Montana

BBar Ranch: Wildlife & Coexistence on the Edge of Yellowstone

Program No. 24096RJ
Explore the wild land in and around Yellowstone National Park while staying at the BBar Ranch and learning about its sustainable ranching methods.

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Protecting the Environment

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At a Glance

Yellowstone National Park is a wild land, filled with unspoiled wilderness and animals, such as wolves, grizzly bears and mountain lions. Just beyond its borders lies the BBar Ranch — a working ranch that fits into this unique ecosystem rather than trying to modify it. Enjoy five nights at the BBar Ranch while you learn how it manages its herd, tests soil and otherwise operates as sustainably as possible while living among the wild animals of this region. Search for local wildlife yourself as you head into the heart of Yellowstone, making stops at iconic sites such as Old Faithful. Hear from ranch staff and outdoor educators about living and working among nature in one of the most amazing ecosystems in the world.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to four miles total throughout each day on varied terrain; getting on and off motorcoach multiple times daily; travel times vary within the park. Elevations of 5,260-9,000 feet.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

What You'll Learn

  • Learn about the day-to-day life of the stewards of B Bar Ranch and the organic practices they implement.
  • Explore the 98% intact ecosystem of the Ranch through expert-led hikes.
  • Head into Yellowstone National Park to view natural wonders like the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, thermal features and learn about its incredible wildlife.

General Notes

Roommate matching is unavailable for solo travelers on this program.
Featured Expert
All trip experts
Profile Image
Shauna Baron
Shauna Baron holds a B.S. in Biology and a M.S. in Science Education. She has more than 25 years of experience as an outdoor educator, studying large and small carnivores throughout the U.S., including wolves, bears, fishers, and bobcats. Shauna saw her first wild wolf while volunteering for the Yellowstone Wolf Project in 1996 and has since worked as a naturalist in Yellowstone National Park, developing outdoor educational classes for the Yellowstone Institute. She specializes in programs for disabled veterans, inner-city youth, and autistic groups.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Zack Baker
Zack Baker View biography
Zack Baker attended high school in Livingston, Montana, 52 miles north of Yellowstone. His love for the park started while snowshoeing and observing wildlife. At Montana State University in Bozeman, he earned a B.S. in plant science, but it was Yellowstone’s mammals that grabbed his interest. He led private wildlife watching, hiking, and photography trips, and drove snowcoaches in the winter. He joined up with Road Scholar in 2017 and is now the Program Director for Road Scholar at the University of Montana Western.
Profile Image of Shauna Baron
Shauna Baron View biography
Shauna Baron holds a B.S. in Biology and a M.S. in Science Education. She has more than 25 years of experience as an outdoor educator, studying large and small carnivores throughout the U.S., including wolves, bears, fishers, and bobcats. Shauna saw her first wild wolf while volunteering for the Yellowstone Wolf Project in 1996 and has since worked as a naturalist in Yellowstone National Park, developing outdoor educational classes for the Yellowstone Institute. She specializes in programs for disabled veterans, inner-city youth, and autistic groups.
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While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of our published materials, programs are typically advertised more than a year prior to their start date. As a result, some program activities, schedules, accommodations, personnel, and other logistics occasionally change due to local conditions or circumstances. Should a major change occur, we will make every effort to alert you. For less significant changes, we will update you during orientation. Thank you for your understanding.
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6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5 B 4 L 5 D
DAY
1
Check in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
B Bar Ranch
D
B Bar Ranch

Activity note: Lodge check in from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 3:00 p.m. After you check in and have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff, get any updated information, and confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please locate your Group Leader and let them know you have arrived.

Dinner: In the lodge dining room. You are welcome to bring your own choice of beverages.

Evening: Orientation: 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. We will review COVID protocols and will adhere to applicable requirements and guidelines throughout the program. Instructors will include our knowledgeable Group Leader and local experts. Transportation for program-related activities will be via mini-bus. Meals will be prepared by the ranch’s chef and kitchen staff. We will also have an orientation to the ranch and what will be expected of everyone while staying on ranch property. Remember to bring a reusable water bottle that you can bring with you on hikes; ice water will be available in the vans to refill water bottles. Bring binoculars if you have them. Periods in the 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/current conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead. Prepare for early morning field trip.

