Grand Teton Kayaking

Trip Length 4 Days
Group Size 4-12
Difficulty
3

Starting from

$1,249

for REI Members

$1,349 for non-members

Departure dates will be announced soon.

We can let you know as soon as they are.

The Grand Tetons are renowned for their breathtaking beauty. This incredible 4-day trip takes us through some of its best sights.

One glimpse of the Grand Teton National Park is enough to understand why this is a destination spot for adventurers the world over. Our weekend getaway begins with a steady paddle on Jackson Lake toward our campsite at Grassy Island, situated just below the impressive Mount Moran and surrounded by breathtaking views.

We kayak to the trailheads on each of the following mornings, where we leave the boats behind and hike to alpine lakes. Explore the beauty of the surrounding mountains reflected in the still waters. Raft the rugged and scenic Snake River. Our local guides share their knowledge and perspective, prepare delicious meals and provide expert paddling instruction. On our final night, we camp in Spalding Bay, where the star-filled sky is just a zipper pull away.

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Trip highlights

  • Enjoy exclusive access to Jackson Lake for kayaking and Grassy Island for camping
  • Watch for bald eagles, moose and river otter that call this magestic area home
  • Learn about Grand Teton National Park from local guides who share their vast knowledge of the region
  • End your trip with a float down the Snake River while enjoying iconic views of the park

Activities

This trip is rated Moderate (3) as we plan to kayak 4-6 hours per day in calm to moderately rough conditions.

To maximize your enjoyment of the trip and to avoid sore muscles, we suggest that you engage in a regular exercise regimen beginning at least three months prior to your departure. Most important to your enjoyment of the trip is your overall fitness level.

  • Kayaking
  • Hiking

What's Included

Professional instruction and guiding; meals as noted in the daily itinerary; tents and group camping gear; camp stoves and group cooking gear; kayaks and related paddling gear.

This trip is operated by O.A.R.S. West, Inc., an authorized concessioner of Grand Teton National Park.

Accommodations

Camping, 3 nights

Your Adventure Itinerary

Day 1

Kayak to our spectacular camp at Grassy Island.

Our adventure begins at 9am at the Lexington Trapper Inn in Jackson, Wyoming, where we will meet our guides and fellow travelers and then shuttle together to Signal Mountain Boat Ramp in Grand Teton National Park. After a demonstration on kayaking techniques and safety procedures, we begin the 2.5 mile paddle to our lunch destination on Marie Island. After lunch we paddle the remaining 4 miles to our camp on Grassy Island, all the while enjoying the dramatic views of the Tetons looming directly in front of us throughout our paddle.

Grassy Island is situated just below the impressive Mount Moran and is surrounded by breathtaking views; we have been granted special access by the National Park Service to camp on this unforgettable site. On arrival, we work as a team to unload the gear from the support boat. After our tents are set up, our guides go over the protocol for our wilderness bathroom, advise us on bear safety, and orient us to our home for the next two nights. The remainder of the afternoon can be spent hiking around the island, taking a rest on the rocky beach, or playing on Jackson Lake with one of our paddle boards. While we enjoy exploring the island, our guides will build the camp kitchen and busy themselves preparing our dinner. After dinner enjoy time around the campfire and listen for the bugle of nearby elk. Lunch and dinner provided.

Kayaking: 6.5 miles.

Day 2

Kayak to the trailhead and hike to mountain lakes.

Our first morning on Grassy Island we greet the day with hot drinks and a hot breakfast prepared by our guides. Take time to enjoy the cool morning mountain air and look for the elk and bald eagles that are plentiful in the area. After making our lunches, we prepare a day pack and set out to paddle to the Leigh Lake Trailhead. The paddle to the trailhead is a trip rich in scenic beauty. Our horizon is filled with glacier-topped granite peaks, and viewing them from the kayak offers a perspective like no other. The countless miles of wilderness shoreline beg to be explored, and before long we beach our kayaks and set out on our hike. Our guides share their knowledge of this pristine ecosystem where one can still find certain species of flora and fauna that have existed since prehistoric times. Along the trail the guides point out trees scarred by bears scratching and rubbing against them—reminding us of the importance of the bear safety practices that our guides employ throughout this adventure!

