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U.S. National Parks: Mount Rushmore to the Rockies

13 days Nature & Wildlife
Journey through a place where adventurers and explorers can revel in extraordinary landscapes and the pioneering spirit. From the stern stone faces of Mount Rushmore and wildlife of Yellowstone to the graceful sandstone sculptures of Moab and the landscapes of the Rocky Mountains, this is America at its most majestic, certain to inspire and amaze.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Maximum tour group size: 35 travelers

Tour Pace: You will walk for about 3 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including paved roads and unpaved trails, with few hills.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 12 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 4 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Expert Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Rapid City, South Dakota 2 nights Hotel info

Day 1: Arrival in Rapid City

Arrive in Rapid City, South Dakota and settle into your hotel.

Day 2: The Badlands & Mount Rushmore

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Set out to see a series of attractions that will stir the emotions of pride and patriotism.

• Visit Badlands National Park, a desolate landscape of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires

• Stop at Wall Drug, South Dakota’s favorite general store

• Stand in awe of Mount Rushmore, the monumental site

• Enter the Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center

Enjoy a welcome dinner with your fellow travelers this evening.

Sheridan, Wyoming 1 night Hotel info

Day 3: Devils Tower & Crazy Horse

Included meals: Breakfast

Cross into Wyoming, making several stops before continuing on to the city of Sheridan for the evening.

• Visit the soaring Devils Tower National Monument, a sacred site for Native Americans

• View the Crazy Horse Monument, the world’s largest mountain sculpture and memorial for the legendary Lakota Chief

Cody, Wyoming 1 night Hotel info

Day 4: The Buffalo Bill Museum Center of the West

Included meals: Breakfast

Make your way through scenic northern Wyoming, passing mountains and wildlife including buffalo. Then, visit the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, founded in 1921 by Buffalo Bill’s foster son Johnny Baker.

• Discover the life, times and legend of William “Buffalo Bill” Cody

• View Buffalo Bill’s show outfits

• See Frederick Remington’s Portrait of a Ranch Hand as well as Sitting Bull’s bow and arrows

Jackson, Wyoming 2 nights Hotel info

Day 5: Yellowstone National Park

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel to Yellowstone, the world’s first national park (so designated in 1872).

• Enjoy an excursion through the wonders of Yellowstone National Park

• Explore hot springs and geysers, including the iconic Old Faithful

• View wildlife including bison, grizzly bears, elk and wolves

Day 6: Grand Teton National Park

Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a free morning in Jackson, one of the West’s premier arts communities, or add an excursion.

Later, spend the afternoon in Grand Teton National Park. 

• Explore the Grand Tetons, the youngest mountain range in the Rockies

• Take short walks to view the park’s unique wildlife

Optional Excursion - Volunteer at Grand Tetons National Park $0pp* Details

Take a few hours to give back to the U.S. national parks and help sustain them for the next generation. You'll make a difference as part of a group completing a small project to restore the natural beauty of the land, which may range from cleaning up a trail to cutting back foliage. Please note: you'll need to sign medical and liability forms in order to participate as a volunteer.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Park City, Utah 1 night

Day 7: Travel to Park City

Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy the open spaces and fantastic scenery as you travel south to Park City, a popular ski resort that’s also known for hosting the Sundance Film Festival. With your Tour Director leading the way, get to know the town on a guided tour.

• Explore the historic Main Street, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979

• Pass the Park City Museum, where you can discover the city’s rich past

Moab, Utah 2 nights Hotel info

Day 8: Travel through the Wasatch Mountains

Included meals: Breakfast

Make your way through the soaring peaks of the Wasatch Mountains as you travel through the Central Utah Valley en route to Moab.

Day 9: Arches National Park

Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a free morning in Moab or add an excursion. 

This afternoon, immerse yourself in the red rock sculptures carved by nature as you explore Arches National Park, home to more than 2,000 arches, spires, domes, pinnacles and fins.

Enjoy a free evening in Moab or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Colorado River Raft Trip $59pp* 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'll float through the 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.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $69)

Optional Excursion - Canyonlands River Cruise & Old West Dinner $99pp* Details

Tonight, board a flat-bottomed boat for a cruise on the Colorado River. As you float along, 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 while sipping two included drinks. Back on shore, end your evening with a cowboy-style, Dutch oven dinner.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $109)

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado 2 nights

Day 10: Travel through the Rockies

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel through the Rockies and across the Continental Divide

• Pass the charming mountain town of Glenwood Springs, the rugged Glenwood Canyon and Vail, the famed resort town, as you travel through the Rockies and across the Continental Divide.

Day 11: Rocky Mountain National Park

Included meals: Breakfast

Set out to explore the wonders of Rocky Mountain National Park.

• Drive along the Trail Ridge Road, which soars to 12,000 feet in elevation (weather dependent)

• Take several short trail walks

• Look out for wildlife including elk, bighorn sheep, moose and bears

Denver, Colorado 1 night Hotel info

Day 12: Denver via Boulder

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Stop in Boulder on your way back to Denver, where you’ll share a farewell dinner with your fellow travelers.

Day 13: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or extend your stay to explore Denver.

Add Denver $449 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

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, Colorado 2 nights Hotel info

Day 13: Sightseeing tour of Denver

Included meals: Breakfast

Explore Colorado’s capital city on a tour led by a local guide. 

