Afternoon: Upon arrival, come over to the Road Scholar table to check-in with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.
Dinner: At the Snow King Hotel, enjoy a buffet dinner with a main dish, sides, and dessert plus water, coffee, and tea.
Evening: Orientation: The Group Leaders will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Due to size limitations, participants will be split into two groups for the trip to Yellowstone, with some going on December 29th and others on the 30th. Schedules will flip flop on those two days. People traveling together will be in the same group. All transportation is via Teton Science School mini-vans or mini-buses. All activities will be led by a combination of Teton Science School staff, local experts, and experienced docents. Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing will take place in Grand Teton National park or the surrounding national forest land. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Many popular restaurants and shops are walking distance from the Snow King Hotel. Jackson's free public bus service is available for transit around town and has a stop at the hotel. 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.
Activity note: Snowshoe hike will be 1 to 3 miles with up to 400 feet elevation gain.
Breakfast: At Hayden's Post Restaurant in Snow King Hotel, enjoy a breakfast buffet that includes eggs, a breakfast meat, breads, cereals, sliced fruit, and pastries with juice, coffee, and tea.
Morning: What does it take to survive winter in Jackson Hole? This morning will begin with a lecture and discussion of the seasonal adaptations local wildlife have to help them survive winter, as well as an introduction to some of the wildlife we hope to see. We will then head to Grand Teton National Park to begin our snowshoe adventure.
Lunch: Lunch will be a packed field lunch, prepared by the chefs at Teton Science Schools. It will be eaten at a scenic location during the snowshoe hike.
Afternoon: Continue learning about wildlife adaptations on a scenic snowshoe hike into Grand Teton National Park. We will snowshoe at the base of the magnificent Grand Teton mountains and look for signs of wildlife. We will also have some free time in the afternoon to wander the streets of Jackson, snap a photo under the elk antler arches on the Town Square, or have a drink on the saddle bar stools at the famous Million Dollar Cowboy Bar.
Dinner: Dinner will be served buffet style in the Teton Science Schools Dining Lodge by our executive chef. The menu varies greatly and is always healthy and balanced, plus water, lemonade, coffee, and tea.
Evening: Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding areas comprise the largest intact ecosystem in the lower 48 states. However, balancing the needs of wildlife and the livelihoods of local residents isn't easy! In tonight's lecture on Wildlife Issues and Controversies in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, learn about the wildlife inhabiting the region, such as bears and wolves, and become familiar with the various challenges that face land and wildlife managers in and around Jackson Hole.
Activity note: The snowcoach expedition involves getting in and out of a large vehicle fitted with tracks that travels over snow. Participants will sit in a vehicle during travel, getting out throughout the day to explore areas of interest.Participants will be split into two groups, with half going to Yellowstone on the 29th, and the other half going on the 30th.
Breakfast: At Flagg Ranch, enjoy a breakfast buffet that includes eggs and a meat option, plus coffee, tea, juice and water.
Morning: Today we will take an exhilarating trip into Yellowstone National Park in the heart of winter! After transport to the south entrance of Yellowstone National Park, participants will board a "snowcoach" vehicle that will travel over the snow into the park, stopping along the way to view waterfalls, wildlife, and geothermal features.
Lunch: A packed field lunch.
Afternoon: Watch Old Faithful erupt in all her glory while learning about Yellowstone wildlife, history, and geothermal features from a local expert. Take time to explore the Old Faithful geyser basin, which holds the largest concentration of thermal features and nearly one-quarter of all geysers in the world. Look for wildlife on the drive back to Jackson as the sun sets.
Dinner: This dinner 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 and give directions.
Evening: At your leisure.
Activity note: Cross-country skiing will traverse 1-3 miles over mostly flat terrain. No experience necessary.
Breakfast: At your accommodation.
Morning: After getting outfitted in cross-country ski gear at Teton Science Schools, we will drive to a trailhead where our instructors will teach a lesson on cross-country skiing. We will then spend the morning practicing our new skill with the spectacular Teton Mountains as our backdrop.
Lunch: A packed field lunch will be eaten in a scenic location.
Afternoon: Upon our return from our xc ski adventure, we will ride the chairlift up to the top of Snow King Mountain in the town of Jackson. From the top on a clear day, we will be able to get a bird's eye view of the town below, the National Elk Refuge, the Teton Mountains beyond and the entire Jackson Hole valley. Ride the chairlift back down to Snow King Resort. We'll have time for you to warm up in the hot tub before heading out for dinner!
Dinner: Enjoy a buffet dinner with salad, sides, and a main entree at a local restaurant.
Breakfast: At your accommodation.
Morning: Start the morning with a lecture and discussion about elk behavior and biology. We will then venture to the National Elk Refuge and will board a sleigh that will take us among thousands of wintering elk. Get close to the elk, observe their behavior and witness them feeding, socializing and resting. The sleigh ride will also provides the potential to see other wildlife, such as coyotes, mule deer, bald eagles, hawks and big horn sheep.
Lunch: At the National Museum of Wildlife Art restaurant, choose from a set menu that includes a non-alcoholic beverage. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options are available.
Afternoon: The National Museum of Wildlife Art is home to the largest collection of wildlife art in the country. The museum features more than 550 artists and 5,000 cataloged items; its exhibitions and programs focus on the history of how wildlife has been portrayed through art, including genres ranging from Romanticism to Modernism. Participants will be treated to a docent-led exploration of the museum, and will then be given time to explore the museum on their own. We'll make our way back to Snow King Resort in time for the annual torchlight parade to snake down the town hill.
Dinner: At Snow King Resort's New Year's Celebration.
Evening: Mingle with local residents as you enjoy live music and fireworks at the Snow King Resort. Stay up to ring in the New Year, or head back to your room when you get tired. An alcoholic beverage for a toast is included.
Breakfast: At your accommodation.
Morning: This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy all your Road Scholar learning adventures and we look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. We encourage you to join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!