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Outdoor Adventures in Greater Yellowstone’s Winter Wonderland

Program Number: 20795RJ
Start and End Dates:
1/19/2014 - 1/24/2014;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Big Sky, Montana
Price starting at: $1,345.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Winter Sports Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

The hushed, glittering Montana winter is perhaps more beautiful and arresting than any other setting in the world. Amid the amazing panoramas and serene white landscape of Big Sky Country, savor the “Biggest Skiing in America” on world-class downhill slopes or take to the snow-covered expanses of unspoiled nature on expert-led snowshoe and Nordic ski treks. Accentuate your adventure with equal measures of invigoration and relaxation, the former on a dog sled excursion and the latter on a horse-drawn sleigh ride.




Highlights

• Dive into 5,512 acres of downhill skiing or encounter the snowy landscape on snowshoes and Nordic skis.
• Spend a day in Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful area to glimpse its vistas, geology and animals during the peaceful winter months.
• Soar behind a sled dog team and relax as draft horses take you to a remote cabin for dinner.



Activity Particulars

All levels of downhill skier welcome. Optional snowshoeing and/or Nordic skiing 3–4 miles. Elevation 6,000–8,000 feet. Dog sledding eight miles over varied terrain.



Coordinated by University of Montana Western.




Big Sky

Located 18 miles from Yellowstone National Park, Big Sky straddles Gallatin and Madison counties — a detail that leaves the region without a town status or town government. Nestled at the base of Lone Mountain, Big Sky is an ideal location for skiing, snowboarding and outdoor recreation.



Accommodations
Full-service resort set amid magnificent nature.
Meals and Lodgings
   Buck's T-4 Lodge
  Big Sky, Montana 5 nights
 Buck's T-4 Lodge
Type: Lodge
  Description: Bucks T-4 Lodge is nestled in the Gallatin Valley between the Gallatin and Madison moutain ranges. The provides a stunning backdrop Buck’s T-4 Lodge has been a Big Sky tradition for over 50 years. Visitors to Yellowstone, Big Sky and Moonlight Basin ski resorts and the Gallatin Canyon experience unparalleled hospitality and the genius of Buck's cuisine. Their welcoming atmosphere, nationally acclaimed restaurant, hearty breakfast and many amenities make them the natural choice for lodging in Big Sky, Montana.
  Contact info: 46625 Gallatin Rd
Gallatin Gateway, MT 59730 USA
phone: 406-995-4111
web: www.buckst4.com
  Room amenities: All rooms equipped with free wireless Internet, iPod docking stations, microwave/refrigerator, satellite TV with 3 HBO channels, direct-dial phones with voicemail, coffee maker, hair dryer and iron.
  Facility amenities: Start each day with our complimentary full breakfast. Other guest amenities include two restaurants with historic bar, free wireless Internet, two huge outdoor hot tubs, patio with outdoor fireplace, microwave/refrigerators and three HBO channels. Our richly appointed guest rooms furnished in a country decor features free Wi-Fi and an iPod docking station in every guest room. Rooms are also equipped with microwaves and refrigerators. Buck's has a beautiful outdoor Garden, with its waterfalls and native landscaping, provides a stunning backdrop for your Montana vacation. They feature over 5,000 square feet of meeting space in one of Montana's most picturesque locations. Buck's rustic log decor sets the stage for superb evening dining featuring Montana steaks, wild game, seafood, and more. Our award-winning wine list features over 250 selections and is recognized by Gourmet, Wine Spectator and Bon Appetit. Buck's Pub features casual dining with a unique flair and the adjacent game room with pool tables and video games offer evening entertainment. Free wireless high-speed Internet access is also available in the Pub and bar.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: varies For seasonal rates call Buck's T-4 Lodge for information at 406.995.4111
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: varies For seasonal rates call Buck's T-4 Lodge for information at 406.995.4111
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
4:00-5:00 pm registration You will be staying at Buck's T-4 Lodge that night.
  End of Program:
11:00 am airport shuttle and independent departure You will be staying at Buck's T-4 Lodge the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Please bring a Golden Age, Senior or National Parks Pass for day in Yellowstone if you have one.
  Parking availability:
Plenty of parking at no charge.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Big Sky, Montana
  Nearest city or town:  West Yellowstone and Bozeman
  Nearest highway: US Route 191
  Nearest airport:  Bozeman
  From End of Program
  Location: Big Sky, Montana
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

To Bozeman, MT

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Greater Valley Taxi
phone: 406-388-7938
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Group rate is approximately $58 per person. Call for current rate.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Allow 2 hours. 