• Enter the Molly Brown House

• View the Botanic Gardens and the Denver Mint

• Pass through the city’s vibrant art and museum districts

Day 14: Free day in Denver

Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in Denver or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Pike's Peak $45pp* 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 be difficult for some travelers.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $55)

Day 15: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to Denver airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Rapid City, South Dakota, United States
  • Sheridan, Wyoming, United States
  • Jackson, Wyoming, United States
  • Moab, Utah, United States
  • Denver, Colorado, United States
Temperature Precipitation
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  • FEB
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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: 9/2/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: TX

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Tour Director

Sttevyn was the best of the best. I learned more from him than I learned from my history classes. Brian. Our bus driver, was awesome too. When we take another tour we will take the one that Stevyn heads up. We travel a lot and he other tour guides did not come close to his presentation and the enthusiasm he had. Thank you , Stevyn!

review photo
1 / 1

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/2/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Awesome Tour Director

America the Beautiful tour was a remarkable trip thanks to Stevyn our very special tour guide. He managed the "12 days" perfectly with a wonderful spirit and joy. Stevyn's in-depth knowledge, his experience and unbelievable memory skills brought every sight alive and mesmerizing and exceeded all expectations. We were entertained "on" and "off" the bus making our time pass so quickly. Stevyn surprised us with a few extra stops along the way that added to an already fascinating tour. Our group found it emotional to say good-bye to each other and above all to Stevyn. We also had a special group of wonderful travelers, that all agreed to try and travel again with Stevyn on Go Ahead tours next year. Cannot forget to mention that Nick was a great driver that made us feel extremely safe with his driving skills the entire trip. Nick and and Stevyn made a great team. The hotels were very clean and in good locations. The food was very good. America the Beautiful captures wonderful places and this trip is the "Best we have experienced." I will be sure to recommend Go Ahead to all my friends and family.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 8/19/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: PA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Moab Tour 8/2015

Excellent tour for our "Bucket List" excursions. Itinerary, tour director Nancy & driver Alfred were the BEST. Would use Go Ahead again if it fit our travel destinations.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/2/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MD

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Tour Director

I had never been on a tour like this before and I really loved it. Stevyn P. our tour director was the Best. His knowledge and expertise was beyond words. He painted a picture for me and I was able to appreciate everything with a clearer eye. The Arches, Yellowstone and Grand Tetons etc,. were majestic and beyond anything I could have imagined. Stevyn gave us his love of this country and all of its wonders. You are very lucky to have Stevyn on your staff. My friends on the tour were people you want to know for life. Funny, compassionate, good natured and warm. We all had a great time and would recommend Go Ahead to others. Also Nick the bus driver was a gem. He kept us safe.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/2/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Greatest Tour Director Ever!!

Few trips exceed my expectations, but thanks to Stevyn P., America the Beautiful came to life before my eyes and did just that! Stevyn made what could have been boring long rides exciting and educational. I was immediately impressed by his vast knowledge base and his incredible memory. He answered even the most obscure questions; and in the rare occasion it was necessary cheerfully agreed to research the topic. Clearly he loves his job, loves learning, and loves sharing. In addition, his scope of experience including walking solo across both the United States and Europe made for excellent, interesting stories. He kept us entertained, laughing, and learning without realizing it. Perhaps we had a unique group but everyone managed to coalesce as one, deferring to one another, and sharing treats. Not an unkind word or sullen expression could be heard or seen. Truly, this was one of my favorite trips, and I have already recommended it to several people who heard the Go Ahead name for the first time.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 8/19/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NJ

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Nancy Is the greatest Tour Director

Nancy was organized and knowledgeable - we had the best time and are this telling everyone who will listen to us what a wonderful time we had. Nancy did everything possible to make sure everyone was having fun. Our Driver Alfred was amazing on the National Park roads that were twisting and turning, He was great. Nancy helped us all with taking photos and where was the best place to take them. A wonderful trip for the price and we did all the extras available which were fun and enjoyable to anyone who came. One thing would have been to stay at the National Parks- we know how hard it is to get rooms there without at least a years notice. Great trip Thanks to everyone at GO Head Tours Gary& Jeannette J.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 8/19/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: OH

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Great tour of parks

Our tour director, Nancy, was so enthusiastic and fun! We liked the itinerary but believe more meals and the optionals should be included. We recommend there be a introduction and selection of buddies on the first night. We "wasted" an afternoon in Moab with 99 degree temps and optional float trip which we chose not to do. Perhaps Two nights in Moab is too much

 

Dear Ronald, Thank you for traveling with us, and for taking the time to review your recent trip! We are proud to have an expert team of Tour Directors all over the world, and are so pleased that you found Nancy to be enthusiastic and fun! Our itineraries are designed to allow for our travelers to customize their experience. We have certain inclusions to provide structure and cultural context to our tours, along with supplemental optional excursions that travelers can participate in if they are interested. Our Tour Directors are well trained to provide additional information and support to travelers looking to spend time exploring on their own. We have found that many of our travelers see Moab as a true highlight of this trip, and we regret to learn that you felt you ‘wasted’ an afternoon there. We thank you for your review and for traveling with Go Ahead, and we hope to welcome you onto another tour in the future!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | September 03, 2015

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 5/20/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: FL

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Go Ahead with National Parks Tours

This was the first time I travelled with Go Ahead. Practically all of the 32 on the tour spoke highly and had been on several trips before. Great value and educational. All our needs were met and personalized. Arches, which I had never seen before, was incredible - now have to see Bryce and Zion. Revisiting Salt Lake City, Tetons, Yellowstone, Badlands, Rushmore after many years, plus first time visits to Little Bighorn in MT, and Crazy Horse in SD were special too. WY has much to offer. Denver City tour also was comprehensive. Thank you!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/17/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: TN

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Tour Director

Tour Director is meant everything for this kind of bus tour. Nancy is the best, her knowledge, experience, good positives, well alerts and good memories. We were lucky to have her on our tour. For any tour director to take care 44 people is quite tough, but she made it so simple and fun. We are looking forward for our next tour.

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!

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