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Best of California's National Parks

Bookended by stops in two bustling cities, this 6-day adventure takes you through some of the incredibly diverse landscapes California’s national parks have to offer. There’ll be soaring Sequoias that’ll make your jaw drop and dramatic waterfalls that’ll leave you awe-inspired – all within the same state! As you take in the big sites, you’ll have a local leader filling you in on all the small details, with no story going untold as you leave no stone unturned on this naturally epic escapade.

6 days, from


per person


12 people max


Trip code: SSSG
Style: Original
Theme: Explorer


Countries Visited:  United States Of America
Accommodation: Hotel (5 nights)
Transportation: Private vehicle
Included Meals:

  • 2 dinners

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 12

  • Experience the world-famous Yosemite National Park, taking in the breathtaking scenery as well as the pristine night sky as you go on leader-led walks both day and night.

  • Walk among the towering timber of Sequoia National Park and see General Sherman, the world’s largest tree by volume, along with the other soaring sequoias that make up the Giant Forest.

  • Find yourself on another planet at the Kelso Dunes, hearing the otherworldly booming sound of the sand as the vibrations run through your body.

  • Cap off your Yosemite National Park experience with a pizza picnic in the park, breaking bread and sharing stories with your fellow travellers as the sun begins to set.

  • Where better to end your adventure than in San Francisco, the eclectic and multicultural 'City by the Bay', swapping natural wonders for one that’s man-made as you walk across the Golden Gate Bridge.

  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, the Grand Canyon Conservancy. Donations help them protect Grand Canyon National Park and support trail restoration, conservation of native plants and wildlife, and educational programs.


Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Las Vegas

Welcome to Nevada! Las Vegas will be your gateway to the grandeur of the Golden State. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm, giving you plenty of time to bathe in Vegas’ neon glow. It’s recommended that you arrive a day or two early to really experience the city, allowing time to do the classics (think casinos, drive-through weddings and live shows) as well as scratching below the surface by seeing the diverse neighbourhoods, thriving arts scene and many museums that tell the story of the Entertainment Capital of the World.

Day 2: Mojave / Sequoia National Park

Leaving Sin City in your dust, you’ll road trip across state lines and through the Mojave Desert today, on the way to Mojave National Preserve. Stopping at the Kelso Dunes, you’ll feel a world away from the bright lights of Sin City. The dunes are known for their singing sand which produces a deep, eerie sound. To get the full effect, shove off as much sand as possible from the crest of a dune that hasn’t been walked on for a while and feel the boom in your bones. You’ll then set off around the southern Sierras to Sequoia National Park, settle into your accommodation near the park and head out for an included dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 3: Sequoia National Park

Today is simply about seeing the best of the USA’s Sequoia National Park. You’ll embark on leader-led walks around Sequoia, driving from stop to stop as you get to feel small next to the staggering size of General Sherman, the Giant Forest and other specimens of Sequoia’s towering timber. You may even drive through a tree at Tunnel Log, peer into Tharp’s Log and spot marmots, black bears and recently re-introduced bighorn sheep.

Day 4: Yosemite National Park

After breakfast, you’ll hit the highway headed for the world-famous Yosemite National Park. To start, get acquainted with the awe-inspiring Yosemite Valley during a guided hike. Strewn with dramatic waterfalls, gigantic granite outcrops and lush meadows, this is one of the most spectacular spots in the country. Your leader will also teach you about the ecologically diverse landscape along the way. After sunset, you’ll join a Naturalist from the Yosemite Conservancy for a guided stargazing program. The park’s minimal light pollution makes it an excellent place to see the stars while learning about astronomy, constellations and local lore.

Day 5: Yosemite National Park

Today, Yosemite is all yours to explore! In the morning there’ll be leader-led walks around some of the park’s best trails. If it’s a clear day you may also drive up to Glacier Point for a view you won’t soon forget, looking down over the valley and across to the iconic Half Dome. The afternoon is yours to fill how you’d like. You might choose to hike along the breathtaking Mist Trail with its many fabulous views, hire a bicycle and peddle along some of the 12 miles of designated (and flat) path or immerse yourself in the park’s history at the Ahwahnee Hotel. Once you’ve seen the sights, the day will be capped off with a pizza picnic in the park for dinner.

Day 6: San Francisco

After saying fond farewells to Yosemite, you’ll head west to vibrant San Francisco. After stopping to do a walk over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, your adventure finishes in San Francisco. No accommodation is provided for tonight, but if you do wish to spend extra time in the City by the Bay, just speak to your booking agent. There’s plenty to keep you busy, whether it’s shopping along the funky Haight Street or making your own escape over to Alcatraz Island. Better yet, consider booking an Urban Adventures sightseeing tour like Bridge and the Beach, where you’ll see a different side of the Golden Gate from Baker Beach (see urbanadventures.com/destination/san-francisco-tours).