This wonderful three-week expedition is WA’s ultimate wilderness experience. Enjoy extended backpacking and sea kayaking trips through the most remote wilderness in the lower 48 states. Hone in your backcountry skills and take the next step as an avid outdoor recreationalist. This trip is open to both returning Wilderness Adventures students and new students who have completed the 10th grade and up.
Our programs offer a wide variety of activity options. Explore the activities specific to this program below.
After arriving at the airport in spectacular Jackson Hole, you will meet your trip leaders and the rest of your group. From the airport, you will proceed directly to your first campsite, which is only ten minutes away in Grand Teton National Park. The first couple of days will be exciting as you get to know everyone in your group, learn the ins and outs of your group gear, and review the details of your trip’s itinerary. Your group will take a day hike on one of Grand Teton National Park’s many spectacular hiking trails. You’ll take in the views of this uniquely beautiful mountain range and really get to know you each other. The next day, you’ll begin preparations for your upcoming backpacking and sea kayaking trips. You will work together to meal plan, grab any last minute gear, and go over the map of your route.
You’ll rise early the following morning and begin the backpacking portion of your journey at spectacular Brooks Lake on the edge of the Teton Wilderness in the Absaroka mountain range. You will start the trip by traveling shorter distances while learning all of the skills necessary to travel and live comfortably in the wilderness including backcountry cooking, minimum impact travel and camping, and map and compass navigation. Your route will take you through the Teton Wilderness and into Yellowstone National Park. You will hike deep into the Thorofare region, one of the most remote areas in the lower 48 states. You will be as far from a road there as you can be anywhere in the contiguous United States. The Thorofare region is home to elk, bald eagles, deer, grizzly bears, and bighorn sheep. Next, you’ll meet up with the headwaters of the majestic Yellowstone River and follow its westward flow from its source in the Teton Wilderness, across the boundary into Yellowstone, and to the shores of Yellowstone Lake.. There, you will pick up your resupply of food and trade your backpacks for sea kayaks and paddles so that you can begin your six days of sea kayaking on Yellowstone Lake.
After picking up your sea kayaks, you will learn the basic paddling and safety techniques of kayak touring. Your kayak route will take you along the southern arms and shoreline of Yellowstone Lake, where you’ll continue to spot a variety of wildlife. Kayaking is a fantastic way to explore the country’s oldest national park away from the crowds. Each night, you’ll set up camp on the lakeshore, relax and enjoy a filling meal, then crawl into your tent or maybe just lay out your sleeping bag under the star-filled sky. After five days on the water and an incredible 17-day vacation from civilization, you will make your way out of the backcountry; you’ll take some well-earned showers, do laundry, and revel in the elation of your group and individual accomplishments.
Your last full day together will be a good change of pace: you’ll laugh as you and your trip mates get soaked by the Snake River’s massive wave trains during a morning whitewater rafting, explore the Old West town of Jackson, and feast on a delicious meal during the traditional end-of-trip group banquet. As you board the plane early the next morning, you’ll find it difficult to leave the close friends you have made, but you will never forget the life-changing experience that you just enjoyed.
My favorite part of this trip was the nature – just being so immersed in all that beauty for so long without any distractions.
-Olivia, 2019 Yellowstone Wilderness Student
Trip Price Includes
- Group gear
- Personal gear and clothing
- Airfare to and form the trip start and end