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Great American West

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Great American West

Was From $ 6,775 AUD
Now From $ 5,420 AUD
Sale!

Description

See natural wonders in South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana on a 12-day small group adventure that packs plenty of National Parks into a short space of time. Uncover the beauty of Badlands National Park, before you travel to Mount Rushmore, spot buffalo in Custer State Park and continue to Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. With two nights at Yellowstone National Park, you’ll have time to spot wildlife and watch Old Faithful spray water into the air. Then travel from Bozeman to Missoula via mountains, rivers, glaciers, and lakes. Learn about the customs and histories of the Blackfeet Native American culture and explore Glacier National Park on a vintage bus tour and a scenic river float trip. With easy to moderate walks, comfortable accommodation, and a knowledgeable leader, this nature-focussed adventure is big on beauty.

Trip Name
Great American West
Last Updated
2022-07-04
Days
12
Capacity
12
Highlights
  • Enjoy the changing landscape of Badlands National Park as you explore the backcountry on one of the park’s best hikes.
  • Visit Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument and join your Crow Nation Guide to learn about the history of the area
  • Jump in a jeep with an expert guide to see buffalo up close and personal in Custer State Park along with pronghorns and elk.
  • Marvel at Mount Rushmore where a hike will take you up close to this famous mountain sculpture.
  • Hike Yellowstone National Park where grizzly bears, wolves and herds of buffalo and elk roam free.
  • Enjoy a backcountry hike where you will learn about the tribal customs and histories of the Blackfeet Native American culture with a local Blackfeet guide
  • Follow in the path of Lewis and Clark exploring the “Gates of the Mountains” on a river cruise along the Missouri River
  • Sit back and take in the views from a vintage open-top bus in Glacier National Park where you’ll find wildflowers, rushing rivers, and mountains reflected in crystal clear lakes.
  • Take a scenic float on the serene middle fork of the Flathead River along Glacier's southern border.

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested in the Group Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Day 1 - Rapid City
Welcome to Rapid City! Your tour starts at 10am with a group meeting followed by a short drive to Badlands National Park for your first walk of the trip, a hike along the Castle Trail. Widely regarded as one of the best hikes in the national park, this scenic trail takes you through the backcountry of Badlands National Park. Have your camera handy to capture the sweeping prairie grass plains and dramatic rocky pinnacles. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot bighorn sheep and pronghorn as well. 
Day 2 - Rapid City
Drive to Custer State Park and wander through the State Game Lodge, a stately residence which was built in the 1920 and has played host to several presidents. Then it’s time to jump in a jeep and go wild on a Buffalo safari. Trek through the park in an open-air jeep as your expert guide shares historical and educational facts and helps you spot pronghorns, elk, and buffalo. Continue onto the famous Mount Rushmore to do the Presidential Trail.
Day 3 - Sheridan
It's an early start for the drive to the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. After a stop along the way for lunch, join your Crow Nation Guide for a three-hour tour which provides an Apsaalooke perspective on the conflict. With a tribal historian at your side, traverse the battlefield and learn how Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho warriors defeated the US Army on the Greasy Grass at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. After the tour, drive to Sheridan where you might like to visit the Sheridan Inn for a drink and a chance to learn about the history of Buffalo Bill who auditioned new members for his “Wild West” show from the front porch of this historic inn.
Day 4 - West Yellowstone
After breakfast, you’ll spend the day driving to Yellowstone National Park so settle back and enjoy the scenery, or perhaps listen to an audio book or your favourite tunes as the miles roll by. Along the way, your leader will choose the perfect scenic spot for everyone to stretch their legs and a enjoy a delicious picnic lunch.
Day 5 - Yellowstone National Park
Spend the day exploring Yellowstone National Park where grizzly bears, wolves and herds of buffalo and elk roam free. Watch as Old Faithful sprays over 4000 gallons (14,000 litres) of boiling water into the air, then be hypnotized by the startling colours of the Grand Prismatic Pool. Other highlights include Yellowstone Canyon with its geysers along the north and south loop.
Day 6 - Bozeman
After breakfast, head back into Yellowstone for another hike or book an optional wolf-tracking expedition. There is no better place than Yellowstone to see these magnificent animals in the wild. Join your experienced naturalist guide who tracks the movements and behaviour of Yellowstone wildlife almost daily and knows the best places to find the animals. There will be top-of-the-line binoculars and high-powered spotting scopes for each person, so no one will miss out. After lunch, travel to Bozeman where you will arrive around 4pm.
Day 7 - Bozeman
After breakfast join your group for a meeting at 10am to welcome any new travellers joining you for the next leg of your adventure, then get ready to stretch your legs on a hike through Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park that’s easy on the legs and even easier on the eyes. After your hike, travel to the city of Helena, Montana’s capital and your base for the night. On arrival, you may like to head out for dinner with your group – your leader will be on hand with suggestions for where to grab a great bite to eat.
Day 8 - Helena/Great Falls
After breakfast, follow in the footsteps of the explorers Lewis and Clark and venture to the Gates of the Mountains on a scenic river cruise. You’ll sail alongside limestone cliffs to a set of towering stone walls which appear to open like a gate as your boat approaches. Little has changed since the two explorers first visited this stretch of the Missouri River and the region’s untouched beauty remains. After a picnic lunch, we will continue to Great Falls for our overnight stay. Tonight, enjoy a relaxing evening at your accommodation or perhaps share a meal together.
Day 9 - Badger-Two Medicine region
After an early breakfast, hit the road and enjoy the scenery on the drive from Great Falls to Badger-Two Medicine. The Badger-Two Medicine region is located at the intersection of the Blackfeet Reservation, Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. Upon arrival we will have a traditional Native American lunch then have the privilege of joining a local Blackfeet guide for a half-day hike which offers an insight into the Blackfeet Native American people and culture and explores the secluded wilderness of Badger Two Medicine. Learn about tribal customs, histories, and stories while experiencing a land filled with wildlife, wildflowers, alpine lakes, and mountain peaks. The evening is yours to enjoy as you please.
Day 10 - Glacier National Park
Known as the ‘Crown of the Continent’, Glacier National Park offers an impressive array of activities for lovers of nature and the great outdoors. Tour the park in a vintage 1930s bus with a roll-back top that provides excellent views of the surrounding mountains and learn how this historic transport option fits into this national park's history. Along the way you might like to grab some lunch. Tonight we'll continue to the town of Whitefish.
Day 11 - Whitefish
After breakfast, we'll take a stroll along the easy trails in Glacier National Park followed by a picnic with time to soak up the beauty of our surroundings. After lunch, we'll board a raft and enjoy a scenic two hour float down the Flathead River with an expert local guide. Tonight, you may like to drop into one of the local craft breweries or restaurants for dinner.
Day 12 - Missoula
Enjoy a morning at leisure before hitting the road to Missoula, with a stop along the way for a walk alongside the serene waters of Flathead Lake. Stop off for one last lunch and perhaps take the time to look back with you group on all you’ve seen and done in the past week. Then, it’s onto Missoula where the trip finishes at 3pm and your Montana adventure will come to an end.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
10-07-202221-07-2022AUD $ 6,775-
24-07-202204-08-2022AUD $ 5,420-
07-08-202218-08-2022AUD $ 6,031-
21-08-202201-09-2022AUD $ 6,098-

Accommodation

Hotels (11 nights)

Transport

Private vehicle

Map