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Snowy Range Landscape and Wildlife Regional Event (August 17 – 20, 2023)

August 17, 2023 - August 20, 2023

Leader | Travel and lodging | What to expect | General Information



Event Overview

Thursday August 17 to Sunday August 20, 2023

Registration and Meet & Greet
Thursday August 17 at the Old Corral Hotel

Join Don Carter and Gordon Illg for a Regional Event at Snowy Range, Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming. The Snowy Range is one of those undiscovered photography gems in Wyoming.  It is located outside the little town of Centennial, 30 miles southwest of Laramie. This 29-mile stretch of paved road crosses through spectacular alpine habitats and is one of the first scenic byways designated on National Forest lands. It rises from sagebrush and lodgepole pine forests below, and offers views of rugged peaks reaching over 12,000 feet in elevation, crystal clear lakes, and gorgeous displays of native wildflowers in the spruce-fir forests and alpine areas of the high country.

In the valley before the mountains, you will find wild horses, deer and pronghorn. Up in the mountain, moose, deer and elk can be photographed. In fact, this is one of the best locations for moose in Wyoming.

$645 NANPA Members/$845 Non-members

Last Date to Register:  July 14, 2023

Maximum Number of Participants: 18


Don Carter and Gordon Illg will be your leaders for this event. Both of them have led previous NANPA regional events.

Don Carter

Photo of Don Carter

Don Carter is a nature photographer whose passion is photographing wildlife. Don loves a great mountain scene, but having a bird or animal in the same scene truly completes it, by making the statement, “this is nature.” Don began his photography life while in the military serving in Vietnam and was an early convert to digital in the early 2000’s. He is a retired university professor who is taking photographs full time while traveling around the country with his wife and springer spaniel in their RV.

Don has led numerous photo tours around the country; some of his favorite places are Yellowstone, Custer State Park, and Bosque del Apache. He teaches photography programs on wildlife and nature, as well as digital imaging. He is also a past president of the North American Photography Association and prior member of the NANPA Board of Directors.

Gordon Illg

Gordon IllgGordon Illg and his wife, Cathy, have been full-time nature photographers since 2000. Their work has been widely published and includes numerous covers of magazines like Backpacker, Defenders, National Geographic Kids, Ranger Rick and National Wildlife. Several of their images decorate the tails of Frontier Airlines’ jets, and they’ve done well in photo contests, the highlight of which was being flown to London to accept awards in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Contest. They were recognized for their work with endangered species in Canon’s Wildlife As Canon Sees It ad in National Geographic. Their first two books, “Dynamic Wildlife Photography” and “Worshipping With A Camera”, have been well received. For the past 22 years, their livelihood has been dependent upon their ability to share the magic of wild things and wild places with other photographers. Gordon is also a past president of NANPA.

Travel and lodging

The base for this event will be at:

Old Corral Hotel
2750 WY-130, POB 277
Centennial, WY 82055
Phone: (307) 745-5918

NANPA is holding a block of rooms for the event participants. Details will be provided to registered participants.


Transportation to and from the hotel to the event locations is not included and is the attendees’ responsibility. It is approximately a 30-minute drive from the airport to the hotel.

  • Laramie Regional Airport (LAR).  There are connecting flights from Denver to Laramie
  • Car Rental:  Enterprise car rental is available at the airport. A normal passenger car will be appropriate, all roads and parking will be on paved or slightly graveled areas. No 4×4 or other special vehicle needs required.


We will be starting each day from the Old Corral Hotel in Centennial, Wyoming. Ridesharing 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.


All meals except Sunday brunch are on your own. The group brunch location will be announced at the meet and greet on Thursday night.  

