This contest has ended
Winner notifications are being sent out:
Tanya Sklena of Hanover Park, IL – Chicago to Yellowstone
James Lofton of Cheyenne, WY – Denver to Yellowstone
Suzy Luime of Oak Ridge, NJ – Salt Lake City to Yellowstone
Carrie Vela of Rancho Cucaonga, CA – Seattle to Yellowstone
Winners have one week to respond to official notices before we move on to an alternate winner. Good luck everyone!
Here are the trips you could win!
Activities and lodging in RED are included in prize package.
All trips include:
Before each winner leaves for their trip, use $120 in Mountain Khakis Gift Cards to outfit the family. (Shop at mountainkhakis.com.) Plan your trip using a Yellowstone Journal and Yellowstone Trip Planner. On the trip, use the $200 Visa Gift Card for gas and later for your entrance fee to Yellowstone.
Chicago to Yellowstone Road Trip
Hill City, South Dakota
Things to Do in Hill City Area
- Visit a park. There are dozens in the area including Badlands National Park, Black Hills National Forest, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park, Wind Cave National Park, Jewel Cave National Monument, and the Minuteman Missile Silo National Park.
- Ride the Black Hills Central Railroad (www.1880train.com). This 1880’s train goes through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.
- View four states from Harney Peak. It’s the highest point in South Dakota at 7,242 feet above sea level.
- Kayak or Canoe on Sylvan Lake.
- Bike, walk or go horseback on the Mickelson Trail, voted one of the top 10 most beautiful trails in the world. Over its 109 miles, you’ll go through four rock tunnels and cross 100 railroad bridges.
- Tour Wade’s Gold Mill and see how prospectors in the 1880’s made their living. You can even pan for gold.
Spend the night in an Hill City Area Hotel
Drive from Hill City to Gillette, WY – 130 miles
Things to Do in Campbell County:
- See Devil’s Tower National Monument. Travelers roaming through the northeastern Wyoming prairie will be treated to a strange and wonderful sight: a striking stone column rising seemingly out of nowhere. It’s Devils Tower, a 867-foot pillar beckoning everyone from Native Americans to geology buffs to rock climbers to come closer, drink in the sights and sounds, and learn more about the remarkable cultural and natural history surrounding the monument. Ranger tours are available during the summer months. More about Devil’s Tower
- Tour a Coal Mine. Visit the Eagle Butte Coal Mine, one of the largest surface coal mines in the U.S. The free tours are offered in the summer months at 9 and 11 am, and last about 2 hours. Can’t make the tour? There is a drive-up overlook nearby.
- Tour a Bison Ranch. See one of the world’s largest and oldest working buffalo ranches in Wright, Wyoming. Durham Ranch has 3,000 bison on 65,000 acres. Learn about the animal that is a main symbol of the western U.S. as well as how Durham Ranch manages its resources holistically; maintaining a large herd of grazing animals while improving the rangelands they live in. Bus tours run on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Reserve your tour at te Gillette Visitor Center (307) 686-0040.
- Visit a museum or planetarium. Campbell County has several historical and geological exhibits including the Science Center Adventurarium, 1911 Jail Cell, a planetarium, the Rockpile Museum (pictured) and an Energy Equipment display. Learn more about Campbell County Museums.
- Do the Wildlife Tour Loop. There are two self-guided driving tours throughout Campbell County. The tours are designed to show local plants and wildlife along with some history and geology in the area. Pronghorn, a.k.a. antelope, outnumber residents and share their habitat with badgers, coyotes, elk, mule, and white tail deer, ducks, geese, pheasants, turkey, grouse, and jackrabbits to name a few.
Lodging at a Campbell County Area Hotel
Things to Do in Billings, Montana
- Montana’s only Walkable Brewery District, featuring several family friendly restaurants offering Montana cuisine and locally crafted microbrews. The winner can use their gift certificate at Uberbrew which recently won the Alpha King Challenge for its IPA, and has a menu featuring six kinds of sausage.
- Visit a museum at Billings’ Historic Downtown. The Yellowstone County Museum highlights regional culture and history as well as an impressive collective of Native American artifacts. The Yellowstone Art Museum is the region’s premier contemporary art museum – see the Visible Vault. The Western Heritage Center showcases the history of the West and voices of the Yellowstone River Valley. And the Wise Wonders Children’s Museum offers hands-on exhibits for a wide-range of ages.
