August 17-27, 2021
Day 1: We travel north of Denver for our first night while getting acquainted with our new traveling friends.
Day 2: Enjoy the wonderful scenery as we make our way to southeastern Montana. Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument memorializes the site of the battle which took place in 1876 between the United States Seventh Cavalry Regiment led by Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer, and the Sioux and Cheyenne under the political and spiritual leadership of Sitting Bull. Continuing north, we make our way to Billings, MT for our overnight. (B)
Day 3: Arriving in Great Falls, Montana, we visit the CM Russell Museum. Charlie Russell documented the West that was vanishing before his eyes, telling the story as no artist had before. It’s a true and amazing collection from one of the west’s greatest artists. Then we walk in the footsteps of Lewis & Clark at the National Historic Trail Center. Our journey begins as we re-live the 1804-06 Lewis and Clark Expedition's 8,000-mile journey across the west. We see some of the Great Falls they had to portage around on the Missouri River. Overnight in Great Falls. (B, L)
Day 4: Today, it’s on to one of our country’s most spectacular National Parks, Glacier. Known as the Crown of the Continent, Glacier National Park encompasses more than one million acres of terrain with glacial-carved mountain peaks and valleys to cascading waterfalls. After lunch in the park, we board the famous Red Jammer Vintage Tour Bus to discover the park! We travel the “Going to the Sun Road,” one of the outstanding scenic roadways in the world. See awesome views of snow-capped, sculpted peaks, crystal clear glacier-made lakes, and turbulent rivers. We travel through the park from Rising Sun, across Logan Pass, to Lake McDonald on this fully narrated tour with picture stops. Feel free to enjoy activities around the lodge and lake during your free time this evening. We overnight in Kalispell MT tonight. (B, L)
Day 5: We depart this morning for a tour of the Smokejumpers Base Aerial Fire Depot. U.S. Forest Service smokejumpers tell first-hand stories of firefighting and smoke jumping. Next, we head to Philipsburg to the Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine. It is one of the largest, oldest, and best sapphire mines in the world. We try our luck with some mining of our own! We get a bucket of gravel and instructions on how to find those elusive jewels. Then we head to Helena for a 2-night stay. (B, L)
Day 6: We travel through the beautiful countryside to Gates of the Mountain for a picnic lunch. This afternoon we board the boat at the Gates of the Mountains for a narrated cruise. We glide through the magnificent country that Meriwether Lewis would still recognize if he could return, with wooded slopes, rugged rock formations, and stunning 1200 foot limestone walls. Tonight we travel back in time via horse-drawn wagons through high mountain forests to enjoy a Montana cowboy-style evening meal and entertainment. (B, L, D)
Day 7: This morning we board the Last Chance Trolley for an unforgettable tour of the capital city. A local guide tells us stories of the rich history of the downtown area, Last Chance Gulch, Cathedral of St. Helena, the mansion district, and the dream homes of Helena’s mining millionaires. Catch a glimpse of The Old Fire Tower, built in 1876, one of the few remaining fire towers in the U.S. Then it’s on to Butte for lunch. We take a guided trolley tour around Butte to learn about where the characters, famous folk, miners, and scoundrels lived and worked. This includes a stop at the Berkley Mine, a former open-pit copper mine over 1.5 miles wide and filled with heavily acidic water. (B, L)
Day 8: This morning, “Nature…in Yellowstone.” A park guide joins us for a fascinating look at the flora and fauna, and tells stories about the park and its visitors! Keep your camera ready as wildlife roams and the geothermal activity is spectacular. We stop at Old Faithful to view Yellowstone’s most famous attraction. Our overnight stay is in the Nation’s First National Park at Grant Village so you can continue enjoying the park on your evening walk. (B, L)
Day 9: We leave Yellowstone at the South entrance and head into Teton National Park. The Grand Teton Park roads provide one of the most delightful views in the region with the Teton Range dominating the park’s skyline. We see forests, pristine lakes, and meadow floors with blooms during the summer. Lunch is at the Dornan’s Chuckwagon in Moose, WY. Next enjoy an amazing float trip on the Snake River, seeing the majestic Tetons towering in front of us. This is one of the highlights of the tour! Our overnight is in Jackson next to the city center. (B, L)
Day 10: Today we travel along the Wyoming Centennial Scenic Byway known for its breathtaking scenery of three mountain ranges, its open ranch land, historical sites, and abundant wildlife viewing. Overnight in the Denver area.
Day 11: We say good-bye to the mountains as we reminisce about all the natural beauty and adventure we experienced. (B)