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BEGINS IN: YELLOWSTONE, WYOMING

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

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National Parks

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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
Lodgings at 6,666'; program activities to 8,000'.

Equipment Requirements
Bring binoculars, durable water bottle, fanny or day pack, comfortable, sturdy walking shoes or boots and a walking stick if you use one.

Itinerary for May 11 — May 17, 2014

Expand all
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 11 - 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 Yellowstone Lodge Lobby

Dinner: Catered dinner served in Yellowstone Lodge Conference Room

Evening: Welcome, Introductions and Orientation in Yellowstone Lodge Conference Room

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 12 - 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: Complimentary expanded continental breakfast at Yellowstone Lodge

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 hot spot and how the Park's unique ecosystem and diverse habitats are a direct result of glaciations, tectonic and volcanic activity.

Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant. Walk 3-5 blocks

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. Exploration will begin as motorcoach transports group to the Madison River Canyon Earthquake area where on August 17, 1959 an earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale caused a 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.

Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant.

Evening: Evening presentation addresses the effects of fire on the ecosystem and includes discussion of Yellowstone's fires of 1988.

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 13 - Prepare for adventure at the Norris Geyser Basin ...
Prepare for adventure at the Norris Geyser Basin and Mammoth Hot Springs

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

Breakfast: Breakfast at local restaurant.

Morning: Travel to Norris Geyser Basin to venture on 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 to Mammoth Hot Springs.

Afternoon: The exploration will continue with walks 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: Picnic dinner in the park.

Evening: Journey back to West Yellowstone during crepuscular hour and keep watch for wildlife!

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 14 - 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: Complimentary expanded continental breakfast at Yellowstone Lodge

Morning: Early departure to Old Faithful for 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! Expect walks up to 3 miles per field day.

Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant

Evening: Free evening

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 Five: Thursday, May 15 - Prepare for wonder! Travel over the top half of t...
Prepare for wonder! Travel over the top half of the lower loop of Yellowstone to see the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

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

Breakfast: Breakfast at local restaurant.

Morning: The expedition continues as you travel 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 an early explorer wrote, "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 continue with breathtaking vistas of a big country heading up Dunraven Pass, continuing through a magnificent landscape to Mt. Washburn and back to West Yellowstone.

Dinner: Dinner local restaurant

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: 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 Six: Friday, May 16 - 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: Complimentary expanded continental breakfast at Yellowstone Lodge

Morning: Exloration will head to the north half of the upper loop of Yellowstone 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 local restaurant.

Evening: Closing, Reflections and Goodbyes.

Lodging: Yellowstone Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Seven: Saturday, May 17 - Farewell!
Breakfast: 6-9 a.m. complimentary expanded continental breakfast at Yellowstone Lodge

Morning: Airport shuttle departs at 8 a.m.



Free Time Opportunities


West Yellowstone, MT
Yellowstone Historic CenterOrganized as a nonprofit organization to protect, preserve, and display the rich travel history of Yellowstone National Park.
For additional information, visit: www.yellowstonehistoriccenter.org/home.php
Grizzly and Wolf Discovery CenterThe Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center is a "not-for-profit, AZA Accredited facility dedicated to providing visitors to the Yellowstone area an opportunity to learn about, view and ultimately appreciate the grizzly bear and gray wolf".
For additional information, visit: www.grizzlydiscoveryctr.com/
Playmill TheatreProviding live theatre in West Yellowstone since 1964.
For additional information, visit: www.playmill.com/
Yellowstone National ParkPlease see the official web site for Yellowstone National Park.
For additional information, visit: www.nps.gov/yell/home.htm
West Yellowstone Visitor CenterProvides local, area, Yellowstone National Park and statewide travel information. Includes national park service desk and presentations.
For additional information, visit: destinationyellowstone.com
Free Heel and WheelBike and ski rentals available www.freeheelandwheel.com/
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

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
3 Expert-led lectures
5 Field trips
3 Hands-on experiences

Ratings

5
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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