- Montana’s BEST zoo, ZooMontana (www.zoomontana.org).
- The Reef Indoor Waterpark at The Big Horn Resort features several three-story slides, water playland, wave pool, and more. (www.thereefindoors.com)
- Experience the outdoors and true vistas of Big Sky Country in Swords Rimrock Park, or take them in on the move with Outlaw Zip Line.
- The winner gets event tickets or admission to a museum depending on trip dates.
1 night’s lodging in a family suite at The Big Horn Resort (thebighornresort.com)
Flying Pig Adventure Company in Gardiner, Montana
Things to do in Gardiner, Montana
- Do the 53-mile scenic drive from Livingston to Gardiner. You’ll drive along the Yellowstone River and through Paradise Valley. Keep an eye out for golden eagles and osprey fishing in the river. Elk and mule deer are often spotted along the banks of the river. And, all along the way you will see wide expanses of authentic Montana ranches.
- Take a picture at the Roosevelt Arch, the original entrance to Yellowstone National Park.
- Get a thrill: Go rafting, ziplining, or horseback riding. Gardiner has many local outfitters and concessionaires that can guide you to the fun.
- Go fishing in the Gardiner or Yellowstone Rivers. Just ask a friendly local and they’ll share their favorite spots with you.
1-night lodging at Gardiner area hotel such as the Flying Pig Vacation Home or tent glamping.
Yellowstone National Park
Gardiner, Montana is on the north edge of Yellowstone. Drive under the Roosevelt Arch and you’re there.
Denver to Yellowstone Road Trip
Denver Airport to Cheyenne, Wyoming – 108 miles
Things to Do in Cheyenne:
- Take a Train Tour of the Terry Bison Ranch. Feed camels and bison right out of your hand. (Bring a couple of wet naps.) Have a hearty lunch in the Ranch Cafe.
- See a cowboy dinner show.
- Stroll the streets to see the giant cowboy boots. These eight-foot-tall sculptures have been painted by local artists to show Wyoming’s and Cheyenne’s history.
- See a race at Big Country Speedway.
- Use your Trolley Plus Pass to ride the trolley. The pass also includes admission to the Cheyenne Depot Museum www.cheyennedepotmuseum.org, Frontier Days Old West Museum www.oldwestmuseum.org, and the Nelson Museum of the West www.nelsonmuseum.com.
- See gunfights, western skits, and other Wild West activities in Gunslinger Square.
- On the drive out of town, stop to see (or climb) the Vedauwoo’s rock formation in the Medicine Bow – Routt National Forest. (Between Cheyenne and Laramie off I-80 or alternatively you can drive Happy Jack Road.)
Lodging at a Cheyenne Hotel
Carbon County, Wyoming
Drive from Cheyenne to Saratoga – 148 miles
Things to Do in Carbon County:
- Soak in the Saratoga Hobo Pool fed by a natural hot spring. It’s open 24-hours, 7-days a week and is walking distance from your hotel.
- Go fishing on the Miracle Mile, a blue-ribbon trout stream.
- Hike a trail and watch for wildlife.
- Go whitewater rafting on the North Platte River’s narrow Northgate Canyon or take a leisurely float through the Medicine Bow National Forest.
- Shoot trap or skeet, or do archery at the Rawlins Outdoor Shooting Complex.
- Tour the Wyoming Frontier Prison in Rawlins. On the tour they’ll tell you about some interesting inmates and stories about the prison being haunted. (www.wyomingfrontierprison.org)
Lodging at the Wolf Hotel in Saratoga (www.wolfhotel.com)
Wind River Hotel & Casino in Riverton, Wyoming
Drive from Saratoga to Wind River Hotel & Casino near Riverton – 164 miles
Things to Do at the Wind River Hotel and Casino:
- Visit the Northern Arapahgoe Experience Museum inside the hotel lobby. The room tells the story of the Arapaho people though paintings, pictures, videos and traditional artifacts.
- Try your luck at gaming. The casino features slot machines and table games of blackjack, roulette, and poker.
- Use your $50 Gift Card to eat at the Red Willow Restaurant. Try the Indian Country Benedict for breakfast, or their most popular dinner, Lobster and Prime Rib.
