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Yellowstone: The Great Caldera

Program Number: 13845RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/22/2010 - 8/27/2010; 6/8/2014 - 6/13/2014; 8/10/2014 - 8/15/2014; 9/7/2014 - 9/13/2014; 9/14/2014 - 9/20/2014;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Yellowstone, Montana
Price starting at: $819.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: National Parks
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 1 Brunch, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Yellowstone's cast of thousands includes bears, wolves, volcanoes, thermal features, winter range, flora, fire and history. Understand their vital roles in a magnificent ecosystem. Naturalist leads discussion and provides interpretation during four full days in the field for exploration of diverse habitats and steaming geyser basins.




Highlights

• Enjoy four full days in Yellowstone exploring pristine rivers, waterfalls, beautiful vistas and learning the basics and ethics of wildlife viewing.
• Meet supporting players — exploration and
survey parties, the military years, current issues
and evolving management philosophy.
• Visit the Yellowstone National Park Heritage and Research Center, which houses the Yellowstone Archive, a collection of 5.3 million items.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles daily on established trails, stairs and boardwalks. .



Gardiner elevation 5,267 feet. Activities at elevations up to 7,700 feet.




Date Specific Information

6-8-2014

Program #4874 Hiking in Yellowstone will be running concurrently with this date. That program is a perfect option for a travel partner who would like a more active program.



9-7-2014, 9-14-2014

This date will offer five field days in Yellowstone National Park with one day in the field with honored Native voice and award-winning Blackfeet story-smith Jack Gladstone who will bring Yellowstone to life through walking illustrations that include American Indian mythology and history. The day will end with live performance by Jack as he blends enlightening visual presentation and his well-crafted songs.



Coordinated by University of Montana Western.




Yellowstone National Park (Montana)

The world's first national park, established in 1872, is famous for its thermal features, plentiful flora and fauna, as well as its considerable human history, from early explorers to the historic park lodges. Although the park itself is in Wyoming, three of the entrances are in Montana.



Accommodations
Motel, patio overlooking Yellowstone River. Some rooms up one flight of stairs.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
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.
 
Barb O'Grady

Barb O’Grady retired as an environmental geologist in Colorado more than 15 years ago and moved to the Yellowstone Park entrance town of Gardiner, Mont. In Yellowstone, she has driven snow coaches and historic yellow buses for the park, and is doing archival work at the Yellowstone Heritage and Resource Center. Her love for the Yellowstone ecosystem originates from her interest in the wolf reintroduction program, and helping a first-time park visitor glimpse a wolf is a highlight of her job.
 
Lee Harry

Lee Harry earned a master's degree in forestry with an emphasis in wildlands fire ecology. He enjoyed a forester's career with the U.S. Forest Service where his roles included planting, tending and harvesting trees, applying prescribed fire, and suppressing wild fires. Lee has a particular interest in bark beetles and the white pine blister rust that is impacting high mountain ecology. Now retired, Lee enjoys hiking, camping, snowboarding, reading and traveling as much as possible. Lee lives on a ranch near Bozeman, Montana though he is often found - or not found - exploring the Great Beyond.
 
Jack Gladstone

Jack Gladstone is a storysmith and troubadour from the Blackfeet Nation of Montana. Regarded as a cultural bridge builder, he produces programs on indigenous history and tradition. Jack has released 15 critically-acclaimed CDs, and garnered the prestigious Best Historical Recording from the Native American Music Association. A former college instructor and Smithsonian scholar, Jack has opened shows for Rita Coolidge, Garrison Keillor and Bonnie Raitt.
 
