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BEGINS IN: YELLOWSTONE, WYOMING

Yellowstone: From Colter's Hell to America's Hot Spot

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Road Scholar
Program #18556RJ
7 Days | 6 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Elevation Note
First site elevation 6239'. Program activities to 8,859'.

Equipment Requirements
Bring binoculars, durable water bottle (At high altitudes you are more susceptible to dehydration and altitude sickness. Carrying a water bottle with you and drinking plenty of water is of utmost importance to avoid these sometimes dangerous problems.) fanny or day pack, comfortable, sturdy walking shoes or boots and a walking stick if you use one.

Itinerary for Sep 24 — Sep 30, 2013

Expand all
Type: Cabin

Description: Basic cabins located behind Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel on the lawn near several trailheads.

Contact info:
One Grand Loop Road
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190 USA
phone: 307-344-5357
web: www.TravelYellowstone.com

Room amenities: Comfortable cabins with private bath are park accommodations reflecting the natural surroundings of Yellowstone; televisions, radios, telephones, air-conditioning and internet not available.

Facility amenities: Centrally located in the Mammoth Hot Springs area of Yellowstone National Park. Ample parking. Within walking distance of Albright Visitor Center/Museum/bookstore, Fort Yellowstone, Mammoth Terraces, ATM, lounge, general store, dining room, quick-service restaurant, clinic, espresso service, gift shop, a service station and corrals with guided trail rides. Internet service is available for purchase in the lounge and restaurant.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: varies
Seasonal rates; call (866) 439-7375 for information.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day One: Tuesday, September 24 - Welcome!
Afternoon: Check-in from 4-5 pm in Map Room

Dinner: Dinner served at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel Dining Room

Evening: Welcome, Introductions and Orientation in Conference Room. Optional Xanterra Parks & Resorts presentation/performance.

Lodging: Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel Cabins

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Cabin

Description: Basic cabins located behind Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel on the lawn near several trailheads.

Contact info:
One Grand Loop Road
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190 USA
phone: 307-344-5357
web: www.TravelYellowstone.com

Room amenities: Comfortable cabins with private bath are park accommodations reflecting the natural surroundings of Yellowstone; televisions, radios, telephones, air-conditioning and internet not available.

Facility amenities: Centrally located in the Mammoth Hot Springs area of Yellowstone National Park. Ample parking. Within walking distance of Albright Visitor Center/Museum/bookstore, Fort Yellowstone, Mammoth Terraces, ATM, lounge, general store, dining room, quick-service restaurant, clinic, espresso service, gift shop, a service station and corrals with guided trail rides. Internet service is available for purchase in the lounge and restaurant.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: varies
Seasonal rates; call (866) 439-7375 for information.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Two: Wednesday, September 25 - Begin a geological journey into Yellowstone Natio...
Begin a geological journey into Yellowstone National Park focusing on geology as the foundation for so much of what is beautiful, inspiring, and powerful about Yellowstone.

Note: Expect hikes up to 3 miles per day with some inclines and rocky trails

Breakfast: Breakfast at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel Dining Room.

Morning: An overview of the Yellowstone area puts things in perspective. Review and discuss geologic processes that have shaped Yellowstone's landscape through the ages. Consider plate movement, the Yellowstone hotspot and how the Park's unique ecosystem and diverse habitats are a direct result of glaciations, tectonic and volcanic activity.

Lunch: Lunch at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel Dining Room.

Afternoon: Five field days in Yellowstone offer an exploration of a portion of Yellowstone's 2.2 million acres where wonder awaits around each bend in the road or trail. Field exploration will begin with an acclimation walk on the Mammoth Terraces, discovering the large complex of hot springs on a hill adjacent to Fort Yellowstone and the Mammoth Hot Springs Historic District. Discover how the ever changing travertine terraces have been created over thousands of years as hot water from the spring cooled and deposited calcium carbonate. Visit the Albright Visitor Center and Museum, built by the US cavalry during "Fort Yellowstone" times, which includes history-themed exhibits-Native Americans, mountain men, early exploration, Army days and early National Park Service. Also included: predator-prey themed exhibit, Moran Gallery (reproductions of Thomas Moran watercolors), Jackson Gallery (original William Henry Jackson photographs and 1871 Hayden Survey photographs), theater, information desk and Yellowstone Association sales area (good selection of Yellowstone-related books, also prints, note cards, games, films, photographs, maps, etc.) Expect walks up to 3 miles per field day

Dinner: Dinner at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel Dining Room

Evening: Optional Xanterra Parks & Resorts presentation/performance.

