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America the Beautiful: From Moab to Mount Rushmore

12 days Nature & Wildlife Tours
Go west and discover the America of legends and folklore—a place where adventurers and explorers can revel in the extraordinary landscapes and the pioneering spirit. From the graceful sandstone sculptures of Moab to the stern stone faces of Mount Rushmore, this is America at its most majestic, certain to inspire and amaze.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

Local cuisine with beer or wine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

Local cuisine with beer or wine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 11 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 3 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Guided sightseeing

  • Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Select entrance fees

Denver, Colorado1 night Hotel info

Day 1

Included meals: Dinner

Arrive in Denver, Colorado, and check into your hotel. At a welcome dinner this evening, meet your fellow travelers.

Moab, Utah2 nights Hotel info

Day 2

Included meals: Breakfast

Travel through the Rockies and across the Continental Divide on your way to Moab, passing through Vail, the famed ski resort, and stopping in one of the many charming mountain towns along the way for lunch before crossing into Utah’s canyon country.

Day 3

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Arches National Park

This morning, you may choose to join our optional excursion and start your day off with a rafting tour down the Colorado River. This afternoon, immerse yourself in the red rock sculptures carved by nature over the past 150 million years at Arches National Park, home to more than 2,000 arches, spires, domes, pinnacles and fins. Tonight, consider joining our optional Canyonlands by Night light show on the canyon walls of the Colorado River.

Optional Excursion - Colorado River Raft Trip $59*pp Details

Take a leisurely rafting trip down a tranquil stretch of the Colorado River, where you’ll see some of the most majestic sights of the American West. You'lll float through Majestic Castle Valley and past the Fisher Towers during your time on the river. Though your raft will ride a current, you'll travel through the river’s mildest stretch.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Optional Excursion - Canyonlands by Night Show $79*pp Details

Kick off your evening with a cowboy-style, Dutch-oven dinner before boarding a flat-bottomed boat. Cruise through the Colorado River and take note of the passage of time etched on the Canyonland walls. During tonight’s show, watch as lights and shadows create ever-shifting colors on the red rock canyons, and listen to the story about the formation, creation and history of the Moab area.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Salt Lake City, Utah1 night Hotel info

Day 4

Included meals: Breakfast

Depart for Salt Lake City, the capital of Utah and host city of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. This afternoon, take a guided sightseeing tour of the city center, including Temple Square, where you’ll see the six-spired granite Salt Lake Temple, the domed Tabernacle, home to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and the Gothic-style Assembly Hall.

Jackson, Wyoming2 nights Hotel info

Day 5

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

En route to Jackson, you’ll leave canyon country and head to the spectacular peaks of the Rockies, passing through the Bridger and Caribou National Forests, with scenic stops along the way. Tonight, arrive in Jackson and enjoy an included dinner.

Day 6

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Grand Teton National Park

Enjoy a free morning in Jackson, one of the West’s premier arts communities, and then spend the afternoon in Grand Teton National Park, the youngest mountain range in the Rockies. You’ll have the opportunity to explore, take short walks and view the park’s unique wildlife.

Cody1 night Hotel info

Day 7

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Yellowstone National Park

Travel through the Rockies and across the Continental Divide on your way to Moab, passing through Vail, the famed ski resort, and stopping in one of the many charming mountain towns along the way for lunch before crossing into Utah’s canyon country.

Sheridan, Wyoming1 night Hotel info

Day 8

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Buffalo Bill Center of the West

Today, tour the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, where you’ll see Sitting Bull’s bow and arrows, Buffalo Bill’s show outfits and Frederick Remington’s Portrait of a Ranch Hand, as well as Buffalo Bill’s grave. Founded in 1921 by Johnny Baker, Buffalo Bill’s foster son, the museum introduces you to the life, times, and legend of William F. Cody. Arrive in Sheridan later this afternoon.

Rapid City, South Dakota2 nights Hotel info

Day 9

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Crazy Horse Monument, Devils Tower National Monument

Cross Wyoming’s high plains and then enter the Black Hills. Here you’ll stop to gaze at Devils Tower National Monument, a sacred site for Native Americans that was declared the country’s first national monument by Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. Then, travel through Custer State Park to reach the monument that rivals Mount Rushmore in both size and scope. The world’s largest mountain sculpture, the Crazy Horse Monument is an ongoing memorial to the spirit of the legendary Lakota Chief Crazy Horse and his culture. Continue on to Rapid City, where you’ll spend the evening.

Day 10

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Mount Rushmore Visitor's Center, President’s Walk

This morning, travel on to two of the most otherworldly sights you’ll ever see. First, you’ll visit Badlands National Park, a desolate landscape of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires that look more like a lunar landscape than anything resembling Earth. Next, it’s on to Wall Drug, South Dakota’s favorite general store. Aside from the huge jackrabbit sculpture and the wagon out back, the best part of Wall Drug is the fascinating mix of people—and their uniquely decorated cars—that frequent it. This afternoon, travel to Mt. Rushmore. Few attractions stir the emotions of pride and patriotism that this monumental site does.

