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22447
Wyoming

Off the Map: Exploring the Heart of the Tetons by Boot and Boat

Explore Grand Teton National Park through hikes, a float trip and a ferry as you learn about the park’s history and natural wonders, all while staying at the historic Murie Ranch.
Rating (5)
Program No. 22447RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,399
Wyoming

Off the Map: Exploring the Heart of the Tetons by Boot and Boat

Explore Grand Teton National Park through hikes, a float trip and a ferry as you learn about the park’s history and natural wonders, all while staying at the historic Murie Ranch.
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,399
Program No. 22447 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
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Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Jul 18 - Jul 23, 2021
Starting at
1,399
Aug 1 - Aug 6, 2021
Starting at
1,399
Aug 22 - Aug 27, 2021
Starting at
1,399
Sep 5 - Sep 10, 2021
Starting at
1,399
Sep 19 - Sep 24, 2021
Starting at
1,399
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Jul 18 - Jul 23, 2021
Starting at
1,589
Aug 1 - Aug 6, 2021
Starting at
1,589
Aug 22 - Aug 27, 2021
Starting at
1,589
Sep 5 - Sep 10, 2021
Starting at
1,589
Sep 19 - Sep 24, 2021
Starting at
1,589

At a Glance

Hike and float amidst the expansive landscapes and dramatic peaks of Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park. As you explore the Tetons on picturesque trails and over glittering water, discover their remarkable wildlife and unique landscapes firsthand. Stay at the venerable and rustic Murie Ranch within the national park, the former heart and soul of the early conservation movement, to truly connect with your surroundings and appreciate the quiet beauty of nature. Enjoy behind-the-scenes access to museums and the historic Ranch as you experience these landscapes as the Muries once had.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Spirited
Hiking three to seven miles daily on varied terrain, with some options based on group interest and ability. Elevations just over 6,200 feet.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Hike iconic trails in Grand Teton National Park as you learn about the unique geology, plants, wildlife and human history of Jackson Hole.
  • Take a scenic float down Snake River with an expert to experience the natural history of the Tetons up close.
  • Stay at the historic Murie Ranch in the heart of Grand Teton National Park, where the stories of early conservationists Olaus and Mardy Murie will come to life.

General Notes

This program is part of our “Off the Map” series, exploring truly remote areas of the United States as a way to connect with local culture and landscapes, and disconnect with the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives. Our goal is to bring you to places that have limited access to Wi-Fi, cell service and other technology so you can enjoy authentic learning experiences without modern distractions. Due to accommodations limitations, single rooms are limited. Roommate matching available for solo travelers.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Christen Girard
Christen Girard is the steward of the Murie Legacy at their historic ranch in Grand Teton National Park, where she also lives. She has a BA in Environmental Studies from Lewis and Clark College, and a M.Ed in Environmental Education from Western Washington University. She is the author of "A Short Biography or Margaret and Olaus Murie" (2020).

