National Parks and Historic Lodges of the Old West
June 7- 16, 2014
Inspiration, a connection to the past, and nature's beauty are the gifts of this American expedition. Amidst spectacular scenery and over-nighting in extraordinary historic lodges that are destinations unto themselves, this journey traces the historic paths and natural splendors of the Old West. With an expert Orbridge Expedition Leader by your side, see and learn about the storied sights and monuments of four of our most magnificent national parks; and enjoy the rustic luxury of unique lodging, like Custer State Park's famed State Game Lodge, the Spearfish Canyon Lodge in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and majestic Old Faithful Inn. Join us and experience the best of the West. We invite you to join us as we follow the legends and natural beauty of the old American West while overnighting in these extraordinary historic lodges.
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(please click on location to reveal details)
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Day 1: Rapid City
Arrive in Rapid City and transfer to your hotel, where you will meet your expedition leader and traveling companions for a welcome drink and expedition briefing.
Overnight: Adoba Eco Hotel
Day 2: Rapid City, South Dakota / Badlands National Park / Custer State Park State Game Lodge
Following breakfast, head to Badlands National Park, featuring some of the most spectacular scenery in the region. Later in the afternoon, travel into the back country and enjoy a Buffalo Safari and Chuck Wagon Cookout.
Overnight: State Game Lodge (B,D)
Day 3: Custer State Park
This morning, travel to Hot Springs to visit the world’s largest mammoth dig site and work-in-progress Crazy Horse Memorial. After a short tour, stroll on the boardwalk over the dig area and see the paleontology laboratory. The remainder of the day is yours to enjoy in Custer State Park.
Overnight: State Game Lodge (B,D)
Day 4: Custer State Park / Spearfish Canyon
Today visit one of the world’s largest stone monuments, the iconic Mount Rushmore. Spend the night deep in the heart of one of the most breathtakingly beautiful canyons in the world.
Overnight: Spearfish Canyon Lodge (B,D)
Day 5: U-Cross Ranch / Cody
Journey through scenic Spearfish Canyon and across the grassy plains of Wyoming. Enjoy lunch at an authentic Western Ranch. Cross the Bighorn Mountains to Buffalo Bill’s Wild West town of Cody, Wyoming.
Overnight: The Cody Hotel (B,L)
Day 6-7: Cody / Yellowstone National Park / Mammoth Hot Springs
Visit Buffalo Bill Historical Center for a step into the West’s rich past, including Western and Native American history, the life of W.F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, Yellowstone, and old firearms. Continue on and pass through Shoshone National Forest to Yellowstone National Park, established in 1872 as the world’s first national park. Watch in awe as Old Faithful Geyser erupts between heights of 106 to 185 feet. Take a guided walking tour of Fountain Paint Pots Nature Trail to witness all four types of geothermal features found throughout the world, including bubbling mud pots. Continue on to Mammoth Hot Springs, where steamy limestone terraces and hot springs overlook the visiting facilities. Perhaps visit the Albright Visitor Center and Museum.
Overnight: Old Faithful Inn or Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel (B,D)
Day 8: Yellowstone National Park / Grand Teton National Park / Jackson
Head south this morning through vast unspoiled wilderness to Grand Teton National Park, its jagged mountain peaks forming a perfect backdrop behind Jenny and Jackson Lakes. Continue on to the Western town of Jackson, Wyoming
Overnight: The Rustic Inn (B)
Day 9: Jackson
Today is yours to explore on your own. You may choose to wander into Jackson’s lively town square and browse the local art galleries and boutiques or take part in a wide range of optional outdoor activities including horseback riding, fly fishing, or a float trip down the Snake River. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner hosted by your Expedition Leader.
Overnight: The Rustic Inn (B,D)
Day 10: Jackson
After a leisurely breakfast, your expedition comes to an end with a transfer to Jackson Hole Airport. (B)
Cost and program Inclusions
Program Rate*: $3,495 per person
*Rate is per person based on double occupancy, in U.S. dollars.
Airfare is not included in program rate.
- Full guiding services by an Orbridge Expedition Leader as well as expert local guides.
- Nine nights in unique accommodations and inspiring historic lodges
- Nine breakfasts, one lunch, and six dinners, including a special farewell dinner in Jackson
- Admission to national parks and all activities as described in program itinerary
- Private deluxe motor coach with air-conditioning and extra leg room
- Airport transfers for guests arriving and departing on suggested group flights
- Luggage porterage upon arrival at airport, and in and out of hotels
- Gratuities for all guides, drivers, porters, and wait staff for included meals
- Experience the diverse and unspoiled natural wilderness of our National Parks, accompanied by an Orbridge Expedition Leader.
