Trip reference number: 103306
Beginning in Denver, this epic road trip winds its way northwest, via the prairies and granite peaks of the Custer State National Park to Yellowstone's volcanic icons. Home to around half the world's geysers – including that ultimate crowd-pleaser, Old Faithful – it's a state-border-spanning region of hot springs, mud baths and colourful terraces of effervescent pools. The wildlife, too, is rich and varied, with packs of wolves roaming the plains and moose, elk, bison and buffalo all easily spotted from roads and hiking trails. Explore its unique beauty before moving on to Grand Teton's towering peaks and sparkling blue lakes, ending in the Rocky Mountain National Park, where snow-capped mountains give way to forests and meadows that provide sanctuary to everything from black bears and coyotes to elusive mountain lions.
Days 1-2: London to Denver
Enjoy included airport lounge access before your flight to Denver, state capital of Colorado, and make your way to your downtown hotel. Denver began life as a gold-rush town as far back as 1858 where gunslingers, gamblers, gold miners, cattlemen and of course the town sheriff made this corner of Colorado the epitome of the American wild west. Now it's a bustling ultra-modern metropolis with first-class shops, restaurants, galleries, and museums where you can learn all about the region' fascinating history. Spend two days exploring this exciting city and its surrounding region including nearby Colorado Springs and Pike's Peak, just 70 miles from the city.
Day 3: Cheyenne
Pick up your hire car and depart from Denver to Cheyenne, the capital of Wyoming, breaking up your drive to South Dakota. If you journey here in July, be sure to check out the Frontier Days festival – over 40 years old – where you can enjoy some of Wyoming's best local cuisine at the food stalls put on by the city's enthusiastic residents.
Stay: Little America Cheyenne (Standard)
Days 4-6: Custer State National Park/Black Hills – South Dakota
Head to South Dakota's Custer State National Park and Black Hills, a region of swaying prairie grasses, forested hillsides and roaming herds of bison and elk. Custer State National Park is packed full of spectacular granite peak along with the 19th century legend of Custer's Last Stand. You can also visit Wind Cave National Park – an underground cave network which, at 140 miles of explored length, is the fifth longest in the world. Spend your last day in the exploring the fossil-rich Badlands National Park, home to 244,000 acres of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires, interspersed with mixed-grass prairie home to roaming wildlife. The 31.5-mile Badlands Loop National Scenic Byway offers 14 designated overlooks from where you can enjoy the dramatic landforms.
Stay: Baymont Suites Keystone
Day 7: Buffalo
With more than a dozen historic buildings lining its main street, Buffalo, Wyoming offers fascinating frontier heritage along with spectacular scenery. Nestled in the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains, a sister range to the Rockies, it is half way between Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park. Bighorn National Forest provides a diverse landscape that includes lush greenlands and glacier-carved valleys. Drive the Cloud Peak Skyway Scenic Byway for the best view of the Bighorn Mountains and Cloud Peak Wilderness. Not far from Buffalo is the area known as Hole in the Wall, the famous hideout of outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and other members of the notorious "Wild Bunch." Tours from the Hole in the Wall Ranch allow you to relax and cool your feet in the same meadows and streams that Butch and co found so inviting after days on the run.
Days 8-10: Yellowstone National Park
With over 10,000 hydrothermal features, stunning and varied landscapes and a rich diversity of wildlife, it's hard to find enough superlatives to describe Yellowstone National Park. You'll have two days here to explore some of this enormous park and while in real terms you're only going to scratch the surface of what's on offer here, your stay will certainly give you a flavour of what is undoubtedly one of America's finest natural wonders. Visit Madison Natural Area where you'll find bubbling geothermal pools, bubbling through the earth's surface in a multitude of colours. Visit Old Faithful and its surrounding area, home to an incredible 60 percent of the world's geysers and take in the breathtaking scenery of the Yellowstone River Grand Canyon – a 1,200-foot deep, 20-mile-long canyon with a series of spectacular waterfalls and head to the Lake Area, home to Yellowstone Lake – the largest high-elevation lake in North America at some 7,500 feet above sea level.
Days 11-12: Grand Teton National Park
The Tetons, a spectacular 40-mile long mountain range that rises straight out of the surrounding plains, boasts twelve peaks over 12,000 feet and provide an impressive backdrop to this beautiful lake-filled national park. You'll have two days to explore the region's beautiful lakes and mountains along a series of scenic drives including the Teton Park Road that follows the base of the mountain range from Moose to Jackson lake Junction; Jenny Lake scenic drive that skirts the shores of the clear blue waters of Jenny lake; and Signal Mountain summit road that affords a spectacular panoramic view of the region.
Day 13: Rock Springs/Flaming Gorge National Monument
The building of Flaming Gorge Dam in 1962 added to the already dramatic grandeur of the steep-walled Red Canyon in which it's located. More than 200,000 acres of protected land now surround the 91 mile Flaming Gorge Reservoir, surrounded by some of Utah's highest peaks and the lush forests of the majestic High Uinta Wilderness. Start your visit at the Red Canyon Vista and Visitor Center before striking our along the Flaming Gorge-Uintas National Scenic Byway, which traces the reservoir's scenic shores. Discover the Utah Field House of Natural History and Dinosaur National Monument, and allow time for a tour of the Flaming Gorge Dam. Nearby, Fossil Butte National Monument showcases some of the most incredible fossils in the world. A 7.5-mile scenic drive provides viewsof Fossil Butte and the surrounding area. Wayside exhibits illustrate the subtropical environment in which creatures existed 50 million yea...
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