AmeriCan & Worldwide Travel

01892 779900

The Dinosaur Trail

Today Montana and Wyoming are both filled with uncrowded spaces – but that wasn't necessarily the case when dinosaurs ruled the earth millions of years ago! Both of these beautiful States, with their stunning variety of landscapes, ranging from the rugged peaks of the Rocky Mountains to the sweeping eastern Montana plains have yielded some of the worlds most significant dinosaur discoveries. The very first and the largest Tyrannosaurus Rex ever unearthed were found in Montana, whilst 'Leonardo' the mummy dinosaur (a Brachylophosaur) named by The Guinness Book of records as the 'worlds best preserved dinosaur' also has it's home in the State. Meantime, Wyoming is equally rich in Paleontological finds and is home to The International Fossil Monument. This exciting and alternative new 15 day fly drive tour will take you on a journey of discovery and education, appealing to both young and older travellers alike.

Itinerary

1

Missoula

Arrive from your transatlantic flight into Missoula. Collect your car and transfer to your hotel downtown in this friendly college town, also dubbed as the garden City for its mild winters relative to the rest of Montana.

Lewis & Clark came through the Missoula Valley in 1805, but it wasn't settled until 1860 by Europeans. The city is now renowned for its arts and culture, surrounded by National Forests and Wilderness it's a great place to stop. If you have time visit The Rocky Mountain Elk Centre.

2

Glacier National Park

169 miles

Depart Missoula and head north to Glacier National Park travelling through the beautiful Flathead Valley, home to Whitefish and Kalispell and also the equally stunning Lake McDonald Valley.

Glacier National Park is home to over 1,500 miles of scenic wilderness. One of the most spectacular drives is the Going-to-the-Sun road and you could leave the car for the day and take one of the red roll-top park buses for a guided tour of the area. Watch the sunset from an evening lake cruise on St Mary Lake. Take a trip to Two Medicine for more spectacular scenery. Combine a hike to Twin Falls with a boat ride across Two Medicine Lake or rent a canoe on the Lower Lake. You could also take a horseback ride into the park.

5

Havre

210 miles

Begin your journey early today as there is much to see as you leave beautiful Glacier and travel east to Havre, one of the largest towns in northern Montana. From the east side of Glacier Park head through the Blackfeet Indian Reservation before travelling southeast towards Great Falls. This route will also first take you via Browning - the headquarters of the Blackfeet tribe and a thoroughly Indian town, before continuing slightly further south east and on to Bynum and Choteau. Both of these places are a paleontologists dream!

Bynum is home to the fascinating Two Medicine Dinosaur Centre where you can see the first baby dinosaur bones found in North America and the world's largest full size skeletal model of Seismosaurus halli(earth shaker lizard). Meantime, Choteau is the location of a dinosaur breeding ground and The Old Trail Museum offering a new 'Dinosaurs of the Two Medicine' paleontology gallery and field programme.

Finally make a stop at Great Falls to see the Giant Springs here that captivated the pioneers Clark and Lewis.The area is rich with their history and is now home to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Centre which is well worth a visit.

6

Glasgow, Fort Peck Lake Area

158 miles

Before you leave Havre today you may wish to pay a visit to the interesting H.Earl Clack Memorial Museum. Apart from highlighting the story of an archeological treasure: the Wahkpa Chu'gn Buffalo Jump Site immediately north of the museum facility, it also houses a display of 75 million year old dinosaur eggs and embryos found in area exposures of the Judith River Formation. Research shows that these eggs were laid by a Lambeosaur or a Duck Bill Dinosaur along the banks of an ancient river and estuary of the Bearpaw Sea that once covered this area.

Continuing to Glasgow along Highway 2, your drive today will take you through some of the remote villages, Indian Battlefields that give you a true experience of the Great Plains. Passing through Malta we recommend you break your journey and visit either The Philips County Museum or The Dinosaur Field Station. The Philips County Museum features fossil discoveries from the nearby Judith River Formation of the late Cretaceous period 77 million years ago. Whilst the latter is one of Montana's finest fossil preparation laboratories where you can enjoy an informative guided tour through the paleo lab as staff prepare dinosaur fossils.

7

Glendive

149 miles

The massive expanse of 130 mile long Fort Peck Lake, is one of the highlights of this alternately bleak and beautiful stretch of Highway that stretches all the way from Glacier National Park to North Dakota. With over 1500 miles of shoreline, Fort Peck Lake offers more miles of coastline than California along with great fishing. Meantime the adjacent Charles M.Russell Wildlife Refuge offers you a chance to spot pronghorn antelope, elk, deer and bighorn sheep.

