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Trailside Glacier: Hiking in Glacier National Park

Program Number: 4863RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/29/2013 - 8/4/2013; 8/11/2014 - 8/17/2014; 8/18/2014 - 8/24/2014; 8/25/2014 - 8/31/2014;
Duration: 6 nights
Location: Whitefish, Montana
Price starting at: $1,749.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Walking/Hiking; National Parks; Outdoor Adventures, Misc. Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 17; 6 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 6 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Glacier National Park is a hiker's paradise, with over 1 million acres of unspoiled wilderness. Take the opportunity to immerse yourself in the silent grandeur of the mountains as you hike a variety of spectacular trails that provide access to soaring peaks, verdant forests, mountain meadows and turquoise lakes. Plunge into the wilderness and discover a wealth of natural beauty around every turn of the trail.




Highlights

• Enjoy expert-led hikes and learn about the geological forces that carved this magnificent park and the abundance of plant and wildlife that call it home.
• Stay at the fabled and historic Many Glacier Hotel nestled on the shore of Swiftcurrent Lake.
• Travel the iconic Going-to-the-Sun Road and touch the Continental Divide, where waters flow both toward the Pacific and the Atlantic.



Activity Particulars

Hikes with 500-2,000-foot elevation gains. Physically demanding terrain. Elevations of 4,700-7,000 feet.



This program will be split into small groups of 10 for daily field trips and hikes.




Date Specific Information

7-29-2013

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



8-11-2014, 8-25-2014

This date has an arrival and departure from the town of Whitefish, MT.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



8-18-2014

This program will stay at the West Motel near St. Mary`s instead of the historic Many Glacier Hotel. This date has an arrival and departure from the town of Whitefish, MT.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Kalispell, Montana, 2 nights; coach to Many Glacier Hotel, 3 nights; coach to Kalispell, 1 night; departure.



Coordinated by Black Hills Educational Institute.




Whitefish

This community in the Flathead Valley offers breathtaking scenery, as well as small-town ambiance. Near the wonders and wildlife of Glacier National Park only 25 miles away, Whitefish is a vibrant wilderness gateway.



Glacier National Park

This million-acre wilderness includes towering summits, mirror-like lakes, and hundreds of bird and mammal species, as well as the spectacular Going-to-the-Sun Road, a 52-mile narrow and winding journey through the heart of the park over the Continental Divide.



Accommodations
Whitefish: beautiful lodge in a mountainous setting. Many Glacier: Rustic, historic lodge, 1-3 flights of stairs.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Ellen Horowitz

Ellen Horowitz has conducted field classes and natural history explorations for 35 years, but she’s been peering through hand lenses and binoculars her entire life. She received formal training in bugs, flowers, forests, feathers and fur from Earlham College, the University of New Hampshire and Oregon State University. Ellen currently teaches field botany, Rocky Mountain flora, and practical botany at Flathead Valley Community College. She also offers natural history courses and excursions through the college’s continuing education department and the Glacier Institute. Her work as a naturalist and writer has been recognized with several honors, including Montana Audubon’s Outstanding Educator of the Year, and awards from the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Ellen and her husband live on a farm in rural Columbia Falls with their Australian cattle dog and six mules, and are restoring their century-old log homestead house.
 
Dave Streeter

After undergraduate studies in economics and graduate work in management, Dave spent seven years with Johnson & Johnson Worldwide designing computer systems and helping pioneer the field of computer auditing while traveling the world for the company. However, after a flat tire in Great Falls, his travels became foot powered to the backcountry and mountains of Montana — Nordic skiing led to 30 years of teaching at Flathead Valley Community College. In the Montana wilds, Dave has cultivated general naturalist skills, and favors giving trailside lectures to better empathize the flora and fauna that cling to this vertical world. Dave also performs with the Grin & Bear It String Clan and Tropical Montana Marimba Ensemble. In 1988, he started his own educational excursion company and became the first ski guide to ever operate in Glacier Park. With over 25 years of instructing for Road Scholar, Dave has been featured as an instructor and hike leader in a CNN report.
 
