Excursions

Ecology Hike with Jesse Logan and Doug Peacock
Explore the southern end of Paradise Valley with ecologist Jesse Logan and grizzly bear expert Doug Peacock, who will introduce participants to the changing ecology and human demands on this wild landscape. Learn how bears, wolves, bison, pronghorn, elk and more navigated both the ancient and modern ecosystems here, and explore the paths trod by indigenous people. The effects of climate change will be featured prominently on this hike. Participants should be comfortable walking at least a mile at a stretch.

Archaeology tour of Paradise Valley with Tom James
Humans have lived in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem for over 10,000 years. Though early people did live in the valley year-round, they often also followed the “green wave,” seasonally following game from the valleys to the mountains as various plant food sources ripened and withered with the seasons. From villages along the Yellowstone and bison jumps on terraces to high-elevation prayer beds, Paleolithic camps to historic mining towns, the Paradise Valley represents the full variety of historic and prehistoric Montana.

Optional activities

Horseback riding
Experience the foothills of the Absaroka Mountains on a two-hour trail ride with Rockin’ HK Outfitters, round trip from the Chico Horse Barn.
Fee: $85 per person

Whitewater rafting
See Paradise Valley from the perspective of the Yellowstone River (the longest undammed river in the lower 48 states) on this scenic float with the Flying Pig Adventure Company.
Fee: $50 per person

Explore

Welcome to “The Last Best Place”

Montana has long been known as the “Last Best Place,” a motto popularized by Annick Smith and 2015 faculty member Bill Kittredge in their book of the same name. The wild landscape here has been a source of inspiration for writers from Richard Hugo to Richard Brautigan, Jim Harrison to James Welch. It continues to provide inspiration for many of our faculty, and we’re sure it will for you as well. Paradise Valley offers everything an artist needs: solitude, beauty, wildness and perspective. Livingston has become a focal point of Montana literature, attracting writers of every genre and enough readers and book-lovers to support a lively literary scene.

While you’re here, we invite you to explore beyond the seminar rooms and find your own inspiration.

120516-100802_Y1A8323-e1348567077133Chico’s amenities include hot spring pools, a day spa, two restaurants, a garden, a gift shop and a saloon with live music most weekends. They host horseback riding and rafting (weather permitting). You may want to come early or stay late, get in some hiking or fishing, or take a tour of Yellowstone National Park. Nearby Livingston has a lively arts scene, great restaurants, bars and shopping. Here are some links of local interest:

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Chico Hot Springs
Yellowstone National Park
Livingston, Montana information
Elk River Books
International Federation of Fly Fishers Museum
Yellowstone Gateway Museum
Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness

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