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The Great American West

The Great American West Top 5 Experiences in 2022


Now our Australian borders are open for travel to the USA, it's time to put our dreams of this spectacular destination safely back into action. The Great American West states of Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming have so much of what we need right now; wide open spaces, unspoiled natural wonders and scenic delights at every turn of a road trip. They offer an awe-inspiring number of national parks and monuments, and outdoor activities galore, in every season. Add your choice of abundant wildlife, fascinating and authentic cowboy and Native American culture and history, cool small towns, food & wine delights and you have the basic ingredients for the trip of a lifetime.  

To get you inspired and help to customise your dream trip to these incredible states, here's the top five experiences in each State for 2022, an update on what's new and news this northern winter.
Check out our Australian & New Zealand websites and our Facebook page for more great photos and information about the Great American West.


Nez Perce Tourism has received a grant to further develop interpretative signage with Nez Perce language along the Nez Perce (Nee-ME-Poo) National Historic Trail route and Auto Tour including recorded interviews and professional photography with tribal elders and members.

Nimiipuu (Nez Perce) elder Pete Wilson raises a fox fur while sharing legends embedded into the places within his homelands. USDA photo, Brad Stinson


Top ten things to know for a winter visit to Yellowstone:

Glacier National Park Announces Plans for a 2022 Ticket System;  View press release

IDAHO: Yellowstone anniversary and dark sky dinners are 2022 highlights in Idaho 
New Moon Dinners in the Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve: The Sawtooth Botanical Garden in Ketchum hosts New Moon Dinners in the darkest months of the year – November through February – to showcase the beauty and wonder of Idaho’s night skies in the southern tip of the Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve. Guests enjoy a catered farm-to-greenhouse dinner with wine, outdoor fire pits, and telescopes with local astronomers to map the night sky.  

Yellowstone National Park’s 150th Anniversary
Idaho is the Eastern gateway to Yellowstone National Park and is the perfect starting point to take in the area’s natural beauty and wildlife splendours without the crowds.

Take a road trip
Begin your journey, or extend your visit, with a road trip along the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway or Teton Scenic Byway. The region is home to Harriman State Park, the majestic Grand Tetons, stunning Mesa Falls and world-class fishing on Henry’s Fork of the legendary Snake River

Basque Jaialdi Festival to Return in 2025: Idaho is home to the largest concentration of Basques per capita in the U.S.; and when it comes to celebrating their unique heritage and culture, the Basques know how to throw a party. Jaialdi, the six-day festival held every five years in Boise, will return in 2025. Attendees are treated to authentic Basque food, music, games, performances and more. 

Sun Valley: No skier or boarder worth their bragging rights should miss a winter visit to Sun Valley, to soak up some Hollywood old-skool glamour at Sun Valley Resort and enjoy some of the best winter powder in the west, at each of Bald (‘Baldy”) Mountain or Dollar Mountain. Add to that the authentic charm of the western town of Ketchum with some Hemingway history, top notch accommodation, pioneer-style saloon and great dining options. It's all just a 2.5 hour drive from Boise or short direct flight from LAX or San Francisco into the local Friedman Memorial Airport (SUN), making access a dream.
For more information on Idaho, visit

MONTANA: Enjoy starry skies, a snowy dinner and history
Montana’s wide-open spaces mean visitors can enjoy expansive, star-filled skies year-round. Some of the best stargazing spots include designated Dark Sky Parks Medicine Rocks State Park and Glacier National Park.  
In summer 2022, Bozeman’s Museum of the Rockies  (below) will be the second museum in the world to host "Apsaalooke Women and Warriors," an exhibit showcasing the prominence of women, daring feats in battle, unparalleled horsemanship and innovative beadwork.  

Bannack Days (July 16-17, 2022): See re-enactments of mining days and demonstrations of pioneer skills, try gold panning, explore Hangman’s Gulch or even see a gunfight, all at Bannack State Park.

Montana Dinner Yurt: Discover an out-of-the-ordinary winter dining experience with amazing mountain views and star-filled skies in Big Sky. A snowcat takes you to a heated yurt in a backcountry setting at 7,500 feet elevation. Enjoy a delicious dinner, live acoustic music and sledding on Lone Mountain.  

