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Montana

Choose Your Pace: A Walk on the Wild Side in Yellowstone

Program No. 4874RJ
Hike Yellowstone with a naturalist, exploring hidden trails, stunning landscapes, diverse ecosystems and glacier-carved peaks in the world’s first national park.

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Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
May 20 - May 25, 2024
Starting at
3,449
Jun 3 - Jun 8, 2024
Starting at
3,449
Aug 12 - Aug 17, 2024
Starting at
3,449
Sep 2 - Sep 7, 2024
Starting at
3,449
Sep 16 - Sep 21, 2024
Starting at
3,449
Sep 23 - Sep 28, 2024
Starting at
3,449
May 19 - May 24, 2025
Starting at
3,649
Jun 2 - Jun 7, 2025
Starting at
3,649
Aug 18 - Aug 23, 2025
Starting at
3,649
Sep 1 - Sep 6, 2025
Starting at
3,649
Sep 15 - Sep 20, 2025
Starting at
3,649
Sep 22 - Sep 27, 2025
Starting at
3,649
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Filling Fast!
May 20 - May 25, 2024
Starting at
4,099
Filling Fast!
Jun 3 - Jun 8, 2024
Starting at
4,099
Filling Fast!
Aug 12 - Aug 17, 2024
Starting at
4,099
Filling Fast!
Sep 2 - Sep 7, 2024
Starting at
4,099
Sep 16 - Sep 21, 2024
Starting at
4,099
Filling Fast!
Sep 23 - Sep 28, 2024
Starting at
4,099
May 19 - May 24, 2025
Starting at
4,329
Jun 2 - Jun 7, 2025
Starting at
4,329
Aug 18 - Aug 23, 2025
Starting at
4,329
Sep 1 - Sep 6, 2025
Starting at
4,329
Sep 15 - Sep 20, 2025
Starting at
4,329
Sep 22 - Sep 27, 2025
Starting at
4,329

At a Glance

Yellowstone National Park offers 1,200 miles of hiking, walking and backpacking trails that wind through the park’s 2.2 million acres of spectacular and mostly untouched terrain. Led by a naturalist, explore pathways that thread through Yellowstone’s matchless landscape of diverse flora, thermal features, landforms, canyons, cascades and waterways.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Choose Your Pace
Choose Your Pace: Each day, choose from 3 hiking options based on your desired level of challenge and pace, ranging from 3-7 miles (2-6 hours) on primarily dirt/rocky trails with uneven terrain; some walking/hiking on boardwalks with stairs and paved trails. 2-4 hours each day in SUVs traveling to trailheads. Elevations of 5,800-10,243.
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.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Absorb a spectacular and mostly untouched landscape while hiking a fragment of Yellowstone's 1,200 miles of trails.
  • Enjoy tantalizing glimpses of the Great Caldera’s infinite wonders.
  • Experience an intimate look at the park’s wildlife, habitats and geology during field trips with an expert.

General Notes

Maximum of 12 participants in a hiking group. Participants are generally divided into three groups to hike.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Andrea Saari
Andrea completed her bachelor’s in Ecology and went on to work as a bird field biologist in the summers and a ski-bum in the winters. She has been in Big Sky since 2003 working as a ski and snowboard instructor, as well as a naturalist guide in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. These days she can be found on the trails within the Gallatin National Forest and Yellowstone National Park, interpreting how everything in the ecosystem works together and the important role humans play as stewards.

