trip
Plan your active adventure.View relaxed booking conditions.
2
Adventure touring
Activities
  • Day walks
Accommodation
  • 11 nights hotel
  • 2 nights tent cabin
Meals
  • 12 Lunches
  • 13 Breakfasts

14 Days$3800USD

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Remote adventures
means social distancing comes naturally

Small groups only
Guided group sizes are strictly limited to maximum 16 people, average of 8-10


 
 
Trip Code: NPX

Trip highlights


  • Discover San Francisco on a fun city tour
  • Marvel at the larger-than-life views of Grand Canyon National Park
  • Witness the soaring cliffs of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park
  • Enjoy incredible day hikes in Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks
  • Walk among the red rock pillars of Monument Valley
  • Take in sweeping vistas of Death Valley National Park
  • Walk the trail to Horseshoe Bend
  • Feel dwarfed by the Worlds biggest trees - the Sequoias
  • Revel in the mountain scenery near Mammoth

It would be hard to improve on this spectacular itinerary combining visits and optional day walks in Arizona, California and Utah’s most spectacular National Parks with some optional walks into and around the Grand Canyon and time in the cities of San Francisco and Las Vegas. This is the best of Western USA visiting 4 States and 6 National Parks. During our 14 day trip we explore the trails of Yosemite to view immense glacier carved walls of soaring granite, such as Lembert Dome (2880m) and the famous Half Dome (2680m). We’ll ogle at the world’s biggest trees, the ancient Sequoias, before continuing to Mammoth with its hot springs. Following a short visit to Death Valley we journey deep into Utah and explore the ancient landscapes at Monument Valley, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park and view the deep blue waters of Lake Powell. This iconic trip is completed with two days at Grand Canyon National Park.

PLEASE NOTE: DUE TO OVERCROWDING IN THE NATIONAL PARKS PARKING IS AT TIMES IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND. IN THIS CASE THE TOUR DIRECTOR MAY DECIDE TO LEAVE THE GROUP AT THE ENTRANCE AND TRY TO FIND PARKING. IN THIS CASE SOME HIKES WOULD BE SELF GUIDED.


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Upon arrival into San Francisco it is recommended that you clear customs and take the shuttle bus (approx US$20 per person) to the group hotel specified in your final tour voucher. You will meet with your group leader and other members of the group at 8am the following morning when the group briefing will take place. NB: If you wish to spend more time in San Francisco then we are able to book additional nights for you. Overnight: Whitcomb Hotel or similar.

Meals:  Nil

San Francisco is amongst one of the USA’s most cosmopolitan and atmospheric cities. Located on the bay its suburbs are linked by a series of expansive bridges, one of those being the famous Golden Gate Bridge. Trams run major routes along the foreshore and into the hilly heights in a city where quaint wooden houses contrast sharply with the sophistication of modern skyscrapers. In the morning we explore the city on foot (3-4 hours) and cable car, and explore its hidden wonders as well as all the famous sights, such as Union Square, Chinatown and Fisherman’s Wharf. Last but not least we enjoy amazing views from Coit Tower. You will be given a day pass for the cable car allowing you to explore the city in the afternoon on your own. In the afternoon we recommend a harbour cruise on the bay (boat tours are not included, various fees apply), a tour of Alcatraz (recommend booking in advance) or a ferry ride to Sausalito (optional). City tour: approx. 3-4 hours, 2-3 miles / 4-7 km, elevation difference: +/-100 m

Meals:  B,L

This morning we depart San Francisco via the famous Golden Gate Bridge, providing the opportunity to walk across for those who wish to savour the views. We will then head for the amazing grove of giant Sequoia, the world's largest trees where we enjoy a leisurely walk amongst the giants. We continue onto the Yosemite Valley where we stay in tent cabins in the heart of Yosemite Valley at Half Dome Village, the hub of activity in the valley. The accommodation here is in rustic twin share tent cabins with beds and communal bathrooms. The benefit of this accommodation is the direct access to hiking trails for those who wish to hike Half Dome. Depending on availability of the tent cabins, some groups may be staying at nearby motel - Additional drive time would apply. Drive time approx 4-5 hrs, 250 miles / 400 km

