Extended Trails West
Following on from the success of our popular Trails West self-drive tour, we have produced an extended 21- night/22-day version which slows the pace, increases the number of nights in some of the more popular destinations and introduces the western town of Cody into the itinerary. This is a tour that includes the beautiful scenery of the Black Hills, Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons with the fascinating history of the native American tribes, the wagon train trails, the tragic story of Custer and Crazy Horse and the modern ranching culture of the west. We are of course willing to adapt this tour to suit your needs so please let us know if you would like to make changes, add extra nights and prebook excursions.
Using the major gateway city of Denver allows us to take advantage of the various flight options from the UK. Currently, British Airways offer daily non-stop services from Heathrow to Denver. In addition, airlines such as United, US Airways and others offer indirect flights into Denver from various UK departure airports with one stop and change of aircraft en route.
Day 1. Arrive Denver. After collecting your luggage, exit the airport and take a taxi (own expense) to your downtown Denver hotel. Relax and enjoy the remainder of the day exploring Denver and its vibrant nighlife and restaurant scene. Overnight: Comfort Inn & Suites Downtown (Standard) or The Curtis Hotel (Superior).
Day 2. Denver. A full day to enjoy the attractions, museums, galleries and shopping of the 'Mile-High City'. Only a few yards from your downtown hotel, Denver's pedestrianised tree-lined 16th Street Mall offers a huge choice of shopping from major stores to boutiques and a wonderful range of pavement cafes, coffee shops and restaurants, making this a popular dining and shopping area during the day and evening. Other Denver attractions include; the Downtown Aquarium, Denver Museum of Nature & Science; the Botanical Gardens and Cherry Creek Shopping Centre. Overnight: Comfort Inn & Suites Downtown (Standard) or The Curtis Hotel (Superior).
Day 3. Denver to Lusk (approx. 260 miles). Return to the airport area this morning and collect your rental car and head north to Cheyenne, the state capital of the the Cowboy State - Wyoming. In Cheyenne visit the Union Pacific Depot & Museum, and the famous Wrangler Store, before continuing on via Ft. Laramie National Historic Site - one of the most important forts on the pioneer trails heading for the west. In the afternoon arrive in the small town of Lusk, home of the Stagecoach Museum. Overnight: Best Western Pioneer (Standard and Superior).
Day 4. Lusk to the Black Hills (approx 130 miles). From Lusk you will soon cross into South Dakota and enter the Black Hills. In the late afternoon, and after checking into your accommodation, we recommend that you visit the famous Mt. Rushmore National Monument. This impressive carving is illuminated at night. Overnight: State Game Lodge - standard room (Standard) or State Game Lodge, Creekside room (Superior). Custer State Park.
Days, 5 & 6. Black Hills. Two full days to visit and enjoy the many natural and man-made attractions of this beautiful area. The southwest corner of South Dakota is rich in historic sites such as Deadwood, once home to Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok; Mount Rusmore 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 movies such as 'Dances with Wolves' and 'Thunderheart'. The Black Hills, Wind Cave National Park, the Badlands National Park and Custer State Park - home of 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 room (Standard) or State Game Lodge, Creekside room (Superior). Custer State Park.
Click here to view a short video presentation on the sights and attractions of the Black Hills/Badlands area.