Lodging: Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel Cabins

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Cabin

Description: Old Faithful Lodge cabins are located in the heart of Yellowstone and the Upper Geyser Basin near grand Old Faithful Geyser, Geyser Hill and the Firehole River. Hot springs, mudpots, fumaroles and geysers are accessible by numerous walking paths. Nearby is historic Old Faithful Inn, the modern Old Faithful Snow Lodge and the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center, the Park's newest, offering exhibits about the area's dynamic hydrothermal features, Yellowstone books and gifts.

Contact info:
1 Grand Loop Road
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190 USA
phone: 307-344-7901
web: www.travelyellowstone.com/

Room amenities: Comfortable cabins contain a private bath and are among park accommodations that reflect the Park's natural surroundings; TV, telephone, radio, air-conditioning not available.

Facility amenities: Comfortable cabins are near Old Faithful Geyser and are directly adjacent to historic Old Faithful Lodge, built in the 1920's, featuring massive logs and stone pillars. Nearby is a cafeteria, dining room, fast food, lounge, general store, gift shop, ATM, interpretive sightseeing tours. Internet service is available for purchase in lobby area of Old Faithful Snow Lodge.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Bathroom: Cabins contain shower only.


Day Three: Thursday, September 26 - Prepare for adventure at Norris Geyser Basin, Mad...
Prepare for adventure at Norris Geyser Basin, Madison River Canyon Earthquake Area, then on to Old Faithful.

Note: Expect hikes up to 3 miles per day with some inclines and rocky trails

Breakfast: Breakfast at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel Dining Room.

Morning: Mammoth Cabins check out. Travel to Norris Geyser Basin to enjoy a walking exploration here at Yellowstone's oldest, hottest and most active thermal area. The basin is situated at the intersection of three major fault lines; evidence shows that thermal features have existed here for the last 115,000 years. A scientific drill hole at Norris registered the highest temperature ever recorded in Yellowstone at 459 degrees F. Walk a portion of either the Porcelain or Back Basin Trail. The group will veer just outside the park to Madison River Canyon Earthquake Area

Lunch: Enjoy sack lunches in route to Madison River Canyon Earthquake Area.

Afternoon: The exploration will continue at the Madison River Canyon Earthquake area where on August 17, 1959 an earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale caused massive landslide which formed Quake Lake. The dynamics and physical history of the earth changed dramatically in less than a minute and moved 80 million tons of rock in this area. Adventurers will head back into the heart of Yellowstone National Park to the Old Faithful area, to check in at Old Faithful Lodge Cabins. Nearby is Old Faithful Geyser, Geyser Hill and Firehole River, all of which can be explored and enjoyed by utilizing walking paths and boardwalks. Expect walking up to 3 miles per field day.

Dinner: Dinner at Old Faithful Inn Dining Room.

Evening: Free evening or optional geyser walk.

Lodging: Old Faithful Lodge Cabins

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Lake Hotel Annex is located directly adjacent to Lake Yellowstone Hotel where one may relax in the spacious, glassed in Great Room which offers a grand view of beautiful Yellowstone Lake and surrounding mountain ranges. Nearby Fishing Bridge Museum and Visitor Center displays exhibit the park's wildlife and birds and interpret Yellowstone Lake's geology including a relief map of the lake floor. A National Historic Landmark, the Visitor Center was built in 1931 and is known as "parkitecture" due to its distinctive stone-and-log architecture.

Contact info:
Grand Loop Road
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190 USA
phone: 307-344-7901
web: www.travelyellowstone.com

Room amenities: Hotel rooms with modern furnishings, telephone and private full bath. Please note that this park accommodation is nonsmoking and reflects the natural surroundings of Yellowstone; televisions, radios, air-conditioning and internet hook-up not available. Internet available at nearby Lake Lodge.

Facility amenities: Restaurant, lounge, deli, gift shop, general store, safe deposit on site. Internet available at nearby Lake Lodge. Historic bus and boat tours available.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Four: Friday, September 27 - Time to explore Old Faithful Geyser Basin and its...
Time to explore Old Faithful Geyser Basin and its hot springs, fumaroles, geysers and mudpots and then Yellowstone Lake, North America's largest high elevation lake .

Note: Expect hikes up to 3 miles per day with some inclines and rocky trails

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at Old Faithful Inn Dining Room.

Morning: Old Faithful Lodge Cabins checkout and then more adventure. Expect color, pungent sulfur, hissing, bubbling, spouting and sizzling as you take the morning to further explore the Upper Geyser Basin where the world's best known and most beloved hydrothermal feature, Old Faithful, holds forth offering thousands of gallons of water and billowing steam, gushing skyward with each eruption. Enjoy a Geyser Hill walk in this land like no other, this land that holds one half of the world's geothermal features - geysers, hot springs, mudpots and fumaroles! Interpretation reveals the secrets of geyser basin plumbing. Bring camera, binoculars and a walking stick if you use one.

