Afternoon: Check-in between 4 and 5 PM in the Map Room located inside the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel.
Dinner: Welcome dinner at Mammoth Dining Room
Evening: Orientation and introductions
Activity note: Several walks today, up to two miles total
Breakfast: Breakfast at Mammoth Dining Room
Morning: Check out of Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel cabins. Before departing Mammoth Hot Springs, the instructor will offer a warm welcome to Yellowstone National Park and the week's adventure through a morning presentation Fall in Yellowstone offers a front row seat to the Elk Opera! The elk move from summer pastures to lower elevations for the rut/breeding season, which begins one of the most amazing spectacles in North American Wildlife. The "bugle" of a bull elk is the call meant to attract female elk, which is so strange and yet maddeningly attractive to the ears. The cows and calves respond with their own chorus of mews and barks. Soon, with several males trying to assemble their cow/calf harems, you have a mixture of complex calls and responses with a variety of voices that can only be described as "Opera". A variety of wildlife can be seen during this time of year, but the climax of the week will be the exciting scenes created by the breeding interactions of the elk. The Magic of Yellowstone awaits with a mid-morning departure deeper into our country's first National Park.
Lunch: Sack lunches on the journey to Yellowstone Lake
Afternoon: The safari begins with a travel day to Yellowstone Lake. The instructor will guide and interpret the exciting scenes as the group journeys through the Hayden Valley, which is well known as one of the best locations to view wildlife in Yellowstone. The day's destination will be Yellowstone Lake, which is the largest body of water in Yellowstone National Park, Sitting at 7,732' elevation and covering 136 square miles, Yellowstone Lake is the largest freshwater lake above 7,000 feet in North America. Bring binoculars for viewing opportunities.
Dinner: Dinner at Lake cafeteria
Evening: Evening wildlife viewing at Lake Yellowstone with instruction and demonstration on "Optics and Ethics of Wildlife Observation". Discover the correct way to use binoculars and scopes or brush up your own skills using tips provided by instructor. Learn how to view wildlife unobtrusively and how to behave in their environment.
Activity note: Several walks today, up to two miles total.
Breakfast: Breakfast Yellowstone Lake dining room
Morning: "Yellowstone's Safari" continues with travel to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Interpretation on the bus and at sites on animal habitat and seasonal adaptations, including the ecology of the wildlife and plants and its connection with the life cycle of the elk herds will guide the safari. Be aware that each field day will include several walks, up to two miles per day, with interpretation. Be sure to bring binoculars if you have them and make sure the lenses are sparkling clean and ready to go.
Lunch: Sack lunches in the field.
Afternoon: On to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone for a look at the Upper and Lower Falls and the canyon's beautifully tinted walls. Enjoy a walk here along the Yellowstone River to appreciate its unique riparian environment and be right there for a heart stopping interlude where the mighty river roars and plunges straight down, 109 feet! Here is geologic splendor and Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone ambiance. This day, as is any day in Yellowstone, is travel and exploration among a wealth of wildlife habitat. A grand landscape, your knowledgeable instructor's interpretation and the delight of numerous wildlife sightings add up to one of the best days ever.
Dinner: Dinner at Canyon cafeteria
Evening: Field trip continues back through Hayden Valley with a late return to lodgings. Here's an optimum opportunity for spotting wildlife and gorgeous light for taking photographs.
Activity note: Several walks today; up to two miles total.
Breakfast: Breakfast at Lake Yellowstone dining room
Morning: Check out of Lake cabins and then the exploration moves to Old Faithful, the heart of Yellowstone. Explore the Upper Geyser Basin; see Old Faithful and a variety of hot springs, fumaroles, geysers and the Firehole River. Moderate walking to explore the area's astonishing variety of hot springs features.
Lunch: Sack lunches during the day's adventure.
Afternoon: Continued exploration of Old Faithful area with interpretation on "Geology of Yellowstone", which provides an overview of the Great Caldera's violent, geologic past .
Dinner: Dinner at Old Faithful cafeteria
Evening: Free evening to continue exploration and wildlife viewing around Old Faithful area. Instructor will be available for questions and optional wildlife viewing opportunities.
Activity note: Several walks today; up to two miles total.
Breakfast: Breakfast at Old Faithful dining room.
Morning: Check out of Old Faithful Western Cabins and begin the journey back to Mammoth Hot Springs. Appreciate a moderate walkabout at Fountain Paint Pot then on to view Gibbon Falls, Roaring Mountain, Obsidian Cliff, and down through the Golden Gate and "home."
Lunch: Sack lunches in the Park
Afternoon: Check into Best Western near Mammoth Hot Springs.
Dinner: Early plated dinner at Restaurant adjacent to Hotel.
Evening: After dinner departure into Yellowstone National Park's northern range, the Lamar Valley, for an evening of wildlife viewing as the continued mixture of elk arias steam through the crisp air. Instructor will interpret animal active through some of the most pristine landscape in the nation. The Lamar Valley contains prime wolf habitat; however, wolves may not be present in the area at this time. Wolves are wide ranging animals. Expect one or more moderate walks to explore a variety of habitats. This evening in Yellowstone, is travel and exploration among a wealth of wildlife habitat during the optimal wildlife viewing time of day. A grand landscape, a unique and amazing opera in the air and your knowledgeable instructor's interpretation and the delight of wildlife sightings add up to a great day in the park.
Breakfast: Breakfast at Mammoth dining room.
Morning: Airport shuttle departs at 8:30 a.m.