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Legends of the American West

From Rapid City, SD to Grand Teton National Park, WY
Operator
Tauck
Days
9
From
USD $4,990

Dates & Prices

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Monday,
May 24, 2021
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Tuesday,
Jun 01, 2021
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Saturday,
May 29, 2021
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Sunday,
Jun 06, 2021
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Saturday,
Jun 12, 2021
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Jun 20, 2021
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Jun 19, 2021
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Jun 27, 2021
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Jun 26, 2021
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Jul 04, 2021
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Jul 05, 2021
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Jul 13, 2021
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Jul 10, 2021
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Jul 18, 2021
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Jul 26, 2021
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Aug 03, 2021
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Aug 02, 2021
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Aug 30, 2021
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Sep 11, 2021
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Sep 19, 2021
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Itinerary

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Tour Itinerary

The West is larger than life, vast in its myths, its landscapes, historical figures, and monuments... and this 9-day journey takes you to the heart and soul of it.Small groups, averaging 24 Tauck guests, travel from the grand designs of Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial, to the imaginative masterpiece of nature known as Grand Teton National Park, and the wonders deep inside Yellowstone National Park… Visit a working cattle ranch, where you’ll experience life as a Wyoming cowboy… go in search of Buffalo Bill and the West of the imagination in Cody... go rafting on the Snake River... and step back in time at Mormon Row inside Grand Teton National Park. Stay in the heart of the national parks at sought-after hotels and lodges and experience the solitude of the parks after the day's crowds depart.

  1. Day 1
    Welcome to Rapid City

    Tour begins: 6:00 PM, Hotel Alex Johnson. A transfer is included from Rapid City Airport to Hotel Alex Johnson in downtown Rapid City, gateway to the Black Hills. This is where the antelope roam… along with bighorn sheep, elk, mountain lions, feral burros, and one of the last great herds of bison. Join us this evening for a welcome reception and dinner at your historic hotel, a Rapid City fixture since the 1880s.


    Meals: Dinner
  2. Day 2
    Mount Rushmore & Crazy Horse

    Begin the day with a private, guided Buffalo Safari in a touring vehicle in South Dakota's Custer State Park – home to a herd of approximately 1,500 bison! Then, majestic landscapes await you on a scenic drive in the Black Hills, where rock formations feature granite spires called “needles” that cut a jagged skyline. In the 1920s a state official got the idea to draw tourism to the area by carving images of famous Dakotans on them – which eventually led to the creation of Mount Rushmore. But first... in 1948, in response to Mount Rushmore, an Oglala Lakota elder commissioned sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski to carve a memorial to the warrior Crazy Horse on the face of Thunderhead Mountain, to show “that we have heroes too.” At the gigantic Crazy Horse Memorial  – expected to dwarf Mount Rushmore when completed, but still a work in progress carried on by Ziolkowski's family – you’ll see the sculptor’s dramatic model of Crazy Horse astride his war pony; visit the onsite museum and cultural center, dedicated to Native American heritage, art and traditions; and have lunch. Next, some 17 miles away, arrive at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, which evolved after sculptor Gutzon Borglum dismissed the original "local heroes" idea for a far grander project: national figures on the face of the granite mountain. Borglum’s masterpiece (known as The Shrine of Democracy) greets you on arrival at the mountain, and no matter how often you’ve seen it in photographs, the towering relief of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln on the white rockface above you is breathtaking in person. In fact, the presidential faces were carved (without permission) on a mountain known to the Lakota Sioux as The Six Grandfathers… which in turn inspired the Crazy Horse project in response. Return to your hotel and spend the evening as you please in Rapid City.


    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
  3. Day 3
    How to be a cowboy... a day at a ranch

    Depart this morning for a journey to the T-A Ranch in Buffalo, Wyoming. The T-A is a working cattle ranch steeped in cowboy history and lore, the site of a pitched battle in the famous Johnson County War of 1892, which pit rival ranchers and their hired hands against each other for control of the range… a dispute that eventually required the intervention of the US Cavalry. Get an authentic taste of cowboy life as you saddle up for a guided horseback trail ride*, explore historic sites, take a wagon ride*, or try your hand at pitching horseshoes. You’ll also meet a horse-whisperer, watch a roping demonstration, and gain insights into the rugged spirit of the open plains. Continue on to Sheridan, the next stop on your Wyoming trip, for an overnight stay.


