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Yellowstone & Grand Teton: Walking America’s First National Park

National ParksThe aroma of pine needles and the windblown mist of geysers await your arrival to the walker’s paradise of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.

  • Activity Level: Easy / Moderate
  • Daily Mileage: 2 - 6 mi
  • Daily Walking: 2 - 4 hr
  • Small Groups: 20
  • Walking Activity
  • Ideal for those who walk for a morning or afternoon on a regular basis. Footing may be on a variety of surfaces. No extended ascents or descents, but some rewarding climbs.

Why You'll Love This Tour


Yellowstone & Grand Teton: Walking America’s First National Park

Imagine miles and miles of untouched forest sprinkled with towering mountain peaks and glassy lakes. Home to the country’s largest population of mammals, be prepared to view the wild nature of elk, bison, grizzly bears, moose, antelope and wolves. Float across babbling rivers, experience eruptions of water made renowned across the nation, and learn about the rich history that has made these national wonders thrive for years.

Cultural Highlights

  • Float leisurely down the Snake River with your cameras at the ready for stunning views and bald eagle sightings
  • Keep your eyes peeled for buffalo and elk as you explore the base of the tallest mountains of the Teton range, the Cathedral Group
  • Trail along the shore of the glacial, reflective waters of Jenny Lake
  • Picnic amongst the jaw-dropping views and wildlife of Yellowstone
  • Gaze in awe upon the largest waterfalls the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone have to offer
  • See for yourself why Yellowstone has accolades for being the world’s first national park, home to one of the world’s largest volcanic calderas, and a habitat to the largest mammal population in the lower 48 states
  • Witness a variety of thermal features including colorful hot springs and hissing steam vents as you hike in West Thumb
  • Watch Mother Nature show off her skills at the geyser at Old Faithful, true to its namesake and erupting every 90 minutes

What To Expect

This tour features fairly easy terrain, with some gradual climbs and spectacular views. You’ll walk on a variety of surfaces, including dirt trails and wooden boardwalks. On rainy days the footpaths can be muddy and slippery. Both morning and afternoon walking options are available on most days. This tour is ideal for both enthusiastic beginners and experienced walkers. Our VBT support vehicle is available at specific meeting points for those who need assistance. Several of the walks require a transfer from your hotel to the start of the walk.

Average Daily Mileage: 2 – 6 miles
Average Walking Time: 2 – 4 hours

Climate Information

Average High/Low Temperature (°F) – Yellowstone
Jun 62°/35°  Jul 72°/42°  Aug 71°/37°  Sep 61°/30°

Average Precipitation (in.) – Yellowstone
Jun 2.2  Jul 1.6  Aug 1.5  Sep 1.5

What’s Included:

  • 2 nights in Jackson and 3 nights at historic in-park lodges
  • 11 meals – 5 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
  • FREE use of VBT walking poles
  • Service of two VBT Trip Leaders
  • On-tour vehicle support
  • Daily route directions and maps
  • Welcome reception
  • Sightseeing and cultural activities
  • Transfers
  • Admission to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks
  • Earn 5% Frequent Traveler Credit on this tour to use on a future VBT vacation. See details.

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Land Only Single Supplement: $1,145

Please note: Web Special savings cannot be combined with any other offer. Standard Terms & Conditions apply when purchasing this trip. Ask our Tour Consultants for details. Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. Prices are based on preferences selected above, including meals and sightseeing as specified in What’s Included. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only.

Itinerary & Map
Or, Expand All Days
Day 1: Arrive Jackson and Scenic Snake River float / VBT Walking Vacation begins / The Lodge at Jackson Hole

Your tour begins at 1:00 p.m. at The Lodge at Jackson Hole, in Jackson. Please plan to have a snack before you meet. You will start the trip with a float along the scenic Snake River, including a late, packed lunch. Come dressed for your float! Be sure to wear shoes that can get wet. A rain poncho will be provided. We will depart the lodge at 1:30 p.m.

