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Teton Seasonal Hikes: Wilderness and Wildlife

Program Number: 9858RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/28/2013 - 8/2/2013;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: The Tetons (Alta), Wyoming
Price starting at: $995.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: National Parks; Walking/Hiking Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

The Tetons in northwestern Wyoming beckon with spectacular vistas of landscapes filled with majestic mountains, sparkling waters and extraordinary wildlife. Join fellow adventurers to expand your horizons as we hike through pristine back country in Grand Teton National Park and designated wilderness. Experience natural wonders amid wildflowers, high meadows and towering cliffs and crags. Field naturalists identify and interpret flora, fauna and geology trail side while you search for moose, mountain goats, bald eagles, fossils and native orchids. Gain an understanding of Teton geology and alpine ecology while summiting a mountain peak with amazing panoramic views.


• On a rafting excursion in Grand Teton National Park view outstanding scenery while learning about park history, geology and animal identification with experienced local naturalists.
• Riding a scenic chairlift, note the underlying geology behind the incredible Teton peaks.
• Wander through a picture postcard of jagged peaks and glaciated canyons, and summit a glorious mountain peak with 360-degree views.

Activity Particulars

Marked trails over uneven, rocky terrain at different ability levels. Unpredictable weather; hikes proceed rain or shine.

A permittee of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest.

Date Specific Information


The overall peak of wildflowers; four botanist-led wildflower hikes through diverse Teton plant communities. Stay at a cozy mountain resort in the Tetons surrounded by wilderness.

Coordinated by University of Montana Western.

The Tetons (Alta)

Residents call this "the quiet side of the Tetons." Not far from Jackson Hole and the bustle of the national parks, the Alta/Grand Targhee area is surrounded by a wilderness of sub-alpine meadows and forest. This stunning mountain scenery is one of America's richest unspoiled natural settings and is home to a wide variety of wildlife.

Standard hotel rooms, two queen beds, Wi-Fi, satellite television, coffeemakers, shower/tub. On site amenities at resort hotel include outdoor hot tub and heated swimming pool. Sleeping elevation 8,000 feet. Sack lunches provided for hikes, plated/buffet meals on-site.
Meals and Lodgings
   Grand Targhee Resort
  Alta, WY 5 nights
 Grand Targhee Resort
Type: Resort
  Description: Surrounded by sub-alpine forest wilderness, 60 minutes from Jackson, WY and located in the Grand Teton/Yellowstone national park area. Hiking trails and mountainside activities right from your door.
  Contact info: 3300 East Ski Hill Road
Alta, WY 83414 USA
phone: 800-827-4433
  Room amenities: Standard motel rooms, phone, satellite television, shower/tub, Wi-fi, coffee maker.
  Facility amenities: Heated outdoor swimming pool and hot tub, spa open by appointment. Retail stores include General Store for sundries and snacks and Outfitting Store for gear and clothing. Outdoor activities may include horseback riding, biking, Frisbee disc golf course, mountain bike rentals and scenic chairlift ride, from June 21-Labor Day, weather dependent. On-site restaurant and bar (limited hours) open to the public. Meals served to Road Scholar group during their stay.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: Call for price. Call Grand Targhee Resort 1-800-827-4433 for current prices and to book. Mention you are with Road Scholar for possible Road Scholar discounts and to assure your stay in the same room during the program.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call for price. Call Grand Targhee Resort 1-800-827-4433 for current prices and to book. Mention you are with Road Scholar for possible Road Scholar discounts and to assure your stay in the same room during the program.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check-in after 4 pm. Road Scholar check-in 5:30 pm in Teewinot Conference Room. You will be staying at Grand Targhee Resort that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends 8:30 AM following breakfast. Group airport taxi (by reservation only) leaves 8:30 am. Check out time no later than 11:00 AM. You will be staying at Grand Targhee Resort the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. Grand Targhee Assumption of Risk, USFS Acknowledgement of Risk, Solitude Float Trip Assumption of Risk
  Parking availability:
no fee
To Start of Program
  Location:  Alta, WY
  Nearest city or town:  Driggs, ID
  Nearest highway: Hwy 33 in Driggs, ID
  Nearest airport:  Jackson Hole, WY
  From End of Program
  Location: Alta, WY
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details

Alta, WY


From Airport




Cowboy Cab
phone: 307-413-1000
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


call taxi company for current cost
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


1.5 hours, weather dependent 




50 miles


All transportation by reservation only. You are responsible for contacting the taxi company in advance. Group times 2:30 pm arrival day; 8:30 am departure day. Your flight should arrive by 2 pm on Sunday and depart no earlier than 12:30 pm on Friday. Call taxi company for Sunday afternoon group taxi pickup at Jackson's in-town hotels. Outside of the above scheduled times individual transportation can be reserved through Cowboy Cab. Payment collected at the airport.

