The Journey Through Yellowstone

Photographer Tom Murphy’s lifelong pursuit of seeking out Yellowstone National Park’s wildest places in its harshest season.


Thirty-one years ago, renowned wildlife photographer Tom Murphy embarked upon the expedition of a lifetime - he skied across Yellowstone National Park, in the dead of winter, by himself with only a blue tarp as a shelter. A life defining trip that has yet to be repeated.

In 2016, at the age of 66, Tom headed back out across Yellowstone’s frozen landscape, this time with a film crew to document the journey. The expedition once again took him across the most remote and inaccessible parts of the park. Pushed to the brink of his endurance, the trip tested his years of backcountry experience.

The upcoming film will document his journey across the park as well as explore Tom’s life as a photographer, his philosophy about nature, wilderness, and his love for the striking beauty and power of Yellowstone’s most unforgiving season - winter.

Expedition Map


Expedition Team

Tom Murphy

Expedition Leader

Tom Murphy is one of Yellowstone’s most well-known and beloved photographers. Since 1975 he has traveled extensively within the park’s 3,400 square miles, capturing the behaviors of free-roaming wildlife and the colors, shapes and textures of the land. His passion for Yellowstone is only surpassed by his love of winter.

Shane Moore

Producer / Camera

Shane Moore has been making nature films for three decades. His clients have included National Geographic, The Discovery Channel, PBS, and Disney, among others. His work has taken him around the globe, but he's most passionate about filming in the Yellowstone ecosystem where his career began.

Rick Smith

Producer / Camera

Rick Smith is a cinematographer and producer for television and documentary films based out of Bozeman, MT. He has produced films for The Nature Conservancy, the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Greater Yellowstone Coalition and his cinematography has been featured on the NBC series “The Island with Bear Grylls”, the NatGeo Wild series “America The Wild” and several award-winning PBS documentaries including “Indian Relay.” Rick received his MFA from Montana State University and his BA in Biology from Whitman College.

Brian Chan

Expedition Co-Leader

Brian Chan attended Colorado State University to pursue a career with the National Park Service and earned his B.S. in Park & Recreation Management. He started his NPS career in 1984 at Zion National Park and transferred to YNP in 1989, where he recently retired from a rewarding career as Park Ranger. Brian has accompanied Tom on several multi-week trips in Yellowstone, and his experience will be vital to the team’s success.

Clay Dykstra

Expedition Manager

Clay Dykstra is the General Manager of Good Earth Natural Foods, a family-owned business that his mother started in 1978. Clay has enjoyed Nordic skiing, backpacking, and mountain biking since he was a child, following his father around the Black Hills and through other mountain ranges in Wyoming and Montana.

John Williams


John started a bicycle coop in his hometown of Spearfish, South Dakota, to promote cycling and get used and neglected bikes back on the road. A strong athlete, John spends much of his free time biking and skiing with Clay, the Expedition Manager. The two have toured across Wyoming, the Wind River Range, the Big Horn Mountains, and found numerous adventures in their own back yard of the Black Hills.



Throughout the journey, the team will be sending live updates via Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, so be sure to become a follower.