The Real Deal: Seven nights' accommodations, most meals, transportation by private air-conditioned motor coach, and activities, from $995 per person—plus taxes of about $149.
When: Depart May 28-June 30, Sept. 1-26; add $100 for July 1-31, Aug. 10-31.
The fine print Six breakfasts, two lunches, and three dinners; arrival transfer in Rapid City, S.D.; activities as specified on the itinerary; and the services of a professional tour director and local guides are included. Also covered are gratuities to hotel porters, restaurant staff, and local guides. Taxes are an additional $139 per person for a triple room; add $10 for a double and $40 for a single. Hotel-airport transfer in Salt Lake City, about a 20-minute drive, is not included (shuttle service is $6 per person; a taxi ride is $15 per trip). Based on double occupancy; subtract $20 per person for a triple room; add $460 for a single room. The maximum group size is between 36 and 44 participants. Airfare is not included. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.
Book by: No deadline; based on availability.
Contact: Caravan Tours, 800/227-2826, caravan.com.
Why it's a deal: The package price of $995 breaks down to $142 a night, and it covers accommodations, tours, some meals, guided sightseeing, and gratuities. In addition to a hassle-free trip, thanks to Caravan's partnership with various hotels, you'll benefit from nightly room rates that are lower than what you'd get if booking independently.
Trip details: The Mount Rushmore, Grand Teton and Yellowstone package includes seven nights' accommodations split between Rapid City, Billings, Mont.; Yellowstone National Park; Jackson, Wyo.; and Salt Lake City.
Begin the journey in Rapid City, where you'll be staying for two nights at the 176-room downtown hotel Radisson, a 30-minutes drive from Custer State Park, Crazy Horse Memorial, and Mount Rushmore National Monument. Your itinerary includes trips to Mount Rushmore to admire the sculpted faces of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt; the Crazy Horse Memorial, in honor of the Sioux Lakota Indian leader, Crazy Horse; and the Indian Museum of North America.
Next, cross into Montana to spend some time exploring Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument before continuing on to Billings, where explorers Lewis and Clark camped in 1806. Stay overnight at the 289-room Crowne Plaza in downtown Billings.
Then you and the group head to Cody, Wyo., where you'll tour the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, the Plains Indian Museum, and the Whitney Gallery of Western Art. Afterward, cross the Continental Divide into Yellowstone National Park, founded in 1872. The highlights of your tour of the 2.2 million-acre park include: Norris Geyser Basin and Mammoth Hot Springs on the upper loop, and Old Faithful Geyser, Fountain Paint Pots, Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone Falls—twice as high as Niagara Falls—in the lower loop.
Grant Teton National Park, home to the 12,000-foot-high Teton Range, is next on the itinerary; you'll picnic on the banks of the Snake River. After exploring the local wildlife and stopping by Jenny Lake, you'll arrive in Jackson, a town in the Jackson Hole valley. You'll have free time to visit local western shops, art galleries, and the Virginian Saloon before turning in for the night at the 170-room Virginian Lodge.
The following day, you'll drive through Bridge-Teton National Forest, cross the Oregon Trail into Idaho, and stop by Bear Lake before reaching Salt Lake City. Here you'll visit Temple Square and the Mormon Tabernacle. You'll spend the final night of the tour at the Hilton in the heart of the state capital.
Getting there: According to a recent search on Kayak, the lowest multicity round-trip fares—arriving in Rapid City and departing from Salt Lake City—in early June start at $181 from Denver (Frontier), $304 from L.A. (Delta/United), $323 from Chicago (Frontier), $331 from Minneapolis (multiple carriers), $390 from New York City (United/Delta), and $526 from Miami (Northwest).