A road trip in stories, small towns, and historic treasures
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|Trip Length||7 days/6 nights|
|Arrive/Depart||Rapid City, South Dakota/Bozeman, Montana|
|Price||$2,895 to 3,295|
|If you have questions about this journey or would like to receive a detailed trip brochure, call 800-445-2995 or click here.|
Day 1 (Custer State Park) Meet your guide this morning in Rapid City, South Dakota and head directly to Custer State Park, a 71,000-acre wildlife reserve in the Black Hills, home to a large herd of free-roaming bison and many other plains animals. This is perfect hiking terrain, and we take advantage of it! After our first picturesque day, we celebrate with a welcome diner at the historic State Game Lodge, where we’re staying.
Day 2 (Custer State Park, Mount Rushmore, and the Crazy Horse Memorial) Iconic national treasures are the focus of this day! Our guide takes a unique approach to Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial, setting the context, capturing the history, and connecting us to the surprisingly solitary landscape surrounding these otherwise bustling national landmarks. Then it’s off to the classic gold-mining towns of Lead and Deadwood for some good old-fashioned fun and exploring on your own.
Day 3 (Devils Tower and Buffalo, WY) We head to the Big Horn Mountains, stopping en route at Devils Tower. This is a sacred site to the Lakota and other tribes, who called it Bear Lodge or Buffalo Horn. We’ll walk around the formation on a 1.3-mile paved trail, marveling at nature’s own monument. After our walk we continue tracing the route many pioneers followed during the days of western settlement. Next stop Buffalo, Wyoming. We arrive in time to settle into our historic lodgings and enjoy the quaintness and order of this charming Northern Rockies town.
Day 4 (Little Bighorn Battlefield and Red Lodge, MT) A modern-day Crow Indian scout joins us today as we stalk the path of General George Armstrong Custer. Our interpreter brings history to life through stories and the Native American perspective of events during that turbulent time period. We have a late picnic lunch along the banks on the Little Bighorn River at the site of Sitting Bull’s camp as we’re treated to a colorful recounting of the history that unfolded on this very spot. Leaving this dramatic setting behind, we end the day at another striking location, historic Red Lodge, Montana, at the base of the Beartooth Mountains.
Day 5 (Beartooth Pass and Yellowstone National Park) We hit another high today driving up and over the famed Beartooth Pass. This steep, breathtaking road is the “back way” into Yellowstone National Park. We have wonderful opportunities for wildlife-viewing along the way, and also take time for some short sightseeing walks. The day ends at Yellowstone Lake, a vast body of water situated at 7,732 feet above sea level.
Day 6 (Yellowstone National Park) Today is packed with extraordinary sights and experiences in the world’s first national park. We follow the “Grand Loop” to see the parks’ iconic features even while our guide steers us off the beaten path, away from the crowds, to see some of the park’s hidden treasures. The Upper Geyser Basin holds the most extensive concentration of geysers in the world (at least 30 named geysers, including Old Faithful), along with colorful hot springs and steaming fumaroles. You have the option here of biking, hiking, or walking.
Day 7 (Bozeman for departures home) After an early check-out, we enjoy breakfast along the way to Bozeman, savoring the last leg of our unforgettable western road trip! You’ll arrive at the airport in time for early afternoon flights home.