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Start Salt Lake City.
Welcome to Salt Lake City, the capital of Utah and the gateway to five incredible national parks. Set in a beautiful location at the foot of Utah's Wasatch Mountains, Salt Lake is the home of the worldwide headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Mormons. A welcome meeting will be conducted at 6.00pm in your hotel.
To Jackson Hole; short walk.
Leaving Salt Lake City behind, cross Idaho and pass through the beautiful Targhee National Forest en route to the valley of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. This mountain resort is popular during the winter months as skiers flock to the area, whilst summer sees walkers and other thrill seekers enjoying the area and its proximity to Grand Teton National Park. Before you know it, it will be time to warm up your hiking boots with a short walk to Rock Springs Overlook and why not opt for an aerial tram ride to the top of Rendezvous Mountain for 360 degree views of the Snake River Valley and Grand Teton National Park. Make sure you save time to lookaround the town as Jackson Hole maintains an authentic `Wild West’ feeling.
Walk amid the Grand Teton Range.
Famed for its iconic soaring fanglike peaks, the 64km Grand Teton Range explodes out of the ground with its jagged mountains. Rocky spires, lakes and forests fill the park, with more than 10 pinnacles reaching over 12,000ft. Rich in fauna, inhabitants of the area include buffalo, elk, Black and Grizzly bear, Bighorn sheep, moose and mule deer, all of which have been seen on previous trips. There are many self-guided hikes to choose from today, walking amidst dramatic scenery and appreciating the geology and nature of the area. Perhaps choose Amphitheatre Lake, a scenic hike with excellent views of the Teton Mountains.
To Yellowstone N.P.
It’s a beautiful drive to the very first and most revered National Park in America, Yellowstone, which is your home for the next four nights. Part of the highway clings to the side of the 24km long Jackson Lake, the expansive ice-blue water which reflects the Teton Range on a clear day is stunning. Entering Yellowstone, the scenery starts to change from striking jagged peaks to colourful open meadows and rolling terrain. See how the regular lava flows have flattened the largest geological features in the south of the park. This afternoon, take a walk amidst this fascinating volcanic environment before returning to set up camp. Yellowstone is home to an incredible variety of wildlife so always keep your camera at the ready!
Full day in Yellowstone N.P. with a local geology guide.
Yellowstone overflows with geothermal features; geysers, bubbling mud pools, bright multi-coloured hot springs and fumaroles! The park is famous for its volcanic history and there are estimated to be around 10,000 thermal features - nowhere else on earth (not even Iceland or New Zealand) can boast its concentration of geysers which are scattered amongst several distinct geyser basins. Spend half a day with a local geology guide to explore the many effects of volcanism and enjoy walks around some of the parks most interesting features. The multi-coloured springs, caused by the hot, nutrient-rich water being more suitable for different species of coloured bacteria at different temperatures, are a particular photographic highlight.
Full day with specialist wildlife and wolf tracking guide.
When Yellowstone National Park was established in 1872, Northern Rocky Mountain wolves (a subspecies of the Grey wolf) were native to the area. In the years after, predator control saw the decline of this remarkable species but following a reintroduction programme there are now thought to be more than 1,000 wolves in the Greater Yellowstone Area. You spend half a day with a specialist wildlife and wolf tracking guide, venturing into the park wilderness by foot and by vehicle to learn about these extraordinary animals. Your guide will explain how wolves live and hunt together in Yellowstone and how the pack hierarchy works. It’s important to note that you may not always be lucky enough to see wolves, but this is our goal and at the same time you’re likely to see numerous other wildlife species as you explore the park.
Wilderness daywalk in Yellowstone N.P.
Today you’ll take your newfound knowledge of Yellowstone’s wildlife and geology onto a wilderness day walk in the park, leaving some of the well-known geysers and crowds behind to explore the wilds together. Your route will depend on the group’s general ability and fitness but it’s likely to involve a walk to view the Upper and Lower Yellowstone Falls. More strenuous options are available if you’re feeling more energetic - simply ask you leader for your options.
To Sacajawea Lodge in Three Forks.
The drive to Three Forks reveals the wide open ‘Big Sky’ scenery that Montana is so famous for. Journey through the ever changing landscape of forest and mountain backdrops. Stay overnight in the historic Sacajawea Hotel dating back to 1910.
To Glacier National Park.
Continue through the mountains of Montana to the famed Glacier National Park where you will spend the next three nights exploring this immense expanse. Keep your eyes peeled for deer and bear which frequent this area, as well as stunning scenery and glacial lakes. NOTE: The National Park Service regulates guided hikes in Glacier. Tomorrow you will be led by a National Park guide but on other days our Tour Leaders are not permitted to walk with you on trails but will provide detailed briefings, directions, maps and transportation.
Daywalk in Glacier National Park.
Spend the day exploring the heart of the park with a Glacier National Park wilderness guide along the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road. Stopping en route for regular walks, your guide will help you try to spot some of the huge variety of animal species for which this park is renowned for including Grizzly Bear, wolverine and lynx. Big Horn Sheep, Mountain Goat, coyote and wolves are also common, so make sure you keep your camera at the ready! If conditions are right your guide will take you on the Iceberg Lake or Hidden Lake Trail for more striking mountain scenes and wildflowers.
To Coeur d'Alene; visit Tubbs Hill.
You leave Glacier behind and make your way towards Coeur d'Alene in the state of Idaho. You'll pass through small historic towns in Idaho's 'Silver Valley', which was once the ‘silver capital of the world’. After reaching Coeur d'Alene, there may be time to walk the trail through forested areas which hugs the watery edge of the lake. If it’s a hot day make sure you don’t forget your swimsuit, but be careful, the water can be bracing! A good option for the afternoon is to enjoy a drink down by the marina and then watch the sunset over the sparkling lake.
To Seattle via Keechelus Lake; end Seattle.
Crossing into the State of Washington you make your way towards Seattle, your final destination. Today’s journey takes you past the border of Mt Rainier National Park where the imposing Mount Rainier stands; at 4,392m this is Washington’s highest volcano and one of the world’s most dangerous! You’ll make a lunch stop at Keechelus Lake, one of a collection of three lakes that border the National Park, before arriving at your hotel in Seattle where your tour ends upon arrival. This tour ends at our gateway hotel in Seattle at approximately 5.00pm. We can book your post-tour accommodation if required. If you are planning to fly tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 9.00pm. People booking Flight Inclusive with Exodus will have an extra night in the hotel and depart tomorrow.