21016
Glacier National Park
The Best of Glacier National Park
Discover Glacier National Park as you raft Flathead River, explore alpine trails, visit pristine lakes and learn how glaciers carved this stunning landscape eons ago.
Rating (4.92)
Program No. 21016RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,675
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 4 L 4 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Lake McDonald in West Glacier
D
Motel Lake McDonald

Activity note: Motel check-in available from 3:00 p.m. Walk 300 yards to dining and meeting room facilities.

Afternoon: Motel Check-in: Available from 3:00 p.m. Collect your Road Scholar Program Welcome Packet at time of check-in. Program Registration: Begins at 4:30 p.m. in the Creekside Room, approximately 300 yards from Motel Lake McDonald. Here you will meet your group leader and complete any necessary paperwork. If your arrival is delayed, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation: 5:00 p.m.in the Creekside Room. 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 any questions you may have. The Group Leader will be available throughout the week to answer any questions that arise. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Please be aware that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: Following orientation, the Welcome Dinner will be served in the Creekside Room. The buffet dinner will include an entree, sides, and a non-alcoholic beverage. Enjoy the meal and get to know your fellow travelers.

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.

DAY
2
Hikes in Lake McDonald Valley, Presentation, Boat Cruise
Lake McDonald in West Glacier
B,L,D
Motel Lake McDonald

Activity note: Walk 300 yards to dining and meeting room facilities. Travel in 15 Passenger Vans to trail heads, approximate total of 30 minutes in vans. Hike outdoors along natural surface dirt trails on hilly, rocky and uneven mountainous terrain. Expect to hike 2 miles. A possible option of up to 5 miles may be offered. We will split into smaller groups on trails based on comfort level and ability. Restroom facilities are available at most trail heads.

Breakfast: The breakfast menu at Russell’s Fireside Dining Room includes many standard American classics as well as a lighter fare for those not looking for a heavy morning meal.

Morning: We'll begin our exploration of Glacier National Park with an expert-led hike on the Trail of the Cedars, Avalanche Lake Trail or McDonald Creek Falls Trail, (trail selections are made by group leaders and field instructors 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 hike distance that best suits you that day. Each group will be led by a local expert that will share their knowledge of Glacier along the trail. Trail of the Cedars is a spectacular wet forest trail looping through old-growth stands of western red cedar, western hemlock and black cottonwood and borders a section of Avalanche Creek. Avalanche Lake Trail follows the west rim of the gorge and ends up at an idyllic, subalpine lake rimmed with waterfalls. McDonald Creek Trail wanders through a mixed woodland of hemlock, larch and Douglas fir, leading you on a path to McDonald Creek's turquoise waters and churning waterfalls.

Lunch: Enjoy a fresh, pre-selected sack-lunch sandwich or wrap that will include sides and a cookie.

Afternoon: This afternoon, continue with expert-led hikes through the beautiful Lake McDonald Valley. We'll return to the Creekside Room for a captivating introduction to Glacier National Park presented by a local expert.

Dinner: Russell’s Fireside Dining Room in the Lake McDonald Lodge. Participants will be able to order off the menu. The Dining Room is known for its wild game and local specialties.

Evening: Following dinner we’ll walk a short distance to the boat dock for a cruise around Lake McDonald on a historic wooden boat. A narrative of the lake will help orient us to the terrain and history of the park.

DAY
3
Many Glacier, Interpretive Scenic Hikes, Presentation
Lake McDonald in West Glacier
B,L,D
Motel Lake McDonald

Activity note: Walk 300 yards to dining room facilities. Travel in 15 Passenger Vans, approximate total of 4 hrs in vans today, with opportunities for restrooms & stretching your legs along the way. Walking & hiking outdoors along natural surface trails on rocky and uneven mountainous terrain. Expect to hike 2 miles with a possible option of up to 4 miles. Trail elevations of 4,900 ft to 5,200 ft today. We'll split into smaller groups based on comfort level and ability. Restrooms available at most trail heads.

Breakfast: Russell’s Fireside Dining Room in the Lake McDonald Lodge.

Morning: This morning we'll depart for the northeast side of Glacier National Park. The Many Glacier Valley showcases amazing views of rugged peaks, pristine lakes and roaming wildlife. Expert field instructors will lead us on beautiful trails with breathtaking views.

Lunch: Sack lunch in the field.

Afternoon: Groups will conclude their instructor-led hikes and depart for their return trip to Motel Lake McDonald.

Dinner: Russell’s Fireside Dining Room in the Lake McDonald Lodge.

Evening: After dinner, return to the Creekside Room for a presentation covering more of the amazing ecosystems and history of Glacier National Park.

DAY
4
Logan Pass via Going-to-the-Sun Road, Interpretive Hike
Lake McDonald in West Glacier
B,L
Motel Lake McDonald

Activity note: Walk 300 yards to dining & meeting room facilities. Travel in 15 Passenger Vans approximate total of 2 hrs today. Hiking outdoors 2 miles along natural surface trails on rocky and uneven mountainous terrain as well as along a boardwalk with steep steps. Possible hike option of up to 3 miles may be offered. Elevations during hikes will range from 6,650 - 7,200 ft. We'll split into smaller groups on trails based on comfort level and ability. Restroom facilities are available at most trail heads.

Breakfast: Russell’s Fireside Dining Room in the Lake McDonald Lodge.

Morning: This morning ascend the historic Going-to-the-Sun Road, an engineering marvel with portions built on mountain cliffs complete with tunnels, arches and narrow switchbacks, which help showcase Glacier's stunning scenery. Cross the Continental Divide at Logan Pass where waters flow either to the Pacific or the Atlantic.

Lunch: Sack lunch in the field.

Afternoon: We'll continue our exploration along the Going-to-the-Sun Road with moderate walks and hikes led by expert field instructors.

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

DAY
5
Presentation, Scenic Float Trip on the Flathead River
Lake McDonald in West Glacier
B,L,D
Motel Lake McDonald

Activity note: Walk 300 yards to dining & meeting room facilities. No group hikes scheduled today. Travel in bus approximate total of 1 hour today. Afternoon float trip on an inflatable raft will last approximately 2-3 hrs, with opportunities to get out and stretch your legs, and paddle (optional). Outdoor barbecue directly following the float trip. Restroom facilities available at Raft Company.

Breakfast: Russell’s Fireside Dining Room in the Lake McDonald Lodge.

Morning: This morning a local expert will present glaciers and climate change.

Lunch: Jammer Joe's Pizzeria and Grill. Participants will be free to order off the menu for lunch. Jammer Joe’s serves up pizzas, salads and sandwiches in a retro Red Bus atmosphere.

Afternoon: This afternoon, enjoy a scenic interpretive float trip down the Middle Fork of the Flathead River, each inflatable raft will be led by a certified guide. Life jackets, water shoes, and optional wet suits are provided.

Dinner: Tonight we'll celebrate our week of adventure, exploration and final evening together with a special outdoor barbecue directly following the float trip. Make sure to pack a light jacket or extra layer as it may be cool in the evening.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
Lake McDonald in West Glacier
B

Activity note: Independent Departures

Breakfast: Russell’s Fireside Dining Room in the Lake McDonald Lodge, open from 6:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

Morning: This concludes our program. Please note that hotel check-out is by 11:00 a.m. 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!