August 1 – 8, 2020
|Cost||$1631 (per person, 4 people per cabin)|
|Description||On this trip we will be exploring the southwest Absaroka Mountains, within the 2.4 million-acre Shoshone National Forest, the nation’s first National Forest. (Wyoming also boasts the nation’s first National Park, Yellowstone, and the first National Monument, Devil’s Tower.) Hiking will be moderate to strenuous, with round trip distances of 5 to 8 miles and elevation gains of up to 1,800 feet topping out over 11,000 feet. At times the group will split into smaller groups of hikers with similar fitness, so all can experience the mountains at their own pace. Less strenuous options will be also be available. The real challenge will be the altitude above sea level for us low-country hikers. To enjoy these hikes and keep up with the group you must be an experienced hiker in good condition. The itinerary is set up to provide an opportunity to acclimate, with the relatively easier hikes at the beginning and the most strenuous at the end. Transport to the trailheads will be in ranch vehicles (crew-cab pickups or vans) driven by ranch staff, who will also be our guides. We’ll visit beautiful mountain lakes surrounded by towering cliffs and spires, expansive meadows full of wildflowers and summits offering breathtaking views of the Teton, Gros Ventre, Absaroka and Wind River Ranges. The itinerary includes an open day when you can choose to go on a guided horseback ride (cost included), try your hand at fly fishing (cost included but you’ll need to buy a license), take another hike or just hang out.
Our base and accommodations for the week will be Absaroka Ranch, a scenic 1 ½ hour drive north and then east from the Jackson Hole Airport, and over the Continental Divide at 9658′ Togwotee Pass near the small mountain town of Dubois, WY. Absaroka Ranch, was a genuine, century-old, working cattle ranch until 1982, when it was purchased by the Betts family and converted to a guest ranch catering to hikers, horseback riders, hunters and fly fishers. There is the main lodge—with a dining room and a living room with a fireplace—and four guest cabins set around a native lawn beneath tall aspens and cottonwoods, with views across the Du Noir Valley to the Wind River Range beyond. Each heated cabin has two bedrooms, each with two beds, and a shared bath. (One bathroom for two bedrooms.) The ranch can accommodate only 16 guests, so we’ll have it all to ourselves for the week.
All meals at the ranch, from Sunday dinner through Saturday breakfast, are included. The ranch is famous for its gourmet meals, served family style. Complimentary wine and beer is offered, starting with hors d’oeuvres served outside each evening, and continuing through dinner. Trail lunches are made to order from selections made the night before.
|Payment Policy||A Deposit of $500 is due with the application forms to register for the trip.|
Must have at least 11 registered by March 13, 2020 for the trip to go.
The Balance of $1131 is due no later than March 27, 2020.
|What to Bring||Packing list provided upon request|
|Trip Insurance||It is very strongly recommended that all participants have trip or travel insurance that will cover trip cancellation by the participant, travel delays, medical expenses and medical evacuation. ADK does not provide this insurance and does not cover medical expenses or evacuation in the event you are injured or become ill during the trip. Note that if you have to cancel after the date indicated above, and cannot be replaced from the leader’s waiting list, if any; you could be out the entire amount you paid for the trip.|
Day 1: Saturday, August 1
Meet at the Jackson Hole Airport at 4PM to catch a ride for the 1 ½ hour ride to Dubois. It’s a spectacularly scenic, 1 ½ hour drive over the Continental Divide at 9658′ Togwotee Pass and down into the Wind River Valley. In Dubois we will arrive at Stage Coach Inn (http://stagecoachmotel-dubois.com/) where we have rooms (two queen beds for double occupancy). After check-in we will meet for dinner. (Dinner and hotel included in the price)
Day 2: Sunday, August 2
Get up for breakfast (on your own), check out of the Inn and leave our bags in a secure location. We will meet for a yet to be determined hike (maybe Table Mountain, through the badlands or pick your own). We will meet back at the Stage Coach Inn at 4PM to for our ride to the ranch. (Dinner and overnight at the ranch are included, breakfast and lunch are not included).
Day 3: Monday, August 3
Like most of the hikes that we’ll be doing, this one starts near Togwotee Pass. From the Brooks Lake camping area, at 9,000′, it’s about a 7-mile round-trip hike along Brooks Lake and up about 700 feet to the Jade Lakes, at the foot of a 10,900-foot ridge which is the Continental Divide. (All meals and overnight at the ranch included.)
Day 4: Tuesday, August 4
We head to the Wind River Range for a 5 ½ mile round-trip hike through a glacial valley to Lake Louise. From the trail head we gain about 1500’ of elevation. The trail alternates on a gentle grade through forest and glacial rock until the last several hundred yards where the trail becomes a steep, all-rock path. As you crest the top of the grade at 8400’ the lake stretches out in front of you with a view of the 12,000’ Wind River Range in the background. (All meals and overnight at the ranch are included.)
Day 5: Wednesday, August 5
This day has been left open, so you can enjoy some of the other activities the ranch has to offer. There are options for guided horseback rides and/or fly fishing, we can organize another hike, or you can stroll the grounds, just relax, read a book and enjoy the views from the cabin porch. (All meals and overnight at the ranch included.)
Day 6: Thursday, August 6
Starting to the NE of Brooks Lake, we follow the Du Noir trail about 2 ½ miles with 900’ of elevation gain along Bonneville Creek to Bonneville Pass at 9900’. For those that never seem to get enough you may take a hard left and head up a steep 900’ to where snow fields lie at 10800’. For those that have had enough you can enjoy the scenery or begin the walk back to our rides. (All meals and overnight at the ranch included.)
Day 7: Friday, August 7
From a trailhead a mile west of Togwotee Pass, at 9,400′, we hike along a trail through a high-altitude valley forest for about a mile where it opens above tree line to multiple paths to the Continental Divide on the crest of the 800′-high Brooks Lake Cliffs and on to the summit of 11,040′ Mount Sublette (not Sublette Peak which Mount Sublette overlooks). This 8-mile loop across the “Top of the World” includes a 1.5-mile alpine ridge walk across a meadow covered in wildflowers with incredible views of the Absaroka, Teton, Wind River and Gros Ventre Ranges. (All meals and overnight at the ranch are included).
Day 8: Saturday, August 8
After breakfast we pack up and prepare to depart Absaroka Ranch. We depart the ranch at about 9AM for the 1 ½ hour ride back to Jackson where we say our goodbyes and head out to our next adventures. Expected drop off in Jackson will be at about 11AM. (Breakfast included. Lunch and lodging on your own). If you are planning to fly out on Saturday, flight times after 1PM should not be a problem.
|Notes||Getting To Jackson Hole International Airport: Flights into and out of Jackson Hole are limited. Our transportation will be leaving as close to 4PM on Saturday August 1, 2020 as possible. There is one restaurant at the airport to eat at if you arrive early, and the scenery is beautiful so waiting around will not be a chore. Do not make your flight arrangements until you are told that this trip has the minimum participants for the trip to go.|
|Registration Procedure||Please carefully read the above detailed trip description and itinerary and contact me if you have any questions. Then, if you decide to join this adventure, please contact me (email, phone or text) and I will send you the registration paperwork, consisting of the Registration form, the Health and Physical Condition Questionnaire and Release of Liability form. Complete these forms and send them to me by U.S. Postal Service with the deposit (check payable to “ADK” or the Credit Card Authorization) to reserve a spot. Please note that original signatures are required on all forms. Spaces are reserved in the order that complete and acceptable registration forms and deposit payments are received, so don’t delay.|
|Trip Leader||Scott VanAllen
127 Little Canada Road, Central Square, NY 13036