The Great National Parks: Yellowstone, Grand Teton & Mount Rushmore

Highlights & InclusionsItineraryPricing Information Terms & Conditions
Departure Date: July 5, 2019
Duration: 13 Days / 12 Nights
Price from: $3,095
Single Room Supplement: Waived
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In order to bring you the greatest selection of destinations and itineraries, Gutsy Women Travel has worked with our partner GCT to reserve space on this 2019 guided vacation. This trip is open to men and women, and will operate with a larger group size than our traditional Gutsy Women departures.


Highlights & Inclusions

  • Be sure to mention booking code G9-25972 to receive all the Gutsy benefits!
  • Airport transfers are included when you purchase our operator's International air to coincide with trip's day by day agenda.
  • Accommodations for 12 nights in comfortable rooms with private baths
  • 21 meals: 12 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 5 dinners
  • 14 included features: 11 guided tours and 3 exclusive Discovery Series events: Mormon religion discussion • Japanese-American Confinement Site • Native American cultural experience
  • Exclusive services of a local Grand Circle Program Director (assigned to no more than 42 travelers)
  • Gratuities on your main trip for local guides and motorcoach drivers
  • Personal headset on all included and optional tours
  • Private motorcoach land travel
  • Baggage handling for 1 piece of luggage per person, including tips
  • 5% Frequent Traveler Credit toward your next Grand Circle trip


Itinerary

Epic, rugged, and wild, few things embody the bold American spirit as fully as our great national parks—a uniquely American concept. Explore the expansive wilderness and geothermal wonderland of Yellowstone—the first national park in the world, and still one of its most enchanting—delve into the history of the country’s lawless frontier days, admire the mountain majesty of Grand Teton, and marvel at the natural and man-made marvels that abound at some of the most magnificent settings on Earth, from the austere faces of Mount Rushmore to the ever-changing landscape of the Dakota Badlands.

DAY 1 Arrive Salt Lake City, Utah

Accommodations: Little America Hotel or similar

Travel to Salt Lake City today, with your arrival time depending on your departure city. Transfer to your hotel, check out your surroundings with your Program Director on an orientation walk, and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.

DAY 2 Salt Lake City • Mormon religion discussion

Meals included: B D Accommodations: Little America Hotel or similar

After breakfast today, gather with your fellow travelers and Program Director for a Welcome Briefing about what you’ll experience together over the coming days, and then set out on an included tour of Salt Lake City, site of the 2002 Winter Olympics.

On your tour, you’ll visit Capitol Hill, where the domed administrative center looks out over city, and which features inviting parks and green spaces ideal for idle strolling. You'll also explore Temple Square, world headquarters of the Mormon Church. The massive temple, with its six spires, dominates the square, which also features a monument to Brigham Young and the “Three Witnesses Monument.” The latter memorial honors the three men who testified that an angel showed them the golden plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated. Marvel at the awesome Tabernacle, dedicated in 1893, and famous for its amazing acoustics and Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

While at Temple Square, you'll enjoy an exclusive Discovery Series discussion about Mormon religion, including their turbulent history, and their tradition of sending missionaries around the world.

After your tour, you’ll have the rest of the afternoon to explore on your own, and seek out lunch. The city boasts many excellent restaurants, and your Program Director will be happy to suggest a few if you’re looking for recommendations.

This evening, join your fellow travelers again for an included Welcome Dinner.

DAY 3 Salt Lake City • Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Meals included: B D Accommodations: Snow King Resort Hotel or similar

This morning, depart for Jackson Hole, Wyoming, stopping along the way at scenic Bear Lake on the border of Utah and Idaho, where you’ll have time to seek out lunch on your own.

Then, continue on your way to Jackson Hole, arriving at your hotel later today. Long before the pioneers came west, the rock formations of the Grand Tetons presided over a traditional summer home for the Native Americans. When the early “mountain men” ventured out this way, the area became a destination for hunters and fur trappers. The first permanent settlers arrived in 1881, establishing Jackson Hole as a cattle-ranching center. The skiing industry took off here in the 1930s and Jackson Hole remains a winter sports mecca to this day. In the summer, this year-round resort offers hiking, river rafting, camping, and other outdoor activities.

