North West Cowboy Tour (Self-Drive)

19 days
Difficulty Level
6360 km

North West Cowboy Tour (Self-Drive)

This Self-Drive Tour offers an unparalleled journey through America’s majestic Great Northwest, navigating the best “back roads” the region has to offer. You’ll embark on an adventure across “The Loneliest Road in America” (U.S. 50), traverse the breathtaking Beartooth Highway, experience the iconic Pacific Highway 1, and explore the Wild West Run, Black Hills Run, and the “Plains and Simple” routes. This northern adventure, set against the backdrop of “cowboy country,” embodies the spirit of the tour’s namesake.

The journey features a stunning ride along Highway 1, where the warmth and breezes of the Pacific Ocean are your constant companions. The adventure doesn’t stop there; it leads you through the heart of the Rocky Mountains, offering visits to iconic landmarks such as Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, and the vast expanse of Yellowstone National Park, along with its myriad attractions, the Badlands, and much more. The roads in this region seem as though they were crafted specifically for motorcycle enthusiasts. A word of caution: keep an eye out for bison that might cross your path!


Motorcycle/Car rental w/unlimited milage
1st choice vehicle model class
Shared room in biker-friendly hotels
Continental breakfast at most hotels
Entrance fees Nat. parks
Welcome meeting
Multi-lingual Tour leader
Transport to rental company
Support van w/ luggage
State min. SLI insurance
Loss damage Waiver
Half-shell helmet
Tour PDF w/route description.
Pictures from the tour
NOT Included
Optional attractions
Vehicle model guarantee
Security deposit for LDW
Food and beverages
LDW Zero & insurance upgrades
Anything not listed in “Included” above



Day 1: Departure - Arrival Los Angeles, California

Your long-awaited day of departure has arrived at last: Welcome to Los Angeles!


Day 2: Los Angeles - Solvang

Driving day 1: 238 km/148 miles)

As you prepare to embark on your North West – Cowboy tour, mounting your bike marks the beginning of an extraordinary journey. Leaving Los Angeles behind, you’re about to experience one of the most remarkable motorcycle routes in the world – the legendary and breathtaking Pacific Coast Highway 1. Your route towards the quaint, “Danish” town of Solvang promises an array of stunning coastal views, featuring dramatic caves and rock formations that offer countless opportunities for memorable photographs.

Your journey includes a cruise past the famous Malibu coastline to Neptune’s Net, a well-known biker restaurant where you can pause for lunch amidst the camaraderie of fellow motorcycle enthusiasts.

Next, your adventure takes you to Santa Barbara and Stearns Pier, often celebrated as America’s Riviera, thanks to its climate and geography reminiscent of the French and Italian Riviera, providing a serene and picturesque backdrop for your ride.

The final leg of this segment of your tour leads you to Solvang, a charming Danish enclave where you will immerse yourself in a cultural experience like no other. Staying in a traditional Danish Gjæstgiveri, dining at a Danish beer restaurant, and enjoying breakfast at a Danish bakery, you’ll savor the flavors and hospitality of Denmark, right in the heart of California.


Day 3: Solvang - Monterey

(Driving day 2: 339 km/210 miles)

Leaving Solvang behind, your adventure through southern California unfolds spectacularly. Your route takes you onto the much-lauded Pacific Coast Highway 1, which promises an unparalleled riding experience. With the rugged mountains rising majestically on your left and the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean stretching out to your right, you’re treated to a symphony of natural wonders. As you navigate past Big Sur, the warmth of the California sun combines with the refreshing touch of salty sea air on your skin, enhancing every moment of your journey.

Ahead, the road unveils miles of breathtaking scenery, where the majestic Santa Lucia Mountains gracefully descend to meet the Pacific Ocean. This meeting creates one of the most picturesque coastlines in California, offering views that captivate and enthrall. The day is further enriched by a gentle, warm breeze and culminates in a sunset that paints the sky in vibrant hues, a fitting end to a day of exploration and beauty.

