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YELLOWSTONE, MONTANA

Yellowstone: The Great Caldera

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Road Scholar
Program #13845RJ

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7 Days | 6 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
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.), sturdy, comfortable shoes and fanny or day pack. Bring your walking stick if you use one.

Itinerary for Aug 9 — Aug 15, 2015

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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 Arch was dedicated in 1903 by Theodore Roosevelt. Meals served at local restaurants; sack lunches in the field. Please be aware that the single dietary requirement or preference that can be accommodated 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:
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: 4:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, August 09 - Arrival and Check-In / Program Registration / Wel...
Arrival and Check-In / Program Registration / Welcome Dinner / Orientation

Note: Note: Hotel check-in from 2:00 p.m.; Walk up to 4 blocks to dinner.

Afternoon: Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: From the hotel, we’ll walk to a local restaurant for a plated 3 course meal, water coffee, and tea; other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have.

Indicated times are approximate. Program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Schedules can change on a day-to-day basis due to extraneous circumstances including weather, thermal activity, and wildlife activity. Thank you for your understanding.

This program will be lead by both the Group Leader and an Instructor, who is an expert naturalist and will lead the educational portion of the program. All transportation will be provided via private motor coach unless specified otherwise. Remember to bring your own water bottle. Ice water will be available in coolers on the bus during field trips, from which you may fill your water bottle; disposable cups will not be available. Southwest Montana and Yellowstone National Park are considered high desert, very dry. At high altitudes you are more susceptible to dehydration and altitude sickness. Carrying a water bottle with you and drinking plenty of water is important to avoid these unpleasant and sometimes dangerous problems. Walk up to 2 miles per field day except Day Four walk up to 3 miles.

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 Arch was dedicated in 1903 by Theodore Roosevelt. Meals served at local restaurants; sack lunches in the field. Please be aware that the single dietary requirement or preference that can be accommodated 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:
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: 4:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, August 10 - Lecture on Yellowstone’s Unique Geologic Features...
Lecture on Yellowstone’s Unique Geologic Features / Yellowstone Historic District Field Trip / Natural History Learning Session

Note: Several moderate walks, up to two miles total, on established trails, asphalt paths, boardwalks and stairs at elevations ranging from 5,260' to 9,000'.

Breakfast: In our meeting room located in the church’s basement a short walk from the hotel, enjoy a hot box breakfast with a hot entrée and sides, plus water, coffee, tea.

Morning: We’ll enjoy a presentation led by our expert instructor on the unique nature of Yellowstone National Park. Established in 1872, Yellowstone was the first National Park in the world, created by President Ulysses S. Grant. Known for its geothermal activity and diverse ecosystems, Yellowstone spans almost 3,500 square miles of lakes, valleys, canyons, rivers, and mountain ranges. Home of the highest concentration of wildlife in the lower 48 states, the park is the center of one of the last undisturbed ecosystems in the Earth’s temperate zone.

Lunch: In our meeting room in the church basement, enjoy a buffet including soup, salad, and sandwiches, plus water, coffee, tea; other beverages may be purchased at local stores in town.

Afternoon: We’ll depart via private coach for Fort Yellowstone and the Mammoth Hot Springs Historic District. Walk the Mammoth Terraces to observe her ever changing, graceful travertine beauty; boardwalk, asphalt path and several hundred stair steps (downhill). About two tons of travertine are deposited daily as hot, mineral-laden water wells up from beneath the earth's crust to add to terraces that began building thousands of years ago. Visit the Albright Visitor Center and Museum, built by the U.S. Army during Fort Yellowstone times. The center offers history themed and predator-prey themed exhibits, the Moran and Jackson Galleries, theatre and Yellowstone Association bookstore. The Fort Yellowstone/ Mammoth Hot Springs Historic District "began" in 1872 when Yellowstone National Park was established and immediately came under threat of exploitation by poachers, souvenir hunters and developers. Civilian superintendents suffered from inexperience, lack of funds and manpower. After fourteen years, the U.S. Army was called on for help and the Cavalry was sent in to protect Yellowstone's resources and visitors. The year was 1886. After troops suffered through five harsh winters in a temporary camp and the realization dawned that no end was in sight, a guard house was built in 1891 to support the Cavalry's mission of protection and management. Clapboard buildings were built that same year with more added in 1897. 1909 saw stone buildings built as the fort's capacity grew to 400 men/four troops. The National Park Service was established in 1916 and the Cavalry gave control of Yellowstone back to the civilians; their duty concluded completely in 1918, Fort Yellowstone became the administrative center for the park.

