2018 Tour Details
Marvel at premier natural wonders on this multi-state vacation that focuses on some of the West’s most scenic national parks. This National Parks tour starts in Rapid City and ends in Las Vegas. In between, you’ll visit Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, and Grand Canyon National Park. From spectacular rock formations and deep canyons to sparkling waterfalls, geysers, and lakes, you’ll see a wide variety of breathtaking natural treasures. Plus, you’ll visit Little Bighorn Battlefield, which memorializes the battle in June 1876 between the U.S. 7th Calvary and the Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho. In South Dakota, visit Crazy Horse Memorial, built to honor the famous Sioux Indian leader; incomparable Mount Rushmore; and Deadwood, once a lawless gold-mining town. In Wyoming, stay two nights inside Yellowstone National Park and see magnificent views of Yellowstone Canyon, Lower Falls, and world-famous Old Faithful Geyser. Be sure to have your camera ready for wildlife such as bison, elk, and pronghorn. Journey into breathtaking Grand Teton National Park—home to 13,770-foot-high ridges—for a delightful stroll along glacier-fed Jenny Lake.More stunning scenery awaits you in Utah, where you'll visit Bryce Canyon National Park. Be amazed at the bright red, yellow, and pink pillars called "hoodoos." Zion National Park is home to canyons sculpted over millions of years and soaring cliffs resembling temples and cathedrals. In Arizona, enjoy Lake Powell and overnight in Grand Canyon National Park, giving you an amazing opportunity to see breathtaking views and to take an evening stroll to marvel at the dramatic sunset. Sunrise is also spectacular!This value-minded, National Parks tour offers all of this and much more—including time in the Wild West town of Jackson, Wyoming. Just wait until you see the awe-inspiring scenery!
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In Salt Lake City and Tatanka.Guides:
Services of a professional Tour Director.Scenic Highlights:
Black Hills, Crazy Horse Memorial, Mount Rushmore, Tatanka, Deadwood, Yellowstone National Park, Old Faithful, Grand Teton National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Lake Powell, Painted Desert, and Grand Canyon National Park.Notes:
On vacations that include an overnight stay in Las Vegas, at least one member of the traveling party must be 21 years of age or older.This special departure includes all activities on our regular departures plus one night in Sheridan (after Deadwood and before Cody) and a visit to the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument.
Private, deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach while touring.
3 breakfast, 2 continental breakfasts
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
RAPID CITY. Welcome to Rapid City and the gateway to Mt. Rushmore. Your Tour Director is on hand late this afternoon to answer any questions.
RAPID CITY–CRAZY HORSE–MOUNT RUSHMORE–DEADWOOD. Visit CRAZY HORSE MEMORIAL, a monument carved out of a mountain that pays respect to the great Native American hero, Chief Crazy Horse. Drive deep into the Black Hills, through what was Sioux Indian territory, to see the stunning granite faces of MOUNT RUSHMORE, a giant monument to four great American presidents: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. Afterward, visit TATANKA: The Story of the Bison, and experience the richness of the Lakota people. On to Deadwood, a lawless frontier town during the 1876 Gold Rush, where Jack McCall murdered Wild Bill Hickok during a poker game. Overnight here, and discover Deadwood’s Wild West ways as you walk in the footsteps of legends like Calamity Jane and Seth Bullock.
DEADWOOD–DEVILS TOWER–SHERIDAN. This morning, head through high country, where open-range cattle kings made war on the homesteaders in the 1890s. Next, a photo stop of Devils Tower National Monument, established as America’s first national monument by Teddy Roosevelt in 1906. The spectacular rock formation and the surrounding countryside are home to a myriad of plant and animal life, and Native Americans consider the area a place for renewal. Overnight in the town of Sheridan located in the Bighorn Mountains.
SHERIDAN–LITTLE BIG HORN BATTLEFIELD–CODY. This morning, visit the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument which commemorates one of America's most significant and famous battles. Here, on June 25 and 26, 1876, two divergent cultures clashed in a life or death struggle. During the visit at the Battlefield, hear the story of the great-war leader of the Sioux, Crazy Horse, and about the defeat of the U.S. Seventh Cavalry by Lakota (Sioux), Cheyenne, and Arapaho warriors. Afterwards, arrive in Buffalos Bill’s frontier town of Cody. During your free time here, we suggest a visit to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, home to five unique museums including the Whitney Gallery of Western Art, the Plains Indians Museum, Cody Firearms Museum, and the Buffalo Bill Museum telling the life and legend of this bigger-than-life character. Enjoy a stroll down Cody’s main street with its unique shops and restaurants making sure to visit the historic Irma Hotel for a cold drink in the saloon. You may also wish to join our optional trip down the Shoshone River.
