America's Parks & Monuments with Mt. Rushmore - 11 day escorted rail holiday to America’s Wild West, National Parks and Mt. Rushmore.
America's Parks & Monuments with Mt. Rushmore
Rugged frontier towns of the Old West and renowned national historic sites are hallmarks of this 11-day escorted tour across America’s western frontier. Your Wild West discovery begins in Chicago, where you board the legendary California Zephyr for your journey across the Rocky Mountains to Provo, Utah. From Provo, your travels take you to the cowboy town of Jackson and Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, Little Bighorn Battlefield, Badlands National Park, the Black Hills of South Dakota aboard the Black Hills Central Railroad, Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and more!
Tour Inclusions & Scenic highlights
One-way transportation aboard Amtrak’s California Zephyr from Chicago to Provo, UT (one night on train)
Transportation aboard a deluxe motorcoach
Hotel accommodations for 9 nights
Sightseeing and scenic excursions per itinerary
Services of a professional tour manager
Taxes and service charges
Scenic highlights of your trip include:
Grand Teton National Park
Buffalo Bill Historic Center
Little Bighorn Battlefield
Day 1 – California Zephyr across the Western Frontier
Your tour to the Old West and some of America’s best-loved National Parks, historic sites, and monuments begins at Chicago’s Union Station, where you meet your tour manager and fellow travelers at 12:30pm for a brief kick-off meeting before boarding the California Zephyr for your 14:00 departure. As this iconic train makes it way west, take time to get acquainted with your fellow travelers and the train’s many features. Overnight train. (D)
Day 2 – Across the Rockies to Provo
Keep your camera handy today because you’re traveling through some breathtaking scenery as the Zephyr climbs across the Colorado Rockies, through the Moffat Tunnel and along the Byers, Glenwood, and Ruby Canyons. Make time to visit the glass-walled Sightseer Lounge car for panoramic views of the passing scenery as well as for an educational Trails and Rails presentation conducted by volunteer park rangers as you travel between Denver and Grand Junction. The train is scheduled to arrive in Provo at 21:26. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. Overnight Marriott. (B, L, D)
Day 3 – Discover Jackson
After breakfast, make the scenic journey by coach to Jackson, Wyoming. Upon arrival, the day is yours to stroll the wooden plank sidewalks and enjoy stunning views of the majestic Grand Teton mountain range. Overnight BW Plus The Lodge at Jackson Hole. (B)
Day 4 – Snake River Float Trip
This morning hit the water for a float trip along the Snake River as you wind through Grand Teton National Park. Keep an eye out for elk and other wildlife indigenous to the area. This afternoon is free for you to explore Jackson on your own. This evening enjoy a delicious chuckwagon dinner and entertainment. Overnight BW Plus The Lodge at Jackson Hole. (B, D)
Day 5 – Explore Grand Teton National Park
Discover the hidden treasures of Grand Teton National Park this morning, Later, travel by coach to America’s first National Park, Yellowstone. As you travel to your lodge, located within the confines of the Park, you may catch a glimpse of herds of buffalo as well as awe-inspiring rock formations. After checking into your room, the remainder of the day is at your leisure. Overnight Yellowstone National Park Lodging. (B)
Day 6 – Yellowstone Sightseeing
Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park has the world’s most extensive region of geothermal activity with thousands of hot springs and fumaroles that dot the landscape. Today’s Lower Loop sightseeing tour showcases some of the Park’s most renowned sights including Old Faithful, the Fountain Paint Pots, Artist Point, Canyon Village, and Hayden Valley. Overnight Yellowstone National Park Lodging. (B, D)
Day 7 – Pahaska Teepee / Buffalo Bill Historic Center
Wyoming is steeped in Old West history. Begin the day with a visit to Pahaska Teepee, a former hunting lodge of Buffalo Bill Cody listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Continue on to the Buffalo Bill Historic Center, preserving and celebrating the history of the Old West since 1917. Learn about Buffalo Bill Cody’s early days riding for the Pony Express; his exploits as an expert tracker, sharpshooter, and showman; and, other renowned Old West personalities including Annie Oakley, Sitting Bull, and Texas Jack. Overnight Holiday Inn Sheridan. (B, D)
Day 8 – Little Bighorn Battlefield
Today’s travels take us toward Rapid City, stopping first at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, a memorial to General Custer’s 7th Cavalry on the site of the 1876 Battle of the Little Bighorn. Continue on, past Devil’s Tower, rising 1,267 feet above the Belle Fourche River, until you reach Rapid City. Overnight Comfort Inn and Suites. (B, L)
Day 9 – Badlands National Park
A highlight of the day is a visit to Badlands National Park, featuring 244,000 acres of protected prairie and home to bison, bighorn sheep and the endangered black-footed ferret among other animals. Next, visit Wall Drug, “America’s Favorite Roadside Attraction.” Discover a variety of western souvenirs and classic pieces of Americana in this Old West emporium. Overnight Comfort Inn and Suites. (B)
Day 10 – Black Hills Central Raillroad / Mt. Rushmore / Crazy Horse
This morning embark on a 1880’s train excursion through South Dakota’s Black Hills aboard the Black Hills Central Railroad. Refurbished train cars take travelers along the same route once used by miners and the carvers of Mount Rushmore. Scenic highlights include the Black Hills National Forest and breathtaking views from Harney Peak.
Next, visit two iconic national sites. Admire Mt. Rushmore and its towering visage of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt—one of the most inspiring sights throughout the United States—as well as the Crazy Horse Memorial that pays tribute to the Native Americans who lived in the Black Hills. Overnight Comfort Inn and Suites. (B, D)
Day 11 – Tour Conclusion
Your tour concludes after breakfast this morning but you will have memories of this Wild West adventure to last a lifetime. (B)
*September 16 departure will stay at the K-Bar-S Lodge while in Rapid City.
Prices are per person based on double occupancy. All prices are subject to change without notice.
* Sleeping Accommodations are approximate and will be available 11 months prior to departure.
Tour prices are based on costs in the country of destination. There occasionally may be fluctuations in currencies that are not reflected as a Sterling equivalent. The prevailing rate of exchange when booked will determine the specific tour cost.
The California Zephyr makes the daily trip between Chicago and San Francisco, cutting through the plains of Nebraska to Denver, across the Rockies to Salt Lake City, and on through Reno and Sacramento into Emeryville/San Francisco. Enjoy magnificent views of the Rocky and Sierra-Nevada mountain ranges, deep canyons, and glistening lakes as your train speeds towards the shores of the Pacific Ocean.
Hotels include the Marriott (Provo), BW Plus The Lodge at Jackson Hole, Yellowstone National Park Lodging, Holiday Inn Sheridan, and Comfort Inn and Suites (Rapid City).
Amtrak accommodations are available in Coach class, Roomette and Bedroom. Coach accommodations include a reclining seat with leg rest. Roomette accommodations include a private cabin that features two comfortable seets beside a picture windows during the day, which converts to and upper and lower birth at night. Bedroom accommodations feature a sofa and chair by day and upper and lower berth by night. Bedroom accommodations also include a sink and self-enclosed toilet and shower. All train accommodations include all meals aboard the train and access to the Sightseer Lounge car.