Ever wonder what it’s like to take a day class at Yellowstone? This year is the first that the Yellowstone Forever Institute is offering day programs as part of their Field Seminars. For those on a tight schedule or with just an extra day to spare, a day program is a great way to further enhance your experience in Yellowstone.
Starting in the classrooms at Gardiner, participants met early Friday morning with a coffee and notebook in hand ready for The Gardiner to Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone Field Trip. The group ranged from a teacher on summer break to locals just looking to learn more about the park. About an hour was spent in the classroom for introductions and ice-breakers before heading into the park for the first stop of the day.
If you’ve ever wondered what the best turnouts of Yellowstone are, this was the class to take. When one first visits Yellowstone, or any national park for that matter, these turnouts are often overlooked as you focus on getting to your destination as soon as possible (and hopefully without traffic). But, having the chance to slow down and pull over offered a whole different perspective on some pretty spectacular views. This class’ instructor, John Gillespie, broke down the history of the park’s geologic landscapes like a storyteller. Each roadside stop offered insight to help connect the dots in deciphering the history of Yellowstone.
Several stops were made on the way to Canyon before it was time to eat lunch. An hour was set aside as the group gathered in the Canyon Village to eat, shop, and mingle. Then it was back on the road for the final stop—a short hike along the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Starting at the Upper Falls Viewpoint, the group hiked to Artist Point—just under 2 miles one way.
The South Rim Trail was the perfect way to unwind as discussions about volcanism, glaciation and more led to the breathtaking views the Canyon had to offer.
After the group gathered for one last photo, it was time to ride the bus back to the Gardiner classrooms. Full of questions and conversation, the hour and a half ride back went by quickly. Most participants enjoyed the day class because they were able to squeeze it into their tight schedules, where a longer three or four day Field Seminar wasn’t doable. Whether you’re a beginner or expert on geology, there were bits of information for anyone to learn throughout the course.
You can still reserve a spot for our remaining day program, Where the Bison Roam, happening at the end of this month! If you’re a Yellowstone Forever member, you can save $15 per registration fee. If you’re not, you can join now for $35 and get early access for future Field Seminars!