Explore America’s Northwest on this wild encounter from Salt Lake City to Denver

Yee-haw! Explore America’s Northwest on this wild encounter from Salt Lake City to Denver.
Explore the alpine forests and pristine lakes of Yellowstone, spot grey wolves and grizzly bears in Grand Teton National Park, gaze upon the granite faces of former presidents at Mount Rushmore, watch wild horses gallop through the prairie in the Black Hills and have a good time in the Badlands as you traverse the rugged plains that are home to herds of bison. Immerse yourself in the Wild West as you journey through cowboy towns and national parks on this ten-day adventure across Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and South Dakota.


Start
Salt Lake City, United States
Finish
Denver, United States
Destination
United States
Style
Comfort
Theme
Explorer
Code
STSD
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 13

Why you'll love this trip

  • Kickstart your adventure in Salt Lake City, with its big city vibe and small-town feel – this Mormon equivalent of Vatican City is home to a trendy street scene and a liberal spirit.

  • Delve into the great outdoors in Yellowstone National Park – immerse yourself in the alpine forests, picturesque lakes and breathtaking landscapes on a 2-night stay in a rustic family run lodge.

  • Perch yourself on a saddle-style bar stool in the cowboy town of Jackson and venture out on a full day trip to explore the magnificent wilderness of Grand Teton National Park.

  • Keep your eye out for bison, bears and grizzly grey wolves on a driving tour of Yellowstone’s main highlights – from rainbow coloured hot springs to explosive geysers, including the famous Old Faithful.

  • Visit the beautiful Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, a rescue centre for wild horses. Watch majestic mustangs gallop through the grasslands on a 2-hour guided tour of the prairie.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Less time spent in a vehicle; more time to explore each destination. This trip has been carefully designed to give you the best experience of a region by reducing the number of one-night-only stops, giving you extra time in the places that matter.

  • Some of the best scenery in Yosemite National Park is found on hikes. So, while this trip doesn't require a high level of fitness, it’s essential to be at least moderately fit if you want to partake in all activities.

  • If you wish to spend more time in Salt Lake City or Denver, we'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

  • This trip includes time spent travelling in a van with your group. Extra space can be tight, and conditions may feel a little cramped. It’s all part of the adventure and a great way to get to know your fellow travellers. Please read the itinerary carefully for travel time estimates.

  • As you'll be travelling through cattle ranch country, there will be a lot of meat served in these regions (beef and bison). Vegetarians may find meal selection limited.

  • Although our private vehicles do have air conditioning, it has to work pretty hard to keep a full group cool. Expect to feel hot during summer and cold at other times of the year, especially at night. Please consider the season and research the weather conditions to determine the best time to travel for you. Remember to come prepared with adequate clothing.

Itinerary

Welcome to Salt Lake City, AKA the Mormon capital of the USA! There are no planned activities until your welcome meeting in the hotel lobby at 6 pm. If you arrive early, why not check out the historic Temple Square – owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this vast square, including the impressive granite temple at the centre, is a testament to how influential the Mormon religion is in Salt Lake City. After your important meeting, perhaps organise a group dinner with your new travel companions.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Salt Lake City Tabernacle - Free
  • Salt Lake City - Temple Square - Free
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
This morning, cross into the state of Wyoming and head out on a half-day drive to the historic cowboy town and former outlaw hideout of Jackson (5–6 hours). The afternoon and evening are free to do as you wish, why not watch Clover the Killer take on the Cache Creek Posse in the Town Square Shootout. Since 1957, this Wyoming tradition has attracted millions of visitors who gather to witness the longest, continuously run gunfight in the USA. The Shootout begins at 6 pm, Monday to Saturday through summer – there’s no shootin’ on Sundays! This evening perhaps pop down to Jackson’s landmark watering hole, the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, where the likes of country music legend Willie Nelson have been known to take the stage. Perch yourself on a saddle-style bar stool and enjoy live entertainment and dancing amid an endless decor of Western memorabilia, animal mounts and cowboy murals, yee-haw!

Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Jackson - Town shoot out - Free
  • Jackson - Millionaire Cowboy Western Saloon - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today, you’ll get to explore one of America’s finest national parks, Grand Teton. This hiker’s paradise exudes a sense of tranquillity, and is home to wildlife such as bears, moose, grouse and marmots. There are plenty of activities available to ensure that you explore the best of Teton’s magnificent wilderness – choose to float along Jenny Lake on an optional scenic cruise or perhaps hike the surrounding area to experience the jaw-dropping landscape. Return to Jackson in the afternoon where you'll have the opportunity to enjoy an exhilarating rafting adventure along Snake River. Alternatively, experience a different view of Jackson and glide to the top of Rendezvous Mountain (3185 metres) on the popular aerial tramway.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Grand Teton National Park
Optional Activities
  • Grand Teton - Jenny Lake Boat Ride - USD8
  • Grand Teton - Jenny Lake Hike - Free
  • Jackson - Horse riding - USD70
  • Jackson - Aerial tramway - USD35
  • Snake River Half Day Rafting - USD70
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Prepare to delve into the great outdoors as you make your way to the USA’s first national park – Yellowstone – for your first taste of its immense alpine forests, mountains and rivers. With the rest of the day at your leisure and 9000 kilometres of park to explore, you’ll have plenty of time to discover the wide variety of landscapes that are home to an abundance of wildlife – from bison and bears to grizzly grey wolves. For the next two nights you’ll stay in the heart of Yellowstone’s wilderness, sleeping in rustic cabins at a family-run lodge.
Accommodation
  • Cabin (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Yellowstone National Park
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Head out on a driving tour of Yellowstone National Park this morning to see the main highlights – from picturesque lakes and cascading waterfalls to rainbow coloured hot springs and explosive geysers (including the famous Old Faithful). Keep your eye out for a herd of bison – these animals have lived in Yellowstone continuously since prehistoric times and roam freely across the vast terrain of the park. If you’re lucky, you may even encounter their only large predators: grey wolves and grizzly bears. After a day of exploration, head back to your rustic cabin for your last night in the area.
Accommodation
  • Cabin (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Yellowstone National Park driving tour
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today you’ll venture east to Cody, named after its legendary founder, Buffalo Bill Cody – showman, Chief Scout and notorious buffalo hunter. The town is full of Wild West adventure, with re-enactments of famous shootouts and restored frontier buildings that attract tourists and cowboys alike. If time permits, perhaps check out one of the five museums that make up the Buffalo Bill Center of the West – choose to discover the traditions and histories of Northern Plains tribal peoples at the Plains Indian Museum or learn more about the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem at the Draper Natural History Museum. This evening why not head downtown for an evening of wholehearted, Western-style entertainment with a visit to Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Cody - Gunfighters - Free
  • Cody - Dan Miller's Cowboy Music Revue - USD16
  • Cody - Buffalo Bill Center of the West - USD18
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning, travel across the border to South Dakota and on to Custer (approximately 6–7 hours). En route, you’ll visit the nearby Crazy Horse National Monument, a giant Native American sculpture in progress. Learn about the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation’s incredible mission and the work they are doing to protect and preserve the culture, tradition and living heritage of the Native Americans – admission fees go towards supporting advancements in mountain carving, the museums and the development of the Indian University of North America. After learning about this incredible construction, continue your journey to Custer where the rest of the evening is at your leisure.
Accommodation
  • Cabin (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Custer - Crazy Horse Memorial
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Explore some of South Dakota’s highlights today as you venture out on a day trip from Custer. Set your eyes on the famous faces of former US presidents that are carved into the granite mass of Mount Rushmore – the impressive monument, created between 1927 and 1941, soars above the surrounding beauty of the Black Hills. Led by sculptor Gutzon Borglum, Mount Rushmore serves as a memorial to (according to Borglum) four iconic leaders who each represented the most important events in the history of the United States. Continue your journey into Badlands National Park for a driving tour through the rugged landscape. Named 'Mako Sica' (land bad) by Native Americans, covers almost 1000 square kilometres and is home to one of the country's largest prairie grasslands, several species of mammal (including bison and the black-footed ferret), prairie falcons and snakes. After a full day of sightseeing, return to Cluster for the evening.
Accommodation
  • Cabin (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial
  • Badlands National Park
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Leaving Custer this morning, the highlight of today involves a visit to the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary – the purpose of which is to provide a quality life of freedom for unadoptable and unwanted mustangs (wild horses) and preserve and protect the land they roam. Head out along a ten-kilometre stretch of primitive road on a 2-hour guided tour of the prairie, where you can gaze upon the beautiful herds of horses moving through their day. The sanctuary is home to a showcase of breeds including American, Spanish, Curly and Choctaw – and you’ll have plenty of opportunity to take photos of these magnificent mustangs as they run free in their natural habitat. After this special encounter, continue your drive to Denver (5.5 hours) where you’ll arrive in time for dinner.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
With no planned activities for your final day in Denver, why not acquaint yourself with the top city attractions on an all-encompassing Highlights of Denver day tour with Urban Adventures. Discover the back alleys of Writer Square and its hidden secrets, see the Cherry Creek parkway (a local, ecological success story) and visit a delicious and unique Denver eatery! Find out more at urbanadventures.com.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

3 breakfasts

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Cabin (3 nights), Hotel (6 nights)

Included activities

  • Grand Teton National Park
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Yellowstone National Park driving tour
  • Custer - Crazy Horse Memorial
  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial
  • Badlands National Park
  • Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary Tour

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Important notes

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A single supplement is available on this trip.

Essential trip information

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