A view of Bivouac Peak on Jackson Lake, Grand Teton National Park WY
Coinciding with our 25th anniversary season, Rendezvous River Sports is excited to offer a unique multi-sport, overnight experience in Grand Teton National Park. On this three day trip you will enjoy touring kayaking in front of the Tetons, private camping on Jackson Lake, hiking near Mount Moran and rafting on the Wild & Scenic Snake River. Grand Teton National Park is at the heart of the Greater Yellowstone - the largest intact ecosystem in the lower 48 states and one of the Worlds largest in a temperate zone. Traveling in quiet kayaks and rafts through this wild location gives us outstanding opportunities to view animals including moose, elk, bison, grizzly and black bear, big horn sheep, mountain goats, beaver, otters, eagles, osprey and other mountain inhabitants.
Rendezvous River Sports, has the most experienced staff in the region and we are here to help you learn to comfortably paddle your kayak and to help interpret the wonders of the youngest mountain range of the Rockies and the sparkling lakes and rivers that we will traverse. Included with your adventure are all kayaks and gear - featuring kayaks from Current Designs and Wilderness Systems, Aire Rafts, Werner Paddles, Kokatat paddle wear, comfortable PFDs from Astral and more - camping in sites only available to our guests, all group camping gear, outstanding food - with organic and locally grown selections.
While this is an active adventure there will be ample chill time at camp for fishing, stand up paddle boarding or simply relaxing and taking in the mesmerizing mountain views that never get old. Each evening will include a campfire presentation about Grand Teton National Park, other highlights of the Greater Yellowstone and fantastic stargazing under Wyoming's clear skies. This trip also includes a meet and greet event at Rendezvous River Sports the evening before your departure, transportation to and from Jackson Lake and the Snake River, a re-usable Camelbak water bottle and special interpretive activities just for kids. Sleep kits (sleeping bags and pads) and single tents are available for a small additional fee and meals begin and end with lunches on the first and last days. While nearly all dietary restrictions can be accommodated -there may be a small additional fee for specific supplemental menus.
Early Season Pricing - $825 for Adults/$725 Youth 14 and under
3-Day Jackson Lake/Snake River Kayak and Raft Sample Itinerary
Please note – with the exception of the meeting time on day 1, times listed are the approximate start time window of when we will begin that activity. All times and mileages are approximate. Variations to timing and distances may occur due to weather conditions and the abilities or needs of each individual group.
Day 0 – Optional – Join us for a meet and greet at 6:30 the evening before your departure on the deck of Rendezvous River Sports – Meet the lead guide, check out the maps to learn more about Grand Teton National Park, our itinerary and pick up your dry bags. Guides will go over the personal gear list to make sure you have everything you need.
Day 1- Kayaking on Jackson Lake - Approximate mileage 6.5-10.5 miles
8:00 am We will meet at Rendezvous River Sports at 945 W. Broadway in Jackson – let us know if you need to arrange a pick up from your hotel or would like to bring your own car. Depending on how everyone packed their gear and suitcase storage needs, we may have everyone put their gear in dry bags at Rendezvous or we may do this at Jackson Lake. Either way you will quickly enjoy the spectacular views of the Tetons as we drive north to Jackson Lake. Remember to bring your National Park Pass or you may prepay for park entry.
9:15 - 9:30 am We will arrive at Signal Mountain Boat Ramp on Jackson Lake. If you are driving your own vehicle you may meet the group at Signal at this time. Once we are at Jackson Lake if you have not yet put your gear in dry bags your guide will give you one large size for overnight gear that will be loaded on our motor rig and a smaller dry bag to keep in your kayak for the gear you will want during the day. You will also receive a small personal gift such as a water bottle, travel mug or chums – choose whatever is most useful for you. Grand Teton National Park is Grizzly country. Here we will begin learning how to minimize our risk of conflicts with bears and you will receive a bear proof container for toiletries and any small personal items that have a scent and may be an attractant to black or grizzly bear. Your guide will also help you get fitted to a set of water proof/breathable jacket and pants, a life jacket and spray skirt. Next, we will get everyone set in their kayaks, go over proper entry and exit and make sure all outfitting is adjusted for your liking.
10:15 - 10:45 am Once everyone is comfortable in their kayaks you will get a Werner paddle and your guide will go over basic paddling strokes, proper posture and effective paddling technique.By now everyone will be more than ready to launch but before the fun really starts, we will go through our detailed safety outline prior to embarking on our adventure. As we paddle across Jackson Lake toward Donoho Point your guide will give an overview of Jackson Lake and the Teton Range. This may include information about geology, wildlife and the colorful mountaineering and skiing history of this storied range. As we paddle your guide (who is also an American Canoe Association kayak instructor) will offer pointers on paddling and regular check ins to make sure your kayak is comfortable.