Meals:  B,L

Yosemite National Park which was established in 1890 in the Sierra Nevada, encompasses stunning mountain vistas and valleys housing meadows and forests (including groves of giant sequoias) surrounded by high cliffs and waterfalls. The forest of giant Sequoias, the world’s biggest trees and the soaring cliffs of Half Dome are just some of the highlights of the park. During our days in the park several options are offered. For those wanting to climb Half Dome (2680m) you can do so self-guided, as long as you have obtained the permits well in advance (permits must be obtained through Park's online lottery system in March*), or for others there is a more leisurely option to drive up to Glacier Point, the most impressive view point in the park. From here we can marvel at the valley as well as the impressive walls of Half Dome. There are three very different walks offered at this point each varying in difficulty; two of them descend down into the valley while the third traces the rim of the valley. In the evening we may also have the opportunity to look for wildlife such as bears and coyotes. Panorama Trail from Glacier Point (4-6 hrs, ca. 7 miles / 12 km, +200m/900m) Four Mile Trail (4-5 hrs, ca 6 miles / 10 km, -900m) Sentinel Dome & Taft Point Loop (ca 4 hrs, ca 6 miles / 10 km, +/- 200m) *Half Dome (8-10 hrs, ca 13 miles / 20 km, +/- 1500m) -- Please visit https://www.recreation.gov - "Cables on Half Dome" to obtain permits and reserve your self-guided hike. Tour operators are not allowed to reserve this for you and there are only 225 permits per day.

Meals:  B,L

In the morning, we depart Yosemite National Park via Tioga Pass, crossing over the Sierra Nevada Mountains at 10,000 feet (3048 m). Time and weather permitting, we may hike and scramble to the top of Lembert Dome, offering expansive views over the Tuolumne Meadow. We then continue our journey down rutted dirt roads to Bodie State Park, a remote gold rush era town in the high desert and one of the most famous ghost towns in the West. The day will conclude with a short exploration of Mono Lake, one of the world’s oldest lakes, famous for its white Tufa towers formed by hot springs. Our hotel is in the small ski town of Mammoth Lakes. Overnight: Sierra Lodge or similar. Drive time: 120 miles / 200 km or 2 hrs Lembert Dome: 3 hrs, approx. 5 miles / 8 km, elevation difference: +/-300 m Note: Trips starting before the end of May or in late October may have to detour via Sonora Pass due to snow closure on Tioga Pass Road in Yosemite National Park. Tioga Pass generally opens Memorial Day, which is the last weekend in May. It closes with the first heavy snow of the year.

Meals:  B,L

This morning we drive to Death Valley National Park where more than 3.3 million acres of spectacular desert scenery, rare desert wildlife, complex geology, undisturbed wilderness and sites of historical interest abound. This area is known for extreme weather conditions and temperatures, and is one of the hottest places on earth. In summer, temperatures can reach 50° Celsius. Additionally, being in a rift valley, Death Valley is also the lowest location in the Western Hemisphere at 100 m below sea level. We explore the golden sand dunes which contrast with the stark brown and black hillsides, Badwater with its poisonous springs, the Devil’s Golf Course formed by salt deposits and the colourful formations at Zabriske Point. If time and weather permit, there is also an optional walk through the Badlands. Our hotel is close to the entrance of Death Valley National Park. Overnight: Longstreet Casino or similar. Badlands: 2-3 hrs, ca. 3 miles/ 5 km, elevation difference: +/- 200m Drive time: 240 miles / 400 km or approx. 4 hr

Meals:  B,L

In the morning, we travel via Route 66 through the hot deserts of Nevada and into the world famous Grand Canyon. The opportunity for a breathtaking helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon (not included, flights start at approx. US$180) will be available. Our hotel is located close to the entrance of the park. Overnight: The Red Feather Lodge or similar. Drive time approx 5 hours, 320 miles / 500 km

Meals:  B,L

We have all day to spend at this amazing sight. The Grand Canyon is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site and although plenty of tourists visit the area, few hit the trails. If you prefer, you can hike into the canyon to Plateau Point or walk along the West Rim, where incredible views await. There will be time to enjoy an unforgettable sunset. *Note: Hikes in Grand Canyon National Park are self-guided due to permit regulations. Kaibab Ridge: 3-4 hrs, approx. 3 miles/ 5 km, elevation difference: +/-300 m Plateau Point: 8-12 hrs, approx. 12 miles/ 20 km, elevation difference: +/-1150 m Hike along the rim: up to 4 hrs, up to 8 miles/ 13 km, elevation difference: +/-50 m

