Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.
Afternoon: Hotel check-in: Available from 3:00 p.m. Collect welcome packet at the front desk at time of check-in, it will contain your name-tag, up-to-date-schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If your arrival is delayed, please ask for your packet when you check in. Program Registration: 4:00-4:45 p.m. in the hotel meeting room. After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar meeting room and meet your group leader. Here you will complete any necessary paperwork. Orientation: 5:00 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. This is a Road Scholar intergenerational program. Grandparents are responsible for their grandchildren. If/when separate age group activities are conducted concurrently, program staff will supervise. Children are never to be left unsupervised. 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. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
Dinner: In the hotel meeting room, enjoy a dinner buffet with entrée, sides and dessert plus coffee, iced tea, lemonade or water; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in to your room, and get a good night’s sleep for the full day tomorrow.
Activity note: Walking up to 1 mile throughout the day to access activities on dirt trails that may be rocky, hilly, and uneven. Gondola ride to the Summit Top is 15 minutes to elevation of 6,800 feet. Periods of standing and sitting. Safety harness required for aerial adventure course. Sitting on sleds down Alpine Slide course. Driving in bus about 25 miles, approximately 45 mins each way.
Breakfast: At the hotel, enjoy a freshly prepared breakfast buffet. Selections include Chef made-to-order omeletts, pancakes, French toast, and waffles, along with self-serve fruit, Danish, bagels, hot and cold cereals, muffins, and yogurt. An assortment of juices, milk, coffee & hot tea will also be available.
Morning: The day opens with discovery and adventure as we travel to Big Mountain and Whitefish Mountain Resort with our Group Leader to take part in a family bonding experience. Especially for kids: We’ll climb, slide, and “fly” on an aerial adventure obstacle course in the trees. Secured in safety harnesses, we’ll go from tree to tree on suspended bridges and cable walkways, nets and ladders, trapezes, and other fun elements like zip lines and barrels. Next, we'll board the "Glacier Chaser" gondola and chairlift, also known as Big Mountain Express, for a 15-minute scenic ride to the 6,800 foot summit of Big Mountain. At the top, we'll have breathtaking panoramic views of Glacier National Park, Flathead Valley, and surrounding areas.
Lunch: At the Summit House on Big Mountain, enjoy a buffet lunch.
Afternoon: Next, we'll learn about this spectacular part of the Rocky Mountains and Glacier National Park during an interpretive talk led by a ranger. Especially for kids: To end our day on the mountain, we'll have an exciting ride down the Alpine Slide, sort of like the luge event in the Olympics. The flat wheeled carts have hand brakes to control your speed while whizzing around curves, through a tunnel, under bridges, and on straightaways. You’ll feel the wind in your face down the concrete track that stretches 1,605 feet along the side of the mountain. Note: Kids under 48" (4 feet) tall must ride with an adult. We’ll return to the hotel tired but exhilarated, with some time to freshen up and relax before dinner.
Dinner: Buffet at the hotel.
Evening: Enjoy a presentation by a local expert on the wild and wooly wildlife of Glacier National Park and surrounding area.
Activity note: Hiking 2 miles on dirt trails that may be rocky, hilly, and uneven. 225 foot elevation gain, max elevation 3,410 feet. Driving in bus approximately 50 miles, 1 hour 15 minutes each way.
Breakfast: At the hotel.
Morning: We’ll head out for a full-day field trip in Glacier National Park, with interpretive walks and hikes led by local experts with the Flathead Audubon Society. While on the trail, participate in a variety of fun instructor-led activities that will capitalize on the natural curiosity of children. Participants will focus on using different senses to experience the unique forest and explore the secrets of the natural, wild surroundings.
Lunch: Along the trail enjoy a pre-selected sack lunch made fresh with sandwich wrap and sides. Please bring your own reusable, leak-proof water bottle to consume at lunch and throughout the day.
Afternoon: This afternoon, we'll continue interpretive walks and hikes with the local Flathead Audubon Society instructors. After our hike we'll ride the bus to Lake McDonald where we will have some free time to relax. Spend it exploring the historic Lake McDonald Lodge, or just sit by the lake and enjoy the expansive scenery.
