Buffalo Bill Self-Drive Tour
Welcome to the Buffalo Bill Mountain tour, where we ride several of America’s best motorcycle roads. On this 15-day round trip in the Rocky Mountains you will experience wonderful “backroads” and spectacular mountain scenery; Silverthread Historic Byway, Million Dollar Highway at 3400 elevations, Wild West run, Grand Loop Road, Beartooth Highway, Chief Joseph Scenic Byway, Black Hills Run, Wildlife loop and Iron Mountain Road.
You will also experience Denver, Historic Durango, Moab, Arches National Park, Yellowstone, Old Faithful Geyser, Cody, Devil’s Tower, Crazy Horse Memorial, Mt Rushmore, Badlands and much more. We ride 4.200 km in 12 driving days and have bikes on all days at Sturgis. The Buffalo Bill tour in the Rocky Mountains is a paradise for those who love motorcycling and unique experiences.
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Denver International Airport – DIA|
|DEPARTURE TIME||Please arrive at least 2 hours before the flight.|
“At Explorify Tours we believe that good experiences and camaraderie are at least as important as the journey. Our goal is to fill your tour travel bag with as many positive memories as possible, so you go home with a big smile on your face. And with friends, you didn’t have before you started the tour.”
Day 1: Departure - Arrival Denver, Colorado
Day 2: Denver - Gunnison
(Driving day 1: 330 km/205 miles)
We start the day with an information meeting, where we cover information about your tour on the Buffalo Bill Mountain Tour & your stay in Denver. We also cover practical information & preparations regarding mc and car rental checkout.
Afterward, we check out of the hotel to collect our vehicles (bikes/cars). The bike/car you have booked for the tour is prepared, all necessary insurance is included. When everyone is ready, we embark on our 4.200 km long Sturgis & Buffalo Bill Mountain tour. Denver disappears behind us as we start a unique adventure full of history, adventure, and fun. As we head out of Denver there will initially be some city driving & interstate, before we depart on our designated back roads in spectacular surroundings. We will start easy, so everybody gets accustomed to traffic & driving conditions.
We begin our adventure on adventurous motorcycle roads. We stop in Fairplay, where we visit “ghost town” South Park City, which currently operates as a museum of the old wild west. After our wild west influence, we drive to the motel in Gunnison, where we relax and share experiences from the fairytale’s first leg.
Day 3: Gunnison - Durango
(Driving day 2: 372 km/231 miles)
Today we start our ride on US’ best back roads. Just as we head out of Gunnison, we start driving on the beautiful Silverthread Scenic Byway; curvy roads through spectacular scenery. Keep your cameras ready!
We drive to Lake City, where we stop to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. Thereafter, we head to South Fork for lunch, before we continue to the breathtaking Wolf Creek Pass.
Our destination of the day is Durango, an old mining town, where treasure hunters came in herds to find & extract gold and silver worth over hundreds of millions of dollars from the mineral-rich mountains of the area. The noble metals made Durango a very prosperous city, which has not been affected by the recession. Residents of Durango are not influenced by today’s usual stress and rush but are hospitable and friendly. Get ready for a cozy evening in the city’s historic district.
Day 4: Durango - Moab
(Driving day 3: 355 km/220 miles)
Welcome to one of the tour’s highlights – today is day is packed with amazing driving experiences on wonderful backroads, sharp curves, spectacular mountain scenery, waterfalls and old Pioneer cities.
As we drive out of Durango we stop by roadside hot springs. We continue north on spectacular mountain roads to Silverton and the world’s “highest” Harley Davidson dealer (elevation). Thereafter, we start our ride on the world-famous “Million Dollar Highway” (also San Juan Skyway), which is ranked as No. 4 among America’s best motorcycle roads. It is a driving experience out of the ordinary; a lifetime memory! The road got its’ famous name “San Juan Skyway” because the mountain passes we ride through lies on 3.353m (11,000 ft) above sea level, with amazing views. It’s almost like we can touch the skies. We are going to make several stops along the way to enjoy this unique experience. When we arrive at the road’s end, you might want to drive back for another ride. At San Juan Skyways end stop; Ouray, we eat lunch and try to digest all impressions.
We continue our fairytale day on wonderful backroads through the mountains toward Moab, which is located at the entrance of the Arches National Park. We spend the evening in these spectacular surroundings.