If you are arriving after 1:00 p.m. or if your flight is delayed, you must make your own arrangements to reach The Lodge at Jackson Hole. The Lodge at Jackson Hole does provide transportation to/from Jackson Hole Airport (JAC). This service is available daily for arriving and departing flights from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and requires 24 hours advanced notice. Please contact the lodge directly for arrangements. Please note that our river float excursion departs the hotel at 1:30 p.m. sharp. If you arrive after this time, plan to meet your leaders at approximately 5:30 p.m. at the lodge.

Guests driving to the tour should park their cars at The Lodge at Jackson Hole for the week (no charge; leave keys with the hotel front desk).

Your scenic float trip on the Snake River is guide-powered so you can relax and enjoy the scenery all around you, so cameras and binoculars are welcome. Your late afternoon float takes you approximately 13 miles downriver, with breathtaking panoramic views of the Teton Range. This stretch of the braided river is home to an array of wildlife and is especially rich in bird life including Bald Eagles, Osprey, Herons, Kingfishers, and Mergansers.

After you disembark your rafts, you’ll return to The Lodge at Jackson Hole in time to check in. Dinner tonight will be at one of VBT’s favorite local restaurants.

Hotel: The Lodge at Jackson Hole
Meals: D
Daily Options: River float

Day 2: Grand Teton National Park / Walk Jenny Lake / Explore Jackson

After breakfast at your lodge, you’ll travel by van to Grand Teton National Park and Jenny Lake, the main hub in the heart of the Tetons. Board the Jenny Lake Ferry. The Tetons tower above you as you make your way across the pristine waters to start the day. Multiple walking route options await upon disembarking the Ferry. From here, trails range from flat walks around the lake to expeditions to the heights of the Grand Tetons. You’ll stay close to Jenny Lake, where you can enjoy incredible views of the Teton Range from the trail. Stop along the way at one of the many scenic overlooks to enjoy your packed lunch. Keep an eye out for wildlife in and around the lake as you make your way to the String Lake.

Next, you will transfer to the Grand Teton National Park Visitor and Discovery Center in Moose, Wyoming. Get acquainted with the park at the Visitor Center, where you can get your National Park Passport stamped and pick up souvenirs. The center offers natural history exhibits, a relief map of the park and an informational 22-minute film on the park.

Later in the afternoon, you’ll return to the lodge where you may swim in the all season indoor-outdoor heated pool, hot tubs and sauna or go for a stroll in town. The lodge is located just over a one-mile walk to the Jackson, Wyoming town square.

The evening is yours to enjoy in Jackson, where several dining options are available.

Hotel: The Lodge at Jackson Hole
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 3-7 miles

Day 3: Transfer to Canyon Lodge / Interpretive Boardwalk at West Thumb / Picnic Lunch / Lake Overlook Walk

Wake up early this morning for a hot gourmet breakfast at the lodge. You’ll depart The Lodge at Jackson Hole and Jackson this morning and make your way into Yellowstone.

Your transfer takes you north across the park border into Yellowstone. You’ll pause along the way to view wildlife or learn about the park’s fire ecosystem. Our destination is West Thumb Geyser Basin, which offers a short interpretive walk and excellent opportunities to see a variety of thermal features including colorful hot springs and hissing steam vents. You’ll picnic under the canopy of the evergreen forest back in West Thumb.

Gather this afternoon with your Trip Leaders for a loop walk to Lake Overlook through shaded pine forest and hillside meadows to a stunning view of Yellowstone Lake amid back-country thermal features. Extend your walk by adding on the Duck Lake Trail, walking through the young forest regrowth from the 1988 Fires. Arrive at the shore of this small lake before returning on the same path.

You continue your journey via Hayden Valley, home to a variety of wildlife, to Canyon Lodge located on the east side of the park only half a mile from the famous Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River and its Lower Falls. After checking into your room and enjoying your surroundings, dine at your lodge this evening.