- Go on a Wind River Canyon whitewater rafting trip with pickup at the hotel.
1-night lodging at the Wind River Hotel and Casino near Riverton
Wind River Country, Wyoming
Drive from Riverton to Dubois – 78 miles
Things to Do in Wind River Country:
- Attend a powwow or rodeo. The two largest powwows are held in June and July.
- Take a hike to see Popo Agie Falls in Sinks Canyon. With a round trip distance of about 3 miles, you get beautiful scenery as you follow near the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie River.
- See ancient petroglyphs of warriors with shields at Castle Gardens outside of Riverton.
- Pan for gold at the South Pass City State Historical Site.
- Attend a balloon rally in Riverton.
- Visit Sacajawea’s gravesite and monument.
- Visit St. Stephen’s Mission and church.
- Use your $500 Gift Card for dining, shopping and transportation in the quaint town of Dubois.
- Visit the National Bighorn Sheep Center in Dubois to see exhibits and a film about the local animals. You can also take a half-day guided or self-guided wildlife watching tour through the backcountry.
- Take a full-day outfitted, guided fly fishing adventure near Dubois.
2-nights lodging at the historic Twin Pines Lodge in Dubois
Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming
Drive from Dubois to Cody – 211 miles
Alternatively, you could also drive through Yellowstone’s south entrance and out the east entrance to get to Cody – 202 miles.
Things to Do in Cody, Wyoming:
- Visit the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, 5 museums under one roof – Buffalo Bill Museum, Whitney Western Art Museum, Cody Firearms Museum, Draper Natural History Museum, and the Plains Indian Museum.
- Attend the Cody Nite Rodeo, open every night in the summer season.
- Experience what it was like to live in the wild west at Old Trail Town, an eclectic collection of historic buildings created with frontier structures dating from 1879 to 1900.
- Take a wild horse tour at McCullough Peaks east of town.
- Have a steak dinner at Cassie’s Supper Club and dance the two-step to a live country band.
- Listen to Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue, a Branson style variety show.
- Shop the downtown stores for a cowboy hat or boots.
- Watch the Cody Gunfighters on the street in front of the Irma Hotel porch.
Lodging at the Holiday Inn at Buffalo Bill Village
Yellowstone National Park
Drive from Cody to the east entrance of Yellowstone – 50 miles.
Seattle to Yellowstone Road Trip
Drive from Fairmont to Missoula – 110 miles
Things to Do in Missoula:
- Tour the Missoula Aerial Fire Depot & Smokejumper Center, the largest active smokejumper base in the country. Afterwards stop for a cold Moose Drool at Big Sky Brewing.
- Kayak on Brennan’s Wave, Missoula’s Whitewater Park.
- Hike the M for spectacular Missoula views. Then take the kids and man’s best friend to Sweet Peaks Ice Cream shop for your favorite and Chicken & Beef Ice Cream for your buddy.
- Be a kid at one of the world’s fastest Carousels and then have some fun with science at Spectrum.
- Visit the Elk Country Visitor Center Museum and walk the nature trail.
- Shop at more than 100 boutiques, galleries, and specialty stores set in numerous historic districts.
- Dine at one of Missoula’s many eateries including the Big Dipper which was rated “Best Ice Cream” by Good Morning America. The winner’s family gets breakfast at Brooks and Browns Restaurant, dinner at the Red Bird Restaurant, and a $40 Happy Hour credit.
- Attend a tasting at a local winery or brewery.
1 night lodging at a local Holiday Inn Downtown Missoula (www.holidayinn.com/Missoula)
Drive to the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort – 133 miles
Things to Do in Southwest Montana:
- Go for a scenic drive. It can feel like the roads of Southwest Montana are one continuous scenic turnout.
- Go fishing. The Big Hole River is one of many legendary fisheries luring anglers to Southwest Montana. Kokanee salmon, slab-sized trout and soul-stirring solitude beckon at Georgetown Lake in Southwest Montana.
- Visit a ghost town. Echoes of the past surround you in Virginia City and Nevada City.
- Explore a cave. Behold the beauty beneath the mountains at Southwest Montana’s Lewis & Clark Caverns.
- Check in at your resort and plunge down the water slide or soak in one of their hot springs pools.
