Journey across three states of America, starting in Colorado’s capital of Denver and finishing in the former outlaw town of Jackson, Wyoming. Visits to the famous landmarks of Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial are sandwiched between trips across the stunning landscapes of the Badlands and the underground Wind Cave. Take a scenic drive through the spectacular mountains, valleys, lakes and rivers of Grand Teton National Park, one of America’s natural treasures. The Wild West is ingrained into American history and culture. Stay in the frontier town of Cody, named after Buffalo Bill Cody, and catch a reenactment of a famous shootout
Get back to nature and take in some of America’s stunning, rugged and majestic national parks. Starting in the ‘Mile-High City’ of Denver, head to South Dakota’s bizarre and beautiful Badlands National Park and then on to the historic mining town of Deadwood. Get up close and personal with past presidents at Mt Rushmore, check out the enormous work-in-progress at Crazy Horse and drive across Wyoming’s open plains to the wild west town of Cody. Head out into Yellowstone with a local guide to try and spot a wolf, pay a visit to the cool alpine region of Grand Teton and then finish up in Jackson Hole.
Breakfast Included: 4 Lunches Included: Dinner Included:
Welcome to the USA. On arrival, join your group for a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Please ask reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so ensure you bring these details to provide to your leader. If you're going to be late, please inform hotel reception. Your evening is then free to do as you wish. If you arrive in Denver earlier in the day, perhaps take a walk to the impressive building of the Colorado State Capitol.
Leaving Denver in the morning, today will see you drive across the country for around six to seven hours to the town of Custer.
En route, we stop at the Mammoth Site, an active palaeontological dig site where over 60 mammoth skeletons have been found. We'll watch a short video before taking a guided tour around the site, where you can see the palaeontologists at work.
You should arrive into Custer in the early evening. Once you're settled into your hotel, the evening is free to explore. You'll be spending the next two nights in Custer.
Mt Rushmore/Crazy Horse National Monument/Wind Cave National Park/Custer
Today, drive out to explore some of South Dakota's highlights. Discover one of the longest and most complex caves in the world at Wind Cave National Park. See the famous sculptures of former presidents that are carved into the face of Mount Rushmore and visit the nearby Crazy Horse National Monument, a giant Native American Indian sculpture in progress. Learn about the incredible Mission of Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation and the work they are doing to protect and preserve the culture, tradition and living heritage of the Native American Indians. Admissions support advancements in Mountain carving, the museums, and the developing of Indian University of North America. After a long day of sightseeing, head back to Custer for the night.
Today's total driving time will be around four hours.
Badlands National Park/Deadwood
This morning, journey into Badlands National Park for a driving tour. Named 'mako sica' (which translates to 'land bad') by Native Americans, the national park protects the country's largest prairie grasslands, several species of mammal (including bison and the black-footed ferret), prairie falcons and snakes. In the afternoon, continue on to the National Historic Landmark of Deadwood. Settled illegally by gold rushers in the 1870s, its streets are lined with old buildings that have since been restored with gambling dollars. It's a fun place to spend a night, with a whole street full of authentic saloons, gaming halls and casinos.
In the morning, take the long drive across the border into Wyoming and on to Cody (approximately 6-7 hours). Named after its legendary founder, Buffalo Bill Cody, the town is full of wild west adventure. With its reenactments of famous shoot-outs and restored frontier buildings, Cody attracts tourists and cowboys alike. This evening perhaps visit Dan Miller's Cowboy Music Revue to see a western-style variety show.
Yellowstone National Park
Drive into Yellowstone National Park this morning for your first taste of the park's immense alpine forests, mountains and rivers. There will be a decent amount of time to explore today. In the evening, stay in the small town of West Yellowstone.
Yellowstone National Park
Head out on a wolf-tracking excursion with a local guide early (approx 5am) this morning. Since wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone Park, their population has flourished. With the help of an expert who'll have a radio to communicate with other explorers, your chances of seeing a wolf dramatically increase. As you are searching for wolves in the wild, there are of course no guarantees, but you're sure to have an amazing day anyway.
Yellowstone National Park
Today will be spent taking a driving tour of Yellowstone National Park. See all of the park's main highlights, such as lakes, waterfalls and hot geysers (including the famous Old Faithful). If you're lucky enough you may even come across a herd of bison. Head back to your cabin in the evening for your last night in the area.
After breakfast at the cabin, drive through the Grand Teton mountains on the way to Jackson (approximately 3-4 hours). This national park is one of America's finest and is a hiker's paradise. Less crowded than Yellowstone, the Tetons exude a sense of tranquillity, and are home to wildlife such as bears, moose, grouse and marmots. Continue on to the former outlaw hideout of Jackson, where you'll have plenty of time to explore. The afternoon and evening are free to do as you wish.
Your trip finishes after breakfast today. There are no more activities planned and you're free to depart at anytime. If you have extra time in Jackson, see the list of optional activities below for some suggestions of things to do.