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Itinerary: Natural History

Natural History

Spokane - Spokane (SPO-SPO)
Fly-Drive, Motorhome, Incentive
18 Days

Day 1/2 – Arrrive Spokane.
In Spokane, visit the Cheney Cowles Museum. Recognized as one of the best in Eastern Washington, it includes exhibits on the Plateau Indians, the fur trade, early exploration and settlement of Spokane, and the Inland Northwest. Thundering Spokane Falls can be viewed from several bridges as well as a gondola. Overnight Spokane.

Day 3/4 – Priest River to Lewiston
Hell’s Canyon National Recreation Area, near Lewiston, is the deepest gorge in North America. Visitors can take jet boat excursions up the Snake River to view geological wonders. Overnight Lewiston.

Day 5 – Lewiston to Mountain Home
Bruneau Dune is the largest single structured sand dune in North America with a peak of 470 feet above Bruneau lakes. Overnight Mountain Home.

Day 6 – Mountain Home to Idaho Falls
At Hagerman Fossil Beds, over 150 skeletons of small zebra-like horses and 90 other types of plants and animals, such as saber-tooth lions and mastadons have been found. While on the way to Idaho Falls stop and view the "lunar" landscape at Craters of the Moon National Monument. Overnight Idaho Falls.

Day 7 – Idaho Falls to Thermopolis
Travel through Bridger-Teton National Forest to Riverton then north toward Thermopolis. The Wind River Canyon is literally a "drive through the ages." The winding highway takes you through the history of the earth carved out by the Wind River and other geological forces. Overnight Thermopolis.

Day 8 – Thermopolis to Laramie
In Laramie, the University of Wyoming Geological Museum features local physical and historical geology, spanning the past two billion years. Overnight Laramie.

Day 9 – Laramie to Hot Springs
Head east through Cheyenne to Pine Bluffs, the site of a superb archaeological dig featuring 11,000 years of human migration. The project extends for miles and includes thousands of stone teepee rings, Native American burial grounds, prehistoric trails and bison jumps. Hot Springs has the largest concentration of Columbian and woolly mammoth bones in the world. This National Natural Landmark is the only on-site display of fossil mammoths in America. It has been cited as one of the top exemplary fossil interpretive programs in North America. Overnight Hot Springs.

Day 10/11- Hot Springs to Rapid City
Rapid City is home to the Museum of Geology and the Journey Museum, which features high quality exhibits of dinosaurs, giant fish, prehistoric mammals, and settlement of the area from early humans through the present. Mitchell’s Prehistoric Indian Village & Acheodome, nearly 1,000 years old, was the home of the early Plains Woodlands Indians, a tribe of around 1,000 people. Badlands National Park is a wonderland for archaeologists and paleontologists featuring some of the most diverse landscape imaginable. Outdoor displays of fossil fish and mammals are accessible by walkway. Overnight Rapid City.

Day 12 – Rapid City to Billings
Outside of Billings , the Pictograph Caves Historical Site features remains of a 5,000 year old prehistoric culture. Overnight Billings.

Day 13 – Billings to Ft. Peck
To the Sioux Indians , Makoshika meant "bad earth" or "bad land". The unique Makoshika State Park contains fossil remains, nature trails, campgrounds, picnic sites and a visitors center. Fort Peck and Museum at the power plant site includes fossils of dinosaurs, armored fish, swimming reptiles and artifacts from Old Fort Peck. Visitors can see cave paintings with interpretive panels explaining the early communication. Overnight Ft. Peck or Glasgow.

Day 14 – Ft. Peck to Great Falls
Travel Ft. Peck to Great Falls. The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center (727-8733), opened in 1998, is the newest addition to the Lewis and Clark National Trail. Located on the bluffs above the river, it's ideally situated for a view of the portage route and convenient to the many sights of Great Falls. Overnight Great Falls

Day 15- Great Falls to Choteau
Egg Mountain Dinosaur Dig site near Choteau is accessed only by special arrangements with the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, but displays one of the most unique sites ever found in the world. Overnight Choteau.

Day 16- Choteau to Priest River
Priest River is home to the Roosevelt Grove of ancient cedars where guests can walk through a virgin forest with trees up to 4 meters in diameter and 50 meters tall. Overnight Priest River or Sandpoint.

Day 17 – Priest River to Spokane. Overnight Spokane.

Day 18 – Depart Spokane

 


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