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Best of the American Rockies

8 Days Guided Tours

Virgin Holidays' view

Strap on your spurs and get ready to experience some of the wildest spots in the Wild West — as you live out your childhood cowboy (or cowgirl) fantasies and travel through the American Rockies.

On this tour, you’ll check in to some of the big players in cowboy country, from Cheyenne to Rapid City; and, in between, you’ll roam free in scenery straight from the set of a Western.

You can play the part by picking yourself out a pair of cowboy boots in Denver – although you may want to kick them off before kicking back in historic Larimer Square, where swanky cocktail bars and chef-driven restaurants probably call for fancier footwear. You can almost taste the frontier days in spots like Cody, where the Old West lifestyle is still lived out in raucous rodeos, and their hero Buffalo Bill is immortalised in a must-visit museum.

The landscapes are as legendary as the cowboys here — and a trip among the Rockies also gives you that coveted chance to walk among the bubbling mud pots and simmering hot springs of Yellowstone National Park, and to lose yourself in the gargantuan scale and beauty of the Grand Tetons during your stopover in western-favourite Jackson Hole.

Itinerary

Day 1: UK – Denver

Flight from the UK to Denver. Welcome to Denver. With the impressive Rocky Mountains as a backdrop, Denver effortlessly blends the city’s Old West heritage with today’s modern skyscrapers and urban energy. Upon arrival at Denver International Airport meet an ATI representative at the airport who will assist you with pre-arranged seat-in transfer to your hotel. Accommodation stay – 1 night stay in Denver area.

Day 2: Denver – Rocky Mountains – Cheyenne 

This morning, enjoy a short city tour of the 'Mile High City', including the gold-domed State Capitol whose 13th step on the west side of the building is exactly 5,280 feet above sea level – one mile high. A short distance from Denver you’ll enter Rocky Mountain National Park where you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world. Here, 415 square miles encompass and protect spectacular mountain environments. And if you thought the journey to the park was beautiful, just wait until you experience Trail Ridge Road. Known appropriately as the 'Highway to the Sky', and offering incomparable views in every direction, Trail Ridge Road winds past countless peaks, through tundra high above the treeline and crosses the Continental Divide at 12,183 feet. Continue to Cheyenne, Wyoming’s capital city that embodies the spirit of the Old West. Considered the nation’s railroad capital, Cheyenne is home to a collection of steam engines, including Old Number 4004, the world’s largest steam locomotive and one of the eight remaining Big Boys on display throughout the country. ATI welcome reception in the evening. Accommodation stay – 1 night stay in Cheyenne area. Coach mileage approximately 185 miles.

Day 3: Cheyenne – Mount Rushmore – Rapid City 

Your journey begins this morning with a visit to Fort Laramie National Historic Site. Originally established as a private fur trading fort, this 'grand old post' evolved into the largest and best known military post on the Northern Plains and witnessed the entire sweeping saga of America’s western expansion. Continue through the majestic beauty of South Dakota’s Black Hills to Mount Rushmore National Memorial where you’ll come face to face with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, and America’s rich heritage. Accommodation stay – 1 night stay in Rapid City. Coach mileage approximately 310 miles.

Day 4: Rapid City – Bighorn Mountains – Cody 

Today, crossing back into Wyoming en route to Cody, you’ll travel through Bighorn National Forest where undisturbed rolling hills, alpine lakes, craggy cliffs, thick pine forests and the Bighorn Mountains dominate the landscape. Upon arrival in Cody you’ll visit the Buffalo Bill Museum. Celebrating the spirit of the American West, including the culture and art that bring the heritage of Wyoming alive, the Buffalo Bill Museum focus’ on the life and times of William F. 'Buffalo Bill' Cody, the town founder and a living legend. In the evening enjoy attractions that include rodeos, gun fight reenactments and cowboy music. Accommodation stay – 1 night stay in Cody area. Coach mileage approximately 400 miles.

Day 5: Cody- Yellowstone 

Today, take an unforgettable journey into America’s first national park and nature’s wonderland, Yellowstone National Park. Here, the Earth is in action with geysers, mountain ranges and rivers, waterfalls, and ancient volcanoes. The iconic spots – Old Faithful, Mammoth Hot Springs and Yellowstone Canyon – will be familiar from photographs, but seeing them in person is a humbling experience. They’re not just as good as you’ve heard – they’re better. This mountain wildland is also home to eagles, grizzly and black bears, buffalo, elk and much more, so you’re bound to see wildlife wherever you go. Accommodation stay – 1 night stay in Yellowstone Area. Coach mileage approximately 115 miles.

Day 6: Yellowstone – Grand Teton – Jackson Hole 

An exquisite mountain landscape where jagged peaks tower more than a mile above the Jackson Hole valley, Grand Teton National Park is located just south of Yellowstone. Rising above a scene rich with extraordinary wildlife, pristine lakes and alpine terrain, the Teton Range dominates the park’s skyline and stands as a monument to the people who fought to protect it. A stop will be made at the Snake River Overlook, a location made famous by Ansel Adams, where views of the Snake River flowing along the mountains puts the size of the Tetons into perspective. Continue to Jackson Hole, an area encompassed on all sides by mountain barriers. Accommodation stay – 1 night stay in Jackson Hole area. Coach mileage approximately 90 miles.

Day 7: Jackson Hole – Salt Lake City 

Today’s journey takes you through scenic Southern Idaho to Salt Lake City, the Mormon state of Utah’s capital and most populous city. Upon arrival, enjoy views of the State Capitol Building and downtown’s historic Temple Square, home to the 6-spired Salt Lake Temple and domed Tabernacle of the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir, prior to arriving at your hotel. This evening we recommend dining at The Roof Restaurant (optional). The Roof offers an extravagant buffet and inspiring views of the Salt Lake Valley & Temple Square. Accommodation stay – 1 night stay in Salt Lake City area. Coach mileage approximately 305 miles.