Eric Bindseil

Eric Bindseil has worked as a wildlife biologist for the National Park Service and the US Forest Service for more than two decades, focusing on endangered species throughout the Western United States and Alaska. His experience and interests include grizzly bears, brown bears, wolves, lynx, wolverines, black-footed ferrets, spotted owls and jaguars. Eric has worked as a researcher in Yellowstone National Park, an instructor for the Yellowstone Association and as a guide on the Yellowstone River.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Yellowstone River Motel
  Gardiner, MT 5 nights
 Yellowstone River Motel
Type: Motel
  Description: Lodgings are located on Gardiner's main street, Park Street, on Yellowstone's northern boundary. Yellowstone's northwest entrance at Roosevelt Arch is three blocks from motel. The Gardiner Arch was dedicated in 1903 by Theodore Roosevelt. Meals served at local restaurants; sack lunches in the field. Please be aware that the single dietary requirement or preference that can be accommodated at this site is vegetarian - no meat. You may wish to bring supplementary items. Questions? Call UM-Western Road Scholar (406) 683-7302.
  Contact info: 14 Park Street
Gardiner, MT 59030 USA
phone: 888-797-4837
web: www.yellowstonerivermotel.com
  Room amenities: Refrigerator, microwave, in-room coffee, wireless internet, satellite TV, phone, air conditioning.
  Facility amenities: Quiet, though one block from downtown. Grassy patio overlooks the mighty Yellowstone River. Within walking distance of shopping, ice cream, deli, lattes. Hair dryers, iron, ironing board available upon request
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: varies Seasonal rates; call Yellowstone River Motel for information.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: varies Seasonal rates; call Yellowstone River Motel for information.
  Check out time: 9:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Registration at motel between 4 and 5 PM. You will be staying at Yellowstone River Motel that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after brunch at 11:30 AM. You will be staying at Yellowstone River Motel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Free.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Gardiner, MT
  Nearest city or town:  Livingston, MT is 53 miles north.
  Nearest highway: State HWY 89.
  Nearest airport:  Gallatin Field in Bozeman, MT, 89 miles
  From End of Program
  Location: Gardiner, MT
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Bozeman, MT

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Greater Valley Taxi
phone: 406-388-7938
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Group rate is approximately $60; call for current group rate.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Allow 2 hours. 

   

Return shuttle must be arranged in advance; call (406) 388-7938. Group shuttle departs site at 11:30 am.

 

Bozeman, MT

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Greater Valley Taxi
phone: 406-388-7938
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Group rate is approximately $60; call for current group rate.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Allow 2 hours. 

   

Reservations must be made at least three days in advance; call (406) 388-7938; you may be asked to leave a message. Group shuttle departs airport at 1:30 pm. Call for information and rates.

 
Driving Directions
  Bozeman, MT Travel east on I-90 for 26 miles to Livingston; turn south here onto US HWY 89 and travel south 53 miles to Gardiner. Proceed into town, cross the Yellowstone River bridge and straight ahead to Park Street. Turn left; Yellowstone River Motel is one block down at end of street on left.
  from the East (Cody, WY) Call (307) 344-2117 for road conditions, closures, etc. in Yellowstone. Travel east 80 miles on HWYs 20 and 14/16 past Fishing Bridge area to junction. Turn north here to Canyon (16 miles). Travel 12 miles west from Canyon to Norris Junction. Travel north 21 miles to Mammoth; continue north five miles to Gardiner. Drive under Roosevelt Arch onto Park Street. Proceed to end of Park Street; Yellowstone River Motel is on left side of street.
  from the North (Livingston, MT) Exit I-19 onto State HWY 89. Drive south 53 miles to Gardiner. Proceed into town, cross the Yellowstone River bridge and straight ahead to Park Street. Turn left; Yellowstone River Motel is one block down at end of street on left.
  from the South (Jackson, WY) Travel north 86 miles on HWY 89/287 (slow miles as most of travel is through two national parks with speed limit averaging from 15-40 miles per hour) to West Thumb, then west and north 33 miles to Madison Junction. Drive east then north 14 miles to Norris Junction; carry on northward 21 miles to Mammoth; bear north five more miles to Yellowstone's northwest entrance at Gardiner. Drive under Roosevelt Arch onto Park Street; Proceed to end of Park Street; Yellowstone River Motel is on left side of street.
Elevation Note: Site elevation 5,260'. Activities take place at elevations ranging from 5,260' to 9,000'.