CODY–YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. Proceed through Shoshone National Forest to YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. Travel along Grand Loop Road to Artist Point for views of the Lower Falls of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Overnight in Yellowstone National Park.NOTES: Accommodations used by Cosmos in Yellowstone National Park are typically open from late May through late September. Departures before or after these opening dates will stay in West Yellowstone.Routing and areas visited in Yellowstone National Park are always subject to favorable weather, gate access, and road conditions; therefore, routings may be adjusted.
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. Today, explore more of America’s first national park by returning to visit the geyser basins with bubbling mud paint pots and the reliable “blow” of Old Faithful. In addition to superb mountain scenery, the park is one of the world’s principal wildlife preserves and a photographer’s paradise.
YELLOWSTONE–GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK–JACKSON. Head south into magnificent GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, one of America’s last preserves of wild solitude. Its 13,770-foot-high ridges are crested with snow most of the year. Stroll along the shores of beautiful glacier-fed Jenny Lake before ending the day in the Wild West town of Jackson with its wooden sidewalks and swing-door saloons. This evening, join an optional barbecue cookout and Wild West show or independently stroll along the old-time boardwalks and have supper at a swing-door saloon.
JACKSON–ALPINE. The day is free in Jackson to explore the shops and museums of historic downtown. Maybe join a scenic trip down the Snake River? Enjoy an 8-mile float trip that begins at Pritchard Creek and passes nesting areas of bald eagles and ospreys. Overnight in Alpine located on the banks of the Snake River.
ALPINE–SALT LAKE CITY. Today, travel to Salt Lake City, Utah’s vibrant capital. Set on the edge of Great Salt Lake Desert, this center of the Mormon religion is where Brigham Young declared to his followers, “This is the place.” An included sightseeing tour offers a glimpse of Temple Square, the Capitol Building, and the beautiful downtown area.
SALT LAKE CITY–BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK. Journey through sagebrush landscape to BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK with its 20 miles of sandstone cliffs and ever-changing colors. See some of Earth’s most brilliant shades of rock, sculpted by nature into pillars called “hoodoos.”
BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK–ZION NATIONAL PARK–PAGE. First stop today is ZION NATIONAL PARK with its landscape carved over millions of years by rushing streams. Steep canyons, stone towers, and verdant vegetation form the scenery of Zion. Then, head east into Page on the shores of Lake Powell, originally built to house workers during the construction of the massive Glen Canyon Dam, which holds back the waters of 186-mile-long Lake Powell.
PAGE–PAINTED DESERT–GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK. Enjoy an optional flight over scenic Monument Valley. Then, cross the Painted Desert and head through Kaibab National Forest before arriving at GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK in the early afternoon. Marvel at one of the Natural Wonders of the World as you experience amazing views. You’ll have plenty of time to do some viewing before dusk, as your accommodation is inside the National Park.
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK–LAS VEGAS. For a once-in-a-lifetime thrill, take an optional helicopter flightseeing trip over the Grand Canyon, with incomparable views of flame-colored walls plunging 4,800 feet into the Colorado River. Leaving the high country of Arizona, we pass through Williams on famous Route 66, and then the old Mojave gold-strike country, which still has traces of century-old ghost towns. Arrive in Las Vegas—a neon desert oasis packed with spectacular hotels and casinos.
LAS VEGAS. The trip ends today with guests departing on individual schedules. Transfers to Las Vegas McCarran International Airport are included.
ALPINE Flying Saddle Resort (MF)
BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK Best Western Plus Ruby's Inn (ST)
CODY Buffalo Bill Village (ST)
DEADWOOD First Gold Hotel & Gaming (ST)
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK Yavapai Lodge West - Grand Canyon National Park Lodge (NP)
JACKSON Mountain Modern Motel (ST)
LAS VEGAS SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino (MD)
PAGE Quality Inn Lake Powell (ST)
RAPID CITY Howard Johnson Rapid City (ST)
SALT LAKE CITY Crystal Inn Hotel & Suites (MF)
SHERIDAN Best Western Sheridan Center (MF)