Journey from South Dakota to Yellowstone National Park on this tour of America’s northwest

Get back to nature and take in some of America’s stunning, rugged and majestic national parks. Starting in the 'Mile-High City' of Denver, head to South Dakota’s bizarre and beautiful Badlands National Park and then on to the historic mining town of Deadwood. Get up close and personal with past presidents at Mt Rushmore, check out the enormous work-in-progress at Crazy Horse and drive across Wyoming’s open plains to the wild west town of Cody. Head out into Yellowstone with a local guide to try and spot a wolf, pay a visit to the cool alpine region of Grand Teton and then finish up in Jackson Hole.

Denver, United States
Jackson Hole, United States
United States
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 13
Carbon offset
0kg pp per trip


  • Journey across three states of America, starting in Colorado's capital of Denver and finishing in the former outlaw town of Jackson, Wyoming
  • Visits to the famous landmarks of Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial are sandwiched between trips across the stunning landscapes of the Badlands and the underground Wind Cave
  • Take a scenic drive through the spectacular mountains, valleys, lakes and rivers of Grand Teton National Park, one of America's natural treasures
  • The Wild West is ingrained into American history and culture. Stay in the frontier town of Cody, named after Buffalo Bill Cody, and catch a reenactment of a famous shootout
  • Yellowstone National Park is a natural wonderland of hot spring and alpine forests. Walk to the steaming geyser of Old Faithful one day and track wolves with local experts the next


Welcome to the USA. On arrival, join your group for a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so ensure you bring these details to provide to your leader. If you're going to be late, please inform hotel reception. Your evening is then free to do as you wish. If you arrive in Denver earlier in the day, perhaps take a walk to the impressive building of the Colorado State Capitol.
Special Information
Notes: If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time for the welcome meeting, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Leaving Denver in the morning, today will see you drive across the country for around six to seven hours to the town of Custer.

En route, we stop at the Mammoth Site, an active palaeontological dig site where over 60 mammoth skeletons have been found. We'll watch a short video before taking a guided tour around the site, where you can see the palaeontologists at work.

You should arrive into Custer in the early evening. Once you're settled into your hotel, the evening is free to explore. You'll be spending the next two nights in Custer.
Today, drive out to explore some of South Dakota's highlights. Discover one of the longest and most complex caves in the world at Wind Cave National Park. See the famous sculptures of former presidents that are carved into the face of Mount Rushmore and take a look at the Crazy Horse National Monument, an artwork in progress. After a long day of sightseeing, head back to Custer for the night.

Today's total driving time will be around four hours.
This morning, journey into Badlands National Park for a driving tour. Named 'mako sica' (which translates to 'land bad') by Native Americans, the national park protects the country's largest prairie grasslands, several species of mammal (including bison and the black-footed ferret), prairie falcons and snakes. In the afternoon, continue on to the National Historic Landmark of Deadwood. Settled illegally by gold rushers in the 1870s, its streets are lined with old buildings that have since been restored with gambling dollars. It's a fun place to spend a night, with a whole street full of authentic saloons, gaming halls and casinos.
In the morning, take the long drive across the border into Wyoming and on to Cody (approximately 6-7 hours). Named after its legendary founder, Buffalo Bill Cody, the town is full of wild west adventure. With its reenactments of famous shoot-outs and restored frontier buildings, Cody attracts tourists and cowboys alike. This evening perhaps visit Dan Miller's Cowboy Music Revue to see a western-style variety show.
Drive into Yellowstone National Park this morning for your first taste of the park's immense alpine forests, mountains and rivers. There will be a decent amount of time to explore today. In the evening, stay in the small town of West Yellowstone.
Head out on a wolf-tracking excursion with a local guide early (approx 5am) this morning. Since wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone Park, their population has flourished. With the help of an expert who'll have a radio to communicate with other explorers, your chances of seeing a wolf dramatically increase. As you are searching for wolves in the wild, there are of course no guarantees, but you're sure to have an amazing day anyway.
Today will be spent taking a driving tour of Yellowstone National Park. See all of the park's main highlights, such as lakes, waterfalls and hot geysers (including the famous Old Faithful). If you're lucky enough you may even come across a herd of bison. Head back to your cabin in the evening for your last night in the park.
After breakfast at the cabin, drive through the Grand Teton mountains on the way to Jackson (approximately 1-2 hours). This national park is one of America's finest and is a hiker's paradise. Less crowded than Yellowstone, the Tetons exude a sense of tranquillity, and are home to wildlife such as bears, moose, grouse and marmots. Continue on to the former outlaw hideout of Jackson, where you'll have plenty of time to explore. The afternoon and evening are free to do as you wish.
Your trip finishes after breakfast today. There are no more activities planned and you're free to depart at anytime. If you have extra time in Jackson, see the list of optional activities below for some suggestions of things to do.
View trip notes to read full itinerary


1 breakfast
Private vehicle
Cabin (5 nights), Hotel (4 nights)
Included activities
  • Mammoth Site
  • Badlands National Park
  • Wind Cave National Park
  • Crazy Horse Memorial
  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Wolf Tracking Guide
  • Grand Teton National Park


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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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Our Mt Rushmore to Yellowstone trips score an average of 4.8 out of 5 based on 5 reviews in the last year.

Mt Rushmore to Yellowstone , June 2016

Mt Rushmore to Yellowstone , May 2016