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Cruise America - Cowboy Country
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Where buffalo roam and many a Western flick seeks inspiration: this is cowboy country. Don your Stetson and explore these arid, mountain-fringed landscapes, home to ancient Indian tribes and wild coyotes, howling at the moon. You’ll explore Yellowstone, Grand Teton and the Rocky Mountain national parks, stopping to spot wildlife and soak up the rich culture of this historic, dusty region.
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Your Example Itinerary
Fly from the UK to Denver
Cheyenne, Wyoming, is the gateway to cowboy country, and the start of your epic journey. You can visit the Capitol Building and the State Museum to learn more about the area, before crossing the border into South Dakota and heading for Wind Cave National Park. One of the longest and most complex cave systems in the world, stop to admire the crazy formations inside – from frostwork to boxwork – and keep your eyes peeled for bison, elk and prairie dogs too.
Depicting the presidential faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, the Mount Rushmore National Memorial is one of the most iconic attractions in the USA. Capture the carvings on camera, before visiting the Crazy Horse Memorial, into which the face of an Indian Chief is etched.
The home of Calamity Jane, Wild Bill Hickok and the Black Hills gold rush, Deadwood epitomises that true Old West feel. From the gaming halls and casinos to classic saloons, it’s a real time-warp, fused together with some modern outdoor activities: think rock climbing, hiking and ATVing. It’s also a great place for movie locations too; Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Dances with Wolves were both shot here.
En route to Cody, the gateway to Yellowstone National Park, make a pit stop at the mighty Medicine Wheel, a National Historic Monument just off US Alt-14. The city itself is named after Colonel William Frederick Cody himself – aka ‘Buffalo Bill’. Here you can learn all about his life as a bison hunter and traditional showman and, if you’re visiting in early July, watch the Cody Stampede Rodeo.
Yellowstone National Park
You’ll be flanked by the walls of the immense Shoshone Canyon as you head for the eastern entrance of Yellowstone National Park. It’s a truly stunning drive, interspersed with wildlife sightings and postcard-worthy landscapes aplenty. Park up your motorhome at the Grant Village Campground and spend your time here exploring the waterfalls, geothermal pools and geysers. Staring into Old Faithful as it shoots thousands of gallons of boiling water into the air is unmissable.
Grand Teton National Park
Neighbouring Grand Teton National Park is all about the scenery. Soak up the striking mountains, valleys, rivers and lakes, peppered with abounding flora, fauna and wildlife. Outdoorsy types will feel right at home here, with biking, hiking, boating, climbing and horseback riding all possible.
A frontier town in the foothills of the Wind River Mountains, Lander is – most importantly – the jumping off point for the Wind River Indian Reservation, home of the Shoshone and Arapahoe Indian Tribes. Participate in a powwow, take in the museums for a taste of the local culture, and visit the grave sites of Sacajawea and Chief Washakie.
Laramie is a classic Old West-style town, notably home to the Wyoming Territorial Penitentiary. Now a State Historic Site, you can explore the prison and its cells, which once held notorious inmates like train and bank robber Butch Cassidy. Be sure to check out the American Heritage Center too, for an insight into the Rocky Mountain region and its past.
Previously named America’s Best Place to Live by Money Magazine, Fort Collins is a city where you can shop, get out on the water and explore its historic Old Town. Our favourite thing to do here though, is discovering the incredible landscapes – stretched across 50 parks and over 280 miles of hiking and biking trails. Spend your final day relaxing and soaking up the culture, or making the most of the great outdoors.
Return to Denver and fly back to the UK.
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