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GARDINER, MONTANA

Yellowstone Safari: A Seasonal Journey Through a Dramatic Landscape

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National Parks

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Road Scholar
Program #1646RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
While all of our learning adventures offer extraordinary value, our "Best Value" programs were rated by our participants themselves who thought their dollar went particularly far.
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
Site elevation 5,260'. Activities take place at elevations ranging from 5,260' to 9,000'.

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.) and fanny or day pack.

Itinerary for May 4 — May 9, 2014

Expand all
Type: Motel

Description: Lodgings are located on Gardiner's main street, Park Street, on Yellowstone's northern boundary. Yellowstone's northwest entrance at Roosevelt Arch is three blocks from motel. The Gardiner entrance was dedicated in 1903 by Theodore Roosevelt.

Contact info:
14 Park Street
Gardiner, MT 59030 USA
phone: 888-797-4837
web: www.yellowstonerivermotel.com

Room amenities: Refrigerator, microwave, in-room coffee, wireless internet, satellite TV, phone, air conditioning

Facility amenities: Quiet, though one block from downtown. Grassy patio overlooks the mighty Yellowstone River. Within walking distance of shopping, ice cream, deli, lattes. Hair dryers, iron, ironing board available upon request.

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

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

Check in time: 4:30 PM


Day One: Sunday, May 04 - Check-In, orientation, welcome dinner and a look ...
Check-In, orientation, welcome dinner and a look at the week ahead. Being here during this less visited time of year adds much to a springtime interlude in Wonderland.

Afternoon: Check-in between 4 and 5 PM.

Dinner: Welcome dinner at local restaurant

Evening: Orientation and introductions

Lodging: Yellowstone River Motel

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Motel

Description: Lodgings are located on Gardiner's main street, Park Street, on Yellowstone's northern boundary. Yellowstone's northwest entrance at Roosevelt Arch is three blocks from motel. The Gardiner entrance was dedicated in 1903 by Theodore Roosevelt.

Contact info:
14 Park Street
Gardiner, MT 59030 USA
phone: 888-797-4837
web: www.yellowstonerivermotel.com

Room amenities: Refrigerator, microwave, in-room coffee, wireless internet, satellite TV, phone, air conditioning

Facility amenities: Quiet, though one block from downtown. Grassy patio overlooks the mighty Yellowstone River. Within walking distance of shopping, ice cream, deli, lattes. Hair dryers, iron, ironing board available upon request.

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

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

Check in time: 4:30 PM


Day Two: Monday, May 05 - The rebirth and renewal of spring in Yellowstone ...
The rebirth and renewal of spring in Yellowstone provides one of the best wildlife viewing opportunities in North America. The adventure begins!

Breakfast: Breakfast at local restaurant

Morning: Welcome to Yellowstone National Park and the week's adventure. Morning presentations provide "An Introduction to Yellowstone's Wildlife." Spring in Yellowstone offers the optimum time of year for wildlife viewing. A variety of wildlife will be seen during this prime time of year; evening field trips offer even more opportunities. The Magic of Yellowstone awaits.

Lunch: Lunch at nearby restaurant

Afternoon: An acclimation walk near lodgings, with interpretation, is an opportunity to hear about the Gardiner area's natural history and to continue to become acclimated to the altitude. Free time to familiarize yourself with Yellowstone's northwest gateway community of Gardiner, Montana, altitude 5,260'.

Dinner: Dinner at nearby restaurant

Evening: Evening presentation: "Optics and Ethics of Wildlife Observation". Discover the correct way to use binoculars and scopes (both provided; however, bring your own binoculars if you have them) or brush up your own skills using tips provided by instructor. Learn how to view wildlife unobtrusively and how to behave in their environment.

Lodging: Yellowstone River Motel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Motel

Description: Lodgings are located on Gardiner's main street, Park Street, on Yellowstone's northern boundary. Yellowstone's northwest entrance at Roosevelt Arch is three blocks from motel. The Gardiner entrance was dedicated in 1903 by Theodore Roosevelt.