Your journey today concludes in Monterey, a city renowned for its spectacular seaside charm. Upon arrival, Cannery Row awaits, inviting you to stroll along its streets lined with exquisite hotels, boutique shops, and gourmet restaurants. As the day transitions to evening, Fisherman’s Wharf offers the perfect setting for dinner, where you can indulge in the freshest seafood while so


Day 4: Monterey - San Francisco

(Driving day 3: 192 km/119 miles)

Today’s leg of your journey takes you through the majestic Big Basin Redwood State Park, renowned for its serpentine and narrow roads that meander through the forest of towering redwoods. It’s a motorcyclist’s dream, offering the unique experience of riding amidst ancient giants. Midday, you’ll have the chance to stop at the celebrated biker bar, “Alice’s,” a perfect spot for lunch and to share stories with fellow riders.

Your destination for the day is the vibrant city of San Francisco, where you’ll be staying near the heart of the city, close to all its famous attractions. San Francisco, with its distinct European vibe, offers a plethora of sightseeing opportunities that far exceed what can be explored during a brief visit. However, a must-visit is Fisherman’s Wharf, where you can meander through quaint shops and street cafes, indulging in some of the finest seafood dishes the world has to offer.

To truly embrace the spirit of San Francisco, consider hopping on one of the city’s iconic Cable Cars. These moving landmarks are not just a mode of transportation but the pulse of the city, offering a unique way to see the sights. For those planning ahead, a visit to the notorious prison island of Alcatraz is highly recommended, though tickets should be booked in advance to secure a spot. Other noteworthy attractions include taking a harbor cruise, exploring the vibrant streets of Chinatown, and navigating Lombard Street, famously known as one of America’s most winding roads.


Day 5: San Francisco - Virginia City

(Driving day 4: 428 km/266 miles)

Departing from San Francisco, your journey continues as you cross the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, a moment to savor the panoramic views of the bridge itself and the stunning backdrop of San Francisco. This landmark experience offers a unique opportunity to appreciate the engineering marvel and scenic beauty that defines this famous cityscape.

After taking in the sights, your route leads you northward towards Sacramento, marking the beginning of your journey on “The Loneliest Highway in America” (Highway 50). This stretch of road is known for its serene and expansive landscapes, offering a sense of solitude and reflection.

As you progress, your path will take you along the picturesque shores of Lake Tahoe, a jewel of natural beauty that attracts visitors year-round. Lake Tahoe, celebrated for its crystal-clear waters and scenic surroundings, is a popular destination offering a variety of activities.

Your day concludes as you reach the historic and lively Virginia City. This town, steeped in history, provides a fascinating glimpse into the past with its well-preserved architecture and relics from the mining era. Virginia City offers a unique blend of fun and history, making it a memorable stop on your motorcycle tour.


Day 6: Virginia - City - Ely

(Driving day 5: 499 km/310 miles)

Today’s journey unveils the essence of why Highway 50 is dubbed “The Loneliest Highway in America.” As you traverse this expansive route, you’ll find yourself enveloped in vast, desert-like landscapes, characterized by their stark beauty and profound sense of isolation. The road stretches endlessly ahead, with only sporadic settlements breaking the monotony of the wilderness. This unique setting offers a deep connection with the untouched aspects of the American frontier, providing a day of reflection and solitude amidst nature’s vastness.

A highlight of today’s ride is a stop at the famous Shoetree near Middlegate, a curious landmark with its intriguing narrative. The Shoetree has become a symbol of the road’s solitude and the quirky stories that dot this lonely stretch of asphalt. Visitors often leave their mark by adding a pair of shoes to the collection, contributing to the legend that the Shoetree represents.

After absorbing the lore of the Shoetree, your journey continues along Highway 50, where the landscape offers a mesmerizing display of natural beauty and the stark contrasts of the Nevada terrain. The day’s adventure concludes in Eureka, a town that promises rest and respite.


Day 7: Ely - West Wendover

(Driving day 6: 225 km/140 miles)

Today marks the completion of your journey on “The Loneliest Road in America” (Highway 50) as you begin your northerly descent towards the awe-inspiring Yellowstone National Park. This transition introduces you to another historic route, “The Lincoln Highway” (US 93), offering a blend of scenic beauty and a rich tapestry of American road travel history.

