It’s a huge area, but what better way to explore the quiet, wide open roads of the Wild West than by motorhome?
Marvel at famous National Parks and Monuments and follow in the footsteps of notorious characters including Wild Bill Hickock, Calamity Jane and Buffalo Bill while keeping your eye out for wildlife along the way, as you explore the REAL America.
Collect your motorhome and then begin your journey of the Wild West in Wyoming’s State Capital, Cheyenne. Stop by the Terry Bison Ranch, home to more than 2,300 grazing bison or visit the State Capitol Building and State Museum.
✪ 110 miles to Cheyenne, Wyoming ★ Cheyenne Frontier Days takes place at the end of July every year – book your RV pitch well in advance as this includes the world’s largest outdoor rodeo. There’s a free pancake breakfast for all attendees!
Head for the Black Hills of South Dakota. It may be a long drive, but it’s worth it as the Black Hills are home to some of the USA’s most iconic attractions, not to mention scenic byways with jaw- dropping views around every corner, craggy rock formations and forested rolling hills.
✪ 240 miles to Hot Springs ★ Visit Wind Cave National Park or the active paleontological dig at the Mammoth Site.
Today is the day to get up close and personal with Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln at Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Lesser known, but just a short distance away is Crazy Horse Memorial honoring the Native American warrior. It’s a work in progress but will stand 563 feet high and 641 feet long when complete.
✪ 150 miles to Badlands National Park via Mount Rushmore ★ Take Iron Mountain Road and Needles Highway for dramatic scenery. End your day with sunset over the buttes, gullies and canyons of Badlands National Park.
It’s time for your own ‘Dance with Wolves’ and ‘Close Encounter’. The scenic drive through Spearfish Canyon was the location for Kevin Costner’s winter scene and he fell in love with Deadwood while filming in the area. So much so that he now owns one of the many casinos in the historic town. Devil’s Tower, filming location of Close Encounters of the Third Kind is your overnight spot.
✪ 190 miles to Devil’s Tower via Spearfish Canyon ★ Stop in Rapid City, the city of Presidents, for a trendy downtown vibe and a visit to the Journey Museum.
A morning on the road to divert up to Medora in North Dakota is well worth the drive. If it wasn’t for his time as a rancher in the state, Theodore Roosevelt would not have begun the process of creating the National Park Service. Visit the National Park rightly named after him, keeping an eye out for bison, wild horses, elk and golden eagles along the way.
✪ 250 easy miles to Medora ★ Take in the nightly outdoor Medora Musical and Pitchfork Fondue dinner in the summer months with the dynamic landscape of the North Dakotan Badlands as your backdrop.
http://www.nps.gov/thro/planyourvisit/ cottonwood-campground.htm for a real rustic location or http://medora.com/stay/camping/ medora-campground/ with a few more facilities.
Time to cover a few more miles across the plains of Montana before immersing yourself in some Native American history with a visit to the site of the Battle of Little Bighorn where General Custer famously lost his life. Rest up before making your way into Wyoming and the town of Cody.
✪ 430 miles over two days ★ The Buffalo Bill Center of the West is an affiliate museum of the Smithsonian in DC. It’s five museums within one; don’t miss the Draper Natural History Museum in preparation for the wildlife and ecology of Yellowstone National Park - your next stop.
http://koa.com/campgrounds/hardin/ and http://codyponderosa.com/
Save yourself at least two days to take in the magical landscape of Yellowstone National Park. From Cody, head north to Red Lodge to join the epic Beartooth Highway - it’s a stunning high mountain pass into the park. Geysers, hot springs and bubbling mud pots await and make the area one of the most geothermally active on the planet. Expect an animal jam along the way – a traffic jam caused by animals strolling along the road or grazing to the side of the road. It could be a bison, moose, elk, coyote or even a grizzly. Whatever it is you’ll want to stop for a picture or two.
✪ 200 miles to Grant Village ★ Old Faithful is one of the most reliable geysers in the park erupting approximately every 90 minutes. The Lower Falls of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone are more than twice the height of Niagara Falls.
Just a short drive from the South Entrance of Yellowstone National Park is Grand Teton National Park which is dominated by the majestic Tetons, part of the famed Rocky Mountains. On the edge of the Park, ‘cosmopolitan western’ Jackson features wooden sidewalks, elk antler arches and shops that range from the chic to the traditional.
✪ 40 miles to Colter Bay Village RV Park ★ Drive the 42-mile Scenic Loop through the park to take in breathtaking view after breathtaking view. At the end of the day saddle up at Jackson’s Million Dollar Cowboy Bar – the bar stools are real life saddles.
It’s going to be an early start and you will need to book the Early Bird option if you plan on returning your motorhome today. Alternatively add another day and take your time to enjoy the sights of southern Idaho and northern Utah as you head to Salt Lake City, which marks the end of your Real American adventure. 280 miles to Cruise America, Salt Lake City.