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Dave & Alice Wilson
Williamstown, MA
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Small Group Tour Highlights
  • Presentation of Native American dance and storytelling
  • Unique rock formations of Badlands National Park
  • Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial
  • Visit to local ranch
  • Sheridan’s Kendrick Mansion
  • “Rodeo Capital” of Cody, WY
  • Buffalo Bill Center of the West
  • Legendary Yellowstone National Park, including Old Faithful Geyser
  • Beautiful Jackson Hole, WY
  • Grand Teton National Park
  • Snake River rafting excursion
  • Lodging in the center of Jackson Hole
  • Pleasing mix of guided touring and free time
Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Depart for Rapid City, South Dakota We depart today for Rapid City, South Dakota. As guests’ arrival times may vary, the day is at leisure to explore the “gateway to the Black Hills” as we wish. This evening we meet our Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director and fellow travelers at a briefing about the journey ahead, followed by a presentation of Native American dance and storytelling and dinner together. D

Day 2: Rapid City/Badlands National Park This morning we visit South Dakota’s famed Badlands National Park. Covering an area of nearly 400 square miles, this wind-carved landscape features a stunning array of rock formations – buttes, spires, pinnacles, and canyons – as well as the largest prairie ecosystem in the United States. We explore the park and learn about its history as a home to endangered species and Native American tribes, along with its rich deposits of prehistoric fossils. After our time here, we return to Rapid City for an afternoon and evening at leisure. Lunch and dinner today are on our own. B

Day 3: Rapid City/Mount Rushmore/Sheridan, WY A short drive west into the Black Hills reveals two compelling sculptures commemorating several of our best-known leaders. We stop first at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, the world-famous site where the visages of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and T. Roosevelt have been carved into the very face of the granite mountainside. With each face measuring 60 feet tall, the monument is a stirring testament to patriotism. Continuing on, we visit the Crazy Horse Memorial, an even larger mountain monument dedicated to the iconic war leader of the Oglala Lakota Native American tribe. Although work began on the massive horse-and-rider statue in 1948, it remains decidedly unfinished to this day: only the leader’s enigmatic face gazes out from the edge of Thunderhead Mountain. Once completed, the statue will measure an astonishing 641 feet wide by 543 feet high. We enjoy lunch together here before continuing on to Wyoming, the “Cowboy State,” arriving at our hotel in Sheridan in time for dinner together tonight. B,L,D

Day 4: Sheridan Today we get an authentic taste of the Old West as we visit a local ranch. Embodying an archetypical American profession, the hardworking cowboy still performs many of the same duties that his predecessors did two and three centuries back. During our visit we meet the cowboys and ranch hands and learn about their way of life. We enjoy a barbecue lunch at the ranch before returning to Sheridan, where we tour the Kendrick Mansion, a restored cattle baron’s home at Trail End State Historic Site. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure in this classic Western town. Tonight we enjoy dinner together. B,L,D

Day 5: Sheridan/Bighorn Mountains/Cody This morning we travel through Bighorn National Forest and across the Great Plains, arriving in the city of Cody in time for lunch on our own. We’re in the “Rodeo Capital of the World,” named for its famous founder William Frederick Cody – better known as Buffalo Bill. One of the most colorful personalities of the Old West, Buffalo Bill rode for the Pony Express at age 14, served in the Civil War and several Indian conflicts, and created (and starred in) Buffalo Bill’s Wild West cowboy variety show. We learn all this and more during this afternoon’s visit to Cody’s central attraction: the five-museum Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Guests on late May through mid-August departures will enjoy an evening visit to the Cody Nite Rodeo, a show of longstanding tradition that keeps the Western spirit alive. B,D

Day 6: Cody/Yellowstone National Park We set off this morning for the first of two full days of exploring nearby Yellowstone National Park. Established in 1872, Yellowstone was the world’s first national park; it covers nearly 3,500 square miles of jagged mountains, high plains, and an extensive volcanic region. Today’s visit includes a stop at the 24-mile-long Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, a snaking, rock-walled channel, ranking as the park’s most spectacular sight. Throughout the day we hope to see some of Yellowstone’s wildlife: bison, elk, moose, black bear, mountain lion, and lynx count among the park’s many species. Then we return to Cody for an evening at leisure. B,L

Day 7: Cody/Yellowstone National Park/Grand Teton National Park/Jackson Hole More stunning Western scenery is on offer today as we traverse two of America’s great national parks. This morning we re-enter Yellowstone, seeing first Yellowstone Lake. The park’s largest body of water, Yellowstone Lake offers beautiful panoramic views. We have time for lunch on our own in the park before continuing on to world-famous Old Faithful. One of the most predictable geothermal features on Earth, Old Faithful blasts a plume of boiling water up to 180 feet in the air every 80 to 100 minutes, without fail. We witness this awe-inspiring natural event then depart on the scenic drive south along the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway. This strip of protected land connects Yellowstone with its neighbor, Grand Teton National Park. Late afternoon we enter the park and descend to Jackson on the valley floor, arriving in time for dinner at leisure. B

