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What’s new in the Great American West

The Great American West is a popular winter holiday destination with top ski resorts, national parks and a vast array of non-ski activities and events for the whole family.


Image Montana Office of Tourism


Guests can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, dog-sledding and ice fishing, along with wildlife watching, photography tours and stargazing.


Here’s an update on what’s new in the destination, which includes Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.



Mount Rushmore National Memorial is the mountain sculpture of four past U.S. Presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.

An upgrade of the area and facilities will begin in 2019 including a widening of Avenue of the Flags. This will allow more efficient movement for tourists around Mount Rushmore, increase accessibility and provide better views of the sculpture.

The Mount Rushmore Half Marathon from the Ghost Canyon Dude Ranch to Keystone will take place on September 21, providing great views of the Black Hills.


Image South Dakota Dept of Tourism



Big Sky Resort is the second largest ski resort in the U.S. and it is currently developing an innovative new lift system for the 2019 season.

This includes ‘The Ramcharger 8 chairlift’ that will whisk skiers from the base of Mountain Village to the top of Andesite Mountain and the ‘Shedhorn 4 High Speed’ which will shorten time on the Shedhorn side of the mountain.

The National Park Service has announced free entry days in 2019 on April 20, August 25, September 28 and November 11.

This includes well-known spots like Yellowstone and Glacier National Park, which is great news as the annual U.S. National Parks pass usually costs $US80 (approx. $AU110).



Last year Jackson Hole Mountain Resort was ranked the ‘#1 ski resort in North America’ by Forbes Magazine, making it the eighth year in a row that they have won. The resort recently opened the Aerial Tram and the Sublette Chairlift, offering more efficient skiing and snowboarding for visitors.

Red Reflet Ranch is a 10,000-hectare working ranch and luxury resort in Ten Sleep which is offering a new series of one-day cooking classes with the executive chef. Each class has a different theme, including St. Patrick’s Day, homemade noodles and chocolates.


Image Idaho Tourism


With more than 800 hectares of terrain, Sun Valley is a great place for skiers and snowboarders. It has two mountains – Bald Mountain and Dollar Mountain – both with various chairlifts and ski runs for different abilities.

For comfortable, stylish accommodation try Sun Valley Lodge. It has five ‘Celebrity Suites’ named after the stars who have stayed there before, including Marilyn Monroe and Ernest Hemingway.

Teton Springs Lodge & Spa also offers luxurious accommodation with panoramic views of the Teton Valley. The property has cross country ski trails, heli skiing and is close to two ski resorts.



Opening later this year, the new Turtle Mountain Chippewa Heritage Center will be a circular structure built inside a concrete medicine wheel which is a spiritual symbol for American Indians.

Devils Lake is the largest natural body of water in North Dakota and has an abundance of walleye, large perch, northern pike and white bass. It is a great spot to try ice fishing.


Image Visit Fargo-Moorhead, North Dakota
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Written by: Traveltalk Magazine
Published: 5 February 2019

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