Driving Directions
  Driggs, Idaho Turn East at the only stoplight in town and proceed 12 miles until the end of Ski Hill Road.
  Jackson Hole Airport Exit airport, turn R on Hwy 89. Go to Jackson and through town square. Turn R on Broadway (stop light) towards Wilson. Go through Jackson to Hwy. 22/Teton Pass/Wilson. Follow right lane for exit. Drive over Teton Pass, cross border into Idaho and Hwy 22 becomes Hwy 33. Stay on Hwy 33 through Victor and 8 miles to Driggs. Turn right at the stoplight in Driggs. Follow the paved road (Ski Hill Roiad) 12 miles. Road ends at Grand Targhee.
Elevation Note: Sleeping elevation 8000'. Maximum elevation 10,000' by chairlift (weather permitting.)

Equipment Requirements: Refillable quart water bottle. Backpack to carry field lunches and water. Comfortable hiking boots, vibram soles (good tread.) Walking stick recommended. Field guides optional; available at site.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Orientation Meeting
(Sunday, July 28)
 Arrive To: Room check-in after 4 PM. Road Scholar registration 5:30 PM; meet the week's leader and recieve the week's schedule, name badges and other information pertaining to the week's stay.
 Dinner: Dinner at resort 6 PM.
 Evening: Orientation Meeting following dinner: Visit with fellow participants and introduce yourselves, review schedule logistics including classes, mealtimes and locations and transportation. This is your chance to ask questions and let us get to know you!
Accommodations: Grand Targhee Resort
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Acclimation hikes in rolling subalpine wildflower meadows
(Monday, July 29)

Note: Hike 4-6 mile loops in RICKS BASIN, in subalpine medows abounding with colorful wildflowers with views of major Teton peaks and the valley below. A great opportunity to see how you feel hiking uneven trails in the mountains. Elevation gains/losses 300 feet.

 Breakfast: at resort restauraunt
 Morning: TETON HABITATS Presentation: Teton Habitats Class: discuss the 5 major habitats we visit during the week and plants and wildlife you are likely to see. "SHAKEDOWN" HIKE: Adjust your pack, determine what gear you'll need, see how you feel at 8,300' on uneven terrain with a 300' elevation gain. Ricks Basin: a rolling 350 acre meadow sprinkled with every imaginable kind of wildflower. Flower-filled meadows are accented by aspen groves and deep green conifer trees. Never logged, the conifer forests contain specimens of gigantic Subalpine Fir and Engelmann Spruce over 400 years old. Aspen groves provide homes for over 200 species of birds and wildlife including elk, deer, bear, foxes and coyotes. Enjoy appealing vistas of Teton Valley, Idaho and Mt. Moran and other prominent peaks in Grand Teton National Park and the Jedediah Smith Wilderness. Examine a subalpine wetland with unique wildflower species including Elephant Head and the Hooded Ladies Tresses orchid. It is possible to spot moose in their typical summer habitat. Loops of 4-6 miles available in ability groups, enrollment depending.
 Lunch: Picnic sack lunch outdoors
 Afternoon: HIKE:Field trip continued. Groups return at various times. CLASS: Introduction to Teton wildflowers: Learn how to key flowers in the field. Hands-on activity. Investigate flowers up-close with a hand lens and learn botanical terminology.
 Dinner: Dinner 6:00 pm.
 Evening: CLASS: Teton Wildflowers; view images of 30 years of photography in the Tetons. Discover interesting facts and uses of the most common wildflowers. Learn about the flowers we are likely to encounter.
Accommodations: Grand Targhee Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Grand Teton National Park all-day field trip with hike and scenic float
(Tuesday, July 30)

Note: TAGGART LAKE HIKE: 3 or 4.5 mile loop hike available at 7,000 feet. Uneven terrain; elevation gain/loss 300 feet. SCENIC FLOAT on Snake River 10 miles within the national park on a 12-man raft. Take your camera! Magnificent views of the entire range and you won't get wet unless it comes from the sky!