The elk rut in Gardiner during the fall mating season is a spectacle to be remembered. Bull elk bugle to ward off competing bulls as they gather females into harems. Other prime elk habitat includes the Bitterroot Valley south of Missoula, the Seeley Lake area and the Slippery Ann Wildlife Viewing area near Lewistown.  

  For more information on Montana, visit VISITMT.COM. 
Five more one-of-a-kind experiences beyond Glacier National Park 
1.       ROAM Beyond is the best of camping/glamping without having to bring all of the gear. Stay in a boutique and customized, eco-friendly RV-style cabin near Glacier National Park. 
2.       Llama trekking allows you to make a new friend who doubles as a hiking buddy that carries all of your gear. Learn from your guide how these cute but hard-working animals have been domesticated along the hike to a lunch spot or on an overnight trek. 
3.       With River City Brews Rafting Tours, select a Montana craft beer, get in a raft on a river in Missoula and let someone else do the paddling as you enjoy the majestic views while making new friends. 
4.       Quinn’s Hot Springs just completed a renovation of its soaking pools of healing mineral waters. At Quinn’s, visitors can reserve a time to soak in the pools, have a superb dinner at Harwood House Restaurant or stay in the lodge or river-view cabins.  
5.       Garden of One Thousand Buddhas is an international center for peace, public park, botanical garden and Buddhist center located on the Flathead Indian Reservation in the Jocko Valley of Montana. Interesting, right? 
For more information on Western Montana’s Glacier Country, visit 
NORTH DAKOTA: enjoy nature, history, wildlife and more 

North Dakota’s top five experiences offer adventures, scenic trails, enchanting views, wildlife, nature, history, art, culture and more.  

With its wide-open spaces, vistas that take your breath away, and views of wild horses and bison roaming free, Theodore Roosevelt National Park is truly one of the most beautiful places in North Dakota. 

The International Peace Garden (above) is one of the continent's most symbolic and scenic attractions, touting 2,300 acres of nature’s beauty, 155,000 flowers, pristine lakes, scenic hiking and driving trails, waterfalls and a large variety of birds.  
The MHA Interpretive Center is an expansive, stunning multipurpose facility that interprets the history and culture of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara people. The center houses a museum, interactive kiosks, coffee and gift shops, and offers cultural classes. 

Travel through time in the oldest state park in North Dakota and explore its rich culture and history. Venture through reconstructed earthlodges and gaze upon breathtaking views of the river bottoms while traversing the scenic trails of Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park
Fargo is the largest city in North Dakota, boasting a dynamic arts and culture scene, a vibrant downtown, unique lodging, exceptional eating establishments, thrilling entertainment venues, and numerous attractions and activities for everyone. 
For more information on North Dakota, visit 

Dig deeper:  Fargo-Moorhead's top 5 keeps things fun year-round 

Frostival: Fargo's winter festival has fun for the whole family, including cardboard sled races, “Amazing Race”-style competitions, yoga in the snow, winter camping and more. Full schedule 
Tailgating: Each fall, North Dakota State University's championship team not only has great football games fans love, it also hosts an awesome "tailgate" party beforehand. From die-hard fans to first-time visitors, everyone is welcome to enjoy the classic food, drinks and fun you expect at a tailgate. Guide to tailgating 

Drekker: ( above). Housed in one of the oldest buildings in Fargo, Drekker's Viking-themed brewery has a gorgeous interior with tall ceilings and bier hall-type tables. Drekker has tons of sour options as well as seltzers, pilsners and lagers. Learn more 

Woodchipper: From the infamous film “Fargo,” this iconic prop is located in the Visitor Center and makes for an awesome photo op. Check out the other movie memorabilia and even grab some one-of-a-kind movie-themed merchandise while you're there. Learn more 

Bonanazaville: This pioneer village pays homage to the history of the region. Fargo's first house, old bonanza farmhouses, a car museum

More information: Visit


SOUTH DAKOTA's top 5 unique events and celebrations
South Dakota's top 5 unique events and celebrations

Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup & Arts Festival: Feel the thunder of the massive buffalo herd as cowboys and cowgirls round up and drive them into the corrals. It’s an extraordinary experience seen only in Custer State Park.   
Laura Ingalls Wilder PageantChannel your inner pioneer during the theatre performance of Laura’s “Little House on the Prairie” books on the outdoor stage, and join in song as the Ingalls family is celebrated.  

