Turquoise Lake Llama Trek
- Pristine valleys and high ridges
- Off-trail hike on a stunning alpine ridge
- Classic views & rejuvenating solitude
- Have potential to see wildlife
- Pristine campsites
- Fantastically vivid night skies
- Refreshing Granite Hot Springs
If you're wanting a lot of "bang for your buck" in terms of time, then this trip is for you! We pack an amazing amount of hiking, scenery, and diversity into a 5-day trip. This trip is a fantastic early season trip (late June and July) and a great one for wildflowers and wildlife. There are abundant opportunities to see elk, deer, bighorn sheep, moose, fox, wolves, bears, eagles, osprey and other wildlife!
Originating just 45 minutes from Jackson Hole, our hike takes us up majestic Granite Creek, where we'll soak up incredible views of the high country. We'll set up camp along Granite Creek the first night, then make our way to beautiful Turquoise Lake on Day 2, where we'll spend two nights. Day 3 offers the opportunity to summit a nearby peak with incredible views, and Days 4 and 5 take us back down the valley, soaking up the magic all the way. We end our trip near the historic Granite Hot Springs, where guests get to have a soak while the guides pack up the gear and get the llama loaded.
Llamas carry most of the gear so you can hike with only a light day pack, which is a wonderful way to experience the backcountry! Camps are in scenic locations, where your guide(s) will cook up some remarkable backcountry meals, and the stars at night are unparalleled!
Trip Dates & Booking
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- Shuttle to Trailhead: 45 minutes
- Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
- Elevation Gain: 890 feet
This Greater Yellowstone Llama Trek begins in Jackson Hole, Wyoming where we'll pick you up at your hotel for transport to the trailhead. Our hike takes us along Granite Creek, one of the most majestic and beautiful rivers near Jackson Hole. It's crystal clear waters make for excellent drinking, fishing and soaking tired feet! We'll hike in and out of forests, through stunning meadows, and along the banks of the creek, always keeping an eye out for wildlife. This valley is famous for being home to lots of moose, and we'll also watch out for elk, deer, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, bears and wolves.
We'll make camp at the edge of a meadow overlooking Granite Creek. Once camp is set up you'll have some time to enjoy the area by strolling through the meadows, photographing wildflowers, fishing, glassing for wildlife, or just relaxing. This evening we'll build a roaring campfire and eat a hearty backcountry dinner as the fading light of the late, northern sunset settles in the west. What a day to be alive!
- Hiking Mileage: 8 miles
- Elevation Gain: 1500 feet
Today we'll enjoy a stunningly beautiful hike along Granite Creek as it ascends into the subalpine zone. Our route takes us further upstream along Granite Creek to subalpine forests and lush meadows. Our destination is Turquoise Lake, a charming lake tucked into the high country of these spectacular mountains. We'll set up camp and have a couple hours to enjoy the lake and surrounding area. You can soak up the high alititude sun rays from the shores of the lake, wet a line (for those who like to fish), go on wildflower walks, take photographs, or just relax. We'll reconvene for a roaring campfire and fantastic dinner to cap off this amazing day.
- Hiking Mileage: varies
- Elevation Gain/Loss: varies
Today we'll sleep in and enjoy a feast of a breakfast, hot coffee or tea, and a relaxing morning. It's a layover day to do with what we please. There are several fantastic day hiking options that your guide will present to you, or you're welcome to relax in camp, fish, or spend the day however you would like. Many guests choose to climb Cache Peak (10,384') which is a 4 mile roundtrip hike from camp, and offers absolutely stunning views of the Tetons and all mountains around Jackson Hole. It's a rare opportunity to have a day to spend in a place as beautiful as this!
- Hiking Mileage: 8 miles
- Elevation Loss: 1500 feet
Today we leave the high country behind and begin descending back down Granite Creek. It's amazing how different this perspective is from the hike in, when we were staring at the high country and lush alpine peaks of the Gros Ventre Wilderness. Now, as we hike, we're gazing at a series of lush valleys, cut by ancient rivers, and distant peaks on the horizon. We'll keep a sharp eye out for wildlife, as today is an excellent opportunity to see moose and elk. We'll set up camp along Granite Creek and enjoy one last celebratory dinner in the backcountry.
- Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
- Elevation Loss: 891 feet
- Shuttle to Jackson Hole: 45 minutes
We'll enjoy a big breakfast and relaxing morning before leisurely breaking camp. Today's hike takes us back down Granite Creek to our trailhead. Once back at the trailhead, you'll have the wonderful opportunity to soak at Granite Hot Springs, which is an established hot spring pool in one of the most picturesque valleys you can imagine, while the guide gets the trailers loaded. Soak your tired muscles in steaming, thermal-fed water while you reflect on the past three days. Once the guide is done packing up and everyone has soaked, we'll shuttle back to Jackson Hole for the conclusion of our journey.
Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes.
- Pack llamas to transport the majority of gear and food and a dedicated llama handler
- One or more professional, knowledgeable, certified Jackson Hole hiking guides (max guest to guide ratio is 6:1, not including the llama handler)
- Top-of-the-line tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and technical backpack
- Use of trekking poles
- All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
- Roundtrip transportation from your hotel in Jackson, Wyoming to the trailhead and back
- Bear safety equipment including bear spray cannisters and food-hanging gear
- Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
- You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and your kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!
- Clothes, raingear, and footwear
- Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
- Waterbottles and a headlamp or flashlight
- Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-15% of trip cost)
All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.
For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.
We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.
We provide all group gear which includes the following:
- Deuter or Osprey backpacks
- Sierra Designs or Mountain Hardware tents
- Sierra Designs sleeping bags
- Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
- Leki trekking poles
- Mountain Safety Research cooking stoves
- Mountain Safety Research cookware
- Bear spray cannisters and food-hanging gear
- Company-issued first-aid kit
- Satellite phone
We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter waterbottles per person, either a headlamp or flashlight per person, and a lightweight waterproof stuff sac for your clothes and belongings. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.
Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots (reliable brands include Montrail, Lowa, Merrell, Vasque, and Salomon), rain gear, and non-cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.
NOTE: See the Packing Lists page for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.
You'll meet your hiking guide and group at predetermined hotel in Jackson, Wyoming for an orientation meeting at 6:00 PM the evening before the trip begins. The next morning we'll pick you up at your hotel for transport to the trailhead.
Check out our Travel Resources page for information on flights, shuttles, discounted lodging and more.
Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional Wyoming hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.
Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with solid guiding backgrounds, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, training in llama-handling, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.
The standard ratio of guests to guides on llama trips is 1 guide for 1-4 guests; 2 guides for 5-8 guests; and 3 guides for 9-10 guests. Private trips can have can have up to 12 guests. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and we'll answer all your questions.
Ideally you desire to be on a trip with llamas, by this we mean that a trip with stock animals is different than a backpacking trip in many ways. One big difference is that it takes time for your guide to get all the animals loaded and ready to go in the morning and to unload gear and care for them once we arrive in camp. Also the pace of a llama trip can be a bit slower than you would walk without a pack and you’ll be expected to hike with the group.
On a llama trip the animals tend to take on a focus of the trip. These trips are most rewarding when the clients want to interact with and help out with caring for the llamas. The tradeoff for not having to carry a large backpack is that llamas do require extra work from their guide/handlers. If you are choosing a llama trip solely on the basis of not having to carry a backpack and do not wish to interact with a llama, you need to speak honestly with your Adventure Consultant about this and potentially add another Wildland Guide to your trip to cover the extra workload of caring for the llamas.
Being a Northern mountain environment, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is prone to sudden temperature and weather shifts. This is an exciting aspect of being in Wyoming's mountains. On trips in June, snow is a slight possibility, and the rest of the summer you're likely to get rained on at least once during your trip. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). See below for average summer temperatures around Yellowstone:
|Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)|
Sleeping on this trip is in premier 1-person, 2-person or 4-person backcountry tents. Solo travelers, and anyone else who requests it, are issued single tents. Top-of-the-line self-inflating sleeping pads and sleeping bags (professionally laundered after every trip) are also provided.
Fresh & Delicious
Meals from breakfast Day 1 through lunch the last day are fully included and prepared by your guide. We never use dehydrated backpacking meals, instead serving freshly prepared, delicious backcountry cuisine made with a variety of common and specialty ingredients that travel well in the wilderness.
In the Action
Of course campsites vary tremendously by destination, trip and even by the individual day of a trip. However, you can expect to camp in beautiful areas that put you right in the action to make the most of your backpacking adventure. We carefully design our itineraries with campsites in mind.