 Breakfast: Continental buffet breakfast at resort.
 Morning: All day field trip to Grand Teton National Park: Visit the new state-of-the-art Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center at Park headquarters in Moose which has wonderful hands-on exhibits of the ecology, history and conservation of the region. Then hike into Taggart Lake at the base of the Grand Teton. Terrific close-up views of the Grand Teton and adjacent peaks in the core of the range; photography moments abound. Guides explain geologic features as we hike up and over a 400’ glacial moraine into the lake basin. 3 or 4.5 mile loop hike available in ability groups enrollment depending; 7,000 feet.
 Lunch: Picnic buffet lunch on field trip immediately following hike and before the float trip.
 Afternoon: Field trip continued; Marvel at the majestic grandeur of the Teton Range while riding in a comfortable 12 man raft along 10 miles of the peaceful Snake River entirely within Grand Teton National Park. Boatmen maneuver the rafts to provide you with panoramic vistas of the major peaks and terrific photographic opportunities. Geology, river ecology and history interpreted by excellent raft guides. This float offers potential opportunities to spot moose, elk, beaver and bald eagles. On occasion, playful river otters are seen along this stretch of the river.
 Dinner: Dinner at 6:30 PM at local brew pub.
Accommodations: Grand Targhee Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Chairlift and hike in the alpine including chance to summit a peak
(Wednesday, July 31)

Note: MARY'S PEAK HIKE: Ride the chairlift to the summit of Fred’s Mountain. Hike 1.7 miles to the saddle below Mary’s Peak. You can decide if you want to make the 20 minute climb up the last 340' to the summit of Mary’s once you view it from the saddle. Hike 1.7 miles back to the chairlift for ride down the mountain. Total elevation gain/loss 1170 feet.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at the resort
 Morning: CLASS Alpine Wildflowers: learn about the secret survival strategies that plants use in order to survive and procreate in the alpine, where winter is only 6 weeks away! CHAIRLIFT: to the top of Fred's Mountain 9770'. (Targhee's summit) Views of wildflower meadows, a vast landscape of peaks, canyons, and the valley floor abound during this scenic 20 minute ride. At the top we’ll pause to take in the immense vista of prominent Teton peaks which provides the backdrop for the Jedediah Smith Wilderness that borders Grand Targhee Resort. HIKE: to Mary's Peak saddle 9600' for panoramic views of the Grand, Middle and South Teton peaks overlooking Teton Canyon which we’ll hike during the week. Discover a whole different series of wildflowers blooming later at higher elevations. The saddle and above offer true alpine plant species; unique adaptations allow them to survive the very short summers at high elevations. Hikers may continue up Mary's Peak 9940' which has wonderful 360 degree summit views of the major Teton peaks from this viewpoint within the range. You may even spot alpine mammals like pika and mountain goats on this hike, so keep your eyes peeled! Return to the saddle and back to the chairlift for a scenic ride back down to the base area. Elevation gain/loss of 900 - 1500 feet. Several different options for ability groups, enrollment depending, including the possibility of hiking back down to the base along the new Bannock trail with views of Leigh Canyon below.
 Lunch: Sack lunch in the field.
 Afternoon: Groups return to resort at varying times. Time to enjoy the swimming pool.
 Dinner: Dinner at resort.
 Evening: CLASS Teton Geology: Why do the Tetons look the way they do? What you see in the mountains today is what we’ll discuss. We'll talk about 4.5 billion years of history in 45 minutes! Alpine Wildflowers: learn about the secret survival strategies that plants use in order to survive and procreate in the alpine, where winter is only 6 weeks away!
Accommodations: Grand Targhee Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Off-site hike in Teton Canyon in the Jedediah Smith Wilderness Area
(Thursday, August 1)