100th Anniversary of Days of ’76Celebrate the 100th year of parades, Native American performances and truly one of the best outdoor rodeos in the country with some of the best cowboys and cowgirls right here in Deadwood, South Dakota. 
Arc of DreamsA tribute to the dreamers, the Arc of Dreams spans the length of a football field across the Big Sioux River in downtown Sioux Falls and is truly a marvelous sight lit up in the night sky. 
Celebrate Native American culture in Rapid City 

Black Hills Powwow: He Sapa Wacipi Na OskateColorful finery, elaborate featherwork and intricate beadwork help make up the beautiful visual atmosphere of a powwow, or wacipi. Witness the power of the largest wacipi in the nation and admire the artistic traditions of the Native American culture.   

The Black Hills Powwow is one of the largest celebrations of the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota cultures in the United States. This colorful event takes place each October in Rapid City, South Dakota. In 2022, it will debut in the newly built arena at the Monument, Rapid City’s entertainment mecca. Attend to hear drums and honor songs, explore Native American art, shop different vendors, and witness an explosion of color as thousands of dancers come together in their regalia and flood the arena floor.  This special event is often described as a homecoming for these cultures. The Black Hills, or Paha Sapa in Lakota, are a sacred place and the birthplace of the Great Sioux Nation. To learn more about tribal history in the Black Hills region, explore The Journey Museum & Learning Center located in downtown Rapid City, or see art, crafts, beadwork and more at Prairie Edge Trading Co. & Galleries. More places that hold significance to Native American culture near Rapid City include Crazy Horse Memorial®, Bear Butte State Park, Badlands National Park and Wind Cave National Park. 
For more information on Rapid City, visit 
For more information on South Dakota, visit 
WYOMING: celebrating milestones in 2022
Wyoming celebrating top 5 milestones in 2022

Yellowstone National Park
 will celebrate 150 years as the United States’ first national park in 2022. In 1872, this natural wonder attracted people from miles away. Today, it draws visitors from around the world. The geologic and hydrothermal gems combined with the amazing wildlife make this park one of a kind.

Top 5 ways to enjoy Yellowstone’s big anniversary in 2022 
1.      150th Anniversary: Stacey Gregory writes: “Few places stir the soul and ignite the imagination like Yellowstone National Park. For almost 150 years, this magical natural wonder has attracted people of all walks of life to its more than 2 million acres. Follow along as we uncover just how this place came to be America’s first national park – and one of the most beloved places in America.” 
2.       Winter Adventures: Winter in Yellowstone delivers a more intimate experience, fascinating snowy landscapes and frosty animals. 
3.       Land Adventures: Explore the incredible natural wonders of Yellowstone National Park, guided by one of the park’s knowledgeable professionals. 
4.       Water Adventures: Yellowstone Lake, with 140 miles of shoreline, is home to native cutthroat trout and the non-native lake trout. It’s also a lake with lots of beautiful scenery and interesting history, and is adjacent to some of the most remote wilderness in the lower 48 states. 
5.       Wild West Adventures: Experience Yellowstone the way the first pioneers did: Travel by stagecoach or horseback and enjoy a traditional cookout dinner. 
For more information on Yellowstone National Park Lodges, visit

Cheyenne Frontier Days
 The world’s largest outdoor rodeo and Western celebration is a 10-day festival featuring daily rodeos, Western art shows, concerts, parades and much more. 
National Historical Trails Interpretive Center in Casper is celebrating 20 years. Explore the West through Native American history, early explorers, and those who traveled the Oregon, Mormon, California and Pony Express Trails.   

Fossil Butte National Monument is a fossil hunter’s paradise. Celebrating its 50th year as a national monument, Fossil Butte has over 300 fossils on display at the visitor center and more than 8,000 acres to explore. Discover the remnants of an ancient lake ecosystem including fish, alligators, bats, turtles, small horses, plants and more.  

