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Fargo-West Fargo, North Dakota & Moorhead, MN Area 3 ½ hour drive via I-94 through Minnesota
BONANZAVILLE (1351 West Main Avenue West Fargo): 45-building restored pioneer village. Depart Fargo for Bismarck, North Dakota (200 miles) via I-94.
NORTH DAKOTA CAPITOL BUILDING: The 19-story Capitol Building, built in the early 1930s, often referred to as the “Skyscraper of the Prairie.”
NORTH DAKOTA HERITAGE CENTER: This State Museum has one of the largest collections of Plains Indian artifacts, second only to the Smithsonian. Contact – 701-328-2666 or www.discovernd.com
FORMER GOVERNOR’S MANSION STATE HISTORIC SITE: (320 Avenue B East): Restored to late Victorian era, housed North Dakota’s governors from 1893 to 1960. Contact – 701-328-3015 or 701-328-2672. or [email protected] www.discovernd.com
LEWIS & CLARK RIVERBOAT: This paddle-wheeler features twin decks and a 70 foot-cabin and offers dinner cruises.
Washburn Area (41 miles north of Bismarck on Highway 83, approximately 1 hour drive time)
Medora Area (132 miles west of Bismarck on Interstate 94, exit 27)
For more information on the region contact:
Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation
P.O. Box 198 Medora, ND 58645
Medora Chamber of Commerce: PO Box 186, Medora, ND 58645, 701-623-4910
HISTORIC MEDORA: Medora is the gateway to the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. This authentic Old West cowtown was founded in 1883 by the Marquis de Mores and named for his wife. Medora offers a musical extravaganza, trail rides, mountain biking, hiking, museums, many gift shops and restaurants are bustling during the summer season.
Deadwood, an Old West town started with the gold rush of 1876. Highlights in Deadwood include historic tours which depart from Main Street every hour in summer months which tell you the history and legends of characters such as Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Poker Alice and Potato Creek Johnny. Other highlights include the ’76 Museum which contains the old buggies and wagons from early days, the Adams Museum, the historic Franklin Hotel with rooms named after those who stayed their and historic Main Street itself. Gaming was brought back in 1989, but has always been a part of Deadwood history. Tatanka: Story of the Bison commissioned by Kevin Costner, with an interpretive center and 17 larger than life bronze sculptures, including three Indian hunters on horseback chasing 14 rampaging bison off a cliff, the Adams Museum and House, Mount Moriah Cemetary – where Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane are buried, Saloon #10 – the only museum in a bar where Wild Bill Hickok was shot. In Lead there is Presidents Park, Black Hills Mining Museum and Homestake Visitor Center.
Deadwood Convention and Visitors Bureau 735 Main Street, Deadwood, SD 57732
Mount Rushmore National Memorial, offering a visitor center and museum, amphitheater used for the evening lighting ceremony in summer months, the presidential walking trails, gift shop and restaurant which serves 3 meals daily.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial PO Box 268, Keystone, SD 57751
Depart Mount Rushmore for Crazy Horse Memorial via Highway 244 and Highway 385 S. You might catch a glimpse of mountain goats along the road as you depart Mount Rushmore. Crazy Horse Memorial is the largest mountain carving taking place in the world at this time. The face has been completed and work has begun on the horse’s head. First stop is the theater, where a short film will show you the progress and work on the carving. Also offered are the Indian Museum of North America, sculptor’s home, gift shops and a restaurant which is open during summer months. Crazy Horse Memorial
Avenue of the Chiefs, Crazy Horse, SD 57730
Depart Crazy Horse on Highway 385 S. for Custer State Park. Travel east on Highway 16A. You will see the turnoff for the wildlife loop about ½ mile past the State Game Lodge, one of five lodging facilities located in Custer State Park. Custer State Park – Tour the wildlife loop and watch for bison, pronghorn antelope, deer, elk, prairie dogs, coyotes, mountain goats and bighorn sheep in this 73,000 acres wildlife preserve that is the second largest state park in the U.S. Custer State Park
HC 83, Box 70, Custer, SD 57730
From Rapid City and travel to Badlands National Park via I-90 east to Exit 110 at Wall. Travel on Highway 240 (Badlands Loop Road), a state scenic byway through Badlands National Park, a 244,000 acre wilderness area formed during the Oligocene age. This fossil-laden sea bed offers spires, pinnacles and wide views. Stop at a few of the scenic overlooks to see the vistas. (1 ½ hours) Morning and evening are the best time for photo opportunities.