Denver, Colorado1 night Hotel info

Day 11

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Head back through Wyoming this morning and make your way to Cheyenne, where you’ll enjoy free time to grab lunch. Later, travel to Denver and gather with your fellow travelers to reminisce about your adventures at an included farewell dinner.

Flight homefor a day

Day 12

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

If you are not joining our post-tour extension, begin your return journey home.

Add Denver, 2 nights $299 pp

Welcome to the Mile High City. Explore Colorado’s vibrant capital, from the blooming botanical gardens to the Molly Brown House to the Denver Mint. Beer lovers can sample some of the nation’s most inventive microbreweries. And nature lovers can spend their time soaking in the greenery and the scenery of this outdoorsy city and the surrounding Rockies on an optional excursion to Pike’s Peak.

Denver, Colorado2 nights Hotel info

Day 12

Included meals: Breakfast

Embark on a guided sightseeing tour of Denver this morning, including the botanical gardens, the Denver Mint and the Molly Brown House.

Day 13

Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in Denver, or join our optional excursion to Pike’s Peak.

Optional Excursion - Pike's Peak $45*pp Details

Ascend to the summit of Pike’s Peak, the mountain that inspired “America the Beautiful.” Nikola Tesla conducted some of his most electrifying experiments here, but you’ll be swept away by the awe-inspiring views. On this excursion, take a bus to the base of Pike’s Peak, and then enjoy a scenic train ride on a cog railway up the mountain. High atop the Rockies, you’ll have time to explore on your own before returning to Denver. Please note: This excursion includes high elevations, which may difficult for some travelers.

Day 14

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

This morning, transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Denver, Colorado, United States
  • Moab, Utah, United States
  • Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
  • Jackson, Wyoming, United States
  • Sheridan, Wyoming, United States
  • Rapid City, South Dakota, United States
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & Visa Requirements

No official documentation is required for U.S. citizens, although we strongly recommend having your driver’s license or passport with you at all times for identification purposes. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please be sure to have your required identification with you as well.

Baggage Allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Be advised that most domestic airlines impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage, and that you are responsible for any such costs. Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other internal transfers, which may include train connections or flights. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height). Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & Packing Tips

To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. We suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want dressier attire.

Health

Please be aware that you will be traveling at altitudes between 7,000 and 9,000 feet above sea level on this tour. These high altitudes can sometimes cause difficulty breathing and other health problems for travelers who have heart problems or respiratory ailments. If you suffer from any of these conditions, please speak to your doctor regarding any potential health risks. Even healthy travelers may sometimes experience altitude sickness, a temporary condition featuring symptoms of headache, fatigue, nausea and light-headedness. Until your body acclimates to the higher altitudes, we suggest that you drink plenty of fluids and limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol. Otherwise, there are no major health risks when traveling to this region. During the summer months, take care for sun exposure and heat. Be sure to check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and personal travel requirements.

Cuisine

One of the most enjoyable aspects of traveling is the delightful variety of local cuisine—even if you’re not traveling abroad. Most of the cuisine on this tour is well-known to Americans, but look out for delicious Rocky Mountain regional specialties.

Transportation

All included transportation on your tour is by private motor coach.

Time Zones

All of your tour will be on Mountain Standard Time (MST), which is two hours behind Eastern Standard Time (EST). When it’s noon in New York City, it’s 10am on tour.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

Have you been on tour with us? Visit My Account to submit a review.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 8/6/2014

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great Tour

We had a wonderful time on this tour. Our Tour Director Lindsay was great, the itinerary was packed with scenic stops, and our new friends were entertaining to say the least. I've never seen so many beautiful places and at the same time....never laughed so much! We'd go again tomorrow if we could!

3 / 5

3 / 5

Traveled On: 8/6/2014

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: MA

Tour Director: 3 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

No Custer!

Neat tour, saw lots of neat places but misread the itinerary and thought we were going to the site of Custer's Last Stand, so be aware that this is not a stop on this tour although I believe it could and should be. the tour director did alter the tour and allowed us to go to Deadwood which I believe is a must see stop. With a little tweaking this tour could be greatly improved by seeing these two great histiorical places.

review photo
1 / 1

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/25/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Tour Director and Bus Driver