Hotel: Canyon Lodge
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 3-4 miles

Day 4: Walk along the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone / Transfer to your next lodge

As the sun rises, enjoy breakfast at your lodge. Then travel by van to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

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 you see here today—including the impressive Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone—has been sculpted over millennia.

You’ll 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. Stop along the way for a packed lunch with impressive views of the canyon below.

Later, you’ll shuttle to your lodge for the next two nights. Enjoy time on your own this afternoon to explore or relax. Dinner is on your own tonight.

Hotel: Old Faithful Snow Lodge
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 3 miles

Day 5: Walk around Grand Prismatic Spring / Explore the Upper Geyser Basin

You’ll depart after breakfast and shuttle along the scenic Grand Loop to the Midway Geyser Basin. Your footsteps take you along the trail to view the magnificent Grand Prismatic Spring. The surrounding hillsides are still recovering from the famous forest fires of 1988.

After visiting the Midway Geyser Basin, you’ll shuttle to Old Faithful. Arrive at Black Sand Basin and traverse an off the beaten path to the main boardwalks. Stroll around the Geyser Basin to learn about and witness some of nature’s grandest spectacles. Yellowstone National Park is home to nearly 50% of the world’s geothermal features.

Break in the afternoon for lunch on your own at one of the variety of restaurants in Old Faithful Village. After lunch, choose to take a flat walk through the Geyser Basin or challenge yourself with a hike to the top of Observation Point for a view overlooking the vast Upper Geyser Basin. No matter which trail you choose, be sure to pause for an Old Faithful eruption, which occurs every 90 minutes or so.

Afterward, you might peruse the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center, which opened in 2010. Or visit Old Faithful Inn, with its heavy timber construction it is a significant example of classic “parkitecture.”

Tonight, you’ll toast your discoveries of the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone during a farewell dinner.

Hotel: Old Faithful Snow Lodge
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 3-8 miles

Day 6: Return home / VBT Walking Vacation ends

Shortly after breakfast, say goodbye and depart the lodge by shuttle, arriving at the Jackson Hole Airport (JAC) at 11:30 a.m. Flights departing before 1:30 p.m. are not recommended. VBT will offer a second drop off at The Lodge at Jackson Hole arriving at 12:00 pm.

Meals: B

Yellowstone & Grand Teton: Walking America’s First National Park Map

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Yellowstone & Grand Teton: Walking America’s First National Park

Yellowstone & Grand Teton: Walking America’s First National Park Accommodations

Canyon Lodge

Canyon Lodge is located within the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park on the park’s east side, only half a mile from the famous Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. It is the largest of the properties in Yellowstone, with more than 500 rooms and cabins. The Superior Lodge Rooms are equipped with an activity table with chairs, coffee maker, and refrigerator, and bathroom with tub/shower combo. A/C is not available.

Old Faithful Snow Lodge

Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Cabins is an award-winning facility with an appeal that is both rustic and contemporary. Located within Yellowstone National Park, this luxurious retreat of classic log architecture was constructed recently and is one of the only lodging facilities open year-round. The main building is made of wooden log columns with a cedar shingle roof. Some of the lodge's wood was recycled from the same mill that provided lumber for the famous Old Faithful Inn in 1904. Old Faithful Geyser and the boardwalks of Geyser Hill are located just across the parking lot. A/C is not available.

The Lodge at Jackson Hole

The Lodge at Jackson Hole is located in the heart of Jackson, the gateway to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. It offers the ambiance of a lodge close to the heart of Jackson. The lodge’s lounge and bar offers light fair for dinner. Amenities include a spa, a bar/lounge, a heated indoor/outdoor pool, a hot tub, a sauna and a business center. The resort fee covers hot breakfast, pool towels, fitness center access, Wi-Fi, parking and area shuttle transportation. A/C is not available.
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