Day 8: Depart Salt Lake City

Your tour ends upon check out from your hotel. We will transfer you by Supershuttle to Salt Lake City International Airport. We hope you have had a memorable journey!

Dates & prices

The table below shows our escorted tour departure dates.

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Prices are described as Guide prices on this website and may be higher or lower due to availability and date of departure.

Prices are for departure dates listed, ex-UK and are per adult based on two adults travelling and sharing a standard room and with return economy flights where stated. Single room and flight prices are available at a supplement.

Please note some tours are subject to minimum numbers, please call our travel experts or visit your local retail store for full details as well as our latest prices.

Tour information

Please click here to download a pdf of the itinerary and additional tour notes

Pre/Post Tour information

If you would like to extend your trip or make the tour part of a longer holiday, we can easily add on a pre or post night stays for you. Our Sales Team will work with you to arrange the best connecting flights and book any additional hotel stays. Simply tell us what you’d like and we can arrange it.

Time difference

GMT -7 hours

Hotel List

Final hotel list will be confirmed 10 days prior to departure.

Tour inclusion

  • Meet & Greet at the airport
  • Pre-arranged (seat-in) airport transfers
  • Private air conditioned motorcoach transportation throughout
  • Accommodation and sightseeing as listed above
  • English speaking guide

Tour exclusions

  • Flight upgrades and airport transfers in the UK
  • Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, tips & gratuities, video camera fees at monuments 
  • The required ESTA application
  • Anything not detailed on the itinerary

Dining inclusions

No board included

Included activities

Tours listed in the itinerary.

Journey times

Please note due to long distances covered on some of the tours, there will be some days when the majority of the day will be spent on the coach, so just sit back and enjoy the view.

Group size

Maximum approximately 56 passengers (full coach).

Visa requirements

It's mandatory for everyone travelling to or transferring through the US, under the Visa Waiver Program, to obtain approval to travel no later than 72 hours prior to travel by completing an online process ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization or ESTA scheme). Failure to obtain an ESTA could result in the passenger being denied boarding by the airline.
The cost of an ESTA is currently approx $14 per person and can be obtained by visiting https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. Once completed & approved, the ESTA application is valid for two years and allows multiple visits without the need to reapply – simply update your details on the same website. Travelers can apply for an ESTA even if they have no firm plans to travel to the US.
If you need any further information on the ESTA or you have any other visa queries, then try the Visit USA Website atwww.visitusa.org.uk where further information on the scheme and up to date fee can also be found. The ESTA is very similar to the automated visa that you purchase to enter Australia and is completely paperless

 

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Your holiday may be affected by travel restrictions or cancellations

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know.

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Looking for inspiration? Explore our destinations and holiday types and save your faves to your very own Wishlist. Or dive right in to our 2021 holiday offers.

For extra piece of mind, new bookings made before 31 August 2020 for travel up 30 April 2021 also have the flexibility to amend free of charge. If you need to change don’t worry, you can move your holiday as far out as 31 December 2021 subject to availability.

Latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office repatriation travel advice


Over the past few weeks, we have repatriated our customers from overseas who wanted to come home.  

Please visit this page to keep up to date with the Government’s travel advice on returning to the UK, and to register for email alerts.
 

How would you like to talk to us?

With many customers needing our help, we are prioritising those customers due to travel before 06 October 2020. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Stay tuned for the latest updates


Rest assured; we will notify you as soon as we know if your holiday has been affected.  

We are prioritising those customers due to travel before 06 October 2020. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

Let’s talk


If you need to speak to us to change or cancel your booking, and you are due to travel before 06 October 2020, please log in to Manage my booking to call or message us. 

Payment flexibility


Don’t worry if you’ve missed a payment or just need a little more time to pay; we have options available to help you. If your holiday is going ahead as planned, you can continue to pay for your holiday in Manage my booking, even if travelling in less than 12 weeks. If you’re unsure, you can delay any additional payments by choosing a new time to travel by requesting a call back in Manage My booking for one of our team to look at options. If your holiday is more than 6 months away, you may wish to set up a Direct Debit to spread the cost. This can be arranged whilst rebooking or afterwards in Manage my booking.

We're flexible with your holiday plans


We understand that you may wish to change your holiday plans and we appreciate the need for flexibility. 

We'll be in touch by email letting you know how to register to change your holiday plans. You can also log into Manage my booking to find the details there. 

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

You're good to go


If we haven’t notified you of any changes, your holiday will be going ahead as planned but if you prefer to move your holiday to a later time we can help. Log in to Manage my booking to request a call back to amend your holiday. Please bear in mind we’ll work through requests in departure date order so may take longer than usual for us to get back to you

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

Thank you for your patience and understanding


Payments are being prioritised based on when the request was made, working in order from March 2020 onwards. We will always try to process refunds at the earliest opportunity, for requests before August our maximum timeframe is 120 days. As we are steadily reducing the maximum processing time for each new request, for refund requests made in August, we expect the maximum processing time to be 80 days, from the date the refund is requested. For those requesting a refund in September, we expect it to be processed within a maximum of 60 days, and then reduce to 30 days for refunds requested in October, before returning to normal levels.

We'll be in touch soon


To finalise the amendment, one of our customer advisors will phone you. We need to work through amend requests in departure date order so we can prioritise those with the most imminent travel plans, so you may have a longer wait than usual until we’re able to ring you back. We will help everyone that wants to move their holiday.

I returned early from holiday and have further questions?


You can contact our team by emailing feedback.backhome@virginholidays.com to discuss options on unused portions of your holiday. If you need to contact our team about amending an existing holiday or requesting a refund please log in to manage my booking.

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