Follow in the footsteps and wagon ruts of the early explorers and pioneers through a land so beautiful it defies description. Through the Badlands, The Black Hills, Yellowstone, the mighty Grand Tetons, Rocky Mountain National Park and much more. The stunning landscape and the rich history of the native Americans and the pioneers combine to bring alive the atmosphere of the old west on this 15 day / 14 night self-drive tour operating daily mid-May to mid-September.
Day 1.Arrive Denver. Day 2. Denver to Lusk (approx. 260 miles). Day 3. Lusk to Black Hills/Badlands area (approx. 130 miles). Day 4 & 5. Black Hills/Bad Lands area. Day 6. Black Hills/Bad Lands area to Buffalo (approx. 245 miles). Day 7. Buffalo to Billings (approx. 166 miles). Day 8 Billings to Yellowstone National Park (approx. 224 miles). Day 9. Yellowstone National Park. Day 10. Yellowstone to Grand Teton National Park/Jackson (approx. 100 miles). Day 11. Grand Teton National Park. Day 12. Grand Teton National Park/Jackson to Saratoga (approx. 325 miles). Day 13. Saratoga to Estes Park (approx. 183 miles). Day 14. Estes Park to Denver (approx. 110 miles). Day 15. Depart Denver.
Day 1. Arrive Denver. Upon arrival at Denver International Airport take your hotel’s courtesy shuttle to the hotel and enjoy the remainder of the evening relaxing at your hotel. Overnight: Fairfield Inn Denver Airport (Standard) or Springhill Suites, Denver Airport (Superior).
Day 2. Denver to Lusk (approx. 260 miles). Collect your rental car this morning from the Denver Airport depot and head north through Cheyenne and visit the Ft.Laramie National Historic Site – one of the most important forts on the pioneer trails heading for the west. In the afternoon continue north across Wyoming to the town of Lusk – home of the Stagecoach Museum, and a convenient location to break an otherwise long journey. Overnight: Best Western Pioneer – (Standard and Superior).
Day 3. Lusk to Black Hills/Badlands area (approx. 130 miles). From Lusk you will soon cross into South Dakota and we recommend that you visit the Crazy Horse Memorial before arriving at your hotel in the heart of the beautiful Custer State Park. Bison, elk and deer abound in the park and it is not unusual to find the animals grazing around the lodge in the early morning! President Calvin Coolidge used the State Game Lodge as the summer White House in 1927 and it has been visited by several American Presidents since. Overnight: State Game Lodge (Standard) or State Game Lodge, Creekside room (Superior).
Day 4 & 5. Black Hills/Bad Lands area. This southwest corner of South Dakota is rich in historic sites such as Deadwood, once home to Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok; Mt.Rushmore and Wounded Knee, site of one of the bloodiest massacres in American history. The stunning scenery of the area played an important role in many famous movies such as ‘Dances With Wolves’ and ‘Thunderheart’. The Black Hills, Wind Cave National Park, the Badlands National Park and Custer State Park – home to one of the largest herds of bison in North America, form one of the most scenic areas of North America. Overnight: State Game Lodge (Standard) or State Game Lodge, Creekside room (Superior).
Day 6. Black Hills/Bad Lands area to Buffalo (approx. 245 miles). From the Black Hills area, journey west following the route of Custer’s 7th Cavalry on their journey to their final battle at Little Bighorn. On the way stop at Devil’s Tower, the impressive natural rock formation famous from its role in “Close Encounters Of The Third Kind” Overnight: Hampton Inn (Standard & Superior).
Day 7. Buffalo to Billings (approx. 166 miles). After over nighting in Buffalo cross the state line into Montana and visit the site of the Battle of the Rosebud where General Crook fought one of the largest battles against the plains Indians just 8 days before the fateful encounter at the Little Bighorn. Shortly after leaving the Rosebud you will arrive at the Little Bighorn Battlefield. It was here in 1876 that General Custer and his 7th Cavalry fought and lost their final battle against an alliance of Northern Plains tribes. Overnight: Best Western Clock Tower (Standard) or Northern Hotel (Superior).
Day 8 Billings to Yellowstone National Park (approx. 224 miles). From Billings take the scenic Beartooth Highway to Yellowstone Natl.Park (the Beartooth Highway is usually closed between September and early June and thus early and late season travellers will be diverted via Cody). In the afternoon arrive in Yellowstone National Park. Overnight: Grant Village (Standard) or Lake Yellowstone Hotel – Annex room (Superior).