Equipment Requirements: Bring binoculars, durable water bottle (At high altitudes you are more susceptible to dehydration and altitude sickness. Carrying a water bottle with you and drinking plenty of water is of utmost importance to avoid these sometimes dangerous problems.) and fanny or day pack. Bring your walking stick if you use one.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Orientation and Introductions
(Sunday, August 22)
   
 Afternoon: Check-in between 4 and 5 PM.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at nearby restaurant.
 Evening: Orientation, Introductions and a look at the week ahead.
   
Accommodations: Yellowstone River Motel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Introduction to Yellowstone
(Monday, August 23)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at nearby restaurant.
 Morning: Yellowstone Wild Ecosystems: Wildlife and Habitat.
 Lunch: Lunch at nearby restaurant.
 Afternoon: Acclimation walk near lodgings, followed by free time.
 Dinner: Dinner at nearby restaurant.
 Evening: Natural History of Yellowstone. *Natural history topics include, but are not limited to, geology, human history, effects of fire, predator/prey relationships, birds, current issues, wolf reintroduction, etc.
   
Accommodations: Yellowstone River Motel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Field day in Yellowstone National Park
(Tuesday, August 24)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at nearby restaurant.
 Morning: Visit the Yellowstone National Park Heritage and Research Center which houses the Yellowstone Archive, a 5.3 million-item collection, the only national park collection affiliated with the National Archives. Under one roof are contained the sumptuous gatherings of 130 years of Yellowstone's history. Tour includes periods of extended standing. PLEASE NOTE: field trip destinations may vary due to instructor's preference. Itineraries may change at the last minute due to weather or road conditions, area closures due to thermal activity, trail closures due to grizzly bear, wolf, bison or other wildlife activity. Remember, the Park is their home! *These interludes in Yellowstone offer interpretation of the Yellowstone area, an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the Park, an opportunity to step away from the fast pace of everyday life and seize the moment-a chance to be here now, to walk in beauty. Enjoy these golden days; explore, learn about and enjoy all Yellowstone has to offer. *You will visit the Old Faithful and Canyon areas at some point during your field days in the Park. *One field day MAY be afternoon/evening with a late return to take advantage of wildlife viewing during evening's crepuscular hour.
 Lunch: Sack lunches in the Park.
 Afternoon: Consider historic and recent volcanic activity in Yellowstone. Be sure to bring your binoculars each field day as the possibility of wildlife observation awaits around any bend of the road or trail. Learn the optics and ethics of wildlife viewing. Scopes available; bring your own if you have one.
 Dinner: Dinner at nearby restaurant.
 Evening: *Natural History of Yellowstone.
   
Accommodations: Yellowstone River Motel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Field day in Yellowstone National Park
(Wednesday, August 25)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at nearby restaurant.
 Morning: Field day to Old Faithful area will include the Firehole River, Fountain Paint Pots and the Upper Geyser Basin to experience all four examples of thermal features - fumaroles, hot pools, mudpots and geysers. Walk the Old Faithful Geyser Basin and explore historic Old Faithful Inn. Expect fantastic eruptions, beautifully tinted hot pools, pungent sulfur steam. Learn of life forms at high temperatures. Consider the Great Caldera's underground plumbing.
 Lunch: Sack lunches in the Park.
 Afternoon: Field day continued. Enjoy moderate walking and your naturalist's interpretation; walk up to two miles on asphalt paths, stairs and boardwalks. At Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone you'll note beautifully tinted canyon walls caused by hot water acting on volcanic rock. Experience the roar of 109' Upper Falls and the classically spectacular 308' plunge of waters over Lower Falls. Enjoy a walk along the Yellowstone River; depending on time of year, you may see water ouzels, waterfowl and osprey.
 Dinner: Dinner at nearby restaurant.
 Evening: *Natural History of Yellowstone.
   
