|MEETING PLACE:||Grant Village Boat Ramp|
|GPS LOCATION:||44.391859, -110.548103|
|MEETING TIME:||9:30 AM|
|RETURN TIME:||12:30 PM|
|AREA COVERED:||Shores of the West Thumb of Yellowstone Lake, 4-5 miles roundtrip|
|PUT-IN/TAKE-OUT:||Grant Village Boat Ramp|
|AGE LIMIT:||Minimum age is 7|
|BOAT TYPE:||2-person touring kayak|
Yellowstone Lake, in the heart of Yellowstone National Park, is North America’s largest lake above 7000 feet. It lies at the center of an immense caldera left behind by the collapse of the Yellowstone super-volcano during its last massive eruption 600,000 years ago. The volcanic activity continues to this day, and there are many examples of the region’s characteristic geothermal activity along the shores of the Yellowstone Lake’s West Thumb, including geysers, hot springs, and mud pots. We’ll paddle a pine-fringed shoreline to view these geothermal features from the seat of our sleek and stable touring kayaks. This active outing is the perfect intermission during your road tour through America’s original national park!
- The Sea Kayak, the ultimate flat water explorer, is at home in open seas or inches from shore. Stealthy, quiet and quick, sea kayaks are the premier platform for wildlife viewing. From alpine lakes in Wyoming to island hopping in Baja or the Galapagos, sea kayaks are a low-impact way to get out on the water.
- Generally two-person kayaks are provided; single kayaks may be available upon request.
Children as young as 7 may accompany the trip. Due to kayak design and the pace of our trips we must restrict requests for single kayaks to those with a height of 4’11” or taller, and 14 years or older. Previous paddling experience is also suggested. Children younger than 14 must ride in a double kayak with an accompanying adult. We’re very sorry that we’re unable to accommodate children younger than 14 if there isn’t an adult in your party to paddle with them.
We pride ourselves in running a relaxed and flexible schedule. Every trip is different depending upon the group, other trips on the water and sometimes the weather. The following is a sample of what your trip might be like:
After meeting the guides, participants are introduced to the kayaks and given safety and instructional guidance. Once completed, we pack our personal gear into the boats and get into the water for a little practice session. When everyone has gotten the hang of paddling we begin our voyage by paddling north along the shore of the West Thumb.
Offshore hot springs can be identified by their rising bubbles when the water is calm. We’ll paddle past the Lakeshore Geyser, which on rare occasions can erupt in a fountain of boiling water up to 25-feet high. The Lakeshore group of geysers contains the most active hot springs in the area. Our guides will present an interpretive discussion of the Park’s fascinating geology.
- Skilled, professional guide service
- High quality kayaks and related equipment, including paddle and personal flotation device
What’s Not Included
- Transportation to and from Grant Village Boat Ramp
- Pre- and post-trip accommodations and meals
- Yellowstone National Park entrance fee
- Insurance of any kind, including a travel protection plan
- Items of a personal nature (see equipment and clothing list on the following pages)
Meeting Place & Time
We’ll meet you at 9:30 AM at the Grant Village Boat Ramp.
Getting to Grant Village
- Driving in Yellowstone can take much longer than expected; visitors often underestimate driving times based on mileage, so please allow additional driving time, especially if you are driving from another area of the park. Traffic, wildlife, road construction, and winding roads can add to driving delays.
Passengers are responsible for arriving on time and ready to paddle at your assigned meet time. It is always best to ask Yellowstone Park employees or check the recorded road conditions (307-344-2117) to plan your departure time.
- From Jackson (South): Take Highway 89 north to the South Gate of Yellowstone National Park. (For the scenic route through Grand Teton National Park, turn left at Moose Junction and follow the Teton Park Road until you hit Highway 89 again at the Jackson Lake Junction, then take a left onto 89.) At 19 miles north of the South Gate, turn right onto the Grant Village Road. At the General Store and first intersection, turn right and continue .8 mile to the boat ramp. Free parking is available nearby.
- From the North: Grant Village Road is a left hand turn approximately 2.5 miles south of the West Thumb Intersection. At the General Store and first intersection, turn right and continue .8 mile to the boat ramp where you can park for no charge.
|Mileage and Driving Times to Grant Village Marina|
|Jackson, WY||77 miles (2 hours)|
|Old Faithful||20 miles (1 hour)|
|Mammoth Hot Springs||49 miles (2 hours)|
|West Park Entrance||48 miles (1 ½ hours)|
|East Park Entrance||52 miles (1 ½ hours)|
|Salt Lake City, UT||370 miles (6 ½ hours)|
|Idaho Falls, ID||156 miles (3 hours)|
|Bozeman, MT||110 miles (3 hours)|
These are approximate driving times and do not take into account any delays, so please allow extra driving time. Additional maps of the area can be found at: www.maps.google.com
- Delta, American, Northwest and United airlines service the Jackson Hole airport (JAC). From the airport, a rental car is the most convenient way to visit Yellowstone National Park. A complete list of services can be found on Jackson Airport’s website: www.jacksonholeairport.com/index.htm.
