Highlights of our Itinerary
OCTOBER 5: arrive Billings, Montana, check into the Boothill Inn & Suites (free airport shuttle). We’ll kick things off Monday night (7:00pm) with a pizza/beer/wine reception. Meet your host & tour guide, pick up your map packet and other registration info, and hear an orientation talk by Neil to set the stage for the rest of the week.
OCTOBER 6: breakfast at the hotel (included). 8:15 a.m. bus departure. First stop, Canyon Creek Battlefield (Flight of the Nez Perce). Lunch stop at Subway in Hardin, Montana (on your own). For the balance of the afternoon, we’ll explore the site of the Hayfield Fight, the Connor Battlefield (on the Tongue River near present-day Ranchester, Wyoming) and Sawyer’s fight (where the Bozeman Trail crossed the Tongue). Last, we’ll examine General George Crook’s campsite, before checking into our hotel in Sheridan. Dinner on your own. Lodging for the next three nights will be at the Holiday Inn, Sheridan Convention Center (included in registration).
OCTOBER 7: breakfast at the hotel (included). 8:15 a.m. bus departure. First stop, a rare visit to the Dull Knife Battlefield, where Col. Ranald Mackenzie with over 1,000 cavalry and Indian scouts attacked a Cheyenne village on the Red Fork of Powder River, on November 25, 1876. Box lunch provided. Other stops on this day: Fort Reno ruins on the Powder River, and a visit to the site of the Templeton fight, July 20, 1866, on the Bozeman Trail. Overnight in Sheridan (Holiday Inn, Sheridan Convention Center). Dinner on your own.
OCTOBER 8: breakfast at the hotel (included). 8:15 a.m. bus departure. On this day we’ll visit the incomparable Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum, in Buffalo, Wyoming, followed by a stop at the historic Fort Phil Kearny Museum. After lunch in Sheridan (on your own), Neil will conduct the group on walking tours of the Fetterman Battlefield, and the Wagon Box Fight. From there, we’ll retire to our Sheridan hotel (Holiday Inn, Sheridan Convention Center). Dinner on your own.
OCTOBER 9: After breakfast in Sheridan (included with the hotel), we'll depart at 8:15am and spend the first part of the morning walking the pristine Rosebud Battlefield, the critical prelude to the Little Bighorn. From there, we'll visit Lame Deer, the tribal and government agency headquarters of the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. There, we'll pay respects at the graves of Dull Knife and Little Wolf. At nearby Busby, we'll visit the grave of celebrated Cheyenne Chief Two Moon. After a delicious Indian Taco at the Custer Battlefield Trading Post (included in your registration), and perusal of the bookstore there, Neil will take us as close as the bus can get to the Crow's Nest, the vantage point in the Wolf Mountains from which Custer's scouts first spied the Indian pony herd in the Little Bighorn Valley. Our route then takes us down Reno Creek to the Little Bighorn, with drive-by discussions of Reno's skirmish line and Valley Fight. By late afternoon, we'll make our way to the Reno-Benteen Defense Site, and finish the day at Weir Point on the battlefield. Return to the Boothill Inn in Billings. Dinner on your own.
OCTOBER 10: after breakfast at the hotel (included), we'll depart at 8:15am and drive straight to the Little Bighorn National Monument Visitor Center for some time in the museum and bookstore, and get reoriented. Picking up from where we left off, we'll work our way with Custer's battalion to Calhoun Hill, and the Keogh sector. Box lunches will be provided back at the Visitor Center for a quick respite, then it's off to the 7th Cavalry Memorial and the Indian Memorial to discuss Custer's Last Stand. To close the day, we'll walk through Custer National Cemetery to hear some brief talks at the graves of some of Custer's Indian scouts, and other notable figures like Marcus Reno, and William Fetterman. We'll save time for you to take the self-guided walk down Deep Ravine Trail. Then it's back to the Boothill Inn in Billings.
BONUS: Back at the Boothill Inn, as time permits, we’ll walk across the street to the Boothill Cemetery and hear the story of Muggins Taylor, a scout with Gibbon's column who carried news of the battle to Bozeman. Our stop at Taylor's grave marks the end of our tour. [While you're in the vicinity, make sure to visit the Yellowstone County Museum, not far from our hotel, near the entrance to the airport. It's a small affair, but they have a nice collection. Particularly noteworthy is their collection of Ghost Shirts. Also of interest along the rimrocks trail is the grave of Yellowstone Kelly, overlooking Billings.]
(NOTE: if you wish to stay at the hotel on October 10, please extend your reservation (that night is not included in your tour registration, but the Boothill Inn will extend the same rate). If you're headed to the airport, hotel shuttle or other transportation can be arranged—it is a short distance from the Boothill Inn.
Neil Mangum is one of the nation’s preeminent authorities on the American West, and a highly sought-after guide to the Indian Wars. His long career with the NPS included serving as historian, and later, superintendent at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in Montana, and Chiricahua National Monument & Fort Bowie Historic Site in Arizona. He is the author of the first, in-depth study of the Battle of the Rosebud, and has been leading tours of Northern Plains sites for decades. He’ll be on hand throughout for personal engagement on these fascinating episodes. [Photo: Neil during our 2018 Little Bighorn Battlefield tour, discussing the fighting in the Keogh Sector]
Click HERE to see a slide show from our 2018 Rosebud and Little Bighorn tour with Neil Mangum.
Cheyenne chiefs Little Wolf (Little Coyote), left, and
Morning Star (Dull Knife)
Fetterman Battlefield monument, 20 miles
south of Sheridan, Wyoming
Last Stand Hill, Little Bighorn National Monument
Included in your registration: 5 nights comfortable lodging (if you wish to stay over a 6th night upon our return to Billings, please book that night yourself), breakfast each morning, three lunches (two are on your own), and our opening night pizza/beer/wine reception. Also included, a seat on our state-of-the-art, luxury motor coach, entrance fees to all museums or other pay sites, all tours, professional coordination and assistance by your on-board tour host, and the services of our indispensable, expert guide.
Lodging facilities (included in registration):
Billings: Boothill Inn and Suites (2 nights)
Sheridan: Holiday Inn, Sheridan Convention Center (3 nights)
$1271 per person for double-occupancy shared hotel room (if paying for both, please choose "Qty 2" in the next window)
$1598 for single-occupancy hotel rooms (change the drop-down menu below to select "single occupancy")
To register by personal check or money order, send to:
Woodbury Historical Tours
PO Box 60085
Palo Alto, CA 94306
Photo above: our group visiting the beautiful Rosebud Battlefield in October of 2018.
Neil Mangum, left, emphasizing a point atop Crook's Hill.