- 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.
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.
Day 1: Salt Lake City
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.
Day 2: Jackson
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!
Day 3: Grand Tetons / Jackson
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.
Day 4: Yellowstone National Park
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.
Day 5: Yellowstone National Park
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.
Day 6: Cody
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.
Day 7: Crazy Horse National Monument / Custer
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.
Day 8: Mount Rushmore / Badlands National Park / Custer
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.
Day 9: Denver
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.
Day 10: Denver
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.
- Hotel (5 nights)
- Cabin (4 nights)
- Snake River Half Day Rafting
- Grand Teton - Jenny Lake Boat Ride
- Jackson - Town shoot out - Free
- Jackson - Millionaire Cowboy Western Saloon - Free
- Salt Lake City Tabernacle - Free
- Grand Teton - Jenny Lake Hike - Free
- Cody - Buffalo Bill Center of the West
- Jackson - Aerial tramway
- Jackson - Horse riding
- Cody - Gunfighters - Free
- Salt Lake City - Temple Square - Free
- Cody - Dan Miller's Cowboy Music Revue
- Yellowstone National Park
- Crazy Horse National Monument / Custer
- Mount Rushmore / Badlands National Park / Custer
- Grand Tetons / Jackson
- Salt Lake City
Intrepid Travel is the world's largest small group adventure travel company. Intrepid trips are of the grassroots type and include travel via public transport, local food, and locally-owned accommodation Intrepid Travel has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1989. A company that began with two bearded backpackers, a typewriter and a kitchen table now leads 100,000 travellers across the globe each year. And although we’re a bit larger these days – with 1,000 local staff based around the world and over 800 different trips across every continent (not to mention multiple kitchen tables) – our mission remains the same. We still get a kick out of responsible travel, small groups and very (very) big adventures.