Meals:  B,L

In the morning, we depart via the east entrance, stopping to see the sights of the East Rim, and head for the world famous Monument Valley of the Navajo tribe. Here giant rock domes and mesas rise out of the valley into the blue sky, offering impressive photo opportunities. For decades, the area has been used by Hollywood as a favorite movie backdrop. We highly recommend an unforgettable Jeep tour with the Navajos through the valley (not included, approx. $70) to hidden beauty spots such as “Ear of the Wind” and “Big Hogan”. From here, after a short drive, we reach Lake Powell, where we spend the night in Page, AZ. Overnight: Quality Inn Page or similar. Drive time: approx. 300 miles / 450 km or 5 hrs

Meals:  B,L

After an early breakfast, we depart towards Page and the Lake Powell area. On our way we will stop to walk the short trail to famous Horseshoe Bend. After taking in the stunning views we continue to the next highlight. Lake Powell was created through the damming of the Colorado River. Here dark blue waters reflect sheer red stone towers in an amazing colour, offering unforgettable impressions. We have most of the day to explore the area with a range of optional activities such as a jeep tour to Antelope Canyon, “the” classic slot canyon (allow US$70). Antelope Canyon is known for its incredible rock formations, colours and lights and is one of the most photographed slot canyons in the world. In the late afternoon we drive to our next destination, Bryce Canyon. Overnight: Bryce View Lodge or similar. Drive time approx 3 hours, 150miles / 240km

Meals:  B,L

For many visitors Bryce Canyon ranks among the most beautiful in the USA. A full day has been reserved to explore the surreal formations that characterise the park where erosion has shaped colourful Clarion limestones, sandstones and mudstones into thousands of spines, fins, pinnacles and mazes. Hiking trails wind through red and pink stone towers glowing in the sunlight. The colour contrast between the red rocks, green of the pines and blue of the sky delight every photographer and nature lover. The hike today is Queens Garden. Additional walks are available. Also for those wanting to explore the formations on horseback can do so (approximately US$65, not included). Overnight: Bryce View Lodge or similar. Queens Garden / Peek-A-Loop: 5 hrs, approx 8 miles / 13 km, Elevation difference: +/- 300m

Meals:  B,L

In the morning, we drive to the spectacular Zion National Park where you may take a hike to Angel’s Landing (self-guided), a huge sandstone dome that rises over the narrow valley of the Virgin River offering unforgettable views. If you wish, you can hike all the way to the top. Time permitting, we may rent river boots and wade through the famous Narrows of the Virgin River. We then drive on to our next destination, St George near Snow Canyon State Park. Overnight: Ramada St George or similar. Drive time: approx. 120 m / 190 km or 2.5 hrs Angel’s Landing: 4-5 hrs, approx. 5 miles / 8 km, elevation difference: +/-450 m Narrows: 1-2 hrs, approx. 2-3 miles / 3-5 km, elevation difference: +/-0 m

Meals:  B,L

Today, we hike over beautiful slick rock, past a lava tube and across moqui marbles. Then we marvel at the remarkable dinosaur footprints. We then drive the final leg of our adventure into Las Vegas. Overnight: La Quinta or similar. Drive time: approx. 100 miles / 160 km or 2 hr Lava Tube Loop: 2-3 hrs, approx. 3 miles / 5 km, elevation difference: +/-100 m

Meals:  B,L

Departure is at your leisure and the trip concludes upon check out from the hotel before 12 noon. There is a complimentary shuttle from the hotel that you may sign up for at the front desk. Please let us know if you would like to spend additional days in this vibrant city. PLEASE NOTE: DUE TO OVERCROWDING IN THE NATIONAL PARKS PARKING IS AT TIMES IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND. IN THIS CASE THE TOUR DIRECTOR MAY DECIDE TO LEAVE THE GROUP AT THE ENTRANCE AND TRY TO FIND PARKING. IN THIS CASE SOME HIKES WOULD BE SELF GUIDED.

Meals:  B

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Upon arrival into Las Vegas you will clear customs and make your way to the group hotel specified in your final tour voucher. You will meet with your group leader and other members of the group at 8am the following morning (day 2) when the group briefing will take place. Overnight: La Quinta Hotel or similar.

