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Glacier’s Grandeur: Exploring Glacier National Park

Program Number: 19945RJ
Start and End Dates:
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: $1,325.00 - 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; Gluten Free    

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.
 
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 and hair 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 Whitefish Mountain Resort. Their office is located on the boardwalk outside Kintla Lodge. Check in any time after 4:00 p.m. Orientation will take place at 5:00. 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 10:00 a.m. 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. A waiver will need to be signed on site at the time of the float trip.
  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
Glacier Charters
phone: 406-892-3390
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Call for current rates.
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.

 

Glacier International Airport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Glacier Taxi
phone: 406-250-3603
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Call 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

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Glacier Taxi
phone: 406-250-3603
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Call 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.

 

Glacier International Airport (FCA)

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Kountry Taxi
phone: 406-250-8015
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Call for current rates.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

30 minutes 

   

To ensure availability of transportation upon arrival, contact company 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, rain jacket, sturdy hiking shoes, 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 / Welcome Dinner
(Sunday, September 14)
   
 Afternoon: Check in anytime after 4:00 p.m. The office is located on the boardwalk outside Kintla Lodge. Collect your Road Scholar Program Welcome Packet at time of check in. Orientation will take place at 5:00 p.m. at Ed & Mully's. The Group Leader will greet you with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date daily program schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. During free time, the Group Leader will often be available to guide informal excursions, activities, or meals not included in the program. You are welcome to join if you wish, with associated costs (if any) on your own, or explore independently. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
 Dinner: Our opening dinner will follow orientation at Ed and Mully’s. Enjoy a classic American style buffet. Vegetarian and Gluten-free entrees available upon prior request. The Restaurant also offers a full-service bar.
 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 / Presentation
(Monday, September 15)
   
 Breakfast: At Ed and Mully's enjoy a tasty breakfast buffet with choices of whole grain breads and bagels, a variety of yogurts, cold cereals, granola, oatmeal, hard boiled eggs, and a rotation of fresh sliced fruit. Cranberry juice, orange juice, milk, coffee & hot tea will also be available.
 Morning: This morning we'll have a presentation by a local expert. 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.
 Lunch: Relish breathtaking views of Glacier National Park and Flathead Valley while you enjoy a lunch buffet at the Summit House, located at the summit of Big Mountain. A classic buffet with American style entrees will be offered. Vegetarian and Gluten-free entrees available upon prior request.
 Afternoon: This afternoon we'll be led on an informative hike either at the summit or the base of the mountain. (All outdoor activity subject to weather)
 Dinner: Our dinner buffet at Ed and Mully's this evening will include classic American style entrees. Vegetarian and Gluten-free entrees available upon prior request
 Evening: This evening we'll be treated to a presentation on the fascinating ecology of Glacier National Park.
   
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, September 16)
   
 Breakfast: At Ed and Mully's.
 Morning: After breakfast we'll depart for a field trip to Glacier National Park. Our instructors will lead us on walks / hikes and begin to give us a taste of the park’s pristine forests, alpine meadows, rugged mountains, and spectacular lakes.
 Lunch: Enjoy pre-selected sack lunches made fresh with sandwich or wrap, sides, piece of fruit and beverage.
 Afternoon: After lunch we'll continue the exploration with instructor-led walks / hikes and talks.
 Dinner: At Ed and Mully's.
 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 / Free Evening
(Wednesday, September 17)
   
 Breakfast: At Ed and Mully's.
 Morning: Today we'll enjoy another all-day field trip in Glacier National Park, including a drive on the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road (weather permitting) to Logan Pass on the continental divide.
 Lunch: Enjoy pre-selected sack lunches made fresh with sandwich or wrap, sides, piece of fruit and beverage.
 Afternoon: After lunch we'll continue the exploration of the Going-to-the-Sun Road with instructor-led walks / hikes and talks, where more than a 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 the grizzly bear, wolverine, gray wolf and lynx. Over 270 species of birds live in or migrate through the park.
 Dinner: At Ed and Mully's.
 Evening: Free evening. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please feel free to ask the Group Leader for free time activity suggestions.
   
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, September 18)
   
 Breakfast: At Ed and Mully's.
 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.Two Medicine has become a somewhat off-the-beaten-path discovery for most park visitors. Once discovered however it's easy to see why many people consider this their favorite part of Glacier National Park.
 Lunch: Enjoy pre-selected sack lunches made fresh with sandwich or wrap, sides, piece of fruit and beverage.
 Afternoon: Instructor-led walks / hikes and return trip to Whitefish Mountain Resort.
 Dinner: At Ed and Mully's.
   
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, September 19)
   
 Breakfast: At Ed and Mully's.
 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. 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: This lunch has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the cuisine of your choice. Whitefish has numerous restaurants. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may also join the Group Leader for lunch at your own cost if you like.
 Afternoon: This afternoon enjoy a scenic interpretive float trip down the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. The scenery is spectacular, as the river flows through a pristine and remote wilderness.
 Dinner: We'’ll enjoy our last evening together as we celebrate with a final banquet at Ed and Mully's.
   
Accommodations: Kintla and Morning Eagle Lodge, Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: Breakfast / Independent Departures
(Saturday, September 20)
   
 Breakfast: At Ed and Mully's.
 Morning: The program concludes with breakfast, followed by independent departures. Please note that check out is by 10:00 a.m. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys!
   
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: 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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