12:00 – 1:00 By now we will all have worked up an appetite and fortunately we have a couple amazing options of spots to land to have lunch. Lunches for us are a special affair with tables set up with a spread of breads, deli meats, fresh fruits and veggies, crackers, nuts, cookies and more. Every meal we serve has a vegetarian option and we can also offer gluten free or dairy free if requested.
1:00 – 2:00 We are on the water again and headed to one of our unique backcountry camps, available only to our guests. Both sites require us to cross to the west shore of Jackson Lake and the base of the Tetons. There you will either arrive at Grassy Island Camp in Moran Bay or head north an additional 4-5 miles to Colter Camp at the base of Ranger Peak.
2:30-4:00 We will arrive at camp where your guides will give you an orientation of the campsite and further instruction on the plant and animal life of Grand Teton, how to enjoy viewing wildlife appropriately, how to safely use bear spray and our Leave No Trace camping methods. Our goal is always to leave the places we camp and visit on Jackson Lake and the Snake River just as we found them or better. Your guides will help you pick the perfect spot for tents and help with set up and making them comfortable. We will also go over an important subject to everybody – proper use of the portable toilet and general human waste protocols to protect our waters. Depending on the weather you will have time to relax, take photos, read, get a magnified view of the peaks, fish, swim or stretch out your kayak legs on a stand-up paddle board as your guides set up our camp kitchen and spread out hors devours.
6:00-7:00 Enjoy a back-country gourmet meal with locally/regionally produced fresh salad and a variety of potential main dishes such as coq-a-vin with potatoes, fajitas with Spanish rice, pappardelle pasta with red sauce and more. Save room for dessert like smores and the delicious things that can be baked in a Dutch oven. Keeping a clean camp is imperative to avoiding conflicts with wildlife. Following dessert (and each meal) your guides will initiate cleaning up and explain our leave no crumb policy. In addition to clean up, they will explain our goal of zero waste to landfill and how you can help us make it work. Did you know that food waste accounts for over 30% of garbage? On our trips all uneaten leftovers will either be composted and used in soil enrichment or turned into feed for other animals.
7:00-8:00 While everyone is welcome to spend their evening camp time as best suits them, or retire for the evening when they choose – each evening we will enjoy a campfire (weather and fire conditions permitting) and your guides will involve you in learning about the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). The GYE is one of the last and largest intact temperate ecosystems left in the World and we will be camping right in the middle of it. Learn about the many things that make it special, how it is preserved and how we can keep it that way for others to experience.
9:30-10:00 Summer days are long at 44 degrees North. As darkness falls enjoy the natural sounds or silence of Jackson Lake at night and the exceptional star gazing enhanced by the absence of cities in our region and an elevation over 6,700 ft. The planets and stars pop in Grand Teton in a spectacular fashion. Learn new constellations or share the ones you know and get a closer look at the moon or planets with our telescope. By now you may be tired – get a great night’s rest – you’ve earned it.
Day 2- Kayaking – approximate mileage 3.5-7 miles – Hiking up to 4 miles
7:15 am Your guides will have coffee, milk or half and half and hot water for tea or cocoa ready.
8:00 am Breakfast is another meal we really like. Breakfast will vary from French Toast, made from scratch pancakes, breakfast burritos, omelettes, hot cereal and more. Plus, every breakfast will have a selection of fresh fruit.
8:45-9:45 am Depending on your itinerary – you may be breaking camp on day 2 to experience camping at a different site. If you camped at Colter you will be moving down to Grassy Island if you camped at Grassy you may move to Spaulding Bay or you may have a lay over day at Grassy. If you are staying at Grassy, we will lay out a lunch bar for you to build your own sandwiches, salads or get creative with your lunch options. These will be packed up for our days adventure. If we are moving camp, we will have everything we need with us. Both Colter and Grassy are in close proximity to a couple different great side hikes. At Colter we can hike straight from camp. At Grassy we will paddle to Moran Creek and up the canyon north of Mt. Moran or to Bear Paw Bay and hike to Bear Paw, Trapper and Leigh Lakes. Glaciers, vertical walls of rock, flowing streams, wildflowers and the ever-present possibility of viewing wildlife such as moose, elk, deer, bears, wolves, eagles, big horn sheep, mountain goats, pelicans, marmots and more will all compete for your attention as we venture above Jackson Lake. Interpretive activities during the day will include the significance of everything that we are seeing, their place in this unique ecosystem and how many of the natural features created and sustain the GYE.
