The Rocky Mountain States of America - Idaho, Montana, North & South Dakota and Wyoming - are the ultimate destinations for Australian and New Zealand families looking for an authentic Wild West adventure.
Ski, snowboard, skate, sled and trek in the snow laden mountains come winter and trek those same hills under big blue skies come summer. Either way, Aussies and Kiwis can expect spectacular wildlife, Native American and cowboy culture steeped in history served up with extreme adventure or on a side plate with serene spa pampering, world class events, arts, sports, music and so much more.
Here's just a small snapshot of everything the Real America has to offer!
In Montana, it’s all about the snow - light, dry, plentiful and untracked. Step out of your slope-side condo door into a vast terrain with signature powder. And with resorts ranging from fully decked-out destinations to hidden gems, there’s a ski resort for everyone.
The Black Hills National Forest is a dramatic landscape of granite peaks and forested mountains, 1.2 million acres of wild terrain offering outdoor adventure like hiking, biking and camping. Find grassy mountain meadows, rugged cliffs, deep canyons, cascading trout streams and clear, clean lakes during summer hikes; it’s also prime snowmobiling terrain during the winter and early spring months.
2013 marks the 150th anniversary of Idaho becoming a territory and Boise becoming a city, with special events commencing in March 2013. Boise’s biggest celebration party will occur on the weekend of July 6-7, so what better time to plan a visit to this vibrant, cosmopolitan city?
Ever wanted to not only ride in a dog sled, but get hands-on experience with the dogs, harnessing and driving them as well as learning about the dogs’ nutrition and care? At Prairie Isle Dog Trekking, you can experience being part of a dog sledding team in a two-hour Wonders of Winter Paw-tastic sledding experience. The ultimate eco-friendly tour, with a low carbon ‘paw’ print.
If you’re driving through the prairie lands of North Dakota, you may come across an unusual sight - seven massive sculptures placed out in pastures on rolling hills in the middle of nowhere! These massive works of art were built by Gary Greff out of scrap metal and items common to local farms and ranches, with the subject matter of each taken from rural North Dakota life. The Enchanted Highway is located off I-94 (exit 72) about 20 miles east of Dickinson.
The Medora Range Riders “Cowboy Fast Draw” is a new year-round activity for ages eight to eighty. The early history of Medora and the Badlands included gun fights, fast draws and hard-living cowboys. Cowboy Fast Draw is the newest and oldest shooting sport today. It is a timed sport using single action .45 caliber long Colt cases with no more than six grains of black powder behind a wax bullet. Visitors to Medora can participate in the Cowboy Fast Draw for fun, or advance to state, regional and national competitions.
For the second year in a row, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has been ranked the No. 1 Ski Resort by Forbes Magazine, due to its non-existent lift lines, the “best continuous fall line, the best terrain and the best backcountry of any mountain not in the Himalayas”. And with the opening of the new Casper Lift and the highest snowfalls anywhere in the Rockies this season (over 17 feet of snow), the remainder of the season is looking very bright indeed!
Nestled in the majestic Jackson Hole Valley in the heart of the Bridger Teton National Forest, the new Turpin Meadow Ranch (opening summer 2013) specialises in true western hospitality. Guests can enjoy horseback riding, a guest rodeo, fly fishing, fireside cookouts, kids’ programs and live entertainment. Accommodation is in rustic, western-style cabins with fantastic views of the Teton Mountains.
Opening Feb 15 at Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age brings the Ice Age back to life, with life-sized models, fossil tusks, touchable teeth, cave painting and interactive displays. Relive the story of the Snowmastodon Project, the exceptional Ice Age fossil unearthed near Colorado’s own Snowmass Village in 2010.
Qantas and United have flights from Australia to Los Angeles, while V Australia flies from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to LA and San Francisco. Delta Air Lines has direct services from Sydney to Los Angeles with onward connections to the Rocky Mountain States.
Summer in the “Real America” runs from June to September; snow sports are best enjoyed from December to April.
Pick up a copy of the new combined guide for Australians and New Zealanders, “The Real America 2013/14 Your Guide to The American Rockies” and visit the new website www.rmi-realamerica.com.au.