Clients on group flights will fly to Seattle today and make their own way to the start hotel. Land only clients should also make their own way to the start hotel.
After leaving Seattle in the early morning, we drive west over the Cascade Mountains into Idaho, where the shores of Lake Coeur D'Alene await. Early French speaking fur traders named this lake after the tough trading local Indians whose hearts were rumoured to be sharp as an owl. This western town boasts one of the top 5 most beautiful mountain lakes in the world. Enjoy a hike along the shore, sit on the beach or explore the old western down town.
We continue northeast into Montana and Glacier National Park - the 'Crown of the Continent Ecosystem'. This park crosses two mountain ranges and one international border. Jump on board the park's free shuttle bus for spectacular glacial scenery and abundant wildlife viewing. Black and Grizzly bears, Bighorn sheep and Bald eagles all call this million-acre national park home. Experience the pristine forests, alpine meadows, rugged mountains, and magnificent lakes of this spectacular wilderness. With over 700 miles of trails, it's a hiker's paradise.
Another day to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the National Park. Featured Accommodation: Swiftcurrent Motor Inn This historic motor Inn originated as a tent camp for the first 'auto tourists' to Glacier National Park. Cabins were first built on the site by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933. The motel was then constructed in the 1950s and the property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996. Known for its casual atmosphere and rustic charm, Swiftcurrent is a popular stepping-off point for trekkers attempting to walk on the trail over Swiftcurrent Pass as well as other trails leading to Iceberg and Ptarmigan Lakes, going through the unique 183-foot Ptarmigan Tunnel.
Cross the Big Sky State to the small town of Three Forks, at the headwaters of the Missouri River and a stopping point on Lewis and Clark's famous expedition. Spend the night in the historic Sacajawea Hotel.
Our next destination, Yellowstone National Park, is the world's first national park and home to a large variety of wildlife including grizzly bear, wolf, bison and elk. This park is so large that its boundaries cross into three states. Most of it is in Wyoming, but parts of the reserve extend into Idaho and Montana. Yellowstone has one of the highest concentrations of geothermal activity on the planet. Herds of bison roam amongst the erupting geysers and steam rises from the various rivers running through the park. A fire in the 1980s ravaged much of the park, but it has recovered to the extent that it is now a living monument to nature's power of regeneration.
Another day to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the National Park. Featured Accommodation: Lake Yellowstone Lodge (departure dates to be confirmed) Situated on a site long known as a meeting place for Native Americans, trappers and mountain men, Lake Yellowstone Lodge was completed in 1891 and restored to its 1920s grandeur in 1990. Complete with ionic columns, extend gables and 15 false balconies, this majestic hotel sits on the shores of Yellowstone Lake and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The casually elegant restaurant features a delightfully extravagant menu. We usually stay in the comfortable twin-share cabins situated in the hotel grounds for a real authentic frontier feel, although we may also be put in the cabins which we have no control over. Featured Accommodation: Yellowstone Inn (departure dates to be confirmed) The Yellowstone Inn offers seasonal lodging located in the heart of western Yellowstone country, outside of Yellowstone National Park. The Inn is family owned and each of their 10 units are unique with a character and charm of their own featuring knotty pine interiors with unique cabin furniture, cable TV, coffee makers, microwaves, small refrigerators and air conditioning.
We continue our journey into Wyoming and onto Grand Teton National Park to spend the day hitting the trails before heading to Jackson to enjoy a truly friendly and authentic western town experience. Once home to trappers and a hideout for outlaws and rustlers, Jackson is now a 4-season getaway and. the base for hikers to take on the local hiking trails as well as a town renowned for its cafes and western style saloons! The perfect way to spend your day is to cross Jenny lake and walk past the cascading waterfall to Inspirations Point which offers incredible views across the valley. Have a meal out on the town and then quench your thirst while sitting on a genuine saddle bar stool at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, a local watering hole.
