4874
Gardiner
Choose Your Pace: A Walk on the Wild Side in Yellowstone
Hike Yellowstone with a naturalist, exploring hidden trails, stunning landscapes, diverse ecosystems and glacier-carved peaks in the world’s first national park.
Rating (5)
Program No. 4874RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,329
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 4 L 4 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-In, Program Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Gardiner, MT
D
Yellowstone River Motel

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 2:00 p.m. Activity level for this date is challenging; expect hikes of 5-8 miles on each of four field days.

Afternoon: Program Registration 4:00-5:00 p.m.: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register 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 a local restaurant with a tasty plated featuring a salad, entrée, and dessert, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Group Leader will lead orientation and introductions, review the program theme, up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. This program will be led by both the Instructor, an expert naturalist who will lead the educational portion of the program, and your Group Leader. All transportation will be provided via private motor coach unless specified otherwise. Remember to bring your own water bottle. Ice water will be available in coolers on the bus during travel, from which you may fill your water bottle; disposable cups will not be available. The Greater Yellowstone area is considered high desert, very dry. At high altitudes you are more susceptible to dehydration and altitude sickness. Carrying a water bottle with you and drinking plenty of water is important and a simple way to avoid these unpleasant and sometimes dangerous problems.

DAY
2
“Wonderland” Learning Session / Afternoon Hike
Gardiner, MT
B,L,D
Yellowstone River Motel

Activity note: Learn while hiking from 5 to 8 miles at elevations ranging from 5,260' to 10,243' on maintained trails; some uneven and rocky terrain. LEARNING HIKES - NOT AEROBIC STYLE. Additional walking at iconic sites.

Breakfast: In our meeting room located in the church’s basement a short walk from the hotel, enjoy a hot box breakfast with a hot entrée and sides, plus water, coffee and tea.

Morning: Morning introduction provides an overview of the Greater Yellowstone area. Known for its geothermal activity and diverse ecosystems, Yellowstone spans 2.2 million acres of valleys, canyons, rivers, lakes and mountain ranges. Sometimes called “Wonderland”, the park is home to the highest concentration of wildlife in the lower 48 states and is at the core of one of the least undisturbed ecosystems in the Earth’s temperate zone. Field trip departs mid morning; bring camera and binoculars.

Lunch: Sack lunches in the park including sandwich, fruit, chips, cookie. Bring your own water bottle.

Afternoon: Immersion in the Yellowstone ecosystem is the opportunity to become familiar with various life zones. Exploratory hikes with commentary from our instructor are hands-on discovery of marshland, high desert, forest, hydrothermal and grasslands communities. You'll understand how their geologic bones, together with elevation and weather, evolved into vibrant habitats populated by the flora and fauna that is present today.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like and is a great opportunity to check out your hiking headquarters in Gardiner. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Evening: Evening at leisure to explore the town, enjoy the back patio or some down time.

DAY
3
Full Day Field Trip
Gardiner, MT
B,L
Yellowstone River Motel

Activity note: Learn while hiking from 5 to 8 miles at elevations ranging from 5,260' to 10,243' on maintained trails; some uneven and rocky terrain. LEARNING HIKES - NOT AEROBIC STYLE.

Breakfast: We’ll walk to a nearby restaurant for a hearty breakfast off of a limited menu.

Morning: From the hotel we’ll leave for a full day hiking field trip in Yellowstone National Park with our Group Leader and Instructor. Yellowstone's spectacular and mostly untouched 2.2 million acres offer a lifetime of discovery and 1,200 miles of hiking, walking and back packing trails. Most trailheads are miles from lodgings. Here is the opportunity to appreciate splendid views, the unexpected, your naturalist’s observations and interpretation, to see more of the Great Caldera than you had imagined while voyaging to the various trailheads. Joys of hiking are well worth the getting there as memorable moments string together into golden days.

Lunch: Sack lunches in the Park featuring a sandwich, fruit, chips, and cookies. Bring your own water bottle.

Afternoon: We’ll continue hiking through this wonderland. Hikes are not aerobic-style but rather offer interpretation of the area, an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Yellowstone, step away from the fast pace of everyday life and seize the moment.

Dinner: Plated dinner at nearby restaurant.

Evening: Evening presentation is "Bears of Yellowstone"

DAY
4
Full Day Field Trip
Gardiner, MT
B,L,D
Yellowstone River Motel

Activity note: Learn while hiking from 5-8 miles at elevations ranging from 5,260' to 10,243' on maintained trails; some uneven and rocky terrain. LEARNING HIKES - NOT AEROBIC STYLE.

Breakfast: We’ll walk to a nearby restaurant.

Morning: We’ll depart for a full day hiking field trip in Yellowstone National Park, one of America’s most iconic parks. Its broad expanses are the visible part of the Yellowstone hotspot, home to some of the most famous geothermal features in the world, including Old Faithful and Grand Prismatic Spring. The Yellowstone hotspot is continuously undergoing the geologic processes of volcanism, earthquakes, faulting and large-scale movement and deformation of the Earth's crust.

Lunch: Sack lunches in the Park.

Afternoon: All day hiking continued. Rushing water, sandhill cranes, meadowlarks and singing, fragrant breezes provide a background serenade for hikes and wildlife viewing interludes.

Dinner: Receive a voucher to use at the Old Faithful Cafeteria in the heart of Yellowstone. Choose from a buffet including salad, entrée, and fruit, plus water, coffee, and tea; other food and beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: Evening return takes advantage of prime wildlife viewing time. Appreciate the opportunity for wildlife watching through binoculars and spotting scopes.

DAY
5
Full Day Field Trip
Gardiner, MT
B,L,D
Yellowstone River Motel

Activity note: Learn while hiking from 5-8 miles at elevations ranging from 5,260' to 10,243' on maintained trails; some uneven and rocky terrain. LEARNING HIKES - NOT AEROBIC STYLE.

Breakfast: We’ll walk to a nearby restaurant.

Morning: Full day hiking field trip in Yellowstone National Park with our Group Leader and Instructor. From canyons and waterfalls to wide open valleys, more of the Great Caldera's grand landscape unfolds at every bend in the road and trail. Encompassing some of the most diverse ecosystems in North America, the park is home to animals great and small – from grizzly bears, wolves, elk, and bison to beavers, otters, and ospreys. Your naturalist's ongoing interpretation provides meaningful insight into the mysteries of Yellowstone.

Lunch: Sack lunches in the Park.

Afternoon: The hiking adventure continues. Stay alert and keep your eyes peeled as the drama of nature unfolds; another unforgettable day in Yellowstone.

Dinner: In our meeting room, enjoy a locally catered, plated meal plus water, coffee, and tea. Here's time to savor the adventure with new found friends.

Evening: Evening presentation by the instructor on the dark and light side of Yellowstone. With the help of humor, our instructor will reveal both the good and the bad of what makes Yellowstone one of the most dramatic environments on the planet.

DAY
6
Independent departures
Gardiner, MT
B

Breakfast: We’ll walk to a nearby restaurant.

Morning: Airport shuttle departs at 8:30 a.m. We hope you enjoy all your Road Scholar learning adventures and 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!