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Families will love traveling off the beaten path to experience authentic Americana on this thrilling adventure showcasing some of our country’s greatest natural treasures. You’ll explore several revered national monuments and vistas, all while exploring the culture of America’s “Wild West.” From embarking on a raft excursion in Red Rock Canyon to standing in front of Mt. Rushmore, Vantage’s built-in Family Features and Cultural Discoveries will give you shared moments of bonding as well as special insight into each remarkable destination you visit. What’s more, you’ll complete a full circle of Yellowstone National Park, so you’re sure not to miss a moment of the verdant scenery and remarkable wildlife that awaits you.
With an easy Saturday-to-Saturday itinerary, Wild West Adventure is perfect for families, traveling with your spouse or favorite travel partner, or traveling alone! We've designed this grand adventure to make it easy to bring your grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and children along. What’s more, solo travelers will find limited free Single Supplements on every departure. Combine all this with the perfect balance of grand scenery and small-town charm, and you’re sure to thrill in the courageous spirit of the Old West.
Enhance your “Wild West” family adventure with a few extra days in scenic Jackson Hole, Wyoming. With accommodations in the heart of town, your family will be within walking distance of shopping and restaurants, and enjoy plenty of time to explore and soak up the rustic culture of this eclectic American destination. For nature lovers looking to expand their National Park repertoire, the nearby Grand Teton National Park makes the perfect prelude to Yellowstone.
Arrive in Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Your National Parks and Monuments adventure begins when you arrive in Jackson Hole, a scenic valley town in Wyoming. Upon arrival, you’ll be met by a Vantage Representative, who will assist you with your transfer to the hotel. Family Feature: This evening, start your adventure right as you join your spouse, friends, and family for a lively Western dinner show at the Jackson Hole Playhouse.
Cruise Jenny Lake before hearing tales of the Old West
This morning finds us on the banks of Jenny Lake. Named after the Shoshone wife of the trapper that gave his name to nearby Leigh Lake, Jenny Lake sits at the base of Cascade Canyon in Grand Teton National Park. We’ll embark on a cruise tour of this lovely lake, learning about the geology of the area and admiring the surrounding flora and fauna as we go. Remember to bring your camera; the opportunities for nature photography are second to none here! After enjoying an included lunch, we’ll head back to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure. Family Feature & Cultural Discovery: This evening, kids and grandkids will delight in a fascinating talk given by Ken Thomasma, Old West expert and author, regarding Sacajawea and her journey with Lewis & Clark.
Exploring the wilds of Yellowstone, with a visit to Old Faithful
This morning’s drive from the valley of Jackson Hole to the high plateau of Yellowstone is filled with magnificent views of the soaring Teton Range. Cultural Discovery: Along the way, we’ll stop for a visit at the Colter Bay Indian Arts Museum, which houses a collection of rare Native America artifacts. We’ll begin our explorations of Yellowstone National Park from the south gate. The world’s first national park, Yellowstone is a wilderness of craggy peaks, alpine lakes, stunning canyons, and a huge variety of wildlife. Family Feature: Our main sightseeing stop in the park is a grand one: Old Faithful. With its roaring plume of steam and boiling water, this natural highlight never fails to inspire awe in kids and adults alike. Later, we arrive at one of Yellowstone’s more unusual features: the Fountain Paint Pot. Named for the reds, yellows, and browns swirled in the mud, these varying shades are the result of iron oxidation in the ground. The dancing bubbles, rainbow colors, and shimmering wafts of steam of this curious hot spring make for some unique views. We arrive in the town of West Yellowstone just as the sky darkens for an evening of leisure.
