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Campus Life

Road Scholar Informational Night

Please join Road Scholar Montana Western for a night of celebration, information and libation. 

We will be hosting a FREE informational session about Road Scholar with presenters coming to Dillon from the Boston headquarters. Road Scholar, formerly Elderhostel, hosts learning adventures in 155 countries, all 50 states, and explores activities from hiking to painting, expert instruction from history to geology, flora and fauna, and experiences in theater and music, available to all ages and activity levels. 

Focused on lifelong learning, you will find programs that pique your interest and provide you with behind the scenes access to some of the most amazing experiences of your lifetime. Share this experience with a grandchild or your family on one of Road Scholar’s many Intergenerational or Family programs or travel on your own and meet new friends and share camaraderie with others with similar interests.

Come spend the evening with us Thursday, April 28th at the Lewis and Clark room on Montana Western's campus from 6-8pm and start exploring all Road Scholar has to offer.


Other Useful Sites!

Great places to visit on your way to & from our programs

Bannack State Park   
*Montana's First Territorial Capital
Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest
Grand Teton National Park
Greater Valley Taxi
*transportation from Bozeman airport to Gardiner, West Yellowstone, Mammoth YNP
Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center
West Yellowstone, MT
Montana's Gold West Country
Yellowstone Alpen Guides
Yellowstone Heritage & Research Center   
Gardiner, MT
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone River Motel   
Gardiner, MT


Montana Western Road Scholar Locations

Where would you like to go?

Yellowstone National Park
West Yellowstone  
Grand Teton National Park

Preprogram Information

Preprogram Information


Walk two to six blocks to all meals-served at local restaurants; some sack and picnic meals in the field. Remember, you are experiencing the atmosphere of small, rural communities and meal options are naturally limited.  Please be aware that not all dietary requirements or preferences can be accommodated at this site. If you have dietary restrictions due to medical requirements, please call to see if we can accommodate your needs. You may wish to bring supplementary items. Your dietary restrictions cannot be considered unless you return your Health & Safety form immediately. Questions? Call Montana Western Road Scholar (406) 683-7302.
Spring/summer weather in Montana and Yellowstone National Park varies from cool to hot! With site elevations ranging from 4,000-10,000 feet, you can expect mountain weather and temperatures. Daytime temperatures can range from the low 30’s to the high 80’s (spring programs) and from the low 40’s the upper 90’s (summer programs). You will want to bring suitable clothing; dress in layers-sweatshirt, fleece and/or sweater layer, warm jacket, hat or cap with a brim, raincoat, gloves and comfortable walking shoes or boots. June and September dates may offer chilly temperatures and rain or snow so bring a warm jacket. Thundershowers and snow are possible anytime. Think Rocky Mountains: it’s better to bring extra clothing and not need it than to need it and not have it!!!!!


Be aware of the activity level of the program for which you are registering:
If you are unable to keep up with the group, you will miss important information and interpretation. In addition, falling behind can put you at risk of possibly dangerous wildlife encounters. The academic component for these programs is provided in the classroom, while traveling throughout the park on the coach during field days, and along the trails during hikes or walks. Those not able to, or choosing not to participate will miss trailside interpretation. Be aware that spring in the mountains may result in wet or muddy stretches along certain trails.

Locations are somewhat isolated; 
bring all essentials (prescriptions, aspirin, toiletries, film, etc). Other things to bring: sun block, insect repellent, your water bottle, flashlight, binoculars, and a fanny or day pack. You may wish to bring a walking stick if you use one (remember, you cannot carry these on the airplane-must be checked in your luggage-call your airline for more information). If allergic to bees or wasps, you will need to bring your own bee sting kit.

We will stamp your Passport on or just before the final day of the program. To our knowledge, Elderhostel has discontinued the Passport program, but we will continue to stamp passports as long as there is interest. 
Remember to bring your own water bottle. Southwest Montana and Yellowstone National Park are 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 of utmost importance to avoid these unpleasant and sometimes dangerous problems.

