The Best of the Grand Tetons to Banff: Iconic National Parks

Explore six national parks — Tetons, Yellowstone, Glacier, Waterton, Banff and Jasper — and discover unique waypoints like Old Faithful, Many Glacier, Lake Louise and much more!
Rating (4.93)
Program No. 20524RJ
12 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Prepare yourself for an adventure of monumental proportions — a journey through six national parks in Wyoming, Montana and Alberta Canada. The Rocky Mountain colossus must be seen to be appreciated, and your journey will take you to Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Glacier, Waterton, Banff and Jasper national parks. Experience famous waypoints like Jackson Hole, Old Faithful Geyser, Mammoth Hot Springs and Lake Louise as you learn about the geology, history, flora and fauna of the Rocky Mountains.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walking up to one mile daily. Standing for up to three hours. Elevations up to 8,041 feet.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Visit the massive Columbia Icefield and venture by Snow Coach onto the surface of the Athabasca Glacier.
  • Experience the Crown of the Continent via the Going-to-the-Sun Road as we traverse Logan Pass aboard Red Buses in magnificent Glacier National Park.
  • Discover Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, and bear witness to an aboriginal hunting practice that was used by native people of the North American plains for almost 6,000 years.

General Notes

Transit days include one six-hour and two three-hour drives. Field trips and transit days include stops along the way, and coach is equipped with lavatory.
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.
Rocky Mountains; Smithsonian Natural Histotry Series
by Scott Elias
The Rocky Mountains are one of the Earth's most spectacular geological features, containing vast stretches that remain wild and untamed. Hikers on mountain trails often see the wilderness just as Lewis and Clark saw it almost 200 years ago. The diversity of life found along the Rockies' 2,000-mile range is so varied that the mountains are divided into three regions: the Northern, Central, and Southern Rocky Mountains. Scott A. Elias discusses the unique features of each region in his comprehensive natural history of "the backbone of the continent." Elias examines the physical environment of each of the three regions, looking at geology, important land forms, climatology, soils, water resources, and paleontology. Equally detailed chapters examine botany, invertebrate zoology, native fishes of the plains and mountains, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals. Elias also includes a history of the native peoples and a synthesis of activities since the Spanish colonial period in the Southern Rockies. Conservation topics are woven throughout the book and the final pages examine the problems of overuse and overcrowding in national and state parks. Elias offers recommendations to alleviate these problems and stresses that the Rockies are a national treasure and should be treated as such.
Crown of the Continent
by Ralph Waldt
A professional naturalist's incredible, personal portrait of America's largest and most pristine wilderness in the lower 48 states: the Northern Continental Divide ecosystem in Montana, Alberta, and British Columbia. This vast area includes two national parks in two countries (Glacier National Park and Waterton Lakes in Canada), three designated wilderness areas including the famous Bob Marshall Wilderness. This book describes the area's geology, wildlife, plant life, and crucial environmental issues with over 150 stunning photographs.
Empire of Shadows: The Epic Story of Yellowstone
by George Black
Empire of Shadows is the epic story of the conquest of Yellowstone, a landscape uninhabited, inaccessible and shrouded in myth in the aftermath of the Civil War. In a radical reinterpretation of the nineteenth century West, George Black casts Yellowstone's creation as the culmination of three interwoven strands of history - the passion for exploration, the violence of the Indian Wars and the "civilizing" of the frontier - and charts its course through the lives of those who sought to lay bare its mysteries: Lt. Gustavus Cheyney Doane, a gifted but tormented cavalryman known as "the man who invented Wonderland"; the ambitious former vigilante leader Nathaniel Langford; scientist Ferdinand Hayden, who brought photographer William Henry Jackson and painter Thomas Moran to Yellowstone; and Gen. Phil Sheridan, Civil War hero and architect of the Indian Wars, who finally succeeded in having the new National Park placed under the protection of the US Cavalry. George Blacks Empire of Shadows is a groundbreaking historical account of the origins of Americas majestic national landmark.
Wildflowers of Glacier National Park
by Shannon Fitzpatrick Kimball and Peter Lesica
Wildflowers of Glacier National park and Surrounding Areas is a user-friendly 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. The index lists plants both by their common and scientific names.
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.
Wildflowers of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks
by Richard Shaw
The purpose of this paperback book is to picture and describe the beautiful wildflowers of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks as well as the other areas included in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

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