- The closest major international airport is in Salt Lake City, UT (SLC).
Pre- and Post-Trip Accommodations (not included in your trip cost.)
- We recommend that you make reservations well in advance in order to guarantee lodging—Yellowstone is a popular destination and space is limited. Lodging is not included in the trip cost.
In Yellowstone National Park
- Yellowstone National Park, general info www.nps.gov/yell
- Yellowstone National Park, lodging www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com
In Grand Teton National Park Area
- Signal Mountain Lodge 307-543-2831 www.nationalparkreservations.com
- Jackson Lake Lodge 307-543-3100 www.nationalparkreservations.com
- Snake River Lodge & Spa 866-975-7625 www.snakeriverlodge.com
- Grand Teton National Park, lodging 855.684.3403 www.nationalparkreservations.com
- The Lexington at Jackson Hole 307-733-2648 www.lexingtonatjacksonhole.com
Please mention you are an OARS guest for a 10% discount.
- Wyoming Inn 800-844-0035 www.wyominginn.com
- Central Reservations 800-329-9205 www.jacksonhole.net
Weather & Water Conditions
You may want to check one week prior to your trip for an up-to-date weather forecast. We recommend you check the following web site: http://www.accuweather.com for weather in Yellowstone National Park, WY.
Average Temperatures & Precipitation
|MONTH||DAY (°F)||NIGHT (°F)||PRECIPITATION||WATER|
Our primary goal is for you to have an enjoyable experience. The nature of the trip is such that it involves some physical exertion and potential exposure to the elements, including cold water and weather, heat, sun, wind and rain. We have experience accommodating people with a wide range of physical disabilities and/or health conditions. However, individuals who are overweight or lack conditioning can endanger themselves, other guests and the guides. Please consult your doctor if you have medical or health conditions that could impact your ability to participate in this outdoor adventure. In general, trip participants must be able to:
- Wear a Type III Coast Guard approved personal floatation device (maximum chest size of 56 inches)
- Climb in and out of the kayaks
- Self-rescue by swimming to a kayak or to shore in the event of an involuntary swim
- Self-rescue by climbing into a kayak with the help of another person in the event of an involuntary swim
Clothing and Equipment
- Your feet will get wet as you get in and out of the kayaks. We recommend wearing shoes that you don’t mind getting wet or sport sandals with an ankle strap. For cold weather trips, wool or neoprene socks will help keep your feet warm. Find professional-grade options made by Chaco® at www.chacos.com, the official footwear sponsor of OARS guides.
- We recommend starting with a bathing suit / swim trunks and a synthetic shirt as a base layer. Additional layers, like long underwear, fleece and rain gear can be added and subtracted depending on the weather and temperature.
- Protecting yourself from the sun at high altitudes should be taken seriously. A hat, sunscreen, lip balm and sunglasses are a must when the sun is shining and when it is cloudy.
Find all the gear you need for your trip online in the OARStore and receive FREE SHIPPING in the U.S. + 15% of your purchase helps provide disadvantaged youth with outdoor adventure experiences.
What to Bring
☐ Sunscreen & lip protection: waterproof and SPF 30 or higher
☐ Water bottle with securing clip
☐ Shade hat/visor
☐ Sunglasses (preferably polarized) with securing strap
☐ Quick-dry shorts and shirt
☐ River/tennis shoes or sport sandals with heel strap
☐ Synthetic layers, depending on air temperature
☐ Rain jacket
- ALWAYS BE PREPARED FOR CHANGING WEATHER! Please be aware that the weather in Yellowstone National Park varies greatly throughout the season, and even throughout the day. Please be prepared for precipitation and extreme fluctuations in air temperature.
- To avoid being cold: Synthetic long underwear is a must-have for layering. It can be worn under shorts, rain gear, T-shirts, etc. and keeps you warm even when wet.
- Be aware that cotton items, once wet, do not insulate; only synthetic and wool materials will keep you warm during cool, wet weather.
Please let us know if you have any medical issues that we’ll need to consider in planning your trip.
We provide a small waterproof bag (17” tall x 9” diameter—approximate sealed size) to hold your camera and other items you might want to bring along. While these bags are designed to be waterproof, you may wish to place your camera in a zip-lock plastic bag or waterproof casing for additional protection. Disposable waterproof and panorama cameras are also a fun option.
Each participant will need to complete the required trip forms online and submit them no later than 30 days prior to your trip.
