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National Parks & Lodges of the Old West

June 13 – June 21, 2025 | starting at $5,695 | Tour Partner: Orbridge

About This Trip

Join us on an immersive adventure through the heart of America's most captivating landscapes, traversing the wildlife-rich terrain of Custer State Park, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton National Park. Each engaging day is its own journey, highlighted by exploration of iconic monuments, leisurely hikes, educational discussions, and authentic Old West charm.

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map of the trip itinerary

Itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrive in Rapid City, SD

    Friday, June 13, 2025

    Upon arrival to Rapid City Regional Airport an Orbridge Expedition Leader will be waiting to assist with your transfer to the hotel.

    Nicknamed "The City of Presidents," Rapid City features a series of life-sized bronze statues of our nation’s past leaders throughout its downtown.

    Take time to refresh before joining fellow travel companions and Orbridge Expedition Leader for a welcome dinner and briefing to review the exciting week ahead.

    Overnight: Hotel Alex Johnson (D)

  • Day 2: Rapid City | Badlands National Park | Custer State Park

    Saturday, June 14, 2025

    After breakfast set out for Badlands National Park famous for its unique geological formations of layered rock canyons, spires and buttes. Rich in fossil beds, the park provides a fascinating glimpse into the area's history. The Badlands' rugged beauty, vibrant colors and dramatic landscapes offer fantastic photography opportunities.

    Continue to Wall—a bustling community that exudes small-town charm—for lunch on your own.

    Nestled in the Black Hills is Custer State Park renowned for its diverse wildlife and population of bison, elk and pronghorn. Climb aboard a safari Jeep for a thrilling wildlife tour through the active roadways.

    Later arrive at Custer State Game Lodge—your accommodations for the following two evenings. Built in 1921, this impressive stone and wood lodge surrounded by stately trees is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The charming lodge served as the "Summer White House" in 1927 for President Calvin Coolidge who saw it as a quiet retreat from the heat, bugs and crowds of Washington, DC. President Dwight D. Eisenhower also visited the lodge in 1953 while on a visit to the Black Hills area.

    Overnight: Custer State Game Lodge (B, D)

  • Day 3: Mammoth Site | Crazy Horse | Custer

    Sunday, June 15, 2025

    This morning travel to Hot Springs to visit The Mammoth Site where history of the late Ice Age comes to life. This paleontological site, research center and museum contains the largest concentration of mammoth remains in the world and earns recognition worldwide for its interpretation and exhibits. Walk the edges of a sinkhole where Columbian and woolly mammoths, camels, wolves and giant short-faced bears were trapped more than 26,000 years ago. For centuries the fossilized bones lay hidden until discovered in 1974 during excavation for a housing development. After a short tour stroll the boardwalk over the dig site and see the paleontology laboratory.

    Next visit the base and museum of Crazy Horse Memorial—a monumental work still in progress. Under construction since 1948, crews are drilling, sculpting and removing rock more than 70 years later. The work pays tribute to the legendary Lakota leader Crazy Horse and the values of Native Americans. Crazy Horse led his warriors to victory against Custer’s battalion at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876. If completed as designed, the sculpture will be 563 feet high and 641 feet long.

    While there view an audio-visual program featuring artist Korczak Ziolkowski and his sculptures that illustrate the culture, tradition and living heritage of Native Americans.

    This afternoon is yours for a leisurely lunch and time explore on your own before rejoining the group for an evening meal in the main lodge.

    Overnight: Custer State Game Lodge (B, D)

  • Day 4: Custer | Mount Rushmore | Spearfish Canyon

    Monday, June 16, 2025

    Today stand in awe before iconic Mount Rushmore, a symbol of American history and ingenuity. Begun in 1927, this remarkable granite sculpture was originally designed to portray the four Presidents—Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln—from the waist up, but construction ended in 1941 due to budgetary constraints. The stone figures that remain, however, are inspiring and impressive. Carved under the direction of sculptor Gutzon Borglum, Mount Rushmore was a massive undertaking requiring 800 million pounds of stone to be removed by dynamite from the mountain face. Pass through the Avenue of Flags peering upward to capture sight of four influential presidential faces each approximately 60 feet high.

    Following lunch on your own, perhaps explore the Visitor Center or Sculptor's Studio or hike the 422-stair Presidential Trail that loops around the base of the monument. Wandering through gorgeous scenery experience an up-close perspective of the sculpture and a chance to spot local wildlife.

    Continue the journey to picturesque Spearfish Canyon in the northern Black Hills. Your accommodations are situated deep in the heart of one of the most breathtaking canyons tucked beside lofty pines and craggy cliffs. This property was built and decorated in the style of the old lodges of the West. Enjoy leisure time at the lodge for a walk or hike before rejoining the group for dinner.

