Tour: AY - 2013 (AY) - 2013 / 2014

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Itinerary

DAY 1Arrive in Rapid City

Welcome to Rapid City, gateway to the Black Hills. At 6:30 pm, meet your traveling companions for a welcome drink. Your Tour Director will prepare you for your upcoming adventure.

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DAY 2Rapid City–Badlands National Park–Custer State Park

After breakfast, enjoy an orientation tour of Rapid City, then visit BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK to see some of the most spectacular scenery in the region. Afterward, there’s time to explore Wall Drug, well-known for its quirky roadside signs and free water. Later this afternoon, travel into the backcountry and enjoy a Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite BUFFALO SAFARI and a CHUCK WAGON COOKOUT. (Breakfast, Dinner)

SPECIAL FEATURE: We overnight at the Historic State Game Lodge in Custer State Park. This gracious stone and wood lodge is set in a beautiful mountain valley, surrounded by a ponderosa pine forest. The State Game Lodge served as the “Summer White House” for President Calvin Coolidge and was visited by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. It was built in 1920 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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DAY 3Custer State Park

This morning you will travel to Hot Springs to visit the world’s largest Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite MAMMOTH SITE, where scientists are currently excavating remains of woolly mammoths that were trapped and died in the pond more than 26,000 years ago. After a short tour, you’ll have time to stroll the sidewalks of the dig area and see the paleontology laboratory. Next, visit CRAZY HORSE MEMORIAL, built in honor of the fearless Sioux Indian chief whose fame is derived from the Battle of Little Bighorn. The remainder of the day is yours to relax in Custer State Park. Perhaps try some fly-fishing, mountain biking, or take a nature walk. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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Our partnership with Tourism Cares, established by the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), helps us not only show off the world's most spectacular destinations and sights, but also assist in the preservation of attractions that our travelers go to great lengths to experience.

DAY 4Custer State Park–Mount Rushmore–Deadwood–Spearfish Canyon

Today, visit one of the world’s largest stone monuments: MOUNT RUSHMORE. At Mount Rushmore, the solid granite faces of four presidents loom more than a thousand feet overhead. We then continue on a guided tour of the Old West town of DEADWOOD, where Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane are laid to rest on Boot Hill. We spend the night deep in the heart of one of the most breathtakingly beautiful canyons in the world. The location for scenes from the movie Dances with Wolves, Spearfish Canyon Lodge sits nested among lofty pines and spectacular cliffs. (Breakfast, Dinner)

See the Presidents at Mt. Rushmore Explore Mount Rushmore National Memorial 
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DAY 5Spearfish Canyon–U-Cross Ranch–Cody

This morning, drive through scenic Spearfish Canyon and across the grassy plains of Wyoming. Enjoy lunch at an authentic Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite WESTERN RANCH. Next, we cross the Bighorn Mountains via Shell Creek Canyon to Buffalo Bill’s Wild West town of Cody, Wyoming. (Breakfast, Lunch)

See the spectacular views of Cody, Wyoming 
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DAY 6Cody–Yellowstone National Park

Enjoy a leisurely visit to the BUFFALO BILL CENTER OF THE WEST, a fascinating tribute to frontier America. Later, depart for YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, America’s first national park, where wild animals roam freely in vast meadows and forest. (Breakfast, Dinner)

NOTE:
The routing and areas visited within Yellowstone are subject to favorable weather and/or road conditions. When conditions are unfavorable, the routing may be adjusted accordingly.

SPECIAL FEATURE: Enjoy a 2-night stay inside Yellowstone National Park. Each lodge has its own unique setting and atmosphere. Lodges featured are the Old Faithful Inn, Lake Yellowstone Hotel, and Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel. Specific lodges will be confirmed in your documents.

Elk roam freely through Yellowstone National Park A vibrant paint pot in Yellowstone National Park A beautiful paint pot, named for their vibrant colors, in Yellowstone National Park 
Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone: Into the Wild Victorian Yonder


Today, Yellowstone is virtually a country unto itself. It has its own weekly newspaper, a vast staff, a $30 million annual budget, army-sized campgrounds and visitor complexes as busy as miniature cities. But even with this infrastructure, much of the landscape has not changed since the Victorian era, when only 300 or so lucky travelers would arrive on horseback each summer, following rough animal trails. The first hotel arrived in 1871, McCartney’s Cabin at Mammoth Hot Springs, a makeshift log structure where guests had to sleep on the floor. Most preferred instead to camp in the forest, catching fish for their dinner in the pristine lakes.
Our partnership with Tourism Cares, established by the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), helps us not only show off the world's most spectacular destinations and sights, but also assist in the preservation of attractions that our travelers go to great lengths to experience.

DAY 7Yellowstone National Park

On today’s tour you will see the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone with its Upper and Lower Falls. Watch for herds of bison in Hayden Valley, and view many of Yellowstone’s geothermal sites, including Old Faithful Geyser. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Elk roam freely through Yellowstone National Park A beautiful paint pot, named for their vibrant colors, in Yellowstone National Park A vibrant paint pot in Yellowstone National Park 
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Our partnership with Tourism Cares, established by the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), helps us not only show off the world's most spectacular destinations and sights, but also assist in the preservation of attractions that our travelers go to great lengths to experience.

DAY 8Yellowstone National Park–Grand Teton National Park–Jackson

This morning, tour GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK. The jagged Tetons form a perfect backdrop behind Jenny and Jackson Lakes. Next, continue to the Western town of Jackson, Wyoming. The remainder of the day is free to explore on your own. You may choose to see a shoot-out in Town Square, shop for souvenirs, or relax with a cold drink at the famous Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. (Breakfast)

The majestic Tetons in Wyoming 
View of the amazing Teton Mountains

The “War” for the Grand Teton


In the winter of 1927, residents in the cattle town of Jackson, Wyoming began to learn of a mysterious business concern known as the Snake River Land Company that was rapidly buying up property around their picturesque valley, which is overshadowed by the dramatic Teton Mountains. Rumors soon began to spread that a plot was afoot to elbow ranchers out of the area and close off key cattle drives. Finally, in 1930, it was revealed that the company was actually a front for America’s richest man, the oil magnate John D. Rockefeller Jr. Rockefeller had visited the area three years earlier and had been stunned by its alpine beauty; a visionary philanthropist, he decided to purchase the whole valley floor from private owners and donate it to the United States Government for an extension of the Grand Teton National Park, which was then only a tiny enclave covering the remotest mountain zones. But tempers flared against Rockefeller’s secrecy; many suspected that the magnate might use the land for his own private ends.
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DAY 9Jackson

Today is at your leisure to explore on your own or perhaps take an optional float trip down the Snake River. (Breakfast)

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DAY 10Jackson–Salt Lake City

Follow the Snake River and lovely Star Valley en route to Utah. Wind along the shores of beautiful Bear Lake before climbing through the Wasatch Mountains and on to the Great Salt Lake Basin and Salt Lake City. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner hosted by your Tour Director. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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DAY 11Salt Lake City

After a leisurely breakfast, bid farewell to newfound friends as your tour comes to an end with an included transfer to Salt Lake City International Airport. (Breakfast)

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