Additionally, in an effort to be more earth-friendly, we will not provide disposable cups for water during field trips and with picnic or sack lunches. Water will be available on the bus or vans from which to re-fill your personal water bottle.

Most programs spend the first day on site with introductory classes and an acclimation walk to give you the necessary time to adjust to the altitude.

TRANSPORTATION INFORMATION FOR GARDINER AND WEST YELLOWSTONE PROGRAMS-PLEASE READ BEFORE MAKING PLANE RESERVATIONS PERTAINS TO SUMMER DOMESTIC PROGRAMS ONLY (for winter, travel and service programs, please refer to the specific program information sheet mailed to you after registration, or call us at (406) 683-7302 for complete information.

 The Bozeman airport (Gallatin Field) is located in Belgrade, ten miles west of Bozeman. Airlines providing service include Skywest, United, and Delta.

 The following is only a partial listing of the many fine motels in the area. These provide shuttle service to and from the airport. This is important for those of you arriving a day early, as you will need to meet the Greater Valley Taxi shuttle at the airport on the arrival day between 1:00-1:30 pm.

I‑90 & N 7th Ave
(406) 587‑5261
Comfort Inn
1370 N 7th Ave
(406) 587-2322
Holiday Inn Express
6261 Jackrabbit Ln
(800) 542-6791

Group transportation from the airport to Gardiner (a trip of 89 miles) or West Yellowstone (a trip of 90 miles) is available through a private shuttle service, Greater Valley Taxi, on the day of registration. Meet Greater Valley Taxi at the large bear statue near the luggage carousel inside the airport between 1:00 and 1:30 pm. The shuttle will leave the airport at 1:30 pm. In order to take advantage of the group shuttle, you must arrive by 1:00 pm on the first day and depart no earlier that 11 am on the final day of the program. Arriving in Bozeman a day early or staying an extra day may be more economical than booking individual transportation.

For group shuttle rates and reservations, please call Greater Valley Taxi at (406) 388-7938, at least 3 days in advance. Call Greater Valley Taxi anytime Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 A.M. and 4 P.M. Mountain Time. You may be asked to leave a message. 
Outside of the above scheduled times, individual transportation (not at group rate) can be reserved through Greater Valley Taxi or Karst Stage (406) 556-3540 (72 hours notice required).

Car rental & drop-off are available at the Bozeman Airport, but not in Gardiner or West Yellowstone

For West Yellowstone programs, it is optional to fly directly to West Yellowstone

The West Yellowstone Airport, located 3 miles north of West Yellowstone, operates seasonally, typically opening anytime between June 1 &12th and closing in late September. The airport offers a Delta-Skywest connection. Call the airport for flight information (406) 646-7631. 
Call Z Best Taxi (406) 640-0361 for transportation from the West Yellowstone airport to lodgings.

Road Scholar Contact Us

Please contact Penny or Wendy with specific questions concerning University of Montana Western Road Scholar programs.

University of Montana Western
Road Scholar
710 South Atlantic St.
Dillon, MT 59725

Phone: (406) 683-7302 
Emergency/after hours: (406) 683-7333
FAX: (406) 683-7809

To register for a program, call Road Scholar at (800) 328-7286 or visit online at

West Yellowstone

West Yellowstone

#16839 Winter Ventures in Yellowstone Country
#17947 Inspired Images: Photographing the Wonders of Yellowstone
#14910 A Greater Yellowstone Adventure for Grandkids (8-12) & Grandparents

As west gateway to Yellowstone Country, West Yellowstone offers a great launch to explore not only the Park but the Gallatin and Targhee National Forests and nearby Quake Lake, where one can learn about the Earthquake of 1959. When the first school opened in West Yellowstone in 1914, pupils came to school on skis, so it is fitting that, within city limits, is a fine cross-country ski course. Millions of acres of the Park and nearby public lands are open to snowcoach tours and cross-country skiing. Elderhostel-Exploritas accommodations in commercial facility. From program base in West Yellowstone, classes are enhanced by three full-day expeditions into the Park. Lectures for the week may include some of the following topics: Historical perspectives or issues affecting the future of Yellowstone; wildlife, fire, bear or wolf management; thermal activity.  
Winter program field trips at this site utilize snow machine and the snowcoach transportation.