1:00 Depending on your route we may have lunch – backpacker style – on the trail. Or, if you are moving camps you will have a lunch similar to what was described on day 1.
2:00-3:00 We will either get back in or hike back to our kayaks and complete our paddle to the next camp or return to camp. By now everyone should be very comfortable in their kayaks and paddling fluidly. Remember, at any time if you need adjustments to make your kayak fit you better or would like pointers on padding more efficiently or faster, please ask one of your guides, who are all also kayak instructors. We want you to get the most out of every part of your experience and learning to be a better kayaker will increase your enjoyment of the sport and paddling is a life skill that everyone everywhere can enjoy.
3:30-4:00 We will be at camp with plenty of time to relax, take photos, read, get a magnified view of the peaks, fish, swim or stretch out your kayak legs on a stand-up paddle board as your guides set up our camp kitchen and spread out hors devours.
6:00-7:00 Enjoy a back-country gourmet meal with locally/regionally produced fresh salad and a variety of potential main dishes such as grilled chicken with sweet potatoes or bow tie pasta with feta, basil and crumbled Alaskan smoked salmon. Again, remember to save room for dessert. Keeping a clean camp is imperative to avoiding conflicts with wildlife. Following dessert (and each meal) your guides will initiate cleaning up and explain our leave no crumb policy. In addition to clean up, they will explain our goal of zero waste to landfill and how you can help us make it work. Did you know that food waste accounts for over 30% of garbage? On our trips all uneaten leftovers will either be composted and used in soil enrichment or turned into feed for other animals.
7:00-8:00 While everyone is welcome to spend their evening camp time as best suits them or retire for the evening when they choose – each evening we will enjoy a campfire (weather and fire conditions permitting) and your guides will involve you in learning about the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The GYE is one of the last and largest intact temperate ecosystems left in the World and we will be camping right in the middle of it. Learn about the many things that make it special, how it is preserved and how we can keep it that way for others to experience.
9:30-10:00 Summer days are long at 44 degrees North. As darkness falls enjoy the natural sounds or silence of Jackson Lake at night and the exceptional star gazing enhanced by the absence of cities in our region and an elevation over 6,700 ft. The planets and stars pop in Grand Teton in a spectacular fashion. Learn new constellations or share the ones you know and get a closer look at the moon or planets with our telescope. By now you may be tired – get a great night’s rest – you’ve earned it again!
Day 3- Kayaking – approx mileage 2-6.5 miles – Rafting on Snake River 10.5-14 miles
7:00 am Your guides will have coffee, milk or half and half and hot water for tea or cocoa ready.
7:15-7:30 am This morning we will have either breakfast sandwiches, bagels with cream cheese, hot cereal and of course a selection of fresh fruit.
7:45-8:45 am Break camp and enjoy views of the Gros Ventre and Absaroka Mountains while paddling back to Signal Mountain Ramp.
9:45-11:00 am At Signal we will unload our gear and head to the Wild & Scenic Snake River. Depending on water levels and your exact itinerary, we will raft one of three different Class II sections of the Snake.
11:00 am -12:00 We will arrive at the Snake River and begin to learn all about what makes it special. Prior to launch, we will add to the Safety Outline we covered on day 1 and learn about river features. What’s an eddy? What forms river waves? You will learn about these things and how we will navigate a swift mountain river, the hazards involved and how to deal with them.
12:00-1:00 Depending on our expected launch time, the section of river we are on and how your group is feeling we may eat lunch before we get on the river or we may stop on one of the Snake’s many islands for a riverside lunch. There is nothing like a river trip and once on the water you will enjoy viewing a new angle on the Tetons, the rich riparian habitat and chances to see some of its denizens such as beaver, otters, eagles, osprey, pelicans and more. Your guide will share the story of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act – its roots in Jackson Hole and the recent work done by Rendezvous River Sports and the local outfitting community to protect over 400 miles of the Snake and its headwaters as a designated Wild & Scenic watershed. When Congress considers a designation, they look at a rivers Outstanding Remarkable Values (ORVs)and the Snake is considered the best of the best in the lower 48 for its water quality, health of the native fishery, riverine habitat, scenic vistas and recreation. Of course, riding on a raft is one of the best ways to appreciate the ORVs of the Snake as we float downstream back towards Jackson.
3:00-4:30 We will arrive at the take out which will either be 5 – 20 miles from Jackson. We will then return to Rendezvous River Sports to unpack our gear. At Rendezvous we will have time to say our farewells. Hope you can come back to see us again. Thanks for being our guest for this adventure!
Jackson Hole Kayak School is an authorized concessioner of Grand Teton National Park, and a permittee of the Bridger-Teton National Forest and an equal opportunity provider