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Teton Seasonal Hikes: Wilderness and Wildlife

Program Number: 9858RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/18/2013 - 8/23/2013;
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


Beat the heat! Average mountain temperatures in the 70’s and minimal rainfall create comfortable hiking conditions. Optional challenging hikes provided. Stay at a cozy mountain resort in the Tetons surrounded by wilderness.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

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:
Room check-in after 4 PM. Road Scholar registration 5:30 PM, dinner 6:00 PM. 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, best 7 days in advance. Group times 2:30 pm arrival day; 8:30 am following breakfast departure day. Arrangements for Sunday 2:30 - 3:00 pm group taxi pickup at Jackson's in-town hotels can be made by calling taxi company. Outside of the above scheduled times individual transportation (not at the group rate) can also be reserved through Cowboy Cab. Payment will be 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' .

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, August 18)
 Arrive To: Room check-in after 4 PM. Road Scholar registration 5:30 PM; meet the week's leader and receive 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: Off-site hike in Teton Canyon in the Jedediah Smith Wilderness Area
(Monday, August 19)

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 buffet at resort.
 Morning: Board bus for 20 minute ride to Teton Canyon 6960 feet. Choice of two canyon hikes (enrollment depepndinent); the North Fork or South Fork of Teton Creek. Each is 6 miles round-trip. Great place to observe canyon geology and wildlife. Both are gradual uphill hikes alongside Teton Creek. Good chance to determine how you hike above 7,000'. Adjust your pack, and see what you need for clothing and food hiking at elevations.
 Lunch: Sack lunch on the hike.
 Afternoon: Teton Canyon hike continued. CLASS: Teton Habitats: discuss the 5 major habitats we visit during the week and plants and wildlife you are likely to see. Find out about their habitats and habits which enable them to thrive in mountain environments. Learn interesting facts about each species
 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!
Accommodations: Grand Targhee Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Wildflower hikes in the Tetons adjacent to the resort.
(Tuesday, August 20)

Note: Choose between two hikes offered: RICKS BASIN, rolling wildflower meadows, 4-6 miles, elevation gain/loss 400 feet, from 7960' to 8200.' OR CHALLENGING HIKE: Bannock Trail to summit of Freds, 5.2 miles roundtrip, elevation gain/loss 2010 feet, from 7960' - 9970'.

 Breakfast: Buffet at Resort
 Morning: HIKE: to Ricks Basin/Quakie Ridge, 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. CHALLENGING LEVEL ALTERNATIVE: Experience the beautiful new Bannock trail, 5.2 miles round trip to the summit of Fred's Mountain. Exquisite views of South Leigh Canyon and the major Teton Peaks. Steady uphill climb on dirt single track, return the same way or opt to ride the chairlift down. Fossils, vistas, wildflowers abound! Elevation change 2010' up and then back down.
 Lunch: Picnic sack lunch outdoors
 Afternoon: HIKE:Field trip continued. Groups return at various times. CLASS: Teton History; discover how the history of the Teton region intertwines the Idaho and Wyoming sides of the range. Taken from a local's perspective, you will enjoy personal anecdotes along with classic history as written by historians.
 Dinner: Dinner 6:00 pm.
 Evening: CLASS: Story of Grand Teton National Park: The original national park designation only included the Teton peaks, not the Jackson Hole Valley floor. Learn about the bitter fights and concessions made to valley residents to establish the park as we see it today.
Accommodations: Grand Targhee Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Grand Teton National Park all-day field trip with hike and scenic float
(Wednesday, August 21)

Note: TAGGART LAKE HIKE: 3 - 4.5 mile loop hike, 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; Taggart Lake Hike at the base of the Grand Teton in Grand Teton National Park. Terrific views and photography moments on the east side of the Tetons, explanation of geology and ecology of the area, 3-4.5 mile loop hike, 7,000 feet.
 Lunch: Picnic buffet lunch on field trip immediately following hike and before float trip.
 Afternoon: Field trip continued; Snake River raft scenic float within Grand Teton National Park; wonderful vistas of the east side of the Teton range; photographic opportunities; geology, ecology and history interpreted by excellent raft guides.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local Brew Pub in Victor, ID. Enjoy Teton Valley color; sample local brew if you so desire.
 Evening: EVENING OFF: Whew! It's been a long day.
Accommodations: Grand Targhee Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Chairlift and hike in the alpine including chance to summit a peak. Challenging Level alternative will summit 2 peaks.
(Thursday, August 22)

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. OR hike to Mary's Peak and then up to PEAKED PEAK summit, .5.1 miles roundtrip, elevation gain/loss1800 feet, from 7960' to 9800' and back.

 Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet
 Morning: 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. CHAIRLIFT: to the top of Fred's Mountain 9770'. (Targhee's summit) HIKE: 1.7 miles to Mary's Peak saddle 9600' for panoramic views of major Teton peaks. Climb Mary's Peak 9940'. Hiking elevation los 770', gain 400'. one-way..' Several options available. Wonderful 360 degree summit views of the major Teton peaks from this viewpoint within the range. Hike back up to the chairlift .8 miles 770' to ride the chairlift down. CHALLENGING HIKE OPTION: Leaves resort base before class, hike up to Mary's Saddle 2.6 miles, 1650' elevation gain. Then ascend Mary's Peak another 343' and return to saddle. Hike up to the Peaked Peak and 2.5 miles back to resort. OR, join moderate group to hike back up to chairlift .8 miles and ride it down.
 Lunch: Sack lunch in the field.
 Afternoon: Groups return to resort at varying times. 5 pm cold pop / juice reception on the Trap Bar Deck. Time to share and summarize the week.
 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 23)
 Breakfast: Buffet at resort 7:30 am.
 Morning: OPTIONAL UNGUIDED HIKE: 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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