America’s Old West - Myths and Legends
Day 1 Denver 8/21
Introductory meeting; Dinner
Welcome to Denver, considered the ‘capital’ of the Old West. Our tour starts in the late afternoon with a get-acquainted meeting followed by an orientation walk of our neighborhood and dinner in a restaurant in Denver’s historic Larimer Square area.
Hotel Teatro - Denver, Colorado (2 nights)
Day 2 Denver 8/22
Walking tour; ‘Unsinkable’ Molly Brown House
This morning we follow a local ‘Historic Denver’ guide who helps us explore Capital Hill, an area of Denver covered with mansions from the late 1800’s built for many of the recently wealthy gold and silver miners. One such wealthy mining family was headed by J.J. and Margaret Brown – she was better known as the ‘Unsinkable’ Molly Brown – and we tour their historic mansion with a docent. The rest of the day and evening are free.
Day 3 Rapid City, South Dakota 8/23
Old Fort Laramie; Custer State Park
Today we time-travel back to Old Fort Laramie in Wyoming, the home of the U.S. Cavalry stationed on the frontier. Afterwards we continue to South Dakota and visit Custer State Park, home to one of the largest remaining buffalo herds. We finish the day in Rapid City, South Dakota, the gateway to the Black Hills.
Hotel Alex Johnson – Rapid City, South Dakota (2 nights)
Day 4 Rapid City 8/24
Reservation visit; Wounded Knee; Crazy Horse Memorial; Mount Rushmore
This is a busy, blockbuster day! We begin with a stop at the Red Cloud Heritage Center and School on the Pine Ridge Sioux Reservation. We then visit the memorial at the Wounded Knee site, dedicated to the 300 Native Americans massacred by U.S. military troops in 1890. Next we journey to the Crazy Horse Memorial, an ongoing mountain sculpture project. Afterwards we visit iconic Mount Rushmore National Memorial before returning to Rapid City in the evening.
Day 5 Buffalo, Wyoming 8/25
Today, after breakfast, we head west into Wyoming. Leaving the interstate behind we travel to Devils Tower, a unique and memorable magna tower rising a thousand feet above the landscape. After time to enjoy the geology and the views – and to visit one of the largest prairie dog towns remaining in the West – we continue on to the quaint town of Buffalo, Wyoming. We check into our landmark hotel, the Occidental, and enjoy dinner together in their historic restaurant.
Hotel Occidental – Buffalo, Wyoming (2 nights)
Day 6 Buffalo 8/26
Ranches; Range Wars
The area around Buffalo was at the center of America’s most famous range war pitting big ranchers, bandits, rustlers and small ranchers against one another – the Johnson County War. Today we explore the history of the range wars and ranching, and we find out what ranch life is like today, with the possibility of a short trail ride (weather permitting).
Day 7 Cody, Wyoming 8/27
Little Bighorn Battlefield Monument
After breakfast we travel north into Montana to visit the site of the Battle of the Little Bighorn, long known as ‘Custer’s Last Stand’. In an interesting twist, a Crow Nation guide gives us a captivating Native American interpretation of this famous battle. Afterwards we enjoy lunch together on the Crow Reservation. In the afternoon we head west to Cody.
Chamberlin Inn – Cody, Wyoming (2 nights)
Day 8 Cody 8/28
Buffalo Bill Center of the West; Rodeo; Chuck Wagon Dinner
Cody’s Buffalo Bill Center of the West is five museums in one and has been called the best museum about the West. We’ll enjoy a guided tour and then you are free to explore on your own. Whether your interests lie with Buffalo Bill Cody and his life, Western art, firearms, the Plains Indians, or even geography and geology, this museum covers it all. We meet up in the late afternoon for a “Chuck Wagon” dinner together and then attend a quintessential Western event: the Cody Nightly Rodeo.