After our morning paddle and hiking for a few miles, lunch is a welcome break. Leigh Lake provides an ideal lunch spot with its sweeping views of the Teton Range and reflective waters that double the mountains' beauty. The cold water is refreshing and swimming is encouraged. After lunch we continue on foot, exploring more of the trails before making our way back to the trailhead and our kayaks. Paddling back to Grassy Island, we are treated to the incredible views that the return trip provides. At camp our guides begin work preparing another delicious dinner. Use this time to rest, float peacefully on a paddleboard, or further explore Grassy Island. After dinner, relax by the fire while sharing stories of the day’s adventures; fall asleep under the stars of the wide Wyoming sky content that it’s a rest well earned. All meals included.

Kayaking: 3 miles; Hiking: up to 4 miles.

Day 3

Move camp and kayak to Spalding Bay for our final night.

Hot breakfast in camp will warm you from the chill of the morning mountain air. Take a hot drink and camp chair to the beach and watch the sunrise embrace the craggy peaks above you; it's a dramatic experience of nature’s majesty like no other. Our goal is a morning paddle to Moran Creek where we take a scenic hike in Moran Canyon. Here we'll be rewarded with vistas of Jackson Lake and the vast valley beyond. Upon our return to Grassy Island we enjoy lunch and break down our camp in preparation for our move to our campsite at Spalding Bay. Breaking camp is a team effort, and everyone is encouraged to lend a hand in loading all of the personal and group gear into the support boat. Our paddle to Spalding Bay is five scenic miles of national park beauty. Our camp at Spalding Bay has stunning views of the Teton Range including the Grand Teton and the rest of the Cathedral Group. After unloading the boat and setting up camp, we have time to explore the area on foot or paddleboard while our guides are busy creating another incredible dinner. Our last night easily flows from watching the sunset to stargazing as we toast new friendships, the beauty of our national parks, and the excitement of tomorrow’s final adventure on the Snake River. All meals included.

Kayaking: 7 miles; Hiking: 2 miles.

Day 4

A scenic float down the Snake River ends the trip with iconic views of the park.

Our final lakeside breakfast is followed by breaking camp and loading the support boat for our paddle back to Signal Mountain Boat ramp where our journey began. We transfer as a group to Pacific Creek Boat Launch. Here we will load into our six-man rafts and embark on our scenic ten-mile float down the Snake River. The knowledge of our guides enhances the experience as they share natural and historical interpretation of the region. Each turn of the river provides a new perspective of the Cathedral Group and calls to mind photos by Ansel Adams that have come alive in brilliant color and breathtaking beauty. There is an abundance of wildlife to keep a look out for as we gently float along. Halfway through the float trip we will enjoy our lunch. Arrival at Deadman’s Bar marks the end of our float trip on the Snake River and concludes our adventure in Grand Teton National Park. Group transport takes us back to the Lexington Trapper Inn in Jackson, WY where we make our final goodbyes. Breakfast and lunch included

Kayaking 1.5 miles.

Grand Teton Kayaking

Member: from $1,249

Non-member: from $1,349

Departure dates will be announced soon.
We can let you know as soon as they are.

Gear list

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. Try to bring only what is necessary—this will help you and the field staff. If you do not already own all of the necessary gear and are not certain if you will participate in outdoor trips on a regular basis, please consider renting.

We plan to paddle double (two-person) kayaks on this course for their stability, good tracking, and speed.

What to pack

Packed by REI

  • All Group Cooking Gear
  • All Kayaking Gear
  • Bear Canister
  • Bear Spray
  • Dry Bags (1 at 10L and 1 at 127L)
  • Group First Aid Kit
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Tent(s)

Packed by you (Required)

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Travel Documents

  • Final Bulletin (Emailed Prior to Departure Date)

Contact Us

Feel free to give us a call at 1-800-622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (1-800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out REI Expert Advice, which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

Meet your guides

Nathan M.

REI members on Nathan's trips find his fascination with the Tetons infectious. He loves seeing the peaks glowing in the moonlight, meeting friendly bears and other animals on the trail, jumping into glacier-fed lakes, and sharing all of it with others.

Meet your guides

Tera L.

This Wyoming native loves lobster and funky music. A guide for six years, her favorite thing about guiding is spotting new wildflowers, birds and animals every time she goes out with a new REI group.

Adventure Expert

Heather

I wanted our members to get a chance to truly experience summer in the Tetons. Paddling to a trailhead from our secluded camp and looking up at the Tetons from my kayak was breathtaking; rafting the Snake River was the perfect ending.

JanetSoCal

Great Trip!!!!


This was a really great trip. The itinerary was active, but not strenuous. Taj Mahal of tent accommodations, and comfortable sleeping. Our guides Erica and Marc were terrific. Erica is probably the hardest working gui...

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