America’s Heartland

Includes a rail journey into the Rockies

America’s Heartland

Includes a rail journey into the Rockies

Saddles, Stetsons and frontier history add a special flair to this Wild West adventure.

We begin our journey with an overnight in Chicago for one night, before boarding the famous California Zephyr the next day. After a comfortable overnight on the train, we awaken to the breathtaking views of the Rockies as the train winds along the famous six-mile long Moffat Tunnel and dips under the Continental Divide.
In the following days we will marvel at many of the highlights on offer in America’s Heartland:

• Jackson Hole (Gateway to the Tetons) designated as a “Top World Destination,”
• Grand Teton National Park (An ethereal mountain landscape voted one of the top 10 National Parks)
• Yellowstone National Park (World’s 1st National Park) with colourful hot springs, geysers and Old Faithful
• Stunning, scenic float trip on the Snake River
• Mt. Rushmore National Monument
• Buffalo Jeep Safari with Cowboy Cookout in Custer State Park (Famous for its bison herds and wildlife)
• Crazy Horse Memorial – world’s largest mountain carving
• Deadwood (Gold Rush National Historic town)
• Badlands National Park
• Bear Country, USA
• 1880 Vintage steam train

We will spend 2 days and one overnight on Amtrak’s California Zephyr with picture windows and “panoramic, domed roof viewings”. There are 3 types of accommodation:

1. Coach – spacious reclining 2-seater arrangements with ample legroom and reading lights
2. Roomette – private sleeping cabins – seating as above converting to upper and lower births for sleeping
3. Bedroom – private bedroom – large comfortable sofa with 2 reclining sections, converts to upper and lower births for sleeping, with private bathroom and shower

Tentative Itinerary

Day 1: Departure / Chicago

We fly to Chicago and transfer to our centrally located hotel. This evening is our Welcome Dinner.

Day 2: Chicago / ALL ABOARD!

This morning we enjoy an Architecture River Cruise, and learn about Chicago’s history and unique architecture River Cruise, and learn about Chicago’s history and unique architecture. Then it’s off to Chicago’s Union Station to board the California Zephyr for an afternoon departure. Dinner and overnight on the train.

Day 3: California Zephyr through the Rocky Mountains

The Zephyr climbs across the Colorado Rockies, through the Moffat Tunnel and along the Glenwood and Ruby Canyons. Visit the glass-walled Sightseer Lounge for panoramic views and an Educational ‘Trails and Rails’ presentation by park rangers as we travel through Colorado. We overnight in Provo, Utah.

Day 4: Jackson Hole, Wyoming

After breakfast we board a motor coach for a trip through Star Valley to Jackson, Wyoming (a designated “Top World Destination”) for a 2-night stay. This afternoon is at leisure to stroll the wood-plank sidewalks, gaze upon the Grand Teton mountain range and visit the Town Plaza, the Elk Antler Arches and the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar.

Day 5: Jackson Hole / Snake River Float

This morning we float along the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park, admiring the incredible scenery. The afternoon is free in Jackson Hole, and this evening we enjoy a delicious Chuckwagon dinner with cowboy entertainment.

Day 6: Grand Teton National Park / Yellowstone National Park

We discover Grand Teton National Park. Highlights include the new Moose Visitor Center, Jenny Lake Overlook, Jackson Lake Lodge and more. Later we travel by coach to Yellowstone National Park, with a photo stop at Lewis Falls. We check into our lodge for our 2-night stay.

Day 7: Yellowstone National Park

Our tour of Yellowstone’s most renowned sights includes Hayden Valley, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and Artist Point. We will walk around Fountain Paint Pot and stop at the famous Old Faithful Inn and Geyser Basin. There will be time to explore the Old Faithful area and see the geyser erupt before returning to our hotel.

Day 8: Buffalo Bill Center / Cody and Sheridan, Wyoming

Our first stop today is the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, a complex of five museums: the Buffalo Bill Museum, the Remington Firearms Museum, the Whitney Museum of Western Art, the Plains Indian Museum and the Draper Natural History Museum. TA Ranch is our final destination for the evening, and ranch activities and dinner await. Our overnight is in Sheridan, Wyoming.

Day 9: Deadwood, South Dakota / Crazy Horse

We travel to Deadwood, with time to explore the town. This afternoon we embark on the Original Deadwood Tour, and hear stories of the Old West and pay our respects to Wild Bill and Calamity Jane at Mt. Moriah Cemetery (also known as Boot Hill). Then we head to Crazy Horse Memorial Monument, and the museum shop for Native American crafts. Our next 3 nights will be in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Day 10: 1880 Train / Custer State Park Jeep Safari / Mount Rushmore

First up today is a ride through South Dakota’s Black Hills aboard the Black Hills Central Railroad’s 1880 Train, which terminates in Keystone, SD. Next we head to Mount Rushmore, the iconic massive sculpture of four presidents carved into the mountain. After ample time to explore Mount Rushmore we proceed to Custer State Park, where we board our Safari Jeep for an afternoon of adventure, ending with a Cowboy Cookout in Mountain Meadow Canyon.

Day 11: Badlands National Park

We travel through spectacular scenery on our way to Badlands National Park. A guided tour will give us opportunities for wildlife viewing and in-depth information about the land and history of the park. Then we visit Wall Drug - “America’s Favorite Roadside Attraction”, an Old West Emporium with a variety of western souvenirs and Americana. Our final stop is Bear Country USA - a wildlife park featuring the world’s largest private viewing habitat of the American Black Bear. Enjoy the drive through this unique park, home also to elk, reindeer, cougars, bobcats, rocky mountain goats, bighorn sheep, pronghorn and buffalo, and then stroll through the Wildlife Center to see small animals and baby bears. The evening concludes with Mount Rushmore’s evening lighting ceremony and our Farewell Dinner.

Day 12: Home

We fly home via Minneapolis.

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