As you navigate these roads, you’ll experience the diverse landscapes that define the American West, setting the stage for the natural wonders that await in Yellowstone. The journey towards West Wendover, your destination for the day, is an adventure in itself, showcasing the varied terrains and expansive skies that make this part of the country unique.

Upon reaching West Wendover, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the Bonneville Salt Flats International Racing Track. This vast expanse of salt crust, located near the Utah-Nevada border, is renowned for its role in automotive and motorcycle speed records, as well as its appearances in numerous films. The Salt Flats offer a surreal landscape, unlike anything else in the world, and stand as a testament to the spirit of adventure and innovation that defines the area. Visiting this iconic site provides a fitting highlight to today’s journey, connecting the past and present of American exploration and achievement.



Day 8: West Wendover - Logan

(Driving day 7: 349 km/218 miles)

Beginning your day with a necessary “transport leg” along I-80, although not the most scenic route, serves as the most efficient path for this segment of your journey. This stretch is a prelude to the more exhilarating roads that await, setting the stage for the adventure to come as you veer north onto Highway 89.

Highway 89 promises a stark contrast to the earlier part of your day, guiding you through captivating mountain roads that boast a series of twists and turns, each revealing stunning vistas and the natural beauty of the region. This route is a favorite among motorcyclists for its engaging driving experience and the breathtaking scenery that accompanies it.

Your journey leads you toward Garden City, located at the shimmering Bear Lake, known for its vivid turquoise waters often referred to as the “Caribbean of the Rockies.” This area offers a picturesque backdrop for a mid-journey break, allowing you to absorb the serene beauty of the landscape.

The day’s ride culminates in Logan, where you’ll spend the evening. Nestled in a lush valley, it’s a city that combines small-town charm with the beauty of the surrounding mountains, providing a peaceful retreat for travelers. Here, you can enjoy the local hospitality, explore the downtown area, and prepare for the adventures that lie ahead.


Day 9: Logan - Jackson

(Driving day 8: 312 km/195 miles)

Today, your journey takes you towards the enchanting Yellowstone National Park and the thrilling “Wild West Run.” Heading north, you first encounter the stunning Bear Lake (keep an eye out for alligators), then proceed to Montpelier. Here, you’ll explore the historic site where Butch Cassidy famously robbed a bank. Next, your route leads you along exciting, twisty roads to Jackson, nestled in the scenic Jackson Hole valley, a popular retreat for affluent Californians. Your evening is highlighted by a visit to the iconic Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, promising a memorable experience in this unique corner of the West.


Day 10: Jackson - Cody

(Driving day 9: 379 km/237 miles)

Welcome to a highlight of your tour, promising a day filled with extraordinary and unique experiences. You’ll enter the magnificent Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, embarking on one of the most favored motorcycle routes in the U.S.; the Wild West Run (Jackson – Yellowstone Lake). Your journey takes you through Moran, skirting the shores of Jackson Lake, leading you to the awe-inspiring Old Faithful Geyser. Known for its regular eruptions every 35 to 120 minutes, Old Faithful was the first geyser in the park to be named, earning its moniker in 1870 during the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition.

Your adventure in Yellowstone continues as you navigate the Grand Loop Road, pausing at the stunning Artist Point for breathtaking views. The journey also brings you face-to-face with live buffalo herds, offering exciting wildlife encounters. However, remain cautious of bears, wolves, elk, and buffalo. The day concludes in Cody, the heartland of Buffalo Bill (William F. Cody), where you’ll stay at Buffalo Bill’s motel and dine at the historic Irma Hotel, immersing yourself in the spirit of the Wild West.


Day 11: Cody - Beartooth Hwy - Cody

(Driving day 10: 364 km/227 miles)

Today’s journey is set to be an unforgettable highlight for many, as you venture onto the world-renowned “Beartooth Highway,” acclaimed as the top motorcycle route in the United States. The Beartooth Highway’s legendary status among bikers globally is well-deserved, thanks to its unparalleled winding mountain roads that ascend and descend the terrain, complete with hairpin turns and breathtaking vistas. This segment of the tour is the most challenging, so you’ll proceed at a comfortable and safe pace, ensuring everyone’s safety while allowing ample time to savor the ride and the scenery. Keep your camera at the ready; you’re about to traverse one of the globe’s premier motorcycle roads. Enjoy every moment!

