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WEST YELLOWSTONE, MONTANA

Canyons, Geysers, Hot Springs: Yellowstone in Action

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Road Scholar
Program #10010RJ
5 Days | 4 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
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
Lodgings and activities at altitudes ranging from 6,666' to 7800'

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.) and fanny or day pack.

Itinerary for May 19 — May 23, 2013

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Type: Motel

Description: A modern, comfortable motel in Yellowstone National Park's West Gateway Community, the lodge is within walking distance of the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, IMAX Theatre and downtown. Remember, you are experiencing the atmosphere of a small, rural community and meal options are naturally limited. Meals served at local restaurants; sack lunches in the field. Please be aware that the single dietary requirement or preference that can be accommodate at this site is vegetarian - no meat. You may wish to bring supplementary items. Questions? call UM-Western Road Scholar (406) 683-7302.

Contact info:
251 South Electric Street
West Yellowstone, MT 59758 USA
phone: 877-239-9298
web: www.yellowstonelodge.com

Room amenities: Individually controlled heat and air-conditioning, Cable TV, coffee maker, microwave, refrigerator, Wi-Fi, hair dryer, clock radio, telephone with data port and voice mail, iron/ironing board.

Facility amenities: Heated indoor swimming pool and whirlpool spa, coin-operated guest laundry, deluxe complimentary breakfast, free wireless Internet available in lobby/laptop available.

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

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Varies.
Seasonal rates; call for information (877) 239-9298.

Check in time: 4:30 PM


Day One: Sunday, May 19 - Check-In and welcome to Yellowstone; orientation ...
Afternoon: Check-in between 4 and 5 PM.

Dinner: Welcome dinner at nearby restaurant; walk up to 4 blocks.

Evening: Orientation, introductions and an adventure preview.

Lodging: Yellowstone Lodge

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Motel

Description: A modern, comfortable motel in Yellowstone National Park's West Gateway Community, the lodge is within walking distance of the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, IMAX Theatre and downtown. Remember, you are experiencing the atmosphere of a small, rural community and meal options are naturally limited. Meals served at local restaurants; sack lunches in the field. Please be aware that the single dietary requirement or preference that can be accommodate at this site is vegetarian - no meat. You may wish to bring supplementary items. Questions? call UM-Western Road Scholar (406) 683-7302.

Contact info:
251 South Electric Street
West Yellowstone, MT 59758 USA
phone: 877-239-9298
web: www.yellowstonelodge.com

Room amenities: Individually controlled heat and air-conditioning, Cable TV, coffee maker, microwave, refrigerator, Wi-Fi, hair dryer, clock radio, telephone with data port and voice mail, iron/ironing board.

Facility amenities: Heated indoor swimming pool and whirlpool spa, coin-operated guest laundry, deluxe complimentary breakfast, free wireless Internet available in lobby/laptop available.

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

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Varies.
Seasonal rates; call for information (877) 239-9298.

Check in time: 4:30 PM


Day Two: Monday, May 20 - Introduction to Yellowstone's geology and its nat...
Breakfast: Expanded continental breakfast on site.

Morning: Yellowstone's Geology 101 provides an overview of what's happening beneath our feet. Discuss geologic processes that have shaped Yellowstone's landscape through the ages. Consider plate movement, the Yellowstone hotspot, volcanic activity, glaciation. Earth history continues with basics of geyser basin plumbing. Find out what conditions over time have created the four types of thermal features - hot springs, mudpots, geysers and fumaroles. Introduction to life forms that live in hot water and their survival mechanisms.

Lunch: Lunch at nearby restaurant; walk up to 4 blocks.

Afternoon: The land, the place, the people: Geography of the Greater Yellowstone area continues to put things in perspective then an acclimation walk with instructor for introduction of West Yellowstone's early travel history. Find out about "pioneer" tourists who made their way west to Wonderland. What was travel like in the early days? What modes of transportation were used, were hotels available and what about camping? Free time.

Dinner: Dinner at nearby restaurant; walk up to four blocks.

Evening: Evening presentation: Yellowstone's Bears.

Lodging: Yellowstone Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Motel

Description: A modern, comfortable motel in Yellowstone National Park's West Gateway Community, the lodge is within walking distance of the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, IMAX Theatre and downtown. Remember, you are experiencing the atmosphere of a small, rural community and meal options are naturally limited. Meals served at local restaurants; sack lunches in the field. Please be aware that the single dietary requirement or preference that can be accommodate at this site is vegetarian - no meat. You may wish to bring supplementary items. Questions? call UM-Western Road Scholar (406) 683-7302.