Day 9 Yellowstone 8/29
Yellowstone National Park
After breakfast we head further west and enter Yellowstone National Park, the world’s first national park. Most of the next three days are spent exploring the wonders of this special region filled with the world’s greatest collection of geysers. This morning we drive through the Hayden Valley with the Park’s best wildlife viewing opportunities. Then we visit the area around the scenic Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, including spectacular Yellowstone Falls. In the afternoon we visit the Norris Geyser Basin before heading to West Yellowstone and checking into our hotel.
Grey Wolf Inn - West Yellowstone, Montana (2 nights)
Day 10 Yellowstone 8/30
Wolves & Grizzlies; Old Faithful & Geysers
We capitalize on staying in West Yellowstone by visiting the town’s famous Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center first thing this morning. This Center specializes in providing a home to problem grizzly bears and also hosts an active wolf pack. We take advantage of the educational programs to learn more about these classic Western animals. Later we re-enter Yellowstone Park and head directly to the Upper Geyser Basin and a visit to the most famous geyser, Old Faithful. In addition to seeing Old Faithful erupt we hike through the extensive surrounding geyser basin to catch all the vents and geysers spewing steam.
Day 11 Lander, Wyoming 8/31
Mudpots; Grand Tetons; Wind River Shoshone and Arapaho Reservation
Today we travel to the Wind River Reservation of the Shoshone and Arapaho tribes. On the way we explore a bit more of Yellowstone Park, including the Lower and Midway Geyser Basins with their colorful boiling lagoons and bubbling mudpots. After leaving Yellowstone Park we stop for a picnic lunch (weather permitting) at a site with spectacular views of the Grand Tetons. Upon arrival at the Wind River Reservation we visit the final resting place and memorial to Sacajawea, the young Native American woman who guided the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Tomorrow we will devote the entire day to attending the annual Northern Arapaho Pow Wow, but we may also have the opportunity this evening for a brief visit just to whet our appetite.
Holiday Inn Express - Lander, Wyoming (2 nights)
Day 12 Lander 9/1
Arapaho Wind River Pow Wow
A Native American Pow Wow is much more than dancing and music. It is an important cultural experience that draws on historical and ancient roots of Native American culture and customs. The Northern Arapaho Pow Wow is one of the oldest in the U.S. and they welcome non-Native Americans to respectfully attend and enjoy the festivities. To ensure we are more then just tourist bystanders we will engage a local to explain the events, regalia, dances, music and even the food. Maybe, if we are lucky, we will have the chance to meet and talk with some Native American participants.
Day 13 Denver 9/2
Gold Panning; Final Dinner
After breakfast we head south. Our final destination today is Denver and we have one fun experience in store on the way – the chance to pan for gold at the old abandoned mining town of South Pass City in Wyoming. Later we will gather for a final dinner together in Denver.
Hotel: Hotel Teatro – Denver, Colorado (1 night)
Day 14 Tour over 9/3
The tour officially ends after breakfast. Imprint will help with airport transfer arrangements.
[Itinerary details and hotels are subject to change.]
13 night’s accommodation; All breakfasts, 7 dinners, 7 lunches; All tour transportation (bus or van); All tips (tour leader, local guides, drivers, group meals, hotel staffs); Full-time services of Imprint tour leader, local guides; All entrances: Molly Brown Museum, Fort Laramie, Custer State Park, Red Cloud Heritage Center, Wounded Knee Memorial, Crazy Horse Monument, Mount Rushmore, Devil’s Tower, Little Bighorn Battlefield, Yellowstone NP, Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center, Grand Tetons NP; All activities: Denver walking tour, prairie dog town, Ranchers & Range Wars excursion, Crow Reservation lunch, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Chuck Wagon dinner, Rodeo, Hayden Valley, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Norris, Upper, Lower, and Midway Geyser Basins, Old Faithful, Sacajawea Memorial, Wind River Pow Wow, Gold panning, and more
Tour participants are responsible for the cost of drinks, free-time sightseeing and meals, and expenditures of a personal nature.