    Overnight: Spearfish Canyon Lodge (B, D)

  • Day 5: Spearfish Canyon | Cody, WY

    Tuesday, June 17, 2025

    Enjoy wide-open spaces and western hospitality with a scenic travel day, including refreshing opportunities to stop and stretch your legs. As the spectacular panorama passes outside your motor coach admire the rolling plains of the Old West and towering peaks of the Bighorn Mountains.

    Delight in lunch at The Ranch at UCross—a genuine Western ranch. The ranch and surrounding landscape are rich in the history of the American West. Many western writers, sculptors, artists and craftsmen make this area home for exactly that reason.

    After a late-day arrival in Cody enjoy the evening and dinner on your own. Wander the lively town or maybe venture out for an authentic western experience at the nation's longest-running professional rodeo.

    Overnight: Holiday Inn Cody-At Buffalo Bill Village (B, L)

  • Day 6: Cody | Yellowstone National Park

    Wednesday, June 18, 2025

    This morning visit the Buffalo Bill Center of the West that features five museums, a research library and special exhibitions. Learn about Western and Native American history, the life of “Buffalo Bill” Cody, Yellowstone, old firearms and more. Experience the spirit of the American West through art by surveying the Whitney Museum’s collection of paintings, prints and sculpture.

    Continue on and pass through Shoshone National Forest to Yellowstone National Park—a geothermal wonderland of hot springs, geysers and diverse ecosystems. As the world’s first national park, Yellowstone has delighted visitors since 1872. Home to staggeringly beautiful and dramatic canyons, alpine rivers, lush forests and hundreds of animal species, experiencing Yellowstone in person is a humbling, enthralling adventure.

    Sitting atop a slumbering super volcano, Yellowstone has half of the world’s known geysers, including iconic Old Faithful. Watch it erupt in a magnificent display of nature's power and beauty.

    Additional geological spectacles include the Park's Upper and Lower Falls. Hear the roar of the Yellowstone River dumping as many as 60,000 gallons of water per second over the Lower Falls. Magnificent to behold, the Lower Falls towers over 300 feet making it nearly twice as tall as Niagara Falls.

    Take time to spot for wildlife in Hayden Valley. In many ways—geographically, historically and biologically—it is the heart of Yellowstone. Grizzly bears, bison, wolves, coyotes, elk, moose and dozens of bird species live here.

    Overnight: Yellowstone Lodging (B, L, D)

  • Day 7: Yellowstone National Park

    Thursday, June 19, 2025

    Enjoy a full day exploring Yellowstone, including its active caldera.

    Along Fountain Paint Pot Trail see various hydrothermal features that are expressions of Yellowstone’s still active volcano. Within this geologic system each type of thermal feature is represented. They can be grouped into two general categories—those with a great deal of water (hot springs and geysers) and those with limited water (mudpots and fumaroles). Learn interesting facts, such as the “recipe” for mudpots—a perfect mix of heat, gases, water, volcanic rock, minerals, acid and even living microorganisms. Walk the half-mile boardwalk nature trail to see it all.

    The unique thermal feature of Mammoth Hot Springs has been described as looking like a cave turned inside out creating a surreal landscape. Perhaps visit the Albright Visitor Center and Museum with its interactive displays, great animal wildlife exhibits, orientation area and educational ranger talks.

    Overnight: Yellowstone Lodging (B, D)

  • Day 8: Yellowstone National Park | Grand Teton National Park | Jackson

    Friday, June 20, 2025

    Adjacent to Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Park boasts stunning mountain scenery and pristine lakes. Head south through vast unspoiled wilderness to the park and take in its jagged mountain peaks that form postcard perfect backdrops. The Tetons—the highest at more than 13,700 feet—are the youngest of the Rocky Mountains, but still inspire visitors from all over the world. The park is also home to buffalo, deer, bighorn sheep, black and grizzly bears, red-tailed hawks, moose, elk, pronghorn, bald eagles, wolves and mountain lions.

    Lunch is planned at Pioneer Grill at Jackson Lake Lodge. This eatery is said to be one of the oldest and longest continual counters at 200 feet. One counter winds through the room creating a welcoming atmosphere where guests interact with travelers and employees from around the globe. Those with a sweet-tooth will enjoy indulging in the famous huckleberry milkshake.

    Tonight gather with fellow travel companions to celebrate the grand adventures of the past week at a farewell dinner.

    Overnight: Rustic Inn at Jackson Hole Creekside Resort and Spa (B,D)

  • Day 9: Depart Jackson

    Saturday, June 21, 2025

    After breakfast guests departing during the suggested times take a complimentary transfer to Jackson Hole Airport for flights home. (B)

B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

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