16839
West Yellowstone
Winter Ventures in Yellowstone Country
Learn how to snowmobile, snowshoe and ski, discover unique wildlife and visit Old Faithful, fumaroles and bubbling hot springs as you explore the wonders of Yellowstone in winter.
Program No. 16839RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,299
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6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5 B 4 L 5 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
West Yellowstone, MT
D
Brandin' Iron Inn

Afternoon: Check in at lodgings between 4 and 5 pm.

Dinner: Walk across the street to local restaurant. Dinner includes salad, fresh charbroiled hamburger, hand cut fries and choice of soft drink, coffee or tea. Other drinks available for purchase.

Evening: Orientation, Introductions and preview of the week's activities

DAY
2
Yellowstone Ecosystem, Volcano & Snowshoe Walk
West Yellowstone, MT
B,L,D
Brandin' Iron Inn

Activity note: Three hour snowshoe walk on moderate terrain at 6,666'.

Breakfast: Walk 3 blocks to restaurant & classroom. Order off of breakfast menu.

Morning: Morning overview introduces the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem and history of the Yellowstone volcano.

Lunch: Catered lunch on site.

Afternoon: Experience winter ecology via interpreted snowshoe walk on moderate terrain at the edge of town on Riverside Trail. Discuss animal tracks, scat and sign; what do they tell us about critters' winter behavior? Consider habits and habitat. Snowshoes provided; no experience necessary. Less active option is natural history film at the Yellowstone Imax Theatre.

Dinner: Catered dinner at classroom site. Dinner includes salad, main entrée with one side, dessert. Coffee and tea included. Other drinks would need to be purchased and brought with you to dinner.

Evening: Free evening.

DAY
3
Snowcoach Journey into Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
West Yellowstone, MT
B,L,D
Brandin' Iron Inn

Activity note: Full-day, 80 mile round trip snowcoach journey in heated, over-the-snow vehicles at elevations from 6,666' to 7,734'; several moderate walks on slippery, snow-packed trails, boardwalks and stairs.

Breakfast: Continental breakfast on site.

Morning: Full day, naturalist-led snowcoach adventure into Yellowstone Park to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone area via heated, over-the-snow vehicles. Thread among the park's breathtaking winter beauty along Madison and Gibbon Rivers to Norris Junction, then eastward toward Canyon. Several moderate walks to scenic overlooks on slippery, snow-packed trails, boardwalks and stairs.

Lunch: Sack lunches amidst the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone's winter grandeur.

Afternoon: Appreciate time at Canyon where winter's white and iron grip only adds to the magnificence - Upper Fall's roaring, 109' plunge and Lower Fall's classically spectacular 308' sweep into ice-swathed depths. Here, beautifully tinted walls result from hot water's action on volcanic rock. Consider an expanse of space and beauty that one can only begin to imagine. Enjoy photo opportunities and trailside interpretation.

Dinner: Walk 1 block to restaurant. Dinner includes salad, main entrée with side & dessert. Soft drink, coffee or tea included. Other drinks available for purchase.

Evening: Free evening.

DAY
4
Wildlife of Yellowstone, Cross Country Ski Rendezvous Trail
West Yellowstone, MT
B,L,D
Brandin' Iron Inn

Activity note: Three hour cross country ski trek on moderate terrain at 6,666'

Breakfast: Walk or shuttle 8 blocks to restaurant. Order off of limited menu.

Morning: Morning visit to the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery center give participants the opportunity to consider Yellowstone's wildlife - predator and prey, habitat requirements, winter range, populations and more. The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center is dedicated to providing visitors to the Yellowstone area the unique opportunity to learn about, view and ultimately appreciate the grizzly bear and gray wolf and to empower visitors with knowledge about grizzlies and wolves through educational programs.

Lunch: Lunch at nearby restaurant; walk up to four blocks.

Afternoon: After instruction from ski outfitter, we will start our beginner cross country ski trek on nearby Rendezvous Trail System which encompasses 30 kilometers of groomed trails on gently rolling terrain in and out of lodgepole pine forest and open meadows. Discuss winter ecology; tracks and scat. Cross country skis provided; no experience necessary. Less active option is natural history film at the Yellowstone Imax Theatre on your own.

Dinner: Catered dinner on site. Dinner includes salad, main entrée with side. Coffee and tea included. Other drinks would need to be purchased and brought with you.

Evening: Wolves of Yellowstone.

DAY
5
Snowmobile Venture into Yellowstone to Old Faithful
West Yellowstone, MT
B,L,D
Brandin' Iron Inn

Activity note: Full-day, 60 mile round trip snowmobile adventure on two-passenger, cleaner, quieter, four-stroke machines at elevations from 6,666' to 7,365'; several moderate walks on slippery, snow-packed trails, boardwalks and stairs.

Breakfast: Motel continental breakfast.

Morning: Guided, full day snowmobile field adventure (60 miles round trip) into Yellowstone National Park to Old Faithful via Firehole Canyon, Lower and Midway Geyser Basins. Enjoy riding as driver or passenger on two-person snowmobile, exhilarating among breathtaking wonders of the Great Caldera! Several walks among steamy, sulfur-scented Old Faithful and Lower Geyser Basins. Beehive, Grand, Lion, Fountain Paint Pot, Clepsydra - a poetry of seething, pluming steam and spray and mud. Moderate walking on slippery, snow-packed trails, boardwalks and stairs among colors, scents and sounds of pale chocolate, yellow, orange, green and blue, sulfur, bubble, hiss and steam. Imagine! Being here to explore a land like no other, a land that holds one half of the world's geothermal features - geysers, hot springs, mudpots and fumaroles! Imagine.

Lunch: Sack lunches in the heart of Yellowstone at the Old Faithful area.

Afternoon: Adventure continues through Yellowstone's winter whiteness; expect to see bison, elk and waterfowl, perhaps coyote and bald eagle. Swan sighting possible along the Madison River. What next! Discovery beckons and awaits around each bend of the road! Snowmobiling is a very strenuous activity. Snowmobiling clothing provided.

Dinner: Dinner at nearby restaurant, walk 1 block.

Evening: Week review; Q & A Winter ventures in the Yellowstone area - learning, seeing, discussing, experiencing! The mind spins and reels with new knowledge: predator-prey dynamics, winter range, geology of the Great Caldera, wolf reintroduction, life in seething hot pools. The mind spins and reels with new visions and scents: steamy-breathed elk and black-wooled bison, coyote tracks and moose scat in snow, vivid skies, waterfowl on frigid water, sulfur-scented fumaroles, of soaring geysers, ice-columned waterfalls. The mind spins and reels with winter sounds: crunch of snowshoe, swish of ski, creak of snow boots, roar of thundering water, stillness of winter, pop of brittle branches, grunt of bison, call of raven, the great silence of wild country. One has explored national forest land on Yellowstone's western border and ventured into Yellowstone National Park to be introduced to the greatest predator of all - winter. Evening wrap-up ties up loose ends, answers questions and brings the learning adventure to a gratifying conclusion.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
West Yellowstone, MT
B

Breakfast: Continental breakfast on site.

Morning: Airport shuttle and independent departures