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Docent Dan McIlhenny
Docent Dan McIlhenny View biography
Dan McIlhenny has been living out his retirement dream as the docent at the Murie Ranch since 2014. He and his wife, Valerie, live at the ranch for six months each year to share the story of the Muries to visitors who come through. Of his retirement job, he says, "I feel like everything I did in my life before was a rehearsal for this." A gifted singer and songwriter, he can often be found singing around the campfire or at the weekly Hootenanny in Moose.
Profile Image of Group Leader
Group Leader View biography
Your Group Leader will be a Teton Science Schools Instructor who has diverse experience working with the flora and fauna of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The group leader is yet to be assigned; the assignment will be announced during Orientation on Day 1 of your program.
Profile Image of Christen Girard
Christen Girard View biography
Christen Girard is the steward of the Murie Legacy at their historic ranch in Grand Teton National Park, where she also lives. She has a BA in Environmental Studies from Lewis and Clark College, and a M.Ed in Environmental Education from Western Washington University. She is the author of "A Short Biography or Margaret and Olaus Murie" (2020).
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Peaks, Politics & Passion
by Robert W. Righter
Environmental historian Robert Righter tells the story of the preservation of the Teton Mountains and the surrounding areas. In this book, Righter adds to his previous works that chronicled the creation of Grand Teton National Park, bringing us up to date with the regions challenges in the decades since, including private land inholdings, fire and wildlife management, and preservation of local history.
A Short Biography of Margaret and Olaus Murie
by Christen Girard
Written by Teton Science Schools lead faculty Christen Girard, who lives at the historic Murie Ranch and stewrads their story, this short biography tells the tale of Olaus and Mardy Murie, who dedicated their lives to each other and to the conservation of wildlife and wilderness. Their story is inspirational and relevant for anyone who cares about public lands, and especially for participants whose programs visit or stay at the Murie Ranch.
Letters from Yellowstone
by Diane Smith
At the end of the 19th century, an intrepid young woman joins a scientific research team in Yellowstone National Park, to the surprise of the other members of the expedition. This historical fiction brings Yellowstone and the surrounding region at the turn of the 19th century to life.
Common Wildflowers of Grand Teton National Park
by Charles Craighead
This small pocket guidebook includes more than 100 of the most common wildflowers in Grand Teton National Park. Photographs are by award-winning photographer Henry H. Holdsworth, and descriptions are by naturalist Charles Craighead. Small enough to carry on a hike and focused only on the areas we will be hiking, this book is a great option for participants who want to look up wildflowers while they hike!
Two in the Far North
by Margaret E. Murie
Two in the Far North chronicles the love story and adventures of Olaus and Mardy Murie, from Mardy's childhood in Washington and Alaska to the 500 mile research trip they took via dogsled for their honeymoon and the adventures that followed. This American classic is a must read for anyone staying at the Murie Ranch.
Wapiti Wilderness
by Olaus and Margaret Murie
Margaret and Olaus Murie made their home in the Tetons for over thirty-seven years. During this time, Olaus Murie conducted studies of the American elk, the wapiti, and both he and Mardy worked tirelessly for conservation efforts and the preservation of wilderness. Wapiti Wilderness tells the story of their adventurous life raising children while conducting research in the Tetons. This book is available at the Teton Science Schools gift shop.
The Creation of the Teton Landscape: The Geologic Story of Grand Teton National Park
by Love, Reed and Pierce
This book outlines the earliest history of the area and delves deep into the extensive geology of the region. *Available for purchase on Amazon.com, USED COPIES ONLY*
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6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5 B 5 L 4 D
DAY
1
Check In, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Moose, WY
D
The Murie Ranch

Activity note: Lodge check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Upon arrival at the Murie Ranch of Teton Science Schools, please come to the main office to register with the program staff, get your cabin assignment, and receive your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If your arrival is delayed, please ask for your packet when you check in. Snacks, coffee, tea will be available in the main office.

Dinner: At The Murie Ranch Homestead Cabin, enjoy a buffet and family style meal featuring a variety of healthy and balanced options, plus coffee, tea (hot/iced), lemonade, water.

Evening: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. All transportation is via Teton Science Schools' vans. All activities will be led by a combination of Teton Science Schools staff, Murie RanchStaff, local experts, and experienced docents. All hikes will be on official trails in Grand Teton National park or the surrounding national forest land over uneven terrain with an elevation change of 500 to 1500 feet. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Please be aware that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

DAY
2
Tetons Hike, Craig Thomas Discovery Center, Murie lecture
Moose, WY
B,L,D
The Murie Ranch

Activity note: Hike up to 6 miles over uneven terrain with elevation gains up to 1200 ft. Drive time 30 minutes.

Breakfast: At The Murie Ranch Homestead Cabin, enjoy a hot breakfast buffet with granola, oatmeal, fresh fruit, and more, plus water, coffee, juice, and tea.

Morning: This morning we will embark on our first hike, at the base of the Teton Mountains. We will travel through a series of habitats, exploring the wildlife and geology present while enjoying magnificent views of this iconic mountain range.

Lunch: Enjoy a packed field lunch in a scenic location during our hike. Remember to bring plenty of water!

Afternoon: After we finish our hike, we'll ride to the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Grand Teton National Park, where displays provide a self-led introduction to the cultural and natural history of the park. Choose to walk 1/2 mile or ride in a van back to The Murie Ranch from the visitor center.

Dinner: At The Murie Ranch Homestead Cabin.

Evening: Murie Ranch staff will share the story of Wilderness and the Murie Legacy. Olaus and Mardy Murie left a legacy of conservation and preserving wilderness. Their work was integral to the passing of the Wilderness Act in 1964 and the creation of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in 1960. Mardy continued pioneering conservation work until her passing in 2003 at the age of 101.

DAY
3
Rockefeller Preserve Hike, Snake River Scenic Float Trip
Moose, WY
B,L,D
The Murie Ranch

Activity note: Hike up to 6 miles with an elevation gain of 450 ft. Drive time 30 minutes.

Breakfast: At The Murie Ranch Homestead Cabin.

