Go Native America is included in National Geographic's Top 50 Tours of a Lifetime
Looking for quality, authentic experiences as you explore historic sites, cultural places and Indian Reservations? Our guides are educated tribal historians, many speak their tribal language and all live the traditional life way, so they feel a responsibility to tell the stories of their ancestors the best way they can - with truth and integrity.
If you would be as happy on a tour bus listening to a generic spiel we probably aren't for you.
We aren't the cheapest, and we don't aim to be.
But if you want depth, heart and truth, choose us for experiences that you and your family will never forget.
Tours are listed below, then are described (in the same order) right below this list - please scroll for details. We have several locations across the western states at which you can meet your step-on guide (which means they ‘step in’ your vehicle with you). Most guided sessions start about 10am and run through the day, some into the evening, and you would usually drop your guided where you met them.
Based from the Areas of Sheridan, Wyoming, and Billings, Montana:
- The Little Bighorn (history and culture)
- The Sacred Deer Medicine Rocks (tribal history and culture)
- The Medicine Wheel (Cheyenne culture)
- The Wild Mustangs (Native culture and wildlife).
Based from the Areas of the Black Hills and Rapid City, South Dakota:
- Paha Sapa - the sacred Black Hills (culture)
- Mato Tipila – Devil’s Tower (culture and tribal history)
- Mako Sica - the Badlands (culture and tribal history)
- Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (culture – contemporary and historic)
Tour dates: Our season starts in May and usually finishes around November, but our guidelines are weather driven.
More detail of each tour as follows:
- The Little Bighorn Battle: Come with us inside the village site along the Little Bighorn River as we experience the Lakota and Cheyenne perspectives, standing where Crazy Horse crossed the Little Bighorn River to meet Custer’s 7th, and then following the battle as it unfolded. We follow the story across the battlefield, learning not only of the fate of those who fought for their respective nations, but the lasting results of the battle into modern day times for the Lakota and Cheyenne peoples. Today you go beyond the stock offerings of historians whose versions of events show they have probably never experienced the actual terrain for themselves. As an extra option, you have a unique opportunity to actually horseback ride on the Little Bighorn Battlefield itself, to truly see the terrain as these legendary warriors on each side saw it on June 25, 1876.
- The Deer Medicine Rocks: Visit one of the most important cultural and historic sites on the Northern Plains where the Great Sundance was held at the Deer Medicine Rocks just days before the impending Little Bighorn Battle. Ignore Hollywood scenes – this is your chance to learn the truth about the Sun Dance, and how Sitting Bull offered of himself and sacrificed for his people. See for yourself how, high above any man’s reach, Sitting Bull’s vision of victory at the Little Bighorn is carved in stone - the soldiers with no ears depicted in the rock, falling upside-down into the camp; signifying how they should have listened to the warnings of the Cheyenne.
- The Medicine Wheel: Atop Medicine Mountain in the Bighorns is a stone formed Medicine Wheel. Many locals say it is a ‘great mystery’, but we know that’s only if you don’t know whom to ask! We discuss the Massaum Ceremony, “the medicine dance of the ancients,” a beautiful and integral part of traditional Cheyenne culture in which the wolf, and the “Wolf’s Lodge,” is essential to creation, to life, and renewal in the spiritual and physical. This tour involves some walking – please wear comfy shoes and take water
- The Wild Mustangs: With the coming of the reservations, Indian people found themselves imprisoned on small tracts of land, forbidden to hunt and provide for themselves and needing permits to leave. How do you hold a nation of horse people down? Take their horses! The army planned to kill Cheyenne and Crow pony herds but unable to allow that to happen to their ‘friends’ warriors instead took them to the Prior Mountains freeing them to live wild. The descendents of those very herds still roam today, and although they are shy we usually find them for you. Hear their story!
- Paha Sapa - The Black Hills (with hike): Meet your guide at the Journey Museum in Rapid City, then head with him for your own journey to the Heart of Everything That Is - the sacred Black Hills of the Lakota Nation. Visit Wind Cave, the place of the Lakota genesis to learn the real story beyond the mainstream geology presented to tourists – which the trickster inktomi first convinced humans into coming above ground, before a hike on Hinhan Kaga Paha known as Harney Peak, the highest point in the Black Hills, to hear of Black Elk’s experience.
- Paha Sapa - The Black Hills (all vehicles): Meet your guide for your own journey to the Heart of Everything That Is - the Sacred Black Hills of the Lakota Nation. Visit Wind Cave, the place of the Lakota genesis to learn the real story beyond the mainstream geology presented to tourists; how the trickster inktomi first convinced humans into coming above ground. Then explore in the seventy-three thousand acre State Park area that was named for Custer when his expedition first discovered gold in 1874. Understand the significance of the area to the Lakota people - its first inhabitants. This area is home to freely roaming buffalo, antelope, deer and wild sheep, so take your camera and binoculars.
- Mato Tipila, the Bear’s Lodge: Known to non-Indians as Devil’s Tower to hear tribal explanations of the sacred rock’s creation, and its mirror-image in the stars; how the seven little girls escaped the bear to shine eternally as Pleiades. Although many focus on Devil’s tower as a venue for rock climbing and family picnics, our focus is it’s importance as a historic and sacred Sundance site.
- Mako Sika - the Badlands: The incredible landscape of Mako Sika - the Badlands - is a vast geologic wonder where erosion has carved a landscape of spectacular canyons and saw-tooth ridges to some, but to others, the Lakota, this was a place of refuge to those who knew how to survive and find the ‘Stronghold’. Hear traditional stories, learn of traditional life ways, and wend your way through historic sites and ancient trails. Wildlife abounds even amid the barren towering, multivalued precipice of sedimentary rock which stretches over 60 miles and if you are lucky you may even experience the earth-shaking movement of the badlands buffalo – several hundred live within the area.
- Ridge Indian Reservation Tour: With your guide, travel to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and with sensitivity and respect hear in situ some of the history and culture of the Oglala Lakota people. You will visit Pine Ridge Agency and learn about the workings of tribal governance, you have chance to tour the Heritage Center at Red Cloud School and admire the beautiful crafts of the Lakota. The true story of the Wounded Knee Massacre is told and you will leave the reservation knowing much of the real history and the contemporary realities for Lakota people today.
- We have great deals negotiated with local hotels in all the areas we work and we’ll be happy to give you our booking codes so you can make your accommodation bookings and you pay your hotels direct.
- We can make suggestions on car rentals and will also give flight advice based on our great knowledge of the areas you’ll be visiting.
- For full service journeys, with accommodations all arranged and included please take a look at our journeys: Lakota Moon, Yellowstone Is Indian Country, and 'Ancient Ways of the Hopi'.
- Consider a Weekend Getaway or short break into Native America – we offer "Mountains Plains and Powwow", Paha Sapa (in the Black Hills) we visit the Grand Tetons, Cody/Yellowstone region, and in Arizona we travel amongst the Navajo and Apache peoples.
Also see tour packages in:
USA Montana South Dakota Wyoming Local Culture Native Americans Cultural Journey