trip
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14 Days$4160USD

Activities
  • Day walks
Accommodation
  • 12 nights hotel
  • 1 night tented cabin
Meals
  • 12 Lunches
  • 13 Breakfasts
2
Adventure touring
 
 

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

Discover the world-famous national parks of the western United States in a small group on this well-balanced tour, extending from California to the Grand Canyon. Our small bus gives us access to many sights that larger tour groups cannot reach. Explore Yosemite, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Las Vegas and San Francisco. You will also have a chance to explore world famous Antelope Canyon and walk to the rim of Horseshoe Bend. On this trip your small group will have time to explore the land on foot, Jeep, raft, or horse. Small groups provide great flexibility because the tour leader can better cater to the wishes of individuals. Centrally-located, well-appointed accommodations are inside the national parks or at their entrances, allowing more time in the parks and less on the road! Last but not least; a romantic night in Yosemite Valley’s Curry Village tent cabins makes an unforgettable nature immersion, in one of the world’s most iconic National Parks.

Trip Code: NPB

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: Mardi Gras Casino (2-3 star) or similar

Meals:  Nil

Your tour leader will meet you in the hotel for the orientation meeting. Leaving Las Vegas we soon ascend to the Colorado Plateau through the Virgin River Gorge. Today we enjoy the spectacular scenery of Snow Canyon State Park, where we walk over petrified sand dunes. Then we are on to see the impressive collection of dinosaur footprints (entrance included). Overnight: Ramada St George or similar. Drive time approx 2 hours 120 miles / 200 km Lava Tube Loop: 2-3 hrs, approx. 3 miles / 5 km Elevation difference: +/-150 m

Meals:  B,L

In the morning, we drive to the spectacular Zion National Park. We have all day to explore this fabulous park. You have the option to enjoy a hike to Emerald Pools, where water cascades into shaded pools, or you can hike on your own to Angel’s Landing. Maybe you are interested in wading in the Narrows? There is free time in the charming town of Springdale. Overnight: Hotel Ramada St George (3- star) or similar. Drive time approx 2 hours 90 miles / 150 km Emerald Pools 2-3 hours, approx. 3 miles / 5 km +/- 200m

Meals:  B,L

Leaving early we soon reach Bryce Canyon NP. 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. Those wanting can take a horseback ride through Bryce's rock formations (approx. $65, not included) or hike with the group on the Navajo Loop and Queens Garden Trail. In summer, enjoy a Western Cowboy dinner show (not included). Overnight: Bryce View Lodge (3 star) or similar. Queens Garden and Navajo Loop: 3 hrs, approx. 3 miles / 5 km, elevation difference: +/-200 m Rim walks – Bryce Point to Sunset 2 miles, 4 km

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 2.5 hours, 140miles / 220km

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. Overnight: The Red Feather Lodge (3 star) or similar. Drive time approx 4-5 hours 300 miles / 450 km

Meals:  B,L

We have all day today to relax at the Grand Canyon. We may explore the edge of the canyon, a dream location for photography. We recommend an easy self- guided hike along the West Rim to the beautiful Hermit’s Rest outlook. For those searching for a little excitement, helicopter tours, bike rentals and an IMAX theater (to be paid locally, not included in tour package) are available as well. The Grand Canyon is famous for its exceptional sunsets so have your camera ready! Overnight: The Red Feather Lodge (3 star) or similar. 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 early afternoon, we head back towards Las Vegas along the famous Route 66. Overnight: Mardi Gras Casino (2-3 star) or similar Drive time approx. 4-5 hrs, 265 miles / 430km

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 Lakes. Overnight: Mammoth Mountain Inn (3 star) or similar. Drive time: approx 6 hrs 330 miles / 530 km Badlands hike: 2-3 hours, 3 miles/5km, elevation difference +/- 200m

Meals:  B,L

In the morning, we encounter Mono Lake, one of the oldest lakes on Earth, known for its bizarre white limestone “tufa tower” formation. Over the breathtaking Tioga Pass and the sheer cliffs of the Sierra Nevada ridge, we reach 10,000 feet. Our hotel is in the heart of Yosemite Valley, the rustic Curry Village Tent cabins, where we will spend one night (communal bathrooms). The evening is reserved for wildlife watching, and enjoying an amazing sunset in Yosemite Valley. With a little luck we will see deer, coyote and bear. Overnight: Curry Village Tent Cabin (1 star) or similar. Drive time: approx 2 hrs 120 miles / 200 km Panorama Trail from Glacier Pt: 4-6 hrs, 7 miles / 11 km, elevation difference: +215 m/-915 m Sentinel Dome & Taft Point Loop: 4 hrs, ca. 6 miles / 10 km, elevation difference: +/-215 m 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. 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. We explore Glacier Point, where we can survey the mighty walls of Half Dome and gaze down at the valley floor far below. Big buses are not allowed to drive here, but our vans are allowed. From here we have a perfect view of the Half Dome. Our hotel is in the historic gold-mining town of Sonora. Overnight: Heritage Inn (3 star) or similar. Panorama Trail: 4-6 hrs, 11 km, elevation difference +215/-915m Sentinel Dome & Taft Point Loop: 4 hrs, ca. 6 miles / 10 km, elevation difference: +/-215 m

Meals:  B,L

A full day to enjoy the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. We spend the morning hiking among a hidden grove of Giant Sequoia, at the Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Few tourists are found here and we enjoy solitude among the giant trees. Then we continue to Columbia State Park to enjoy a living history museum dedicated to the ghost town and gold rush area. In the afternoon we have time to enjoy wine tasting (not included) and shopping. Why not stop in at the hotel where Mark Twain stayed? Overnight: Heritage Inn (3 star) or similar. Drive time: approx 2.5hrs 120 miles / 200 km

Meals:  B,L

We move on to our final destination, San Francisco, the famous city on the Pacific Ocean. We explore the city by cable car and on foot, finding many hidden treasures throughout this fabulous metropolis. We will visit Union Square, Chinatown and walk to Coit Tower (entrance not included). You have time to explore Fisherman’s Wharf as well. Overnight: Caza Hotel (3 star) or similar. Drive time: approx 2.5hrs 120 miles / 200 km 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
  • 12 nights accommodation in 2-3 star hotels with private facilities, 1 night tent cabin
  • 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).

Dates don't fit?
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Priceper person from

$4160USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementUSD$1190
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Exploring National Parks of Western USA 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.


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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.

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Our vision is to leave the world a better place by following our sustainable active outdoor travel charter. All our adventures are 100% carbon offset and our Regenerative 2030 Project aims to integrate ‘regenerative’ projects into every one of our global operations by 2030.

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 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.

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