DAY
2
Wildlife Viewing, Regenerative Agriculture, Livestock
B Bar Ranch
B,L,D
B Bar Ranch

Activity note: Walking about 2 miles throughout the day, standing during field trips; well-maintained dirt trails, some rocky uneven footing.

Breakfast: At the lodge.

Morning: We will set out on an early morning (pre-breakfast) field trip using binoculars and spotting scopes to view wildlife that may be present, perhaps even grizzly bears. Returning to the lodge, we’ll learn about regenerative agriculture, soil health, grazing practices, and how they affect the landscape. From not-for-profit Regeneration International: “Regenerative agriculture describes farming and grazing practices that, among other benefits, reverse climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity — resulting in both carbon drawdown and improving the water cycle.”

Lunch: At the lodge.

Afternoon: > Next, we will learn about technology and ranching including tools used to help manage herds, grazing schedules, and soil health.

Dinner: At the lodge.

Evening: We will be joined by a guest speaker for a talk on topics related to the program theme. Prepare for early morning field trip.

DAY
3
Yellowstone Northern Range Wildlife, Mammoth Hot Springs
B Bar Ranch
B,L,D
B Bar Ranch

Activity note: Getting on/off a mini-bus; driving about 110 miles round trip, approximately 4 hours riding time plus stops. Walking about 2 miles throughout the day; boardwalks, uneven terrain.

Breakfast: We will have to-go breakfasts from the ranch.

Morning: We will set out early from the ranch and ride to Yellowstone’s northern range for more wildlife viewing. While it is only ten percent of Yellowstone’s overall landmass, the northern range is typically abundant with wildlife and one of the most predator rich areas in North America. It is the winter range for one of Yellowstone’s largest elk herds.

Lunch: At a picnic area in the park, we’ll have sack lunches.

Afternoon: We will ride up and over Dunraven pass to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The canyon is a showcase of the area’s geologic history. The canyon’s dramatic colors impress, but the 308 foot lower falls are also an incredible site to see. We’ll learn about these wonders during stops with expert commentary.< br> We’ll ride back to the ranch after our field trip.

Dinner: At the lodge.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for a full day field trip into Yellowstone National Park tomorrow.

DAY
4
Yellowstone NP, Old Faithful, Mammoth Hot Springs
B Bar Ranch
B,L,D
B Bar Ranch

Activity note: Getting on/off a mini-bus; driving about 110 miles round-trip, approximately 5 hours riding time. Walking up to three miles; boardwalks, dirt paths.

Breakfast: At the lodge.

Morning: We will set out on a full-day field trip into Yellowstone National Park. Riding south into the heart of Yellowstone, we will see the park’s most famous feature, Old Faithful. The upper geyser basin is home not only to Old Faithful, but also the largest concentration of geysers in the world. As we explore, we’ll learn about the geology and history of this historic and unique area.

Lunch: At a scenic spot in the park, we’ll have sack lunches.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll ride to Mammoth Hot Springs for a field trip to view the travertine terraces. Mammoth Hot Springs is one of the most dynamic and ever changing thermal features in all of Yellowstone, with between one and two tons of limestone is deposited daily due to hot water rising through and dissolving the rock.< br> Returning to the ranch late afternoon, we’ll have some time to freshen up and relax before dinner.

Dinner: At the lodge.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Technology & Ranching, Elective Hiking
B Bar Ranch
B,L,D
B Bar Ranch

Activity note: Walking up to 5 miles and standing during field trips; dirt and rocky hiking trails. Overlook trail is 4 miles round trip with an elevation gain of roughly 700'

Breakfast: At the lodge.

Morning: We'll set out on a walking field trip to explore the ranch and learn about low-stress livestock and its role in a healthy herd. Watch first hand what its like to use a working cattle dog as a key element of the operation. We'll discuss low stress livestock and its importance to a healthy herd. Hear about co-existence when sharing the landscape with all the wildlife that calls the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem home.

Lunch: At the lodge dining room.

Afternoon: Hiking on the ranch. Choose the route of your choice: hiking to an overlook that gives grand views of the entire head of the Tom Miner basin, or a shorter route. Those who prefer are welcome to spend time with fellow Road Scholars or just relax on the deck or in cabins.

Dinner: At the lodge. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.

Evening: We’ll gather by the beautiful fire pit and pond (weather permitting) to review program highlights and memories of our learning adventure together. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
B Bar Ranch
B

Activity note: Lodge check out 10:00 a.m.

Breakfast: At the lodge. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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