Smarter Travel - September 2007

smarter.travel

Kayaking and Rafting in Wyoming's National Parks

By Molly Feltner

In 2004, well-respected rafting outfitter O.A.R.S. began offering women-only multi-sport and whitewater rafting trips. "About three years ago we started seeing an increase in the number of requests from groups of women who were planning trips together, which prompted us to start offering a selection of scheduled women-only departures for independent women travelers," says O.A.R.S. spokesman Steve Markle.

After going on numerous co-ed whitewater kayaking trips with O.A.R.S., San Diego resident Linda Comunale decided to go on a women-only version of the company's Yellowstone and Grand Teton Multi-Sport trip. "I had just retired from 33 enjoyable years in the corporate world, mostly spent competing against men," says Comunale. "I love adventure and men, but was not up to another 'I'm better than you' competition vacation. It was not an easy decision and I second guessed myself until the moment I was introduced to our fun guides and the other gals. The trip was enjoyable from start to finish, with excellent guides, food, and equipment."

On the five-day Yellowstone and Grand Teton trip, you'll paddle across a geothermal lake in Yellowstone National Park, kayak on the lakes of Grand Teton National Park, hike and camp in the backcountry, and raft a portion of the Snake River. "The variety of activities made the adventure exciting every day," says Comunale.

The details

The next women-only departure of this trip is scheduled for August 19, 2008. All meals, ground transportation, transfers from Jackson, Wyoming, activities, equipment, and guides are included in the price. You must provide your own sleeping bag and pad (or you can rent from O.A.R.S.) and transportation to Jackson. Several of the major airlines serve the Jackson Hole Airport.