Accommodations: Yellowstone River Motel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Field day in Yellowstone National Park
(Thursday, August 26)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at nearby restaurant.
 Morning: One field day in Yellowstone includes a visit to the Mammoth area including the Albright Visitor Center and Fort Yellowstone. The step-like platforms or terraces of the Mammoth Terraces are formed by travertine or calcium carbonate. The Terraces are in a state of constant change; walking may include several hundred stair steps downhill. Visit the Albright Visitor Center and Museum, built by the US cavalry during "Fort Yellowstone" times, which includes history-themed exhibits-Native Americans, mountain men, early exploration, Army days and early National Park Service. Also included: predator-prey themed exhibit, Moran Gallery (reproductions of Thomas Moran watercolors), Jackson Gallery (original William Henry Jackson photographs and 1871 Hayden Survey photographs), theater, information desk and Yellowstone Association sales area (good selection of Yellowstone-related books, also prints, notecards, games, films, photographs, maps, etc.) Yellowstone National Park was established in 1872 and immediately became under threat of exploitation by poachers, souvenir hunters and developers. Civilian superintendents suffered from inexperience, lack of funds and manpower. After fourteen years, the US Army was called on for help and the Cavalry was sent in to protect Yellowstone's resources and visitors. The year was 1886. After troops suffered through five harsh winters in a temporary camp and the realization dawned that no end was in sight, a guard house was built in 1891 to support the Cavalry's mission of protection and management. Clapboard buildings were built in 1891 with more added in 1897. 1909 saw stone buildings built as the fort's capacity grew to 400 men/four troops. The National Park Service was established in 1916 and the Cavalry gave control of Yellowstone back to the civilians; their duty concluded completely in 1918. Fort Yellowstone became the administrative center for the Park.
 Lunch: Sack lunches in the Park.
 Afternoon: Field exploration will include a taste of either the Lamar or Hayden Valley; each a vast, wide-open haven for wildlife. Enjoy expanses of open space and expect to see bison, elk, waterfowl, coyotes and more. Consider a magnificent ecosystem and how all its aspects intersect to make a tapestry of life not to be found anywhere else in the nation.
 Dinner: Dinner at nearby restaurant.
 Evening: Free evening to enjoy the grassy, back patio perched high above the mighty Yellowstone River that intersects the town. Often times, a patient search with binoculars reveals elk, deer, geese, sometimes rabbit across the river, sometimes beaver in the river. Take time to stroll downtown and enjoy the flavor of a small, western gateway community.
   
Accommodations: Yellowstone River Motel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6:
(Friday, August 27)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at nearby restaurant.
 Morning: Final presentation and invaluable review wraps up your Yellowstone discovery. Goodbyes and closing reflections on your week of learning in the Great Caldera. Group photo; bring your camera. Check-out.
 Brunch: Brunch at nearby restaurant.
 Afternoon: Shuttle departs at 11:30 AM.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Brunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Gardiner, MT Hiking
One trailhead 1/2 mile from lodgings; another 3/4 mile from lodgings.
  Horseback Riding
Trailrides provided by Rendezvous Outfitters in Gardiner, MT (406) 848-7967.
  Rafting
Scenic float or whitewater rafting on Yellowstone River. For additional information, visit www.yellowstoneraft.com
  Xanterra Parks and Resorts
Xanterra Parks and Resorts is Yellowstone's principal concessioner and includes operations of park's lodging facilities, some campgrounds, restaurants, gift shops, interpretive tours, etc. For additional information, visit www.TravelYellowstone.com
  Yellowstone Association
Founded in 1933 to assist with educational, historical and scientific programs that would benefit Yellowstone National Park and its visitors. Operates book sale outlets in park visitor centers which supports expanded naturalist training and programs, finances publication of trail guides, books and pamphlets about the Park, helps with funding for museum exhibits and research equipment. The Yellowstone Association Institute sponsors outdoor courses for all age groups, some of which are especially designed for women, families and children. The Institute's purpose is to explore, understand and appreciate Yellowstone. For additional information, visit www.yellowstoneassociation.org
  Yellowstone National Park
Official website for Yellowstone National Park. Information, planning a visit, history, etc. For additional information, visit www.nps.gov/yell/home.htm
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

What’s included in this Road Scholar program?



Except for the occasional meal on some programs, Road Scholar programs are all-inclusive. That means there are no extra “options,” no passing the hat for tips and no surprises. From lectures and field trips to gratuities and accommodations – the price you pay up front is the price you pay.

Specifically, this program includes:


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