Note: TETON CANYON HIKE: One-way in and back out, 3-6 miles, elevation gain/loss 500 - 1000 feet. At lower elevation, start at 6700 feet.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at resort
 Morning: Board bus for 20 minute ride to Teton Canyon trailhead 6960‘. Choice of two canyon hikes, the North Fork or South Fork of Teton Creek. Each is 6 miles round-trip. Both are gradual uphill hikes alongside Teton Creek. Observe canyon geology including examples of ancient granitic bedrock exposed by glacial abrasion and more recent sedimentary layers deposited by an inland sea. Classic glacial u-shaped canyon features and avalanche paths are obvious. We’ll keep our eyes open to spot wildlife including moose, bears, and the American Dipper, the only aquatic songbird in North America; this species nests and lives year-round along Teton Creek.
 Lunch: Sack lunch on the hike.
 Afternoon: Teton Canyon hike continued. 5 pm. Cold pop and soda reception on Trap Bar Deck. A time to reflect on the week and share feelings with fellow hiking comrades.
 Dinner: Dinner at resort
 Evening: CLASS: Mardy Murie Story: Discover the life of Mardy Murie, an important conservationist who helped establish the National Arctic Wildlife Refuge and who lived in Moose, Wyoming within Grand Teton National Park until her recent death at the age of 101.
Accommodations: Grand Targhee Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Breakfast, time to say goodbyes. 8:30 am airport shuttle following breakfast. Check out by 11 am.
(Friday, August 2)
 Breakfast: at resort 7:30 am.
 Morning: OPTIONAL UNGUIDED HIKE (for those not catching the shuttle): 8:00-10:30 AM. Hike Lightning Peak. Last view of the three Teton Peaks. You will have to return for checkout by 11 am.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Alta, WY General Information
For additional information, visit
  General Overview
Airplane/Glider scenic flights, guided fly-fishing trips, 4 golf courses, drive-in movie theatre all available in Teton Valley near Driggs, ID 12 miles from the resort. Mountain bike rentals/horseback rides available mid-June through Labor Day at the resort (no ground transportation required.) Aerial Tram, whitewater rafting, covered wagon cookout with musical entertainment available in Jackson Hole, 42 miles from the resort. For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Common Wildflowers of Grand Teton National Park

Author: Charles Craighead

Description: Handy pocket-sized guide to common wildflowers, shrubs and berries for under $10. Wonderful photos by local photographer Henry Holdsworth, a flower guide organized by color. Very user friendly.

For Everything There is a Season

Author: Frank C. Craighead, Jr.

Description: A monthly account of seasonal changes in the Grand Teton National Park area by a former Yellowstone researcher who has lived in Jackson Hole for decades; a narrative sequence of natural history events.

Plants of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks

Author: Richard J. Shaw

Description: This compact volume includes 213 species of trees, shrubs and wildflowers found in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Perfect for the backpack or glove compartment, beautiful full-color photographs make plant identification easy for even the novice naturalist,

Homesteading with the Elk

Author: Bertha Chambers Gillette

Description: Depicts pioneer life of early settlers of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, continuing through the establishment of the Jackson Hole Elk Refuge in 1912. This is an interesting read for children of all ages.

The White Indian Boy

Author: Elijah Nicholas Wilson

Description: Fascinating tale of a Jackson Hole early settler who spent years with native tribes as an 11-12 year-old boy. Great read with grandchildren.

Wapiti Wilderness

Author: Margaret & Olaus Murie

Description: Family nature book set in the Grand Tetons, where the Muries lived for 37 years and raised their children and where Olaus conducted his famous studies of the elk herd of Jackson Hole. Mardy lived in Moose, Wyoming until her death at age 101 summer 2007.

Arctic Dreams: The Mardy Murie Story

Author: Charles Craighead & Bonnie Kreps

Description: Based on the documentary “Arctic Dreams”; a biographic photo-essay of a remarkable woman and Jackson Hole notable in the conservation movement.

Crucible for Conservation

Author: Robert W. Righter

Description: Fascinating story of the 39 year struggle for the creation of Grand Teton National Park.

Along the Ramparts of the Tetons

Author: Robert B. Betts

Description: Enjoyable history of Jackson Hole settlement and exploration, from the time of trappers and mountain men to the more “civilized” settlement of Jackson Hole families.

Creation of the Teton Landscape

Author: J. David Love, J. Reed & K. Pierce

Description: A geologic chronicle of Jackson Hole & the Teton Range.


Author: Jack Turner

Description: Engaging prose recollecting the author’s experiences of the last 40 years climbing and contemplating the Teton Range.

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