Marvel at the West's premier natural wonders on this 6-state vacation and see spectacular scenery, memorials, monuments, parks, canyons, and much more. Your trip begins in Denver and heads to South Dakota for visits to the Crazy Horse Memorial and Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Visit Tatanka and Deadwood, once a wild gold-mining town, and journey west to Buffalo Bill’s frontier town of Cody, Wyoming. Here, you’ll witness the rodeo. Then head to Yellowstone National Park to see magnificent views of Yellowstone Canyon, Lower Falls, and world-famous Old Faithful Geyser. Overnight in Yellowstone National Park (depending on the time of year) before traveling into breathtaking Grand Teton National Park for a delightful walk along glacier-fed Jenny Lake. In nearby Jackson, with its wooden sidewalks and swing-door saloons, you’ll experience a reenactment of frontier justice and have plenty of free time to tour on your own.Next, it’s on to Salt Lake City, Utah’s capital, for a sightseeing tour; then marvel at the “hoodoos” and dramatic landscapes of Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park. Stunning scenery awaits you in both parks, so have your camera ready! Continue into Arizona to Page, on the shores of Lake Powell, and cross the Painted Desert to amazing Grand Canyon National Park. Your hotel is located in the park, giving you a rare opportunity for great views and time to explore this spellbinding place. For a thrill of a lifetime, take an optional flightseeing trip over the Grand Canyon. Finally, travel to Las Vegas, where this spectacular vacation ends. On this vacation through some of the West’s premier national parks, you’ll see breathtaking scenery that cannot be found anywhere else—a trip of a lifetime!
Day #1 Denver. 'The Mile High City' of Denver is the capital of Colorado and the gateway to the Rocky Mountains. An attractive city with broad streets, a tree-lined pedestrian mall leading to the gold-domed State Capitol, and Larimer Square in the city's historic heart. It's also home to some fine museums and galleries. Enjoy time at leisure to relax or to do some independent exploring. Your Tour Director is on hand this evening to answer any questions.
Day #2 Denver–Cheyenne–Black Hills of South Dakota–Keystone. Depart Denver and travel north to Cheyenne. See the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota and continue to Custer. Then, see the CRAZY HORSE MEMORIAL, a monument carved out of a mountain that pays respect to the great Native American hero, Chief Crazy Horse. (CB)
Day #3 Keystone–Mount Rushmore–Deadwood. Travel the Needles Highway and be amazed at the granite spires that lead you into CUSTER STATE PARK. Once in the park, experience the world’s largest herd of free-running bison on a four-hour journey that also visits General Custer’s first expedition site, and Sylvan Lake. Leave the park and drive deep in the Black Hills, behold the granite faces of MOUNT RUSHMORE, a monument to four American presidents: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt. Afterward, visit TATANKA: The Story of the Bison, and experience the richness of the Lakota people. A Native American speaker will provide a better understanding of the philosophy, customs history and culture as well as explain their relationship with the Bison. On to Deadwood, a lawless frontier town during the 1876 Gold Rush, where Jack McCall murdered Wild Bill Hickok during a poker game. Overnight in this historic town and discover Deadwood’s Wild West ways as you walk in the footsteps of legends like Calamity Jane and Seth Bullock.
Day #4 Deadwood–Cody. This morning, head through high country, where open-range cattle kings made war on sheep ranchers in the 1890s. Drive by Sheridan, site of battles between the U.S. Cavalry and the Sioux, Cheyenne, and Crow Indians. Overnight in Buffalo Bill’s frontier town of Cody. This evening, enjoy the CODY RODEO. Here in the “Rodeo Capital of the World,” witness America’s original sport with fearless bull riders, high-flying broncs, brawny steer wrestlers, and daredevil rodeo clowns—action that’s sure to keep you on the edge of your seat! (CB)
Day #5 Cody–Yellowstone National Park. This morning begins with an included visit to the BUFFALO BILL HISTORICAL CENTER the world’s largest Western heritage center. This five-museum complex celebrates the American West and includes the Buffalo Bill Museum, where you can encounter a Great American Icon again…For the very first time, and much, much more. Proceed through Shoshone National Forest to YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. Travel along Grand Loop Road to Artist Point with views of Yellowstone Canyon and the Lower Falls. See the bubbling geyser basins and the consistent “blow” of Old Faithful, Yellowstone’s most famous geyser. Overnight in Yellowstone National Park.
Day #6 Yellowstone–Grand Teton National Park–Jackson. Head south into magnificent GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, one of America’s last preserves of wild solitude. Its 13,770-foot-high ridges are crested with snow most of the year. Stroll along the shores of beautiful glacier-fed Jenny Lake before ending the day in all-Western Jackson. Tonight a true western adventure! Board a horse-drawn covered wagon and ride into Cache Creek Canyon. Keep an eye out for the Indians who live in the area, as you never know who you may encounter on the trail. Your wranglers will lead you to camp in time for chow and a hardy CHUCK WAGON COOKOUT followed by a Wild West show. (D)
Day #7 Jackson. Enjoy an 8-mile FLOAT TRIP that begins at Pritchard Creek and travels past the nesting areas of both bald eagles and ospreys. Later, the afternoon is free in Jackson to explore the shops and museums of historic downtown. This evening witness a lively reenactment of frontier justice on the Jackson Town Square, in what is the longest, continuously running shootout in the country! The Shootout takes you back in time - back to the days of the Wild West, gunslingers, saloons and gun fights! Afterward, maybe stroll along the old-time boardwalks downtown and enjoy supper at one of the swing-door saloons. (CB)
Day #8 Jackson–Salt Lake City. Today, drive to Salt Lake City for an overnight stay. Set on the edge of Great Salt Lake Desert, this center of the Mormon religion is where Brigham Young declared to his followers, “This is the place.” An included sightseeing tour shows you the capital of Utah, including Temple Square, the adjacent tabernacle, and the Beehive House. (CB)
Day #9 Salt Lake City–Bryce Canyon National Park. On to BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK with its 20 miles of sandstone cliffs and ever-changing colors. See some of Earth’s most brilliant shades of rock, sculpted by nature into pillars called “hoodoos.” The Glory days of the American cowboy have been relegated to a bygone era that ended over 100 years ago. Yet, the romantic legend of the cowboy lives on in song. Tonight celebrate your WESTERN ADVENTURE with an unforgettable evening of old fashioned western fun, music and great cowboy food. (D)
Day #10 Bryce Canyon National Park–Zion National Park–Page. Travel to ZION NATIONAL PARK with its landscape carved over millions of years by rushing streams. Steep canyons, stone towers, and verdant vegetation form the scenery of Zion. Head east into Page on the shores of Lake Powell.
Day #11 Page–Painted Desert–Grand Canyon National Park. Experience the raw beauty of Mother Nature on a guided ANTELOPE CANYON SLOT TOUR. Take a 4-wheel-drive vehicle to the canyon entrance, where you will walk through the spectacularly petrified sand dunes sculpted by wind and water. As you walk along the canyon floor surrounded by sandstone formations as high as 130 feet, admire the geological masterpieces formed over millions of years. Then, cross the Painted Desert and through Kaibab National Forest. Arrive for an overnight at the South Rim of GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK with free time to explore.
Day #12 Grand Canyon National Park–Las Vegas. For a once-in-a-lifetime thrill, take an optional flightseeing trip over the Grand Canyon. Next up: the world-class entertainment of Las Vegas.
Day #13 Las Vegas. The trip ends today with guests departing on individual schedules. Transfers to Las Vegas McCarran International Airport are included. You can extend your vacation with extra nights and explore “Sin City” further with a variety of exciting optional activities.