Start your adventure in the town of Jackson, renowned for its unique atmosphere that’s both frontier and cosmopolitan. Located in the heart of cowboy country, this former outlaw hideout is surrounded by breathtaking scenery in every direction. Today, it’s a popular base for exploring the magnificent mountains nearby, and for enjoying the Western-style saloons after dark.
Check out the town square with its elk antler arches in all four corners, and perhaps browse its many shops and galleries before enjoying your welcome dinner. During the summer, you may arrive just in time to catch the staged shoot-out skit, complete with a stage coach, bank robbers, show girls and more.
Overnight: Lexington at Jackson Hole
Day 2 & 3
Today you’ll visit the world’s first national park, and one of its most awe-inspiring. While the majority of the park is located in Wyoming, it’s so large that it also crosses into Montana and Idaho. Here you’ll discover one of the most active areas of hydrothermal activity on Earth, including famous erupting geysers like Old Faithful, and many others, as well as incredibly vibrant hot springs, like the rainbow-hued Grand Prismatic Spring, mudpots and fumaroles. The park is also renowned for its abundances of wildlife, with herds of bison roaming among the geysers, and just about every corner of this impressive landscape. You’re also likely to spot elk, deer, and perhaps even catch a glimpse of a bear or the elusive wolf.
Begin your exploration of Yellowstone by viewing the geothermal springs from the wooden boardwalks, including Grand Prismatic, which is so bright and colorful, you’d think an artist must have painted it into the landscape. Next see the park’s own version of the Grand Canyon, and the rocks multi-colors, a result of exposure to the elements over the years. The Yellowstone River, the longest undammed river in the lower 48, is responsible for carving this stunning canyon, as well as its thundering waterfalls.
After a peaceful night’s rest in your “glamping” Tip or Safari Tent, you’ll head to Lamar Valley, often referred to as “American’s Serengeti.” If you thought you saw an incredible amount of wildlife yesterday, just wait. This area is so filled with animals like bison, elk, Bighorn sheep and wolves, that you won’t be able to put your camera down. Fortunately, you’ll have an expert guide with you, to help spot them, keep you safe and point out information about what you’re seeing.
Two nights – Under Canvas Yellowstone
Day 4 & 5
It’s time to say goodbye to Yellowstone and hello to Grand Teton National Park where you hear the insider secrets of the park from a geology guide, including fascinating details about what lies beneath the surface of this magnificent landscape and how it relates to the mighty Tetons that dramatically rise from the Earth. Next you’ll embark on a relaxed, half-day scenic mountain bike tour, traveling along the sagebrush flats of the eastern slopes, home to roaming pronghorn antelope and glorious views of the entire Teton Mountain range. Cap of the day by unwinding at your destination for the next two nights: Spring Creek Ranch, situated in a wildlife sanctuary offering more stunning mountain views from nearly 1,000 feet above the town of Jackson.
After you’re rested and refreshed, take a guided tour with a wildlife and ecology guide in the park, where you’ll learn more about the interactions among organisms and their environment as well as the formation of this incredible landscape while hiking to Inspiration Point. This viewpoint sits above Jenny Lake, one of the most picturesque lakes in America, and on a calm day, you’ll see the dramatic Tetons reflected in the water. Along the way, you’ll search for the park’s impressive wildlife, including moose, black and grizzly bears, bison, elk, pronghorn, wolves, mule deer and bald eagles, as your knowledgeable guide provides information about what you’re viewing.
Two nights – Spring Creek Ranch, Jackson
On your final day of the tour, you may want to spend some more time exploring the town of Jackson. Get some retail therapy by picking up some last minute souvenirs or visit the National Museum of Wildlife Art to experience some of the state’s outstanding culture. Then either fly home or you could book an extra night in this great town.