    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  4. Day 4
    Cody, Buffalo Bill & the rodeo

    Head out for Cody this morning, traveling through some fantastic scenery in Bighorn National Forest – a landscape that's ever-changing, of alpine meadows, waterfalls, glacier-carved valleys and mountain ranges. Continue on to Cody (a high point of your Wyoming trip), named for the larger-than-life western showman, William F. Cody (Buffalo Bill): buffalo hunter, army scout, Wild West Show entrepreneur, and tireless inventor of tall tales. Explore his legend at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, a complex of five museums that will immerse you in American Western culture and mythology: galleries of art and artifacts (including works by famous artists like Remington and Wyeth), ephemera and historic objects, a firearms museum, and a center dedicated to the traditions, values, and histories of Northern Plains tribes, including the Lakota, Cheyenne, Pawnee and Arapaho. Carry the spirit of the West with you to your overnight stay in town, where this evening you'll attend the world-famous Cody Nite Rodeo (seasonal, June through August), a fixture here since 1938.


    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  5. Day 5
    Welcome to Yellowstone National Park

    You'll spend two nights in two different parts of Yellowstone National Park to fully appreciate the diversity of Yellowstone and immerse in America's first national park – “America’s best idea” as described by filmmakers Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan. You'll view special film vignettes by the filmmakers throughout this trip, providing you with behind-the-scenes insights into the visionaries and explorers who shaped the West. Do a bit of sightseeing in the park this afternoon, then settle in at your hotel in Mammoth Hot Springs; enjoy dinner à la carte and time at leisure this evening.


    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  6. Day 6
    Yellowstone's Grand Canyon & geysers galore

    This morning, take a guided tour of some of Yellowstone’s 10,000 geothermal wonders including hot springs, waterfalls, fumaroles and mudpots. Wind along Grand Loop Road, through three of the largest geyser basins, and the Fountain Paint Pot (bubbling pools of paintlike, multicolored silica). Stand in awe at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, carved by the Yellowstone River, plunging over a thousand feet with miles of breathtaking gorges and torrential waterfalls. You’ll also visit Hayden Valley, once a lake-bed, now a vast plain that attracts herds of roaming bison. Arrive at the Old Faithful Inn for lunch and an overnight stay; a national landmark built in 1904, the log and wood-shingle inn is a rustic work of art, featuring a towering lobby and a massive stone fireplace. This afternoon, it's all about exploring the Upper Geyser Basin – one of the largest concentrations of geysers in the world – and Old Faithful, only steps from your door. Seeing Old Faithful Geyser, the famous clockwork geyser that launches a steaming jet of water 145 feet skyward every 90 minutes, in person is... awesome.


    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  7. Day 7
    The Tetons, Jackson & Mormon Row

    Your Wyoming trip takes you through awe-inspiring scenes of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park, stopping at Jenny Lake, the tranquil center of a landscape of jagged peaks of the Teton Range and alpine forest frequented by moose, deer and grizzly bears. Continue to the town of Jackson, once a magnet for fur trappers and now a trendy attraction in a vista of natural beauty with the ever-present Tetons for a backdrop. After exploring the town on your own (there are some great places for lunch), visit Grand Teton National Park's Mormon Row Historic District, whose preservation is being supported by a major grant from Tauck. A homesteaders’ settlement dating back to 1890 located in an undeveloped area of the park, Mormon Row is home to a number of weathered historic structures – including the iconic T.A. Moulton barn, an unofficial symbol of the park – that (along with their dramatic Teton Range backdrop) attract photographers from around the world, and convey the sense that you’ve traveled back in time. Arrive at the Jackson Lake Lodge for a two-night stay. Historic in so many contexts, the lodge features an amazing lobby where windows 60 feet high provide stunning panoramic views the breathtaking Teton Range; "breathtaking" is definitely the right description as first views usually elicit a gasp – they are among the most picturesque, photographed mountains in the world.


