BILLINGS, MT, June 20, 2011 – Three post-Labor Day escapes offered by award-winning adventure vacations tour operator Austin-Lehman Adventures focus on America’s still-wild West.

To add a little sizzle to their banquet of late summer, early fall offerings, Austin-Lehman (ALA), the 37-year-old travel company setting adventure tours standards in The Americas, Europe, Africa and beyond, has forwarded the following experiential and factual nuggets on their post-summer trips to Yellowstone Park, the Black Hills of South Dakota and Utah’s Bryce and Zion National Parks. (See for a full list of fun and curious facts).

Yellowstone National Park: Did You Know?

– There are fewer than 1,000 geysers in the whole world and over 500 of them are located within Yellowstone NP making it the highest concentration of geysers on the planet.

– More than 2,400 miles of streams flow through Yellowstone, providing some of the best fly-fishing in the world.

– September is prime time for photographers as cooler air turns aspens gold while enhancing the thermal features of the park. The elk are in rut, bears are foraging to fatten up and mammals start to sport thick winter coats.

On a six-day ALA vacation guests hike, raft, horseback ride and spa through Yellowstone at $2,298 per person double; adult-only departures are Aug. 28, Sept. 4 and 11. The lodgings used are a roster of favorites: Old Faithful Inn dating to 1904, Lake Yellowstone Hotel hearkening to 1891, Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, named after nearby steaming limestone terraces; and Chico Hot Springs Resort with mineral hot spring-fed pools and spa services.

“Fall is my favorite time to travel the Yellowstone backcountry. The weather is usually postcard perfect; the bugs have long gone; there are far less people on the trails; the fishing is great and wildlife viewing is at its peak,” Dan Austin, director.

Black Hills of South Dakota: Did You Know?

– The in-progress Crazy Horse mountain carving will be the world’s largest sculpture (563′ high, 641′ long, carved in the round).

– Mount Rushmore’s Thomas Jefferson was originally started on George Washington’s right, but after 18 months Jefferson was dynamited off and carved on the other side.

– September is prime time to bike the George S. Mickelson Trail, a 109-mile abandoned railroad bed with more than 100 converted railroad bridges and four rock tunnels.

Activities in the Black Hills of South Dakota include biking, hiking, caving and spa time at $1,998 per person double; six-day trip departures are Sept. 4, 11 and 18. Accommodations include the century-plus Franklin Hotel in Deadwood, State Game Lodge made of stone and wood in a ponderosa pine forest, and Red Rock River Resort & Spa, with unique sandstone architecture dating back to 1891. See:

Bryce and Zion National Parks: Did You Know?

– At the intersection of three separate ecosystems, Zion has a variety of plants (more than 900 species) not found anywhere else in Utah

– Bryce Canyon National Park has a 7.4 limiting magnitude night sky. In most rural areas of the United States, 2500 stars can be seen on a clear night. At Bryce Canyon, 7500 stars can be seen twinkling in the void.

– # 5 in National Geographic’s ranking of America’s Best 100 Adventures is hiking the Narrows of Zion’s Virgin River, a gorge 16 miles long, up to 2000 feet deep, and at times only 20-30 feet wide. With flash floods a concern, the fall is the best time to experience it.

ALA guests bike and hike through Utah’s Bryce & Zion National Parks at $2,098 per person double; six-day departures are Sept. 18, Sept. 25, Oct. 2 and  9. Overnights are at Seven Wives Inn, Utah’s first bed and breakfast and a restored Victorian (the innkeeper’s ancestor really did have seven wives), Bryce Canyon Lodge, built in the 1920s with replicas of original hickory furniture, and Zion Park Inn with its Great Room fire place and an outdoor heated pool. See:

Austin says that the summer 2011 season bookings for his company’s National Parks programs has “exceeded all projections and will be a record setting year for Austin-Lehman Adventures!”

About Austin-Lehman Adventures

Austin-Lehman Adventures, with a 37-year legacy, provides adventure vacations on five continents, has built an international reputation for small group active travel to destinations in North, Central and South America, Europe, the Pacific Rim and Africa. The company specializes in adult and family multi-sport, hiking, biking vacations that emphasize history, culture and nature’s charms. Trips are limited to 12 guests (18 on family departures) and feature excellent regional dining, distinctive accommodations and all-inclusive rates and services. In addition to scheduled group departures, ALA offers customized trip planning. ALA offers each traveler a money-back satisfaction guarantee.

For free 2011 catalog call toll-free 1.800.575.1540, or e-mail To review current trips, schedules and itineraries log onto:

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For photos and/or more information on Austin-Lehman Adventures please contact:

Sara Widness / 802-234-6704 /

Dave Wiggins / 303-554-8821 /

For a Portfolio of Past News Releases Visit:

Follow Widness & Wiggins PR on Twitter:!/BoulderDave

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