Don't Miss the Yellowstone Junior Journey!

Nov 13, 2017

by Dr. Malcolm Manners
Professor and Chairman of the Horticulture Department

This May 6-12, I hope to take a Junior Journey group to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. We still have several seats available for that trip, and it is not filling as quickly as I had hoped.

But why would you want to make this your Junior Journey? I've had the privilege of visiting 42 countries and 49 of the US States (I'm missing Rhode Island). I've seen some fascinating places. But if forced to choose my very favorite spot on the earth, there is no question it would be Yellowstone! It is an amazing and unique place, with major waterfalls, snow-covered mountains, more than half of the world's geysers and other geothermal features, the largest existing herd of bison (American buffalo) in the world, elk, moose, black bear and grizzly bear, and bighorn sheep. A visit is a life-changing experience, and those who’ve experienced it can’t wait to go back again.

Our trip will be outdoorsy in the sense that we'll be outdoors most days, visiting the natural features. But, we will be staying in park cabins that are clean, well-heated, and with good, working bathrooms. So, we really will not be "roughing it”. It will involve quite a lot of walking on trails, but not any very strenuous mountain climbing.

In the summer, Yellowstone can be terribly overcrowded with tourists, but a nice aspect of going in early May is that it's relatively empty. The road system is just opening up as they clear the snow this time of year.

Highlights of the trip will include a:

  • day in Grand Teton National Park -- one of the most impressive mountain ranges anywhere, where you’ll also see pronghorn antelope and moose
  • day among the geysers
  • day in the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, including its magnificent waterfalls
  • trip to Cody Wyoming, home of Buffalo Bill Cody. We'll visit the museum and Buffalo Bill education center there, for some Old West history and culture, then we’ll have lunch at the Irma Hotel -- Buffalo Bill's own property in his day.
  • Mammoth Hot Springs and the Lamar Valley, where wolves have been reintroduced

The trip is free for Junior-Journey-eligible students, and $2850 for others. That covers all transportation, lodging, meals, and park entry. The only thing you might need money for would be souvenirs, snacks, etc.