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Wyoming

Choose Your Pace: Hiking in Grand Teton and Yellowstone

Program No. 4937RJ
Hike past hot springs and geysers at your pace, learn about thermal features and wildlife and ride a tram up Rendezvous Mountain for a new perspective on Yellowstone & the Grand Tetons.
Length
7 days
Rating (4.81)
Activity Level
Starts at
2,499

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Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Jul 2 - Jul 8, 2023
Starting at
2,499
Aug 13 - Aug 19, 2023
Starting at
2,499
Aug 20 - Aug 26, 2023
Starting at
2,499
Aug 27 - Sep 2, 2023
Starting at
2,499
Sep 10 - Sep 16, 2023
Starting at
2,499
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Jul 2 - Jul 8, 2023
Starting at
3,149
Aug 13 - Aug 19, 2023
Starting at
3,149
Aug 20 - Aug 26, 2023
Starting at
3,149
Aug 27 - Sep 2, 2023
Starting at
3,149
Sep 10 - Sep 16, 2023
Starting at
3,149

At a Glance

Explore the magnificent trails of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks during an active, adventurous week. Split into small groups based on your desired level of challenge each day and hike amongst geysers, hot springs and fumaroles as you investigate the geologic forces that shaped the region. Ride the aerial tram at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort 4,139 vertical feet to the top of Rendezvous Mountain for an alpine experience you will never forget.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Choose Your Pace
Each day, choose from multiple hiking options based on your desired level of challenge and pace, ranging from 3-7 miles, moderate to difficult, on varied terrain. Elevations range from 6,000 to 10,450 feet above sea level. Elevation gains and losses for each hike range from 400 feet to 1500 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.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Experience the Old Faithful Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park and its many geysers and other thermal features.
  • Discover the diversity of animals in this ecosystem that contains one of the highest concentrations of large mammals in the country.
  • Evening programs will highlight wildlife biology, issues and controversies taking place in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

General Notes

In keeping with the communal nature of the school, guests are asked to perform lights chores during their stay. Roommate matching is unavailable for solo travelers on this program.
Featured Expert
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Group Leader
Your Group Leader will be a Teton Science Schools Instructor who has diverse experience working with the flora and fauna of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The group leader is yet to be assigned; the assignment will be announced during Orientation on Day 1 of your program.

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

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Group Leader View biography
Your Group Leader will be a Teton Science Schools Instructor who has diverse experience working with the flora and fauna of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The group leader is yet to be assigned; the assignment will be announced during Orientation on Day 1 of your program.
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.
Searching for Yellowstone, Ecology and Wonder in the Last Wilderness
by Paul D. Schullery
An engaging social and environmental history of Yellowstone from the Pleistocene to the present focusing on the park since its founding in 1872. Schullery has worked in Yellowstone as a ranger, a historian and the chief of cultural resources.
Camping in Wyoming: A 1910 Wedding Trip to Yellowstone National Park
by Mariam Lawton Clayton
In 1910, newly married Marian ventured by train from Kansas to Rock Springs, WY, the starting point for a honeymoon in Yellowstone. This book was made from her handwritten journal and includes some of her photographs. Short, sweet, and honest, it is the tale of a grand adventure for the time, and provides a unique picture of the world's first national park. Available at Blue Creek Press and Amazon. http://bluecreekpress.com/books/camping-in-wyoming/.
Wapiti Wilderness
by Olaus and Margaret Murie
Margaret and Olaus Murie made their home in the Tetons for over thirty-seven years. During this time, Olaus Murie conducted studies of the American elk, the wapiti, and both he and Mardy worked tirelessly for conservation efforts and the preservation of wilderness. Wapiti Wilderness tells the story of their adventurous life raising children while conducting research in the Tetons. This book is available at the Teton Science Schools gift shop.
American Wolf
by Nate Blakeslee
One of the most recent wolf books published, American Wolf chronicles the story of O-six, an alpha female named for the year of her birth who became one of the most celebrated wolves of Yellowstone. The book tells the gripping story of a powerful wolf, while also telling the larger story of the ongoing cultural clash in the west. *Available for purchase on Amazon.com or Powells.com*
Windows into the Earth, the Geologic Story of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks
by Lee J. Siegel and Robert B. Smith
A geologic history and tour of the northern Rockies, particularly Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park.
Common Wildflowers of Grand Teton National Park
by Charles Craighead
This small pocket guidebook includes more than 100 of the most common wildflowers in Grand Teton National Park. Photographs are by award-winning photographer Henry H. Holdsworth, and descriptions are by naturalist Charles Craighead. Small enough to carry on a hike and focused only on the areas we will be hiking, this book is a great option for participants who want to look up wildflowers while they hike!
Letters from Yellowstone
by Diane Smith
At the end of the 19th century, an intrepid young woman joins a scientific research team in Yellowstone National Park, to the surprise of the other members of the expedition. This historical fiction brings Yellowstone and the surrounding region at the turn of the 19th century to life.
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7 days
6 nights
17 meals
6 B 6 L 5 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Jackson, WY
D
Jackson Campus of Teton Science Schools