Day 8: Jackson Hole/Grand Teton National Park Though only 10 miles separate Grand Teton and Yellowstone, the two parks offer vastly different – yet equally awe-inspiring – experiences. Grand Teton includes most of the grassy Jackson Hole valley and almost all the major peaks of its titular mountain range (the Tetons), giving the smaller of the two parks arguably the more dramatic landscape. We explore the park this morning, taking in the splendid scenery and keeping our eyes peeled for the many species of wildlife living here, including fox, moose, and American bison. If we’re lucky, we may also catch a glimpse of a black or grizzly bear. After enjoying lunch together in the park, we return to Jackson Hole late afternoon and enjoy dinner together tonight. B,L,D

Day 9: Jackson Hole/Snake River Rafting We have a small group highlight in store today, as we take a leisurely rafting trip down the Snake River. The largest tributary of the Columbia River, the Snake originates in Yellowstone before flowing in a gently winding series of bends through the low-lying Jackson Hole valley, with the Tetons rising dramatically from the valley floor. We enjoy a casual lunch together on the river then return to Jackson Hole for an afternoon at leisure. Tonight we gather to toast our Western adventure at a farewell dinner. B,L,D

Day 10: Depart Jackson Hole This morning we transfer to the Jackson Hole airport for our flights home. B

Cody Nite Rodeo

Guests on departures between May 29 and August 21 will attend the Cody Nite Rodeo on the evening of Day 5 while in Cody, WY, “Rodeo Capital” of the world. Dating to 1938, the Cody Nite Rodeo shows off the horsemanship and roping skills still used on working ranches.

 

Please note: This trip involves considerable walking on uneven terrain in a natural environment. You should be in good physical condition to enjoy the tour to the fullest. Elevations at hotel locations are not severe, ranging from 3,200 ft. to 6,200 ft. The relatively high altitude reached during the visit to Yellowstone (approximately 8,000 feet) could pose problems for guests with certain health conditions. You should consult your personal physician if you have concerns.

B = Breakfast included L = Lunch included D = Dinner included

Tour Price Includes
  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities (or may be purchased as land only)
  • 9 nights’ accommodations in Superior First Class and First Class hotels
  • 20 meals: 9 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for dining room servers, hotel porters, rafting guides, and all drivers
  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after 3 tours; $300 after 10 tours)
Tour Dates & Prices

2019 Tour Dates & Prices
including airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees

May 29
Sep 24
Sep 28
Jun 5, 19
Aug 21
Aug 28
Sep 4, 17
Jul 10
Jul 24
Land Only$3,195$3,295$3,495
Chicago, Dallas,
Denver, Los Ang,
San Fran, Seattle
$3,895$3,995$4,195
Atlanta, Cinc, Cleve,
Minn, New York,
Phoenix, Tampa
$3,995$4,095$4,295
Baltimore, Boston,
Charlotte, Detroit
Houston, Miami,
Orlando, Philadelphia,
Port (OR), Wash, DC
$4,095$4,195$4,395

Please call if your city is not listed. Prices are per person based on double occupancy and include airline taxes, surcharges, and fees for departures from above listed cities.

Single travelers please add $995 May, Sep; $1,195 Jun-Aug. Your $375 deposit is fully refundable up to 95 days before departure. All 2019 tour prices above are guaranteed.

Accommodations
    Hotel Alex Johnson, Rapid City / Days 1-2 / Superior First Class

    Opened in 1928, the Hotel Alex Johnson sits in the heart of Rapid City, a vibrant community of museums, boutiques, shops, and restaurants.  This modernized hotel offers up-to-date amenities while also paying homage to its historic past, with polished wood furniture and red accent walls. Hotel amenities include a rooftop restaurant, coffee shop, Irish pub, fitness center, gift store, salon, spa, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, and dry cleaning and laundry service.  Bright and updated air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, TV, and phone.

    Holiday Inn Sheridan, Sheridan / Days 3-4 / First Class

    This simple but comfortable hotel has a spacious earth-toned lobby providing ample lounge seating.  Guest rooms feature calm colors and offer a retreat from active days.  Amenities include a restaurant, bar and lounge, indoor pool, sauna, dry cleaning and laundry services, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Each of the spacious 212 air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, TV, and phone. 

    Holiday Inn Cody – at Buffalo Bill Village, Cody / Days 5-6 / First Class

    The 189-room Holiday Inn Cody sits just a short walk from downtown Cody.  Amenities include a restaurant, bar, outdoor pool, fitness center, laundry service, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Decorated in warm brown and blue tones, air-conditioned guest rooms have a private bath with hair dryer, TV, phone, and tea- and coffee-maker.

    The Lexington at Jackson Hole, Jackson Hole / Days 7-9 / First Class

    Additional information to come.