Day 5: Moab
(Fun and explorer day)
This is a day where we will explore the Wild West and there are several alternatives; Jeep safari at “Hell’s Revenge”, Horse Safari / Horseback Riding (Cowboy Trip) or Driving on the Colorado River Scenic Byway to the area where the famous western movie “Rio Grande” was filmed with John Wayne (“Back to the Future” was also filmed here) to have lunch and sample local wines and explore the John Wayne Film Museum.
This day we will also explore the amazing Arches National Park. Here you will see unique rock formations that can take your breath away. Arches National Park contains the world’s largest concentration of natural arches, the 73,000-acre area has over 2,000 of these miracles from nature. Arches Park is packed with red, dry deserts, spiced with the strangest eroded sandstone formations that are found; spikes, spikes, balanced stones, and arches. We spend some time here, so everyone gets one of the most important holiday pictures of the year.
In the evening we eat a common cowboy dinner and charge our batteries for the beautiful drive the next day.
Day 6: Moab - Park City
(Driving day 4: 370 km/230 miles)
Having absorbed Arches National Park, this day will be an in-between driving leg, on our way to the amazing Wild West run & Yellowstone National Park. We drive north towards Salt Lake City and today’s end-stop Park City.
Day 7: Park City - Jackson
(Driving day 5: 470 km/292 miles)
Today we head towards magical Yellowstone National Park and “Wild West Run”. We drive north by beautiful Bear Lake, before continuing to Montpelier, where we will visit the historic site of Butch Cassidy’s bank robbery. Thereafter, we drive to Jackson, located in the valley Jackson Hole, a vacation spot for rich Californians. We spend the evening at the famous Million Dollar Cowboy Bar.
Day 8: Jackson - Cody
(Driving day 6: 330 km/205 miles)
Welcome to another tour highlight! It will be a long day packed with unique and rare experiences. We drive into wonderful Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park and start driving one of the US’ most popular motorcycle routes; Wild West Run (Jackson – Yellowstone Lake). We drive through Moran and by Jackson Lake before we proceed to spectacular Old Faithful Geyser, which remains one of the most active (cone) geysers with its’ predictable eruptions approximately every 35 to 120 minutes. Old Faithful was named in 1870 during the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition and was the first geyser in the park to receive a name.
We continue our ride in spectacular Yellowstone, and start driving on Grad Loop Rd, before stopping at breathtaking Artist Point. Thereafter, we visit live buffalo herds up close. Be ready for exciting encounters, but beware of the wildlife (bears, wolf, elk, buffalos). We finish the day by riding into Buffalo Bill’s (William F. Cody) home turf; Cody, where we stay at Buffalo Bill’s motel and eat dinner at the historic Irma Hotel.
Day 9: Chief Joseph Scenic Byway & Beartooth Hwy
(Driving day 7: 264 km/164 miles)
Today’s ride will be the definite tour highlight for many. Welcome to the world-famous “Beartooth Highway”, (ranked as US’ best, No. 1, motorcycle route). Beartooth Highway has not achieved its iconic status among bikers worldwide without reason; be prepared for unique winding mountain roads up and down the mountain, with hairpin turns and spectacular views. This will also be the tour’s most demanding driving leg, so we will drive in a comfortable & safe pace, to ensure everyone remains safe and gets plenty of time to enjoy the ride and view. Have your camera ready, you will drive on one of the world’s best motorcycle roads. Enjoy!
On our way to Beartooth Pass, we drive Chief Joseph Scenic Byway, which also is a lifetime experience! After our return to Cody, you will have the opportunity to visit the spectacular Buffalo Bill’s Center of the west.
Day 10: Cody - Gilette
(Driving day 8: 396 km/246 miles)
It will be another day of driving on spectacular curvy fun mountain roads. We drive into Big Horn Canyon & National Forest and breathtaking scenery. We are confident your smile will be glued on. We stop for lunch & cowboy-shopping in Sheridan. Thereafter, we drive by the “Spotted Horse” bar on our way to Gillette.
Day 11: Gillette - Deadwood
(Driving day 9: 271 km/173 miles)
Today we start our fun adventures in the Black Hills, the location of the Sturgis Bike Rally (the mother of all bike rallies). Get ready for a lifetime experience!