Dinner is included this evening.

DAY 4 Jackson Hole • Snake River float

Meals included: B Accommodations: Snow King Resort Hotel or similar

This morning, you’ll head out to Snake River, where you’ll enjoy an included float tour. Wind your way through the gentle waters of the Snake River corridor, granting you a unique look at the unspoiled wilderness of Grand Teton National Park. You’ll travel on an inflatable raft, steered by an expert guide as you journey past coniferous forests, backdropped by the snowcapped peaks of the Teton Range, the youngest mountains in the Rockies and arguably some of the most scenic. Your guide will help you spot the wildlife that makes its home in and around the water, including salmon, elk, moose, falcons, eagles, and more.

After your river experience, you’ll have the rest of the day at leisure to explore and enjoy lunch and dinner on your own in Jackson Hole. A shuttle service is available to transport you between your hotel and downtown Jackson.

DAY 5 Jackson Hole • Yellowstone National Park • West Yellowstone, Montana

Meals included: B L Accommodations: Best Western Desert Inn or similar

Today, you’ll depart for Yellowstone—keep your cameras handy, as your driving route will take you through some of the gorgeous mountain scenery of Grand Teton National Park.

As you enter from the South Entrance, you’ll enjoy your first of three included tours of Yellowstone National Park. You’ll pass through toward West Yellowstone, enjoying an included lunch along the way, tracing a route that takes you by the tranquil, tree-lined waters of Lewis Lake, the brilliantly-hued thermal pools of the West Thumb Geyser Basin, across the Continental Divide for your first look at Old Faithful, and more.

Arrive late this afternoon in West Yellowstone. This relaxed small town serves as a perfect gateway to Yellowstone National Park, and you'll have the evening to stroll the town and enjoy dinner on your own.

DAY 6 West Yellowstone • Yellowstone National Park

Meals included: B D Accommodations: Best Western Desert Inn or similar

Spend the day in America's first national park, established to preserve its remarkable geothermal formations—there are more geysers and hot springs here than in the rest of the world combined. Take in the natural phenomena of shooting geysers, and keep your eyes open for bighorn sheep, elk, coyote, grizzly, black bear, and other wildlife, as you explore the park, which remains 99% undeveloped—true wilderness.

You'll stop at Mammoth Hot Springs, Fountain Paint Pot, and Old Faithful, the famed geyser that has been spouting an average of once every hour for 100 years. During the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition in 1870, this famous geyser was officially given its name—the first in the park to receive its own moniker. Enjoy time to explore on your own here, and enjoy an independent lunch and views of this natural wonder.

After your tour, return to West Yellowstone for an included dinner.

DAY 7 West Yellowstone • Yellowstone National Park • Cody, Wyoming

Meals included: B L Accommodations: Holiday Inn at Buffalo Bill Village or similar

This morning, set out upon your third and final tour of Yellowstone National Park as you make your way east toward Cody, Wyoming.

As you journey along the road, you’ll take in a few more of the park's notable sights, including the Mud Volcano Area to see its impressive cluster of hot springs and mud pots, and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone—a magnificent canyon carved out by the thundering falls of the great Yellowstone River. As you revel one last time in the spectacular scenery that abounds, you’ll enjoy an included picnic lunch in the park.

Later today, arrive at your hotel in Cody, where dinner is on your own.

DAY 8 Cody • Japanese-American Confinement Site • Buffalo Bill Center of the West

Meals included: B D Accommodations: Holiday Inn at Buffalo Bill Village or similar

Begin your discoveries today by reflecting upon a controversial chapter of American history during an exclusive Discovery Series visit to Heart Mountain Relocation Center, the site of a former Japanese-American internment camp.

