Waitlist Only

Dates

June 5 to 14, 2019

Starting Price

$3,995

Deposit per Person

$850

9 Days
Land
Orbridge
Learn about Travel Insurance

Questions?

Call Alumni Travel at 855.764.0064

Trip Highlights

Inspiration, a connection to the past, and nature’s beauty are the gifts of this 10-day American expedition. Tracing the historic paths and natural splendors of the Old West joined by an expert Orbridge Expedition Leader, see and learn about the storied sights and monuments of Badlands National Park, Custer State Park, Spearfish Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, and Grand Teton National Park. Witness bison herds, savor a chuck wagon cookout, see Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial, visit a wooly mammoth dig site, and, at the volcanically active caldera of Yellowstone, see otherworldly geothermal sites. Wonderfully atmospheric hotels and lodges are a highlight of this program, including landmark lodging within the parks themselves. Traveling comfortably in a private motor coach, there is no better way to see our national parks.

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Rapid City, SD

Arrive in Rapid City—South Dakota’s second largest city—and transfer to your hotel where you will meet your Expedition Leader and traveling companions for a welcome drink and expedition briefing. Rapid City’s location at the eastern slope of the Black Hills Mountain Range gives visitors easy access to all the surrounding attractions—from the beautiful state and national parks, to the man made wonders like Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial. Take a stroll around beautiful downtown and learn about the 1972 Mill Creek floods that devastated so much of the area.
Overnight: The Rushmore Hotel & Suites (R)

Day 2

Badlands National Park / Custer State Park

Following breakfast, head to Badlands National Park, with more than 244,000 acres of mixed-grass prairie featuring some of the most spectacular scenery and diverse wildlife in the region. Gaze in awe at the layered rock cliffs, towering spires, and narrow canyons that create this amazing landscape. An afternoon safari drive through the Custer State Park reserve takes you to magnificent vistas where herds of bison, elk, bighorn sheep, and other wildlife can be observed along the scenic roads. Beware of the “begging burros” who approach visitors looking for a handout! Later, sample Western specialties at a special chuck wagon cookout.

Tonight, stay in Custer State Game Lodge. Built in 1920, this impressive stone and wood lodge
surrounded by stately trees is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The lodge served as the “Summer White House” for President Calvin Coolidge in 1927, who saw it as a quiet retreat from the heat, bugs, and crowds of Washington D.C. President Dwight D. Eisenhower also visited the lodge in 1953, while on a visit to the Black Hills area. Today, the five separate lodges and numerous specialty cabins offer guests a relaxing, nature-filled experience, combined with stunning views and outstanding service.
Overnight: Custer State Game Lodge (B,D)

Full Itinerary
Meet Your Trip Host

John Swerdlow

John Swerdlow is Director of the newly-formed Adventure Leadership Program within the Recreational Sports Department at the University of Michigan. The Adventure Leadership Program was created through the merging of Outdoor Adventures, which provided student-led backcountry trips and rental gear, and the Challenge Program, which provided team-building programs using group initiatives and a ropes course with low and high elements. The Adventure Leadership Program now offers all those services and more.

A 1982 graduate of LS&A and a 1986 graduate of the U-M Law School, John briefly practiced law in Chicago before getting a teaching certificate which led to an even briefer career as a high school teacher. John joined Rec Sports in 1998.

John has always loved spending time outdoors and camping and has traveled extensively, including trips to central and south America, a bike trip through the southwest, hiking in Spain, and trekking in Nepal. John has also led trips for Outward Bound in the Boundary Waters and traveled to Japan numerous times to lead team-building sessions. As a parent of two children, aged 11 and 14, John’s travel has been limited of late and he is really looking forward to getting out on the road.

By participating in an Alumni Association of University of Michigan travel trip, you have stated that the Alumni Association has the exclusive right to use video and other visual/audio portrayals of You or Your likeness taken during Your trip in any medium of any nature whatsoever for any purpose, including advertising or promoting the services of the trip without any compensation being paid to You. Any such portrayal or likeness shall be the exclusive property of the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan.

Dates

June 5 to 14, 2019

Starting Price

$3,995

Deposit per Person

$850

9 Days
Land
Orbridge
Learn about Travel Insurance

Questions?

Call Alumni Travel at 855.764.0064