Day 9. Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone’s breathtaking scenery, wildlife and volcanic features provide a very full day of sightseeing. Overnight: Grant Village (Standard) or Lake Yellowstone Hotel – Annex room (Superior).
Day 10. Yellowstone to Grand Teton National Park/Jackson (approx. 100 miles). Continue south through the Grand Tetons to your accommodation in the Grand Teton National Park or Jackson. The short journey today will give you plenty of time to explore the national park and the town of Jackson. Overnight: Painted Buffalo (Standard) or Signal Mountain Lodge (Superior).
Day 11. Grand Teton National Park. There are opportunities to do some rafting, cruising on the lakes, helicopter tours, walking and much more. Jackson Hole was where the mountain men such as Kit Carson used to hold their annual rendezvous and the town still knows how to party western style! Overnight: Painted Buffalo (Standard) or Signal Mountain Lodge (Superior).
Day 12. Grand Teton National Park/Jackson to Saratoga (approx. 325 miles). From the Grand Tetons, cross the Wind River Indian Reservation and the Oregon Trail. This is the land of Lewis and Clark, Fremont, Kit Carson and other famous western pioneers who scouted the routes ahead of the great wagon train migration west. Overnight: Riviera Motel (Standard) or Saratoga Resort & Spa (Superior).
Day 13. Saratoga to Estes Park (approx. 183 miles). Take a leisurely drive through beautiful Rocky Mountain scenery today and linger as you cross Rocky Mountain National Park. Later this afternoon arrive at Estes Park – gateway to Rocky Mountain Natl.Park. Overnight: Alpine Trail Ridge – (Standard and Superior).
Day 14. Grand Lake to Denver (approx. 110 miles). After exploring the beautiful landscape of the park, you will arrive back in Denver for your final night staying at a downtown hotel to enable you to enjoy Denver’s nightlife, restaurants and shopping. Overnight: Holiday Inn Express Downtown (Standard) or The Curtis Hotel (Superior).
Day 15. Depart Denver. Return your rental car and check in for your return flight to the UK.
We can provide details, prices and make reservations for some of the optional sightseeing excursions mentioned in the itinerary All mileages are approximate. Hotels /Lodges are subject to availability at the time of booking. Please note that the altitude on this tour varies from Denver (the mile-high city) at 5280-feet (1609 mtrs) to Yellowstone at an average of 8000-feet (2700 mtrs) above sea level. The air is thin and dry.
Standard Hotels Superior Hotels 2017 Prices per adult
Sharing room type
Prices in £’s
2017 Prices per adult
Sharing room type
Prices in £’s
Prices from 1569 839 599 459 Prices from 1929 1029 709 559 Location No nights Standard Hotels Superior Hotels Denver (Intl. Airport) 1 Fairfield Inn Denver Airport (CB) Springhill Suites Denver Airport (CB) Lusk 1 Best Western Pioneer (Bkfst) Best Western Pioneer (Bkfst) Black Hills 3 State Game Lodge State Game Lodge (Creekside room) Buffalo 1 Hampton Inn (CB) Hampton Inn (CB) Billings 1 Best Western Clock Tower Northern Hotel Yellowstone Ntl. Park 2 Grant Village Lake Yellowstone Hotel (Annex room) Jackson/Grand Tetons 2 Painted Buffalo (CB) Signal Mountain Lodge Saratoga 1 Riviera Motel Saratoga Resort & Spa Rocky Mountain Ntl Park area 1 Alpine Trail Lodge Alpine Trail Lodge (Balcony room) Denver (city centre) 1 Holiday Inn Express Downtown (CB) The Curtis Hotel CB = Continental breakfast. Bkfst = full breakfast.All hotels are subject to availability at the time of booking.Just America provides a full tailor-made holiday service so if you would like to change the itinerary, add extra nights along the way, choose different hotels, add excursions etc., please let us know.We can also offer flights from the UK with a variety of airlines.
Children under 12 yrs free when sharing a room with 2 adults and using existing bedding at hotels.Prices based on Saturday departures.
Prices for other departure dates available upon request.
* 14 nights hotel accommodation including local taxes.
