2809
Wyoming

Greater Yellowstone: Heart of the Continent

Take a deeper look at what makes Yellowstone and Teton National Parks true national treasures as you visit geological wonders, enjoy expert lectures and learn the region’s unique story.
Rating (5)
Program No. 2809RJ
Length
9 days
Starts at
4,599

At a Glance

Tribal legends, tales of mountain men and accounts of early explorers described a land unlike any other on earth — called "the heart of the continent, where hidden pulses can be seen and felt to beat." At the core of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is Yellowstone and Teton National Parks. On this adventure, we focus on aspects of the parks that make them great — history, geology, wildlife and thermal features.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to two miles; varied terrain. Getting on and off coach. Elevations up to 9,000 feet.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • A Snake River scenic float trip offers pristine riparian habitat, exquisite views of the Teton Mountain Range, natural history interpretation and wildlife.
  • Learn about fisheries and current volcanic activity happening beneath the waters of Yellowstone Lake, so large it often creates its own weather.
  • Learn how cataclysmic volcanic eruptions laid the foundation for the largest concentration of geysers, hot springs, mud pots and fumaroles in the world.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Gene Ball
Raised along the rural Louisiana-Texas border, Gene's early outdoor experiences began a lifelong interest in wildlife, western heritage and preservation. After teaching and serving as director for the Hill Country Arts Foundation and Cowboy Artists Museum in Texas, he migrated to Wyoming to work at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. He then became director of the Yellowstone Association and Yellowstone Institute in Yellowstone National Park, and now freelances as a writer and naturalist.

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

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Gene Ball
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Cathy Raven
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Cindy Sebesta
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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.
For Everything There Is A Season: The Sequence of Natural Events In The Grand Teton- Yellowstone Area.
by Frank C. Craighead
Dr. Craighead describes and illustrates the hidden patterns he sees in the natural world. For naturalists, this book is a remarkable chronicle of the interrelationships between all living things. For anyone interested in the Teton-Yellowstone area and the entire Northern Rockies, this book opens the door to greater understanding of the natural cycles of one of America's last wild places.
Windows into the Earth: The Geologic Story of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks
by Robert B. Smith and Lee J. Siegel
Find out about the forces that shaped and continue to shape the Greater Yellowstone-Teton region. Illustrations and driving tours of both parks help visitors enjoy and understand the Earth's creative forces in this wondrous region.
Interpreting the Landscape: Recent and Ongoing Geology of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks
by John M. Good and Kenneth L. Pierce
Text, photography and graphics explain how both parks were formed - the product of volcanic eruptions, profound glaciation and earth movements. The authors describe 'how processes originating half way to the earth's center seem to be the primary force which created volcanic fires, glacial ice and the mountain ranges of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.'
Yellowstone Wolves in the Wild
by James Halfpenny
Color photographs of wolves in the wild meld with current studies, biology, reintroduction, history of packs, behavior, impacts on the ecosystem and eye-witness reports from scientists and wolf watchers. Here is the HOW and WHY of returning this key predator to Yellowstone. Appendices detail the histories and social status of original packs and pack members, maps and more.
Empire of Shadows: The Epic Story of Yellowstone National Park
by George Black
Consider the history of the exploration of Yellowstone National Park through this "historical account of the origins of America's majestic national landmark." The author's well-documented history is a realistic look at people and political and economic factors; his book is sectioned into Pathfinders, Civilizers, Soldiers, Explorers and Tourists. "He 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."
Mountains and Plains, The Ecology of Wyoming Landscapes
by Dennis H. Knight
Discover landscape ecology of Wyoming through maps, photographs, text and line drawings.
A Ranger's Guide to Yellowstone Day Hikes
by Roger Anderson and Carol Shively Anderson
Consider wildlife etiquette and tips for hiking in bear country then choose trails by area, difficulty and distance; appreciate highlights and naturalist notes while on the trail.
The Sibley Guide to Birds
by David Allen Sibley
Sibley, a talented painter, offers this wonderful, data-packed color guide with range maps and detailed descriptions of songs and calls. This book is perfect for field trips with short walks and may be too heavy for some to take to the field in which case it can await back in the car.
Decade of the Wolf, revised and updated edition: Returning the Wild to Yellowstone
by Douglas W. Smith and Gary Ferguson
Research and storytelling meld to document wolf recovery in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Wolf biologist, Smith, and nature writer, Ferguson, provide an inside look at the Yellowstone Wolf Recovery Project ten years after the controversial decision was made by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to reintroduce wolves into the park. Smith, wolf project leader who has worked with the Yellowstone Wolf Project since its inception, has studied wolves for 25 years. Ferguson, whose writing largely arises from intimate experiences, followed through the seasons, the first 14 wolves released into Yellowstone National Park. Their collaboration offers hard facts and 'impressionistic portraits of individual wolves that reveal their epic lives full of struggle and conquest.' Here is the history of the return of the top predator to Yellowstone.





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