En route to Beartooth Pass, you’ll journey along the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway, another unforgettable experience that promises to be a highlight in its own right. After returning to Cody, you’ll have the chance to explore the spectacular Buffalo Bill Center of the West, which houses five museums under one roof, offering a comprehensive look into the rich tapestry of the American West.


Day 12: Cody - Gillette

(Driving day 11: 408 km/255 miles)

Today promises yet another exhilarating experience as you navigate through more spectacular, curvy, and fun mountain roads. Your journey takes you into the stunning landscapes of Big Horn Canyon and the National Forest, where the breathtaking scenery is guaranteed to leave you awe-struck. You can be sure your smile will be firmly in place throughout this ride.

A delightful stop awaits in Sheridan for lunch, where you’ll also have the opportunity to indulge in some cowboy shopping, immersing yourself in the local culture and perhaps picking up a few souvenirs to commemorate your journey. Following lunch, your adventure continues as you pass by the iconic “Spotted Horse” bar, a landmark that adds a touch of character to your route before you make your way to Gillette. This leg of the tour is not just about the ride but also about experiencing the heart and soul of the American West.


Day 13: Gillette - Deadwood

(Driving day 12: 257 km/160 miles)

Today, your adventure takes you through the Black Hills, the famed site of the Sturgis Bike Rally, known as the mother of all bike rallies. Your journey begins with a ride to the iconic Devil’s Tower, a landmark destination famous as the backdrop for the sci-fi movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”

Next, you’ll make a stop in Sundance, the namesake of the Sundance Kid, adding a touch of outlaw history to your ride. From there, you’ll navigate the stunning Spearfish Canyon, a masterpiece of nature that resembles a painting come to life with its breathtaking natural beauty.

Continuing your journey, you’ll pass through Deadwood, a town steeped in Wild West history. Here, you’ll visit the “No. 10 Saloon,” the infamous spot where Wild Bill Hickok was shot while playing poker, giving birth to the legendary “Deadman’s Hand.” Deadwood, located within an Indian reservation, enjoys unique gambling rights, adding to its allure. This town also holds the story of Calamity Jane, the renowned female sharpshooter, who met Wild Bill Hickok here for the first time, marking the beginning of their storied relationship.


Day 14: Deadwood - Black Hills Run - Sturgis

(Driving day 13: 275 km/172 miles)

Today, you embark on the celebrated Black Hills Run, immersing yourself in the iconic attractions surrounding Sturgis and capturing the essence of the world-famous Sturgis Bike Rally.

The journey begins with a drive through the Black Hills Run, leading you to the Crazy Horse Memorial, the world’s largest mountain carving in progress, which stands as a testament to the resilience and spirit of Native American culture. Your adventure continues towards Custer and the mesmerizing Custer State Park, an area that enchanted General George A. Custer with its stunning natural beauty. Here, you might have the chance to encounter live buffalos as you navigate the Wildlife Loop.

Enjoy lunch in the great outdoors of Custer State Park, setting the stage for your next destination: Mount Rushmore National Memorial, where the monumental visages of three American presidents are sculpted into the granite face of the mountain, offering a profound reminder of the nation’s history and heritage.

The day’s journey also takes you along the famous Iron Mountain Road, known for its pigtail bridges and spiral loops, promising a driving experience unlike any other.

After soaking in the beauty and grandeur of the Black Hills, you’ll head to Sturgis, the epicenter of the Sturgis Bike Rally. This small town transforms annually into a hub of motorcycle culture, hosting America’s oldest and most legendary Motorcycle Rally, providing an unparalleled experience for bike enthusiasts from around the globe.


Day 15: Sturgis - Oacoma

(Driving day 14: 424 km/264 miles)

Bidding farewell to Sturgis, you set your sights eastward. Your journey takes you to the renowned Wall Drug, a destination that offers a truly unique shopping and cultural experience, providing you with one last chance to immerse yourself in the cowboy lifestyle.