Photo of moose laying in a meadow. Photo credit: Don Carter

Photo credit: Don Carter

What to expect

Thursday August 17 to Sunday August 20, 2023

Registration and Meet & Greet
Thursday August 17 at
Old Corral Hotel
2750 WY-130, POB 277
Centennial, WY 82055


Leaders are 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:

  • Lake Marie and West Lake Marie Trailhead
  • Sugarloaf campground
  • Libby Lake
  • Lewis Lake
  • Mirror Lake
  • Lookout Lake
  • Sand Lake
  • Hanging Lake
  • Brooklyn Lake


Please note schedules are fluid due to weather conditions, recent wildlife sightings and other variables. Sunrise ~ 6:00 am, sunset ~ 8:00 pm

Thursday evening

  • Meet and Greet, welcome, introductions and opening remarks by leaders followed by a short presentation

Friday and Saturday

  • Morning shoot
  • Breakfast
  • Midday shoot and/or rest time
  • Evening shoot
  • Dinner
  • Night photography shoot (optional)


  • Morning shoot
  • Group Brunch (included in fee)
  • The event wraps up after brunch.

During the afternoons after lunch, for those who would like, we will photograph wild horses at the wild horse sanctuary and pronghorn along the highway.

Photo of a lake surrounded by mountains. Photo credit: Don Carter

Photo credit: Don Carter

General Information

We will be based in Centennial, Wyoming, 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, Don and Gordon 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


Centennial, WY is at 8,000 ft and we will be up to 11,000 ft, so be aware that you will be hiking at high elevation which is more strenuous if you’re not used to it. There will be mountain hiking, but most of the trails are fairly flat, we will be on top of the mountain. Most shooting locations will be very close to where we park. A couple will require a walk, but will be mostly 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.

Since our time is spent at higher elevations it is recommended to bring a personal water bottle and stay hydrated.  Bring snacks.


Weather – Historical average temperatures for site/area in time of year vary from a low of 47 to a high of 80 degrees.

Clothing– It’s preferable to dress in layers, as temperatures can change significantly and quickly.

  • Jacket and Pants. Both long and short sleeve shirts.
  • Rain Jacket & Rain Pants – For rain and wind protection.
  • Hat, gloves
  • Hiking Boots – preferably waterproof
  • Wading boots or sandals – For photographing in the waters.
  • Dress for the indoor sessions will be casual


  • Camera – DSLR or mirrorless, full frame or cropped sensor. Also, bring the camera manual should you need to consult it.
  • Lenses – There will likely be photo opportunities for your full range of lenses, from extreme wide angle to telephoto and macro. We will use lenses from 10-400mm.
  • Non-abrasive Lens Cleaning Cloth and Wipes.
  • Tripod – Sunrise, sunset, twilight and nighttime light levels are too low to photograph properly without a sturdy tripod. A lightweight carbon fiber tripod with a ball head is recommended.
  • Lots of Memory Card Storage – We use fast 64GB cards, good for stills & video.
  • Camera Battery Charger and Extra Batteries.
  • Sensor Cleaning Tools
  • Polarizing filter(s) to fit each of your lenses.
  • Neutral Density Filters, Graduated Neutral Density Filters
  • Shutter Release – You can use a locking cable release, a wireless remote, or the camera’s self-timer (except in BULB).
  • Rain Cover – For camera and lens protection.
  • Laptop Computer – for downloading, processing and viewing your images.
  • Image Processing Software – Good choices include Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, or Elements.
  • Back-up device – Such as an external hard drive.
  • Flash Drive – For sharing images.


  • Flashlight &/or Headlamp – preferably with a red light, or cover with a red filter, to limit distracting others during night photography sessions.
  • Battery-powered Alarm Clock/Watch – In case cell phone service isn’t available. It’s better to bring your own alarm than miss a morning shoot!
  • Cell Phone
  • Water bottle.
  • Energy bars or other snacks
    Two moose in a meadow. Photo credit: Don Carter

    Photo credit: Don Carter

Regional Event Cancellation and No Refund Policy:  

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.

COVID-19 Policy

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.

Most importantly:
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


August 17, 2023
August 20, 2023
Event Category:
Event Tags:
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USA States/Territories
Type of event
On Location
Cost range
$645 - $845


Old Corral Hotel
2750 WY-130, POB 277
Centennial, WY 82055
+ Google Map
(307) 745-5918
View Venue Website