Veteran river outfitter and nature-based adventure travel company O.A.R.S. (www.oars.com/) is operating rafting, hiking and multi-sport vacations into October that promise cooler temperatures along with great fishing, uncrowded wilderness and brilliant night skies.
“It’s our favorite season for hiking and exploring in the national parks,” adds Steve Markle, O.A.R.S.’ spokesperson. “And then there’s the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, which not only has spectacular alpine scenery, but also world-class trout fishing – especially in September when high water has receded, the river is crystal clear, and angling conditions are prime.”
Markle suggests some of the company’s most popular fall adventures for anyone looking for domestic travel from September through October:
Through mid-September O.A.R.S.’ six-day Yellowstone & Grand Teton Explorer takes guests off the beaten track at a time when seasonal visits to the two parks are slowing down. This multi-sport program in wild Wyoming includes two nights of lodging and three nights of catered camping on Jackson Lake with days spent touring Yellowstone and kayaking and hiking in Grand Teton. Through special access granted by the National Park Service, O.A.R.S. has been given permission to camp on an island in the lake, a privilege unique to this company. This trip transports guests into a world of mountain peaks and meadows, trout streams, waterfalls, bear, moose and bison. The rate is $1,589/person based on double occupancy for six days (five-day camping trips also available from $1399/person).
The company’s four-day, lodge-based Grand Canyon Rim to River Hiker in September and October brings guests into one of the deepest parts of the Grand Canyon with an overnight stay at historic Phantom Ranch. The adventure begins in Walnut Canyon, en route to the South Rim, with a close-up view of 25 unique cliff dwellings. Hiking in Wupatki National Monument, features multi-story ruins of red sandstone blocks and mortar. After gazing into the canyon’s depths from the Desert View Watchtower, a night at the South Rim is the perfect spot to rest before an invigorating hike into the canyon the following day. The South Kaibab Trail, a seven-mile hike into the canyon, reveals panoramic vistas that overwhelm the senses as guests take in the canyon’s grandeur. The Bright Angel Trail offers a nine-mile hike out of the canyon, followed by a short stroll along the Rim Trail to Hermit’s Rest before returning to Flagstaff on the final day of this hiking adventure. The rate is $1,599/person based on double occupancy.
In September, six-day fishing trips on Idaho’s Middle Fork of the Salmon River combine crystal clear water, abundant wildlife, amazing scenery, hot springs and Blue Ribbon trout fishing. This Idaho adventure brings guests into the largest federally protected wilderness in the continental U.S., a rugged and varied terrain of pine-clad mountains, rolling grasslands and narrow gorges. The catch-and-release policy along with limited access to the river and little angling pressure has resulted in a river loaded with fish. Twelve- to fourteen-inchers are common, with an occasional trophy sixteen- to eighteen-inch lunker. From $2082/person.
The Colorado River through Cataract Canyon serves up ideal conditions for hiking to scenic viewpoints and pre-Puebloan sites, stand up paddleboarding in the flat water and Class III whitewater through the heart of Canyonlands National Park in Utah. By September the scorching heat of the summer has faded, and with the sun a little lower in the sky, the shade created by canyon walls produces mesmerizing oblique lighting and wonderful opportunities for photography. Guests can marvel at million-year-old rock formations as well as ancient pictographs & petroglyphs while hiking side canyon trails. Four- and six-day trips through October start at $1529/person.
On a special September 14 “Stars with Lars” astronomy trip, veteran O.A.R.S.’ guide Lars Haarr will help interpret the night sky that offers some of the best conditions for stargazing due to the remote location and absence of city lights.
The per person, double occupancy rates for autumn 2014 programs include nights of lodge accommodations and/or comfortable catered camping, all river equipment, dry bags for gear, meals from departure day through the end of the trip and professional guide services.
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