Welcome to Denver, the “Mile High City,” capital of Colorado and gateway to the Rocky Mountains. An attractive city with broad streets, a tree-lined pedestrian mall leads to the gold-domed State Capitol and Larimer Square in the city’s historic heart. Enjoy time at leisure to relax or to do some independent exploring. Your Tour Director is on hand this evening to answer any questions.
Day 2Denver–Cheyenne–Black Hills of South Dakota–Keystone
Depart Denver and travel north to Cheyenne. See the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota and continue to Custer. Then, see the CRAZY HORSE MEMORIAL, a monument carved out of a mountain that pays respect to the great Native American hero, Chief Crazy Horse. (Continental Breakfast)
Day 3Keystone–Mount Rushmore–Deadwood
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.
Day 4Deadwood–Sheridan. Little Big Horn Battlefield
We head this morning through the rich high country where open-range cattle kings made war on the homesteaders in the 1890's. This afternoon we 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 your time at the Battlefield, hear the story of the great war leader of the Sioux, Crazy Horse, and about the defeat of the US Seventh Cavalry by Lakota (Sioux), Cheyenne, and Arapaho warriors. While standing in the midst of this beautiful and tranquil setting, learn the true story of "Custer's Last Stand" that has been immortalized in thousands of books, paintings and films. We overnight in the town of Sheridan located in the Bighorn Mountains. (Continental Breakfast)
This morning, we arrive in Buffalos Bill's frontier town of Cody. During your free time here, we suggest a visit to the Buffalo Bill Historic Centre, 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. (Breakfast)
Day 6Cody–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.
Day 7Yellowstone 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 principle wildlife preserves and a photographer’s paradise.
Day 8Yellowstone–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.
Time to relax in Jackson, or how about joining a scenic trip down the Snake River? Enjoy an 8-mile float trip that begins at Pritchard Creek and travels past the nesting areas of both bald eagles and ospreys. Later, the afternoon is free in Jackson to explore the shops and museums of historic downtown. This evening, maybe stroll along the old-time boardwalks downtown and enjoy supper at one of the swing-door saloons. (Continental Breakfast)
Day 10Jackson–Salt Lake City
Today, leave Jackson and drive 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 features a glimpse of Temple Square, the Capitol Building, and beautiful downtown Salt Lake City. (Continental Breakfast)
Day 11Salt Lake City–Bryce Canyon National Park
Journey through sagebrush landscape to BRYCE 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.”
Day 12Bryce 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.
Day 13Page–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 the GRAND CANYON 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 Grand Canyon National Park.
Day 14Grand Canyon National Park–Las Vegas
For a once-in-a-lifetime thrill, take an optional 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.
Day 15Las Vegas
The trip ends today with guests departing on individual schedules. Transfers to Las Vegas McCarran International Airport are included. You can extend your vacation with extra nights and explore “Sin City” further witha variety of exciting optional activities.
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