Contact info:
14 Park Street
Gardiner, MT 59030 USA
phone: 888-797-4837
web: www.yellowstonerivermotel.com

Room amenities: Refrigerator, microwave, in-room coffee, wireless internet, satellite TV, phone, air conditioning

Facility amenities: Quiet, though one block from downtown. Grassy patio overlooks the mighty Yellowstone River. Within walking distance of shopping, ice cream, deli, lattes. Hair dryers, iron, ironing board available upon request.

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

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

Check in time: 4:30 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, May 06 - Field day in Yellowstone National Park's northern...
Field day in Yellowstone National Park's northern range, a sanctuary of open grassland, mixed forest, snow-capped mountains, sagebrush-dotted hills and the mighty Lamar River; a big country that provides forage and cover for a multitude of wild creatures.

Note: Several walks today, up to two miles total.

Breakfast: Breakfast at nearby restaurant

Morning: "Yellowstone's Wildlife" continues with an in depth look at predator/prey relations; wolves, mountain lions, coyotes. Be aware that each field day will include several walks, up to two miles per day, with interpretation. Be sure to bring binoculars if you have them and make sure the lenses are sparkling clean and ready to go; spotting scopes provided.

Lunch: Lunch at nearby restaurant.

Afternoon: Afternoon/evening field trip into Yellowstone National Park's northern range, the Lamar Valley, for an afternoon and evening of wildlife viewing; see bison, elk, pronghorn, marmots, osprey, waterfowl and some of the most pristine landscape in the nation. The Lamar Valley contains prime wolf habitat; however, wolves may not be present in the area at this time. Wolves are wide ranging animals. Expect one or more moderate walks to explore a variety of habitats.

Dinner: Picnic dinners in Yellowstone

Evening: Field trip continues with a late return to lodgings; remember, evenings offer optimum opportunity for spotting wildlife and gorgeous light for taking photographs.

Lodging: Yellowstone River Motel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Motel

Description: Lodgings are located on Gardiner's main street, Park Street, on Yellowstone's northern boundary. Yellowstone's northwest entrance at Roosevelt Arch is three blocks from motel. The Gardiner entrance was dedicated in 1903 by Theodore Roosevelt.

Contact info:
14 Park Street
Gardiner, MT 59030 USA
phone: 888-797-4837
web: www.yellowstonerivermotel.com

Room amenities: Refrigerator, microwave, in-room coffee, wireless internet, satellite TV, phone, air conditioning

Facility amenities: Quiet, though one block from downtown. Grassy patio overlooks the mighty Yellowstone River. Within walking distance of shopping, ice cream, deli, lattes. Hair dryers, iron, ironing board available upon request.

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

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

Check in time: 4:30 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, May 07 - Field day into the Mammoth and Tower areas. Mammo...
Field day into the Mammoth and Tower areas. Mammoth is the site of Fort Yellowstone, home to the cavalry who protected Yellowstone resources and visitors from 1886 to 1918. Mammoth is now administrative center for the park.

Note: Several walks today; up to two miles total.

Breakfast: Breakfast at nearby restaurant

Morning: Morning presentation, "Geology of Yellowstone", provides an overview of the Great Caldera's violent, geologic past, a great preview for tomorrow's field day which includes the Upper Geyser Basin and Old Faithful. Free time.

Lunch: Lunch at nearby restaurant

Afternoon: Field trip into Yellowstone National Park to explore Albright Visitor Center and walk the beautiful terraces in the historic Mammoth district. Enjoy natural history exhibits, the Jackson and Moran galleries and bookstore at the visitor center, then find out how the graceful tiers of the cascading Mammoth Terraces were formed. Continue eastward to see Tower Fall and osprey nests built on pinnacles high above the mighty Yellowstone River. You'll be in prime bear and big horn sheep habitat; chances are good to see them but remember, they may or may not be visible depending on their activity at this time. See pronghorn, mule deer and a variety of waterfowl; perhaps moose and beaver. You are becoming an expert with the spotting scope now; talk about bringing wildlife up close and personal!