Meals:  Nil

Your guide will welcome you at the hotel at 8am. Today we will drive to nearby St George. We hike over beautiful slick rock, past a lava tube and across moqui marbles. Then we marvel at the remarkable dinosaur footprints. Overnight: Ramada St George or similar. Drive time: 100 miles/160 km or 2 hrs Lava Tube Loop: 2-3 hrs, approx. 3 miles / 5 km Elevation difference: +/-100 m

Meals:  B,L

Zion National Park is located at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin and Mojave desert provinces. It is known for its soaring red cliff walls of deep red sandstone that have been sculptured by the Virgin River and that soar as high as 800 metres. Today we take the opportunity to explore this dramatic landscape of canyons, domes and soaring cliffs and a hike to the Angel’s Landing, a huge sandstone dome rising over the narrow valley of the Virgin River adds a further dimension to our day. If you wish to, you can hike all the way to the top. Time permitting, we will wade through the famous narrows of the Virgin River. In the afternoon we drive to Bryce Canyon in time for an amazing sunset. Overnight: Bryce View Lodge or similar. Our hiking options today include: Angel’s Landing (4-5 hrs, ca. 5 miles / 8 km, Elevation difference: +/- 450m) and Narrows (1-2 hrs, ca. 2-3 miles / 3-5 km, Elevation difference: +/- 0m) Drive time approx 2 hours, 120 miles / 190 km

Meals:  B,L

For many visitors Bryce Canyon ranks among the most beautiful in the USA. A full day has been reserved to explore the surreal formations that characterise the park where erosion has shaped colourful Clarion limestones, sandstones and mudstones into thousands of spines, fins, pinnacles and mazes. Hiking trails wind through red and pink stone towers glowing in the sunlight. The colour contrast between the red rocks, green of the pines and blue of the sky delight every photographer and nature lover. The hike today is Queens Garden. Additional walks are available. Also for those wanting to explore the formations on horse back can do so (approximately $65, not included). Overnight: Bryce View Lodge or similar. Queens Garden / Peek-A-Loop: 5 hrs, approx 8 miles / 13 km, Elevation difference: +/- 300m

Meals:  B,L

After an early breakfast, we depart towards Page and the Lake Powell area. On our way we will stop to walk the short trail to famous Horseshoe Bend. After taking in the stunning views we continue to Page. Lake Powell was created through the damming of the Colorado River. Here dark blue waters reflect sheer red stone towers in an amazing colour, offering unforgettable impressions. We have most of the day to explore the area with a range of optional activities such as a jeep tour to Antelope Canyon, “the” classic slot canyon (allow US$70). Antelope Canyon is known for its incredible rock formations, colours and lights and is one of the most photographed slot canyons in the world. Time permitting you can also take a boat tour on Lake Powell for an additional fee. Overnight Quality Inn Page or similar. Drive time approx 3 hours, 150miles / 240km

Meals:  B,L

We journey on by road through the Painted Desert to the world famous Monument Valley of the Navajo tribe. Here, giant rock domes and mesas rise out of the valley into the blue sky and offer the opportunity for excellent pictures. For decades, the area has been used by Hollywood as a favourite movie backdrop. We highly recommend an unforgettable jeep tour with the Navajos through the valley (allow approx US$70) to the hidden beauty spots such as ‘Ear of the Wind’ and ‘Big Hogan’. In the afternoon we head for the Grand Canyon through the Painted Desert, which we reach via the East entrance. We stop to see the sights on the East Rim and are hopefully rewarded with an impressive sunset before heading to our lodge at the entrance to the park. Drive time approx 5 hours, 300 miles/450km

Meals:  B,L

We have all day to spend at this amazing sight. The Grand Canyon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and although plenty of tourists visit the area, few hit the trails. If you prefer you can hike into the canyon to Plateau Point, or follow the leader along the West Rim, where incredible views can be enjoyed. There is time to enjoy another unforgettable sunset. Kaibab Ridge (3-4 hrs, ca. 3 miles/ 5 km, elevation difference: +/- 300m) Plateau Point (8-12 hrs, ca. 12 miles/ 20 km, elevation difference: +/- 1150m Hike along the rim (up to 4 hrs, up to 8 miles / 13 km, elevation difference: +/- 50m) *Note: Hikes in Grand Canyon NP are self-guided due to permit regulations

