Fly to Denver CO
After arrival at the airport, pick up your rental car and proceed to your hotel. Denver is the gateway to the Great American West and a perfect blend of outdoor beauty and big-city charm.
Denver CO to Laramie WY (130 miles)
Head due north out of Denver to Fort Collins to spend the morning exploring the Old Town, where you will discover houses from the 1800’s, a vintage trolley and quirky boutiques to browse. After a spot of lunch continue north into the Cowboy State – Wyoming. Enjoy a relaxing evening, strolling Laramie’s historic downtown district and visiting one of the museums show-casing the towns western and railroad history.
Overnight: Laramie WY
Days 3 to 4
Laramie WY to Riverton WY (132 miles)
Today you’re going to be heading to Riverton which will be your base for the next two nights to explore the area. Highlights including the Wild Horse Sanctuary in Lander, where you will see wild mustangs close-up and learn about the importance of these horses in American history. Also recommended is a tour of the Wind River Reservation (book locally) where you can experience authentic Native American culture, history and traditions.
Two nights: Riverton WY
Riverton WY to Idaho Falls ID (252 miles)
Drive through the Wind River Reservation and onto the fun town of Jackson for a lunch break. Admiring the Grand Teton peaks in the background, leave Wyoming and enter Idaho for a two night stay in Idaho Falls.
Two nights: Idaho Falls ID
Craters of the moon National Monument ID (160 mile round trip)
Take a day to explore the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve in the Snake River plain. This volcanic wonderland encompasses enormous lava flows, a testament to violent eruptions more than 2,000 years ago. A good starting point is the visitor centre to orientate yourself with the park film and to pick up a map of the park. Craters' caves and trails are all located along the 7-mile Loop Road, making it easy for you to see and do a lot in a short amount of time. Sit back and enjoy the scenic drive, or make stops along the way to stroll, hike, picnic and take photos.
Idaho Falls ID to West Yellowstone MT (108 miles)
Enjoy a day of spectacular driving scenery, skirting around the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. Stop for lunch in the colourful cowboy town of Jackson, and enjoy a walk around the characterful downtown. Continue north into Montana and to the town of West Yellowstone which will be your base for two nights.
Two nights: West Yellowstone MT
Yellowstone National Park
Stretching more than 3,500 square miles and across three states, Yellowstone National Park is the USA's first national park. It sits on top of a volcanic hot spot that creates impressive geothermal activity. Bring a picnic and eat while you wait for the next eruption of Old Faithful, a geyser that spews hot water high into the sky throughout the day. Do not miss a visit to the historic Old Faithful Inn, believed to be the world's largest log structure. Experience the many other natural wonders Yellowstone has to offer and spot great wildlife in the park.
Yellowstone to Billings MT (230 miles)
Head north out of Yellowstone, through Gardiner toward the eclectic railroad town of Livingston. Stop at this picturesque destination for lunch, browse art galleries and visit the Livingston Depot Center to learn about the state’s railroad history. Follow the Yellowstone River Valley east to Billings, the state's largest city. Surrounded by seven mountain ranges, you can explore the Montana wilderness and discover a wealth of wildlife.
Overnight: Billings MT
Billings MT to Medora ND (281 miles)
On the way east to Medora, take a slight detour to visit the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, site of the famous 1876 battle. Explore the visitor centre and Custer National Cemetery before continuing the journey northeast into North Dakota to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Take the Scenic Loop Drive to experience the Northern Great Plains and the Badlands, where bison roam.
Overnight: Medora ND
Medora ND to Rapid City SD (238 miles)
Drive east to the Painted Canyon Visitors Centre to take in spectacular views of the Badlands from its scenic overlook before traveling south into South Dakota. Go through Spearfish Canyon, then head to the historic mining town of Deadwood, site of one of the Old West's most famous gold rushes. Stop at Mount Moriah Cemetery, and visit Wild Bill Hickock’s grave, before continuing through the stunning scenery of the Black Hills to Sturgis; home of the famous Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame. In Rapid City visit Main Street Square, view life-size bronze statues of past U.S. presidents and enjoy dinner at one of the many restaurants.
Overnight: Rapid City SD
Rapid City SD to Hot Springs SD
For a great experience depart early for Keystone to see the sun rising over Mount Rushmore National Memorial. The hand-carved monument depicts the faces of four past U.S. Presidents. Continue to Crazy Horse Memorial, before visiting Custer State Park, famous for its buffalo herds and scenic drives. Arriving in Hot Springs, a must-stop place is Evans Plunge Mineral Springs, the town's oldest attraction. Do not miss the Mammoth Site, an ancient sinkhole, featuring the fossilized remains of more than 61 mammoths.
Overnight: Hot Springs SD
Hot Springs SD to Cheyenne WY (289 miles)
Drive south through South Dakota returning to Wyoming and the old frontier town of Cheyenne. You must visit the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum to learn about the annual Frontier Days, one of the oldest annual rodeos in the country. Other great places to visit include the Cheyenne Depot Museum within the Depot Plaza, the Wyoming State Capitol, the Big Boy Steam Engine and Downtown Cheyenne. Make sure to stop at one of the many western wear shops to try on cowboy boots and hats.
Overnight: Cheyenne WY
Days 14 & 15
Cheyenne WY to Estes Park CO (88 miles)
Your final stop is the Rocky Mountain National Park, staying for two nights at Estes Park – a wonderful base to explore this beautiful national park. The park’s Trail Ridge Road winds past craggy peaks, forests and tundra. Nearby are the wilderness areas of Roosevelt National Forest. The Estes Park Aerial Tramway connects the town to the summit of Prospect Mountain for views over the valley.
Two nights: Estes Park
Estes Park to Denver (64 miles) – fly home
Return your rental car at the airport prior to your departure flight.