Looking at the itinerary, I expected a great vacation. What I got was the vacation of a lifetime. Our Tour Director exceeded our expectations. He widened our itinerary to an amazing extent. Our time in the bus was entertaining and informative. Stevyn certainly did his homework. He would give us the history, geology and culture of the places we were visiting. He also told us about other tours he had given in exotic countries (left us wanting to go there). It was the total package. Shifting our time around we were able to spend a time at Red Rock, saw the rock seats and the museum, attend the "Mormon Tabernacle Choir", we had an emotional visit to "Little Big Horn", complete with a Native American guide (on the bus), a spectacular view atop "Dead Horse Peak", just to name a few. We visited Mount Rushmore on the 4th of July and then, with a guide, saw the future monument of Crazy Horse - we even got to see a blast at the bottom of the monument. "Yellowstone National Park" was as spectacular as I thought it would be. There were so many things to see and digest. I am now reliving my trip through my photographs. Loved the Museum in Cody too. Special kudos to Ed, a fabulous bus driver. In the Mountains, there is only a 2 foot guide rail separating us from a 70 story drop. At no time did we feel unsafe. Ed was a calm and charming edition. It was a great trip. Thank you Stevyn and Thank you Ed.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/25/2014

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: MA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Our Wonderful Country

America the Beautiful: Moab to Mount Rushmore took us to some of our country's most beautiful parks and monuments. Stevyn our tour director was an unending source of interesting history and stories about the places we visited and our driver, Ed, made certain that our trip was a smooth and safe ride. Our group from so many different parts of the country and world started out as a busload of strangers and became a family of friends. Go Ahead has the most knowledgeable and caring tour guides and takes us to the most beautiful places.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/25/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

So glad I went on the tour...

I thoroughly enjoyed this tour! I agree with my fellow travelers: our tour director, Stevyn and bus driver, Ed were excellent. Ed did a terrific job navigating the almost 2700 miles of our trip. Stevyn was knowledgeable, organized, and congenial. By the end of the first day he knew our names (as a retired teacher I was truly impressed). I would sign up for another trip with them with absolutely no hesitation! The sights and scenery in the national and state parks we visited left me in awe; Arches, Dead Horse Point, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Devil's Tower, Badlands...wow, wow, and wow again! The rock formations, geothermals and wildlife sightings (especially the bison) were amazing. Visiting Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse (where we got to witness a blast) on the 4th of July was really special. I loved hot air ballooning along the Grand Tetons and over the Snake River. Hearing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was an unexpected pleasure. As for the hotels, the locations were wonderful and the rooms adequate. I thought our group lunch at The Bluebird was excellent and the dinners were OK. The last day is spent driving from Rapid City back to Denver. I think the only reason for that is to get us back to a major airport. Isn't there anyplace closer? We were fortunate to have a good group of people, and has been mentioned by others, we really bonded by the end of the trip. Special thanks to Florence and Thelma for their thoughtfulness is creating meaningful farewell gifts for Stevyn and Ed! If you are looking to visit this part of our country, and realize that the trip involves long stretches on a bus, I would highly recommend this tour.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/25/2014

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: MA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Rediscover how beautiful America is with the best tour director.

In order of excellence. “A+" goes to our tour director, Stevyn and coach driver, Ed. Stevyn is extremely articulate and entertaining who effectively delivered the right mix of knowledge-sharing and witticism, a caring and intuitive organizer who effortlessly managed 40 diverse tourists with a wide range of needs and tastes, and an authentic likable guide who navigated for us a memorable America the Beautiful tour. Ed, our coach driver complemented Stevyn’s leadership with flawless performance, untiring dedication to our safety and comfort, and engaged with our tour group in a humorous yet respectful demeanor. Our tour group loved Stevyn and Ed and gave them a good-natured roast and acknowledgement at our farewell dinner. For me, Stevyn and Ed personified what is best about GoAhead Tours hence the “A+”. “A" goes to the itinerary. This tour showcased effectively the beauty and grandeur of the American national parks and stayed true with the theme. The number and variety of parks visited were outstanding (albeit fast-paced) and seemed to defy comparison to each other – often our group expressed amazement at how unique or different the next national park or memorial or event was from the one previous. This tour illustrated the immense history of this country that is connected to these national parks and gave us Americans a true sense of worth and value. With this alone, I would recommend this tour to educate and motivate our youthful people and for our experienced folks this could reinvigorate and help rediscover a sense of pride for our country. “A-" goes to our tour group. This was truly a pick of the draw and I feel very, very fortunate to have traveled with this America-the-Beautiful (ATB) group. I couldn’t have hoped for a more generous, caring, genteel, funny group of people who probably had little in common at the beginning but bonded together effortlessly throughout the trip and became extended family. “B-” goes to our excursions and special trips. The (optional) balloon ride above the Tetons rated an “A” (which would’ve been an A+ but for the cost) but there were other scheduled evening events or excursions that I would not retake, given the opportunity. “C” goes to our accommodations and/or included meals. In my opinion, the best included-meal was dinner on Day 9 at the Adoba Hotel which I would rate an 'A-'. My family enjoyed dinner on our own at the same location the following night and found consistency in quality of food and service again. Understandably our accommodations throughout the tour were in keeping with the rustic theme of log cabins and modest hotels; however, I would have paid more for more comfortable and modern hotels. “A-” goes to overall value that is to say, for what I paid, I received equitable return. The two categories of tour director/coach driver and itinerary were very important to me so they were weighted more heavily. The combined scores outweighed the bottom two categories which, in my opinion, could be improved easily especially for the benefit of those travelers who judge these categories to be most or more important. This was a wonderful tour. Thank you GoAhead.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/25/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Excellent Learning Experience !

