I love sharing my travels with you, and it’s even better when you get to come along! I’m teaming up with Rick and Allison from Cruise Planners to host a Tauck Tour of Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks and I’d love for you to join us! It’s going to be a small group of mostly my fans/friends (I don’t like the word fans haha!). There will be some other travelers on the trip, but by the end of the week, I’m sure they will be our friends too! We’re going to explore National Parks and the Wild West, see incredible landscapes and wildlife, and go to a real working ranch! I can’t wait to see Old Faithful, the Black Hills of South Dakota, and the Bighorn Mountains. It’s going to be a week full of exploration, nature, and some relaxation mixed in, and I’m just so excited. Since it’s a small group, I’m also excited about the friendships and bonds that will be built and strengthened. I’m already counting down the days!
The tour will take place from May 23, 2020 – May 30, 2020.
There will be an optional pre-tour arrival date of May 22, 2020 and the hotel this night will be compliments of Cruise Planners ($380 value).
Larger-than-life sculptures reside in the Black Hills… cowboys and working ranches define Wyoming’s northern landscapes… Yellowstone National Park compels with natural treasures that never fail to evoke pride… and the jagged granite peaks of the Tetons contrast with forests and rivers below. This is the American West, the true American West – and if you ever doubt you’re in the heart and soul of it, just wait until you step foot in the town of Cody, where adventurous stories of the “Old” West are heard again and again… and the rodeo reigns supreme. Explore Yellowstone’s amazing geothermal features… the colossal Black Hills masterpieces of Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial… the peaks and glaciers of the Tetons… Wyoming’s ranch country…it’s a trip of a lifetime.
The Group Size
It will be a small group of around 40 people total
The Full Itinerary
May 23, 2021
Optional Pre-tour arrival. Hotel compliments of Cruise Planners!
May 24, 2021
Welcome to Wyoming and the Tetons
10:00 AM: Take a hike around the lodge and explore the wonderful nature.
Tour begins: 6:00 PM, Jackson Lake Lodge. A transfer is included from Jackson Hole Airport to the Jackson Lake Lodge inside Grand Teton National Park. Welcome to Wyoming’s iconic western landscape of vast grasslands and towering mountain ranges, the historic town of Jackson, and majestic Grand Teton National Park with its jagged peaks, glaciers, lakes, and dense forest. Join us for tonight’s welcome reception and dinner at your scenic lakeside resort in the heart of the national park.
LODGING Jackson Lake Lodge
May 25, 2021
Snake River rafting, Mormon Row & Jackson
Today, view some of North America’s most spectacular mountain scenery – and keep an eye peeled for wildlife ranging from moose and elk to beavers and bald eagles – during a ten-mile float trip* along the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park; there’s no better vantage point than your raft on the river from which to gape at (or photograph) the majestic peaks of the Tetons. Then pay a brief visit to the park’s Mormon Row Historic District, whose preservation is being supported by a major grant from Tauck. A homesteaders’ settlement dating back to 1890 located in an undeveloped area of the park, Mormon Row is home to a number of weathered historic structures – including the iconic T.A. Moulton barn, an unofficial symbol of the park – that (along with their dramatic Teton Range backdrop) attract photographers from around the world, and convey the sense that you’ve traveled back in time. Continue on to the historic and trendy Western town of Jackson, gateway to the Tetons and the Jackson Hole region, for an afternoon spent as you please; or enjoy optional activities from horseback riding to fishing (available at additional cost) back at Jackson Lake Lodge. Enjoy dinner at your inside- the-park lodge tonight.
MEALS Breakfast, Dinner
LODGING Jackson Lake Lodge
May 26, 2021
Yellowstone National Park
This morning, you may want to peruse American Indian artwork and artifacts on display at the Colter Bay visitor center before heading out of Grand Teton National Park and traveling to Yellowstone National Park, established in 1872 as the world’s first national park, known for its unique geothermal activity. Arrive at your historic lodge, the Old Faithful Inn, in time for lunch – it’s just steps away from Old Faithful Geyser, shooting up to 184 feet in the air approximately every 90 minutes. Learn more about this phenomenon and check out the Upper Geyser Basin (which includes Old Faithful and many more) on an excursion this afternoon in the park; enjoy dinner at your leisure at your classic inside-the-park lodging close to Old Faithful itself.
