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Old 06-09-2012, 09:05 PM   #1
ppiew
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Quest for the West walking difficulty?

I am considering this with my 10 yr old granddaughter, but I don't walk real well and I am wondering if this tour would be too strenuous for me? can anyone enlighten me? I horse back riding out for me too? Help please!! She is a shy girl and I would not want to leave her alone but i don't know how much of the athletics I could take.
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:46 AM   #2
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I can't answer this for you yet, but we leave next week! I'll let you know then. My 65 and 68 year old parents will be with us, so I can see what they think, also.
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Old 06-10-2012, 04:11 PM   #3
ppiew
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Oh please do! I am 73 and injured my leg (badly) in a car accident a year and a half ago and it really inhibits my movement but I want to badly to take my grand on this trip but I don't want to be an albatross around her neck either. Please do tell me the pros and cons - I would truly appreciate it more than you know.
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:58 PM   #4
JRM815
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We took Quest for the West last summer. I don't know what you would consider strenuous, so I'll give a brief description of what I remember.

In Jackson Hole we walked two blocks (flat ground) from the Wort Hotel to the historic theater for lunch and entertainment, and then walked back.

Next was river rafting. You have your choice of white water rafting or a more leisurely float on a flatter section of river. We took the white water rafting so I can't comment on the float. For the white water rafting we had to walk from the bus down a boat launch ramp (approx. 40 yards) to the raft. There were 4-5 sections of rapids where the folks on the outside of the raft were expected to paddle pretty vigorously. When we stopped there was a climb out of the river area to the bus which was the equivalent of climbing five flights of stairs.

The rest of Jackson Hole included going out to dinner on our own, browsing the stores, and walking across the town green to see a mock western shoot-out.

After leaving Jackson Hole, you stop at the Grand Teton National Park visitor center (get off the bus, walk around the center/exhibits, walk back to the bus). Then stop at a small lake for a picnic lunch (again, get off the bus, walk 40 yds to the lake/picnic tables, get back on the bus). Then make a longer stop at Jenny Lake. Here you walk 100 yds or so down a slight incline to the boat dock, where you take a shuttle/ferry boat across the lake to a dock on the other side. From here there is a moderately demanding trail hike to the hidden falls. The total distance is approx. one mile in and another back, climbing about 500 feet in elevation. There a lots of chances to stop, rest, and take pictures. One CM leads and the other always stays at the back never leaving anyone behind. (I know this because I was always bringing up the rear due to my stopping for photo opportunities.) At the end of the hike is a group picture and a boat ride back across the lake. After you disembark the boat there is time to visit park ranger's center and the gift shop.

Before the bus reaches the hotel, there is a stop at Yellowstone's West Geyser Basin. You get off the bus and the CMs give a tour of the area. Here you are walking on basically flat ground on the wooden boardwalks. You can walk as much or as little as you like.

To be continued...

Last edited by JRM815; 06-10-2012 at 10:00 PM. Reason: fix typos
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:30 PM   #5
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After spending the night at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge, the next morning includes a guided tour of the Old Faithful geyser area. This is tour covers about 1 1/2 miles along the boardwalks surrounding the different geysers and hot springs. There are benches along the way, so you'd walk a bit, sit and listen to the tour guide talk about a particular feature, and the get up and walk to the next geyser. After lunch the CMs organized the kids in a scavenger hunt while the adults did whatever they wanted. I walked over to the Old Faithful visitor center (right across the street from the Snow Lodge) and watched some video presentations on the park and Old Faithful.

The next morning we got on the bus and stopped at the Midway Geyser Basin, where we toured the Grand Prismatic Spring. As before, you get off the bus and walk as much or as little as you like around the geysers, paint pots, and hot springs. Then it was on to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. There is a great photo op at the top parking lot, followed by a hike on a trail along the canyon rim. The trail is about a mile in length and mostly down hill, but there are a few places where you have to zig zag up the hill in order to go down further. You meet up with the bus at the lower parking lot. On our trip there was at least two or three people who skipped the hike and rode the bus to the lower lot. After the canyon we took the bus to the Yellowstone Inn (along Yellowstone Lake) for lunch. At the Inn it was get off the bus, climb a flight of stairs to the restaurant, and then back down to the lake for picture and getting back on the bus.

To be continued...
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:53 PM   #6
JRM815
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After lunch the bus left Yellowstone and went to Brooks Lake Lodge. We had a great dinner and after dinner we were entertained by a singing cowboy.

The next morning was horseback riding. I have to be honest -- it was far more strenuous for the horse than it was for me. I just had to sit while the horse walked along the trail. And it was almost all walking. There were a couple of slight inclines where a gap opened between my horse and the one in front of me where my horse started to trot a little ways, but there was nothing about which to be afraid. The wranglers were very good and took extra care to match the horses to the experience level of the riders (including kids). After lunch, you are free to partake in the other activities at the lodge, such as fishing in their stocked trout pond, canoeing on the lake, or more horseback riding.

The last day at the lodge you are free to do as much or as little as you like.

One thing I should point out is that Brooks Lake Lodge is at 9200 ft elevation. So while the 1/4 mile walk down the road to the lake was easy, I was huffing and puffing my way back up the hill to the lodge. Its not that steep, but the air is thin compared to where I live (100 ft or so above sea level).

Anyway, I hope this helps. Feel free to ask any questions.
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:16 PM   #7
ppiew
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All sounds doable except for the climb 5 flights of stairs and the mile walks! those would be definitely out for me. I can walk - just not very far and i am supposed to stay on level ground. thanks for all of your trouble
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