Dinner: We’ll ride to a nearby restaurant, enjoy a plentiful buffet featuring salad, entrées, and dessert, plus water, coffee, and tea; other beverages can be purchased in town and brought into the restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

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 Arch was dedicated in 1903 by Theodore Roosevelt. Meals served at local restaurants; sack lunches in the field. Please be aware that the single dietary requirement or preference that can be accommodated 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:
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: 4:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, August 11 - Field Trip to Yellowstone National Park Heritage ...
Field Trip to Yellowstone National Park Heritage and Research Center / Canyon area

Note: Periods of extended standing at the Yellowstone National Park Heritage and Research Center. Several walks up to two miles total on asphalt paths and stairs.

Breakfast: We’ll walk to a nearby restaurant for a hearty breakfast off of a limited menu plus water, coffee, tea, and juice.

Morning: Enjoy a morning presentation where we will continue to discuss the natural history of Yellowstone.

From the hotel, we’ll visit the Yellowstone National Park Heritage and Research Center for a docent-led exploration. The center houses the Yellowstone Archive, a 5.3 million-item collection, the only national park collection affiliated with the National Archives. The sumptuous gatherings of 130 years of Yellowstone's history are contained under one roof.

Lunch: In the park, enjoy a picnic style box lunch including a sandwich, chips, and fruit.

Afternoon: Appreciate interpreted walks on moderate terrain at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone area. A walk along the river here, depending on time of year, presents the opportunity to see dippers, waterfowl and osprey. Consider the Canyon's geologic story, of ice and fire, glaciers and eruptions. Admire its beautifully tinted canyon walls and experience the roar of 109' Upper Falls and the classically spectacular 308' plunge of waters over Lower Falls. The canyon is 20 miles long, 800' to 1,200' deep and 1,500' to 4,000' wide. Time at the new Canyon Visitor Education Center further reveals Yellowstone's violent geologic past.

Dinner: In the Canyon Cafeteria in Canyon Village, enjoy a buffet featuring salad, entrées, and dessert, plus water, coffee, and tea; other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: Evening return takes advantage of the crepuscular hour for some great wildlife viewing opportunities.

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 Arch was dedicated in 1903 by Theodore Roosevelt. Meals served at local restaurants; sack lunches in the field. Please be aware that the single dietary requirement or preference that can be accommodated 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:
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: 4:00 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, August 12 - Learning Session with Jack Gladstone / Evening En...
Note: Walking illustration with native interpreter, Jack Gladstone, will include moderate walking up to 3 miles.

Breakfast: Walk to a nearby restaurant for a hearty breakfast off of a limited menu plus water, coffee, tea, and juice.

Morning: As we travel by bus, Jack Gladstone, a native interpreter and award winning troubadour from Montana’s Blackfeet Indian Nation, will take us across the cultural bridge revealing the positive influence of the Native perspective as we experience a spiritual, musical and mythological journey in Yellowstone.

Lunch: Box lunches in the Park.

Afternoon: Following the conclusion of field day activities, return to lodgings for some down time before dinner.

Dinner: At a nearby restaurant, we’ll enjoy a plated 3 course meal plus, water, coffee, and tea; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Enjoy a concert in our meeting room where recent winner of the Native American Music Award, Jack Gladstone, will blend an enlightening narrative with his well crafted songs. The concert will include selections from his career, which has spanned three decades.

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 Arch was dedicated in 1903 by Theodore Roosevelt. Meals served at local restaurants; sack lunches in the field. Please be aware that the single dietary requirement or preference that can be accommodated 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:
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: 4:00 PM


Day Five: Thursday, August 13 - All Day Field Trip to Yellowstone’s Thermal Featu...
Note: Getting on/off the motor coach. Several walks, up to two miles total, on established trails, boardwalks, stairs and asphalt paths.