Afternoon: After you arrive at the Jackson Campus of Teton Science Schools, come to the Welcome Center to register with the program staff and receive your welcome packet containing your name-tag, room assignment, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. Check-in is from 3pm to 5pm, with dinner to follow at 5:30pm. If your arrival is delayed, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: At the Jackson Campus of Teton Science Schools (TSS) Dining Lodge, enjoy a buffet dinner featuring a variety of healthy and balanced options created by our executive chef, plus coffee, tea, lemonade, water.

Evening: Orientation: The Site Coordinator 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. 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. All hikes will be on official trails in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks or the surrounding national forest land over uneven terrain with an elevation change of 500 to 1500 feet. Each day we will self-divide into groups based on personal interest for a choice of three hikes from the same trailhead. In bear country, our minimum group size for hiking is four people (including the group leader), so we will alter the hike options as needed to ensure we meet the minimum numbers for each hike option. The easiest hike offered each day is typically between 3 and 4 miles. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. 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

DAY
2
Visitor Center, Teton Hike, Bears & Wolves Lecture
Jackson, WY
B,L,D
Jackson Campus of Teton Science Schools

Activity note: Activity today will be a 3-6 mile hike with elevation gains of 400-800 feet.

Breakfast: At the Teton Science Schools Dining Lodge, enjoy a breakfast buffet offering choices such as an egg dish, breakfast meat, cereals (hot/cold), fresh fruit and beverages (juice, coffee, tea, water).

Morning: After a quick visit to the Teton Science Schools outfitting building to make sure everyone is prepared for the week ahead, we will drive to Grand Teton National Park for our first hike. Today's 3-6 mile hike will bring the group through a series of habitats at the base of the Teton mountain range. The group will have three hike options from the same trailhead, varying in pace/difficulty and adhering to "bear numbers" (no less than four people - including staff - in a hiking group). Learn about the natural forces that shape this iconic mountain range and valley, as well as the human forces that have struggled to preserve it.

Lunch: Enjoy a packed field lunch in a scenic location.

Afternoon: Upon completion of our hike, we will head to the Craig Thomas Discovery Center in Grand Teton National Park to learn more about the natural and cultural history of the park, as well as to orient ourselves around the large relief map.

Dinner: At Teton Science Schools.

Evening: This evening lecture will focus on the wolves and bears that reside in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Topics highlighted will be the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone, delisting of both species, behavior and biology of both species, bear interactions with humans and gray wolf interactions between packs. Also discussed will be the controversies surrounding both species and how current decisions will affect the animals' futures.

DAY
3
Yellowstone National Park, Old Faithful, Afternoon Hikes
Mammoth Hot Springs
B,L,D
Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel

Activity note: Activity today will including walking around the geyser basin at Old Faithful on boardwalks and paved trails. Afternoon will include a 2-4 mile hike with an elevation gain of 500 to 1000 feet. Total Drive time is approximately 4 hours.

Breakfast: At Teton Science Schools.

Morning: Following an early morning departure, we’ll begin our three-day exploration of Yellowstone National Park, the world's first national park. As we head into the giant caldera, we will stop to see hot springs, geysers, and fumaroles at points of interest as we head to the Old Faithful Geyser Basin, home to Old Faithful as well as more than one-quarter of all of the geysers in the world!

Lunch: Packed field lunch.

Afternoon: In the afternoon, we will once again get boots on the ground and explore some of the trails that make Yellowstone National Park one of the most spectacular places on the planet. Choose from three hike options that could include exploring more geothermal features, waterfalls, and inspiring vistas. Following our hike, we will continue our drive to Mammoth Hot Springs and our accommodations for the evening.

Dinner: At the Mammoth Dining Room, order an entree and non-alcoholic beverage from the menu. Alcoholic beverages are available at an additional cost.

Evening: Enjoy a free evening to relax and bask in the quiet beauty of Yellowstone.

DAY
4
Terrace Mountain Hike, Mammoth Terraces
Canyon Village
B,L,D
Canyon Lodge - Superior Lodge Room

Activity note: Activity today will including walking around various sites of interest on boardwalks before traveling to the site of today's hike. We will hike along the Hoodoos/Terrace Mountain route, 2-5 miles, 1200 feet elevation gain or loss, depending on which hike you choose. Total drive time is approximately 4.5 hours.

Breakfast: At the Mammoth Dining Room, choose a juice, breakfast entree, and coffee, tea, cocoa, or milk.

