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Real New Orleans to San Fran


This 14-day camping adventure will take you from New Orleans to San Fransisco, with many iconic USA bucket list spots along the way. On this epic, fast-paced road trip, you'll head from the musical south, deep into the country’s deserts. Marvel at iconic sites like the Grand Canyon (one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World) and Monument Valley (the backdrop of many popular westerns), then shake it up with a stay in Vegas. Travel through mountain ranges to set up shop under a blanket of stars in Yosemite National Park, where you’ll have free time to hike, relax or go chasin’ waterfalls. With its rich history, incredible music culture, lots of natural hotspots and some neon cityscapes, USA is a perfect destination for an action-packed trip full of memorable moments.

14 days, from

$3,857

per person

GROUP SIZE

13 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

 
2
Trip code: SSRK
Style: Basix
Theme: 18 to 35s

Details

Countries Visited:  United States Of America
Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) 10 nights, Hostel (multishare) 3 nights
Transportation: Private van

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 13

  • Spend two nights right in the heart of Grand Canyon National Park. With plenty of time to explore its steep red-rock escarpments and gorges, you can tick off one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World off your bucket list.

  • Discover the glitz and glam of Las Vegas – let your hair down and be wowed all things over-the-top in this neon-lit desert city.

  • Cover Yosemite National Park’s many trails with a full day and two starry nights in this iconic park. With your free time, you can hike and explore until your heart (and camera) is content.

  • Spend a night in the vast desert wilderness of Monument Valley and if you choose, you can even opt for an overnight jeep tour of the valley with a local Navajo guide.

  • Make memories on a classic group road trip – this adventure packs a lot of iconic USA sites into just two weeks, including a good mix of free time, optional extras, included activities and all the logistics taken care of for you.

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: New Orleans

Welcome to New Orleans! This Louisiana city, otherwise known as the ‘Big Easy’, sits on the Mississippi River and is known for its nightlife and live music scenes as well as the spicy cuisine that reflects its history of French, African and American cultures. You’ll have a welcome meeting at 6 pm today, followed by a leader-led orientation walk of the city’s Garden District. After, why not explore further with an Urban Adventures French Quarter Food Tour or a New Orleans Cocktail Tour (see urbanadventures.com for more info on these great options or ask your leader when you arrive).

Day 2: Houston

Today, you say goodbye to the buzzing hub of New Orleans and set sights on Houston. Today will be quite a long day on the road, so it’s the perfect opportunity to get stuck into your favourite book or podcast or get to know your fellow travellers a little better. If you spent last night immersed in Louisiana’s famous nightlife, maybe a long nap is in order.

Day 3: San Antonio

This morning you'll join the truckers along Highway 10 to San Antonio. This Mexican-influenced city is the home of the Alamo – an original reconstructed Spanish-American fort from the 18th century. When you arrive, why not walk in the footsteps of Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie at the Alamo or stroll along the famous Riverwalk. Maybe grab some pan dulce (sweet bread) for a snack, then spend the afternoon at The Alamo IMAX Theatre or rent a bike and ride the streets for a different perspective of local life. Tonight, why not ask your local leader where the best spot for dinner is and indulge in some puffy tacos or Texas quail.

Day 4: Carlsbad

After a couple of days traversing the state of Texas, today you’ll enter the deserts of New Mexico on your way to Carlsbad Cavern National Park – one of the world’s largest caverns, still only just partially explored. After a long travel day, you’ll enter the park and take a hike with your group into the ‘Big Room’ – a popular route through the largest single cave chamber (by volume) in North America. Explore the cavern at your own pace, then spend the night at a local ranch under the star-studded skies.

Day 5: Santa Fe

Your road trip north continues this morning with a journey to Santa Fe – the oldest capital city in the United States! When you arrive, get your bearings on an orientation walk with your leader through the Downtown area. After, you’ll have free time to explore at your own pace. Maybe check out the pueblo architecture surrounding the town plaza or head to the San Miguel Mission – USA’s oldest church. If you’re a bit of an art buff, you’ll want to visit the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum before finding a cosy spot for dinner – maybe try some of Santa Fe’s specialities like Frito pie or green chili stew.