Becky Lomax

Becky Lomax first saw Glacier National Park when she was three years old during a trip with her family. During college, she returned to work for two summers at Glacier Park Lodge, and later, led hiking and backpacking trips for more than a decade. She is author the Glacier National Park Moon Guidebook Series, which is now in its fourth edition. Currently working as a writer and photographer, Becky has published articles and images on Glacier’s wildlife, trails, history, lodges, melting icefields, and ecology in magazines such as Smithsonian, Montana Magazine, and Montana Outdoors.
 
Leif Castren

Leif Castren is a Flathead Valley Native, a 2010 graduate of Flathead High School in Kalispell, and a current student at Middlebury College in Vermont where he is majoring in biology as well as studying a variety of other subjects including geology, ecology, anthropology, and environmental policy. Leif spent the past year studying as a part of an academic exchange program in Valdivia, Chile, learning about the dynamics of Chilean forest ecosystems and contributing to investigations of plant community regeneration in the areas affected by recent eruptions of several active volcanoes. Leif inherited his love for Glacier National Park from his grandfather who worked as a naturalist, and from his parents who met in the park and worked together for many years. His family has always encouraged a fascination with natural history, and as a result, Leif spends much of his free time exploring the park, trail-running and studying the flora and fauna of his beautiful backyard.
 
Vicki Forristal

Vicki Forristal is a wildlife biologist and outdoorswomen. In the last 11 years, she has participated in wildlife studies across the country working with species that range from bugs to birds to bears. She received a B.A. in biology and psychology from St. Olaf College and a graduate degree in ecology at Montana State University where she focused on wildlife disease. Vicki has been working with Road Scholar in Glacier since 2011. She spends her free time outdoors hiking, skiing, running and camping.
 
Denny Olson

As the star of the TV show “Critterman’s World,” which appeared on the NBC Montana Today Show for more than four years, Denny Olson has entertained and educated people of all ages in the wonders of nature. His humorous alter-egos — including The Grizz, Dr. Loonacy and Antler Antics, among others — have appeared as he has given presentations across the country to more than 2 million people. Denny has trained thousands of naturalists, teachers and students in acting techniques, lectured on Native American storytelling as a teaching tool, and conducted graduate-level storytelling workshops nation-wide. His critically acclaimed books include, “Way of the Whitetail,” as well as the children’s book, “Special Gifts.” Formally trained as a biologist and geologist, Denny has an M.S. from the University of Minnesota. For the last few years, Denny has applied these skills to his love for Glacier National Park, leading interpretive hikes and doing park presentations.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Kandahar Lodge
  Whitefish, Montana 2 nights
   Many Glacier Hotel
  Many Glacier 3 nights
   Kandahar Lodge
  Whitefish, Montana 1 night
 Kandahar Lodge
Type: Hotel
  Description: Experience a beautiful, intimate lodge in a mountainous setting, during its quiet off season, with walking and hiking right outside your door. Relax in the living room-like lobby to chat with new friends. Enjoy a cold beer, glass of wine or a mixed drink from the Snug Bar, almost like a bar in your home, to relax and recount stories of the days activities. The Lodge itself is an architectural joy and the front entry is always beautifully landscaped with pretty, cheery flowers. Kandahar is simply a marvelous, relaxing atmosphere from where to begin this program.
  Contact info: 3824 Big Mountain Rd.
Whitefish, MT 59937 USA
phone: 406-862-6098
web: www.kandaharlodge.com
  Room amenities: All rooms have hair dryers, irons and ironing boards, telephone, televisions, mini fridges, microwaves, free wireless internet service and in room coffee.
  Facility amenities: The home like lobby of the Lodge features comfortable chairs and sofas for relaxing as well as a small bar for refreshments. There is a spa on site as well an exercise room and an outdoor hot tub. There is limited food service outside the food provided for the program.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: call for information While the Lodge is a beautiful place it is several miles out of the town of Whitefish. Unless you're driving your own car to the program, plan to spend any pre / post time in quiet solitude. The airport shuttle will still provide service to and from the airport or train station.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: call for information While the Lodge is a beautiful place it is several miles out of the town of Whitefish. Unless you're driving your own car to the program, plan to spend any pre / post time in quiet solitude. The airport shuttle will still provide service to and from the airport or train station.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