* Maps, guides and itinerary.
Not included: Flights, airport taxes, car rental, travel insurance, optional excursions, national park entrance fees, petrol and personal expenses.
Tour prices:The prices shown in the price panels are for the accommodation elements only, they do not include flights or car rental (unless indicated). This enables you to choose the airline and car of your choice and add them to the accommodation package to create your holiday. Our reservations staff will be pleased to help you with flight availability, to suggest which is the best airline for your itinerary and to advise you of any special offers the airlines may have introduced.
Hotels:Hotels featured in our flydrive and independent tours are chosen for their location, value for money and facilities. Whenever possible we offer a choice of Standard or Superior hotels. There is no recognised 'star' system throughout North America for classifying hotels, motels and resorts. The hotel ratings for our tours are subjective and are provided to give you an understanding as to the level of facility. They are either the hotel's official categorisation as per the Official Hotel & Resort Guide, or Just America's. Standards vary from location to location, therefore ratings in the remote areas can differ from those in the cities. Standard hotels would be those classified as Moderate, and Superior hotels would be First Class, in the Official Hotel and Resort Guide. National Park accommodations are more rustic and are chosen almost entirely because of their location. It should not be assumed that because an hotel is listed as Superior that it has certain amenities. Often a hotel is classified as Superior due to its position, views or room standard, it does not always follow that a superior hotel will have a swimming pool, hair-dryers, room service etc. We will try to provide information on individual hotels on request although the internet is usually the quickest and most accurate source of information. Hotel rooms in North America usually have one or two double beds. Triple and Quad rooms have two double beds. Very few hotels in North America have three or four beds. It is sometimes possible to have a rollaway bed which can be requested, but cannot be guaranteed. Occasionally hotels are chosen purely for their location - i.e. half-way between two points of interest - and may be included as a one night stop to break up an otherwise long journey. Such hotels may not have the full facilities normally associated with a Standard or Superior hotel, but sometimes we don't have any other choice. Where possible hotels providing free car parking have been included, however in some locations, such as city centres, the hotels may make a charge.
Note:Hotels are not usually ready to accept guests until after 3 or 4 pm, so please try not to check in before mid-afternoon. Check out time is usually before 11 am or 12 noon. It is sometimes possible to arrange late check out, or the storage of luggage, but this is at the discretion of the hotel.
Tour notes and itineraries:On several of our tours the tour notesand itineraries are provided at the first hotel. On other tours this information is forwarded with the travel documents approximately 14 days prior to departure. We will endeavour to provide the best information we can to help you, but it is not our policy to provide mile by mile detailed route guides, the frequent changes to local road conditions, layouts etc., makes this impossible. We do provide maps, guides to the major attractions en route, and directions to hotels whenever possible. These are independent self-drive holidays and you will be required to read a map and locate attractions and hotels. Sat.Nav. is available from the car rental companies - at a charge - and you may find this useful, however all technology is prone to failure so we always recommend that you keep the maps handy.
Tailor-made holidays:We will be pleased to discuss your own ideas and itineraries and help you plan your holiday. If you would like to email, fax or mail an outline of your tour with dates, number of people, ages of children etc., to us we will be happy to advise you. We request that you include your daytime telephone number on all correspondence. Where you have chosen the route and we have designed a tailor-made holiday for you, it may not be possible to provide you with a detailed tour itinerary. We recommend that you purchase a road atlas such as the excellent National Geographic Road Atlas to the USA and Canada (Just America can provide these - currently £15 plus P & P). We suggest that you read up about the area you are planning to visit well in advance, preferably before you book the holiday. Insight Guides cover almost every region of North America and are about the best on the market. Just America can also provide a some tourist information subject to availability, but we do not have detailed route information to cover every area of the Continent. You might find the internet to be the best source of free, up-to-date information.
National Park Passes:Both the US and Canada charge entrance fees for their national parks, and if you are visiting a number of parks, this cost can add up to a significant amount. We recommend that you purchase a Parks Pass at the first national park you visit. For the US the pass costs $80 for up to four adults (children under 16 are free). In Canada a family pass costs $136.40. Both passes provide unlimited visits to that country's parks for 12 months. The passes can only be used in the country of purchase. Full details available at www.nps.gov (for USA) and www.pc.gc.ca/index_e.asp