This trip is rated Moderate . Daily hikes typically range between 4.5–7.5 miles in length with elevation gains/losses of up to 2,100'. Two hikes will take us to the summits of peaks over 10,000 feet. Cycling and rafting are suitable for beginners; all gear will be provided. All activities are optional and our guides will brief trip members on the vigorousness of each prior to setting out.
Our trip begins in Bozeman, Montana. We rendezvous for orientation in the morning, then set off on the two-hour drive to Yellowstone National Park. Our first stop on our adventure is Mammoth Hot Springs. We drop by the visitor center, watch for the resident elk herd, and get our initial glimpse of some of the park’s fascinating thermal features. After our guide-prepared picnic lunch, we start our warmup hike directly from the visitor center. While we enjoy our time on trail, our camp host is busy setting up our Signature Camp in preparation for our arrival. Once at camp, we can relax in our comfortable outdoor lounge area and sleep in spacious tents fully outfitted with cots, sleeping pads, floor coverings, lighting, and an assortment of REI camp furniture. Lunch and dinner included.
Hiking: 5 miles, Elevation gain/loss: 1,207'; Transfer: 3–4 hours.
No visit to Yellowstone would be complete without exploring the park’s fantastic geothermal features. Still considered an active volcano, reminders of Yellowstone’s violent geological past abound. Today we explore the Upper Geyser Basin, home to Old Faithful and a host of additional geysers, hot springs and fumaroles. After witnessing an eruption of Old Faithful, we extend our hike to 70-ft Mystic Falls for a dramatic view of the geyser basin below. Our afternoon culminates in a visit to the spectacular Grand Prismatic Spring, the largest hot spring in the nation. The spring's brilliant rings of red, yellow, blue, green and orange are caused by microbes that live at the edges of the mineral-rich water. All meals included.
Hiking: 4.5 miles, Elevation gain/loss: 350'; Transfer: 2.5–3.5 hours.
Yellowstone is home to more than 50 species of mammals including black & grizzly bear, bison, elk, pronghorn, moose and wolf. The park draws wildlife lovers from all over the world hoping to catch a glimpse of these majestic creatures. We set out on a wildlife-viewing drive at dawn this morning, aiming to reach beautiful Hayden Valley when the animals are most active. Additional dawn or dusk wildlife drives can be scheduled based on participants’ interest. After our wildlife adventure, we spend the day exploring the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. We hike the canyon rim and enjoy views of the Yellowstone River far below. We also visit Artist Point and descend Uncle Tom’s Trail for up-close views of 308-foot Lower Falls. A quintessential day in Yellowstone! All meals included.
Hiking: 5–7.6 miles, Elevation gain/loss: 1100'; Transfer: 2–3.5 hours.
We head south today towards Grand Teton National Park, its immense granite peaks visible for miles above the plains. On the first part of our multisport day, we hop aboard our bikes and cycle to lovely Jenny Lake, carved by glaciers and the second largest lake in the park. We have time to explore the lakeshore before jumping back on our bikes and returning to our waiting vehicle. Later, we take in the spectacular views of the South, Middle, and Grand Teton as well as Mount Moran during a scenic rafting trip down the Snake River. In addition to the awe-inspiring Teton panoramas, we watch for bald eagles, beavers, moose and bear along the riverbanks as we float by. Our time in the Tetons ends with a tasty dinner at Signal Mountain Lodge overlooking Jackson Lake. It's a perfect spot to enjoy final views of one of America’s most beautiful mountain ranges. All meals included.
Cycling: 15–18 miles; terrain: established bike trail, Elevation gain/loss: 482'; Rafting: 2.5 hour scenic float trip (Class I and II). Transfer: 4–4.5 hours.
Today’s challenging hike to the summit of Avalanche Peak offers outstanding views of southern Yellowstone, stretching to the Tetons 50 miles away. Our trail begins in a lush fir and spruce forest and climbs steadily, passing through wildflower meadows and up talus slopes to the summit at 10,566 ft. We relish the stunning high country panorama that includes Yellowstone Lake, the rugged Absaroka mountain range, and Pelican Valley, some of the premier grizzly habitat in the Lower 48. This afternoon, a short hike to Storm Point provides fantastic views of Yellowstone Lake. Back at camp this evening, we relax as our guides prepare a delicious celebration dinner and the setting sun casts the last pale light in the West. All meals included.
Hiking: 5–7.5 miles, Elevation gain/loss: 2,100'; Transfer: 2–2.5 hours.
This morning, we hike to the summit of Mount Washburn (10,223 ft) for 360-degree views of Yellowstone spread out at our feet. The wide trail’s gradual ascent to the fire lookout atop the mountain makes it a great hike to top off our week. Our final stop in the park provides the perfect opportunity to experience one of Yellowstone’s hydrothermal features firsthand. We take a relaxing dip in the Boiling River, whose cool current warms to a soothing temperature with the overflow from a series of nearby hot springs. After soaking any trail grit and soreness away, we return to our waiting vehicle and leave the park, arriving in Bozeman by approximately 7pm. Breakfast and lunch included.
Hiking: 7 miles, Elevation gain/loss: 1,384'; Transfer: 2.5–3.5 hours.