Check out the West Yellowstone Chamber of commerce at:



#13678 Service: Yellowstone National Park Heritage & Research Center
#14338 Yellowstone's Winter Wolves and Wildlife
#1646 Yellowstone: The Anticipation & Drama of Spring
#17947 Inspired Images: Photographing the Wonders of Yellowstone
#18556 Yellowstone: A Geology Walkabout
#15966 Take a Walk on the Wild Side in Yellowstone National Park
#13845 Yellowstone: The Great Caldera
#4874 Hiking in Yellowstone: Wildlflowers, Wildlife, Waterfalls & Hot Springs

#17306 Yellowstone's Great Outdoors: An Intergenerational Adventure (kids 9-12) 
#20563 Watercolor Workshop: Yellowstone Through the Eyes of Thomas Moran

Gardiner can be found south of Livingston along the beautiful Yellowstone River on State HWY 89. The town was founded in 1880 and named for Johnston Gardiner, a trapper and mountain man who trapped along the upper Yellowstone and its tributaries. Visitors enjoy the area's stunning scenery, and the small town aspects of a Yellowstone gateway community.   Fall travelers see elk, up close and personal in the midst of the rut in town and at nearby Mammoth.  Accommodations for most of our Elderhostel programs are located on Gardiner's Park Street, on Yellowstone's northern boundary.  Yellowstone's northwest entrance is Roosevelt Arch, three blocks from the motel.  The Arch was dedicated in 1903 by Theodore Roosevelt.  

Check out the Gardiner Chamber of Commerce at:

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Participants watch the "Devil's Bathtub" drain

#7120 Celebrate the New Year at Old Faithful & Mammoth Hot Springs *
#2809 Greater Yellowstone: Heart of the Continent *
#1648 The Grand Loop: Tracing Yellowstne's History *

*these programs stay in park lodgings...most Montana Western programs explore Yellowstone National Park for 3 full field days, staying in a nearby community (Gardiner or West Yellowstone).
Yellowstone National Park was established in 1872 as America's first national park.  At 2.2 million acres, the park encompasses a variety of habitats from near-desert vegetation near the North Entrance to the lodgepole pine forests that cover 60 percent of the park, to marshy riparian areas, pothole lakes, broad meadows and the subalpine life zone found on Mount Washburn.  This environment supports a dynamic array of wildlife, thus providing one of the best wildlife viewing opportunities in North America.  See bison, elk, pronghorn antelope, waterfowl,  birds of prey, osprey, bear, moose, wolf, coyote, fox, pika, marmot and more.

Yellowstone's caldera is a 30 by 45 mile basin containing the thermal features Yellowstone is so well known for: geysers, hot springs,fumaroles and mud pots.  The park contains about 10,000, or almost half, of the world's hydrothermal features.

Yellowstone Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake in the U.S. that is above 7,000 feet, covers 136 square miles and is 20 miles long by 14 miles wide.  Birthed high in the Absaroka Mountain Range, beautiful Yellowstone River winds its way northward through the park, from the northern tip of Yellowstone Lake to a mighty grand canyon where its waters plunge 1,000 feet over the Lower Falls.  It continues north gathering wondrous waterways including Tower Creek, Lamar River, Hellroaring and Blacktail Deer Creeks and passes through yet another awesome gorge, the Black Canyon of the Yellowstone.

Lodgings for some Yellowstone Park programs (i.e.Greater Yellowstone: Heart of the Continent, The Grand Loop: Tracing Yellowstone's History) are in historic hotels or lodges; meals in hotel and lodge restaurants, box lunches in the field. 

Check out the Yellowstone National Park Homepage at:

Only at Montana Western.

X oneMontana Western is the only public college in the country to offer a block scheduling program. We call this innovative program Experience One (X1).