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Best of The Great American West - Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho

Best of The Great American West - Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho

Best of The Great American West - Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho

21 Nights From €2295 (Per Person)

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United States 3 Fly Drive Holidays

South Dakota|| Montana|| Idaho|| Wyoming|| North Dakota

Photograph of Best of The Great American West

Best of The Great American West - Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho

Discover the Great American West

BEST OF THE GREAT AMERICAN WEST

21 days of adventure through The Great American West

Start Rapid City, SD |Finish Jackson, WY

21 nights – €2295 per person based on 4 sharing – full fly drive including accommodation, flights, and car rental

The diverse and intriguing American states of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming epitomise the Great American West. Year-round adventure, awe-inspiring scenery, majestical mountains, shimmering lakes, expansive prairies and tumbling waterfalls await. Not to mention legendary history and heritage, real-life cowboys, rodeos and ranches, American Indians, iconic National Parks and monuments, plus more wildlife than people. The Great American West has it all.

No Great American West adventure is complete without a visit to the world’s first national park. Yellowstone boasts the world’s most extensive area of geothermal activity, harbouring more than 10,000 geysers, hot springs and mud pots; the most famous being Old Faithful. A mountain wildland, home to grizzly bears, wolves, and herds of bison and elk, the park is the core of one of the last, nearly intact, natural ecosystems in the Earth’s temperate zone.

The Great American West is blessed with an unspoiled, natural beauty that beckons visitors from around the world. Take time to discover it yourself.

 

  • Stand in awe of Mount RushmoreNational Monument
  • Hike the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone National Park
  • See two thirds of the world’s geothermal wonders
  • Drive beneath the massive rugged peaks of Grand Teton
  • Watch the excavation of ancient woolly mammoths
  • Visit Flaming GorgeNational Monument
  • Enjoy several authentic western towns

 

BEST OF THE GREAT AMERICAN WEST

21 days of adventure through The Great American West

Start Rapid City, SD |Finish Jackson, WY

DAY 1 – Fly to Rapid City, South Dakota

Arrive Rapid City and collect your rental car

Overnight: Rapid City, South Dakota 

DAY 2 – The Black Hills of South Dakota

Spend the day exploring the Black Hills of South Dakota including: Mount Rushmore National Memorial - 60-foot-high mountain carving of U.S. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Crazy Horse Memorial – the massive granite carving honouring the Native American warrior will stand 563 feet high and 641 feet long when complete. Custer State Park, the second largest state park in the nation and home to 1,500 bison and granite outcroppings. Drive the 18 mile Wildlife Loop Road.

Overnight: Rapid City, South Dakota

DAY 3 – The Black Hills of South Dakota

Turn your focus to the western Black Hills, taking the time to drive the incredible Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway. If you are feeling adventurous, take the one hour drive from Spearfish into Wyoming to admire Devils Tower National Monument, America’s first national monument reaching 1,194 feet into the western sky. Then head to the Old West town of Deadwood where the legends of Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane live on. Visit the Days of 76 Museum or try your luck at one of the town’s numerous gaming parlours.

Overnight: Rapid City, South Dakota

DAY 4 – Rapid City and Badlands National Park, South Dakota

This morning explore downtown Rapid City and spend some time at the Journey Museum to learn about the history of the Black Hills and Native American culture. Then take the short drive east to Badlands National Park - a maze of buttes, canyons and gullies formed by millions of years of erosion. Stop for lunch in the small gateway town of Wall to visit Wall Drug. Spend a night in the Badlands area to view constellations, stars and planets in the incredibly clear night sky.

Overnight: Badlands National Park area, South Dakota

DAY 5 – Badlands to Bismarck, North Dakota

Depart for the twin cities of Bismarck-Mandan, North Dakota in the morning. Bismarck is the capital city of North Dakota and lies on the banks of the Missouri River that divides the city into Bismarck-Mandan. Step back in time at the newly renovated North Dakota Heritage Center, visit the Native American Earth Lodges in Mandan and walk in General George Armstrong Custer’s footsteps at Fort Abraham Lincoln.

