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Itinerary: Western Heritage

The region offers not only spectacular natural scenery and wildlife, but a glimpse into the cultural and historical features of the American West, both the old and new, where cowboys still rope and ride and Native Americans still practice their heritage.

Day 1/2 - Arrive Minneapolis / St. Paul
Rent vehicle. The Mall of America is the largest shopping-entertainment complex in the United States and caters to international groups and guests ó it even has a tourism office with special coupon books and orientation. The Mall includes 500 stores on three levels plus the Camp Snoopy Amusement Park, UnderWater World, Golf Mountain Adventure, and seven nightclubs, over 60 restaurants, and 14 movie theaters. Overnight Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Day 3 - Minneapolis to Ft. Sisseton
Visit Fort Sisseton, one of the Nationís best reserved 1860s cavalry forts. Living history and new displays enhance the experience. Overnight, Sisseton.

Day 4 - Sisseton to Pierre
Pierreís Cultural Heritage Center offers exhibits and displays on South Dakotaís native and pioneer history including arts, crafts, and traveling exhibitions. Overnight Pierre.

Day 5/6- Pierre to Black Hills
The new Spearfish Heritage Center features state of the art, interactive displays depicting the history of the region. The Indian Museum of North America located at Crazy Horse Memorial features one of the regionís foremost collections of artifacts as well as the sculptorís beautiful studio, home and workshop. Ride the 1880 Steam Train between Hill City and Keystone. A visit to Deadwood offers real frontier history with names like Wild Bill Hickok, and Calamity Jane. Nearby, Lead is home to the Homestake Gold Mine, the oldest operating underground mine in the U.S. Overnight Rapid City, Custer, Keystone, Spearfish, or Deadwood.

Day 7 - Black Hills to Casper Via Ft. Laramie
Youíll be able to explore two historic forts on the Oregon Trail today, starting with the Ft. Laramie National Historic Site. Ft. Laramie served as a command post, supply center, and vital landmark for pioneers as they ventured West. Ft. Caspar guarded and manned the North Platte River Crossing at present-day Casper. Overnight, Casper.

Day 8 - Casper to Wind River Indian Reservation
Both the Eastern Shoshone and the Arapaho tribes share the Wind River Indian Reservation near Lander. Guide and outfitting services are available from Native American guides who will take you into the spectacular Wind River Mountain Range, Which offers fishing, camping, horseback riding, and experiencing authentic Indian heritage and culture. Overnight, Lander.

Day 9 - Lander to Sheridan Via Buffalo
Explore secluded Hole-in-the-Wall Valley where outlaws would lie low and alter the brands of stolen livestock. Between bank and train robberies, "Butch" Cassidy and the Wild Bunch frequently hid out behind the red rock wall. To the north is the TA Ranch, site of the classic cattlemenís shootout in the 1892 "Johnson County War". Bullet holes in the barn and house testify to the fury that once swirled around this working cattle ranch. Just 13 miles away is the small ranching community of Buffalo, Wyoming, a national historic district. Here in the shadows of the Big Horn Mountains travelers will find all the amenities for a comfortable stay. North of Buffalo is Fort Phil Kearney and related sites marking some of the bloodiest fighting in the Plains Indian Wars. Overnight Sheridan.

Day 10 - Sheridan to Hardin/Billings
Continuing on into Montana one comes to the Little Big Horn National Battlefield (formerly Custer Battlefield National Monument), where 12 companies of the U.S. Cavalry were beaten by Sitting Bullís Sioux and Cheyenne in 1876. North to Billings is the new nightly rodeo. Overnight Hardin or Billings.

Day 11 - Hardin/Billings to Cody via Lovell
A very worthwhile side-trip en route is The Medicine Wheel, located on Hwy. 14-A between Lovell and Burgess Junction. The Medicine Wheel is a unique archeological site 24 meters in diameter built on a mountaintop in prehistoric times by unknown American Indians. Cody offers not only the world-class Buffalo Bill Historical Center, but also nightly rodeos, whitewater rafting and excellent guest ranches in the Wapiti Valley. Overnight Cody or Wapiti Valley ranches.

Day 12/13 - Cody to Ft. Hall via West Yellowstone
Fort Hall is the home of both the Shoshone and Bannock Native Americans, who for thousands of years peacefully inhabited the same lands in southern Idaho. The Ft. Hall Replica features restored buildings and saloons from one of the major stops for pioneers headed west. Overnight, Pocatello or Ft. Hall.

Day 14/15 - Pocatello to Boise
In Boise, Idahoís capitol, take a city tour of old Boise on an 1890s-styled locomotive. Visit the Old Idaho State Penitentiary for a self-guided tour of one of the few remaining territorial prisons existing in the U.S. From Boise, travel northeast to Idaho City, an historic boomtown of the rowdy bonanza days of territorial mining. Overnight Boise.

Day 16/17 - Boise to Lewiston
Take a jet boat rise into Hells Canyon and explore the rich Native American and homesteading heritage of this deepest gorge in the wilderness. Twenty-four sites in the Nez Perce National Historical Park bring alive the thousand year history of the Nez Perce nation near Spalding. The Nez Perce National Historical Monument visitorís center contains a museum, an auditorium with interpretive talks and films. Overnight Lewiston.

Day 18/19 - Lewiston to Great Falls via Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park features the spectacular 88.5 KM Going -To-The-Sun-Road. Great Falls, home of C.M. Russell Museum, and the new Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, to the Ulm Pishkin Buffalo Jump, thought to be the oldest prehistoric buffalo kill site in the U.S. Overnights, Kalispell or Whitefish and Great Falls.

Day 20 - Great Falls to Bozeman via Virginia City
Virginia City, a restored gold mining camp, offers tours and entertainment in the rough and tumble old west town. Overnight, Bozeman.

Day 21 - Depart Bozeman to Minneapolis/St. Paul

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