 Many Glacier Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: Many Glacier Hotel is on of Glacier's most popular lodges due to its stunning setting, positioned on the shore of Swiftcurrent Lake. The 1945 lodge centers around its massive four-storied lobby with a large fireplace.
  Contact info: Hwy 8, Swiftcurrent Lake
Glacier National Park, MT 59434 USA
phone: 406-732-4411
web: www.glacierparkinc.com
  Room amenities: Rooms have land-line phones. There are no T.V.s, air-conditioning, or Internet service available. Bathrooms are quaint with skinny shower stalls.
  Facility amenities: There is no elevator, cell phone service or laundry service available.
  Smoking allowed: No


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check-in will be at the Kandahar Lodge located on Big Mountain and the Whitefish Mountain Resort. Check-in is anytime after 4 PM. Orientation at 5 PM in the Kandahar Meeting Room. You will be staying at Kandahar Lodge that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast. Hotel check-out at 11 AM. You will be staying at Kandahar Lodge the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Completed Health/Travel/Emergency Form.
  Parking availability:
Plenty of free parking available.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Whitefish, Montana
  Nearest city or town:  Kalispell
  Nearest highway: HWY. 93
  Nearest airport:  Glacier Park International Airport (FCA)
  From End of Program
  Location: Whitefish, Montana
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Whitefish, MT

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Iron Eagle Transportation
phone: 406-890-2099
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$35 for the 1st person, $2 for each additional person - prices subject to change.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

30 minutes 

   

To ensure availability of transportation upon arrival, contact Taxi service 1 week prior to program start. Return service can be scheduled upon arrival with the driver.

 

Whitefish, MT

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Flathead-Glacier Transportation Company
phone: 406-892-3390
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$40 for the first person and $3 for any additional
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

30 minutes 

   

To ensure availability of transportation upon arrival, contact Shuttle service 1 week prior to program start. Return service can be scheduled upon arrival with the driver.

 

Whitefish, MT

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Iron Eagle Transportation
phone: 406-890-2099
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$18 for the first person, $2 for each additional person - prices subject to change.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Distance:

 

15 minutes

   

To ensure availability of transportation upon arrival, contact Taxi service 1 week prior to program start. Return service can be scheduled upon arrival with the driver.

 

Whitefish, MT

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Flathead-Glacier Transportation Company
phone: 406-892-3390
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$40 for the first person and $3 for any additional
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

15 minutes 

   

To ensure availability of transportation upon arrival, contact Shuttle service 1 week prior to program start. Return service can be scheduled upon arrival with the driver.

 
Driving Directions
  From the south (Kalispell) Directions – From Glacier International Airport 1.Start out going NORTH/LEFT on US-2. 4.6 mi 2.Turn LEFT onto MT-40. 4.5 mi 3.Turn RIGHT onto US-93. Continue to follow US-93. 2.2 mi 4.Turn LEFT onto 2ND ST E/US-93. 0.1 mi 5.Turn RIGHT onto BAKER AVE/MT-487. Continue to follow MT-487. 2.5 mi 6.Turn RIGHT onto BIG MOUNTAIN RD. 5.1 mi Kandahar is on your left before the stop sign. Directions – From Amtrak 1.Start out going NORTH on DEPOT ST toward CENTRAL AVE. 2.Turn LEFT onto CENTRAL AVE. 0.1 mi 3.Turn RIGHT onto RAILWAY ST. 0.1 mi 4.Turn RIGHT onto BAKER AVE/MT-487. Continue to follow MT-487. 2.4 mi 5.Turn RIGHT onto BIG MOUNTAIN RD. 5.1 mi Kandahar Lodge is on your left before the stop sign.
Elevation Note: Hotel elevations are 4,500' and 4,900'. The highest you'll be is 7,000', with 500' to 2400' gains.

