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Glacier’s Grandeur: Exploring Glacier National Park

Program Number: 19945RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/25/2013 - 8/31/2013; 8/10/2014 - 8/16/2014; 8/24/2014 - 8/30/2014; 9/14/2014 - 9/20/2014;
Duration: 6 nights
Location: Whitefish, Montana
Price starting at: $1,295.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: National Parks; Natural History; Walking/Hiking; Outdoor Adventures, Misc.
Meals: 16; 6 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 6 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

From our base just outside the picturesque town of Whitefish, join us to experience the grandeur of Glacier National Park — so named because its dramatic landscape was carved by glaciers eons ago. Encounter the wonder and splendor of this diverse park during field trips to the Lake McDonald Valley, the Two Medicine area and to the Continental Divide at Logan Pass. Daily field trips are enhanced with the addition of instructors, naturalists, and other experts detailing the variety of life, thundering cascades, mammoth lakes and serrated peaks in one of nature’s greatest works of art.




Highlights

• Discover rugged, glaciated mountains that rise above stunning valleys, lakes and rivers that are home to an array of rare plant life and amazing wildlife from goats to grizzlies.
• Take a scenic float trip down the Middle Fork of the Flathead River and ride the gondola to the summit for a panoramic view of Glacier National Park
• Travel the iconic Going-to-the-Sun Road as you enjoy its spectacular and breathtaking vistas.



Activity Particulars

Walk or hike 1 - 5 miles on mountainous, uneven and rocky terrain. Must be able to climb stairs, get in and out of vans and a water raft. Hotel elevation 4,500'. Highest elevation 7,000'.



The Hotel is at 4,500'. The highest elevation you'll experience during the week is 7,000'. Groups will be split into smaller groups of 10 for daily field trips and hikes.

You may enjoy a comparable educational program with accommodations inside Glacier National Park, "Glacier’s Grandeur: Inside Glacier National Park" (#21016).



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.



Accommodations
Charming ski resort with condominium-style units.

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

Ashley Mason started her career in music in 1986 as a voice major at the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston Salem North Carolina. She was nearly finished with her degree in voice performance when she heard "the call of the wild.” Much to her parents confusion, she transferred to Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina to study geology. After finishing up in 1992 with a minor in field biology, Ashley came to Montana to teach for the Glacier Institute. Since then she has been a familiar face in the conservation education field in Northwest Montana. Ashley has been the program director for The Glacier Institute, and has worked for Swan Ecosystem Center, Upward Bound, Flathead Land Trust, and as a ranger naturalist for Glacier National Park. Currently, she is the conservationeducator for Flathead Audubon Society and was the 2012 Audubon Educator of the year. Ashley loves to take the miraculous drama of the landscape and turn it into a story that will captivate her audiences. She lives in Kalispell with her husband, two children, four chickens, cat, and guinea pig.
 
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.
 
Paul Rappaport

Paul has worked in Glacier National Park for the past five years in several capacities, including work with the Glacier Institute. With a master's in geology and a lifelong passion for weather, climate, and climate change issues, Paul brings to Road Scholar a critical component of understanding and appreciation for the natural world. When Paul is not leading hikes, he is an avid cyclist, skier and winter backcountry safety instructor. Paul just finished a two month bicycle journey through Europe before joining us in Montana for the summer season.
 
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
   Kintla and Morning Eagle Lodge, Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort
  Whitefish, MT 6 nights
 Kintla and Morning Eagle Lodge, Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort
Type: Hotel
  Description: Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort, located on Big Mountain, is in a mountainous setting with walking and hiking right outside your door.
  Contact info: 3889 Big Mountain Road
Whitefish, MT 59937 USA
phone: 877-754-3474
web: www.skiwhitefish.com
  Room amenities: Full kitchen, living room, washer and dryer.
  Facility amenities: Workout Room
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Call Lodge for information Call Lodge for availability and information.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call Lodge for information Call Lodge for availability and information.
  Check out time: 10:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check-in will be at the Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort Co. located on Big Mountain. Their office is located in the Kintla Lodge. Check-in any time after 4PM. Orientation will take place at 5PM. You will be staying at Kintla and Morning Eagle Lodge, Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast. Hotel check-out by 10 AM. You will be staying at Kintla and Morning Eagle Lodge, Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. There will be a waiver for the float trip that will need to be signed and returned ahead of program start.
  Parking availability:
Plenty of free parking available.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Whitefish, MT
  Nearest city or town:  Whitefish, Montana
  Nearest highway: Hwy. 93
  Nearest airport:  Glacier Park International Airport (FCA) located half way between Kalispell and Whitefish, MT
  From End of Program
  Location: Whitefish, MT
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Whitefish, MT

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

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

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$20 for the first person and $3 for any additional - prices subject to change.
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.

 

Whitefish, MT

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

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

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Call Iron Eagle for current rates.
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:

 

Call Flathead-Glacier Transportation Company for current rates.
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:

 

Call Iron Eagle for current rates.
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.

