loading spinner
19946
Montana/Alberta

Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Parks

Discover historic National Park lodges and magnificent displays of nature as you enjoy an immersive educational experience in two of North America’s most magnificent national parks.
Rating (5)
Program No. 19946RJ
Length
8 days
Starts at
2,999
Montana/Alberta

Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Parks

Discover historic National Park lodges and magnificent displays of nature as you enjoy an immersive educational experience in two of North America’s most magnificent national parks.
Length
8 days
Starts at
2,999
Program No. 19946 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
Plan ahead.
What kind of weather can you expect? Take a look!
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Jul 5 - Jul 12, 2021
Starting at
2,999
Jul 12 - Jul 19, 2021
Starting at
3,099
Jul 26 - Aug 2, 2021
Starting at
3,099
Aug 2 - Aug 9, 2021
Starting at
3,099
Aug 16 - Aug 23, 2021
Starting at
3,099
Aug 23 - Aug 30, 2021
Starting at
3,099
Sep 6 - Sep 13, 2021
Starting at
2,999
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Jul 5 - Jul 12, 2021
Starting at
3,959
Jul 12 - Jul 19, 2021
Starting at
4,059
Jul 26 - Aug 2, 2021
Starting at
4,059
Aug 2 - Aug 9, 2021
Starting at
4,059
Aug 16 - Aug 23, 2021
Starting at
4,059
Aug 23 - Aug 30, 2021
Starting at
4,059
Sep 6 - Sep 13, 2021
Starting at
3,959

At a Glance

Explore two jewels of the "Crown of the Continent" — Glacier National Park in Montana and Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta. These magnificent parks combined in 1932 to create the world's first international peace park, bridging the United States and Canada with the beauty and serenity of the Rocky Mountains.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Hiking up to two miles on maintained natural surface dirt trails in mountainous terrain. Optional hike of 4-5 miles may be offered one day. Ability to climb stairs, get on and off a motor coach and boat is required. Elevations of 3,000-7,200 feet.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Immerse yourself in the history, beauty and untamed wilderness of this soaring wonderland through its historic lodges, amazing geological features and diverse flora and fauna.
  • Enjoy daily field trips that showcase some of the most intact wildland on the entire continent.
  • Discover breathtaking views, rugged peaks, vast glacier-carved valleys and thundering cascades as you journey over the historic Going-to-the-Sun Road aboard an iconic Red Bus.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Blackfeet Tales of Glacier National Park
by James Willard Schultz
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.
The Great Divide: The Rocky Mountains in the American Mind
by Gary Ferguson
For most of our nation's history, Americans have identified with the "purple mountain majesties" of the Rockies. Trappers and debutantes, miners and missionaries, artists and drinkers, escaped slaves, independent women abandoning hoopskirts, and assorted black sheep of respectable families have all sought refuge and inspiration there. This spectacular landscape has always offered a sense of freedom from crowds and conformity--a world, as Frederic Remington described it, "beyond derby hats and mortgages bearing eight percent." Gary Ferguson spins magnificent tales about the vivid characters who have peopled this majestic region, from the original Indian inhabitants and their interactions with European explorers, to the delirious victims of gold rush fever, to hippies in the Sixties, to today's adventure travelers in high-tech outerwear toting satellite phones into the wild. Throughout, he explores the ebbs and flows of America's attitude toward the vast expanses that embody our sense of freedom.
Going-to-the-Sun Road: Glacier National Park's Highway to the Sky
by C.W. Guthrie
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
by Raup, Earhart, Whipple, and Carrara
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.
Wildflowers of Glacier National Park
by Shannon Kimball and Peter Lesica
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.
Moon Glacier National Park: Including Waterton Lakes National Park
by Becky Lomax
Writer, editor, and avid outdoorswoman Becky Lomax offers an insider’s perspective on Glacier National Park. From hiking through multi-color meadows filled with wildflowers to observing the Sperry Glacier, a victim of global warming that will vanish in less than two decades, Lomax knows the best ways to enjoy the park’s one million acres of wilderness. She also includes unique trip strategies for travelers with specific interests and restrictions, including a Wildlife-Watching tour and a whirlwind One Day in Glacier tour. Whether it’s biking up Going-to-the-Sun Road or watching a grizzly forage in huckleberries, Moon Glacier National Park gives travelers the tools they need to create a more personal and memorable experience.
Grizzly Country
by Andy Russell
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.
Glacier - A Natural History Guide
by David Rockwell
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.
Print All
Map details are not available for this location.
View Map
Expand All
8 days
7 nights
18 meals
7 B 5 L 6 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Program Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Kalispell
D
Hilton Garden Inn Kalispell

Activity note: Hotel Check-in available from 3:00 p.m. The elevation of the hotel is 2,956 feet.