Ratings are based on the Hotel & Travel Index, the travel industry standard reference.
Tour Directors for this Journey
Kathy Dobbs

“Is there anything higher than excellent??!!  Her knowledge of the area was amazing!  Her personality was so much fun to be around.  Handled everything for us.  You have a gold mine with her, and we have made a friend for life!!”
Brian & Sue Dobbins
Scottsdale, AZ

 

Connie Goodfellow

“You could not possibly find a better tour director anywhere.  Connie is so kind and so patient.  She is very knowledgeable and prepared.  But if she doesn’t know the answer to a question, she will research it and get back to you with a complete answer.  I have never had such a great tour director in all my years of travel.”
Renee Ross
Washington, DC

Donna Hackler

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Terri McConnell

“We could not have had a better prepared tour director. Her knowledge and expertise really made the trip outstanding.”
Ruth Miller & JoAnn Gibson
West Chester, PA

Leah Morrison

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Destination Insight

Suggested Reading

Stephen G. Hyslop
The Old West
To bring the legendary American West to life, National
Geographic combined 450 historical photographs with archival maps and personal accounts. Their lavish miscellany includes Oregon Trail pioneers, Annie Oakley, trappers and traders, the famed “golden spike,” wagon-loads and more!

Larry McMurtry
Crazy Horse, A Life
The story of Sioux warrior Crazy Horse, written by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Lonesome Dove.” McMurtry blends history, biography and a dose of good storytelling in this short, thought-provoking biography. A volume in the excellent “Penguin Lives” series.

Margaret Murie, Olaus Murie (Illustrator)
Wapiti Wilderness
Margaret and her biologist husband (who did the illustrations for the book) write of a winter, and especially the elk, at a ranch in Jackson Hole. They alternate chapters, mixing tales of work as a field biologist with stories of life in the region, where they lived for 37 years.

Brian Kevin
Compass Guide Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks
Exquisitely photographed, this sumptuous guide in the newly
relaunched Compass Guides series is an excellent overview of the history, culture, nature, activities and attractions of the park. With a 20-page section of practical information.

National Geographic Maps
Yellowstone National Park Map
A hiker’s map with great topographic detail, shown at a scale of 1:127,000.

National Geographic Maps
Badlands National Park Map
This full-color topographic map of Badlands National Park,
shown at a scale of 1:55,000, is printed on waterproof and tear-resistant paper.

National Geographic Maps
Grand Teton National Park Map
A full-color, double-sided topographic map of the park at a scale of 1:80,000. Printed on tear- and water-resistant paper.

George Wuerthner
Yellowstone, A Visitor’s Companion
A handbook to the geology, ecology, wildlife and plants of
Yellowstone. Includes photographs, a bird list and brief field
guide with black-and-white drawings.

Dee Brown
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, An Indian History of the American West
An unsettling history of the violent conquest of the Native
Americans of the West from 1860 to 1890, as told by members of the tribes themselves. 30th anniversary edition.

John Taliaferro
Great White Fathers
A history of the development, art and legacy of Mount Rushmore.

Roderick Nash
Wilderness and the American Mind
A classic essay on changing American attitudes toward wilderness and the environment, including an enlightening discussion on western expansion. With chapters on Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Alaska and wilderness preservation.

Terry Tempest Williams
The Hour of Land, A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks
Equal parts memoir, natural history and ecology manifesto, this illustrated narrative by an award-winning author honors 12 national parks and explores why they matter to the soul of America.

Charles R. Preston
Spectacular Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks
Three hundred color photographs, including panoramic six-page foldout spreads, archival pictures and essays on history and ecology, capture the splendor of these national parks.

Kim Heacox (Photographer)
The National Parks, An Illustrated History
This photographic celebration of the US National Parks’ 100th anniversary takes readers from California’s redwood forests to the Gettysburg battlefield and every park in between through the lens of award-winning photographer Kim Heacox.

Osborne Russell, Aubrey L. Haines (Editor)
Journal of a Trapper
A simply told account of the life of a fur trapper in the 1830s and 1840s, mainly in and around Yellowstone. It’s both an eyewitness report from the heyday of fur trading and an engaging account of the region.

Ian Frazier
Great Plains
A marvelously digressive, wide-ranging account of 25,000 miles worth of travels criss-crossing throughout the Great Plains, combining first-rate reportage and history.

Annie Proulx
Close Range: Wyoming Stories
Proulx’s brilliantly-drawn characters personify the loneliness, harsh beauty and wild nature of Wyoming in this luminous collection, which includes the story “Brokeback Mountain.”

Seymour L. Fishbein
Yellowstone Country, The Enduring Wonder
An overview of Yellowstone presented in the National Geographic style, featuring spectacular color photographs, maps and good travel information.

Douglas Smith, Gary Ferguson
Decade of the Wolf, Returning the Wild to Yellowstone
Biologist Smith (Yellowstone Wolf Recovery Project) and nature writer Ferguson look at the 10 years since the re-introduction of wolves to Yellowstone.

Paul Schullery
Mountain Time, A Yellowstone Portrait
A former ranger, Schullery writes with depth and grace on the natural history of Yellowstone National Park, its wildlife, rangers and visitors in this classic collection of essays, originally published in 1984.

Peter Alden
National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Rocky Mountain States
A compact field guide to 1,000 commonly encountered plants and animals of Colorado, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. With 1,500 color photographs, 11 maps and 16 night-sky charts.

Pocket Naturalist
Yellowstone Wildlife
This handy plastic card illustrates the birds, mammals, fishes, amphibians and reptiles of Yellowstone.

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