Suggested Montana Itinerary
Black Hills to Billings, MT to overnight; drive time is 5 to 5 1/2 hours, so there is time for a couple of stops along the way. Here are some suggested stops, there is not time to do them all, but it depends on what your clients are interested in: Glendive: Makoshika State Park, suggested time here is 1-2 hours
Makoshika (Ma-ko-shi-ka) The name is a variant spelling of the Lakota phrase meaning bad land or bad spirits. Today the badlands of Makoshika are set aside for visitors to see and enjoy. In addition to the pine and juniper studded badlands formations, the park also houses the fossil remains of such dinosaurs as tyrannosaurus and triceratops. A Visitor Information Center at the park entrance houses a triceratops skull and other badlands interpretive displays. Included within the park are archery and shooting ranges as well as scenic drives and nature trails, a campground with 16 sites, a group picnic area, an outdoor ampitheater and many picnic sites. The largest of Montana’s State Parks encompasses 11,531 acres at an elevation of 2,069 feet. The park offers a visitors center, both flush and vault toilets, grills/fire rings, picnic tables, outdoor amphitheater and group use shelter, trash cans, drinking water, interpretive displays, a Frisbee golf course and special events throughout the summer. A golf course and museum are located nearby in Glendive. Visitors may camp 14 days during a 30-day period with a fee.
1301 Snyder Avenue
PO Box 1242
Glendive, MT 59330
Phone: 406-377-6256 406-232-0900
Email: [email protected]
Miles City: The Range Riders Museum; suggested time here is 1-2 hours.
The Range Riders Museum was built on the site of the 1876 Fort Keogh containment and was opened in August of 1941. This privately financed museum is located on the site where General Nelson A. Miles constructed Cantonment #1 to secure the area in the aftermath of the Custer Battle.
The Range Riders Organization was founded in 1939 by a group of cowboy-stockmen who wanted the area’s history preserved. They started the museum so the following generations would know who they were, what they were, what they did, and what they used. The museum has grown in 55 years to include nine buildings that house thousands of artifacts commonly found in the area. It portrays the authentic personality of men and women during the most difficult time in the life of a pioneer. It’s the largest western museum in the area.
The hub of the complex is the original log building completed in 1941. It has a wealth of displays including pictures of early day settlers, the famed Coggshall saddle, ladies’ side saddles, antiquated cameras, patchwork quilts, and household utensils. Immediately adjacent is the Pioneer Memorial Hall with over 700 plaques commemorating the region’s pioneers. Vast historic records are found in the stories of these people. Honoring these pioneers is the museum’s tradition.
The Bert Clark Gun Collection features over 400 firearms. The Fort Keogh Officers’ Quarters, Coach House, Homestead House, and One-Room School are full of donated artifacts. Many other special exhibits are displayed in the Heritage Center and Coach House: works of three early photographers – Huffman, Morrison, and Barthelmess; a frontier town with eleven different shops presenting a rendition of Old Main Street in Milestown; Indian artifacts from the region representing Sioux, Cheyenne, and Crow tribes; Charles Russell Gallery; Carol’s Hattery; three large reproductions of early day military, Indian and ranch life in the Fort Keogh, Lame Deer and L.O. Ranch replicas and Milwaukee shops replicas.
Route 1 Box 2003
Miles City, MT 59301
From Interstate-94, turn south on Route 47 to Hardin, then east on Interstate-90 to the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, about 15 miles southeast of Hardin; suggested time here is 2 hours.
Located in southeastern Montana, Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument memorializes the site of the Battle of the Little Bighorn which took place on June 25-26, 1876 between the United States Seventh Cavalry Regiment led by Lt. Col. George Armstrong
Custer, and the Sioux and Cheyenne under the political and spiritual leadership of Sitting Bull.
A visitor center and museum contains exhibits relating to the 1876 Battle of Little Bighorn in which 210 US Cavalrymen, led by Colonel George A. Custer, were wiped out by Sioux and Northern Cheyenne warriors. The Museum features exhibits of the history of the battle, Custer, weapons, archaeology, Plains Indian life, and a walking tour with interpretive markers. It is wheelchair accessible. Adjoining the visitor center is Custer National Cemetery, which includes interments from abandoned frontier military posts, the world wars, Korea and Vietnam.