The splendor (and legends) of the Wild West
We make our way along the Gibbons River this morning, passing cascading Gibbons Falls as we go. We reach Canyon Village in time to enjoy lunch and some free time to explore; perhaps you’ll pay a visit to Canyon Visitor Center, full of interactive exhibits that highlight the regional nature. Continuing along Yellowstone River this afternoon, we’ll stop to marvel at Yellowstone’s Lower Falls before continuing through Hayden Valley, an area rich with wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for bison, grizzly bears, and other animals as you go! A passage through the scenic Sylvan Pass delivers us to Cody this evening, a charming Western town named after William Fredrick Cody (better known to the American West as Buffalo Bill!) Cultural Discovery: Just before we reach the town, we’ll stop and visit Pahaska Tepee, Buffalo Bill’s hunting lodge, where we’ll get an inside look at the life of this famous marksman.
Family Feature and Cultural Discoveries: Tonight, channel your inner cowboy as you enjoy a “chuckwagon” style dinner before watching bull riding, barrel racing, and other activities at Cody’s world-famous nightly rodeo, the perfect adventure to share with your spouse, friends, and family! Kids can even join a friendly cowboy competition and compete for prizes!
Please note: The rodeo is only available June – September.
A rafting adventure before a scenic drive
Family Feature: This morning finds us on the banks of the Shoshone River, where we’ll board rubber boats for a float adventure! Cultural Discovery: Our guide will point out Native America Pictographs carved into the red rock canyons and show you how to spot wildlife as he teaches us about the natural history of the area. Back on dry land, we’ll head next to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, an impressive collection of five museums, for some fascinating insight to the region before heading back to the hotel for an included lunch. This afternoon we depart for Sheridan, Wyoming, stopping along the way to admire such sights as the Tongue River Valley, a scenic spot overlooking the mountains. After checking into our hotel this evening, enjoy an included dinner.
The mysteries of Deadwood and the traditions of the Lakota
Following breakfast, we set off for the historic town of Deadwood. Known as the wildest town in the West, this town is the final resting place of several notable legends, including Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. You’ll have some time to enjoy lunch and explore on your own before continuing to Tatanka: Story of the Bison. Cultural Discovery: Located north of Deadwood, Tatanka greets us with a behemoth bronze sculpture of the noble bison that once roamed these plains in vast numbers. Meaning “big beast” in the Lakota language, Tatanka tells the story of these bison and the Lakota people who relied on them for food, clothing, and shelter. While it’s estimated that more than 60 million bison once called this region home, you’ll learn how they were decimated, bringing the number of present-day bison down to around 400,000. This evening, we’ll reach Rapid City, where the remainder of your evening is at leisure.
A presidential day of discoveries
Practice your presidential wave with a walking tour of the City of Presidents this morning. Make your way down the streets of Rapid City’s historic downtown area, and you’ll find a series of life-size bronze statues depicting of our nation’s past presidents scattered along the sidewalks. Unforgettable Moment & Family Feature: Our next stop is a must-see for American history lovers: spectacular Mount Rushmore. Sculpted to honor America’s most prominent presidents, solo travelers and family groups alike will get a rush from observing this famous monument in person. You’ll have time to enjoy lunch on your own before we set off for our next monument, Crazy Horse. Dedicated to honoring the rich Native American culture of this area, Crazy Horse is the world’s largest mountain carving. Returning to our hotel this evening, you’ll have some time to relax and mull over the day’s discoveries. Cultural Discovery: Our Farewell Dinner tonight comes with a fascinating Lakota performance; a farewell prayer song and traditional dance marks the perfect end to our adventures.
Board your return flight home
Enjoy an included breakfast at the inn this morning before transferring to the Rapid City airport for your flight home.
Please Note: All sightseeing is subject to change due to road conditions, repairs, and weather conditions. Seasonality may affect the frequency and availability of ranger activities within the National Parks.
Please Note: In the National Parks, and in some of the more remote areas, you will stay in lodges that are basic but comfortable. Although not rated by the Hotel & Travel Index, they have been personally inspected by Vantage staff. On some departures, your hotel accommodations may be substituted with similar accommodations.
*All park and hotel accommodations are non-smoking.