   

Reservations must be made at least three days in advance; call (406) 388-7938 for rates and reservations. You may be asked to leave a message. Group shuttle departs airport at 2:00 pm. In order to take advantage of the group shuttle rate, your flight must arrive before 1 pm on Sunday and depart after 3:00 pm on Friday. Arriving in Bozeman a day early or staying an extra day may be more economical than booking individual transportation.

 

Bozeman, MT

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Greater Valley Taxi
phone: 406-388-7938
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Group rate is approximately $58.00; call for current rate.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Two hours. 

   

Return shuttle must be arranged at least three days in advance; call (406) 388-7938. Group shuttle departs site at 11:30 am. Outside of the above scheduled times, individual transportation (not at group rate) can be reserved through Greater Valley Taxi (406) 388-7938 or Karst Stage (406) 556-3540 (72 hours notice required). Car rental and drop-off are available at the Bozeman airport; drop-off is not available in Big Sky or Yellowstone National Park.

 
Driving Directions
  Billings, MT Travel west on I-90 toward Butte for 140 miles. As you reach Bozeman, MT you will merge onto US-191 S via EXIT 309 toward Bozeman/West Yellowstone and travel for approximately 10 miles. A left turn onto Gallatin Rd/US-191 will take you south. Stay on US-191 for 35 miles until you see Bucks T-4 Lodge on your right.
  Idaho Falls, ID Take US-20 E toward Rigby/W. Yellowstone for 105 miles (Crossing into Montana). Turn left onto Canyon Street/US-287/US-191. Continue on US-191 for 47 miles. In route you will quickly pass through Yellowstone National Park, so don't blink or you will miss it.
  Missoula, MT Travel east on I-90 approximately 190 miles. After passing the small towns of Three Forks and Manhattan take EXIT 298 toward MT-291/Belgrade/MT-85/W Yellowstone/Airport. Turn left onto Amsterdam Rd/MT-347 and take the 1st right onto Jackrabbit Lane/MT-85 S. If you are on the Alaska Frontage Road and reach Yukon Lane you've gone about 0.2 miles too far. After traveling about 6.6 miles Jackrabbit Lane becomes Gallatin Rd/US-191 and continues south. Buck's T-4 Lodge will be on you right after winding along the beautiful Gallatin River for about 35 miles. Your destination is just past Running Iron Road. If you reach Cummings Lane you've gone a little too far.
Elevation Note: Site elevation 6,125'. Activities take place at elevations of 7,000' to skiing summit of 11,166'

Equipment Requirements: Warm clothing appropriate for downhill and /or cross country skiing, snowshoeing and dog sledding. All equipment available for rent or bring your own.
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: Welcome Dinner and Orientation
(Sunday, January 19)
   
 Arrive To: Welcome to Buck's T-4 Lodge located near the Big Sky area, home of "The Biggest Skiing in America".
 Dinner: Experience the genius of Buck's T-4 cuisine at the welcome dinner.
 Evening: Orientation and introductions.
   
Accommodations: Buck's T-4 Lodge
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Downhill skiing at Moonlight Basin Resort or optional guided snowshoe trek(s).
(Monday, January 20)
   
 Breakfast: Hot breakfast at the Lodge
 Morning: Participants will have the day to explore a winter resort touched by luxury, blessed with exceptional skiing and surrounded by wilderness. Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, Moonlight Basin public resort boasts a wide variety of sublime ski and snowboard terrain - 1,900 acres of pristine groomers, tree glades, and challenging steeps. Those who prefer not to downhill ski, but still want to experience this magnificent landscape will have the opportunity to encounter these snow covered expanses of unspoiled nature on snowshoe treks guided by an experienced naturalist.
 Lunch: Sack lunches from the Lodge
 Afternoon: Participants can spend the afternoon downhill skiing or continue with the naturalist guided snowshoe trek.
 Dinner: Dinner at Bucks T-4 Lodge
 Evening: Evening presentation on the winter ecology of the natural world including the adaptations and occurrences that happen only in the winter.
   
Accommodations: Buck's T-4 Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Board historical snowcoaches for an unforgettable journey into the heart of Yellowstone National Park to the Old Faithful area.
(Tuesday, January 21)

Note: Those opting out of Yellowstone trip can purchase a lift ticket on their own and continue downhill skiing.