Lunch: Enjoy sack lunches in the park.

Afternoon: Depart for Yellowstone Lake via Craig Pass and West Thumb Geyser Basin. West Thumb is the largest geyser basin on the shores of Yellowstone Lake. It is speculated that its heat source is only 10,000 feet down! Thermal features here extend under the surface of the lake as well as along the shore; several underwater geysers were discovered in the early 1990s. Interpretation and exploration reveal geologic secrets. Glacial till! Vent! Dome! Magma chamber! Tilt! Arrive and check in at stately Lake Hotel, the "Grand Lady of the Lake." Architect Robert Reamer engineered its renovation in 1903, adding false balconies, ionic columns and extending the roof. The Hotel was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991, its centennial year. Expect walks up to 3 miles per field day.

Dinner: Dinner at Lake Hotel Dining Room.

Evening: Here's an opportunity to enjoy the hotel's spacious, glassed-in Sun Room with comfortable seating from which to enjoy the grand view of beautiful Yellowstone Lake, music and conversation or...time for a leisurely stroll about the historic hotel grounds.

Lodging: Lake Hotel Annex

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Cabin

Description: Basic cabins located behind Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel on the lawn near several trailheads.

Contact info:
One Grand Loop Road
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190 USA
phone: 307-344-5357
web: www.TravelYellowstone.com

Room amenities: Comfortable cabins with private bath are park accommodations reflecting the natural surroundings of Yellowstone; televisions, radios, telephones, air-conditioning and internet not available.

Facility amenities: Centrally located in the Mammoth Hot Springs area of Yellowstone National Park. Ample parking. Within walking distance of Albright Visitor Center/Museum/bookstore, Fort Yellowstone, Mammoth Terraces, ATM, lounge, general store, dining room, quick-service restaurant, clinic, espresso service, gift shop, a service station and corrals with guided trail rides. Internet service is available for purchase in the lounge and restaurant.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: varies
Seasonal rates; call (866) 439-7375 for information.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Five: Saturday, September 28 - Prepare for wonder! Travel through the Hayden Val...
Prepare for wonder! Travel through the Hayden Valley, see the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and then back to Mammoth over Dunraven Pass.

Note: Expect hikes up to 3 miles per day with some inclines and rocky trails

Breakfast: Breakfast at Lake Hotel Dining Room

Morning: Morning check out. Exploration will progress northward along the Yellowstone River through wide open Hayden Valley to the mighty Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, 20 miles long, 800' to 1,200' deep and 1,500' to 4,000' wide. The visit will begin at the Canyon Visitor Education Center, which features exhibits on Yellowstone's super volcano. A walk along a trail of the canyon will reveal extraordinary colors of muted scarlet, pale yellows, greens and blue created by hot water acting on volcanic rock. Experience close views of both 109' Upper and 308' Lower Falls and scenic overlooks to stun the senses. Examine the canyon's geologic story - of glaciers, a volcanic eruption, lava flows and huge ice dams. Watch for ospreys soaring on high; view their nests, five to six feet wide, built on pinnacles towering among the canyon walls. As stated by an early expedition member, "There are perhaps other canyons longer and deeper than this one, but surely none combining grandeur and immensity with peculiarity of formation and profusion of volcanic or chemical phenomena." Expect walks up to 3 miles per field day.

Lunch: Enjoy sack lunches in the park.

Afternoon: The days excursion will forge ahead through a magnificent landscape on the way to Mt. Washburn and then breathtaking vistas of a big country rolling down the north side of Dunraven Pass. Continue back to the Mammoth area via historic Tower/Roosevelt area along the northernmost section of the Grand Loop. Check into Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel Cabins.

Dinner: Dinner at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel Dining Room

Evening: Cruising and walking among Yellowstone's life zones with ongoing interpretation provides understanding of how a landscape's "geologic bones", combined with climate and elevation, result in splendid and diverse vegetation and wildlife. Find out about some of Yellowstone's seldom seen critters and the habitats that support them.

Lodging: Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel Cabins

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Cabin

Description: Basic cabins located behind Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel on the lawn near several trailheads.

Contact info:
One Grand Loop Road
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190 USA
phone: 307-344-5357
web: www.TravelYellowstone.com

Room amenities: Comfortable cabins with private bath are park accommodations reflecting the natural surroundings of Yellowstone; televisions, radios, telephones, air-conditioning and internet not available.