Meals:  B,L

In the morning you have the opportunity for a breathtaking heli flight over the Grand Canyon (optional and approximately US$200-$300). Then we travel via Route 66 through the hot deserts of Nevada. Our hotel is close to the entrance of Death Valley National Park. Overnight: Longstreet Casino or similar. Drive time approx. 5 hrs, 320miles/500km

Meals:  B,L

This morning we drive to Death Valley National Park. This national park is in stark contrast to the red and green deserts of Utah. Here we encounter extreme weather conditions and temperatures, as this is one of the hottest places on earth. In summer, temperatures can reach 50C. In addition, being in a rift valley, Death Valley is also the lowest location in the Western Hemisphere at 100m below sea level. We explore the golden sand dunes, in contrast with the stark brown and black hillsides, Badwater with its poisonous springs, the Devil’s Golf Course formed by salt deposits, and the colorful formations at Zabriske Point. Temperature permitting we hike through the “Badlands”. In the afternoon we continue along the 4400m crest of the Sierra to the small town of Mammoth or Bishop for the night. Overnight: Sierra Lodge or similar. Drive time approx. 4 hrs, 240miles/400km Badlands hike: 2-3 hours, 3 miles/5km, elevation difference +/- 200m

Meals:  B,L

In the morning we explore Mono Lake, one of the world’s oldest lakes. Mono Lake is famous for its white Tufa towers, formed by hot springs. We continue our journey to Bodie Sate Park, one of the most famous ghost towns in the West. It seems the entire town was suddenly abandoned 150 years ago with all belongings left behind. Finally up Tioga Pass (subject to weather conditions - Sonora Pass will be used as an alternative route), and over the crest of the Sierra Nevada at 3030m we reach Yosemite National Park. Weather permitting we hike to the top of Lembert Dome (2880m), where we enjoy expansive views over Tuolumne Meadow. We reach our accommodation in the heart of Yosemite Valley, in Half Dome Village. Half Dome Village is the hub of activity in the valley. It also provides direct access to all of the hiking trails. We will spend 2 nights in “tent cabins”, which are rustic cabins with beds and bedding, concrete floors, but canvas walls, with communal bathrooms. The benefit of this accommodation is the direct access to hiking trails needed for those wanting to hike Half Dome (2680m). In rare cases the tent cabins are sold out and we will stay at a nearby motel - additional driving applies in this case. Lembert Dome Hike: 3 hrs, ca 5 miles / 8 km, elevation difference: +/- 300m. Driving time approx. 2 hrs. 120 miles/200km NB: May and Oct tours may have to detour via Sonora Pass as Tioga Pass is closed until Memorial Day or later, and closes sometime in Oct/Nov.

Meals:  B,L

Yosemite National Park which was established in 1890 in the Sierra Nevada, encompasses stunning mountain vistas and valleys housing meadows and forests (including groves of giant sequoias) surrounded by high cliffs and waterfalls. Our day here offers several options and our accommodations are located in the center of the park. Those wanting to climb Half Dome can leave at 6am to challenge themselves on this peak (Must obtain a permit well in advance of your vacation*). The rest of the group takes a more leisurely morning and drives up to Glacier Point, the most impressive view point in the park. From here we marvel at the valley as well as the impressive walls of Half Dome. From Glacier Point, 3 very different hikes are offered that are different in length, difficulty and views: two head down to the valley, and one hike along the rim of the valley. We recommend you enjoy the afternoon relaxing in the valley, rent a bike and visit the waterfalls, or raft down the Merced river on a hot day enjoying the scenery from a float trip (floating is possible only during certain safe water levels). In the evening we look for bears and coyotes in the apple groves. Panorama Trail from Glacier Point (4-6 hrs, ca. 7 miles / 12 km, elevation difference: + 200m/-900m) Four Mile Trail (4-5 hrs, ca 6 miles / 10 km, elevation difference: -900m) Sentinel Dome & Taft Point Loop (ca 4 hrs, ca 6 miles / 10 km, elevation difference: +/- 200m). *Half Dome (8-10 hrs, ca 13 miles / 20 km, elevation difference: +/- 1500m) -- Please visit www.nps.gov Yosemite - Half Dome to obtain permits and reserve your self-guided hike. Tour operators are not allowed to reserve this for you. https://www.recreation.gov - "Cables on Half Dome" to obtain permits and reserve your self-guided hike. Tour operators are not allowed to reserve this for you and there are only 225 permits per day.

