After your arrival in Jackson Hole your group will get to meet each other and your guides at the outfitters based in the town of Jackson. Over refreshments, your guides will double-check your equipment list and provide dry bags for you to pack your gear. Then you will be fitted to your own single or tandem kayak, a personal flotation device, paddle and paddling jacket. There will be ample time to discuss the itinerary for the weekend and answer any questions about the trip.
We will meet at 8:00 and head north through Grand Teton National Park and into Yellowstone. After crossing the Continental Divide we will descend to the shores of Yellowstone Lake at 7,700 ft. Once there we will go over proper packing and loading of a touring kayak, basic paddling technique, and water safety. The lesson continues after launching, as your guides will coach you on forward & turning strokes, edging and use of your rudder. Then you are on your way – heading along the south shore of the West Thumb of Yellowstone Lake and past areas that were heavily burned by the fires of ’88 and are now displaying the spectacular recovery that is taking place. Lunch is on the beach and we will take a brief rest before paddling through the West Thumb Narrows. There the water often surges through a narrow channel, from the West Thumb to the main body of the lake. Once through the narrows it is a short paddle around Breeze Point to our campsite in Breeze Bay where we will enjoy a well-earned feast, a campfire, and a presentation on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Enjoy a little relaxation this morning as your guides prepare breakfast. Then we will all work together to break camp, pack up, and head further into the backcountry. The destination for the day is Flat Mountain Arm – and one of the most spectacular campsites in Yellowstone. Once there you will have the option of relaxing at camp or paddling deeper into the arm and one of the areas of Yellowstone Lake open only to hand-propelled craft. Paddle quietly – there is great moose habitat along the shore and always opportunities to see bald eagles, pelicans, osprey, and other wildlife. Back at camp, we will again enjoy a gourmet backcountry meal, a fire and a talk on the challenge of dealing with invasive species and ways we are combating their spread in the Greater Yellowstone.
Following breakfast, we will again work together to break camp and repack our boats. Today we have a fair distance to cover so we will be on the water early. This usually brings great benefits as the water is generally calm and it is the best time of day for birding and wildlife viewing. Our goal is to make it through the narrows before the afternoon winds pick-up and the water gets rough. Once we are safe around the bend we will stop for lunch before paddling back across West Thumb to Grant Village and our take out. The drive back will allow a leisurely pace for viewing the many vistas and jaw-dropping summits of Grand Teton National, before returning to the town of Jackson and civilization.
Jackson Hole Kayak School is a permittee of the Bridger-Teton National Forest and an equal opportunity provider