We advise that you leave your valuables at home or in your private vehicle and take on the lake only what’s absolutely necessary.
Tipping is optional, but appreciated by our staff. If you are wondering how much to tip, you may consider that we operate in a service industry with a host of behind-the-scenes contributors in addition to the guides on your trip. In general, we suggest a gratuity based on 10 – 15% of the trip cost. It is customary on OARS trips for gratuities to be given to the Trip Leader in the form of cash or personal check, who will then distribute appropriately amongst all the guides and support staff.
In reviewing your statement, you’ll note a $1/person/day donation to Waterkeeper Alliance, a non-profit conservation organization dedicated to fishable, swimmable and drinkable waterways worldwide. One-hundred percent of these funds go directly to worldwide watershed protection and your contribution is tax-deductible. This donation is voluntary and may be removed from your invoice if you choose not to participate. Please notify our office if you would prefer to delete the donation from your balance.
If you enjoyed your trip, consider donating to the OARS Foundation. This organization is a not-for-profit 501 (c) 3 organization with the express goal of providing opportunities for young people to experience the magic of the outdoors. Visit https://www.oars.com/oars-foundation/ to learn more about how a tax-deductible donation can change young lives for the better.
Shop for the latest in top-quality gear for your trip
OARS practices Leave No Trace outdoor ethics
Recommended reading list reading.longitudebooks.com/O33926
Additional information about the area
Terms and Conditions
Full payment is required at the time of reservation.
Cancellations and Refunds
If you find it necessary to cancel your trip, please notify us as soon as possible.
|DATE OF CANCELLATION||CANCELLATION FEE|
|30 or more days prior||$15/person|
|29 to 3 days prior||Payment can be transferred to another trip (within the same year) for $15/person transfer fee. No refund.|
|2 days or less prior||50% of the trip cost can be credited to another trip (within the same year)|
|Late arrivals or “no shows”||No refund or credit|
Under most circumstances, if you are of an adventurous spirit and in reasonably good health, you should have no problem enjoying an OARS trip. People with medical conditions, including pregnancy, should have a physician’s approval before taking an adventure travel trip.
We strongly recommend that you protect yourself, your belongings and your vacation through the purchase of a travel protection plan. They cover your non-refundable payments in most cases, should you have to cancel your trip due to illness or injury—yours or that of an extended family member—even at the last minute. No one wants an expensive helicopter to become necessary, but if you need to be evacuated or if an immediate family member dies and the local management agency is requested to notify you by helicopter, the helicopter expenses will be your responsibility. Evacuations can be prolonged, difficult, and expensive. Personal belongings and cameras are carried entirely at the owner’s risk, and OARS accepts no responsibility for lost, damaged, delayed or stolen property. You can protect yourself through Travel Insurance Services or with alternative insurance. Call Travel Insurance Services at 800-937-1387 or visit their website at http://www.travelinsure.com/cobrand/select/oars.
Acknowledgement of Risk
Everyone, is required to sign a standard liability release form before the trip, acknowledging awareness that there are inherent risks associated with the trip. Due to the nature of the activities, a condition of your participation is that you will sign this form and return it to our office before the trip begins. Anyone who refuses to sign the form will not be allowed to participate, and consistent with OARS cancellation policy, there will be no refund of the trip fees at that time.
Responsibility – An Important Notice
O.A.R.S. West, Inc. and cooperating agencies act only in the capacity of agent for the participants in all matters relating to transportation and/or all other related travel services, and assume no responsibility however caused for injury, loss or damage to person or property in connection with any service, including but not limited to that resulting directly or indirectly from acts of God, detention, annoyance, delays and expenses arising from quarantine, strikes, theft, pilferage, force majeure, failure of any means of conveyance to arrive or depart as scheduled, civil disturbances, government restrictions or regulations, and discrepancies or change in transit over which it has no control. Reasonable changes in itinerary may be made where deemed advisable for the comfort and well-being of the participants, including cancellation due to water fluctuation, insufficient bookings (this trip requires a minimum of 4 guests), and other factors. There is risk in sea kayaking, particularly during high-water conditions. Rafts, dories and kayaks do capsize. You could be swept overboard. Your guide will make every attempt to assist, but you must be strong and agile enough to “self-help” and “float-it-out” without further endangering yourself or others. We reserve the right not to accept passengers weighing more than 260 pounds or with a waist/chest size exceeding 56 inches. We may decide at any time, to exclude and person or group for any reason we feel is related to the safety of our trips. We are experienced at accommodating people with various disabilities. Please give us an opportunity to make you feel welcome. We need to discuss any special requirements ahead of time. We may decide, at any time, to exclude any person or group for any reason we feel is related to the safety of our trips. On advancement of deposit the depositor agrees to be bound by the above recited terms and conditions. Prices are subject to change without notice.