What a fabulous job our tour Director Stevyn P. did on our America the Beautiful tour! He is an outstanding individual, very knowledgeable with his history facts as well as his geographical areas! WOW! We wasted no time in learning so much on this tour as well as making it a fun and enjoyable for all of us who were first time seeing this part of the country and eager to absorb this beautiful western country, the Good Old USA! My eyes were opened ! WOW ! So much interesting information and genuine friendly travelers who were respectful of each other ! I thoroughly loved it ! Thank You !

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/25/2014

Number of Past Tours: 12

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Go Ahead--You've Done it Again!!

As a Go Ahead "Diamond" World Traveler, I have visited some of the most beautiful and exotic places in the world. As wondrous as these places are, I can't say that any of them brought tears to my eyes. This tour, "America the Beautiful; from Moab to Mount Rushmore", did. . .this trip brought home to me that the United States of America is gorgeous, vastly diverse--in both geographics and demographics, incredibly rugged, and steeped in rich history. The tour itinerary was spot-on--a perfect blend of national parks; memorials; city tours; entertainment; adventure and hiking opportunities; and scenery, scenery, scenery! This is not the tour for the traveler who is looking for a 5-star hotel "destination" trip, but rather for the one who is looking for a good, healthy dose of America's great outdoors, wildlife, and Western culture and history. If you're that traveler, be ready to say, "Wow!", time and time again. Do you like wildlife? We saw pronghorn antelope, prairie dogs, eagles, deer, mountain goats, and--my personal favorite--bison! We even witnessed 2 "jousting" males just by the side of the road as we slowly drove by; farther in the background were bison females and their young. Incredible. There are too many scenic highlights to mention them all, but my favorites were Arches National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Crazy Horse Monument, the Badlands, and Mt. Rushmore (on July 4, of all things!!). If you think this is all you see on this tour, you're mistaken. There is much, much more. On the "entertainment side", the highlight for me was watching and listening to the 300+ strong Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Salt Lake City, Utah. Their program consisted of patriotic songs (in honor of the upcoming July 4 holiday) performed in a conference center which houses an 8,000-pipe organ. The acoustics were unbelievable.. Now, here comes the most important part: As wonderful as this tour's itinerary was for me, the overall superior QUALITY of this tour was due primarily to our Tour Director, Stevyn, and coach driver, Ed. Together, they orchestrated one of the most memorable tours of my life. Stevyn was knowledgable (I learned a lot from his talks), organized, compassionate, entertaining, fun, and funny! He was the perfect balance. Ed's driving and maintenance of our luxury coach were skillful and immaculate; and he was accommodating, patient, and fun. Between the two of them, they expertly handled our group of 40 travelers with great finesse, gusto, humor, and affection. As a result, by tour's end, our group of 42 was like one big, happy family. The primary reason Go Ahead is my tour company of choice--and has been for over 11 years--is because of its tour directors. This tour has only reinforced my commitment. I look forward to many, many more years of traveling with Go Ahead!

3 / 5

3 / 5

Traveled On: 6/25/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 2 / 5

Greatest Tour Director

Our tour director was amazing. Your company is very lucky & blessed to have Stevyn on your staff. He made the tour exciting and his knowledge about each stop was exceptional. He made sure that we saw all places on our itinerary along with places that he thought everyone would enjoy. I was very reluctant to take this trip but Stevyn made the tour a wonderful experience and showed us all that "America the Beautiful" is the perfect name for this tour., Our bus driver, Ed did an outstanding job and we always felt safe. As for the hotels on this tour; for the cost of the trip I felt that two of your :"hand picked" hotels were more like a Motel 6 or Super 8. It always seemed that the less desirable hotels were the ones we stayed for two nights. The other hotels were 3 star and above. I was also upset that our luggage fees should have been included with the price of the trip. My husband & I thought that more lunches & dinners should have been included, along with the bottled water we had on the bus, Excluding our tour director, my husband & I felt the tour was way overpriced for what we received.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/25/2014

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: NC

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Natural Treasures

Great tour. We feel like we discovered many natural treasures we didn't know before and reconnected with others that we had visited before. The excellent tour director, Stevyn, kept us on track, informed and entertained throughout. Everyone should at some point in their life do the America the Beautiful tour.

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