Winter Adventures in Jackson Hole: Dog Sleds, Snowshoes and Sleighs

Discover the beauty of Jackson Hole in winter by ski, snowshoe, dogsled, and horse-drawn sleigh as you learn the story of this unique region. Plus, soak in a natural hot spring!
Program No. 18292RJ
6 days
Starts at
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 4 L 4 D
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Jackson Hole
Jackson Campus of Teton Science Schools

Activity note: Campus check-in from 1:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Upon arrival at the Jackson Campus of Teton Science Schools, join us at the Road Scholar table in the Welcome Center to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing the up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: At the Jackson Campus of Teton Science Schools (TSS) Dining Lodge, we’ll enjoy a buffet dinner featuring a variety of healthy and balanced options created by our executive chef, plus coffee, tea, lemonade, water.

Evening: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review any updates to the daily schedule, discuss safety guidelines and emergency procedures including contact numbers for key staff, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions. All transportation is via Teton Science School mini-vans or mini-buses. All activities will be led by a combination of Teton Science School staff, local experts, and experienced docents. Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing will take place on official trails in Grand Teton National park or the surrounding national forest land over uneven terrain with an elevation change of up to 500 feet. We will self-divide into two groups based on personal interest for a choice of two routes from the same trailhead. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Winter Wildlife Adaptations, Snowshoeing, Elk Lecture
Jackson Hole
Jackson Campus of Teton Science Schools

Activity note: Getting on/off vans/mini-buses. Total drive time over 1 hour. 1-2 mile snowshoe hike with elevation gains of up to 400 feet.

Breakfast: At the Teton Science Schools Dining Lodge, we’ll enjoy a breakfast buffet with rotating choices such as an egg dish, breakfast meat, cereals (hot/cold), fresh fruit and beverages (juice, coffee, tea, water).

Morning: We will begin with a lecture and discussion of winter wildlife adaptations. Learn about wildlife that migrates or hibernates to escape winter, as well as how the others survive harsh winter conditions. We will then drive to Grand Teton National Park to begin our snowshoe adventure and search for signs of some of the wildlife we learned about during the morning lecture! Rustic restroom facilities are available at the trailhead.

Lunch: Along the trail in a scenic location, we’ll enjoy a field lunch we packed in the morning, with sandwich and salad options. Remember to bring your reusable water bottle with you!

Afternoon: We will continue our snowshoe hike at the base of the magnificent Grand Teton mountain range and look for signs of wildlife. At the end of our hike, we’ll ride back to campus for dinner.

Dinner: Dining lodge buffet.

Evening: We will receive an introduction to the biology and behavior of the elk of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. This will prepare us for the sights and sounds during our sleigh ride through the National Elk Refuge tomorrow.

Wildlife Art Museum, Sleigh Ride in the National Elk Refuge
Jackson Hole
Jackson Campus of Teton Science Schools

Activity note: Getting on/off vans/mini-buses. Walking up to 1/2 mile around a museum. Sitting on a wagon-style horse-drawn sleigh for up to 1 hour. Total driving time 1 hour.

Breakfast: Dining lodge buffet.

Morning: We’ll head to the National Museum of Wildlife Art to explore the museum with an experienced docent. Resting upon a dramatic cliff overlooking the National Elk Refuge, the building was inspired by the ruins of Slains Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. More than 5,000 pieces of art serve to enrich and inspire the relationship between man and nature.

Lunch: At Palate Restaurant in the National Museum of Wildlife Art, we will enjoy lunch from a select menu. Coffee, tea, water included.

Afternoon: We'll venture to the National Elk Refuge and board a horse-drawn sleigh to ride amongst thousands of wintering elk. The sleigh will allow us to get close to the elk, observe their behavior and witness them feeding, socializing, and resting. The sleigh ride will also give us the opportunity to see other wildlife, such as coyotes, mule deer, bald eagles, and hawks. Following our ride, we will visit the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center where we can watch birds and speak with representatives from several government, private, and non-profit agencies.We will also enjoy some free time to wander the streets of Jackson to snap a photo under the elk antler arches on the Town Square or peruse the shops and art galleries. We will then head back to campus.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like from the selection of restaurants in downtown Jackson. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. Shuttles from campus to downtown will be provided.

Evening: At leisure.

Cross-Country Skiing, Scenic Chairlift
Jackson Hole
Jackson Campus of Teton Science Schools

Activity note: Getting on/off vans/mini-buses. Total drive time over 1 hour. 1-2 mile cross-country ski over relatively flat terrain.

Breakfast: Dining lodge buffet.

Morning: We will begin with a cross-country skiing lesson, followed by a morning of skiing across the snowy landscape. The spectacular Teton Mountains will be our backdrop.

Lunch: Packed field lunch.

Afternoon: After we complete our cross-country ski adventure, we will head back to the town of Jackson to ride the chairlift up to the top of Snow King Mountain. From the top on a clear day, we will be able to get a bird's-eye view of the town below, the National Elk Refuge, the Teton Mountains beyond, and the entire Jackson Hole valley. We will then return to campus.

Dinner: Dining Lodge Buffet.

Evening: On campus, we will view a film about the life of Mardy Murie that has become a classic. After her Yukon wedding to naturalist Olaus Murie and dogsledding honeymoon, Mardy joined her husband for more than 70 years of wilderness adventure, becoming his partner in a lifetime of conservation efforts. Her work led to the passing of The Wilderness Act and the establishment of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. She is known as "the mother of the conservation movement," and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. A brief discussion will follow the screening of the film.

Dogsledding Adventure, Celebration Dinner
Jackson Hole
Jackson Campus of Teton Science Schools

Activity note: Getting on/off vans/mini-buses. Total drive time of 1-2 hours. Dogsledding includes sitting still while riding the sled, or standing on a narrow runner and steering while driving the team a total of 20 miles over the course of the day.

Breakfast: Dining lodge buffet.

Morning: We will be whisked away to a full day dogsled adventure with a local outfitter. Our trip will be an unforgettable scenic ride in a modern sled, with alert mushers pointing out wildlife like deer, elk, moose, bighorn sheep, bald eagles, and points of interest. We'll take turns reliving the old days of mushing by running a team ourselves! We'll then relax and soothe sore muscles in Granite Hot Springs, the turnaround point for the 20-mile dogsledding adventure. We'll soak in the 104 degree water while gazing at the granite cliffs around us.

Lunch: At Granite Hot Springs, we will enjoy a hearty lunch prepared by the outfitter.

Afternoon: After our soak and recharge, we'll turn the dog team around and enjoy the scenic ride from a different point of view as we head back toward civilization with our dog team and mushers.

Dinner: Dining lodge buffet. Celebratory beverage included (beer, wine, soda water).

Evening: We'll reflect on our week together and the adventures we've had with a culminating celebration.

Program Concludes
Jackson Hole

Activity note: Campus check-out by 10:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Dining lodge buffet.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on another rewarding program in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!

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