Although we do our very best to adhere to the schedule, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control. The final paddling route is left up to the discretion of the guides, and is based upon trip member's skill and weather conditions. This trip is operated rain or shine.
Meet your guide and fellow travelers at Rendezvous River Sports in Jackson Hole, Wyoming at 6:30pm. Light refreshments and appetizers are served. Following introductions, we go over details for the upcoming trip including the trip packing list, kayaks (benefits of tandem versus single), personal flotation devices (PFDs), paddling jackets, etc. Trip members are provided with three dry bags for packing personal gear. No meals included. Accommodations in Jackson Hole are not included.
Eat breakfast (own expense) prior to meeting your guide and fellow travelers at 7am at Rendezvous River Sports. Bring your dry bags with your personal gear, as well as any extra gear not needed for the kayaking trip as it will be securely stored at our guide's office before departing Jackson Hole. We will load up in the van and drive through Grand Teton National Park and into Yellowstone National Park to arrive at the shores of Lewis Lake (7,782?).
We unload the van, discuss proper packing and loading of a touring kayak, basic paddling technique and on-water safety. Once on the water, we paddle along the west (leeward) side of Lewis Lake and past areas that were heavily burned by the 1988 fires, which now display the recovery that is taking place. We stop for a picnic lunch on shore near several small fumaroles that offer a preview of the geyser basin ahead. At the north end of Lewis Lake we enter the Lewis Channel to paddle in waters open only to non-motorized craft. At first the channel has little current as it winds its way up through a shallow canyon. There the paddling is easy and offers a great opportunity to look for eagles, osprey, moose and other wildlife that frequent the area. As the gradient increases, the current becomes too strong to ascend and lining the boats upstream is required. Lining the boats requires walking up the channel through water that is ankle to thigh deep, and some may consider this the most strenuous activity of the trip. Depending on water levels it may be up to 1.5 miles before we get back in our kayaks. The channel opens into the expanse of Shoshone Lake, where we set up our tents for the night. We enjoy a well-earned dinner and a presentation on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Lunch and dinner included.
Transfer: 2 hours; Kayaking: 8-12 miles (up to 6 hour); Portages: up to 1.5 miles.
The guides prepare a hot breakfast. We settle into our kayaks to begin a day of exploration in Shoshone Geyser Basin. We paddle west past the bluffs of Shoshone Lake, then continue to the basin. The water is a color usually seen in the tropics and has incredible clarity. Leaving our kayaks, we follow a trail that leads through a myriad of hot pools, steam vents, cauldrons and geysers, including the Minute Man. We picnic on the lake shore, then paddle back to our campsite with more opportunities for wildlife viewing along the way. Tonight's delicious dinner is followed by a presentation on Greater Yellowstone. All meals included.
Kayaking: 5-9 miles (up to 4 hours); Hiking: 1 mile (1 hour).
We break camp and pack into our kayaks. We paddle back to the channel entrance, then pause to cover a few of the basics of river navigation before gliding into the current. Soon the flow slackens and we are once again in the calm waters of the lower channel. We take time for a picnic lunch, then paddle across Lewis Lake to our take-out spot. After loading into the support van we drive to Jackson Hole, stopping at various viewpoint along the way to enjoy the many vistas of Grand Teton National Park. We plan to arrive at Rendezvous Sports in Jackson Hole between 3:30pm and 5:30pm. Breakfast and lunch included.
Kayaking: 8-10 miles (up to 6 hours); Transfers: 2.5-3 hours with stops.