 
Driving Directions
  Glacier Park International Airport To Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort on Big Mountain. Turn left onto Hwy 2 East from airport. Drive approximately 4 1/2 miles. Turn left onto Hwy 40 at the first light. Drive approximately 5 miles to the intersection of Hwy 93. Take US-93 North to downtown Whitefish. Hwy 93 changes to Spokane Avenue. At the intersection of Spokane Avenue and 2nd street turn left. Drive two blocks and turn right onto Baker Avenue. Continue up and over the viaduct. Baker Avenue turns into Wisconsin Avenue / Mt-487. Continue about 2 miles to Big Mountain Road - look for the flashing yellow caution light over the road. Turn right on Big Mountain Road at the flashing light. Follow Big Mountain Road approximately 5 miles, to the Upper Village, Kintla Lodge. Go around the round-a-bout to park in the Lodging check-in temporary parking area. Lodging check-in is located in the Kintla Lodge on the boardwalk.
Elevation Note: The Hotel is at 4,500'. The highest elevation you'll experience during the week is 7,000'.

Equipment Requirements: Warm waterproof clothing, sturdy hiking boots, waterproof shoes / sandals (for float trip), a day pack, collapsible walking stick, hat 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 / Orientation
(Sunday, August 25)
   
 Afternoon: Check-in anytime after 4 p.m. at the Kintla Lodge. Orientation at base lodge via short shuttle provided.
 Dinner: Dinner at Base Lodge after Orientation.
 Evening: Free time to get settled in for the week.
   
Accommodations: Kintla and Morning Eagle Lodge, Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Presentation / Gondola / Summit / Hike
(Monday, August 26)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at Base Lodge
 Morning: This morning we'll be introduced to the Glacier’s Grandeur program. 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 7,000-foot summit.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Summit
 Afternoon: Depending on the weather, we’ll be led on an informative hike either at the summit or the base of the mountain.
 Dinner: At base lodge.
 Evening: This evening we'll be treated to a presentation on the fascinating geology of the Crown of the Continent.
   
Accommodations: Kintla and Morning Eagle Lodge, Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Field Trip to McDonald Valley in Glacier National Park / Presentation
(Tuesday, August 27)
   
 Breakfast: At base lodge.
 Morning: After breakfast we'll depart for our first day in Glacier National Park. Our instructors will lead us on hikes and begin to give us a taste of the park’s pristine forests, alpine meadows, rugged mountains, and spectacular lakes.
 Lunch: Sack lunches in the field.
 Afternoon: After lunch we'll continue the exploration with instructor-led hikes and talks. Afterward we'll return to Whitefish Mountain Resort.
 Dinner: At base lodge.
 Evening: After dinner we'll have a presentation covering more of the amazing ecosystems and historic cultures of Glacier National Park and the surrounding area.
   
Accommodations: Kintla and Morning Eagle Lodge, Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Field Trip to Logan Pass via the Going-to-the-Sun Road
(Wednesday, August 28)
   
 Breakfast: At base lodge.
 Morning: Today we'll enjoy another all-day field trip into Glacier National Park including a drive on the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road (weather permitting). We will make a stop at Logan Pass on the continental divide.
 Lunch: Sack lunch in the field.
 Afternoon: After lunch we'll continue the exploration of the Going-to-the-Sun Road with instructor-led hikes and talks, where more than 1 million acres of forests, meadows, lakes, rugged peaks and glacial-carved valleys are preserved. Known to Native Americans as the "Shining Mountains" and the "Backbone of the World," the park's diverse habitats are home to nearly 70 species of mammals including grizzly bears, wolverines, gray wolves and lynx. Over 270 species of birds live in or migrate through the park.
 Dinner: At base lodge.
 Evening: Free evening.
   
Accommodations: Kintla and Morning Eagle Lodge, Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Field Trip to the Two Medicine Valley in Glacier National Park
(Thursday, August 29)
   
 Breakfast: At base lodge.
 Morning: Today we'll enjoy another all-day field trip in and around Glacier National Park, via Highway 2. East Glacier and Two Medicine Valley is a setting of rugged peaks, idyllic lakes, lush meadows and beautiful wildlife.
 Lunch: Sack lunch in the field.
 Afternoon: Instructor-led walks / hikes and return trip to Whitefish Mountain Resort.
 Dinner: At base lodge.
   
Accommodations: Kintla and Morning Eagle Lodge, Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Whitefish Lake Institute / Downtown Whitefish / Scenic Float Trip
(Friday, August 30)
   
 Breakfast: At base lodge.
 Morning: After breakfast we'll join experts from the Whitefish Lake Institute and get a big-picture view of Whitefish Lake and be introduced to the timeline of the area, from its geological formation through today. Scientists will explain the complex food web of the lake, the native and introduced fish species that are found there, and talk about the changes that are brought about by introduced species. And, we'll participate in some guided scientific research of our own. Following the presentation, enjoy some free time in Whitefish. The historic downtown has unique shopping opportunities, numerous art galleries and exhibits, and is very pedestrian friendly. The nearby Whitefish Railway Depot houses the Stumptown Historical Society museum with railroad memorabilia from the turn of the century to today. The1927 Great Northern Railway Depot is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings.
 Lunch: On your own in Whitefish.
 Afternoon: This afternoon enjoy a scenic interpretive float trip down the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. Following the scenic float, we'll return to Whitefish Mountain Resort.
 Dinner: We'’ll enjoy our last evening together as we celebrate with our final banquet at Base Lodge.
 Evening: Closing and conclusion of program.
   
Accommodations: Kintla and Morning Eagle Lodge, Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: Independent Departures
(Saturday, August 31)
   
 Breakfast: At base lodge.
 Morning: Hotel checkout by 10 a.m.
   
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 Kimball and Peter Lesica


Description: Wildflowers of Glacier National Park and Surrounding Areas is a user-friendly field 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.



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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