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Explore Jackson on your terms before meeting your Travel Director and fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception.
Spend a full day at leisure connecting with the dazzling natural scenery of Grand Teton National Park. If you like, take an optional float trip down Snake River^. Take an aerial tram ride to the peak of Rendezvous Mountain (seasonal) this afternoon. This evening, join your Travel Director and travel companions for a Regional Dinner.
We continue our exploration of the Tetons this morning before heading to the UNESCO-listed Yellowstone National Park. Your encounter with its geothermal wonders will leave you in awe. Witness Old Faithful's waters arc high into the air as it has done approximately every 90 minutes since the Washburn Expedition discovered it. We stay amidst the colorful pools of hot springs, mud pots and geysers tonight at one of the park's signature lodges.
Keep a keen eye out for bison, grizzlies and elk as you journey through Hayden Valley en route to the rusting walls of Yellowstone's Grand Canyon. Drive along Dunraven Pass and past Montana's Lamar Valley, home to herds of elk, bison and grizzlies. Admire the gentle cascade of water running down the multi-colored mineral terraces of Mammoth Hot Springs as they descend into the valley.
Head to the infamous town of Cody, named for its most famous native son, Buffalo Bill. Gain insights into the history of the American West at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and delve into the history of the cowboy, the role of the firearm in the early days, and the culture of the Plains Indians. This evening we 'Connect with Locals' and enjoy a traditional Western-style 'Be My Guest' dinner at a historic café, complete with an old-time tobacco shop.
Head through the windswept prairies of the American Frontier and into the Black Hills of South Dakota, admiring the looming fortress of Devils Tower en route. Arriving in the infamous Gold Rush town of Deadwood, we join Kevin Costner's Original Deadwood Tour. Meet a Local Specialist to hear about the days of Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane and Potato Creek Johnny. Journey to Rapid City, where you have the option of visiting Mount Rushmore this evening to see the evening illumination ceremony.
This morning, we pay tribute to Crazy Horse, peering at the immortalised face of the famed war chief of the Lakota people etched from the granite rock of the Black Hills. 'Make a Difference' by learning how your visit contributes to its preservation. We continue to Mount Rushmore featuring the enormous carvings of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Returning to Rapid City, we join our Travel Director and fellow travellers and Dive into Culture during a festive Farewell Dinner and Make a Difference by learning how Stephen Yellowhawk works to preserve Native American heritage. who shares his tribe's history through dance and song.
A full day of exclusive AARP member experiences awaits! After breakfast at the hotel, depart for Custer State Park. Travel the 18-mile scenic Wildlife Loop keeping your eye out for bison, elk, and deer. Stop at the historic State Game Lodge, which once served as the summer White House for President Calvin Coolidge and is turning 100 years old this year. More show-stopping scenery awaits in Badlands National Park. After an introduction at the Visitor's Center, travel along one of the most impressive stretches of the park, highlighting its unusual topography of buttes, spires, canyons, pinnacles, and grassland prairie. This evening, we 'Dive into Culture' during a festive Farewell Dinner and 'Make a Difference' by learning how Stephen Yellowhawk works to preserve Native American heritage.
Bid farewell to your traveling companions and take a transfer to Rapid City Airport or extend your stay in Rapid City at The Rushmore Hotel.
Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.
This gentle 10-mile float trip runs entirely within Grand Teton National Park, and covers the most scenic stretch of the Snake River in the Jackson Hole Valley. The Snake River is a lifeline to the park’s bison, elk, moose, beaver, pronghorn, deer, bear and 300 different species of birds, including osprey and eagles. Your experienced guide offers in-depth information on the geology of the Grand Tetons and the habitats of the animals you may see. Although we can’t guarantee multiple animal sightings, your chances of spotting wildlife on the Snake River – with its lush willows to feed on and deep-water pools for animals to swim in – are greater here than anywhere else in the park. Operates late May – mid Sep, subject to weather conditions. Approx. duration: 3 hours
Adult Price: $89
Join a park ranger at Mount Rushmore’s outdoor amphitheater for this moving patriotic program and sculpture lighting ceremony. The program begins with a short inspirational talk, focusing on the presidents, patriotism and the nation’s history, and is followed by a 20 minute film, “Freedom: America’s Lasting Legacy.” Watch in wonder as the evening culminates in the slow exposure of light to the monument until it is fully illuminated. Be sure to bundle up as the evenings can be cool. Approx. duration: 1 hour
Adult Price: $25
Badlands National Park in southwest South Dakota preserves 244,000 acres of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires blended with the largest protected mixed grass prairie in America. Without a doubt, a hidden gem in the national park system, the unique beauty of the Badlands landscape is like no other. Sightseers as well as scholarly scientists are attracted to the area for its astounding beauty and the opportunity to peek into an ancient world. And no trip to the Badlands would be complete without a stop at famous Wall Drug. An establishment which became known for offering free ice water to thirsty travelers in the 1930s is today one of the top roadside attractions in the country. Approx. duration: 3 hours
Adult Price: $40
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