A 4.5 mile self-guiding tour road connects two separate battlefields, the Custer Battlefield and the Reno-Benteen Battlefield. Handicapped parking is located at these two locations and at the visitor center. Ranger programs are scheduled throughout the summer, and bus tours of the battlefield operate from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. During the off-season a 17-minute documentary film is shown at the visitor center.
PO Box 39
Crow Agency, MT 59022
Phone: 406-638-2621 Fax: 406-638-2623
http://www.nps.gov/libi/ Email: [email protected]
OPTION 1: Travel from Billings to Virginia or Nevada Cities to overnight. Drive time is about 3 and ½ to 4 hours. From Bozeman, take Route 84 to Route 287 to Virginia City and Nevada City. Spend the afternoon and evening here to relive the Old West. Tours, restaurants, shopping and lodging are available here. Virginia City/Nevada City was born with the discovery of gold in Alder Gulch in 1863. A boom-town of the post-Civil War era, Virginia City served as the Montana Territorial Capital for 10 years, until the gold ran out. Just a mile away lies Nevada City, a western town created from a collection of buildings fr om other ghost towns. Both towns have been largely restored and preserved as they once stood living examples of the real Old West. The Montana Historical Society has certified 150 authentic buildings. Original buildings, dating from the Territorial days, are filled with merchandise and implements used when gold camps flourished in the West. Boardwalks, mechanical music machines, a penny arcade, antique automobiles and even a two-story outhouse add to the Old West atmosphere. The majestic Madison River Valley, just west of Nevada City, features some of the world’s finest trout streams, as well as a beautiful mountain backdrop. Museums, shops, accommodations; in Virginia City, you can shop, dine and sleep without leaving the atmosphere of the 1860s. Dine in the Wells Fargo Coffee House or the Star Bakery and bend an elbow in the Bale of Hay Saloon or Gilbert’s Brewery. Modern, overnight accommodations in a charming, 19th-century atmosphere are available. Alder Gulch Short Line: take the train to Nevada City on an authentic narrow-gauge railroad. Travel between the two mining camps on the Alder Gulch Short Line Railroad. At the Nevada City end of the line, visit the Alder Gulch Short Line Steam Railroad Museum with its collection of equipment and stock from railroading’s gold rush era.
OPTION 2: This option would appeal to your clients who enjoy recreation and/or dinosaurs. Travel from Billings to Bozeman on Interstate-90, then west on Route 80 to Highway 191, still traveling south to the Big Sky area to overnight. Drive time is approximately 3 hours. If there are dinosaur fans in the family, stop at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, which has a fantastic paleontological exhibit. The curator here is Jack Horner, on whom the lead character in Jurassic Park was based. There’s always something new to see at the Museum of the Rockies, Montana State University-Bozeman. You’ll travel through 4 billion years of Earth’s history beginning in the geology hall, Landforms/Lifeforms. Your next stop is One Day 80 Million Years Ago, a recreation of the dinosaur nesting colonies discovered by Jack Horner, the Museum’s Curator of Paleontology. Travel on through exhibits about Montana’s Native Americans and the state’s recent history. And don’t miss the world-class Taylor Planetarium for a new perspective on Montana’s Big Sky. During the summer, visit a living history farm and see what life was like a century ago on a Montana homestead. And each summer, the Museum features a new exhibit.
600 West Kagy Boulevard
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717
Phone: 406-994-2251 or 406-994-Dino
Email: [email protected]
There are many activity and lodging options in the Big Sky Area. Activities include horse back riding, hiking, mountain biking, fly-fishing (there are several outfitters in the area), white water rafting on the Gallatin River, gondola rides to the Summit at Lone Mountain Peak at Big Sky, golf, shopping and spa activities. For more information, contact either the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce or for resort-specific questions, contact Big Sky Ski and Summer Resort.
Big Sky Area Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 160100
Big Sky, MT 59716
Phone: 406-995-3000 Toll Free: 800-943-4111 Fax: 406-995-3054
Email: [email protected]
Travel to Yellowstone National Park through the West entrance, West Yellowstone, MT. Drive time is about one hour.