Morning: Start your day in beautiful Yellowstone National Park! Today, we'll start at Mammoth Hot Springs, where our hike will take us through the unusual landscape and hoodoo formations surrounding Terrace Mountain.

Lunch: Boxed lunch eaten in the field. Choose from several sandwich options.

Afternoon: After completion of our hike, we'll take time to explore the Mammoth Terraces, as well as the shops in the historic the town of Mammoth, before heading south to Canyon Village, stopping at points of interest along the way.

Dinner: At the Canyon Eatery, customize your meal with fresh, sustainable a la carte options. Choose an entree, soup or salad, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverage. Alcoholic beverages are available at an additional cost.

Evening: Head out after dinner for a scenic drive through the Hayden Valley and the chance to observe wildlife that are more active at dawn and dusk. We may see bison, bears, elk and all kinds of birds.

DAY
5
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, Visitor Center
Jackson, WY
B,L,D
Jackson Campus of Teton Science Schools

Activity note: Today's hike will be 2 to 5 miles along the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone rim and surrounding area, with 500 feet elevation gain. Total drive time. Approximately 4 hours will be spent in the vehicle.

Breakfast: At Canyon Eatery, choose a juice, breakfast entree, and coffee, tea, cocoa, or milk from an a la carte menu. Additional beverages available for purchase.

Morning: Imagine being an explorer on the Hayden Expedition of 1871, when Thomas Moran's paintings of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River captured the unique beauty of the area and helped influence the creation of the world's first national park. Hike 2-5 miles through the landscape that captivated the country, including the canyon rim as well as the surrounding area. All hikes will include views of the canyon from Artist's Point.

Lunch: Boxed lunch eaten in the field. Choose from several sandwich options.

Afternoon: If we haven't already been, we will stop at the Canyon Visitor Center and take an in-depth look at the geology and geologic forces that are active in Yellowstone. On our drive back to Jackson, we'll pass through the magnificent Hayden Valley with our eyes tuned to the large mammals that call this valley home.

Dinner: At a local restaurant in Grand Teton National Park on the way back to Jackson, enjoy a plated dinner with your choice of entree and celebratory beverage. Other beverages available for purchase.

DAY
6
Rendezvous Mountain Aerial Tram, Alpine Hike, Teton Village
Jackson, WY
B,L
Jackson Campus of Teton Science Schools

Activity note: Hike will start at 10,400 feet, and will include elevation changes of 500-1,500 feet over the course of a 2-6 mile hike.

Breakfast: At Teton Science Schools.

Morning: Following breakfast, enjoy an expert led introduction to alpine ecology and culture in Jackson, WY. Following this lecture, journey to the base of the Tetons at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. On a clear day, the summit of Rendezvous Mountain provides participants with a fantastic view of the Jackson Hole valley. The Jackson Hole Aerial Tram climbs 4,139 feet about the valley floor to the final elevation of 10,450 feet. Glacial processes, historical meanderings of the mighty Snake River and human settlement patterns are all seen from a bird’s eye view. At the top, we'll break into three groups to explore the alpine environment and the unique plants and animals found there.

Lunch: Packed field lunch.

Afternoon: We’ll continue hiking one of the trails at the summit of Rendezvous Mountain, and return to the valley floor via the Aerial Tram or Bridger Gondola. Back on the valley floor, you may enjoy some free time to explore the charming mountain village.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like from the selection of restaurants in downtown Jackson and Teton Village. The Site Coordinator and Group Leaders will be happy to offer suggestions and give you directions, and shuttles will be provided from the Teton Science Schools campus.

Evening: Enjoy one final relaxing evening in Jackson with your travel companions and friends.

DAY
7
Closing, National Museum of Wildlife Art, Departure
Jackson, WY
B,L

Activity note: Walk approximately 1/2 mile around a museum. Participants may get taxi service directly from the museum to the airport, or they may get a ride back to town with their group leader in the Teton Science Schools mini-buses. If taking a taxi from the museum, we recommend organizing a ride-share with fellow participants.

Breakfast: At Teton Science Schools.

Morning: After breakfast, we will spend some thoughtful time reflecting on all of the fun we had throughout the week. To complete our program, we’ll head to the National Museum of Wildlife Art to explore the museum with an experienced docent. Resting upon a dramatic cliff overlooking the National Elk Refuge, the National Museum of Wildlife Art serves to enrich and inspire the relationship between humans and nature. The museum contains approximately 5,000 works of art, with exhibitions and programs that focus on wildlife of the world. Constructed to fit seamlessly into the landscape, the building was inspired by the ruins of Slains Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Lunch: At the Palate restaurant at the National Museum of Wildlife Art, we will enjoy plated meals chosen from a seasonal menu selected by the executive chef. This concludes our program.

Afternoon: We hope you enjoy all of your Road Scholar learning adventures, and we look forward to having you on more 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!






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.