Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris offers premium wildlife and photography tours in the Greater Yellowtone ecosystem, including Jackson Hole, the National Elk Refuge, Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. Below is a Q&A with guide, photographer, owner and operator, Jason Williams.
Where are you from and what brought you to Jackson Hole?
I moved to Jackson Hole from St Louis Mo. to guide float trips on the Snake River in 1999. After a couple summer seasons I got a job as a snowmobile guide in Yellowstone and Bridger Teton National Forest leading to becoming a full time resident. In 2004 I started Jason Williams Photography to captilize on the great opportunity to capture images while in the field every day. This lead to the decision to guide in the parks during the summer in order build my portfolio.
What is the history of your company?
After looking into where to work I realized there was a huge hole in the tour market and decided to launch Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris at the urging of one of the most experienced guides in Jackson Hole, Tom Vanzant. During an end of the season guide party for Jackson Hole Snowmobile Tours I asked Tom where I should apply for a summer job and his exact words were "I want a summer position too! You should start a business and I'll work for you". Three months later we were in business! Today we have grown dramatically and have 13 employees, 8 vehicles and are one of the largest tour companies in the Greater Yellowstone Area.
What's the unique experience that people are going to get with your company?
One of our secrets to success has been our attention to detail, especially when it comes to our guides. By hiring the most experienced and passionate guides available, we are able to insure that our guests have a great experience while on our safaris. By having direct experience and true knowledge of the area our guides are able to completely customize each day to the clients they are serving that day. Every day we go out is different. We don't tell our guides they have to do any particular thing or go to specific places as each group will have unique areas of interests. By listening to them we can put together a day for them that they will remember for years to come!
What can a Central Reservations client typically expect when they use your service?
We will not only show our customers wildlife during the tour, we teach them why each animal is there and how to find wildlife while exploring the area on their own. In addition we will share our knowledge of the geology, ecology and natural history of the area in order to give our clients a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
What should visitors know when they visit Jackson Hole?
When guests visit Jackson Hole they should remember that this awesome place is multifaceted and is well known to countless people for countless different reasons. Not only are we the gateway to two of the world's most famous national parks and millions of acres of public land, we are also home to three great ski areas, a vibrant fine art community, some of the best mountain biking in the country, great rafting, endless fishing, great restaurants, unlimited shopping and of course abundant wildlife on our doorsteps (literally)!
What do you like to do aside from guiding wildlife tours?
I tend to work way too much but I still sneak out from time to time to climb, ski, mountain bike, hike, track wildlife, scuba dive, ride my dirt bike and even ride/guide some snowmobile trips. I spend a lot of time tracking wildlife and out in the field making photographs. Other than that I mostly work!
Call the local travel experts at Jackson Hole Central Reservations (888-838-6606) to add a wildlife safari or photo tour to your customized Jackson Hole vacation package!