Overnight: Bismarck, North Dakota

 DAY 6 – Bismarck to Medora, North Dakota

Head west to Medora, diverting slightly south to admire the Enchanted Highway, a 32-mile stretch of paved county highway that features spectacular giant concrete and metal sculptures. In Medora visit the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame and then take in the nightly outdoor Medora Musical and Pitchfork Fondue dinner in the summer with the dynamic landscape of the North Dakotan Badlands as your backdrop.

Overnight: Medora, North Dakota

DAY 7 - Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Spend the day exploring Theodore Roosevelt National Park, the only national park named after a person, and North Dakota’s Badlands which have been shaped by millions of years of wind, rain, erosion, fire and the meandering Little Missouri River. Head to Painted Canyon Overlook for spectacular views of the Badlands and keep your eye out for wildlife along the way – bison, wild horses, elk, deer, pronghorn sheep and prairie dogs all call the park their home.

Overnight: Medora, North Dakota

 DAY 8 – Medora to Billings, Montana

Make your way west into Montana and Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument which serves as a symbol for both sides – the U.S. Cavalry and Native American Indians, who fought on the banks of the Little Bighorn River. In Billings, Montana’s largest city, visit the Western Heritage Centre, which features over 17,000 Native American objects and artefacts. Shop ‘til you drop at the Rimrock Mall and enjoy a meal in one of the many downtown restaurants.

Overnight: Billings, Montana

DAY 9 – Billings to Helena, Montana

Take a stroll around historic downtown Billings before heading west toward Livingston and Bozeman. Visit the Museum of the Rockies, home to one of the largest collections of dinosaur fossils, as you pass through. On arrival in Helena, wander around the pleasant blocks of Last Chance Gulch, pop into the impressive State Capitol Building or view the fine collection in the Holter Museum of Art.

Overnight: Helena, Montana

DAY 10 – Helena to Glacier National Park, Montana

Take a boat tour through the Gates of the Mountains, a dramatic stretch of the Missouri River, with 1,200ft cliffs on either side. Then make your way to spectacular Glacier National Park to discover glacial-scoured valleys, towering peaks, tumbling waterfalls, verdant forests and wildflower-strewn meadows. Keep an eye out for grizzly bears, elk, mountain goats and bighorn sheep.

Overnight: Whitefish, Montana

DAY 11 – Glacier National Park, Montana

Continue your exploration of Glacier National Park. Drive the magnificent 53-mile Going-To-The-Sun-Road and hike some of the 700 miles of trails. In the evening enjoy the unique restaurants, shops and art galleries of the pretty mountain town of Whitefish.

Overnight: Whitefish, Montana

DAY 12 – Whitefish to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

As you head south, admire the crystal clear waters of Flathead Lake, the largest freshwater lake in the west, and the picturesque small town of Bigfork which has been honoured as one of the 50 Great Towns in the West and brims with art galleries, fine restaurants and high-end boutiques. Continue into Idaho and on to Coeur d’Alene, surrounded by dozens of lakes left behind by the glaciers from the ice age. Take a leisurely bike ride along the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes bike path and watch the sun set and moon rise over Lake Coeur d’Alene.

Overnight: Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

DAY 13 – Coeur d’Alene to McCall, Idaho

Continue your travels south following in the footsteps of Lewis & Clark on the Northwest Passage Scenic Byway to the Nez Perce National Historic Park, one of Idaho’s most important Native American attractions. The park’s 38 sites tell the story of the Nez Perce (Nimiipuu) people – the Lewis & Clark Expedition considered them the most hospitable tribe they met. Make a stop in the pretty town of Riggins nestled deep in the canyon where the Salmon River and Little Salmon River come together. Spend the night in McCall, a laid back mountain town on the shores of Payette Lake.