Afternoon: Collect your welcome packet from the front desk of the hotel upon check-in. It will contain an up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes and other important information. Program Registration: 3:30 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come over to the noted meeting room and meet your Group Leader, complete paperwork, and make sack lunch selections. Please wear your Road Scholar name tag that you received in the mail. If you have not received your name tag one month prior to your program, call Road Scholar at 1-800-454-5768. Orientation: 4:30 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date daily program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. For field trips, we will travel by motor coach and historic Red Bus. Trail selections are made by Group Leaders on the day of the hike based on weather, trail conditions, and group ability. We will break into smaller groups for hikes so that you can select the distance that best suits you each day. Hikes will be led by local experts who will share their knowledge along the trail. Restrooms are available at most trail heads. "America the Beautiful" passes cover entrance fees at national parks for up to 4 adults. If you have one of these national park passes, please bring it with you to the program and on our field trips. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. We will alert you as quickly as possible of changes. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: In our meeting room, we’ll have a catered buffet with entrée, sides, and dessert. Coffee, iced tea, lemonade, and water included; other beverages available for purchase. Enjoy the meal and get to know your fellow travelers.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night’s sleep for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Presentation, Lake McDonald Valley in Glacier National Park
Kalispell
B,L,D
Hilton Garden Inn Kalispell

Activity note: Hiking 1 to 2 miles on maintained dirt trails that may be rocky and uneven; max elevation of 3,300 feet. We'll split into smaller hiking groups with different distance choices; choose the option that suits your personal preference. Driving approximately 48 miles one way to trailhead in Glacier National Park; about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we'll use a voucher for the breakfast buffet which features selections including eggs, pancakes, French toast, waffles, fruit, pastries and breakfast breads, hot and cold cereals, yogurt, and an assortment of juices, milk, coffee, hot tea, and water.

Morning: In our meeting room at the hotel, we'll have an expert-led introductory lecture to the Glacier Waterton area. After the presentation, we'll travel to Glacier National Park where we will be greeted with spectacular scenery on the shores of ten-mile long Lake McDonald. The lake and the surrounding valley were carved by glaciers long ago. We'll continue to the historic Lake McDonald Lodge which was constructed over 100 years ago. We'll explore this National Historic Landmark and learn more about early visitors in Glacier.

Lunch: At a restaurant inside Glacier Park, we’ll use vouchers to order from the menu that includes pizza, salads, and sandwiches. Non-alcoholic beverages included, other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: This afternoon, we will embark on an interpretive hike led by an expert instructor. We will explore the unique ecosystems found west of the continental divide. Along the way, we'll gain an appreciation for the plants and animals that inhabit this region. After our hikes conclude, we will return to the hotel in Kalispell.

Dinner: Hotel buffet.

Evening: In the hotel meeting room, we’ll attend a presentation about the natural history of Glacier National Park given by a local expert. Afterwards, be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
3
Many Glacier via Going-to-the-Sun Road aboard Red Bus
Many Glacier
B,L,D
Many Glacier Hotel

Activity note: Hiking approximately 1 to 2 miles throughout the day on maintained dirt trails that may be rocky and uneven, paved trails, and a boardwalk with steep and deep steps. Max elevation about 6,800 feet. Driving approximately 105 miles; approximately 1 hour on motor coach and 3 hours on historic Red Bus.

Breakfast: We'll use a voucher for the hotel buffet.

Morning: Gathering at the hotel, we’ll start the day with a presentation given by a local expert on the ecosystems and wildlife of Glacier National Park. After checking out of the hotel, we’ll drive to the shore of Lake McDonald inside Glacier National Park. While enjoying the scenery, which includes towering peaks and a deep lake carved by glaciers over 10,000 years ago, our expert field instructors will share information on topics that may include botany, geology, wildlife, history, aquatics, and more.

Lunch: On the shores of Lake McDonald, we’ll have sack lunches with sandwiches or wraps, and sides. Please bring your own reusable, leak-proof water bottle to consume at lunch and throughout the day.

