January 14-21, 2017
Rating: all abilities
The Sierra Club Contact: Elaine Grace
We are teaming up with The Sierra Club to offer this 8-day winter adventure. Experience Grand Teton National Park in wintertime while lodging at the Triangle X Ranch, an authentic Wyoming working dude ranch. Enjoy unsurpassed cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, photography, and wildlife viewing right out your front door. After each full day of outdoor activity, we will return to the comfortable lodge and relax Western style with a warm fire, a large outdoor jacuzzi, and chef-prepared meals. Other activities include dog sledding, an Elk Refuge Sleigh Ride and a visit of the National Museum of Wildlife Art. Winter is the season of silent beauty and the perfect time to experience this unique ecosystem.
Day 1: You will be picked up at the Jackson Hole Airport and transported to the Triangle X Ranch just north of Moose, Wyoming. We will check into the Triangle X Ranch accommodations (private rooms in historic cabins with full bathrooms). There will be a welcoming orientation meeting after a delicious dinner at the Triangle X Ranch.
Day 2: After breakfast, we will receive snowshoeing gear and instruction from The Hole Hiking Experience guides. After arriving by van at a nearby trailhead, we will explore the Taggert/Bradley Lake area on snowshoe, where majestic granite peaks tower above us as sentinels of the wild. Field topics will include mammals and winter ecology. You will receive a box lunch (made to your specifications) that will be eaten “in the field.” The use of binoculars are included on all snowshoeing days. We’ll return to a lovely homemade dinner that’s followed by lively conservation discussion, a dip in the Jacuzzi, and maybe a moonlight walk.
Day 3: Today we will head to the north end of the park to look for signs of coyote, fox, and snowshoe hare in the Emma Matilda and Two Ocean Lakes area of the park. If the sun is out, expect beautiful views of the northern Tetons.
Day 4: We will journey into Death Canyon and discover the history of the area. The canyon was formed by glaciers that retreated at the end of the last glacial maximum approximately 15,000 years ago, leaving behind a U-shaped valley. The canyon has many Whitebark Pine stands, particularly near the tree line. In the afternoon we will explore the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center and stop by the Murie Ranch, where Mardy and Olaus Murie once lived.
Day 5: Today we are in for a real thrill — dog sledding with Frank Teasley’s Iditarod Sled Dogs! For many visitors, this is the highlight of their winter trip to Jackson Hole. We will meet our Iditarod Sled Dog guides in Jackson Hole at 8:15 a.m. and be transported to the trailhead for Granite Hot Springs. The trek to Granite Hot Springs is 10 miles each way and you can drive your own dog team part of the way. Our tour features a soak in the 108-degree water of Granite Creek natural hot springs — a relaxing interlude after driving your dog team. We will return to Jackson Hole around 4:00 p.m. and head back to the Ranch.
Day 6: We will travel to the Jackson Lake area of Grand Teton National Park and explore the Hermitage Point Loop along Swan Lake and Heron Pond. Hermitage Point is a peninsula that juts into Jackson Lake. Expect spectacular views of Mt. Moran and other northern peaks in the Teton Range.
Day 7: Sadly, this will be our final full day together. After a leisurely breakfast, we will venture to Jackson Hole, where we will take a horse-drawn sleigh ride into an elk herd that numbers in the thousands on the National Elk Refuge. After the sleigh ride, you will have time to wander the streets of Jackson and pick up souvenirs. We will return to the Triangle X Ranch for our farewell dinner followed by a conservation talk by a park ranger.
Day 8: After breakfast, we’ll depart to the Jackson Hole Airport. Expect to arrive at the airport no later than 10:30 a.m.
Come to discover and explore the wilderness. Trip includes lodging, chef-prepared healthy meals and snowshoeing gear (snowshoes, gaiters and poles). Activities include all snowshoeing with a biologist guide, a full day of dog-sledding, an Elk Refuge Sleigh Ride and transportation. Tour locations are chosen to share mixed habitats, including open meadows, Aspen groves and coniferous forests. Areas explored are home to moose, wolves, bears, weasels, snowshoe hare, and many other forest inhabitants.
The trip includes seven nights’ lodging, all breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks. We will stay seven nights at the Triangle X Ranch (6,800 feet elevation), located ten miles north of Moose, Wyoming. This is the only accommodation open in the winter in Grand Teton National Park.
“I enjoyed it very much. There is a wonderful serenity about the ranch- what a great place to snowshoe from.”
– Edith Jeffrey, New York
“Seeing the Tetons, the valley and surrounding areas in the wintertime was spectacular and being a part of it on snowshoes give you a connectedness to nature that can’t be topped.”
– Mary Ellen Nelson, Denver