Meals:  B,L

In the morning we head for the amazing grove of giant Sequoia and allow for a leisurely walk through an amazing forest of ancient giants. Then we head for San Francisco, draped sinuously over coastal cliffs on the shore of the Pacific Ocean. There is time to walk across the famous Golden Gate Bridge. Our hotel is centrally located. Overnight: Whitcomb Hotel or similar. Drive time approx. 4-5 hrs, 250miles/400km

Meals:  B,L

San Francisco is amongst one of the USA’s most cosmopolitan and atmospheric cities. Located on the bay its suburbs are linked by a series of expansive bridges, one of those being the famous Golden Gate Bridge. Trams run major routes along the foreshore and into the hilly heights in a city where quaint wooden houses contrast sharply with the sophistication of modern skyscrapers. In the morning we explore the city on foot (3-4 hours) and cable car, and explore its hidden wonders as well as all the famous sights, such as Union Square, Chinatown and Fisherman’s Wharf. Last but not least we enjoy amazing views from Coit Tower. You will be given a day pass for the cable car allowing you to explore the city in the afternoon on your own. In the afternoon we recommend a harbor cruise on the bay, a tour of Alcatraz (recommend booking in advance) or a ferry ride to Sausalito (optional). Overnight: Whitcomb Hotel or similar. City tour (approx. 3-4 hours, ca. 2-3 miles / ca. 4-7 km, elevation difference +/-100 m)

Meals:  B,L

Trip concludes today in San Francisco after breakfast. For those wishing to go to the airport, we recommend you take an airport shuttle to the airport for approx. USD$15 per person.

Meals:  B

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Upon arrival into Las Vegas you will clear customs and make your way to the group hotel specified in your final tour voucher. You will meet with your group leader and other members of the group at 8am the following morning (day 2) when the group briefing will take place. Overnight: La Quinta Hotel or similar.

Meals:  Nil

Your guide will welcome you at the hotel at 8am. Today we will drive to nearby St George. We hike over beautiful slick rock, past a lava tube and across moqui marbles. Then we marvel at the remarkable dinosaur footprints. Overnight: Ramada St George or similar. Drive time: 100 miles/160 km or 2 hrs Lava Tube Loop: 2-3 hrs, approx. 3 miles / 5 km Elevation difference: +/-100 m

Meals:  B,L

Zion National Park is located at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin and Mojave desert provinces. It is known for its soaring red cliff walls of deep red sandstone that have been sculptured by the Virgin River and that soar as high as 800 metres. Today we take the opportunity to explore this dramatic landscape of canyons, domes and soaring cliffs and a hike to the Angel’s Landing, a huge sandstone dome rising over the narrow valley of the Virgin River adds a further dimension to our day. If you wish to, you can hike all the way to the top. Time permitting, we will wade through the famous narrows of the Virgin River. In the afternoon we drive to Bryce Canyon in time for an amazing sunset. Overnight: Bryce View Lodge or similar. Our hiking options today include: Angel’s Landing (4-5 hrs, ca. 5 miles / 8 km, Elevation difference: +/- 450m) and Narrows (1-2 hrs, ca. 2-3 miles / 3-5 km, Elevation difference: +/- 0m) Drive time approx 2 hours, 120 miles / 190 km

Meals:  B,L

For many visitors Bryce Canyon ranks among the most beautiful in the USA. A full day has been reserved to explore the surreal formations that characterise the park where erosion has shaped colourful Clarion limestones, sandstones and mudstones into thousands of spines, fins, pinnacles and mazes. Hiking trails wind through red and pink stone towers glowing in the sunlight. The colour contrast between the red rocks, green of the pines and blue of the sky delight every photographer and nature lover. The hike today is Queens Garden. Additional walks are available. Also for those wanting to explore the formations on horse back can do so (approximately $65, not included). Overnight: Bryce View Lodge or similar. Queens Garden / Peek-A-Loop: 5 hrs, approx 8 miles / 13 km, Elevation difference: +/- 300m

