Mythic West: Montana, Yellowstone & The Tetons

  • Jackson Hole + 3 more
  • Deluxe Tours, Escorted Coach Tours,
  • 8
from  £3,240pp
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Introduction

This tour is operated by our partner Tauck

Co-crafted with filmmakers Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan, this new weeklong trip immerses with expert insights into the legends and lore of the “mythic West”… in Montana at historic sites and monuments including the Little Bighorn battlefield; the natural treasures of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, and the majestic Teton Range; and ranch life and more in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Begin in Billings, Montana, where you’ll enjoy two nights’ accommodations at Northern Hotel, a historic landmark in the city center; a lecture by a Cheyenne artist on Native American art; and visits to Pompeys Pillar National Monument and Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument and Indian Settlement. During a two-night stay at the newly rebuilt Canyon Lodge in the northern section of Yellowstone National Park, you’ll engage in a wildlife photography discussion; explore the wildlife-rich Hayden Valley; and embark on a nature trail walk to Fountain Paint Pot and a visit to iconic Old Faithful Geyser with lunch. Wrap up with three nights at the five-star Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole, enjoying a room with a fireplace, a marble bath with a deep soaking tub, and views of the Tetons; a visit to Mormon Row Historic District in Grand Teton National Park; a tour and cowboy demonstration at Snake River Ranch; a river rafting adventure; and a guided walking tour of historic sites in the town of Jackson. Unique Tauck experiences include: exclusive film vignettes by filmmakers Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan that tell the stories and history of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks; a Tauck Exclusive talk by a Cheyenne artist at the Western Heritage Center in Billings; a private visit to a log home in Montana for a wildlife photography discussion; and a visit and cocktail reception at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole overlooking the 25,000-acre National Elk Refuge!

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Itinerary

Day 1 Billings

Tour begins: 5:00 PM, Northern Hotel. Welcome to Billings, Montana, born in 1882 as a rail hub. A transfer is included from Billings Logan International Airport to the Northern Hotel, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and located in the heart of downtown Billings. Join us for a welcome reception and dinner tonight.

Meals : Dinner

Day 2 Billings - Pompeys Pillar - Little Bighorn - Billings

Landscapes speak in legends in the American West, telling tales of lives naturally lived and culturally rich, fabled fortunes won and lost, and battles brief but bloody. Start at the beginning today with a special visit to the Western Heritage Center, before the doors open to the public. Learn the stories of the people of the Yellowstone River Valley and the Northern Plains and attend a private lecture by an American Indian artist who offers insights on the contemporary and traditional art forms you will see during your visit this morning. In 1804, at the request of President Thomas Jefferson, explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark headed up a nation-changing expedition to explore the lands west of the Mississippi. After splitting into two groups, Clark and his party passed through Yellowstone County, Montana, in July of 1806; he carved his name and the date he was here on the huge sandstone rock formation he called “Pompys Tower” after the son of his Indian guide, Sacagawea. Today known as Pompeys Pillar National Monument, it is the only place where you can see physical evidence of Lewis and Clark’s famous expedition, along with ancient Indian pictographs painted on the rock centuries ago. After a picnic lunch in this historic spot, drive to Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument for a guided tour. Hear about Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer’s demise on June 25, 1876, during a one-hour battle that ended with the death of some 210 soldiers by Lakota Sioux and Cheyenne warriors under the leadership of Sitting Bull. Return to Billings late afternoon for time at leisure.

Meals : Breakfast - Lunch

Day 3 Billings - Yellowstone National Park

Journey to Yellowstone National Park today, driving along scenic Chief Joseph Highway 296. Follow the route taken by Chief Joseph as he led the Nez Perce Indians out of Yellowstone National Park and into Montana in 1877 during their ill-fated attempt to flee the US Cavalry and escape into Canada. Stop in Cooke City for lunch and an informative presentation on wildlife photography at the private log cabin home of a professional photographer. His work inspires visions of the sights you may encounter during your two-night stay in the heart of Yellowstone National Park. Your wilderness lodge accommodations date back to 1910 and were recently redesigned to incorporate industry-leading eco-conscious standards with recycled or renewable materials and hiking and biking paths. The lodge is located close to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Yellowstone Falls. Dine at your leisure tonight.

Meals : Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner

Day 4 Yellowstone National Park

Today explore the world’s first national park, home to ancient volcanic calderas, more than 300 geysers, over 290 waterfalls, North America’s largest high-altitude lake, and 67 different mammals, including bears, bison and wolves. Head out with a naturalist for a guided tour that includes the breathtaking Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, 20 miles long, up to 4,000 feet wide and 1,200 feet deep in places; wildlife-rich Hayden Valley, a popular gathering place for bison, elk and birds of all kinds; bubbling Mud Volcano, rife with muddy hot springs and fumaroles; and Lake Yellowstone, 7,733 feet above sea level, spanning 136 square miles and boasting 110 miles of shoreline. Return to your lodge this afternoon for time at leisure.

Meals : Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner

Day 5 Yellowstone National Park - Jackson Hole

Discover a hotbed of thermal activity today as you make tracks for the Fountain Paint Pot and a walk along its nature trail. View a range of geothermal features including geysers, hot springs, mud pots and fumaroles, before driving to the most famous hothead of all, Old Faithful Geyser, which erupts, like clockwork, an average of 17 times a day. Enjoy lunch at Snow Lodge, a short walk from the geyser, and continue to Mormon Row Historic District in Grand Teton National Park, stopping at scenic overlooks along the way. Mormon Row is renowned as one of the country’s best representations of an early 1900s western farming community – and is also one of the most photogenic settings for quintessential pictures of the Tetons just outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Immerse in the region’s scenic beauty during a three-night stay at the Four Seasons Resort and Residences in Jackson Hole. Dine at your leisure at the hotel tonight.

Meals : Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner

Day 6 Jackson Hole

Experience an authentic taste of local life today when you spend the morning at a family-owned cattle ranch on the Snake River. During your visit you will have an opportunity to watch cowboys demonstrate their roping and riding skills as they share insights about working on horseback and driving cattle from place to place out on the range. Next, a scenic raft trip* offers a different perspective on the mountains and area wildlife as you meander along the Snake River. Your guide may help you spot any locals who may pass by, including moose, beaver, pronghorn, deer, bear and different species of birds, including ospreys and eagles. After free time in town, take a guided walking tour of historic Jackson, visiting the Homesteaders Museum and the Indians of the Greater Yellowstone Museum to learn more about the lives of the pioneering settlers and the native people, including the Mountain Shoshone and Crow Indians, who made their homes here. The evening is free to enjoy your resort as you wish.

Meals : Breakfast

Day 7 Jackson Hole

Spend the morning enjoying the activities on offer in this beautiful part of the country. The hotel’s concierge can arrange canoeing, kayaking, hiking, fly fishing, horseback riding and more; additional charges may apply. Should you wish to explore Jackson Hole on your own, courtesy transportation is available on Tauck’s motor coach to bring you to town and back to the hotel. Join us late this afternoon for a private tour and exclusive farewell reception for Tauck guests only at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. Showcasing the history of wildlife from around the world in more than 5,000 works of art, from 2500 B.C. to the present, the museum was built into a hillside overlooking the 25,000-acre National Elk Refuge. The museum’s collection includes European and American paintings and sculptures. Many of the works predate photography, making them vital representations of the frontier era in the history of the United States. Our farewell dinner follows at a local restaurant.

MEALS : Breakfast - Lunch

Day 8 Jackson Hole

Tour ends: Teton Village. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole to Jackson Hole Airport. Allow a minimum of two hours for flight check-in.