MEALS Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
LODGING Old Faithful Inn
May 27, 2021
Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon and more
With 10,000 hot springs, thundering waterfalls, two-thirds of all geysers in the world and endless forests, Yellowstone inspires awe. Explore its geologic wonders – including hundreds of geysers, brilliantly colored hot springs, steaming fumaroles and more – that early 19th-century skeptics found too astounding to be believed as you follow the Lower Grand Loop Road to Fountain Paint Pot’s collection of colorful, bubbling mud pots. Then view the dramatic Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, carved by the churning waters of the Yellowstone River. Make your way through Hayden Valley before arriving for an overnight at the Lake Yellowstone Hotel, a historic 19th-century property on the tranquil shores of Yellowstone Lake, where you’ll settle in and have dinner this evening.
MEALS Breakfast, Dinner
LODGING Lake Yellowstone Hotel
May 28, 2021
Discovering the West in Buffalo Bill’s Cody
Leaving the mountains for the open grazing land of western Wyoming, arrive in the quintessential 1890s town of Cody, named for its famous founder, William “Buffalo Bill” Cody – buffalo hunter, army scout, Wild West Show entrepreneur, and tireless inventor of tall tales. For an authentic picture of the art and culture of the Wild West – and the life and legend of Mr. Cody himself – visit the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, a complex of five museums that will immerse you in American Western culture and mythology: the Whitney Gallery of Western Art, the Draper Museum of Natural History, the Cody Firearms Museum, the Plains Indian Museum and the Buffalo Bill Museum. More western fun beckons during an overnight stay in Cody this evening, as you attend the world-famous Cody Nite Rodeo (seasonal, June through August), a fixture here since 1938.
MEALS Breakfast, Dinner
LODGING Holiday Inn® Cody at Buffalo Bill Village
May 29, 2021
The Bighorns & a double helping of ranch life
Upon departing Cody this morning, traverse the Bighorn Mountains with their breathtaking vistas of rugged canyons, sparkling waterfalls, miles of grassland, and colorful vegetation en route to a double dose of authentic Wyoming ranch life. First, feel the spirit of the West during an authentic ranch experience – including a cookhouse lunch, then your choice of a horseback ride*, a horse whisperer or a roping demonstration – at the TA Guest Ranch in Buffalo, Wyoming. A real working cattle ranch in the heart of “cowboy country,” the TA Ranch was the site of a famous siege and shootout during the infamous “Johnson County War” in 1892; you can still see the old gunshot holes in the ranch’s original horse barn! Later, continue on to an overnight and dinner at your leisure at yet another real Wyoming ranch – the Ranch at Ucross.
MEALS Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
LODGING The Ranch at Ucross
May 30, 2021
Crazy Horse & Mt. Rushmore in the Black Hills
Travel into the Black Hills of South Dakota today, where you’ll have lunch and visit the in-progress Crazy Horse Memorial. Work on the colossal rock sculpture has been ongoing for more than 50 years; it will be the largest stone carving in the world when completed. Continue on to one of America’s best-known icons – Mount Rushmore National Memorial, where the faces of former presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln are carved into granite bluffs; learn about the monument’s creation. Later, arrive in Rapid City, where you’ll share favorite highlights of this most unforgettable of Yellowstone tours at tonight’s farewell reception and dinner.
LODGING The Rushmore Hotel & Suites
MEALS Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
May 31, 2021
Tour ends: Rapid City, South Dakota. Fly home anytime; a transfer from The Rushmore Hotel & Suites to Rapid City Regional Airport is included. Flight departure times vary; allow a minimum of two hours for flight check-in.
NIGHTS 1 – 2 GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, WYOMING
Jackson Lake Lodge
It’s hard to sit still here. Everywhere you look, wilderness beckons. See the spectacular Tetons rising out of the sky above the Snake River from the huge picture windows 60 feet tall in the main lodge. Gaze across the shimmering lake and spy glimpses of wildlife ambling near the shore as you sit down to eat in the Mural Room. Or peer through your handy binoculars – a must for “up-close” viewing of mountain slopes dotted with wildflowers – while you are enjoying the only swimming pool in Grand Teton National Park. Set in the heart of the park, the Lodge offers all kinds of outdoor activities, including horseback riding, float trips and boat excursions. So when you’re not off exploring postcard- perfect sights near the Lodge like Jenny Lake and the wildlife-rich Snake River with Tauck, you’re free to enjoy your stay as you like.