Breakfast: We’ll walk to a nearby restaurant for a hearty breakfast off of a limited menu plus water, coffee, tea, and juice.

Morning: We’ll begin our journey on our motor coach with enlightening commentary and stops throughout, as we set out to explore the Great Caldera’s underground plumbing system beginning with a journey via Gibbon River; its graceful falls cascading over the caldera rim then crystal clear Firehole River which drains geyser basin country. Yellowstone National Park’s 10,000 thermal features – hot springs, mudpots and fumaroles – and over 300 geysers are a reminder of the area’s recent volcanic past, which laid the foundation for the worlds most diverse and intact collection of thermal activity in the world. First stop will be at the Fountain Paint Pot area in Lower Geyser Basin, which, at about 18 square miles, is the largest geyser basin in Yellowstone we’ll enjoy the sounds, smell and sight of Fountain Paint Pot, named for the yellows, browns and reds of the “pots.” Your boardwalk discovery here offers beauty, grand vistas and geysers including Clepsedra and Fountain, hot springs like Silex Spring and Celestine Pool and fumaroles or steam vents such as Sizzler.

Lunch: Box lunches in the Park.

Afternoon: The destination this afternoon is Old Faithful. If time allows, an eye popping investigation will continue at Midway Geyser Basin, nicknamed Hells Half Acre. Arrive at 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. Enjoy the history and parkitecture of the 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. Moderate walking, up to two miles per day on asphalt paths, stairs and boardwalks; some hilly areas. Those choosing not to walk may enjoy the Old Faithful Visitor Center.

Dinner: Enjoy this meal in the heart of Yellowstone at the Old Faithful Cafeteria. Using a voucher, choose from a buffet featuring salad, entrée, sides, and dessert, plus water, coffee, and tea; other food and beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Evening return to Gardiner takes advantage of the crepuscular hour.

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 Arch was dedicated in 1903 by Theodore Roosevelt. Meals served at local restaurants; sack lunches in the field. Please be aware that the single dietary requirement or preference that can be accommodated 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:
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: 4:00 PM


Day Six: Friday, August 14 - Field Trip to Yellowstone's Northern Range
Note: Getting on/off the motor coach; several walks up to two miles total.

Breakfast: We’ll walk to a nearby restaurant for a hearty breakfast off of a limited menu plus water, coffee, tea, and juice.

Morning: Field exploration to Yellowstone's northern range, a wide-open haven for wildlife. Enjoy expanses of open space and expect to see bison, elk, waterfowl, coyotes and more. Consider a magnificent ecosystem and how all its aspects intersect to create a tapestry of life not to be found anywhere else in the nation.

Brunch: Box lunches in the Park

Afternoon: Consider wildlife populations, wolf reintroduction, carrying capacity, predator and prey dynamics and more. Review the optics and ethics of wildlife viewing and bring binoculars to put your skills to work; spotting scopes available.

Dinner: In our meeting room, enjoy a locally catered, plated meal plus water, coffee, and tea.

Evening: Enjoy a final presentation on the natural history of Yellowstone and invaluable review to wrap up our Yellowstone discovery.

Lodging: Yellowstone River Motel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner
Day Seven: Saturday, August 15 - Program Concludes
Note: Note: Hotel check-out by 9:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Pick up grab and go meal in the hotel lobby featuring a hot breakfast burrito, gogurt, and fruit.

Morning: Independent departures or shuttle for the airport will leave after participants pick up their breakfast. This concludes our program.

We hope you enjoy all your Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. We encourage you to join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!

Meals Included: Breakfast


Free Time Opportunities


Gardiner, MT
HikingOne trailhead 1/2 mile from lodgings; another 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
Xanterra Parks and Resorts 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
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 ParkOfficial website for Yellowstone National Park. Information, planning a visit, history, etc.
For additional information, visit: www.nps.gov/yell/home.htm

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, 1 brunch, 4 lunches, 6 dinners
3 Expert-led lectures
9 Field trips
1 Performances

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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