Scenic Yellowstone National Park
Mon, Jun 6 – Tue, Jun 12
Walking Level: Moderate
Head into the wild of Yellowstone National Park with Special Journeys!
With 2.2 million acres of land, Yellowstone has plenty of fresh air and rugged wilderness for us to explore. We will begin our adventure with a stop at the Guernsey State Park. This park is on the National Register of Historic Places, and contains an impressive log and stone building in the park. This structure was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the mid 1930's, and took nearly 6,100 man hours to build.
Next we explore the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. This area memorializes the U.S. Army's 7th Cavalry and the Sioux and Cheyenne in one of the Indian's last armed efforts to preserve their way of life. Here on June 25 and 26 of 1876, 263 soldiers, including Lt. Col.
George A. Custer and attached personnel of the U.S. Army, died fighting several thousand Lakota, and Cheyenne warriors. At the National Monument, we will explore the museum exhibits, walk up the "last hill" (Custer's Last Stand), visit the Indian Memorial and see the National Cemetery. Afterwards we will drive to Billings and tour Boothill Cemetery. This quirky resting place provides a unique history of the area as well as beautiful views of the city.
We will then head on over the Montana Grizzly Bear Encounter which provides a spacious and natural home for rescued grizzlies. At the same time, it provides a place where the public can come and learn about grizzly bears as they watch the majestic animals "up close" in a beautiful mountain setting. The Encounter offers visitors an opportunity to see and understand this awesome creature safely, up close, with no bars or cages to obstruct the view.
Today we will explore the Southern half of Yellowstone National Park. Our journey will begin with a visit to the Midway Geyser Basin which is one of the unexpected delights of Yellowstone. The hottest part of this hot spring is deep, jewel-like blue and as the water radiates away and cools, algae mats and bacteria form bands of vibrant color in bright reds, oranges, yellows and browns. Then we will see Biscuit Basin and the Mud Volcano Area.
After lunch, we will visit the Upper Geyser Basin where most of the geysers are found. Then we will see Old Faithful and tour the Visitor's Center and learn about the planet's most diverse and intact collection of geysers, hot springs, mud pots, and fumaroles! Our visit will also include a stop at the Grand Prismatic Spring which is a breathtaking brightly-colored hot spring, the result of algae that live in the water.
The next day we explore the Northern part of Yellowstone National Park. Our journey will start with a visit to Norris Geyser Basin which is an area of bubbling hot springs. We will also see the Lower Yellowstone River Falls, Artist Point and the South Rim Trail which is considered by many to be the best area to view and explore the Grand Canyon (a scenic waterfall tumbling into the Yellowstone River).
Next we will drive to Cody, Wyoming to explore the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. This amazing building houses five massive museums under one roof that will provide you with information on Native American Culture, famous cowboys and girls, Western Art and more. The first museum is the Buffalo Bill Museum, where we'll see possessions of Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley. (See? We told you there were cowgirls!) Then we'll head on over to the Plains Indian Museum where we will hear stories of Plains Indian cultures, traditions, trials and triumphs. You'll view amazing artifacts from the 1800's and today. Next up, we'll see over 10,000 artifacts at the Cody Firearms Museum. Then we'll explore a hands-on exhibit at the Draper Natural History Museum where we listen and feel what makes Yellowstone's ecosystem so diverse. Finally, we'll walk around the Whitney Western Art Museum where we browse classic art from world-renowned western artists such as Remington, Russell and Vierstadt.
As we head home, we'll stop at the infamous Wall Drug. Did you know that Wall Drug got its start with the promise of free ice water? That notion turned Wall Drug into one of the most well-known tourist stops in the world! We will have lunch (and maybe some free ice water) then we'll shop in some of the many stores and take some time to enjoy the area.