NIGHT 3 YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, WYOMING
Old Faithful Inn
In 1987, the Old Faithful Inn was designated a National Historic Landmark because it was “the first building in a national park constructed in an architectural style harmonious with the grandeur of the surrounding landscape.” Its seven-story-high log lobby is unique in American architecture. Created with gnarled logs and rough-sawn wood from the Northern Pacific Railroad, it has a sense of place as identifiable as the park itself. But that’s not the only thing special about this 100+-year-old hotel. It is also steps from the world-famous Old Faithful Geyser, where you can count on the clockwork timing of its plume of steam that soars skyward every hour. When you are not outside marveling at this natural wonder, you can enjoy the Inn’s immense lobby and huge stone fireplace, comfortable rooms and a great restaurant.
NIGHT 4 YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK WYOMING
Lake Yellowstone Hotel
Originally built in 1891, the stately Lake Yellowstone Hotel is the oldest historic hotel in remote Yellowstone National Park. The hotel, which is situated on the shores of lovely Lake Yellowstone, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its graceful, refined ambiance recalls the 1920s. The views from the hotel dining room out over the lake are magnificent, as are the vistas from the tranquil sunroom
NIGHT 5 – CODY, WYOMING
Holiday Inn® Cody at Buffalo Bill Village
This hotel is just blocks away from the Buffalo Bill Historical Center and close to the Cody Nite Rodeo and Dan Miller’s Music Revue, offering you one of the best locations in this historic “Old West” town. There’s an outdoor swimming pool and a small fitness facility when you’re ready to wind down after a busy day and an on-site laundromat available to guests. The Bottoms Up Lounge is a great place to relax after a busy day.
NIGHT 6 – UCROSS, WYOMING
The Ranch at Ucross
No trip to the great American West would be complete without a visit to a real dude ranch. Days start with a cowboy breakfast spread, and end with a dinner buffet that has everything from grilled trout to Wyoming beef and tender chicken – with an apple pie that can’t be beat. Lodging accommodations vary and feature views of horses grazing in the back pasture, or sage-covered hills well suited for a trail ride. There are so many activities here you’ll never run out of things to do. You can choose to ride a horse or splash in the pool. Play tennis, soccer or challenge your traveling companions to a game of horseshoes. Board games make indoor time fun too. And believe it or not, there is one TV at the ranch but according to the ranch hands, there’s hardly ever a kid in front of it!
NIGHT 7 – RAPID CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA
The Rushmore Hotel and Suites
Ideally located in Rapid City’s historic downtown district just steps away from popular entertainment options, shopping areas and businesses, The Rushmore Hotel & Suites offers warm hospitality, an inviting atmosphere, sustainable initiatives, locally inspired cuisine, value added complimentary services and outstanding customer service, making it the place to stay in the Black Hills. Spacious, newly renovated guest rooms feature new 40-inch, 1080p, high-definition, flat screen TV’s, on- demand movies, executive desks with ergonomic chairs and coffee makers. The hotel offers a heated indoor swimming pool, whirlpool, Fitness Center and Business Center. The Enigma restaurant is known for its appealing menu infused with local charm and its popular mystery dinners, while the 445 Lounge offers 65 delicious martinis.
Double Occupancy: $4,390.00 per person
Triple Occupancy: $3,885.00 per person
Single Occupancy: $5,612.00 per person
*Price includes all taxes, fees, hotel, meals as outlined
Trip/Travel Protection: $269.00 per person
- Suggested gratuities for tour director $80 pp
- Suggested gratuities for bus driver $32 pp
Deposit is $350 per person.
Some Questions You May Have
How Do I Book?
If you’re ready to book, we’re ready to help you!
You can reserve your place by emailing Rick at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Here are just a couple of the benefits you’ll get:
- All accommodations included
- Pre-tour hotel included compliments of Cruise Planners ($380 value)
- Meals listed in the above itinerary included
- All excursions included
- Tours with local experts and handpicked guides
What About Flights?
We are working with Rick and Allison and they can get you all squared away!
What Will the Weather be Like?
The high temperatures in the summer months average 70 to 90°F (21 to 32°C) and the lows average 40 to 60°F (4 to 16°C). The overnight temperatures can drop to the freezing point even during the summer at the highest elevations. Rainfall is light to moderate throughout the region. Salt Lake City receives the least amount of rain with an average of less than 1 in (25 mm) per month during summer; Jackson averages 1.5 in (38 mm) and Rapid City averages 2.5 in (63 mm.)
Okay, if you’re as excited as I am (I hope you are), then I would highly recommend signing up ASAP as this trip is incredibly limited. If you’re looking for a little adventure, some gorgeous scenery, and lots of fun, then this is the perfect trip for you. I hope I’ll see you there!