The National Museum of Military Vehicles is located just 80 miles away from Yellowstone National Park. This new museum is the largest private collection of military vehicles and features vehicles from WWII, the Korean War and Vietnam War.  
For more information on Wyoming, visit
DENVER Co; Gateway to the Great American West
Image of Denver skyline courtesy Visit Denver 
Denver, the Mile High City is a covenient and central entry point to explore the wonders of the Great American West via arrival into Denver Interntaional Airport (DEN).
But Denver is also so much more: a vibrant outdoor city, center for arts, a haven for shoppers, foodies and sports fans. With funky charming neighbourhoods begging to be explored, major events and exhibitions year round and a transport system that makes it easy for visitors to get around, it no wonder Denver is a must-add to any Great American West itinerary. 
Our top five recommendatuons for a visit to Denver this year:

Must-See Art 
Denver's arts scene is shining brighter than ever with the expansion of Denver Art Museum’s campus and the opening of Meow Wolf’s mind-bending Convergence Station.

Must- try Restaurants
Denver celebrates ever-evolving tastes, drawing inspiration from around the world, with some hot new spots like Toro Latin Kitchen + Lounge and Jovanina’s Broken Italian.

All Aboard!
Denver is the world's largest apres ski town and the perfect place to acclimatise before you hit the slopes. 
After a year-long hiatus, the Amtrak Winter Park Express is back for the 2022 season. Beginning January 14, the ski train will run each Friday, Saturday and Sunday through April 3. The train – which runs from Denver Union Station in the heart of downtown right to the base of the ski slopes – is the perfect way to make Denver the basecamp for experiencing Winter Park Resort’s many seasonal activities, from skiing and snowboarding to snowshoeing, tubing or just a ride up the gondola. Learn More

Red Rocks Amphitheater 
Rolling Stone Magazine once called it the “best outdoor amphitheater in the country," and now Billboard’s Boxscore has named Red Rocks Amphitheatre the top-grossing, most attended concert venue of any size, anywhere in the WORLD for 2021. In its 80th year of operation, Red Rocks has broken its own season record by hosting 233 ticketed paid events including 177 concerts, 20 yoga/fitness programs and 36 movies in the Film on the Rocks series. The 2022 season is already heating up with many more announcements to come. Learn More

This magic, iconic open-air venue, seemigly carved from the lanscape around it, is THE place to experience your favourite band or any live performance. Image: courtesy Visit Denver

Must- do events
 Feb. 4-March 13 ‘Rattlesnake Kate’
 Feb. 16-March 27 'Hamilton'
 Thru Feb. 26 Smoking Mirrors: Visual Histories of Identity, Resistance and Resilience
 March 3-May 30 Frida: Immersive Dream
 March 4-Sept. 5 Jurassic World: The Exhibition
 Thru March 13 Whistler to Cassatt: American Painters in France
 March 29-April 10 'Tootsie'
 April 14-June 20 The Art of Banksy

About The Great American West
The Great American West is the brand for the international marketing efforts of Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. Collectively, the group markets to both travel trade (tour operators, travel agents, etc.) and consumers through advertising and public relations efforts. Individually, each state office works with their industry partners to raise awareness of their states and the region as a whole through the promotion of products and travel destinations. The Great American West contracts with Rocky Mountain International to help coordinate their united efforts in eight international markets, including The United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, Benelux and Nordics.
About Rocky Mountain International
Rocky Mountain International specializes in international tourism marketing and business development for the Western U.S. Our mission is to increase incremental international visitation, spending and market share of the region to fuel the economies of our stakeholders. Through our work, we will significantly contribute to job creation, tax revenues and increased quality of life in the communities we live. RMI headquarters are in Cheyenne, Wyoming with overseas operations in London, Munich, Amsterdam, Paris, Milan and Sydney. For more information about RMI, visit MEDIA

Davidson Communications – Account Manager RMI AUNZ
Caroline Davidson -
 Kim Snape, PR & Communications Manager -
   Ph: +1 307-637-4977 x 205

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