Lodging at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort
Big Sky Resort in Big Sky, Montana
Drive from Fairmont Hot Springs Resort to Big Sky, Montana – 133 miles
Things to Do in Big Sky:
- Do a Zipline Adventure. Ride up, then zip down on this tour which is designed for speed. Embark on the Explorer Double Chair, and take in expansive views of Lone Mountain and the Spanish Peaks of the Madison Range. Once you’re at the top of the chair, let the zipping begin!
- Ride the giant swing, jump on the bungee trampoline, or climb the rock wall in the resort’s plaza
- Attend a live music concert at the resort
- Ride to the summit via chairlift, expedition vehicle, and the Lone Peak Tram with a guide to point out different areas, sights, and more. Arrive to the top where you will take in the ultimate 360-degree scenic view from 11,166 feet
- Play a round of golf at an 18-hole Arnold Palmer course with scenic views.
- Treat yourself to a Gallatin River Hot Stone Massage, aromatherapy, or facial at the Solace Spa.
- Take a guided hike on the Moose Tracks Trail where you’ll see wildflowers, streams, and peaks. Or take a self-guided hike at Beehive Basin which was recently named as one of the world’s 10 greatest hikes. (View summer trail map bigskyresort.com/Documents/Plan%20A%20Trip/Map_SummerTrailMapv3.pdf)
- At basecamp, choose fun activities such as paintball, archery, or a high-ropes course.
2-nights lodging at Big Sky Resort
Yellowstone National Park
Drive from Big Sky, Montana to the west entrance of Yellowstone – 51 miles.
Salt Lake City to Yellowstone Road Trip
Things to Do in Pocatello, Idaho
- Attend an event. The Port-neuf Muzzleloader’s Mountain Man Rendezvous spring event replicates an 1840’s celebration where cannon demonstrations and canvas tents and teepees set the stage for an exciting weekend. Every August the impressive Shoshone Bannock Indian Festival draws over 2,500 dancers from throughout North America. Or attend a concert. A rocking good time is had by all at the Revive@5 summer concert series held every Wednesday in Old Town in conjunction with the Farmers Market. There are also summer concerts on Thursday at ISU, and Friday and Sunday at Ross Park.
- Visit a museum. Pocatello’s Museum of Clean (www.museumofclean.com) celebrates vacuum cleaners, chamber pots, and other quirky cleaning items. It’s squeaky-clean collection of sanitation dates back to the 1800s and takes about two hours to peruse. Up for something even older? At the Idaho Museum of Natural History on the campus of Idaho State University (imnh.isu.edu), you can see the huge bones of ancient bison and sloths.
- Take a hike, a bike ride, or climb lava. Pocatello’s City Creek Trail network has 52 miles of hiking and biking trails. The picturesque path crosses 17 bridges over the creek, all within the city limits. The Lava Cliffs located at Ross Park provide climbs for both novice and expert rock climbers right in town. Climb the “Sunny Side” which faces southwest, perfect for cooler weather. Or climb on the “Shady Side” to stay cool in the summer.
- Stroll down Pocatello’s Old Town (www.facebook.com/old.pocatello). This historic district showcases its history as an old railroad town. There are hundred-year-old buildings housing antique shops, art galleries, restaurants, and watering holes. Every first Friday of the month, Old Town hosts Art Walk. Local artists display their art and musicians perform at businesses. Dine at the local restaurants such as Mama Inez known for its large, traditional Mexican dishes or Buddy’s for fresh-made pasta. The winner gets a $50 restaurant gift card.
- See a grizzly bear. While in Yellowstone, you very possibly might see a grizzly bear. But, it will be from a distance away (let’s hope.) See these beasts up close through a glass wall at the Pocatello Zoo in Ross Park (zoo.pocatello.us) where two transplanted grizzlies roam in a natural setting and fish out of their own trout stream.
1 night lodging at Holiday Inn Express Pocatello (www.hiexpress.com/Pocatello)
1 night lodging at the Spring Creek Ranch (www.springcreekranch.com)
Yellowstone National Park
Drive from Jackson, Wyoming to the south entrance of Yellowstone – 57 miles.
Lodging is for one room for up to 4 people. Location of lodging is based on availability and may be substituted for equal or greater value. Activities and passes are for four people. “Suggested activities” are not included in the prize package. READ OFFICIAL RULES [PDF]