Days 7 & 8. Deadwood. Moving north from the southern Black Hills, you pass through Hill City, once a mining town and today is a vibrant arts community with galleries, festivals, restaurants and shops. Hill City is also the terminus for the Black Hills Central Railroad, locally known as the 1880's train, and this old western steam train runs the 10 miles through the beautiful Black Hills to Keystone. Well worth the round trip journey to savour the atmosphere and scenery. In the afternoon head into Deadwood and check into your hotel before exploring the town. Deadwood was a notorious gold mining town in the late 1800's and attracted various legendary characters such as Calamity Jane, Wild Bill Hickok and others who came seeking their fortunes in the gambling halls, saloons and mines. The movie Calamity Jane put the town on the map, but many people will be surprised to learn that it was based on fact and many of the characters were based on real people. Today the town thrives party due to the investment of Kevin Costner who owns the Midnight Star casino. In the nearby town of Lead visit the Black Hills Mining Museum. This non-profit educational corporation is dedicated to the preservation of the rich mining history of the Black Hills. Take a 45-minute tour of a simulated underground gold mine, enjoy the mining exhibits or try your hand at gold panning. Bear Country USA near Rapid City is a great place to see and learn about black and grizzly bears, wolves, elk and bobcats . No visit to the northern Black Hills would be complete without a visit to the beautiful Spearfish Canyon. Miles of hiking trails, towering peaks tumbling rivers, waterfalls and an abundance of wildlife make this a nature-lover's paradise. Overnight: The Lodge at Deadwood (Standard & Superior).
Day 9. Deadwood via Devil's Tower to Buffalo (approx. 212 miles). From Deadwood 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 National Monument, the impressive natural rock formation famous from its role in 'Close Encounters Of The Third Kind'. Arrive in Buffalo this afternoon and spend the remainder of the day at leisure exploring the town. Overnight: Hampton Inn (Standard and Superior).
Day 10. Buffalo to Billings (approx. 166 miles). From Buffalo head north and cross the state line into Montana and the Crow Indian Reservation. Perhaps stop for a visit the site of the Battle of the Rosebud where General Crook fough 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 National Monument. It was here in June 1876 that General Custer and his 7th Cavalry fought and lost their final battle against an alliance of Northern Plains tribes. After visiting the battlefield site continue on to Billings for your overnight stop. Overnight: Best Western Clock Tower (Standard) or Crowne Plaza Billings (Superior).
Day 11. Billings to Cody (approx. 105 miles). A short drive today brings you the town of Cody. Named after its founder -William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, this interesting town is home to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, sometimes known as the 'Smithsonian of the West' In addition to documenting the life and interests of Buffalo Bill, the museum collection interprets the history of the American cowboy, dude ranching, Western conservation and Native American history. Each night the Cody Rodeo gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy the spectacle and drama of a true western tradition. Overnight: Holiday Inn Cody (Standard) or The Cody Hotel (Superior).
Day 12. Cody. A full day to enjoy Cody. Apart from the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, you should also visit the Old Trail Town - a fascinating collection of historic frontier buildings and relics from northwest Wyoming - including a cabin used by Butch Cassidy and the Hole in the Wall gang. Buffalo Bill's Irma Hotel and Silver Saddle saloon in the centre of town is well worth a visit with good food, beer and a wonderful bar. Overnight: Holiday Inn Cody (Standard) or The Cody Hotel (Superior).
Day 13. Cody to Yellowstone (approx. 90 miles). Your short drive today takes you through beautiful scenery and into Yellowstone National Park - the World's first national park! Take your time today before you reach your lodge in the park, and enjoy the drive. Overnight: Grand Village Lodge (Standard) or Lake Yellowstone Hotel, Annex room (Superior).
Yellowstone National Park - video presentation (approx. 5 mins) click here to view. Take a video tour of the world's first national park.
Days 14 & 15. Yellowstone National Park. Two full days to explore one of the world's most beautiful parks. We recommend that you prebook a Yellow Bus tour of the park with an experienced tour guide (see our Excursions list for details). Overnight: Grand Village Lodge (Standard) or Lake Yellowstone Hotel, Annex room (Superior).
Day 16. Yellowstone - Grand Teton National Park - Jackson (approx. 100 miles). Leaving Yellowstone this morning enjoy the stunning drive through Grand Teton National Park. Plan to make stops at Jackson Lake and Jenny Lake - perhaps a picnic on the shore. Arrive in Teton Village this afternoon and your base for the next three nights. Overnight: Painted Buffalo (Standard) or Signal Mountain Lodge (Superior).