Shortly following the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor and America’s entry into World War II, President Roosevelt authorized the forcible relocation of approximately 120,000 people of Japanese descent into ten relocation centers across the country. Heart Mountain is one of few such facilities with structures still standing today, and is now a museum dedicated to recording the experience of the inmates who lived out the war here—including those who resisted the draft after it was extended to interned Japanese Americans in 1944.

After your visit to the camp, you’ll return to Cody for an independent lunch, followed by an included tour of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Widely regarded as one of America's finest Western museums, the center advances knowledge about the American West through acquiring, exhibiting, and interpreting collections of artifacts and preserving their physical and contextual integrity. It features five internationally acclaimed museums under one roof—the Whitney Gallery of Western Art, the Buffalo Bill Museum, the Plains Indian Museum, the Cody Firearms Museum, and the Draper Museum of Natural History.

You’ll then have some free time to explore Cody independently before dinner, which is included tonight.

DAY 9 Cody • Sheridan

Meals included: B L Accommodations: Holiday Inn Sheridan Convention Center or similar

Depart for Sheridan today, stopping along the way for an included lunch at a local restaurant.

As you ride, you’ll bask in the majestic scenery—ranging from high plains trails to badlands and canyons with magnificent gorges—traveling through the Bighorn Mountains. Learn about local fossils, and marvel at cliffs of rock that loom 2,000 feet overhead. Then stop for a moment of quiet reflection at the Little Bighorn Monument, memorializing the infamous battle between Custer's 7th Calvary and the Sioux and Cheyenne tribes.

Later today, arrive in Sheridan, where dinner is on your own.

DAY 10 Sheridan • Devils Tower • Rapid City, South Dakota

Meals included: B L Accommodations: Holiday Inn Rushmore Plaza or similar

Travel through the Black Hills of Wyoming and South Dakota today, stopping along the way for an included tour of Devils Tower, the United States' first National Monument.

Established as a monument in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt, the tower stands 1,267 feet above the Belle Fourche River—an almost vertical natural monolith, it's the remnant of an ancient volcano. Known by some northern plains tribes as Mato Tipi (Bear's Lodge), it is still a sacred site of worship for many Native Americans. You'll recognize the massive rock as the landing site of the alien spacecraft in the popular film Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Continue on to Rapid City, enjoying an included lunch along the way, and arriving in the late afternoon. Dinner is on your own this evening.

DAY 11 Rapid City • Badlands National Park

Meals included: B Accommodations: Holiday Inn Rushmore Plaza or similar

Enjoy an included tour of Badlands National Park after breakfast. The hunting grounds of Native Americans from as long as 11,000 years ago, the 244,000-acre park has a history that stretches even further back, to an epoch at least 30 million years ago. Fossilized bones uncovered by later Lakota Indians suggested that these now dry lands had once been covered with a body of water, a fact later proved by the many geologists and fossil researchers who have studied the area.

Beyond their canyon-like grandeur, what makes the badlands so unique is the combination of dry ground and loose rock linked by sediment. Both the earth and the rocks themselves are highly resistant to erosion, so that when the infrequent rains hit, the sediment becomes runoff and the rocks can be easily displaced. The scene you see in one visit might be dramatically rearranged at your next.

You'll also visit a different slice of history for an independent lunch: Wall Drug, which was founded in a poor town of 326 people during the Depression. Wall Drug made its name by offering free ice water to thirsty travelers and, as word spread, more came from even greater distances. 82 years later, travelers still come and find a vast array of shops and displays featuring regional curios, historic photos, toys and crafts from South Dakota, and items from Native American and cowboy culture.

Return to Rapid City later today, where the rest of the evening and dinner are on your own.

DAY 12 Rapid City • Crazy Horse Monument & Mount Rushmore • Native American cultural experience

Meals included: B D Accommodations: Holiday Inn Rushmore Plaza or similar

After breakfast, set off on a sightseeing tour of Rapid City, as you make your way to the Crazy Horse Memorial.