Contact info:
251 South Electric Street
West Yellowstone, MT 59758 USA
phone: 877-239-9298
web: www.yellowstonelodge.com

Room amenities: Individually controlled heat and air-conditioning, Cable TV, coffee maker, microwave, refrigerator, Wi-Fi, hair dryer, clock radio, telephone with data port and voice mail, iron/ironing board.

Facility amenities: Heated indoor swimming pool and whirlpool spa, coin-operated guest laundry, deluxe complimentary breakfast, free wireless Internet available in lobby/laptop available.

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

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Varies.
Seasonal rates; call for information (877) 239-9298.

Check in time: 4:30 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, May 21 - Field day in Yellowstone National Park to the Nor...
Field day in Yellowstone National Park to the Norris, Canyon, Hayden and Lake areas. Naturalist provides on board interpretation and leads exploratory walks.

Note: Several moderate walks, up to two miles per field day on trails, stairs and boardwalks.

Breakfast: Breakfast at nearby restaurant; walk up to 4 blocks.

Morning: Morning birdwalk or presentation to preview recent geothermal activity at the Norris and Lake areas. Mid morning departure into Yellowstone National Park with naturalist who provides interpretation on board and during exploratory walks. Travel along the Madison River to Madison Junction; with binoculars at the ready, watch for trumpeter swans, elk, bison, waterfowl and coyote. Continuing north along the Gibbon River brings adventurers to Yellowstone's oldest, hottest and most active thermal area, Norris Geyser Basin, which sits at the intersection of three major fault lines. Evidence shows that thermal features have existed in the basin 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. Continuing east and for a time still following the Gibbon River, adventurers will cross the caldera rim and eventually arrive at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, 20 miles long, 800' to 1,200' deep and 1,500' to 4,000' wide. A walkabout reveals steep canyon walls of striking, muted tints and scenic overlooks to stun the senses. Experience both 109' Upper and 308' Lower Falls. Examine the canyon's geologic story - of glaciers, a volcanic eruption, lava flows and huge ice dams. A visit to the new Canyon Visitor Education Center further reveals Yellowstone's violent geologic past.

Lunch: Sack lunches in the Park

Afternoon: Continue south following the mighty Yellowstone River as it threads among Hayden Valley's vast reaches. Appreciate the wide river, streamside forest, broad open meadows and spacious sagebrush country. Interpretation includes the significance of Hayden Valley's wildlife habitat and a look at its geologic past. It was covered at one time by ice and later an ancient lake whose sediments support the grasses and shrubs used by bison and other wildlife and thus, the predators that shadow them. Exploration continues along the road that flanks the great river to where it flows from Yellowstone Lake near present day Fishing Bridge. Consider Yellowstone Lake's extensive 110-mile shoreline and the lake itself, an alpine lake extending 136 square miles, so large that it often creates its own weather. The lake's western portion lies within the Yellowstone caldera; find out about volcanic activity taking place beneath its surface today. Expect to see waterfowl, shorebirds, pelicans, perhaps moose.

Dinner: Picnic supper in the Park.

Evening: Evening return to lodgings provides optimum wildlife viewing during the crepuscular hour.

Lodging: Yellowstone Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Motel

Description: A modern, comfortable motel in Yellowstone National Park's West Gateway Community, the lodge is within walking distance of the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, IMAX Theatre and downtown. Remember, you are experiencing the atmosphere of a small, rural community and meal options are naturally limited. Meals served at local restaurants; sack lunches in the field. Please be aware that the single dietary requirement or preference that can be accommodate at this site is vegetarian - no meat. You may wish to bring supplementary items. Questions? call UM-Western Road Scholar (406) 683-7302.

Contact info:
251 South Electric Street
West Yellowstone, MT 59758 USA
phone: 877-239-9298
web: www.yellowstonelodge.com

Room amenities: Individually controlled heat and air-conditioning, Cable TV, coffee maker, microwave, refrigerator, Wi-Fi, hair dryer, clock radio, telephone with data port and voice mail, iron/ironing board.

Facility amenities: Heated indoor swimming pool and whirlpool spa, coin-operated guest laundry, deluxe complimentary breakfast, free wireless Internet available in lobby/laptop available.

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

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Varies.
Seasonal rates; call for information (877) 239-9298.

Check in time: 4:30 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, May 22 - A field day among geyser basins, Fountain Paint P...
A field day among geyser basins, Fountain Paint Pot, Midway and Old Faithful, introduces a portion of Yellowstone's approximately 10,000 hydrothermal features. Prepare for steaming, roaring, bubbling, sulfur-scented adventure!

Note: Several moderate walks, up to two miles per field day, on trails, stairs and boardwalks.

Breakfast: Breakfast at nearby restaurant; walk four blocks.