Overnight: McCall, Idaho

 

DAY 14 – McCall to Sun Valley, Idaho

Make a day of the drive between McCall and Sun Valley to take in the incredible mountain scenery as you travel along not one, but four scenic byways - Payette River, Wildlife Canyon, Ponderosa Pine and Sawtooth. Along the way stop at Kirkham Hot Springs for a relaxing dip in the natural geothermal pools and waterfalls, and Sawtooth National Recreation Area for epic views of mountain peaks and ice blue lakes. Reflect on a day of beautiful scenery with a night at Sun Valley resort, the birthplace of the chairlift and home to old Hollywood Glamour, or nearby Ketchum.

Overnight: Sun Valley/Ketchum, Idaho

 

DAY 15 – Sun Valley to West Yellowstone, Montana

This morning visit Craters of the Moon National Monument, formed during eight major eruptive periods between 15,000 and 2,000 years ago. It contains three major lava fields which are some of the best examples of rift cracks in the world. Just outside the town of Rexburg you’ll find Yellowstone Bear World, a drive through wildlife park of free-roaming Rocky Mountain goats, bison, moose, white tail deer and even grizzly bears. Travel through the forests of eastern Idaho to thundering Upper and Lower Messa Falls before crossing into Montana to overnight in West Yellowstone.

Overnight: West Yellowstone, Montana

 

DAY 16 – Yellowstone National Park

Get an early start for the nation’s first national park, Yellowstone - best known for the geysers, hot springs and mud pots that make it one of the most active geothermal areas on the planet. The awe-inspiring landscape covers 3,000 square miles with over 10,000 thermal features and hundreds of animal species. Popular sites include Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone Lake, Old Faithful, Midway Geyser Basin, Norris Geyser Basin, Lamar and Hayden Valleys and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone with its inspirational view of Lower Falls.

Overnight: West Yellowstone, Montana or Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 

DAY 17 – Yellowstone National Park to Cody, Wyoming

Continue your exploration of Yellowstone National Park. At the end of the day exit via the East Entrance to journey along the Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway to the western town of Cody. If you are in town early enough, find your inner Cowboy or Cowgirl at the Cody Nite Rodeo, held daily during the summer.

Overnight: Cody, Wyoming

DAY 18 – Cody to Riverton, Wyoming

In the morning lose yourself in the expansive Buffalo Bill Center of the West, a fascinating complex of five thematic museums. Then head south to Thermopolis. Greek for ‘Hot City’, Thermopolis has two large natural hot spring complexes as well as a free public bathhouse. Temperatures range from cool to 41°C (106°F), and visitors have the choice of a soak or fun on the water slides. Then make your way to Riverton through stunning Wind River Canyon to admire geology dating back to the Triassic (208-245 million years old) and Precambrian (570-2,900 million years old) periods. 

Overnight: Riverton, Wyoming

DAY 19 – Riverton to Jackson, Wyoming

Travelling west you’ll come to the town of Dubois (pronounced Dew-boyz) where rustic log buildings line the main street looking much as they did when the town was first settled in the late 1800's. In the distance, you’ll soon begin to see the Tetons, a jagged 40-mile stretch of the famed Rocky Mountains. Spend the afternoon exploring Grand Teton National Park – drive the 42-mile Scenic Loop and visit the Visitors Center, before heading to the gateway town of Jackson.

Overnight: Jackson, Wyoming

DAY 20 – Grand Teton National Park and Jackson, Wyoming

Continue your exploration of Grand Teton National Park on a wildlife safari, scenic float trip or take the Aerial Tram to the top of the mountains. Spend time in Jackson which features wooden sidewalks, elk antler arches and shops that range from the chic to the traditional. Toast the end of an epic adventure in true western style by saddling up at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar or enjoying live music at the world-famous Silver Dollar Bar.

Overnight: Jackson, Wyoming

DAY 21

Join your return flight from Jackson Hole.

 

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