Meals:  B,L

After an early breakfast, we depart towards Page and the Lake Powell area. On our way we will stop to walk the short trail to famous Horseshoe Bend. After taking in the stunning views we continue to Page. Lake Powell was created through the damming of the Colorado River. Here dark blue waters reflect sheer red stone towers in an amazing colour, offering unforgettable impressions. We have most of the day to explore the area with a range of optional activities such as a jeep tour to Antelope Canyon, “the” classic slot canyon (allow US$70). Antelope Canyon is known for its incredible rock formations, colours and lights and is one of the most photographed slot canyons in the world. Time permitting you can also take a boat tour on Lake Powell for an additional fee. Overnight: Quality Inn Page or similar. Drive time approx 3 hours, 150miles / 240km

Meals:  B,L

We journey on by road through the Painted Desert to the world famous Monument Valley of the Navajo tribe. Here, giant rock domes and mesas rise out of the valley into the blue sky and offer the opportunity for excellent pictures. For decades, the area has been used by Hollywood as a favourite movie backdrop. We highly recommend an unforgettable jeep tour with the Navajos through the valley (allow approx US$70) to the hidden beauty spots such as ‘Ear of the Wind’ and ‘Big Hogan’. In the afternoon we head for the Grand Canyon through the Painted Desert, which we reach via the East entrance. We stop to see the sights on the East Rim and are hopefully rewarded with an impressive sunset before heading to our lodge at the entrance to the park. Drive time approx 5 hours, 300 miles/450km

Meals:  B,L

We have all day to spend at this amazing sight. The Grand Canyon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and although plenty of tourists visit the area, few hit the trails. If you prefer you can hike into the canyon to Plateau Point, or follow the leader along the West Rim, where incredible views can be enjoyed. There is time to enjoy another unforgettable sunset. Kaibab Ridge (3-4 hrs, ca. 3 miles/ 5 km, elevation difference: +/- 300m) Plateau Point (8-12 hrs, ca. 12 miles/ 20 km, elevation difference: +/- 1150m Hike along the rim (up to 4 hrs, up to 8 miles / 13 km, elevation difference: +/- 50m) *Note: Hikes in Grand Canyon NP are self-guided due to permit regulations

Meals:  B,L

In the morning you have the opportunity for a breathtaking heli flight over the Grand Canyon (optional and approximately US$200-$300). Then we travel via Route 66 through the hot deserts of Nevada. Our hotel is close to the entrance of Death Valley National Park. Drive time approx. 5 hrs, 320miles/500km

Meals:  B,L

This morning we drive to Death Valley National Park. This national park is in stark contrast to the red and green deserts of Utah. Here we encounter extreme weather conditions and temperatures, as this is one of the hottest places on earth. In summer, temperatures can reach 50C. In addition, being in a rift valley, Death Valley is also the lowest location in the Western Hemisphere at 100m below sea level. We explore the golden sand dunes, in contrast with the stark brown and black hillsides, Badwater with its poisonous springs, the Devil’s Golf Course formed by salt deposits, and the colorful formations at Zabriske Point. Temperature permitting we hike through the “Badlands”. In the afternoon we head towards California, skirting the Sierra Nevada around the southern flanks. Our hotel is located in the small farming community of Dinuba. Overnight: Holiday Inn Express Dinuba or similar. Drive time approx. 6 hrs, 400miles/640km Badlands hike: 2-3 hours, 3 miles/5km, elevation difference +/- 200m

Meals:  B,L

In the morning we drive to Sequoia National Park. We will enjoy snow shoe walks around the giant Sequoia Groves that make this park so famous. The difference between Death Valley the day before and the snow shoe walks today couldn't be bigger and makes it a fascinating Christmas itinerary. In late afternoon we head towards our hotel at the entrance of Yosemite National Park. Overnight: Yosemite View Lodge or similar. General Sherman Tree snow shoe walk: 1 hr, ca 1 mile / 1.6 km, elevation difference: +/- 30m. Crescent Trail to McKinley Trail Junction snow shoe walk: 2.5 hours, approx. 2 miles / 3.2 km, elevation difference: +/- 100m Driving time approx. 3 hrs. 168 miles/268km Please note: Snow shoes will be provided. Please bring 'instep crampons / traction cleats' for walking on snow.