Equipment Requirements: Warm waterproof clothing, sturdy hiking boots, a day pack, collapsible walking stick, hat, binoculars and a leak proof water bottle are highly recommended.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Independent Arrivals and Orientation
(Monday, July 29)
   
 Afternoon: Check-in anytime after 4PM. Orientation to begin at 5PM.
 Dinner: Dinner at Kandahar Lodge after Orientation.
 Evening: Free time to get settled in.
   
Accommodations: Kandahar Lodge
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Interpretive Hike Along a Section of the Danny On Trail, a Gondola Ride to the Summit of Big Mountain and Expert-led Lectures.
(Tuesday, July 30)
   
 Breakfast: Catered breakfast in Kandahar Meeting Room
 Morning: Enjoy an interpretive hike on a portion of the Danny On Trail and learn about the local flora and fauna. Next we'll ride aboard the "Glacier Chaser" gondola and chairlift—also known as Big Mountain Express—for a 15-minute scenic ride to the 7000-foot summit with panoramic views of Glacier National Park and surrounding area.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Summit Restaurant
 Afternoon: Introduction to Glacier National Park presentation.
 Dinner: Dinner at Base Lodge via short shuttle provided.
 Evening: This evening we'll be treated to a presentation on the fascinating geology of the Crown of the Continent.
   
Accommodations: Kandahar Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Travel to Many Glacier Hotel via the Historic Going-to-the-Sun Road
(Wednesday, July 31)
   
 Breakfast: Catered breakfast in Kandahar Meeting Room
 Morning: This morning after checking-out of Kandahar Lodge, we'll depart for Many Glacier Hotel by way of the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road. We'll include some scenic hikes along the way. (subject to weather and road conditions)
 Lunch: Sack lunch in the field
 Afternoon: Continuation of all day field trip to Many Glacier with hikes led by expert field instructors.
 Dinner: Dinner at Many Glacier
 Evening: Optional evening wildlife viewing. Bring your binoculars as we "glass" the nearby slopes looking for grizzlies, moose, and bighorn sheep.
   
Accommodations: Many Glacier Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Scenic Interpretive Hikes around Many Glacier
(Thursday, August 1)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at Many Glacier
 Morning: Hike one of the beautiful Josephine Lake area trails. Trail options of 5.4-12.0 miles round-trip with elevation gains of 150'-1600'. The strenuous possibility includes overlook of Grinnell Glacier, the closest you can get to a glacier in the park.
 Lunch: Sack lunch in the field
 Afternoon: Continuation of interpretive hikes or free time.
 Dinner: Dinner at Many Glacier
 Evening: Optional evening wildlife viewing. Bring your binoculars as we "glass" the nearby slopes looking for grizzlies, moose, and bighorn sheep.
   
Accommodations: Many Glacier Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Scenic Interpretive Hikes in the Swiftcurrent Valley
(Friday, August 2)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at Many Glacier
 Morning: All day hike on one of the Swiftcurrent Valley trails. Keep your eyes open for waterfalls and wildlife. Trail options of 3.6-9.8 miles round-trip with elevation gains of 150'-1200'.
 Lunch: Sack lunch in the field
 Afternoon: Continuation of interpretive hike.
 Dinner: Dinner at Many Glacier
 Evening: Optional evening wildlife viewing. Bring your binoculars as we "glass" the nearby slopes looking for grizzlies, moose, and bighorn sheep.
   
