11 days from Rapid City to Salt Lake City
Departs From: Rapid City
On this fun-filled National Parks tour, discover the majestic parks and historic lodges of the American West. Begin in Rapid City, South Dakota, gateway to the Black Hills, and end in Salt Lake City with overnights along the way in some of the Wests classic lodges. In Custer State Park, stay two nights at the historic State Game Lodge, a gracious stone and wood lodge set in a beautiful mountain valley that served as the “Summer White House” for President Coolidge. In Spearfish Canyon, stay at Spearfish Canyon Lodge, nestled in the heart of one of the worlds most breathtaking canyons surrounded by lofty pines and spectacular cliffs. Enjoy a 2-night stay at Yellowstone National Park’s classic lodges, giving you the opportunity to breathe in the spectacular beauty and witness the amazing wildlife. You ll also overnight in Cody and Jackson. In addition to overnight stays in the classic lodges, this National Parks tour features visits to Badlands National Park to see its stunning scenery, Crazy Horse Memorial, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, the Old West town of Deadwood, stunning Grand Teton National Park, and Jackson, where you ll have time to explore on your own. TravelToe has also arranged some special experiences for you, such as a backcountry buffalo safari and chuckwagon cookout in Custer State Park. Just wait until you see these majestic creatures in their natural environment! You ll also visit the world’s largest excavation site for mammoth remains from more than 26,000 years ago in Hot Springs.All of this and more are waiting on this tour of the West’s classic lodges, breathtaking scenery, and historic sights—what a grand vacation! Duration:
City HighlightsRAPID CITY
|16 September, 2017
||26 September, 2017
OrientationBADLANDS NATIONAL PARK
Scenic drive CUSTER STATE PARK
[LF] Buffalo safari & chuckwagon cookoutHOT SPRINGS
[LF] Mammoth siteMOUNT RUSHMORE
Visit Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Crazy Horse MemorialDEADWOOD
[LF] Enjoy lunch at a Western ranchCODY
Visit Buffalo Bill Center of the WestYELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
Stay two nights inside the park; sightseeing toursJACKSON
Grand Teton National Park tourSALT LAKE CITY
Day 1 Arrive in Rapid City.
Welcome to Rapid City, gateway to the Black Hills. At 6:30 pm, meet your traveling companions for a welcome drink. Your Tour Director will prepare you for your upcoming adventure.Day 2 Rapid City–Badlands National Park–Custer State Park.
After breakfast, enjoy an orientation tour of Rapid City, then visit BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK to see some of the most spectacular scenery in the region. Afterward, there’s time to explore Wall Drug, known for its quirky roadside signs and free water. Later this afternoon, travel into the backcountry and enjoy a [LF] BUFFALO SAFARI and CHUCKWAGON COOKOUT. (B,D)SPECIAL FEATURE: We overnight at the historic State Game Lodge in Custer State Park. This gracious stone and wood lodge is set in a beautiful mountain valley, surrounded by a ponderosa pine forest. Built in 1920 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the lodge served as the “Summer White House” for President Calvin Coolidge and was visited by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. NOTE: The June 1 departure will spend the evening of Day 2 in Spearfish and the evenings of Days 3 & 4 in Custer State Park. The itinerary will be slightly altered, but no included activities will be missed
.Day 3 Custer State Park.
This morning, we travel to Hot Springs to visit the world’s largest [LF] MAMMOTH SITE, where scientists are currently excavating remains of mammoths that were trapped and died in the pond more than 26,000 years ago. After a short tour, you’ll have time to stroll the sidewalks of the dig area and see the paleontology laboratory. Next, visit CRAZY HORSE MEMORIAL, built in honor of the fearless Sioux Indian chief whose fame is derived from the Battle of Little Bighorn. The remainder of the day is yours to relax in Custer State Park. Perhaps try some fly-fishing, mountain biking, or take a nature walk. (B,D)Day 4 Custer State Park–Mount Rushmore–Deadwood–Spearfish Canyon.
Today, visit one of the world’s largest stone monuments: MOUNT RUSHMORE NATIONAL MEMORIAL. At Mount Rushmore, the solid granite faces of four presidents loom more than a thousand feet overhead. We then continue on a guided tour of the Old West town of DEADWOOD, where Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane are laid to rest on Boot Hill. We spend the night deep in the heart of one of the most breathtakingly beautiful canyons in the world. The location for scenes from the movie Dances with Wolves, Spearfish Canyon Lodge sits nestled among lofty pines and spectacular cliffs. (B,D)Day 5 Spearfish Canyon–U-Cross Ranch–Cody.
This morning, drive through scenic Spearfish Canyon and across the grassy plains of Wyoming. Enjoy lunch at an authentic [LF] WESTERN RANCH. Next, we cross the Bighorn Mountains via Shell Creek Canyon to Buffalo Bill’s Wild West town of Cody, Wyoming. (B,L)Day 6 Cody–Yellowstone National Park.
Enjoy a leisurely visit to the BUFFALO BILL CENTER OF THE WEST, a fascinating tribute to frontier America. Later, depart for YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, America’s first national park, where wild animals roam freely in vast meadows and forest. (B,D) SPECIAL FEATURE: Enjoy a 2-night stay inside Yellowstone National Park. Each lodge has its own unique setting and atmosphere. Lodges featured are the Old Faithful Inn, Lake Yellowstone Hotel, and Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel. Specific lodges will be confirmed in your documents. NOTE: The routing and areas visited within Yellowstone are subject to favorable weather and/or road conditions. When conditions are unfavorable, the routing may be adjusted accordingly.Day 7 Yellowstone National Park.
Today you will see the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone with its Upper and Lower Falls. Watch for herds of bison in Hayden Valley, and view many of Yellowstone’s geothermal sites, including Old Faithful Geyser. (B)Day 8 Yellowstone National Park–Grand Teton National Park–Jackson.
This morning, tour GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK. The jagged Tetons form a perfect backdrop behind Jenny and Jackson Lakes. Next up: the Western town of Jackson. The rest of the day is free to explore on your own. You may choose to see a shootout in Town Square, shop for souvenirs, or relax with a cold drink at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. (B)Day 9 Jackson.
Today is at your leisure to explore on your own or perhaps take an optional float trip down the Snake River. (B)Day 10 Jackson–Salt Lake City.
Follow the Snake River and lovely Star Valley en route to Utah. Wind along the shores of beautiful Bear Lake before climbing through the Wasatch Mountains and on to the Great Salt Lake Basin and Salt Lake City. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner hosted by your Tour Director. (B,D)Day 11 Salt Lake City.
After a leisurely breakfast, bid farewell to newfound friends as your tour comes to an end with an included transfer to the Salt Lake City International Airport. (B)Meals
: Breakfast daily, 1 lunch, 5 three-course dinners including a farewell dinner in Salt Lake CityTransportation
Free Wi-Fi available on your motorcoach.