Few itineraries can boast stays in seven different states during a two week duration. This incredible journey takes you from Denver in Colorado, up through Wyoming, the Dakotas, Montana, Idaho and Utah. You'll visit world-famous national parks such as Yellowstone and Grand Teton as well as lesser-visited parks such as Theodore Roosevelt, Wind Cave and Custer State Park.
Suggested route & duration
Suggested duration: 14 nights from Denver to Salt Lake City
• Denver, Colorado: 2 nights
• Cheyenne, Wyoming: 1 night
• Rapid City, South Dakota: 2 nights
• Medora, North Dakota: 1 night
• Billings, Montana: 1 night
• Sheridan, Wyoming: 1 night
• Cody, Wyoming: 1 nigh
• Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming: 2 nights
• Jackson, Wyoming: 1 night
• Twin Falls, Idaho: 1 night
• Salt Lake City, Utah: 1 night
About this independent tour
SELF-DRIVE The Seven-state Rocky Mountain self-drive is a recommended itinerary including car hire, accommodation in 3 and 4 star hotels and a personalised documentation pack.
DENVER Nick-named the ‘Mile High City’ due to its setting 1609 above sea level, Denver is the first stop on this suggested self-drive itinerary. Sitting where the Rocky Mountains meet the Great Plains the Colorado state capital offers much in terms of culture, entertainment dining and drinking – there plenty of craft breweries and tap rooms in the city. You can experience the history of the Gold Rush in Lower Downtown, taking in the Victorian architecture and Confluence Park where gold prospectors first saw flecks of gold in the waters of Cherry Creek. Alternatively, you can enjoy the more modern side of the city with unique public art and performing arts centres of Downtown and the premium shops and restaurants in Cherry Creek.
CHEYENNE Travel north from Denver en route to the hugely popular Rocky Mountain National Park. Lofty mountain peaks – 78 of them over 3600 metres above sea level – glacier-carved valleys and scenic drives all await in the United States’ 4th-most visited park. Later, cross into Wyoming and continue on to the town of Cheyenne.
RAPID CITY From Wyoming, cross the state line into South Dakota and drive onwards to Rapid City, visiting Hot Springs, Custer State Park and Mount Rushmore en route. Hot Springs is located in the Black Hills region and is perhaps unsurprisingly known for its geothermic springs. Custer State Park covers 71,000 acres of Black Hills landscapes and is known for its herds of bison – a real icon of this corner of the country. At the world-famous Mount Rushmore you can see sculptures of four former presidents of the United States.
MEDORA Continue north and visit the town of Deadwood, a historic town with a real Wild West vibe. The once lawless town has been declared at National Historic Landmark as is home to some well-preserved Black Hills Gold Rush-era architecture. Drive onwards across the expansive Great Plains towards the North Dakota town of Medora.
BILLINGS Medora is located on southern boundaries of one of the country’s smallest national parks, Theodore Roosevelt. Before departing for your journey south westwards into Montana, see the other-worldly badlands landscapes, the herds of bison and elk and the unassuming wood cabin the former president once lived in.
SHERIDAN Today you’ll return to Wyoming, visiting the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument as you travel southwards. The monument protects the site of the 1876 battle between George Armstrong Custer’s 7th Calvalry and a combined force from the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Araphaho tribes. You can also take a short side trip off the I-90 and visit Bighorn Canyon, an impressive scar in the land cut out by the Big Horn River.
YELLOWSTONE Undoubtedly the most famous national park visited in this self-drive, the UNESCO-listed Yellowstone is home to over half the world’s geothermal wonders including geysers, vibrantly-coloured mud pots and thermal springs. The region’s wildlife is also a major draw with species such as wolves, grizzly and black bears, bison and moose all found within the park’s boundaries.
JACKSON/GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK Some of the United States’ most spectacular and imposing landscapes can be seen in Wyoming’s lesser-visited park, Grand Teton. With rugged Rocky Mountain peaks of the Teton range, vast forests, mountain streams and sparkling alpine lakes this National Park is an outdoor lover’s paradise.
TWIN FALLS From Yellowstone, drive west into Idaho and visit the Craters of the Moon National Monument, an expansive area of lava landscapes covered in sagebrush. Continue on to Twin Falls which sits to the south of the winding Snake River and its canyon, and close to the 95-metre high Shoshone Falls which gives the city its name.
SALT LAKE CITY An intriguing city with a spectacular backdrop, Salt Lake City is the state capital of Utah and a great start or end point for an epic Western road trip. Perhaps most famous as the centre of The Church of the Latter Day Saints (a visit to the Salt Lake Temple in the heart of the city is certainly a unique cultural experience), the city is a great start point on an epic western road trip. To the north of the city is the Great Salt Lake, the remainder of the pre-historic Lake Bonneville and the largest salt lake in the Western Hemisphere.
Tailor your tour
This itinerary is completely flexible, so you can choose your own itinerary, duration and accommodation, add excursions, and extend your holiday.