Owls of the Mission Valley – Guided Educational Hike

Learn to identify Glacier National Parks Owl community

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Distance

2.5 Miles

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Elevation Gain

500 Feet

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Difficulty

Easy

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Cost Per Person

$175

Hike Overview

This course will provide a thorough introduction to the ecology and identification of the owls of the Mission Valley. Montana boasts the largest number of breeding owl species of any state in the nation. The Mission Valley provides habitat for approximately nine of these species. By the end of the course, you should be able to correctly identify Montana’s owls, understand their adaptations, life histories, and overall ecology.

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Owls of the Mission Valley – Guided Educational Hike

Hike Overview Continued

Instructor: Beth Mendelsohn

This course will provide a thorough introduction to the ecology and identification of the owls of the Mission Valley. Montana boasts the largest number of breeding owl species of any state in the nation. The Mission Valley in Glacier National Park provides habitat for approximately nine of these species. By the end of the course, you should be able to correctly identify Montana’s owls, understand their adaptations, life histories and overall ecology. In addition, you will have a grasp on some owl research techniques that will help you locate owls on your own.

Meeting Place: The lobby of the Kwataqnuk Best Western Hotel in Polson, MT.

Itinerary: (subject to change due to trail closures and weather)
We will begin at 9:30 a.m. with an introduction to Montana owls, before heading out to drive the backroads in search of owls. We will spend time in the field looking for and learning about the natural history of Montana’s owls, and other interesting facts. We will have our lunch in the field and may make a visit to the Owl Research Institute in the afternoon. The course will end by 4 p.m. and will not be cancelled due to weather.

Food: Please bring a sack lunch, plenty of water, and snacks for the day.

Equipment: It can be quite windy in the Mission Valley so prepare with warm layers, jackets, hats, gloves and sturdy shoes or boots. We will be traveling off trail and you may encounter thorn bushes, burrs, mud, ticks, so please plan accordingly. Binoculars and spotting scopes will be beneficial, as well as your favorite field guides. You will receive a Glacier Institute Field Camp gear list once you register.

Physical Requirements: Easy to little difficulty. We will be taking short off trail hikes, looking for tree holes, whitewash and other signs of owls and their habitats.

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What to Expect On Your Owls of the Mission Valley | Day Camp

We will be taking short off trail hikes looking for tree holes, whitewash and other signs of owls and their habitats.

Hike Details

  • This Glacier Institute program meets at Lobby of the Kwataqnuk Best Western Hotel, Polson, MT.
  • Instructor: Beth Mendelsohn.
  • The program will begin at 9:30 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. Please arrive 15 minutes early.
  • On-site parking is available.
  • There is a maximum number of 13 hikers per trip.
  • This program has a minimum guest count of 3 people. In the unlikely case we don’t reach that number, you will be notified prior to the event.

What to Bring

Please remember that weather in NW Montana during all seasons can change quickly from warm and sunny to freezing at any time of the year. We recommend checking the weather prior to your trip. Please also check your course information sheet for specific gear requirements in addition to those listed below.

  • Lightweight hiking boots or a sturdy pair of hiking shoes
  • 2 liter sized water bottle or Camelback
  • Day Pack with plastic bag liner or cover
  • Waterproof rain jacket and pants
  • Sunhat, sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellant & lip balm
  • Camera (optional)
  • Trekking poles, if you like to use them for hiking (optional)
  • Binoculars (optional)
  • Field Notebook notes and sketches

Download complete checklist here