Autorondreis Enjoy the Splendor of the Rockies
Met deze autorondreis in het Noord-Westen van Amerika wordt u omringt door de schoonheid van de nationale parken van de Amerikaanse Rockies.
De historische plaatsen die u tijdens deze reis zult bezoeken zijn Crazy Horse Memorial, Mount Rushmore, en Wounded Knee Museum en ervaar de "Old West" in Deadwood, Helena, and Jackson Hole. Geniet van de scenic byways en routes die door dit prachtige landschap in Wyoming en Montana gaan.
Highlights: Denver-Rocky Mountain National Park-Mammoth Site-Wild Mustang Sanctuary-Crazy Horse Memorial-Mount Rushmore-Badlands National Park-Wounded Knee Museum-Little Bighorn Battlefield-Kalispell-Glacier National Park-Yellowstone National Park-Grand Teton National Park-Jackson Hole.
17 dagen /16 nachten - inclusief: overnachtingen in standaard accommodatie, toeristische informatie en roadbook, 16 dagen huurauto (Midsize / Fullsize voor 3 & 4 personen) Including ongelimiteerde mijlen, Loss Damage Waiver (LDW), Liability Insurance Supplement (LIS), Taxes, Surcharges & Fees.
Beschrijving: Surround yourself by natural beauty in this journey through the American Rockies. Enjoy the scenic byways and routes that wind through magnificent landscapes and panoramas in Wyoming and Montana. See history preserved at Crazy Horse Memorial, Mount Rushmore, and Wounded Knee Museum, and experience the “Old West” in the towns of Deadwood, Helena, and Jackson Hole.
Day 01: Arrive in Denver, CO
Arrive at Denver International Airport (DEN) and proceed to your hotel. Denver has the urban charms of an industrious city, combined with all of the mystery and romance of the old West. Located at just over five thousand feet above sea level, the “Mile High City” was one of the first settlements to not be centrally located to a navigable body of water or a functioning railway. A speck of gold was discovered here and led many eager fortune seekers to make camp. Although no major gold discovery was ever had, William H. Larimer arrived in 1859 and laid out a plan for the city. Today, Denver is a thriving center of commerce and finance with a lingering twinkle of its rugged beginnings.
Day 02: Denver – Rocky Mountains National Park – Cheyenne, WY (194mi/310km)
This morning depart Denver and begin driving toward Rocky Mountain National Park. Here the Rocky Mountains keep a watchful eye on the dramatic landscape below. There are forests of pine and fir and fields of wildflowers which make for spectacular vistas. Rocky Mountain National Park is unique because of its diverse terrain caused in large part by the extremes of elevation that exist within it. A prime wildlife-viewing area, the park is home to elk, mule deer, beavers, coyotes, river otters, moose, bighorn sheep, and an abundance of songbirds. Trail Ridge Road, which cuts west through the middle of the park, is rated among the most scenic highways in America. It was designated an All-American Road in 1996, one of the first six in the nation. Climbing to 12,187 feet near Fall River Pass, Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous paved highway in the United States. Exhibits at the Alpine Visitor Center at Fall River Pass, 11,800 feet above sea level, explain life on the alpine tundra. Continue on to Cheyenne for an overnight stay.
Day 03: Cheyenne – Hot Springs, SD (250mi/405km)
Depart Cheyenne this morning and drive toward Hot Springs, South Dakota, famous for its healing warm-water springs. Stroll along the Freedom Trail that runs along the banks of the Fall River where you can walk under the waterfall. Experience the unique shops, galleries, coffee houses, book stores and restaurants that occupy the century-old sandstone buildings that dot the landscape along the streets. Explore the 1890 railroad depot that now serves as the Visitor Information Center. Start at the world famous Mammoth Site where you can see history being uncovered right before your eyes. It is the only display of mammoth fossils in the US. In 1974, building of a housing project came to an abrupt halt when a tractor driver unearthed a seven-foot tusk. Paleontologists soon declared that the workers had discovered the 26,000-year-old grave of Columbian and Woolly mammoths, 52 have been found to date. Inside the dome, fascinating toursexplain how these 10-ton mammoths, along with camels, bears and rodents, were trapped in a steep-sided sinkhole and were gradually covered by sediment. At the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, you can see wild mustangs in their natural habitat with their heads held proudly high and hear their pounding hoof beats as they freely gallop over the open range.