Next, your adventure leads you to Badlands National Park. Known for its stark beauty and formidable landscape, the Badlands attract visitors globally. This area is a treasure trove of geological formations and fossil beds, revealing ancient mammals such as rhinoceroses, horses, and saber-toothed tigers that once roamed these lands. Spanning almost a thousand square kilometers, the park is a sprawling wilderness of mixed-grass prairie, home to bison, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, and the endangered black-footed ferret. Here, amidst the rugged terrain, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy lunch, absorbing the park’s natural splendor.

After exploring the Badlands, you embark on a new adventure into Cheyenne Indian territory, the filming location for the iconic movie “Dances with Wolves” starring Kevin Costner. As you travel through this stunning landscape, you’re enveloped in the rich history and culture that define this region. Your day concludes in the quaint town of Oacoma, where you’ll spend the night.


Day 16: Oacoma - Worthington

(Driving day 15: 334 km/209 miles)

Today, you’ll traverse through the heartland of America, driving amidst vast expanses of farm country dotted with endless cornfields. This region is historically significant for its large population of Scandinavian immigrants, adding a unique cultural heritage to your journey. Your first stop is a truly distinctive landmark: “The World’s Only Corn Palace.” This architectural marvel, adorned with murals made from corn, is a testament to the area’s agricultural tradition and creativity.

After marveling at the Corn Palace, your adventure leads you to the Porter Sculpture Park, where you’ll encounter the awe-inspiring 60-foot Bull Head Sculpture among other fascinating artworks, showcasing the imaginative spirit of the Midwest. Continuing, you’ll arrive in Sioux Falls for a late lunch, offering a chance to sample local cuisine and enjoy the hospitality of this vibrant city.

Your journey for the day concludes in Worthington, your final destination. This leg of the trip, through the heartland’s scenic beauty and the cultural nods to its Scandinavian roots, offers a reflective end to a day filled with unique American experiences.


Day 17: Worthington - Lake City

(Driving day 16: 384 km/240 miles)

For music enthusiasts, today is set to be a memorable entry in your travel diary. Your journey takes you to Paisley Park, the private estate and production complex of the legendary artist Prince. This iconic venue, now serving as a museum, offers an intimate glimpse into the life of the extraordinarily talented musician.

After immersing yourself in the world of Prince, you’ll hit the road again, this time taking the scenic Hwy 61 along the Mississippi River towards Lake City. This route, known for its beautiful vistas and cultural significance in the music world, particularly the blues genre, offers a picturesque drive with the majestic Mississippi River as your constant companion.


Day 18: Lake City - Chicago

(Driving day 17: 550 km/343miles)

As your adventure nears its conclusion, today marks the final day of riding. You’ll continue your scenic journey along the Mississippi River, reveling in the picturesque landscapes and tranquil beauty that accompany you until lunchtime. Afterward, the path takes a turn onto the backroads, leading you through the heart of the countryside as you make your way toward Chicago. This leg of the journey offers one last opportunity to enjoy the freedom and exhilaration of the open road.

Upon arriving in Chicago, the time comes to return your bike, marking the end of an incredible North-West Cowboy tour adventure. This journey has taken you through some of the most stunning and culturally rich regions of the United States, offering a blend of natural beauty, historical landmarks, and unforgettable experiences.


Day 19: Departure Chicago - Home Travel

Thank you for embarking on our North West Cowboy Self-Drive Tour. It has been an absolute honor to guide you through this memorable journey across some of the most iconic and breathtaking landscapes. We sincerely hope that the experiences you’ve had and the memories you’ve created will be treasured for years to come. Wishing you safe travels back home, and we eagerly anticipate the opportunity to accompany you on another adventure in the future.

Please note: Due to time differences, travelers from Europe will arrive home on the date or day after departing from the US.

Additionally: It’s essential to understand that while our itinerary outlines a comprehensive framework for the tour’s planned activities and experiences, deviations may occur. The beauty of a self-drive tour lies in the personal freedom it offers. You are in control, serving as your own guide. This flexibility allows you to choose whether to stick to our suggested path or venture off into detours that catch your eye. Your adventure is yours to shape, providing an opportunity to make the trip uniquely yours, filled with unexpected discoveries and personal highlights.