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Best of Western USA


Take a ten-day road trip from the glitzy hub of Las Vegas to the trendy San Francisco, stopping at national parks, deep canyons, fascinating landscapes and small towns along the way. Start with Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon hikes, kayak across Lake Powell, discover the iconic Monument Valley with a Navajo guide then hit the famed Grand Canyon for an epic sunset and a walk along the rim. Visit the towering sequoias – some of the oldest trees on Earth! Your last stop is the incredibly diverse lands of Yosemite National Park, where you’ll stargaze with a local naturalist and walk the best trails with an expert trip leader.

10 days, from

$3,769

per person

GROUP SIZE

12 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

 
2
Trip code: SSEPC
Style: Original
Theme: Explorer

Details

Countries Visited:  United States Of America
Accommodation: Hotel (9 nights)
Transportation: Private vehicle
Included Meals:

  • 4 breakfasts
  • 3 lunches
  • 2 dinners

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 12

  • Marvel at one of the nation’s greatest national parks, The Grand Canyon, and walk around the rim, hike into the canyon or just soak up the expansive views.

  • Kayak across the waters of Lake Powell, weaving your way past fascinating rock formations as your leader shares stories of the lake’s history.

  • Hike through the varied landscapes of Zion National Park, taking in views of massive canyon walls and red sandstone cliffs as you go.

  • Learn about the culture and history of Monument Valley during a Navajo guided tour, followed by a traditional homecooked, family-style Navajo lunch.

  • Experience 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.   

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Las Vegas / Zion National Park

Welcome to Las Vegas! The real wild west is home to some of the USA’s most incredible scenery. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 8 am. Then, you’ll hop aboard a private van. Get to know each other over a picnic lunch, then venture into the stunning landscapes of Zion National Park. Your leader will brief you on the various self-guided walks available within the park, spanning from leisurely strolls along shady tracks to something a little more challenging. Tonight, spend the night in Springdale – known as the gateway to the park.

Day 2: Bryce Canyon National Park / Page

After breakfast this morning, it’s time to make tracks for Bryce Canyon National Park – make sure your camera is ready to go, as some of the views you’ll come across today are truly out of this world! Take a short drive in your private vehicle, then spend the morning hiking through the epic landscapes of the park. Walk along the canyon rim and marvel at hundreds of unique sandstone towers, known as hoodoos, that jut out from the natural amphitheatre. Relax while you enjoy a picnic lunch and take in your magnificent surroundings, then hike down into the canyon for a closer look at the fascinating hoodoos. Then, drive on to the town of Page, where you’ll spend the night.

Day 3: Lake Powell / Horseshoe Bend

Journey south this morning, driving through more spectacular scenery before arriving at Lake Powell. This gorgeous reservoir is certainly a sight to behold from the shore but to really appreciate it, you’ve got to get on the water. Jump in a kayak and paddle across the water’s surface, weaving your way through remarkable rock formations while your leader regales you with stories of the lake’s history. Back on dry land, set out for a gentle walk along Horseshoe Bend, taking in beautiful views with every step. Return to Page for the evening.

Day 4: Monument Valley / Grand Canyon

Start the day with a drive to Monument Valley – one of the world’s most iconic sights. If this landscape dotted with towering sandstone buttes looks familiar to you, it’s no surprise – Monument Valley has been the filming location for many famous Western films. More importantly, this is the native land of the Navajo. When you arrive, you’ll transfer from your vehicle to a 4WD and enjoy a Navajo-guided tour of Monument Valley, where you’ll have the chance to learn more about their rich culture and history in the area before sitting down to a traditional homecooked, family-style Navajo lunch. Continue your journey onto the iconic Grand Canyon in time for sunset along the rim!

Day 5: Las Vegas

Enjoy an optional sunrise at the Grand Canyon and some walks along the rim. When you’ve had your fill of incredible views, it’s time to return to Las Vegas with a stop along Historic Route 66. You’ll arrive back in Las Vegas at approximately 4 pm. You’ll have another welcome meeting at 6 pm tonight to meet your new group and leader. Later, maybe head out for dinner with the members of your new group to get to know each other.

Day 6: 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 7: 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 8: 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 9: 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 10: 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).