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Rocky Mountain National Parks Tour

21 Days

This itinerary will take your through the Rockies, starting in Colorado and ending in Utah, with stops along the way in South Dakota, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.

Day 1 - Day 2

Rocky Mountain National Park offers 663 square miles (1,068 square km) of scenic beauty with waterfalls, meadows filled with wildflowers, scenic vistas and abundant wildlife. Trail Ridge Road through the center of the park is the highest continuous roadway in the world with a restaurant that is two miles above sea level. Overnight in Denver.

Day 3 - Day 6

Wind Cave National Park and Jewel Cave National Monument are the world’s fifth- and second-longest caves. Minuteman Missile National Historic Site is one of the nation’s newest national parks. Badlands National Park contains spires, pinnacles, buttes and gorges covering 244,000 acres (97,600 ha) of eerie, haunting topography caused by 37 million years of wind and water erosion. Mount Rushmore National Memorial is considered the world's greatest mountain carving and is certainly America's most recognized. Overnight in Custer or Rapid City.

Day 7

Devils Tower was America's first national monument and reaches 364 meters into the western sky. To the northwest, Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument (formerly Custer Battlefield National Monument) serves as a symbol for both sides — the U.S. Cavalry and Native Americans including the Sioux and Cheyenne, who fought on the banks of the Little Bighorn River. Overnight in Billings.

Day 8

The Big Hole Battlefield National Monument, near Wisdom, is the site of the 1877 battle between Colonel John Gibbon's troops and Chief Joseph's Nez Perce Indians. One of Montana's three units of the Nez Perce National Historic Park, the Big Hole Battlefield features a visitor center, museum and battlefield tours. Overnight in Butte.

Day 9 - Day 11

Glacier National Park, in the northwest corner of Montana, features the spectacular 55-mile (88.5-km) Going-To-The-Sun Road and more than 699 miles (1,126 km) of foot and horse trails. Stunning mountains, abundant wildlife and crystal lakes are the jewels of this park. Overnight in Glacier or Flathead Valley.

Day 12

Near Spalding, the Nez Perce National Historic Park brings alive the history of the Nez Perce Indians that reside here. Overnight in Lewiston.

Day 13

Hells Canyon, a National Recreation Area, is North America's deepest river gorge. Jet boat excursions and river trips are available in Lewiston, Whitebird and Riggins. Overnight in Riggins.

Day 14

Travel three scenic byways today on the way to the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, a hiker's delight with more than 300 high alpine lakes. Overnight in Stanley.

Day 15

Craters of the Moon National Monument covers 53,120 acres (20,732 ha) near Arco, Idaho. This desolate moonscape reveals the violent age of volcanoes and holds an astounding variety of caverns and craters hidden among black cinders. Overnight in Yellowstone.

Day 16 - Day 17

The world's first national park is Yellowstone National Park, where more than 10,000 thermal features and hundreds of animal species run wild. Overnight in Yellowstone.

Day 18

Adjacent to Yellowstone is Grand Teton National Park, home of seven mountain peaks ranging from 9,842 to more than 13,123 feet (3,000 to more than 4,000 meters) in height. Overnight in Grand Teton or Jackson Hole.

Day 19

Fossil Butte National Monument contains millions of years of fossil remains on open display. Overnight in Evanston.

Day 20 - Day 21

A monument to Mormon pioneers crowns a peak above Salt Lake, where Church leaders proclaimed "this is the place" for thousands of Mormon pioneers who traveled in covered wagons west to Salt Lake in 1847. Adjacent to the monuments is Old Dessert Village, a cluster of homes, shops and buildings dating back 100 years and staffed by friendly volunteers in period garb. Overnight in Evanston

Next Up: Scenic Highway 10

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