Morning: Journey to Madison Junction, then south following beautiful Firehole River into Yellowstone's geyser country. The Firehole, a blue ribbon flyfishing stream, drains Lower, Midway and Upper Geyser Basins including Old Faithful. Sometimes fish in the river are killed as water from geysers and hot springs raise the temperature. At the same time, more food is produced for fish in the river since chemicals being released from volcanic rocks add nutrients that foster plant growth. Naturalist-led walk at Fountain Paint Pot, named for the yellows, browns and reds of the "pots." Mud pots are located above the water table, or at the highest points, in hydrothermal basins. The boardwalk offers more excitement, beauty, grand vistas and geysers including Clepsedra and Fountain. Discuss the cataclysmic volcanic eruptions that laid the foundation for the world's largest concentration of hot springs, mud pots and fumaroles here in Yellowstone. Bring binoculars for scenic and wildlife viewing; scopes available. Become acquainted with microbes and algae that flourish at temperatures exceeding 170 degrees Fahrenheit. These organisms are primitive life forms that are almost 4 billion years old; some are invisible to the human eye and others have thick mats that add brilliant colors –green, orange, yellow – to some hot springs. Find out about Thermus aquaticus and bioprospecting. Other elements that add color to some of the features include iron oxide and sulfur. Time may allow for an ‘eye popping’ investigation at Midway Geyser Basin, named “Hell’s Half Acre” by Rudyard Kipling who visited Yellowstone in 1889. Grand Prismatic Spring, at 111 feet deep, is Yellowstone’s deepest hot spring and, at 200 feet wide, the largest in North America. Located nearby is the dormant Excelsior Geyser, now considered a productive hot spring which discharges 4050 gallons of boiling water per minute into the Firehole River.

Lunch: Sack lunches in the Park

Afternoon: On to Old Faithful and the Upper Geyser Basin. The hot water beneath the surface here is over 400 degrees F; it cools to around 200 degrees F as it surges from the geysers. Old Faithful's eruption discharges about 8,500 gallons of hot water as it erupts to heights between 100 and 180 feet every 80 minutes or so. Enjoy Old Faithful then walk a portion of Geyser Hill's meandering boardwalk to view geysers and hot springs including Giantess, Lioness and Grotto. It is claimed that Geyser Hill contains one of the world's greatest concentrations of geysers. Visit legendary Old Faithful Inn, designed by Robert Reamer and built of local stone and logs during the winter of 1903-04. This treasure is now a National Historic Landmark and one of the few remaining log hotels in the country.

Dinner: Dinner at nearby restaurant; walk up to four blocks.

Evening: Yellowstone wrap up with Q & A. Closing, goodbyes and group photo.

Lodging: Yellowstone Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Five: Thursday, May 23 - Continental breakfast and departure.
Breakfast: Expanded continental breakfast (6:30-9 a.m.) on site.

Morning: Independent departures. Airport shuttle departs at 8 am.

Meals Included: Breakfast


Free Time Opportunities


West Yellowstone, MT
Yellowstone National ParkOfficial web site for Yellowstone National Park.
For additional information, visit: www.nps.gov/yell/
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 chldren. The Institute's purpose is to explore, understand and appreciate Yellowstone.
For additional information, visit: www.yellowstoneassociation.org
West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerceprovides local, area, Yellowstone National Park and statewide travel information
For additional information, visit: www.westyellowstonechamber.com
Free Heel and WheelBike and ski rentals available
For additional information, visit: www.freeheelandwheel.com/
Rendezvous Ski TrailsRendezvous Ski Trails consist of over 35 kilometers of gently rolling, beautifully groomed trails that wind through tall stands of lodgepole pine and open meadows on US Forest Service ground. West Yellowstone winters offer reliable snow for a rewarding Nordic skier's experience. For the summer visitor, the trails offer a great place to walk, hike, run or mountain bike. Be aware that you may encounter wildlife such as bear, moose or elk so stay alert and be prepared.
For additional information, visit: www.rendezvousskitrails.com
Grizzly and Wolf Discovery CenterThe Center’s primary mission is to provide the opportunity for Yellowstone visitors to appreciate these creatures who have been removed from the wild due to their dangerous behavior. Finding out about their natural history and why they are in the Center teaches an important lesson of how man needs to shoulder the responsibility of helping bears stay wild. Seeing and learning about wolves helps show how important wolves are in the Yellowstone ecosystem.
For additional information, visit: www.grizzlydiscoveryctr.com/
Yellowstone Historic CenterOrganized as a nonprofit organization to protect, preserve, and display the rich travel history of Yellowstone National Park.
For additional information, visit: Web Link: www.yellowstonehistoriccenter.org/home.php

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.
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Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
4 nights of accommodations
11 meals: 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners
4 Expert-led lectures
3 Field trips
3 Hands-on experiences

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