We start by driving to the famous Devil’s Tower, a very popular destination and location of the sci-fi movie “Encounters of the 3rd degree”. We enjoy the surroundings and these spectacular rock formations. Our next stop is Sundance, home of the Sundance Kid. Thereafter, we drive through beautiful Spearfish Canyon; natural surroundings as in a painting that only nature can create.
We drive through Deadwood, where we visit the “No 10 Saloon” where Wild Bill Hickok was shot when he played poker (Quick combination he had when he was shot is now called “Deadman’s Hand”). Deadwood is within an Indian reservation and has all gambling rights. It was also here Calamity Jane (the famous female sharpshooter) met Wild Bill the first time (later they became a couple).
Day 12: Deadwood - Black Hills Run - Sturgis
(Driving day 10: 275 km/171 miles)
Today we will drive the famous and popular Black Hills Run, experience all the amazing attractions around Sturgis, and get a feel for the world-famous Sturgis Bike Rally.
We enjoy driving the Black Hills Run until we get to Crazy Horse, the world’s largest monument carved in the rock. We continue to Custer and Custer State Park, the area that captivated General George A. Custer because of its beautiful scenery and surroundings. We drive Wildlife Loop, where we might encounter live buffalos. We eat lunch outside in Custer State Park, before driving to Mt Rushmore (the three presidents’ heads carved in the mountains). Afterward, we drive the famous Iron Mountain Road. Be ready for a unique experience. J
After we have absorbed the Black Hills, we drive to Sturgis, a small town and the center of all activities around the Sturgis Bike Rally; America’s oldest and legendary Motorcycle Rally. We park the bikes and visit the world-famous Knuckle Saloon. It’s time for Biker party!
Day 13: Sturgis - Scottsbluff
(Driving day 11: 347 km/215 miles)
We say goodbye to Sturgis and head south again. Our first stop is in spectacular Badlands National Park. Badlands rugged beauty draws visitors from around the world. These striking geological deposits contain some of the richest collections of fossils. Old mammal rhinoceros, horse and saber-toothed tigers walked here once. The park’s 244,000 acres consist of an expanse of mixed-grass and prairie where bison, bighorn, prairie dog and Blackfoot-ferrets live today.
On our spectacular drive through Badlands we stop at “Wounded Knee”, the location of the “Massacre at Wounded Knee”, where over 150 Indians were killed and 50 wounded by the US 7th Cavalry Regiment. Thereafter, we drive to the small town Alliance, where we will spend our last night “on-the-road.”
Day 14: Scottsbluff - Denver
(Driving day 12: 384 km/239 miles)
The end of our adventure on US best backroads and the Buffalo Bill Mountain Tour is approaching. Today is our final leg. We continue south through Sterling and Fort Morgan, before heading back to Denver.
Arriving Denver, we return the bikes, take off our boots and replace drive gear with a little lighter clothing. We spend the afternoon near the hotel, eat a farewell dinner together, and get ready for the journey home.
Departure Denver - Home travel
We say goodbye to Solvang and continue our wonderful trip to southern California, home of the Beach Boys, Hollywood and some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. We stop for lunch in Santa Barbara, referred to by many as America’s Riviera because of its similar climate and geography of the French and Italian Riviera.
Having digested Santa Barbara, we cruise down Pacific Coast Highway 1 to the famous Neptune’s Net biker restaurant & Malibu. Thereafter, we head straight to Los Angeles. We return the bikes, take off our boots and replace driving gear with light summer clothing. We spend the afternoon in the vicinity of the hotel. Here we also have a farewell dinner together and get ready for the journey home.
Day 16: Departure - Home Travel
We say goodbye to Buffalo Bill & US Best Back Roads, Denver and return home. Group travel by shuttle to the airport. Thanks for a great ride, good times and sincerely thank you for choosing to tour with JoyRides. We wish you a safe trip home and hope to see you again on one of our other tours in the US, South America, Asia, Oceania or Europe.
Note: Because of the time difference travelers from Europe will arrive home the date/day after departing the US.
Also: This program is a guideline for activities and experiences on the tour. Deviations may occur, but we guarantee that our positive tour leaders will do their utmost to execute the program as described – as far as it is feasible and circumstances allow. We are continually working to improve the program, thus you may experience positive surprises.