Autumn in Glacier
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Autumn in Glacier: September 20, 2018

Price: $65.00
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Description Course Details

Autumn in Glacier

September 20, 2018

Ellen Horowitz

Autumn is the season of change. Learn how animals and plants react to waning daylight hours and cooling temperatures. On our hike through meadows, aspen glens and into the subalpine zone, we’ll see some of the brilliant reds, oranges & golden hues of fall foliage and observe evidence of animals preparing for winter. Along the way, we’ll smell the scents of autumn; listen for the sounds of bugling bull elk; and savor the flavor of frost-kissed huckleberries in the high country.

Meeting Time: Thursday, September 20, 8:30 AM

Meeting Place:  Glacier Park Field Camp Meeting Hall (see campus map).

Itinerary:  We’ll begin the day with brief introductions and class overview at Field Camp. Then we’ll travel by Institute bus to the Firebrand/Lubec Trailhead. During the drive, you’ll learn about the biology of autumn leaves and become more aware of the variation of colors they display. As we hike from foothills into the mountains, we’ll discuss topics that range from vertical migration to elk mating season, hibernators to hyper-eaters, and food caching critters to cocoon spinners. After lunch (in the field) we’ll resume our hike into the high country where trees grow shorter, mountain views grow bigger and winter comes earlier. We’ll return to Field Camp by 5:00 PM.

Equipment (all seasons): Please see basic gear list. Come prepared for all types of weather (especially cold winds). Binoculars are recommended, but optional.

Food: Please bring a sack lunch, trail snacks, and plenty of water.

Physical Requirements: Moderate-to-strenuous. We will not hike to Firebrand Pass, but the total hiking distance may cover up to seven miles round trip with up to 1,000 feet elevation gain.

Transportation: We will be traveling in a Glacier Institute vehicle.

Accommodations: Lodging can be purchased for $32/person/night at the Glacier Institute Field Camp on a bluff overlooking the Middle Fork of the Flathead River.  Facilities include bunkhouses, a community bathhouse, a classroom, a library and a kitchen.  Please call the registrar at 406-755-1211 to book lodging.

Weather: This course will not be canceled due to weather. If faced with inclement weather, the Instructor and Glacier Institute staff will choose an alternative, lower elevation hike.  Please check the weather forecast in advance and refer to the gear list for proper attire.

Recommended Reading:  To enhance your understanding of the park and its plant communities, we recommend the following books:

GLACIER: A Natural History Guide (2nd Edition) by David Rockwell (2007).

Winter World by Bernd Heinrich

*All classes and participants are asked to practice “Leave No Trace” ethics.*