Meals:  B,L

Yosemite National Park which was established in 1890 in the Sierra Nevada, encompasses stunning mountain vistas and valleys housing meadows and forests (including groves of giant sequoias) surrounded by high cliffs and waterfalls. Yosemite is steeped in solitude during the winter months. We have a wonderful chance to experience this UNESCO World Heritage Park in utter silence and contemplative beauty when snow closes many of the high elevation roads. Our snow shoe excursion will take us to the edge of Yosemite Valley for stunning views. In the afternoon we return to our lodge near the entrance of the park. Overnight: Yosemite View Lodge or similar. Dewey Point Trail: 6 hours, approx. 8 miles / 12.9 km, elevation difference +/- 60 m

Meals:  B,L

In the morning we can choose to snow shoe or hike in Yosemite Valley or to the Crane Flat Fire Lookout. Then we head for San Francisco, draped sinuously over coastal cliffs on the shore of the Pacific Ocean. There is time to walk across the famous Golden Gate Bridge. Our hotel is centrally located. Overnight: Whitcomb Hotel or similar. Crane Flat Lookout Trail: 4 hrs, approx. 4 miles / 6.4 km, elevation difference +/- 200 m Alternatively: trails in Yosemite Valley depending on snow coverage and climate. Drive time approx. 4-5 hrs, 250 miles / 400 km

Meals:  B,L

San Francisco is amongst one of the USA’s most cosmopolitan and atmospheric cities. Located on the bay its suburbs are linked by a series of expansive bridges, one of those being the famous Golden Gate Bridge. Trams run major routes along the foreshore and into the hilly heights in a city where quaint wooden houses contrast sharply with the sophistication of modern skyscrapers. In the morning we explore the city on foot (3-4 hours) and cable car, and explore its hidden wonders as well as all the famous sights, such as Union Square, Chinatown and Fisherman’s Wharf. Last but not least we enjoy amazing views from Coit Tower. You will be given a day pass for the cable car allowing you to explore the city in the afternoon on your own. In the afternoon we recommend a harbor cruise on the bay, a tour of Alcatraz (recommend booking in advance) or a ferry ride to Sausalito (optional). Overnight: Whitcomb Hotel or similar. City tour (approx. 3-4 hours, ca. 2-3 miles / ca. 4-7 km, elevation difference +/-100 m)

Meals:  B,L

Trip concludes today in San Francisco after breakfast. For those wishing to go to the airport, we recommend you take an airport shuttle to the airport for approx. USD$15 per person.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 13 breakfasts, 12 picnic lunches
  • 11 nights accommodation in 3 star hotels with private facilities, 2 nights tent cabins
  • Private transport
  • Services of an experienced, multi-lingual driver-guide
  • National park entry fees & sightseeing as specified
  • Snow shoe hire on the Christmas winter departure

  • Cost of laundry, soft drinks & alcoholic beverages
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Flights, airport taxes, and airport transfers
  • Travel Insurance (compulsory)
  • Visas
  • Medical treatment
  • Personal expenses
  • Optional excursions
  • Tour leader tip (approx USD7-10 per day)
  • Half Dome hikes require a permit. Theses permits have to be reserved by the clients well in advance of their trip, via internet at www.recreation.gov. Guides cannot reserve these hikes in advance.

About Your Leader

All of our USA tour leaders are certified in First Aid and CPR and registered as official guides with the national parks. All of them are trained to guide hikes. Most are bilingual and many of our departures are conducted in English as well as one other language (typically German or Spanish). Your tour leader is from the USA and may have grown up here or may have moved here from another country - As many Americans do!


Departure dates


Notes

IT1
Trip starts in San Francisco
IT2
Trip starts in Las Vegas
1
Christmas departure with slightly amended itinerary day 9-12 (pls see Christmas itinerary).

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Total Priceper person from

$3800USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Best of the West - Single SupplementUSD$1250
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Best of the West trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Award Winning Adventures

Enhancing your journey with authentic experiences, genuine cultural exchange and real exploration are the focal points on all of our adventures. In 2019, we were crowned by our peers as the best in adventure travel at The Travel Awards in Sydney.

Thoughtful Travel

Responsible travel is at the heart of every program we offer as a fundamental and long held philosophy. When you book one of our 100% carbon offset adventures you’re supporting true sustainability in the protection of local communities, natural environments and wildlife.

Ultimate Value

 When you book one of our adventures, you will receive quality services at the best prices with plenty of inclusions. There are no hidden costs, single travellers don’t pay more and you’ll enjoy many ‘extra touches’ that ensure your holiday is excellent value for money.

Positive Impact Travel

By joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole, which are invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognised standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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