Yellowstone TripThe Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem:
Through the Eyes of Faith
Explore God’s Glory in Yellowstone National Park
Join Cornerstone University’s Welch Heritage Institute for Lifelong Learning on an unforgettable weeklong trip to explore the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and Grand Teton National Park in September 2023! This transformative experience will open your eyes to new dimensions of God’s creation by exploring the ecosystem of the park—from its geysers to its greenery. Join fellow alumni and lifelong learners on this trip hosted by longtime biology professor Raymond (“Gator”) Gates.
Yellowstone National Park sits atop a volcanic hot spot and spans three states—a vast and thriving ecosystem that includes alpine tundra, whitebark pine forests and the geyser basin. Your trip to Yellowstone includes:
Guidance by Professor Gates through various ecosystems in Yellowstone National Park.
Teaching content will highlight the tundra, natural forests and stewardship.
Sightseeing of various locations in the park.
Observing wildlife such as elk, grizzly bear and moose.
We will explore areas where we have increased chances to see mountain goats, pika, big horn sheep, elk, moose, coyotes and grizzly bears.
Experiencing Grand Teton National Park.
|Day One||4 p.m.||Meet at the Chateau Rogue for a two-hour wildlife tour|
|8 p.m.||Video on wolves and bears|
|Day Two||8:30 a.m.||Bear Tooth Highway|
|9:30 a.m.||Rock Creek Vista Point|
|10:15 a.m.||National Forest Service Sign and Shoshone National Forest|
|10:30 a.m.||Alpine Lakes Overlook|
|11 a.m.||Bears’ Tooth Overlook|
|11:15 a.m.||West Summit Overlook|
|11:45 a.m.||Island Lake Campground|
|Noon||Lunch at Sub-Alpine Lake|
|1 p.m.||Top of the World Store|
|2 p.m.||Pilot and Index Overlook|
|2:20 p.m.||Clark’s Fork Overlook|
|2:30 p.m.||Lava Creek Falls|
|3:15 p.m.||Lily Lake Aspen|
|4:30 p.m.||Clark’s Fork Picnic Area|
|5:30 p.m.||Check In: Antlers Lodge in Cooke City, Montana (3 nights)|
|Day Three||8 a.m.||Soda Butte Campground|
|9 a.m.||Grizzly bear safety and use of bear spray|
|9:30 a.m.||Nez Perce Indians|
|10:30 a.m.||Crazy Creek Hike|
|2 p.m.||Optional Activities: Horseback riding or ATVs in the wilderness|
|6 p.m.||Dinner in Cooke City|
|Day Four||6 a.m.||Search for wolves|
|8 a.m.||Travel to Yellowstone National Park|
|9 a.m.||Lamar Valley|
|11 a.m.||Buffalo Ranch|
|11:30 a.m.||Short Hike|
|2 p.m.||Undine Falls|
|3 p.m.||Mammoth Hot Springs|
|5 p.m.||Cooke City|
|8 p.m.||Campfire at Grizzly Lodge|
|Day Five||8 a.m.||Depart|
|8:30 a.m.||Lamar Valley|
|11 a.m.||Mount Washburn|
|1 p.m.||Canyon Village, Brink of the Upper Falls and Artist Point Overlook|
|6 p.m.||Grocery shopping at West Yellowstone|
|6:45 p.m.||Earthquake Overlooks|
|8 p.m.||Driftwater Resort (4 nights)|
|Day Six||8 a.m.||Earthquake Overlooks|
|11 a.m.||Sawtell Peak|
|3 p.m.||Wolf Discovery Center|
|4:30 p.m.||Earthquake Tour|
|7 p.m.||Dinner at Driftwater Resort|
|8 p.m.||Campfire at Beaver Creek Cabin|
|Day Seven||8 a.m.||Travel to Old Faithful|
|9:30 a.m.||Firehole Falls|
|10:30 a.m.||Fountain Paint Pots|
|11:30 a.m.||Mystic Falls|
|1:30 p.m.||Old Faithful Geyser Basin|
|4 p.m.||Basketball Shoot Out at the Old Faithful Rec Hall|
|7 p.m.||Driftwater Resort|
|Day Eight||8 a.m.||Leave|
|9 a.m.||Mesa Falls|
|11 a.m.||Travel to Teton National Park|
|Day Nine||9 a.m.||Leave for Bozeman Airport|
Participants will be required to find their own transportation to Red Lodge, Mont., by 1 p.m. or earlier on Sept. 11. From there, participants will carpool to the different sites.
In order to plan accordingly for flights, we recommend flying into Billings Logan International Airport in Billings, Mont., to be closer to the Red Lodge, Mont., lodging. We also recommend flying out via the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport in Bozeman, Mont., by late morning or early afternoon.
Each participant is responsible to provide their own food and drinks for the trip.
Breakfast and Lunch
Two stops at local grocery stores to buy food. The hotel rooms are equipped with a full kitchen.
- Red Lodge, Mont.: Buy food for the first three days.
- West Yellowstone, Mont.: Buy food for the latter four days.
There are several restaurants that participants will be able to eat at the meeting place.
Hotel / Lodging
The estimated cost for lodging is approximately $140 to $200 per night. Participants will need to call and reserve their own room(s) at each location with their credit card.
A number of rooms are held at each location under Professor Gates’ name. Rooms range from twin-size to double and queen beds. Nicer lodging is also available near each location if needed.
- Chateau Rouge (one night): Red Lodge, Montana
- Antlers Lodge (three night): Cooke City, Montana
- Driftwater Resort (four nights): Cameron, Montana
Participants must be able to walk three miles in three hours.