Facility amenities: Centrally located in the Mammoth Hot Springs area of Yellowstone National Park. Ample parking. Within walking distance of Albright Visitor Center/Museum/bookstore, Fort Yellowstone, Mammoth Terraces, ATM, lounge, general store, dining room, quick-service restaurant, clinic, espresso service, gift shop, a service station and corrals with guided trail rides. Internet service is available for purchase in the lounge and restaurant.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: varies
Seasonal rates; call (866) 439-7375 for information.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Six: Sunday, September 29 - Prepare for another day in Paradise visiting the ...
Prepare for another day in Paradise visiting the Tower and Lamar Valley areas.

Note: Expect hikes up to 3 miles per day with some inclines and rocky trails

Breakfast: Breakfast at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel Dining Room.

Morning: The expedition heads eastward to the Tower area. Your naturalist discusses Yellowstone's "forests of stone." Appreciate Tower Fall and Tower Creek's graceful 132-foot plunge among volcanic pinnacles. This area is known for its black bear habitat. While sightings cannot be guaranteed, you'll want to keep your eyes "peeled" and your binoculars handy.

Lunch: Sack lunches in the park

Afternoon: A fitting final destination to your week of discovery is a visit to Lamar Valley's beautiful, wide-open reaches. Here is rich habitat and its wealth of wildlife. Here are the hoofed, winged, clawed, antlered and horned ones. Here is evidence of an ancient flood that scoured the valley. Here is diverse vegetation of grasses, shrubs, willows, cottonwoods, aspens; here are coniferous timbered ridges, sagebrush covered hills, mixed forest habitat and rich, riparian areas. Stay alert and keep binoculars at the ready. You'll see pronghorn, elk, bison, meadowlarks and sandhill cranes; perhaps beaver, moose and wolf. Expect walks up to 3 miles per field day.

Dinner: Dinner at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel Dining Room.

Evening: Closing and reflections on Yellowstone's life zones and understanding how a landscape's "geologic bones", combined with climate and elevation, result in splendid and diverse vegetation and wildlife..

Lodging: Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel Cabins

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Seven: Monday, September 30 - Farewell breakfast at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel a...
Morning: Airport shuttle departs at 8 a.m.



Free Time Opportunities


Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, WY
Yellowstone AssociationFounded in 1933 to assist with educational, historical and scientific programs that would benefit Yellowstone National Park and its visitors. Operates book sale outlets in park visitor centers which support expanded naturalist training and programs, finances publication of trail guides, books and pamphlets about the Park, helps with funding for museum exhibits and research equipment. The Yellowstone Association Institute sponsors outdoor courses for all age groups, some of which are especially designed for women, families and children. The Institute's purpose is to explore, understand and appreciate Yellowstone.
For additional information, visit: www.yellowstoneassociation.org
Yellowstone National ParkOfficial web site for Yellowstone National Park provides information to the visitor.
For additional information, visit: www.nps.gov/yell
Yellowstone National Park concessionaireFor a closer look at Yellowstone and to find out what's available in the Park-horseback riding, ranger-led activities, wildlife excursions and any other park activities. Xanterra Parks and Resorts is Yellowstone's principal concessioner and includes operations of park's lodging facilities, some campgrounds, restaurants, gift shops, interpretive tours, etc.
For additional information, visit: www.TravelYellowstone.com
Mammoth Hot Springs
Yellowstone AssociationFounded in 1933 to assist with educational, historical and scientific programs that would benefit Yellowstone National Park and its visitors. Operates book sale outlets in park visitor centers which support expanded naturalist training and programs, finances publication of trail guides, books and pamphlets about the Park, helps with funding for museum exhibits and research equipment. The Yellowstone Association Institute sponsors outdoor courses for all age groups, some of which are especially designed for women, families and children. The Institute's purpose is to explore, understand and appreciate Yellowstone.
For additional information, visit: www.yellowstoneassociation.org
Yellowstone National ParkOfficial web site for Yellowstone National Park provides information to the visitor.
For additional information, visit: www.nps.gov/yell
Yellowstone National Park concessionaireFor a closer look at Yellowstone and to find out what's available in the Park-horseback riding, ranger-led activities, wildlife excursions and any other park activities. Xanterra Parks and Resorts is Yellowstone's principal concessioner and includes operations of park's lodging facilities, some campgrounds, restaurants, gift shops, interpretive tours, etc.
For additional information, visit: www.TravelYellowstone.com

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
6 nights of accommodations
16 meals: 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners
2 Expert-led lectures
5 Field trips
3 Hands-on experiences
2 Performances

Ratings

4.9
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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