Afternoon: We’ll then begin our transfer to the historic Many Glacier Hotel via Red Buses along the Going-to-the-Sun Road (access subject to weather and road conditions). As we travel aboard these iconic vehicles, we’ll be fully immersed in the natural grandeur of the region through insightful commentary from the drivers. First used in the mid-1930s to transport visitors in Glacier, and fully restored in 2001, the historic Red Busses continue to delight passengers today. Their canvass roll-back tops allow for unsurpassed views of the towering mountains in every direction. The Going-to-the-Sun Road is a National Historic Landmark and it is the only road that crosses Glacier National Park. The narrow road hugs the cliffside as it winds through the mountains and it inspires awe at every turn. The road was designed to complement the landscape and give visitors the opportunity to enjoy some of the most spectacular scenery Glacier National Park has to offer. We'll stop to stretch our legs and take in the view at Logan Pass which is located along the Continental Divide, where waters flow either toward the Pacific or the Atlantic Oceans. Our instructors will lead us on short hikes where will learn about the fascinating alpine ecosystem and the hearty plants and animals that thrive in this unforgiving environment. Logan Pass is the highest point on the Going-to-the-Sun Road with an elevation of 6,646'. Continuing our journey over the Going-to-the-Sun Road we'll view sky scraping peaks, cascading waterfalls, and broad alpine meadows teeming with wildflowers and wildlife. Then we'll check in to Many Glacier Hotel. Many Glacier Hotel was built in 1914 by the Great Northern Railway as a destination resort for its rail tourists. The hotel sits among soaring peaks and glassy lakes.

Dinner: In the Ptarmigan Dining Room located on-site at the hotel, we'll order plated meals from the menu. Our vouchers include a soup or side salad, entree, dessert and a non-alcoholic beverage. Other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. You may wish to bring your binoculars and join our instructors behind the lodge for wildlife viewing where we'll look for grizzlies, moose, and bighorn sheep, or you may want to just relax and enjoy the scenery.

DAY
4
Interpretive Hike in Many Glacier Valley, Presentation
Many Glacier
B,D
Many Glacier Hotel

Activity note: Hiking about 2 miles on maintained dirt trails which may be rocky and uneven. A possible option to hike up to 4 miles may be offered depending on group ability and interest. Elevations from 4,900 to 5,200 feet. We’ll split into smaller hiking groups with varying distance choices; choose the option that suits your personal preference. Restroom facilities available at most trail heads.

Breakfast: In the hotel dinning room. We'll have vouchers for the breakfast buffet which includes a selection of eggs, breakfast meats, french toast, potatoes, hot & cold cereal, pastries, and toast. Coffee, tea, juice, milk, and water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Morning: Join one of our experts on an easy to moderate hike in the scenic Many Glacier Valley. As you hike around a series of glacially carved lakes, be on the lookout for bears, moose, and other wildlife that thrive in this valley. You will learn about the geological forces that created this impressive landscape as well as the flora and fauna that you encounter.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: We’ll have the opportunity to learn more about Glacier National Park during a presentation given by a local expert in the meeting room at the hotel.

Dinner: Using vouchers, we'll order a plated meal off the menu in the hotel dining room. Non-alcoholic beverages included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. For those who are interested, our instructors will spend another evening leading wildlife viewing. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
5
To Waterton Lakes, Remington Carriage Museum, Buffalo Jump
Waterton International Peace Park, Alberta
B,L,D
Prince of Wales Hotel

Activity note: Have passports accessible for the US/Canadian border crossing. Walking up to 1 mile with periods of standing in two museums today. Driving approximately 170 miles; about 3.5 hours total aboard motor coach.

Breakfast: We'll have vouchers for the buffet in the Ptarmigan dining room in the hotel.

Morning: After checking out of Many Glacier Hotel, we'll begin our transfer to Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada; be sure to have your passports accessible for the US/Canadian border crossing. On the way, we'll stop at the Remington Carriage Museum in Cardston where we'll see over 240 carriages, wagons, and sleighs in the largest collection of horse-drawn vehicles in North America. Museum staff will lead us through the collection offering commentary and answering questions.

Lunch: En route aboard the motor coach, we’ll have sack lunches with sandwiches or wraps and sides. Please bring your own leak-proof water bottle to consume at lunch and throughout the day.

