be sunset shoots we will and return to the hotel in the evening by 8 or 8:30 pm.
On Saturday, after a morning shoot, we’ll have brunch as a group (included in the fee) at The Bird’s Nest. The event wraps up after brunch.
A more detailed daily itinerary will be available for registered participants.
We will be based in Estes Park, Colorado during this regional event.
This event is designed for nature photographers at all levels of experience. For the best experience, please know your camera before you arrive, and bring your manual in case we need to look up something.
Assistance will be available in the field for those who wish to improve their photographic skills. If you already have plenty of photography experience, Dawn will ensure you get to the best locations at the best times to capture those perfect shots
Please keep in mind this NANPA Regional Event is designed to be a photo tour, not a photo workshop. In other words, there are no formal instruction sessions planned, there are no assignments, you will not be receiving any handouts or the like. That being said, your leaders Don and Gordon have experience as photography workshop leaders and are available to answer questions and give you guidance. If you need help, please advocate for yourself and speak up and ask for help – Don and Gordon are happy to help. Be aware that many of your fellow participants may also be accomplished photographers and may be able to help you too. Part of the regional event experience is the camaraderie that comes from sharing experiences and lessons learned among participants. If you notice someone with the same or similar camera, perhaps they can help you with an issue you’ve been wondering about, and maybe you can return the favor.
HEALTH AND FITNESS
There will be no mountain hiking unless requested. Most shooting locations will be very close to where we park. A couple will require a walk, but will be flat. The length of the walk will be up to the participant and how much they wish or are able to explore, there will be photographic possibilities along the way.
WEATHER & CLOTHING
Weather – Historical average temperatures for site/area in time of year vary from a low of upper 30s in the mornings in town to a high of mid 60s during the warmest part of the day. The first snowfall in the park is typically late September or early October. On Trail Ridge Road, the temperatures can be 10 to 15 degrees cooler with the potential for more wind.
Clothing – Wear layers of clothes with sturdy shoes (no open toed shoes and preferably no sneakers).
Clothing for this time of year:
SUGGESTED CAMERA GEAR:
NANPA will not offer any refunds for registrations for this event regardless of when the cancellation is made or the reason for the cancellation. NANPA reserves the right to cancel any event or activity due to insufficient registration or any unforeseen circumstances. NANPA will offer refunds if NANPA has to cancel the event. It also has the right to substitute presenters if those originally scheduled cannot attend. Registrants may purchase event insurance as part of the registration process through NANPA’s partner, Allianz. More information on this option will be shown during the checkout process for the event registration.
NOTE: If you do not purchase event insurance at the time that you pay for your registration, you will NOT be able to go back and purchase it with Allianz later.
If you choose to purchase travel insurance separately, you can do so with your own insurance carrier, or NANPA members can receive a special travel insurance rate through USI Affinity/Travel Insurance Services.
NANPA is committed to the health and safety of all participants and leaders at any of our events. We have taken steps to reduce the inherent risks surrounding any public location where people are present. We ask that you familiarize yourself with our COVID-19 health and safety precautions and requirements prior to your trip. Masks are discretionary unless required by a particular venue, location, or governmental authority.
You should evaluate your own risks when determining whether to participate. By attending this event and signing the NANPA Regional Events Liability Release you acknowledge and agree that you assume the inherent risks associated with your attendance.
If you have been feeling sick or have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 10 days, PLEASE STAY HOME. If you have been exposed to someone, especially someone in your household, who has tested positive within the last 5 days, PLEASE STAY HOME.
NANPA follows the CDC rules and the rules of the state in which an event is held. Those rules currently are:
NANPA will let you know if anything changes prior to the event.
We thank you in advance for your adherence and support as we work together to keep everyone safe.
Thank You to NANPA’s 2022 Regional Events Sponsor