Day 04: Hot Springs –Custer State Park – Mount Rushmore – Rapid City, SD (75mi/122km)
Today, drive toward Rapid City. On your way, you may choose to pass by Custer State Park, the second largest State Park in America and home to a variety of wildlife and magnificent scenery. Continue toward the four figures carved in stone at Mount Rushmore. They represent the first 150 years of American History. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt are captured in stone as the visionaries who individually contributed to the foundation of the United States. In addition to the carved granite faces, here you will find an amphitheater, museum/theater complex, Visitor Orientation Center, Presidential Trail, gift shop, bookstore, and dining facilities. To complete your Rushmore experience, view the evening lighting ceremony. You might also consider a visit to the Crazy Horse Memorial, home of the world’s largest mountain sculpture in progress. It tells the story in granite of the great and patriotic Native American hero, Crazy Horse, who died in 1877. The Memorial's visitor complex includes the 40,000 square foot Welcome Center and theaters, the Indian Museum of North America, the Native American Educational & Cultural Center, the sculptor’s log home studio and workshop, indoor and outdoor galleries, museum gift shop, restaurant and snack bar areas and expansive viewing veranda. Enjoy an overnight stay in Rapid City.
Day 05: Rapid City – Wounded Knee Museum – Badlands National Park – Rapid City, SD (161mi/258km)
Depart Rapid City this morning for a round trip that will take you through the Badlands National Park and the neighboring city of Wall for a visit to the Wounded Knee Museum. Millions of years of wind, water and erosion have created the chiseled spires, deep canyons and jagged buttes of Badlands National Park. Covering 244,000 acres, Badlands National Park is one of the largest protected mixed-grass prairies in the United States. The park is home to many species of wildlife including bighorn sheep, bison, the swift fox and the endangered black-footed ferret. Antelope and deer are commonly seen roaming near roadways and picnic areas. Take the first hour to watch the Park’s informational video and tour the exhibit at the Visitor Center; then, drive the 240 Loop Road (approximately 60min.) making stops as needed for picture taking. Depart the Badlands via I-90 to the historic town of Wall for a visit to the Wounded Knee Museum. Have lunch at Wollies, a local favorite on the way in. At the Wounded Knee Museum exhibits and photographs provide a vivid picture of what really happened at the famous battle of Wounded Knee. This narrative museum offers an authentic recount of the story behind the legendary massacre. Allow at least 2 hours to enjoy this experience before returning to Rapid City.
Day 06: Rapid City – Deadwood – Devil’s Tower – Sheridan, WY (286mi/458km)
Leave Rapid City behind this morning and set out to historic Deadwood in the Black Hills. This old mining town is still as wild at heart as it was in the 1800s when the outlaws, gamblers and gunslingers ruled the streets. Today, the entire town is a National Historic Landmark and an ideal place to release your inner outlaw. Visit a couple of Deadwood’s 80 historic gaming halls. Continue on to Devil’s Tower National Monument; the nearly vertical monolith known as Devils Tower rises 1,267 feet above the Belle Fourche River. Known by several northern plains tribes as Bears Lodge, it is a sacred site of worship for many American Indians. Continue on to Sheridan for an overnight stay.
Day 07: Sheridan – Little Bighorn Battlefield – Billings, MT (131mi/210km)
Today, depart Sheridan for a visit to Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument on your way to Billings. The National Monument Visitor Center and Museum features exhibits relating to the Battle of Little Bighorn in which 210 members of the United States Cavalry under Colonel George A. Custer perished. Continue to Billings for an overnight stay. Billings is home to an appealing variety of historic buildings, museums, and interesting sightseeing opportunities. Stroll through Billings's sights on your own, or take a more organized approach to your Billings sightseeing by checking on local tours.
Day 08: Billings – Helena, MT (219mi/350km)
Drive west to Helena today for a real western city experience. Helena’s 19th century architecture dazzles and its gold rush history compels. Born during the Gold Rush of 1864, this is a rare town that’s managed to become a modern city while retaining the character of its early years: a perfect place to relive the Old West. The many museums and historic attractions will take you back to learn and, in some cases, even relive some wild and exciting times. You’ll find plenty of fascinating ways to experience the past from the Corps of Discovery to the rough-and-tumble days of the cowboys who won the West.
Day 09: Helena – Kalispell, MT (194mi/310km)
Drive northwest today to Kalispell. Established in the early 1890s as a result of railway expansion, Kalispell enjoyed moderate growth throughout the 1900s, serving as the commercial center for much of the county. Since 2000 however, the city has more than doubled in size and now benefits from a flourishing art community with more than two dozen art galleries and studios spread throughout the city. Antique stores and gift shops offer additional opportunity for shopping. The city features two museums: the Hockaday Museum of Art, featuring exhibits, lectures, classes and events year-round and the 1894 Central School Museum, Kalispell’s first school, which now serves as an historical museum.