Back on the Dinosaur Trail, The Fort Peck Paleontology and Dinosaur Field Station is a unique working field station and fossil repository of the state of Montana. Here, paleontologists research, prepare, mold and cast fossil finds.

Continuing later on to Glendive where you will spending the next two nights, you will have ample to time to enjoy a visit to the free Makoshika Dinosaur Museum, that houses fossils and artifacts from around the world, with particular emphasis on the Hell Creek Formation.

Meaning 'bad land' in Lakota, Makoshika State Park is a fascinating place to visit and part of the late Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation where ten different dinosaur spieces have been discovered in or near it's borders. Significant finds include a complete Triceratops Horridus skull which is on display at the park's visitor information centre. Fossil remains of Edmontosaurus and Tyrannosaurus Rex and a nearly complete skeleton of the extremely rare Thescelosaur have also been found here.

9

Billings

220 miles

From Glendive heading straight down I94 you will be travelling south west towards Billings, Montana's largest city with a population of ninety thousand.

For a fun evening with a difference and a real taste of Montana why not book a chuck wagon dinner tonight. Locally owned and operated, Western Romance Company provide authentic western activities and events locally.

You will enjoy a chuck wagon ride and cook out round the campfire before being entertained with a song by a real old cowboy!

10

Sheridan

229 miles

Depart Billings and head for Sheridan over the border in Wyoming. Leave early to spend time at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument the site of 'Custer's Last Stand'.

About 56 miles southeast of Billings on the Crow Indian Reservation in the Little Bighorn Valley, this is where the June 1876 Battle between General George Custer's Seventh cavalry and Sioux and Cheyenne warriors took place.

Arrive Sheridan, Wyoming - named the number one Western Town in America. The area is steeped in western history and Buffalo Bill Cody once called the Sheridan Inn his home for a time in the 1890s.

11

Thermopolis

124 miles

Leaving Sheridan and heading further southwest to Thermopolis. Located at the base of the Big Horn Basin, Thermoplis is famous for both its Hot Springs and its Dinosaur findings.

Continue along the spectacular Cloud Peak Skyway that climbs over the Big Horns and then decends into Tensleep Creek Canyon. Thermopolis is located on the edge of Hot Springs State Park where 135 degree water is cooled for your enjoyment.

At the Wyoming Dinosaur Centre, you can see an actual 'dig' in process and learn about the different dinosaur bones excavated. In the museum you can see reconstructions of these mighty beasts and learn about how they lived over 100 million years ago.

Make a stop en route at Buffalo, around which has been the scene of many conflicts between American Indians and the white men and also the range wars between farmers and homesteaders.

12

Rock Springs

195 miles

After one last look at The Worlds largest Mineral Hot Springs you will be continuing your journey south west through part of the Wind River Indian Reservation and towns such as Riverton and Lander. Make time to stop at Atlantic City and South Pass City, an old gold panning town and now a state historic site. Arriving into Rock Springs in the southwest corner of Wyoming, you will find a little more action on offer such as extreme Kayaking on the Upper New Fork River – not for the faint hearted!

13

Thayne

194 miles

Leaving Rock Springs after breakfast you will travel about an hour west to the point where Wyoming borders it's equally beautiful neighbours Idaho and Utah. Here you can stop at Kemmerer and spend the day exploring the jewel in Wyoming's Paleontological crown, The Fossil Butte National Monument.

Learn about some of the world's best preserved fossils are found in the flat-topped ridges of southwestern Wyoming's cold sagebrush desert. Fossilized fish, insects, plants, reptiles, birds, and mammals are exceptional for their abundance, variety, and detail of preservation.

14

Jackson

54 Miles

A short drive today as you head north to the resort town of Jackson, located in the Jackson Hole Valley. Encompassed on all sides by mountain barriers, the 48-mile long valley is literally known as the happy hunting ground. Spend the day gently exploring the magnificent Grand Tetons - a most unusual mountain range of great natural beauty. Alternatively enjoy a relaxing float trip or an exciting whitewater trip on the Snake River.

What's included?

  • Return flights from London (please ask about other departure airports)
  • 14 nights hotel accommodation and room tax
  • Fully insured compact car hire for 2 drivers
  • A detailed and comprehensive travel pack with driving instructions and maps

How to book

Daily Departures 18 May to 30 September.

Our low season standard hotel price starts from £1459.00 per person based on 2 people sharing a room (Supplements or reductions for other room types available on request).

We can also offer this itinerary in a wide range of other accommodation types, including superior hotels, character properties and small inns.

Please call us on (01892) 779900 or email info@awwt.co.uk stating your travel dates, and preferred standard of accommodation for a detailed & competitively priced quotation.