- Overnight in landmark lodges that are national treasures themselves.
- Witness one of the world’s largest free-roaming bison herds in Custer State Park and enjoy a chuck wagon cook-out.
- Marvel at the grandeur of Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, and the world’s largest mammoth site, where scientists are excavating remains of woolly mammoths from 26,000 years ago.
- View the natural wonders and unique geothermal features of Yellowstone National Park, such as Old Faithful Geyser and the Fountain Paint Pots Nature Trail.
- Relax: Included are nine nights accommodations, transport via a private deluxe motor coach, airport transfers (for guests arriving and departing on program dates), most meals (nine breakfasts, one lunch, and six dinners), and admission to all parks.
Activity Level: Easy
The majority of the program’s activities will take place outdoors and a fair amount of walking on varying terrain is to be expected. Many of the parks have dirt trails, but they are usually fairly smooth for walking, some do have paved pathways and boardwalks. It is our expectation that guests on this program are able to walk a mile at a moderate pace, you will be able to enjoy the excursions. Also keep in mind that you will experience varying altitudes, rising up to 9000’, to which you may not be accustomed.
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Rapid City - Adoba Eco Hotel
Situated close by the Journey Museum and Gardens, and Dinosaur Park, this hotel features a cafe, restaurant, and lounge.
Custer State Park - State Game Lodge
Set in a beautiful mountain valley and surrounded by a ponderosa pine forest, this gracious stone and wood lodge served as the “Summer White House” for President Calvin Coolidge in 1927 and was visited by President Dwight D. Eisenhower for several days in 1953. Built in 1920, the lodge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Inside, you’ll discover a blend of the past and the present, the elegant and the outdoors. Enjoy South Dakota specialties like buffalo, pheasant, and trout in the historic Lodge Dining Room.
Spearfish Canyon - Spearfish Canyon Lodge
Nestled alongside lofty pines and spectacular limestone cliffs, Spearfish Canyon Lodge was built and decorated in the style of the old lodges of the West with heavy log walls and a 40-foot stone fireplace. Several hiking trails outside the Lodge door allow visitors to experience the sights and sounds of nature firsthand as they meander through the forest to a Black Hills waterfall or hike to the rim of the canyon.
Cody - The Cody
Located near Cody Rodeo Arena and Old Trail Town, The Cody is a premier, eco-friendly luxury hotel, offering upscale amenities and comfort. Stroll along the beautiful grounds, take in the mountain views on the master patio with outdoor fireplace, rejuvenate in the hot tub, and enjoy the large indoor pool complete with a lap lane.
Yellowstone National Park - Old Faithful Inn
Built during the winter of 1903-04, the Old Faithful Inn is one of the few remaining log hotels in the United States. The original part of the Inn, known as the "Old House" was completed in 1904 and includes an immense lobby with a huge stone fireplace. The East and West Wings were added in the teens and the twenties, with many rooms having been remodeled in recent years. Guest accommodations include rooms with private baths. A full service restaurant, deli, gift store and interpretive tours are also available at the Inn. A national historic landmark, Old Faithful Inn is an icon of Yellowstone.
Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel
Established in 1911, the Mammoth Hot Springs hotel is situated below the steaming limestone terraces of the hot springs. Make sure you drift into the Map Room (named for the massive inlaid map of the United States on one of the walls); and keep your eye out for elk, which routinely graze outside the hotel around the grounds of what was once Fort Yellowstone.
Old Faithful Snow Lodge
A short walk from its famous namesake, the Old Faithful Snow Lodge makes abundant use of natural wood and fixtures that harken back to historic Yellowstone lodges. The rooms are simple, comfortable, and outfitted with lodge details like wooden shutters over windows that open for fresh air.
Jackson - The Rustic Inn
Whether you'd like to lose yourself in nature's grandeur or find yourself in the middle of Jackson Hole’s lively downtown scene, the Rustic Inn Creekside Resort & Spa offers the finest Western accommodations just steps away from it all. Surrounded by seven lush acres adjacent to the National Elk Refuge, outdoor enthusiasts can easily enjoy everything Jackson and its spectacular environs have to offer. The Rustic Inn offers an outdoor pool, Jacuzzi, sauna,
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