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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 8,000'.

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 Aug 28 — Sep 3, 2014

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Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Located near Mammoth Terraces, Fort Yellowstone & Albright Visitor Center. Meals served at Park dining rooms or restaurants; sack lunches in the field. Please be aware that not all single dietary requirements or preferences can be accommodated at this site. You may wish to bring supplementary items. Questions? Call University of Montana Western Road Scholar (406) 683-7302.

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

Room amenities: Warm, comfortable rooms with telephone and historic ambiance; here is where early day tourists began their "Grand Loop Tour". Watch for elk who call the Mammoth area home.

Facility amenities: Located at Mammoth Hot Springs in 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 seasonal 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.

Bathroom: either bath or shower.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies
Seasonal rates; call for information.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day One: Thursday, August 28 - Welcome!
Note: Please note you will be hiking in high elevations on uneven and rocky terrain. Your hiking experience will be more fulfilling if you do some training ahead of time.

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

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Located near Mammoth Terraces, Fort Yellowstone & Albright Visitor Center. Meals served at Park dining rooms or restaurants; sack lunches in the field. Please be aware that not all single dietary requirements or preferences can be accommodated at this site. You may wish to bring supplementary items. Questions? Call University of Montana Western Road Scholar (406) 683-7302.

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

Room amenities: Warm, comfortable rooms with telephone and historic ambiance; here is where early day tourists began their "Grand Loop Tour". Watch for elk who call the Mammoth area home.

Facility amenities: Located at Mammoth Hot Springs in 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 seasonal 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.

Bathroom: either bath or shower.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies
Seasonal rates; call for information.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Two: Friday, August 29 - 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 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. 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

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Old Faithful Inn is a massive log hotel within viewing distance of Old Faithful Geyser. Centered around the 500 ton fireplace, the magnificent lobby sports raw pine ceilings 76 1/2 feet high. The Inn, a masterpiece of rustic architecture, is one of the few remaining log hotels in the U.S. Meals served at Park dining rooms or restaurants; sack lunches in the field. Please be aware that not all dietary requirements or preferences can be accommodated at this site. You may wish to bring supplementary items. Questions? Call University of Montana Western Road Scholar (406) 683-7302.

Contact info:
1 Grand Loop Rd.
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190 USA
phone: 307-545-4600
web: www.TravelYellowstone.com

Room amenities: As a national historic landmark, Old Faithful Inn offers warm and comfortable rooms that reflect a delightful ambiance. This site is the most requested lodging facility in the Park.

Facility amenities: coffee in lobby; porter service available

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

Elevator: Yes


Day Three: Saturday, August 30 - Prepare for adventure at Norris Geyser Basin then...
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: 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.

Lunch: Enjoy sack lunches in route

Afternoon: Afternoon travel will will take you through the beautiful canyon where the Firehole River flows then on to Biscuit Basin, which is named for the unusual biscuit-like deposits that used to surround Sapphire Pool. Following the 1959 Hebgen Lake Earthquake, Sapphire erupted, and the "biscuits" were blown away; it last erupted in 1991. Sapphire remains one of the most beautiful blue pools in the park. Mustard Spring provides a bright color contrast, and Jewel Geyser adds excitement as it erupts every 7-10 minutes. Adventurers will continue on into the heart of Yellowstone National Park to the Old Faithful area to check in at Old Faithful. Nearby is Old Faithful Geyser, Geyser Hill and Firehole River, all of which can be explored and enjoyed by utilizing walking paths and boardwalks.

Dinner: Dinner at Old Faithful Dining Room.

Evening: Free evening or optional geyser walk.

Lodging: Old Faithful Inn

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The Lake Yellowstone Hotel is the park's oldest and most elegant accommodations. Known as the "Grand Lady of the Lake" with its gables and Ionic columns, the hotel overlooks Yellowstone Lake. The spacious, glassed-in Great Room offers grand views of beautiful Yellowstone Lake and pristine mountain ranges. Completed in 1891, the hotel was renovated in 1990 to reflect the grandeur of the 1920s.

Contact info:
Grand Loop Road
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190 USA
phone: 307-344-2107
web: www.TravelYellowstone.com

Room amenities: Rooms are located in the main hotel building or annex and have been restored to reflect the grandeur of the 1920’s. All rooms have private bathroom and telephone.

Facility amenities: Dining room, deli, safe deposit. Please note that all park accommodations are non smoking and reflecting the natural surroundings of Yellowstone; televisions, radios, air-conditioning and Internet hook-ups are not available.

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

Elevator: Yes


Day Four: Sunday, August 31 - 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 check out 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! Check in at Lake Lodge Cabins then begin to enjoy the grounds of the beautiful Lake area. Expect walks up to 3 miles per field day.

Dinner: Dinner at Lake Hotel Dining Room.

Evening: Here's an opportunity to enjoy Lake Lodge lobby and fireplaces, shopping, walking or Lake Hotel's spacious, glassed-in Sun Room where one may enjoy the grand view of beautiful Yellowstone Lake, music and conversation.

Lodging: Lake Yellowstone Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Located near Mammoth Terraces, Fort Yellowstone & Albright Visitor Center. Meals served at Park dining rooms or restaurants; sack lunches in the field. Please be aware that not all single dietary requirements or preferences can be accommodated at this site. You may wish to bring supplementary items. Questions? Call University of Montana Western Road Scholar (406) 683-7302.

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

Room amenities: Warm, comfortable rooms with telephone and historic ambiance; here is where early day tourists began their "Grand Loop Tour". Watch for elk who call the Mammoth area home.

Facility amenities: Located at Mammoth Hot Springs in 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 seasonal 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.

Bathroom: either bath or shower.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies
Seasonal rates; call for information.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Five: Monday, September 01 - 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: Lake Lodge Cabins 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 Dunraven Pass on the way back to Mammoth. Check into Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel Cabins.

Dinner: Dinner at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel Dining Room

Evening: Optional Xanterra Parks & Resorts presentation/performance.

Lodging: Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Located near Mammoth Terraces, Fort Yellowstone & Albright Visitor Center. Meals served at Park dining rooms or restaurants; sack lunches in the field. Please be aware that not all single dietary requirements or preferences can be accommodated at this site. You may wish to bring supplementary items. Questions? Call University of Montana Western Road Scholar (406) 683-7302.

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

Room amenities: Warm, comfortable rooms with telephone and historic ambiance; here is where early day tourists began their "Grand Loop Tour". Watch for elk who call the Mammoth area home.

Facility amenities: Located at Mammoth Hot Springs in 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 seasonal 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.

Bathroom: either bath or shower.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies
Seasonal rates; call for information.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Six: Tuesday, September 02 - Prepare for another day in Paradise visiting the ...
Prepare for another day in Paradise visiting the Tower area and Lamar Valley.

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

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Seven: Wednesday, September 03 - Farewell breakfast at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel a...
Breakfast: 6:30-10:30 a.m. breakfast buffet at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel Dining Room

Morning: Airport shuttle departs at 8 a.m.

Meals Included: Breakfast


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

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
17 meals: 6 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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