   
 Breakfast: Early hot breakfast at the Lodge
 Morning: Early morning departure. The activity level will slow down as adventurers travel to West Yellowstone, Montana where they will board historical snow coaches called bombardiers. An experienced guide will lead participants on a journey into Yellowstone National Park. The guide will interpret and educate the guests on the many wonders of the park.
 Lunch: Sack lunch in the park
 Afternoon: The participants will continue to experience the unique features of Yellowstone National Park as the bombardier leads them on a magical day into the Old Faithful area where the only access in winter is aboard snow coach or snowmobile. Yellowstone receives close to 3 million visitors each year, yet only a small fraction of those who glimpse the park’s stunning vistas, geological wonders, and animal residents do so during the serenity of the winter months. The group will have a rare glimpse into Yellowstone's quiet season as they encounter snow covered expanses of unspoiled nature and wildlife while riding in and out of the park on historic snow coaches. The snow covered landscape, frozen waterfalls and frosted trees contrast with steaming geysers and other geothermal features, creating a surreal winterscape. Because of Old Faithful's seclusion, it provides easy access to an otherwise unpopulated wilderness. The Old Faithful geyser itself is an added treat to this day in the park. This infamous geyser puts on a spectacular winter show when the steam from his eruptions collect and freeze on the needles of the nearby pines, creating what parks people refer to as “ghost trees.” An experienced naturalist will interpret the park's wildlife and habitats and unique, steaming thermal features as winter adventurers traverse forest, open parks and geyser basins during this beautiful and less visited time of year.
 Dinner: Dinner at the Lodge
 Evening: Free Evening
   
Accommodations: Buck's T-4 Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Downhill skiing will access the "Biggest Skiing in America" or optional naturalist guided cross-country ski trek(s).
(Wednesday, January 22)
   
 Breakfast: Complementary hot breakfast at the Lodge
 Morning: Participants will have the opportunity to enjoy the exceptional downhill skiing which offers skiers the Biggest Skiing in America® lift ticket, so they can enjoy the most skiable terrain in the United States. One ticket, the Biggest Skiing in America® pass, allows you access to the Moonlight Basin – Big Sky Resort interconnect for 5,512 acres of downhill terrain, 4,350 feet of vertical, 27 lifts and 220 trails. Plus from the top of Lone Peak, you will marvel at unobstructed views of three states and Yellowstone National Park, only 18 miles away. Today, those who prefer not to downhill ski will have the option to encounter a naturalist led cross-country ski excursion through this amazing winter wonderland.
 Lunch: Sack lunches from the Lodge
 Afternoon: Participants will spend the afternoon downhill our optional cross-country skiing.
 Dinner: The group will truly experience the genius of Buck's T-4 cuisine as they enjoy a gourmet meal as prepared by nationally acclaimed chef and winner of James Beard Foundation Award.
 Evening: Free evening
   
Accommodations: Buck's T-4 Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: A dog sledding venture and an evening horse-drawn sleigh ride to experience the Gallatin Canyon area's geology and winter habitat.
(Thursday, January 23)

Note: Those opting out of dog sledding can purchase a lift ticket on their own and continue downhill skiing



   
 Breakfast: Hot breakfast at the Lodge
 Morning: Participants will begin a day of action as they head out on a dog sledding venture, punctuated with the hiss of sled runners and exhilarated panting of experienced sled dogs soaring through a variety of terrain. This unique adventure will reveal the Gallatin Canyon area's geology, winter habitat and the history of dog sledding with the opportunity to drive a team if they so desire.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Lodge
 Afternoon: Half day of free time or downhill skiing on your own. Although it is not included in the program costs, the skiing enthusiasts in the group could head up to Moonlight Basin Resort and enjoy an afternoon of downhill skiing.
 Dinner: Experiential learning will continue into the evening as participants meet gentle draft horses and board horse-drawn sleighs for an ride along a quiet, snow strewn winter path through towering pines, harness bells jingling, appetites gearing up, to a remote heated cabin for a delicious Montana-style dinner prepared over a wood-fired cook stove and served up under golden lantern light. Entertainment will follow dinner then the magical night journey back down trail allowing participants to step back in time and enjoy a peek into how things 'used to be' out west.
   
Accommodations: Buck's T-4 Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Final Presentation and Wrap Up
(Friday, January 24)
   
 Breakfast: Hot breakfast at the Lodge
 Morning: Expert naturalist led presentation on the historical stories and geology of the Gallatin Region.
 Lunch: Grab-n-go sack lunches to take on the road. Independent departures
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
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.


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