DAY 1, Monday - Arrive in Rapid City
Arrive in Rapid City, gateway to South Dakota’s Black Hills and iconic Mount Rushmore, this city’s downtown displays life-size bronze sculptures of past U.S. presidents. Tonight, attend an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager on the adventure filled tour that lies ahead, followed by a Welcome Drink. Your tour will begin with an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager at approximately 7 PM on the day of arrival. We recommend that you select flights which arrive in your destination no later than 5 PM on Day 1 of the itinerary or earlier.
DAY 2, Tuesday - Crazy Horse Memorial, Mount Rushmore
This morning, head to the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.* The faces of four American presidents - George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln - are carved into the granite mountainside high above the treetops of the Black Hills. The carving took 14 years to complete and serves today as a priceless shrine of democracy. Continue on to the Crazy Horse Memorial that started over 50 years ago by Chief Henry Standing Bear who invited sculptors to carve a mountain honoring the heritage, tradition, and culture of North American Indians. Today, this tribute is still incomplete. After lunch on your own, return to Rapid City. Tonight, a Welcome Dinner celebrates your arrival. (Breakfast, Dinner)
*Renovations of the facilities at Mt Rushmore began Summer 2019 and are scheduled to last for approximately 18 months. Views from the Grand Terrace may not be possible.
DAY 3, Wednesday - Drive to Cody
Morning departure to Sheridan, Wyoming set halfway between Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore, with its dramatic vistas of the striking Big Horn mountains. After lunch, continue to Cody for an evening at leisure. (Breakfast, Lunch)
DAY 4, Thursday - Arrive in Yellowstone, Hayden Valley
An extraordinary experience as you enter spectacular Yellowstone National Park, a breathtaking natural wonderland established in 1872 as the first national park in the United States. Yellowstone is home to countless hot springs and two-thirds of all of the geysers in the world, highlighted by its awe-inspiring rock formations and the famed geyser, "Old Faithful". Upon arrival, cross over the Yellowstone River into the Lower Loop. Continue towards the Hayden Valley to see its incredible thermal features. See the Mud Volcano, with its rhythmic belching of steam and flashing tongue of water. The caldron exploded onto the landscape in 1948, blowing trees out by their roots and covering the surrounding forest with mud. All the while, be on the lookout for bison, bears, elk, and eagles in this sweeping glacial valley. (Breakfast)
DAY 5, Friday - Explore Yellowstone, Old Faithful
Begin the day in Yellowstone with a visit the dramatic Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone with its turbulent river - 24 miles of twisting, sheer rock cliffs carved 1200 feet deep. Then on to Mammoth Hot Springs, a large complex of hot springs on a hill of travertine, created thousands of years ago. Continue to the Lower Geyser Basin to Fountain Paint Pots along the Firehole River. After on to the highlight of the day - legendary "Old Faithful". The thrilling eruptions shoot up into the air approximately every 90 minutes as high as 184 feet. En route to your hotel, cross the Continental Divide - here, water flows on one side to the Gulf of Mexico, and the other side flows to the Pacific Ocean. (Breakfast)
DAY 6, Saturday - Grand Teton National Park
Depart Yellowstone for magnificent Grand Teton National Park in northwest Wyoming with its jagged peaks, glaciers, lakes and dense forests rich with wildlife. Multiple photo stops on your way to Colter Bay where you stop at the visitor center. Continue past picturesque mountain vistas before visiting the Chapel of the Transfiguration, built in 1925 at the south entrance of Grand Teton National Park. Depart for Jackson. Here, there's time to shop in the town's many stores for genuine cowboy gear or join the optional Snake River Scenic Float with Lunch. Surround yourself with stunning scenery as you glide down the beautiful Snake River. Learn about the history of Jackson Hole & Grand Teton, the geology, flora, and fauna of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Tonight, try one of the homey restaurants with local country cooking. Be sure to stop at the famous Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, with its awesome Wild West displays, known worldwide for its lively western dancing. (Breakfast)
Optional: Snake River Scenic Float with Lunch (PM)
DAY 7, Sunday - Salt Lake City
Today, leave rugged Wyoming for Salt Lake City, Utah. Here, tour historic Temple Square*; the centerpiece of this beautifully landscaped 10-acre plot of ground in the heart of downtown Salt Lake is the six-spired Salt Lake Temple. Also located on the square is the domed Tabernacle, home of the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir. At this evening's Farewell Dinner, share wonderful memories of your western adventure with your newfound friends. (Breakfast, Dinner)
*Some departures will feature alternate sightseeing due to local events. Details to be advised locally.
DAY 8, Monday - Return Home
Transfer independently to the airport for your departure flight. (Breakfast)
National Parks route and program may vary according to weather conditions, seasonal changes, safety issues and wildlife migration patterns.