Morning: We'll begin the day with a National Park Service Ranger led lecture and discussion on the history of the National Park Service & Grand Teton National Park. We'll explore the trails at the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve. Opened to the public in 2008, the preserve is the most recent addition to Grand Teton National Park. It sits at the base of Phelps Lake at the southern end of the Teton Range. Laurance S. Rockefeller donated this parcel to the National Park with the requirement that it be preserved as a contemplative place where visitors can develop a connection with the beauty of the lake and the Tetons. During the hike, we will arrive at the stunning, glacially-carved Phelps Lake at the base of Death Canyon.

Lunch: Packed field lunch.

Afternoon: Enjoy the slight downhill on the hike back to the trailhead, where we will visit the Laurance S. Rockefeller Visitor Center. This center is the first environmentally sustainable and LEED Platinum Certified structure in a National Park. The displays inside entice the visitor to quiet reflection and contemplation.

Dinner: At The Murie Ranch Homestead Cabin.

Evening: Tonight we will take a scenic float trip down the Snake River. A local outfitter will supply and fit personal flotation devices (PFD) before transporting us via mini-bus to the launching point at the northern end of Grand Teton National Park. View the entire Teton mountain range as we float down the river, watching for wildlife along the shores.

DAY
4
Rendezvous Mountain Aerial Tram, Alpine Hike, Teton Village
Moose, WY
B,L
The Murie Ranch

Activity note: Hike will start at 10,400 feet, and will include elevation changes of 500-1,500 feet over the course of a 2-6 mile hike. Total drive time of one hour.

Breakfast: At The Murie Ranch Homestead Cabin.

Morning: Start the morning with a short lecture on alpine ecology. After the talk, we'll head to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort to ride the aerial tram to 10,450 feet. On a clear day, the summit of Rendezvous Mountain provides participants with a fantastic view of the valley of Jackson Hole. Glacial processes, historical meanderings of the mighty Snake River and human settlement patterns are all seen from a bird’s eye view. At the top, we'll explore the alpine environment and the unique plants and animals found there.

Lunch: Packed field lunch.

Afternoon: We’ll continue hiking one of the trails at the summit of Rendezvous Mountain, and return to the valley floor via the Aerial Tram or Bridger Gondola. Once there, we will enjoy some free time to explore the charming mountain village before returning to the ranch.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. A TSS shuttle will take you to Dornan's Restaurant in Grand Teton National Park or downtown Jackson.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Jenny Lake Hike & Ferry, Campfire
Moose, WY
B,L,D
The Murie Ranch

Activity note: Hike up to 7 miles at Jenny Lake and Cascade Canyon with elevation gains of up to 1000 ft. Total drive time of one hour.

Breakfast: At The Murie Ranch Homestead Cabin.

Morning: Our final hike will be at Jenny Lake and Cascade Canyon. Jenny Lake is one of the most famous and beautiful alpine lakes in the country. We'll take a ferry across the lake to start our trek. From there, the climb to Inspiration Point on the west side of the lake affords an unparalleled view of the Grand Teton, Jenny Lake, and the Jackson Hole valley. Motivated hikers can continue hiking into Cascade Canyon, entering into the heart of the Tetons, with breath-taking views of the Grand Teton throughout.

Lunch: Packed field lunch.

Afternoon: On our return, take a ferry ride across Jenny Lake back to the parking lot. Enjoy the views as you relax on the boat.

Dinner: At the Murie Ranch Homestead Cabin.

Evening: Relive a simpler time with an evening around a campfire at the ranch. Enjoy hearing local stories, or share your own as you reminisce about the week with friends, new and old.

DAY
6
National Museum of Wildlife Art, Program Concludes
Jackson, WY
B,L

Activity note: Ranch check-out by 10:00 a.m. You may take off from the museum for the next step of your adventure, or get a ride to the airport or back to the ranch with our staff. If your flight is earlier or later, please arrange your own transportation to the airport.

Breakfast: At The Murie Ranch Homestead Cabin.

Morning: After checking out of the Ranch, load your luggage in a Teton Science Schools van and head to the National Museum of Wildlife Art (NWMA) to explore the museum with an experienced docent. Constructed to fit seamlessly into the landscape, the building was inspired by the ruins of Slains Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The museum contains approximately 5,000 works of art. Reflect upon the connection between humans, art, nature, and our natural parks as you explore this world-class museum. At the end of our field trip, there will be free time to explore the museum on your own.

Lunch: At the Palate restaurant at the National Museum of Wildlife Art, choose from a seasonal menu selected by the executive chef.

Afternoon: This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy all your Road Scholar learning adventures and we look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. We encourage you to join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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