Day 6: Monument Valley

Today’s drive takes you through some of the USA’s classic desert landscapes – a couple of hours staring out the window might be on this morning’s agenda. Your destination is Monument Valley – named after the giant sandstone formations scattered across this part of the desert, Monument Valey has been the backdrop for many of Hollywood’s great westerns. This is also part of the biggest Navajo reservation in the country and home to more than 200,000 Navajo people. When you arrive, you have the option to take a 2.5-hour Navajo-guided jeep tour of the valley. Alternatively, deep dive into the local culture with an overnight jeep tour.

Day 7: Grand Canyon

Today, it’s time for your journey to one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World – the Grand Canyon. Leave Monument Valley and make the drive through the desert, stopping at a Native American trading post along the way. When you arrive, enter the park and take in the stunning sight of the gorge – 1.5 km deep and formed over six million years of erosion from the Colorado River. You’ll spend the next two nights here, so you can properly explore this amazing site.

Day 8: Grand Canyon

Today is a free day to explore all that the Grand Canyon has to offer. Stroll along the South Rim Trail or hike along the South Kaibab Trail to Skeleton Point. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, maybe opt for the scenic helicopter flight over the canyon for a bird’s eye view of this vast, red landscape. In the early evening, rejoin your group at the edge of the canyon and watch a spectacular nightly display of colour during sunset. You don’t want to forget your camera today!

Day 9: Las Vegas

Say goodbye to the canyon and head on towards the glitzy lights of Las Vegas. Today, you’ll cross the western deserts of Arizona towards the original sin city. Vegas may be known for the casinos and late-night adventures, but there’s plenty to do if gambling isn’t your thing. Maybe hit the shops, see a world-class stage show or stroll along Fremont Street and soak up the neon lights and thriving energy of the city’s streets. Before you arrive at your accommodation today, make a stop at Seven Magic Mountains – a desert art installation featuring seven painted boulder totems by the artist Ugo Rondinone – just out of the city.

Day 10: Las Vegas

Today, you have another full day to explore Las Vegas. Continue to delve into the city’s highlights at your own pace and discover all things glitz, glam and over the top. Foodies might want to check out one of the celebrity chef restaurants around town – Giada De Laurentiis, Gordon Ramsay and Wolfgang Puck all have places here. Maybe see the Bellagio Fountains or visit one of the many museums. If you didn’t head out on the town last night, this is your chance to get all the hot tips from your leader on the best shows, clubs and restaurants (maybe even hire a limo and go all out for the true Vegas experience).

Day 11: Sierra Nevada

Farewell, sin city – today, you head for the greener pastures of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, sandwiched between the Central Valley and Death Valley. After a scenic drive, you’ll arrive in the town of Bishop, where you’ll camp for the night. Visit some nearby hot springs with the group to soak away the tires of the road, then maybe head to the Erick Schat’s European-style bakery nearby for a well-earned sweet treat. Alternatively, head here tomorrow morning for a coffee and cake on your way to Yosemite.

Day 12: Yosemite

Today, drive west into the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the famed Yosemite National Park. Stop at Mono Lake for some lunch and a few photos of this otherworldly scenery. Pass through the Tioga Pass if weather permits and continue on through serene landscapes like Tenaya Lake and the Olmstead Point Viewpoint. Here, you can see one of Yosemite’s most recognisable features – Half Dome. When you arrive in the park, settle in at camp and enjoy a night in the quiet surrounds under the stars.

Day 13: Yosemite

Today is a free day to discover the wonders of Yosemite National Park. This is one of the most famous parks in the country, boasting colossal granite cliffs, huge waterfalls and redwood forests that attract local tourists and visitors from all over the world. You might want to spend your day hiking – there are lots of routes available, each with varied difficulty, including the trail to Mirror Lake (45 minutes) or the trek under the cooling breeze of Nevada Falls (4 to 5 hours). Just ask your local leader if you’re not sure, and they can point you in the right direction! Maybe you’d prefer to hire a bike and explore the park that way or visit the park’s museum, gallery, shops and restaurants. In summer, you can also take a relaxing float down the Merced River, looking out for squirrels and bears along the way.

Day 14: San Francisco

Leave Yosemite behind this morning and drive further west to your last destination – San Francisco. The City by the Bay has a thriving energy and its multicultural heart is what makes this place so unique. Stop at the Golden Gate Bridge on the way for an iconic photo and the last walk with your group, then it’s time to say goodbye. Your trip ends when you arrive in San Francisco – but it’s heavily recommended that you stay an extra few nights here to see what this vibrant city has to offer.