Now being constructed just 17 miles southwest of Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial will be the world's largest sculpture once completed. Begun in 1948 by noted sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski at the request of Native Americans, the memorial includes the Indian Museum of North America, the Native American Cultural Center, the sculptor's studio, and a 40,000-square-foot Orientation Center. The dramatic sculpture of the legendary chief astride his horse fulfills the wish of Lakota Chief Standing Bear spoken at the dedication of the statue in 1948: "My fellow chiefs and I would like the white man to know that the red man has great heroes, too." Here, you'll have an opportunity to marvel at the massive statue, and also visit the studio where Ziolkowski worked without pay until his death in 1982.

After an independent lunch, continue on to Mount Rushmore. Certainly you've seen photographs and films (remember Hitchcock's North by Northwest?) of this famous monument—with the heads of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Theodore Roosevelt—sculpted out of the solid granite mountain face to commemorate 150 years of American history. But nothing can compare with viewing it firsthand.

Then, enjoy some free time to contemplate the monument on your own, before returning to Rapid City for an exclusive Discovery Series visit to a Native American cultural center. Here, you’ll observe a traditional dance, and learn more about the local indigenous people’s way of life.

This evening, share a Farewell Dinner at your hotel with your fellow travelers.

DAY 13 Depart Rapid City

Meals included: B

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home. Departure times vary depending on your home city.

Or begin your post-trip extension to New Mexico: Santa Fe & Taos.

POST-TRIP EXTENSION: New Mexico: Santa Fe & Taos 3 nights from only $1095 Travel from only $365 a night From the earthen villages of Native Americans to the plazas built by Spanish conquistadores, New Mexico’s dramatic history unfolds on this post-trip extension as you take in the laid-back pace of Taos and the Spanish pueblo flavor of Sante Fe. With plunging gorges and red stone mesas as your backdrop, you’ll be swept away by the dramatic beauty of the rugged Southwest.

Accommodations

Pricing Information

View Specials & Promotions
Arrival DateSingleSharedDouble
Jul 5, 2019 $3,095 $3,095 $3,095
Your Savings* Past GWT Traveler?
Post-trip: New Mexico: Santa Fe & Taos $1,095
Air from JFK $600
For further information call (866) IM GUTSY (464 8879) or
email reservations@gutsywomentravel.com.
24/7 booking capability is available via this via the "Request to Book" button listed above.

Be sure to mention booking code G9-25972 to receive all the Gutsy benefits!

*Discount and savings are subject to change, please call reservations (866.464.8879 for the actual price. The discount is not valid on all itineraries and will be verified at time of booking. The discount is valid for guests who’ve traveled with Gutsy Women Travel within the last five years. Other conditions apply. Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. All prices are subject to change.

In order to qualify for the GWT Past Traveler Discount of 5% on the land portion of the trip, you must advise the reservation specialist at time of depositing on your 2019 trip which GWT trip you traveled on (date/name of departure and year) over the past 5 years.

We limit our trips to small groups so we suggest you deposit early to guarantee your spot. View information regarding Air Travel & Transfers here.

Please note this departure is not exclusive to women but will be comprised of Gutsy Women Travel participants co-sharing the overall trip capacity with members of OAT resulting in a larger group size compared to the traditional Gutsy Women Travel trips designed exclusively for women.

Single Room - one person, traveling solo in single accommodation
Double Room - two people, traveling together in same accommodation
Shared Room - one person, traveling solo who would like to share with another passenger and pay the per person "Double" price

Air travel arrangements for Gutsy Women's trip participants are made independently as most women are traveling from various gateway cities within or outside North America. Gutsy Women Travel includes a group transfer (if travelers purchase airfare from our operator) or individuals can book private transportation if desired.

For further information and reservations call (866) IM GUTSY (464 8879) or
email reservations@gutsywomentravel.com.
For online 24/7 booking capability is available via this website.

Please note: Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only.