When to Arrive
The first Gathering event is dinner on Sunday, June 30. All Friends are welcome to arrive Saturday, June 29 if they wish (additional charges will apply.) Some Friends will arrive Friday, June 28 to participate in pre-Gathering events or to serve in particular volunteer roles.
Before you finalize your travel plans consider reasons to arrive Saturday.
- Explore Iowa
- Attend a pre-Gathering event.
- Attend the mandatory training for Junior Gathering staff (starts Sunday at noon) OR the mandatory training for High School staff (starts Saturday 8AM).
Not all clusters may will be available when you select early housing. Friday night housing is available only for pre-Gathering attenders and invited volunteers.
On this page :
- Arriving or departing by airplane?
- Traveling by Amtrak?
- Public Transportation
- Traveling by car?
- Travel Grant Opportunities
- Campus Map
We will be using the Des Moines (DSM) airport. There will be shuttle service available on particular days and times. Reserve your shuttle spot when you register for Gathering - deadline is early June (exact date TBD.) See our transportation services webpage for more information.
Buy your airline tickets early! We expect prices to increase as we near the Gathering.
For the train to Gathering, we will be using the Ottumwa, Iowa Amtrak station. We expect Gathering shuttles will serve the Ottumwa Amtrak station for trains arriving June 29–30 and departing July 6. (learn more about Amtrak Transportation if you're arriving outside of the hours of the Toledo bus system. Several trains arrive quite early in the morning.)
Luggage limitations. There is no checked baggage service at the Toledo station. Only select train stations and routes permit checked luggage. Each passenger is limited to two pieces of carry on luggage (up to 50 lbs each) plus personal items. Amtrak might consider strollers, diaper bags, and car seats as "personal items" permitted in addition to your luggage allowance, but it is not clear if they do. We recommend reading Amtrak Carry-on Baggage and Amtrak Special Items (scroll down to Baby Items) or contacting Amtrak if you have questions.
Times: View timetables for the California Zephyr Amtrak train that stops in Ottumwa.
Trailways Bus Service stops on the Grinnell College campus, in front of the oe Rosenfield ’25 Student Center. The line that stops in Grinnell runs between Omaha, NE and Chicago, IL. To search schedules and purchase a ticket, visit the Trailways website or call 1-800-992-4618 option 2.
Other than the Trailways bus (above) there is not public transit that serves Grinnell.
The Grinnell College campus is located in Grinnell, Iowa, about fifty-five miles east of Des Moines, IA. View driving directions to Grinnell College. An email will be sent about a week before the Gathering with details on where to arrive on campus for check-in.
Be green and arrive at the Gathering with a full car! Indicate your interest in carpooling when you register, and FGC will tell you how to contact other carpoolers.
After you have registered, to view the carpool list, you must have the registration confirmation number listed in the e-mail instructions. Once you get to your Registration Summary page, click on upper INFORMATION tab at the top (just under the Gathering logo) and then click on CARPOOL LIST tab on the next line down.
There will be a section of the carpool form for Amtrak travelers, to help arrange for group travel to campus.