Dinner: Enjoy dinner tonight in Glacier National Park at Jammer Joe’s Grill and Pizzeria. Participants will be free to order off the menu for dinner. Jammer Joe’s serves up pizzas, salads and sandwiches in a retro Red Bus atmosphere.
Evening: Once we arrive back at the hotel, feel free to enjoy the evening at your leisure.
Activity note: Drive time to Whitefish approximately 1/2 hour. Drive time to rafting less than 1 hour. Bring water attire, water sandals, and dry clothes for after. Rafting field trip will 2 hours, with periods of sitting, rowing (according to personal choice), and opportunities to get out and stretch legs. Drive back to hotel less than 1 hour.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: We'll travel to Whitefish and join a local environmental scientist to get a big-picture understanding of Whitefish Lake and nearby wetlands. We'll learn about the complex food web of the lake, the native and introduced fish species that are found there, and talk about the changes that caused by introduced species. Especially for Kids: We'll participate in some hands-on scientific research of our own and learn about insect indicators of water quality. We'll then have some time for personal independent exploration in Whitefish. The historic downtown is full of western charm 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. The 1927 Great Northern Railway Depot is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings.
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. Whitefish has numerous restaurants to choose from.
Afternoon: Especially for kids: A fun and splashy adventure awaits! We'll go on an expert-led rafting trip down the beautiful Middle Fork of the Flathead River. If you choose, you can help paddle the boat through the rapids, be prepared to get wet! As we travel by raft along the southern border of Glacier National Park we will gain a unique perspective of the landscape. We'll learn about the geologic forces that shaped the landscape, appreciate the river’s Wild and Scenic Waterway designation, and discover why this pristine river is such an important part of the ecosystem. We'll learn about where all the water comes from and where it is headed. Along the way keep your eyes peeled for wildlife along the shoreline, you may even spot a bear.
Dinner: We'll enjoy a special outdoor barbecue prepared just for us at the raft company immediately following the raft trip. We'll be spending the evening outside so bring dry clothes and a warm layer for after the raft trip.
Evening: Returning to the hotel, the remainder of the evening is at leisure.
Activity note: Hiking up to 2 miles on maintained dirt trails that may be uneven and rocky, and on boardwalk with steep steeps. Elevation of 6,646 feet at Logan Pass, max elevation 7,200 feet. Driving 70 mile each way in 15 passenger vans. Round trip drive time 4-5 hours.
Breakfast: At the hotel.
Morning: This morning we'll travel along the historic Going-to-the-Sun Road with expert instructors who will offer enriching narrative along the way. The Going-to-the-Sun Road is a National Historic Landmark and it is the only road that crosses Glacier National Park. Switchbacks and tunnels were constructed to help visitors pass through some of the most spectacular scenery Glacier National Park has to offer. Our destination is Logan Pass, located along the Continental Divide, where waters flow either toward the Pacific or Atlantic Oceans. Logan Pass is the highest point on the Going-to-the-Sun Road with an elevation of 6,647'.
Lunch: Sack lunch along the trail. Please bring your own reusable, leak-proof water bottle to consume at lunch and throughout the day.
Afternoon: We'll experience standing on the 'Backbone of the World' as the natives called the mountains, at Logan Pass. Here we'll partake in an expert-led interpretive hike where we will explore the subalpine ecosystem. We'll search for evidence of past glaciers by looking for geological features such as aretes, glacial horns, moraines, and waterfalls. We will also be on the lookout for special plants and animals with unique adaptations that allow them to thrive in the harsh, high elevation environment. Along the way we may be distracted by meadows teeming with wildflowers and towering snow-capped peaks! The trail starts at about 6,660 feet and climbs up from there. The trail consists of pavement, a boardwalk with steep and deep steps, and a dirt and rock trail. After our hikes conclude, we will return to the hotel in Kalispell.
Dinner: Back at the hotel, we'll celebrate a week full of adventure and learning with a casual final dinner together. Enjoy a buffet with entrée, sides, and dessert plus coffee, iced tea, lemonade or water; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.
Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon.
Breakfast: At the hotel. 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!