Day 10: Kalispell – Glacier National Park – Kalispell, MT (65mi/104km)
Visit Glacier National Park today. Situated in northwestern Montana and bordering the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia to the North and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation to the East, Glacier International Park contains 2,000 square miles of some of the most beautiful and dramatic natural scenery on the continent. Glacier National Park contains two mountain ranges which are sometimes referred to as the southern extension of the Canadian Rockies. Comprised of multi-hued summits and peaks carved out by ancient glaciers, the mountains of Glacier National Park rise abruptly from gently rolling plains. Some 762 lakes, dozens of glaciers, and innumerable waterfalls glisten in forested valleys. A scenic highway crosses the park, making the surrounding beauty accessible to the casual traveler.
Day 11: Kalispell – Missoula – Butte, MT (243mi/389km)
This morning, head south on Highway 93 for a stunningly beautiful drive along the shores of Flathead Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. Stop by the city of Missoula for a visit to the Hellgate Trading Post, which was initially established in 1860 to trade with Indians, miners traveling through the area, ranchers, and farmers settled in adjoining valleys. Continue via the Pintler Scenic Byway for a brief stop in the small town of Philipsburg where you can mine for saphires before continuing to Butte. As a small city nestled in the Rocky Mountains along the Continental Divide, Butte serves as a springboard to almost 4 million acres of state and federal public land. Butte has great restaurants, spirited night spots, unique places to visit and a countryside that all of Montana envies; because of its setting, it provides a wealth of outdoor opportunities.
Day 12: Butte – West Yellowstone, MT (146mi/234km)
After a good night’s rest, continue the journey to West Yellowstone where you will spend two nights. Yellowstone was the first national park in the world, the example on which parks everywhere are modeled. One of the most famous park features is Old Faithful. This famous geyser got its name because of its punctuality and predictability. Eruptions at Old Faithful last anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes, and spray water and steam up to 184 feet vertically. Yellowstone also has freely roaming herds of buffalo. It also includes the nation's largest wildlife preserve, an enormous lake, the Continental Divide, some 10,000 hydrothermal features, and over 1,000 miles of trails.
Day 13: Yellowstone National Park
Continue exploring this marvel of nature for the entire day. This park’s diversity of attractions is a match for any location on the planet. Explore the interesting park locations and the hydrothermal features by strolling the boardwalks built over top them. Yellowstone's wildlife is as spectacular as the hydrothermal features. Because of the park's remote location, and because of its large size, animals roam freely and are able to live in a natural way much as their kind has lived for centuries. Moose, elk and buffalo are among the most populous of inhabitants.
Day 14: West Yellowstone –Grand Teton National Park – Jackson Hole, WY (120mi/194km)
Drive away from Yellowstone and pass the Grand Teton Mountains on the way to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Teton Range is forty miles long and experiences and average snowfall of 191 inches. Grand Teton, at 13,770 feet (4,197m) is the tallest peak in this range. The views of the often snow-capped mountains will be spectacular. Stop at one of the many vistas or lakes for an excellent photograph. Continue on to Jackson Hole. Cowboys come to life in this town that was once a fur trading post. Saloons dot the corners and authentic artwork of the west can be found in the many galleries. Visit a local ranch for a delicious cookout and Wild West Show. Guided tours of the area are available by horseback or even hot air balloon!
Day 15: Jackson Hole – Rock Springs, WY (182mi/291km)
Enjoy Jackson Hole’s attractions for most of the day before continuing to Rock Springs. Jackson has developed a large shopping and eating district, located around the town square. Within this district, all types of goods can be found with businesses embracing the strong western tradition of the region. Continue on your journey by driving through beautiful Bridger Teton National Forest as you make your way to Rock Springs for the night.
Day 16: Rock Springs – Fort Collins, CO (272mi/435km)
Drive toward Fort Collins, Colorado this morning. Nestled at the base of the Rocky Mountains, Fort Collins offers exciting recreational opportunities, unique cultural offerings, and is a regional center for shopping. Throughout the year, live music and entertainment, as well as great local dining, can be found throughout the historic downtown area. Fort Collins offers the convenience of a small town with all the amenities of a larger city.
Day 17: Fort Collins – Denver International Airport, CO (69mi/110km)
Depart at leisure to Denver International Airport (DEN).