Dinner: Picnic dinners in the Park

Evening: Field trip continues with an evening return to take advantage of prime wildlife viewing time. Walks, wildlife viewing sites, scenic overlooks and picnic areas provide a background serenade of rushing water, sandhill cranes and meadowlarks or a singing, fragrant breeze. Expect one or more moderate walks during this day of exploration.

Lodging: Yellowstone River Motel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Motel

Description: Lodgings are located on Gardiner's main street, Park Street, on Yellowstone's northern boundary. Yellowstone's northwest entrance at Roosevelt Arch is three blocks from motel. The Gardiner entrance was dedicated in 1903 by Theodore Roosevelt.

Contact info:
14 Park Street
Gardiner, MT 59030 USA
phone: 888-797-4837
web: www.yellowstonerivermotel.com

Room amenities: Refrigerator, microwave, in-room coffee, wireless internet, satellite TV, phone, air conditioning

Facility amenities: Quiet, though one block from downtown. Grassy patio overlooks the mighty Yellowstone River. Within walking distance of shopping, ice cream, deli, lattes. Hair dryers, iron, ironing board available upon request.

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

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

Check in time: 4:30 PM


Day Five: Thursday, May 08 - Field day into the heart of Yellowstone to the Ol...
Field day into the heart of Yellowstone to the Old Faithful and Canyon areas. Prepare for hissing steam vents, seething hot springs, glorious geysers, yawning canyon depths, roaring waterfalls, marmots, ravens, chipmunks and more.

Note: Several walks today; up to two miles total.

Breakfast: Breakfast at nearby restaurant

Morning: Full field day into Yellowstone to the Old Faithful area via Gibbon River, Gibbon Falls, Obsidian Cliff and Roaring Mountain. Take a moderate walkabout at Fountain Paint Pots. Explore the Upper Geyser Basin; see Old Faithful and a variety of hot springs, fumaroles, geysers and the Firehole River. Moderate walking to explore the area's astonishing variety of hot springs features.

Lunch: Sack lunches in the Park

Afternoon: On to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone for a look at the Upper and Lower Falls and the canyon's beautifully tinted walls. Enjoy a walk here along the Yellowstone River to appreciate its unique riparian environment and be right there for a heart stopping interlude where the mighty river roars and plunges straight down, 109 feet! Here is geologic splendor and Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone ambiance. This day, as is any day in Yellowstone, is travel and exploration among a wealth of wildlife habitat. A grand landscape, your knowledgeable instructor's interpretation and the delight of numerous wildlife sightings add up to one of the best days ever.

Dinner: Dinner at nearby restaurant

Evening: A free evening is welcome after all the excitement of a day in Yellowstone!

Lodging: Yellowstone River Motel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Friday, May 09 - Bears of Yellowstone; Yellowstone Finale. Group ...
Bears of Yellowstone; Yellowstone Finale. Group closing and group photo; bring your own camera.

Breakfast: Breakfast at nearby restaurant

Morning: Morning presentations, "Bears of Yellowstone" and "Yellowstone Finale" wrap up the grand adventure, tie up loose ends, answer questions and bring the learning adventure to a gratifying conclusion. Closing and group photo; bring your own camera.

Brunch: 11 a.m. grab and go brunch. Airport shuttle departs at 11:30 a.m.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Brunch


Free Time Opportunities


Gardiner, MT
Yellowstone National ParkOfficial web site for Yellowstone National Park.
For additional information, visit: www.nps.gov/yell/home.htm
HikingTwo trailheads in town; each 3/4 mile from lodgings.
Horseback RidingTrailrides provided by Rendezvous Outfitters in Gardiner, MT (406) 848-7967.
RaftingScenic float or whitewater rafting on Yellowstone River.
For additional information, visit: www.yellowstoneraft.com
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 supports 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 Park concessionerFor 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 ...
5 nights of accommodations
15 meals: 5 breakfasts, 1 brunch, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
5 Expert-led lectures
3 Field trips
4 Hands-on experiences

Ratings

4.9
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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