Afternoon: This afternoon we’ll visit Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which bears witness to an aboriginal hunting practice that was used by native people of the North American plains for almost 6,000 years. We'll stop at this unique site and learn from museum staff about this essential piece of history. Completing our transfer into Waterton Lakes National Park, we'll check into the stunning Prince of Wales Hotel, which was built by the Great Northern Railway in 1927 and boasts Swiss-style architecture with British ambiance. It’s named after Prince Edward of Wales, who later became King Edward VIII, and the hotel is a National Historic Site of Canada.

Dinner: In the Royal Stewart Dining Room, located on-site at the hotel, we’ll have plated meals from the menu with a choice of non- alcoholic beverage; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. For those who are interested, our instructors will spend the evening leading wildlife viewing from the hotel deck.

DAY
6
International Scenic Boat Cruise, Waterton Hike
Waterton International Peace Park, Alberta
B,L
Prince of Wales Hotel

Activity note: Hiking about 2 miles; up to 3 hours; easy to moderate terrain on natural dirt trails that may be uneven or rocky. Getting on/off a boat; cruise is approximately 2 hours. Driving about 25 miles total throughout the day, with stops for field trips.

Breakfast: In the Royal Stewart Dining Room at the Prince of Wales Hotel, we’ll have vouchers to order a plated breakfast from the menu. Non-alcoholic beverage included; other beverages available for purchase.

Morning: We'll drive the short distance to downtown Waterton for an international boat cruise on pristine Waterton Lake. During our ride narrated by the captain, we’ll have spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains, including majestic towering cliffs, unique geological formations, striking waterfalls, snow covered peaks, and the international border between Canada and the United States. We’ll get off the boat and board the motorcoach for our return to the hotel.

Lunch: In the hotel dinning room, we’ll have plated meals from a select menu with a choice of non–alcoholic beverage; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We'll drive to the trailhead and set off on foot on one of the scenic trails in Waterton. Our expert instructors will provide trailside lessons that range in topic from wildfire to wildflowers to wildlife. After our hike, we will return to the hotel to prepare for dinner in downtown Waterton.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy local fare in Waterton. Transportation via motor coach between the hotel and town is provided.

Evening: At leisure. 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. For those who are interested, our instructors will lead an evening of wildlife viewing.

DAY
7
Return to Kalispell, Glacier Park Lodge, Goat Lick Overlook
Kalispell
B,L,D
Hilton Garden Inn Kalispell

Activity note: Have passports accessible for the Canadian/US border crossing. Driving approximately 175 miles; about 5 hours drive time aboard motor coach to Kalispell plus stops along the way.

Breakfast: At the Royal Stewart Dining Room in the hotel, we'll use breakfast vouchers to order a plated meal from the menu.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we’ll begin our transfer back to Kalispell - have your passports accessible for re-entry into the USA. Once through customs, we'll visit the historic Glacier Park Lodge in East Glacier which was completed in 1913. The 60 immense timbers that support the Lodge were between 500 and 800 years old when they were cut. They are 36 to 42 inches in diameter, 40 feet long, and all retain their bark. The timbers in the lobby are Douglas fir and the verandahs are supported by cedars from Washington. Our expert instructors will show us around explaining how the history of this hotel relates to the railroad and what the early non-indigenous visitors to Glacier National Park experienced.

Lunch: At one of our stops, we’ll have sack lunches with sandwiches or wraps and sides. Please bring your own leak-proof reusable water bottle to consume at lunch and throughout the day.

Afternoon: On the return trip to Kalispell, we'll travel along the southern border of Glacier National Park. We will cross the continental divide at Marias Pass and our instructors will explain the historical and geological significance of this area. We'll take educational and scenic stops along the way as time allows. Upon our arrival at the hotel, we’ll check-in and have some time to freshen up before dinner.

Dinner: At the hotel, we'll celebrate a week full of adventure and learning with a casual, plated farewell dinner consisting of an entrée, sides, and dessert, plus a glass of wine, coffee, iced tea, lemonade, or water; other beverages available for purchase. Share some of your favorite experiences from the program with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and independent departures in the morning.

DAY
8
Program Concludes
Kalispell
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: We'll have vouchers for the hotel buffet. This concludes our program.

Morning: We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures Best Wishes for all your journeys!






Your Well-Being is Our #1 Priority

We’re committed to making your experience as safe and enjoyable as possible.

See Our Safety Roadmap
Click here to provide website feedback
Website Feedback