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

Profile Image of Denise Wade
Denise Wade View biography
The love of the outdoors and wild places brought Denise Wade to Montana in 1984. For the past 11 years, Denise has worked as a naturalist and Nordic leader for Lone Mountain Ranch. She has an avid interest in ecosystem management and has taken many trips to Alaska, Mexico, Costa Rica, Europe, and within the continental U.S. following species habitat management patterns. Denise can be found regularly hiking or cross-country skiing around Southwest Montana and Yellowstone National Park.
Profile Image of Cathy Raven
Cathy Raven View biography
Catherine Raven, a Road Scholar instructor since 1999, has a botany/zoology degree from The University of Montana and a PhD in biology from Montana State University. She is the author of “Fox and I: An Uncommon Friendship” that was a New York Times bestseller, winner of the PEN/EO Wilson Award for Literary Science Writing and the Nautilus Gold Award for animals/nature writing. A former park ranger at Glacier, Yellowstone, Mount Rainier, Voyageurs, and North Cascades National Parks, Cathy currently teaches undergraduates at South University.
Profile Image of Andrea Saari
Andrea Saari View biography
Andrea completed her bachelor’s in Ecology and went on to work as a bird field biologist in the summers and a ski-bum in the winters. She has been in Big Sky since 2003 working as a ski and snowboard instructor, as well as a naturalist guide in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. These days she can be found on the trails within the Gallatin National Forest and Yellowstone National Park, interpreting how everything in the ecosystem works together and the important role humans play as stewards.
Profile Image of Rick Bush
Rick was raised in Wyoming and moved to Montana after college to work for the Bozeman Chronicle. His career includes working as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, web developer and IT Manager. He has a degree in Journalism from the University of Wyoming and a Master’s degree in photography. He lives in Helena with his wife and is an avid bicycle rider and enjoys hiking, cross-country skiing, camping, and travel. When he is not Group Leading, Rick enjoys adventuring with Road Scholar as a participant.
Profile Image of Kathy Lichtendahl
Kathy Lichtendahl View biography
As a resident of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem for more than 25 years, Kathy Lichtendahl has spent much of that time hiking, backpacking and skiing the area. Kathy was a member of Park County Search and Rescue for a dozen years and now works as a professional conservation photographer covering the wildlife and landscapes of the western United States. Kathy is a certified interpretive group leader through the National Association for Interpretation.
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.
Profile Image of Virginia Shoup
Virginia Shoup View biography
Virginia Shoup comes to Yellowstone with a long history in outdoor education and the Girl Scouts. She first worked in the park in 2012, thinking it would be a fun summer job. After falling in love with the animals, thermals, and even the lodgepole pines, she never left. Over her years as a Yellowstone naturalist, Virginia has worked with families, teachers, school groups, and everyone in between. She uses her degree in theater to make the natural world come alive for students of all ages.
Profile Image of Ilene Cohen
Ilene Cohen View biography
Ilene Cohen grew up on the east coast but knew from a young age that she wanted to live in the western mountains. Ilene and her husband settled in Dillon, Montana over two decades ago to raise their son and enjoy all the beauty and opportunities of Montana. Ilene worked for the University of Montana Western for 17 years in student success services. One of her retirement goals was to work for Road Scholar in order to spend more time in Yellowstone and the Beartooths.
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.
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.
Restoring a Presence: American Indians and Yellowstone National Park
by Peter Nabokov and Lawrence Loendorf
This first comprehensive account of Indians in and around Yellowstone corrects more than a century of ignorance. Detailed here is Yellowstone's native peoples and their story of a long engagement with a remarkable landscape.
To Save the Wild Bison: Life on the Edge in Yellowstone
by Mary Ann Franke
The author brings clarity and revelation to one of Yellowstone's most complex struggles by tracing the history of bison and humans into the 19th century and further into the national parks era. Here's discussion of bison management and park policy - the battle over brucellosis, snowmobiles and groomed winter roads, desires of Native Americans, bison and predators.
Searching for Yellowstone: Ecology and Wonder in the Last Wilderness
by Paul Schullery
Eloquent, elegant, truthful and practical - an environmental history of America's best idea, Yellowstone.
Yellowstone Place Names, 2nd edition
by Lee Whittlesey
Yellowstone National Park Historian's well-researched and entertaining reference source for information on many of Yellowstone's place names and their origins.
After the Fires: The Ecology of Change in Yellowstone National Park
by Linda Wallace, Editor
The ravaging fires of 1988 caused many scientists to predict long-term devastation which did not come to pass. This scientific summary by wildlife biologists, ecosystem and forest scientists and landscape ecologists discusses the many things that changed and did not change in the Yellowstone area. Realize the role of fire in the ecosystem and the resiliency of nature.
Roadside Geology of Yellowstone Country
by William Fritz & Robert Thomas
Updated, classic roadside geology book for the Yellowstone Region explains current geological theories.
Rough Trip Through Yellowstone, The Epic Winter Expedition of Emerson Hough, F. Jay Haynes and Billy Hofer
by Emerson Hough (Author) and Scott Herring (Editor)
Forest and Stream magazine sent one of its most talented writers, Emerson Hough, to Yellowstone in 1894 to document the decline in bison numbers. Hough, legendary guide Billy Hofer, pioneering photographer F. Jay Haynes and other incredibly tough individuals set out on a 200-mile expedition into Yellowstone's frigid, snow-blanketed landscape. Aboard cumbersome, 12-foot-long wooden skies, these tough men scoured Yellowstone's winter terrain to put together a thorough census of the park's bison and elk. Hough wrote up the expedition in a series of 14 articles which resulted in Congress ultimately passing the anti-poaching Lacey Act and helped turn public opinion against a proposed railroad through the park. His witty and entertaining articles are a wonderful description of winter travel in the park in 1894, immensely entertaining and historically significant. Includes nine historic Yellowstone National Park photos by F. Jay Haynes





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