Day 1 - Arrive Grand Teton National Park / Jackson Lake Lodge
VBT leaders will offer a shuttle from the Wort Hotel in downtown Jackson, Wyoming
and the Jackson Hole Airport (JAC) to the start of our tour at the Jackson Lake
Lodge. The shuttle works on a "show and go" basis and will make its only departure from the Wort Hotel in Jackson at 12:30 pm and stop at the Jackson Hole Airport to pick up guests at 1:00
pm. Your VBT leaders will be wearing staff garments, carrying VBT signs and the vehicles will have VBT signage on the door. If you are arriving after this
shuttle departs, or your flight is delayed, you must make your own arrangements
to reach Jackson Lake Lodge. Please plan
to have lunch before leaving Jackson
or bring a packed lunch with you.
Guests driving to the tour should park their cars at the
airport for the week. Parking rates are approximately $12 per day and must be
pre-paid at the Jackson Hole
En route to Grand Teton
National Park, we stop at the famed
“Mormon Row” of iconic homesteads, including the Moulton Barn, framed by the Teton Range in the background. After a safety briefing and orientation
session with our Trip Leaders, we’ll have time for a short stroll and
opportunity to photograph this spectacular scene. Herds of buffalo and elk are common around
the old homesteads.
We continue to the Grand Teton National Park Visitor and Discovery Center
in Moose, Wyoming
before heading into the park. Get
acquainted with the park at the Visitor
Center, where you can get
your National Park Passport stamped and pick up souvenirs.
Surrounded by spectacular views, we continue through the Snake River Valley to the Jackson Lake Lodge, the
largest, and most famous, hotel in the park. It is best known for its cozy fieldstone fireplace and towering 60
foot-tall panoramic windows with views extending to the Teton Range.
Early this evening, we transfer to the Snake
River for a very special Welcome Reception. Our western cookout on
the riverbank features fresh trout and charbroiled steak. Afterward, we board large rafts for a wild
and scenic trip down the Snake River. Our evening float takes us approximately 10
miles down the Snake River with breathtaking panoramic views of the Teton Range all around us.
Day 2 - Walk Jenny
Lake / Explore Jackson Lake area
After a breakfast at our lodge, we travel by van to Jenny Lake, the main hub in the heart of the
Tetons. From here, trails range from
flat walks around the lake to expeditions to the heights of the Grand Tetons. We’ll
stay close to Jenny Lake, where we can enjoy incredible views of the Teton Range from the trail.
Our walk takes us around Jenny
Lake to Hidden Falls along the 5-mile Jenny Lake Trail
following the perimeter of the lake. Keep
an eye out for wildlife in and around the lake. Please remember that due to park regulations, the Trip Leaders are not
allowed to walk with you on the trail. We will finish our walk with a ferry across Jenny Lake back to the trailhead and Visitor Center where we meet our group and Trip Leaders. Stop along the way at one of the many scenic overlooks to enjoy your packed lunch.
After, we return to Jackson Lake Lodge where you can take in
some invigorating outdoor activities. Swim
in the outdoor pool or go for a stroll on one of several popular trails from the
lodge. For those interested in fishing instead of walking, full day, guided fly fishing trips on the Snake River are also available and can be booked by
calling 307-690-4664. As the fishing trips fill early, we recommend
booking as early as possible.
The evening is yours to enjoy at the lodge where several dining
options are available.
Day 3 - Transfer to Lake Yellowstone
Hotel / Walk Storm Point Trail
Wake up early this morning for a short, optional walk to
Lunch Tree Hill or linger over breakfast at the lodge. We depart Jackson Lake Lodge—and Grand Teton National Park—this
morning and make our way into Yellowstone.
Our transfer takes us north, across the park border into Yellowstone. We’ll
pause at several sites along the way, including Grant Village
and West Thumb Geyser
Basin. The West Thumb Geyser Basin offers a short interpretive walk and
excellent photo opportunities. We arrive
in time for lunch on your own at the Lake Yellowstone Hotel.
This afternoon we gather with our Trip Leaders and make a short transfer to the Storm Point Trail. This invigorating walk takes us through shaded old-growth
lodgepole pine forest, left untouched by the 1988 Yellowstone wildfires, to an
overlook offering impressive views of Lake Yellowstone.
We’ll return to the Lake Yellowstone Hotel where we’ll have
time to check into our rooms and enjoy views of Lake Yellowstone.
We dine at our hotel this evening.
Day 4 - Walk along the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
As the sun rises over beautiful Lake Yellowstone,
we enjoy breakfast at our lodge. Then we travel by van to the Grand Canyon of
When huge volcanic eruptions occurred here around 600,000
years ago, they created a massive, lava-filled caldera. This caldera makes up much of what we now
know as Yellowstone
National Park. The
magnificent landscape we see here today—including the impressive Grand Canyon
of Yellowstone—has been sculpted over millennia.
We walk along the rim of the canyon this morning, marveling
at spectacular views of the two largest waterfalls in Yellowstone—the Upper
and Lower Falls
of the Grand Canyon. We stop along the way for a packed lunch with impressive views of the canyon below.
Later, we shuttle back to our hotel on the shore of Lake
Yellowstone. Enjoy time on your own this afternoon to explore or relax. Dinner is
on your own tonight.
Day 5 - Walk around Grand Prismatic Spring / Transfer to Old
Faithful Inn / Walk the Upper Geyser Basin
After breakfast, we depart the Lake Yellowstone Hotel and shuttle
along the scenic Grand Loop to the Midway Geyser Basin. Our footfalls take us over the Firehole River and around the magnificent Grand Prismatic Spring. The surrounding hillsides are still recovering from the famous forest fires of 1988.
After visiting the Midway Geyser Basin, we
make our way to our final destination—Old Faithful.
Perhaps we’ll arrive just in time for an eruption. Perhaps
we’ll take a stroll around the Geyser
Basin before witnessing
one of nature’s grandest spectacles. Choose to either take a flat walk through the Geyser Basin or challenge yourself with a walk to the top of Observation Point for a view over the vast Upper Geyser Basin below. Stop along the way to enjoy your packed lunch while admiring this unique environment comprising nearly 50% of the world's geothermal features. No matter what you choose, be sure to pause for an Old
Faithful eruption, occurring every 90 minutes or so.
Afterward, we have time to
relax at the awe-inspiring Old Faithful Inn, known for its spectacular lobby of
log rafters seven stories tall and its 80-foot chimney.
You might also join an afternoon tour of the historic inn
and observe one of the resident artists usually at work in the lobby. And every 90 minutes, you can always
step outside to view an Old Faithful eruption
from the inn’s second-floor deck.
Tonight, we toast our discoveries of the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone during a farewell dinner at our inn.
Day 6 - Observation Point / Return home
Shortly after breakfast, we'll say goodbye to Old Faithful and depart the
inn by shuttle at 9:00 am, arriving at the Jackson Hole Airport (JAC) at
11:30 am. The shuttle will continue to the Wort Hotel in downtown Jackson at
12:00 pm. Please note for 2014 tours
departing after Labor Day, Monday, September 1: we will have to take a detour
on our way out of Yellowstone due to road construction. We will have to depart earlier in the
morning, but will still arrive at Jackson Hole Airport by 11:30 am.