We'll hit the water today for our included rafting trip down the infamous Snake River, this allows you to take in the incredible scenery as well as get the blood pumping. Please note this rafting activity is accessible to all fitness levels and no previous training is necessary. The remainder of the day is free and you may wish to head back to Grand Teton National Park to explore.
Following in the footsteps of the famous explorers Lewis and Clark, we re-trace the route of the Oregon Trail west across the beautiful expanse of southern Idaho. We make a stop at Shoshone Falls, sometimes called the `Niagara of the West' and the most spectacular natural beauty spot along the Snake River. Baker City, with a population of less than 10,000, is next. This historic gold rush town offers a peek into life at the turn of the last century. Enjoy a stroll through the historic downtown shopping district and relax with a nightcap in our historic hotel. Featured Accommodation: Geiser Grand Hotel The warm and inviting Geiser Grand Hotel is your perfect getaway! This charming historic landmark features ornate mahogany,a beautiful stained glass ceiling, Northwest food at its best and crystal chandeliers in every room. Sunset Magazine says the Geiser Grand is 'the finest hotel between Salt Lake and Seattle'. For those who appreciate historic preservation and timeless luxury, nothing compares to the award winning Geiser Grand. Come explore this architectural jewel, and find out why the Geiser's spectacular restoration received The National Trust for Historic Preservation's coveted Honour Award for Excellence.
On to the stunning snow covered peak of Mount Rainier in the State of Washington. At over 14,000 feet this iconic volcano looms large in the Pacific Northwest. Draped in snow, Mount Rainier has the greatest single peak glacial system in the United States, covering 36 square miles of the mountain with sheer ice! With over 260 miles of well maintained trails winding through a varied terrain, from old growth forest to sub-alpine meadows, there are plenty of different hiking options available. Not to be outdone by its national park neighbours to the east, Mount Rainier is also a haven for wildlife, and you may see Columbian black-tailed deer, elk and Black bears roaming freely.
Another day to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the National Park. Featured Accommodation: Paradise Inn We overnight at the very special and historic Paradise Inn which is located in the midst of meadows that look spectacular when in full bloom and is surrounded by trails that lead to adventures in all directions and offer opportunities to explore the outdoors the way it was meant to be. Designated as one of the 'Great Lodges of the West', the Paradise Inn was originally built in 1916 and offers original historic rooms that are located in the main lodge. Without the modern amenities of televisions or telephones, it is easy to imagine a time past when life was simple and without the distractions of today's modern world. Watching the setting sun reflect off the lake is a magical experience.
From the crashing waves of the Pacific coast through coastal rainforests to glacier capped peaks, this is a primeval sanctuary for humans and wild creatures alike; over 95% of Olympic National Park is a designated wilderness area. Enjoy a stroll through the Hoh Rainforest, relax in Sol Duc Hot Springs, and enjoy a magnificent sunset over the spectacular Lake Crescent. A visit to this beautiful national park is the perfect way to finish our perfect journey.
Another day to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the National Park. Featured Accommodation: Lake Crescent Lodge Built in 1916 Lake Crescent Lodge is one of the first buildings from the modern era in Olympic National Park. Nestled among the giant fir and hemlock trees, the lodge features comfortable and spacious rooms with wonderful views of the lake; an ideal base camp for the variety of recreational activities available in the park. Experience the charm of a turn-of-the-century resort with its antique furnished lobby conducive to relaxation as you unwind by the stone fireplace, and the wicker-cozy sun porch is the perfect spot for enjoying a spectacular lakeside sunset.
Making our way back to Seattle (the Emerald City), there's time to enjoy the lively Pike's Place Market and also the stunning views from the Space Needle observation tower, over 600 feet high! The tour ends at the hotel in Seattle at approximately 17:00 hrs. We can book you extra post-tour accommodation if required. For Land Only clients that are planning to fly tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 21:00 hrs as we cannot guarantee that you will make the flight on time.