Turn Your Visit to Glacier Into an Educational Field Trip
Full day program offers education, inspiration, and park access to participants
enrollments for its Going-to-the-Sun Road Day Program. As the non-profit education partner for Glacier National Park, the Glacier Institute strives to help the park achieve their education goals by providing in-depth, field based educational experiences.
“With the expectation of transportation challenges this year, we wanted to be creative in finding ways to help visitors get out into the park and have meaningful learning experiences,” says Pete Webster, Acting Superintendent for Glacier National Park. “The Glacier Institute was eager to assist us in this way, and we’re excited to partner with them on this pilot program.”
The Going-to-the-Sun Day Program offers participants a hands-on, in-depth view of what makes Glacier National Park part of one of the world’s most critically important ecosystems. Participants can expect a full day of adventure and education with a naturalist-led hike and interpretation to some of the park’s most popular points. There are four daily options to choose from, each of which requires a different hiking ability. While there are no age restrictions, guests are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the website and choose a course that fits their comfort level with distance and elevation gain.
To meet the demand and make an impact for the community, the Glacier Institute has purchased five additional vehicles and hired seven additional staff to facilitate these programs. “We see this as a great opportunity to further our mission,” says Anthony Nelson, Executive Director of the Glacier Institute. “In addition to experiencing the beauty of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, we’ll use education to get them to fall in love with the park and understand its importance.”
The courses began on July 1st and each of the four options will be offered daily. Each course runs from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and starts and ends at Glacier Institute’s main office at 320 Nucleus Avenue in Columbia Falls. Participants can park for the day near the main office or inquire at their lodging about hotel shuttle service. In addition, the local transit system, Mountain Climber, will offer round-trip shuttles to and from the Glacier Institute main office for $5 per person or $10 per family. Current plans include multiple shuttle stops Monday-Friday in both Kalispell and Whitefish. Additional service days will be added as needed. Participation in this course acts as your Going-to-the-Sun-Road ticketed entry reservation for the day. A Glacier National Park pass will still be required and can be purchased in advance at recreation.gov.
Registration is now open online at www.glacierinstitute.org. Each course is $100. Glacier Institute members receive a 10% discount. For additional information, call the Glacier Institute at (406) 775-1211.
The Glacier Institute is a Montana non-profit committed to strengthening connections to the natural world through outdoor education. As the official education partner of Glacier National Park and the Flathead National Forest, the Glacier Institute is well-recognized as the Flathead Valley’s leader in outdoor education with courses and camps for area youth, adults, and families. Its programs inspire connections to the natural world and create meaningful experiences that broaden understanding and cultivate critical thinking. For additional information, go to www.glacierinstitute.org.