Suggested stops in West Yellowstone:
Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center: Open all year the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center appeals to visitors of all ages. Children have the opportunity to help staff hide food for the bears and learn proper food storage while in bear country. Graphics and up-to-date wildlife information is available for the curious visitor. Early morning and evening visitors may witness the active wolf pack as they howl majestically. Live bird-of-prey and other presentations by Karelian Bear Dog and other staff fill the visitor with the awe that Yellowstone wildlife is so popular for. The history of the bear (truth or not?) comes to life as you stroll through the newly opened Bears: Imagination and Reality Exhibit. The bears at the Center had to be removed from the wild because they were becoming dangerously comfortable around humans. Their stories help share a valuable lesson of how humans can take proper steps to ensure bears stay forever wild. The wolves at the Center are ambassadors providing a greater understanding of this predator in the Yellowstone ecosystem. Admission is good for two consecutive days ensuring that you have the time to experience it all.
201 South Canyon Street
PO Box 996
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
Phone: 406-646-7001 Toll Free: 800-257-2570 Fax: 406-646-7004
Email: [email protected]
IMAX Theatre: TheYellowstone IMAX® Theatre boasts a 6-story high screen and 12 thousand watts of digital quality surround sound. The theatre is conveniently located beside the West Entrance of Yellowstone National Park and the Chamber of Commerce visitor center on 101 South Canyon. The theatre is open year round. Other services include an exhibit of props from six historical scenes in the movie; a geological exhibit on the effects of the Hot Spot, a gift shop for those special souvenirs. Taco Bell Express, Geyser Grounds Espresso Bar and concessions are also available.
101 South Canyon Street
PO Box 504
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
Phone: 406-646-4100 Toll Free: 888-854-5862 Fax: 406-646-4101
Email: [email protected]
A pair of binoculars is a must for viewing the wildlife. Opportunities are also available to hike, see backcountry geysers, and take photographic tours in the wee hours of the morning. Enter the West Gate of Yellowstone National Park at West Yellowstone, Montana. Drive east to Madison. Go south at Madison to Old Faithful. Driving time is one hour. Stop and see the world-famous Old Faithful geyser erupt. Take some time to stroll through the National Historic Landmark, Old Faithful Inn, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. The rustic-style lodge, with log and wood shingle exterior, is located adjacent to Old Faithful Geyser. The original part of the Inn, known as the “Old House,” was completed in 1904 and includes an immense lobby with a huge stone fireplace. The east and west wings were added between 1910 and 1920, with many rooms having been remodeled during the winters of 1992-1994. Drive east from Old Faithful to West Thumb. Go north at West Thumb, and follow the shore of the beautiful Yellowstone Lake to Fishing Bridge. At Fishing Bridge, continue north toward Canyon. Just before reaching Canyon, you will want to follow the signs to view the beautiful Lower Falls, with a 308-foot (94 M) drop. Total driving time is 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
(Note: Due to construction, the road from Canyon to Roosevelt is closed.)
Drive west at Canyon to Norris Geyser Basin, the hottest and most changeable thermal area in Yellowstone. Driving time is approximately 20 minutes. You may want to visit the Norris Museum. The museum houses exhibits relating to the origins of the geothermal features found at the basin. Two walking loop trails leave from the museum. They provide a safe route for viewing the Porcelain Basin and Back Basin.
Travel north from Norris to Mammoth Hot Springs. Driving time is 45 minutes to one hour.
Following your visit to Mammoth Hot Springs, return south to Norris, east to Canyon, and south back to Fishing Bridge.
Yellowstone National Park Lodges (Xanterra Parks & Resorts)
Email: [email protected]
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.
Pocatello was essentially built by the railroad industry after a Shoshone Chief, Pocataro, granted Union Pacific a right-of-way through the Fort Hall Indian Reservation. Pocatello grew into a transportation crossroads and is now the 2nd largest city in Idaho. Visitors can relive Pocatello’s railroad heritage by touring the 12 square blocks of the downtown historic district. Overnight, Pocatello or Ft. Hall.
In Boise, Idaho’s 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.
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 visitor’s center contains a museum, an auditorium with interpretive talks and films. Overnight Lewiston.
Coeur d’Alene has developed from a mining and timber town into an international resort destination on the north shore of one of Idaho’s most beautiful lakes. The World’s Longest Floating Boardwalk surrounds the Coeur d’Alene Resort’s marina. Golfers enjoy over 18 North Idaho courses, including a floating golf green on the Resort’s famous golf course.
The Cataldo Mission, near Coeur d’Alene, was built between 1848 and 1853 by the Couer d’Alene Indians under the direction of the Italian Jesuit missionary, Father Ravalli. It is the oldest standing building in Idaho and is constructed of carefully woven straw, river mud and wooden pegs.