Accommodations: Many Glacier Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Return Trip to Kandahar Lodge on Big Mountain and an Interpretive Hike at Logan Pass
(Saturday, August 3)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at Many Glacier
 Morning: Travel the Going-to-the-Sun Road with an interpretive hike at Logan Pass.
 Lunch: Sack lunch in the field
 Afternoon: Continuation of travel and hikes. Return to Kandahar Lodge on Big Mountain.
 Dinner: Final banquet in the Kandahar Meeting Room.
 Evening: Closing and conclusion of program.
   
Accommodations: Kandahar Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Independant Departures
(Sunday, August 4)
   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast in the Kandahar Lodge Lobby.
 Morning: Hotel check-out by 11 AM.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Glacier - A Natural History Guide


Author: David Rockwell


Description: A jewel in the national park system, Glacier National Park encompasses one of the richest and diverse natural regions in North America. The vast watersheds of the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and Hudson Bay converge here, creating a dramatic landscape filled with plants and animals unique to those three basins. Author and naturalist David Rockwell presents in-depth descriptions of the geology, history, flora, and fauna of the park. He explains the park's evolution from the erosion of Siberian mountains more than a billion years ago to the glaciers that gave Glacier National Park its distinctive landscape. He examines the park's great predators-grizzly bears, mountain lions, and wolves-and their complex relationship with their prey. The result is a fascinating and intimate portrait of one of the world's last wild places.



Going-to-the-Sun Road: Glacier National Park's Highway to the Sky


Author: C.W. Guthrie


Description: Traveling Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road is an experience like no other. Laborers toiled for nearly 20 years to complete the 50-mile road that winds an impossible route through the heart of Glacier. One of the most scenic highways in the world, this marvel of engineering set the standard for all national parks. C. W. Guthrie tells the intriguing tale of the history and the construction of the epic Going-to-the-Sun Road. Includes more than 60 black-and-white historic and color photographs, maps.



Geology Along Going-to-the-Sun Road


Author: Raup, Earhart, Whipple, and Carrara


Description: With this colorful and lively guide, Glacier National Park visitors can tour the fascinating geologic events that created the park's majestic scenery. Complete with an easy-to-read map that offers a three-dimensional perspective on the area's geology, Geology Along Going-to-the-Sun Road gives lay readers and geologists alike a glimpse into Glacier's unique geologic summary.



Grizzly Country


Author: Andy Russell


Description: The grizzly bear has always inspired awe in man, but the animal's true nature and character has long been shrouded in myth. Few people know grizzlies as Andy Russell does, and in Grizzly Country he shares stories from a lifetime of experience observing them, first as hunter, then as cameraman. In wonderfully engaging prose, he reveals the life cycle of this remarkable creature.



Wildflowers of Glacier National Park


Author: Shannon Fitzpatrick Kimball and Peter Lesica


Description: Wildflowers of Glacier National park and Surrounding Areas is a user-friendly guide featuring over 300 of Glacier National Park's most common plant species. From wildflowers to trees to grasses and sedges, this book features beautiful photographs, detailed descriptions, notes on habitat and fun facts for each plant. It's a perfect plant reference for anyone with an interest in the natural history and splendor of Glacier National Park. The index lists plants both by their common and scientific names.



Blackfeet Tales of Glacier National Park


Author: James Willard Schultz


Description: The author writes a series of diary entries as his Blackfoot friends tell stories in the lodge or around the fire at the end of the day. He has managed to keep the compelling style of his original material, told by talented story tellers. The stories run the gamut from tribal history to legend and myth and convey something of Blackfoot culture, daily life, and beliefs.



Flathead Watershed Sourcebook, A Guide to an Extraordinary Place


Author: Lori S. Curtis


Description: This book serves as a primer to the Flathead Watershed. Viewed from a bioregional perspective, it discusses the many people and systems that make up the Flathead Watershed - one of the most biologically intact ecosystems in North America. This book weds science and art, nature and human nature into an appealing and informative publication. Call 406-862-1160 or visit publisher@flatheadwatershed.org to receive a copy





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