    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  8. Day 8
    A float trip on the Snake River

    Immerse yourself in the valleys of the Tetons on a guided float trip* down the Snake River inside Grand Teton National Park, through miles of stunning river landscapes that lie in the shadow of the mountains – always in the furtive company of deer, elk, moose and bald eagles ashore. Spend the rest of the day at the lodge, enjoying the many amenities and activities (including some at additional cost, such as horseback riding*). This evening, your Wyoming trip marks the last roundup with a farewell reception and dinner at the lodge.


    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  9. Day 9
    Journey Home

    Tour ends: Jackson. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from the Jackson Lake Lodge to Jackson Hole Airport (approximately 35 - 45 minutes). You should allow at least two hours for check-in.


    Meals: Breakfast

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

Inclusions

The West is larger than life, vast in its myths, its landscapes, historical figures, and monuments... and this 9-day journey takes you to the heart and soul of it.Small groups, averaging 24 Tauck guests, travel from the grand designs of Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial, to the imaginative masterpiece of nature known as Grand Teton National Park, and the wonders deep inside Yellowstone National Park… Visit a working cattle ranch, where you’ll experience life as a Wyoming cowboy… go in search of Buffalo Bill and the West of the imagination in Cody... go rafting on the Snake River... and step back in time at Mormon Row inside Grand Teton National Park. Stay in the heart of the national parks at sought-after hotels and lodges and experience the solitude of the parks after the day's crowds depart.

  • TAUCK EXCLUSIVE - Insider stories about the national parks during filmed narratives by Ken Burns & Dayton Duncan
  • Small groups averaging 24 Tauck guests
  • Private guided Buffalo Safari in a touring vehicle in Custer State Park
  • In historic Cody, attend a performance of the world-famous Cody Nite Rodeo (Jun - Aug)
  • A firsthand look at life as a cowboy at the historic TA Ranch in Wyoming

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

Accommodations


Hotel Alex Johnson
Jackson Lake Lodge
Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and Cabins
Holiday Inn® Sheridan
BEST WESTERN PREMIER Ivy Inn and Suites
Old Faithful Inn

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Tauck Tours Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.5
Accommodations
4.4
Itinerary
4.6
Professional Staff
4.7
Repeat with Operator
4.5
Value for Money
4.3

Ratings based off 811 reviews about Tauck Tours - currently showing 15 reviews with comments only

Our goals were met and exceeded by Affordable Tours.

Wonderful Tauck Tours..we will travel with them again..thank you for the suggestion..

This is our 7th Tauck tour/river cruise and they have never disappointed.

Our trip was amazing and we had to he most amazing guide Leah she went above and beyond

Ms Lawren Farias was our agent. She went out of her way to make sure that everything went smoothly and it did I would defiitely use her again. She was outstanding.

Maya was absolutely wonderful! I only want to book with her for any future travel.

The Tauck tour exceeded our expectations.Our tour director was exceedingly well informed and organized.She was the best.

The tour was one of our best. Tauck's attention to detail and covering nearly 100% of our costs or fees and booking 5* hotels is why we liked the trip.

Fantastic vacation! Exceeded all our expectations! Trip of a Lifetime!!!

Tauck delivered as promised and more. The tour director was very helpful and knowledgeable. We wouldn't hesitate to book with them again.

Tauck provides great tours. This is our 4th with Tauck. They provided transport for us even when our itinerary was different than usual. The Tauck tour director was wonderful.

The Tour director (Mark) is excellent, the accommodation were first class and convenient and most included meals were very good. We also were blessed with a wonderful group of fellow travelers which I believe is due to Tauck's reputation.

Tauck does a wonderful job in providing a variety of great travel experiences in a worry free environment where every small detail is taken care of.

Both AffordableTours.com and Tauck are very professional organizations who ensure your traveling experiences are exceptional. Highly recommend both and we keep coming back to book with both.

Very professional and well done!


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