2023 Pilgrimage FAQs

The check-in desk will always be at the Cody Holiday Inn. There will be signage throughout the Holiday Inn to guide you to the correct room.

Please check the schedule on the Pilgrimage page for the times when the registration desk will be open for check-in. If you will not be able to check in before some of the events start (on Thursday, for example, or on Friday morning), please don’t worry, you may still attend everything, just let a member of staff know that you have not had a chance to check in and we will coordinate with you to get your name tag, bag, and details of the weekend all sorted out.

No. This year, all of these activities will be first-come, first-served. You do not have to sign up for anything in advance, or indicate a preference on the registration form as in past years.

Our website’s accessibility page has information about audio guides, service animals, and wheelchair access, as well as a Social Story about what to expect when visiting Heart Mountain.

In late July, it is usually very hot and dry during the day. Be sure to stay hydrated and use adequate sun protection. That being said, the weather can change very quickly, so bring layers and be prepared for cooler weather as well. For those who are planning to visit Yellowstone National Park before or after Pilgrimage, know that it is much higher in altitude than Cody and tends to be cooler/wetter. When in doubt, always check ahead!

Pilgrimage days are long, so it is important to dress comfortably. If you want to explore the museum’s outdoor features, we recommend wearing closed-toed shoes and clothing you don’t mind getting dusty. Hats and sunglasses are also recommended.  Some people like to dress up a little bit for the Sayonara Banquet, but it is not required.

Last year, there were requests to create a directory of Pilgrimage attendees so that people can stay in touch with one another. You can share as much or as little information as you like. The directory will only be circulated among those who opt-in to sharing. People who do not opt-in will not have their information included.

Several of the events over the course of the Pilgrimage weekend take place at The Holiday Inn in Cody, Wyoming (most other events take place at the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center). Our host hotels in Cody are the Holiday Inn (307-587-5555), Comfort Inn (307-587-5556), and Buffalo Bill Cabins (307-587-5544). We have a discounted rate available at these three locations. Visit the Cody Yellowstone website to see a list of other places to stay in the area.

***If you plan to stay at any of the three hotels mentioned above, please call them directly to make your booking and mention that you are attending the Heart Mountain Pilgrimage to take advantage of the discounted rate. If you book online, you will not be able to get the discount.

Yes! Please do! Volunteering is a great way for seasoned Pilgrims to help others and engage more with Heart Mountain. If you are interested in volunteering, please email Eva Petersen at evap@heartmountain.org.

Yes. Included will be free Pilgrimage shuttles to all events not held at the Cody Holiday Inn. The Holiday Inn also provides a free shuttle to and from the airport. So it is possible to attend all of the weekend’s events without a car! Parking at the Interpretive Center during Pilgrimage weekend is very limited. If you would like to use your own car to get to the Interpretive Center for our Saturday event, you will need a parking pass (free for handicap, $15 for regular).

Yes! All are welcome at Heart Mountain’s Pilgrimage.

Private family research is a service we are offering for the very first time for Heart Mountain descendants. One of our staff members will prepare a file of documents about your family’s time at Heart Mountain, and will sit down with you and your group to explain their meaning and answer any questions you may have. They can also tell you about resources you can use to do more in-depth research. This kind of service is best for people who have very little knowledge of their family history, and need help starting on their research journey. In the interest of serving as many families as possible during Pilgrimage, we ask that you only sign up for one research slot per family. You can indicate interest in having a family research session when you register, but it will not guarantee a spot.

Based on feedback from last year, our Thursday schedule now includes two optional museum trips. These are great for people who have never been to the site before, or anyone interested in having time onsite before the hubbub of Saturday. Shuttles will pick up visitors from the Holiday Inn and take them to the Interpretive Center for a three hour “field trip”. Once there, people are free to explore the museum and its outdoor features. Optional scheduled events include free guided tours of the root cellar and Mineta-Simpson Institute construction, and a “Memories of Heart Mountain” presentation led by survivor Sam Mihara.

We are not offering any guided hikes up Heart Mountain during Pilgrimage, but you are free to hike it on your own time.

Yes! On Thursday night, there will be a survivor meet-up and photo-op at the Holiday Inn from 5:00pm to 6:00pm.

This social is a great time to drop in and decompress after a busy first day of Pilgrimage. Come greet old friends and make new ones. Yes, there will be karaoke, but you do not have to be a singer to attend the social. Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase from the Holiday Inn. Adult beverages can be purchased from the hotel bar and brought to the social as well.

Multigenerational Discussion Groups provide a welcoming environment for Pilgrimage goers of all generations to have meaningful conversations about memories of the past, hopes for the future, why everyone is attending Pilgrimage…or simply what is on people’s minds that day. It is a great way to get to know other people at Pilgrimage, and many people have named it as their favorite part of the weekend.

Yes. On Friday night, after the Multigenerational Discussions, there will be an opportunity for each generation to take their own photo. The photographer will also be on hand for any families who want to take a photo together as well.

The Sayonara Banquet is a festive dinner held at the Holiday Inn on the final night. It is completely optional, and an added cost to attend. Those who choose to eat dinner elsewhere that night can come back to the Holiday Inn for an open dessert reception. This year, we will be honoring the longtime service and friendship of our Pilgrimage Co-Chairs, Kathy Yuille and Claudia Wade. We will also be honoring all babies who, like Kathy, were born at Heart Mountain. **If you were born at Heart Mountain and will be attending the Sayonara Banquet, please email Eva Petersen at  evap@heartmountain.org.

The silent auction will be open for the duration of Pilgrimage weekend, and bidding will close after the Sayonara Banquet on Saturday night. Feel free to stop into the auction room throughout the weekend to bid.

Yes, please send a photo of your item(s) with a description to Sara Brunton at sarab@heartmountain.org.

Registration for 2024 will not open until spring of next year. You will receive news about that opening if you are on our general mailing list, or follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter.

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