Days 17 & 18. Grand Teton National Park and Jackson. You will need every minute of your two days to explore this lovely area and the town of Jackson. A wildlife viewing excursion, rafting on the Snake River, a cruise on Jenny Lake, horseback riding, hhotair ballooning, a ride on the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram and much more await you. Overnight: Painted Buffalo (Standard) or Signal Mountain Lodge (Superior).
Day 19. Jackson to Saratoga (approx. 325 miles). From the Grand Tetons, cross the Wind River Indian Reservation via the small towns of Dubois and Lander. This is the land of Lewis and Clark, Fremont, Kit Carson and other famous pioneers who scouted the routes ahead of the great wagon train immigration west. You will travel through beautiful country, cross the Oregon Trail and pass many historic sites before arriving in the small town of Saratoga. Overnight: Riviera Motel (Standard) or Saratoga Historic Inn (Superior.
Day 20. 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 or Superior).
Day 21. Grand Lake to Denver (approx. 110 miles). After exploring the beautiful landscape of Rocky Mountain National Park on your drive to Denver, arrive at your downtown hotel in time to enjoy the city's nightlife for the last night of your holiday. Overnight: Comfort Inn & Suites Downtown (Standard) or The Curtis Hotel (Superior).
Day 22. 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 and may depend upon which hotel/lodge you are staying at. Please note that the altitude on this tour varys 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.
|Extended Trails West||Standard||Superior|
|2013 Prices per adult
Sharing room type
Prices in £'s
|2013 Prices per adult
Sharing room type
Prices in £'s
|18 May||2022||1059||749||582||18 May||2422||1249||862||675|
|25 May||2059||1079||762||595||25 May||2509||1295||892||699|
|01 & 08 Jun||2079||1089||769||599||01 Jun-27 Jul||2549||1315||909||705|
|15 Jun||2129||1119||789||612||03 & 10 Aug||2509||1295||892||699|
|22 & 29 Jun||2155||1129||795||619||17 & 24 Aug||2529||1305||902||705|
|06, 13, 20, 27 Jul||2165||1135||799||619||31 Aug||2465||1275||879||685|
|03 Aug||2145||1125||789||615||07 & 14 Sep||2429||1255||865||675|
|10 & 17 Aug||2155||1129||795||619|
|07 & 14 Sep||1949||1022||725||569|
|Prices include: Children under 12 yrs are free when sharing a room
* 21 nights hotel accommodation including local taxes. with 2 adults and using existing bedding at hotels.
* Driving instructions, maps, guides and itinerary.
Prices based on Saturday departures. Prices for other departure dates available upon request.
Not included: Flights, airport taxes, car rental, travel insurance, optional excursions, national park entrance fees, petrol and personal expenses.
|Location||No.nights||Standard Hotels||Superior Hotels|
|Denver (city centre)||2||Comfort Inn & Suites||The Curtis Hotel|
|Lusk||1||Best Western Pioneer (Bkfst)||Best Western Pioneer (Bkfst)|
|Black Hills||3||State Game Lodge (motel room)||State Game Lodge (Creekside room)|
|Deadwood||2||The Lodge at Deadwood||The Lodge at Deadwood|
|Buffalo||1||Hampton Inn (CB)||Hampton Inn (CB)|
|Billings||1||Best Western Clock Tower||Crowne Plaza Hotel|
|Cody||2||Holiday Inn Cody||The Cody Hotel|
|Yellowstone National Park||3||Grant Village||Lake Yellowstone Hotel|
|Grand Tetons National Park area||3||Painted Buffalo||Signal Mountain Lodge|
|Saratoga||1||Riviera Motel||Saratoga Historic Inn|
|Rocky Mountain National Park||1||Alpine Trail Rridge (standard room)||Alpine Trail Ridge (balcony room)|
|Denver (city centre)||1||Comfort Inn & Suites||The Curtis Hotel|
CB = Continental breakfast. Bkfst = full breakfast.