The west is still very much wild in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Erupting geysers, bubbling pools of mud and towering peaks are reminders of Mother Nature's raw beauty. Home to abundant wildlife including bison, moose, elk and black bears, an adventure holiday here is the ultimate rendezvous with nature.
Day 1 - Jackson - Grand Teton National Park
Our tour starts at 7:30 am at the Jackson Hole Lodge in Jackson, Wyoming. As this is an early start we recommend that you book a night's pre-tour accommodation at this hotel, which can be booked at the same time you book this tour. We depart Jackson and make our way to Grand Teton National Park and possibly the greatest first day of a tour you have ever experienced. Rising above a scene rich with extraordinary wildlife, pristine lakes, and alpine terrain, the Teton Range stands proud. Over sixty species of mammals and 300 species of birds call the Jackson Hole area home. Hike deep into the Teton Mountain Range from the shores of Jenny Lake up to the 200 foot tall Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point for sensational views over the national park. Commonly sighted animals on this trail include moose, deer, pine marten, weasel, marmots, river otters, Steller jays, tanagers, butterflies and more; giving wonderful photographic opportunities. You can stop at this point or continue further up into Cascade Canyon where you may spot moose before returning. Hike or take an optional boat ride back across the lake (additional charge).
Day 2 - Grand Teton National Park
This morning you can hike the Amphitheatre Lake Trail where you dot in and out of the high mountains on a short steep trail up the eastern slope of Disappointment Peak to two beautiful alpine lakes. Spring and summer reveal wild flower scenes which line your way - a great reminder of the smaller details of the national park which can sometimes be forgotten against the grand scale of the scenery. Along the way you cross glacial moraines and white-bark pines - a favourite food for the mighty bear. Black bears are a common sight but it's also grizzly country, so be alert! See glorious views of the Snake River winding its way through Jackson Hole and the Absaroka Mountains to the north east. As you climb higher, the forest is replaced by massive rock walls overlooked by Disappointment Peak, Teton Glacier and Mount Teewinot. A sight to behold; Grand Teton towers above them all.
(Approximate walking time: 5 hours).
Please note it is not possible for the leader to accompany your walks in the Grand Teton's due to national park regulations however you will be given all the information and maps needed to enjoy your walk.
Day 3 - Grand Teton National Park - Yellowstone National Park
Leaving the beauty of the Grand Tetons we make our way to perhaps the most revered and wild national park in the United States - Yellowstone. With the world's largest collection of geysers, it's a nature, photographer and wildlife lover's paradise and a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. Upon arrival we drive to the Mammoth Hot Springs area for a guided walk on the incredible Beaver Ponds Trail which follows the creek up Clematis Gulch, climbing 350 feet through Douglas-fir trees. The Beaver Ponds Trail passes through open meadows of sagebrush and stands of aspen where you can see elk, mule deer, pronghorn, moose, beaver dams and lodges (and occasionally beaver!) and black bear. We make a stop at Norris Geyser Basin, one of the most thermally active and diverse basins in Yellowstone where it feels like you're walking on the moon. Every year hundreds of tremors occur; most are too small to feel but constantly change the landscape. New springs and geysers form while others become less active or completely dormant. The largest active geyser in the world, Steamboat can be found in the Back Basin. When it erupts water can shoot over 91 metres (300 feet) in the air!
Day 4 - Yellowstone National Park
Venture out on a full day guided hike to Seven Mile Hole Trail which, as you will discover, combines all the best elements of Yellowstone National Park in one trail. Start along the rim of the Yellowstone River giving you a number of varied viewpoints, more than you would normally see. Pass through pine forest and meadows with excellent chances of seeing wildlife such as grizzly bears that inhabit the slopes of nearby Mount Washburn. The path descends into the canyon to the river's edge, passing an active geothermal area with several hot pools and vents. This can be a strenuous section of the walk, but is hugely rewarding.
Day 5 - Yellowstone National Park
Today you see Old Faithful bubbling and erupting amongst other geysers, it was one of the main reasons the park was established in 1872 as America's first national park - an idea which has since spread worldwide. The rest of the day is free for further exploration. Your tour leader will accompany you on a walk, or you can wander off at your own pace.
Day 6 - Western Ranch Stay
Today we make our way to Crossed Sabres Ranch, a family oriented log lodge since 1898 where the traditional ranch experience is alive and kicking. There are plenty of activities and trails to keep you entertained, or perhaps simply kick back after days of hiking and enjoy the incredible scenery, fresh air, and peace and quiet of this incredible location. Become a cowboy for the day with optional horseback rides through the mountain scenery, or try your hand at fly fishing. Hearty chuck wagon dinners, John Denver songs around the campfire and western cowboy cookouts take you back to 'Old America'.
Day 7 - Jackson
Your tour leader will take you on a stroll to explore the surrounding area or you if you'd prefer to explore on your own, no problem! Depart in the afternoon for Jackson. Our tour concludes upon arrival at our gateway hotel at approximately 5 pm. Optional post-tour accommodation is available at our gateway hotel. If you are planning to fly out of Jackson tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 9 pm (21:00 hrs).