Trek America: Canyons & National Parks

Trek America: Canyons & National Parks

187 Views
11 Days From

$7048

$6521

Trek America: Canyons & National Parks

11 Days Starting in San Francisco and ending in Las Vegas

Visiting: San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, Death Valley National Park, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon National Park, Las Vegas

Tour operator:

Exodus

Tour code:

TTA

Group size:

6 - 13

Physical rating:

Leisurely / Moderate

Age range:

16-99

Trip Styles:

Active, Adventure Tours

Activities:

Sightseeing, Trekking

From:
$7048
$6521 Operator discount: -$343 Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$184

NB: Prices correct on 20-May-2024 but subject to change.

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Tour Overview

A medley of human-made and natural wonders are on full display on this popular tour of western USA. Yosemite Valley and the Grand Canyon are rivalled only by the power and beauty of the Navajo’s sacred Monument Valley. Hike under the largest sandstone cliffs in the world at Zion Canyon, observe strange landscapes in Death Valley, and gaze upon the ever-changing colours of Bryce Canyon. There’s adventure around every corner in the most geographically diverse region of the United States.



This trip includes a few of our Citizen Science Departures. These special departures offer you the opportunity to be involved in the collection of freshwater samples during the trip. The environmental DNA information derived from this sample will contribute directly to the eBioAtlas; the world’s largest repository of flora and fauna species data, contributing to the conservation and restoration of biodiversity both locally and globally. To book onto one of these special departures, see the Dates & Prices tab. For more information on these departures and the eBioAtlas, click here.

Highlights

  • Discover five breath-taking national parks

  • Enjoy a Navajo tour in Monument Valley

  • Marvel at the Grand Canyon

  • Take the Narrows slot canyon walk

Itinerary

Expand All

Day 1 : Start San Francisco

Location: San Francisco

Accommodation Name: Stanford Court (or similar)

Welcome to sunny California. The local people are fiercely proud of San Francisco and for good reason. There's plenty to keep you entertained but the best introduction is to explore by foot, or make use of the cable car network. A welcome meeting usually takes place in the morning of Day 2.



We recommend you book an extra night in our hotel the night before the tour starts if you want to spend time discovering San Francisco.



Accommodation: Stanford Court (or similar)

Day 2 : Highlights Of San Francisco Then On To Yosemite National Park

Location: Yosemite National Park

Accommodation Name: Yosemite View Lodge (or similar)

We take a short driving tour of San Francisco to see landmarks including the Painted Ladies (a symbol of the California Gold Rush) and Golden Gate Park, before leaving via the Golden Gate Bridge. We head east through California's historic gold country, and make tracks for Yosemite. Here, everything is in gargantuan proportions, including some of the tallest cliffs, waterfalls and trees in North America. We check into the lodge in the Yosemite region: your home for the next two nights.



Accommodation: Yosemite View Lodge (or similar)

Day 3 : Walking In Yosemite National Park

Location: Yosemite National Park

Accommodation Name: Yosemite View Lodge (or similar)

Yosemite sits in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range of northern California. Here, green forest meets granite walls several thousand feet high. Rock climbers come from across the world to scale the rocks while hikers walk to some of the largest waterfalls on the planet. As you explore, look for varied wildlife such as deer, bobcats, marmots, pikas and, if you're lucky, bears. After a visit to see the giant sequoia trees, Yosemite Valley beckons, offering the chance to cycle, dip in the Merced River or wander the meadows. The views are breath-taking from every vantage point: the granite formations of Half Dome, El Capitan and Cathedral Rocks are sure to be forever etched on your mind.



Accommodation: Yosemite View Lodge (or similar)

Day 4 : Drive Across Tioga Pass And To Death Valley National Park

Location: Death Valley National Park

Accommodation Name: Stovepipe Wells Village Hotel (or similar)

Drive through the wonderous high country of Yosemite, crossing over the highest highway pass in California at an elevation of 9,945ft (3,031m) to one of the hottest, driest and lowest places on earth. Death Valley has extreme, beautiful landscapes, which are a stark comparison to Yosemite. Richly tinted mudstone hills and canyons await exploration, with dunes and salt pans making for exceptional photos. We cover great distances today but also see fascinating and contrasting scenery.



Please note: Tioga Pass may be closed due to snow in early spring or late autumn, in which case an alternate route to Death Valley will be taken. In the past, extreme temperatures, higher than those expected, have prevented us from entering Death Valley National Park. In the event this happens again, we will notify you as soon as possible with a suitable replacement. This is a worst-case scenario and we endeavour to run the programme as advertised.



Accommodation: Stovepipe Wells Village Hotel (or similar)

Day 5 : Travel To Zion National Park

Location: Zion National Park

Accommodation Name: La Quinta Inn & Suites (or similar)

We travel to Utah and our destination for today: Zion National Park. Like an oasis rising from the desert floor, the multi-coloured cliffs and spring-fed hanging gardens are spectacular. Zion Canyon was named by the early Mormon settlers of Utah who thought of it as their 'promised land'. Some of the best hiking in southwest USA is here, in and around the fertile Virgin River Gorge. With a two-night stay, we have plenty of time to discover Zion. Upon arrival, the leader takes us on a walk via the Watchman Trail as an introduction to the park.



Accommodation: La Quinta Inn & Suites (or similar)

Day 6 : Discover Zion National Park

Location: Zion National Park

Accommodation Name: La Quinta Inn & Suites (or similar)

Meals Included: breakfast

Today is all about exploring Zion National Park. There is a vast network of excellent trails that you can access via the free national park shuttle bus. We recommend a walk beside the Virgin River or, if weather conditions permit, you may choose to hike deep into the Narrows, a stunning water channel where you'll witness outstanding scenery. Staying dry is not an option as you wade through the Virgin River between towering walls. The cool waters and the shadow of the canyon can provide a much-needed respite from the scorching sun.



Another popular hike is Angels Landing. Necessary permits cannot be booked by a tour operator, so individual customers must apply for a permit via a lottery. We have included more details on how to do this in the ‘Is This Trip for You?’ section.



Accommodation: La Quinta Inn & Suites (or similar)

Day 7 : Bryce Canyon National Park

Location: Bryce Canyon National Park

Accommodation Name: Best Western Plus Ruby’s Inn (or similar)

Meals Included: breakfast

Leaving Zion National Park, we climb in elevation to almost 8,300ft (2,530m) and traverse a high plateau to Bryce Canyon National Park. Bryce Canyon is a fascinating natural amphitheatre of pink, orange and white sandstone spires, known locally as hoodoos. There are a variety of scenic overlooks and trails that range from easy to moderate in difficulty. The Navajo or Peek-A-Boo Loop trails will enable you to hike among these unique rock formations. Some may prefer to hike on the Queens Garden Trail or remain on the rim and photograph the ever-changing shadows and hues as the sun travels across the sky.



Accommodation: Best Western Plus Ruby's Inn (or similar)

Day 8 : Monument Valley

Location: Monument Valley

Accommodation Name: Kayenta Monument Valley Inn (or similar)

Meals Included: dinner

Stop for a walk at Horseshoe Bend for an amazing view of the Colorado River before heading to the heart of the Navajo Nation. Monument Valley, a sacred land to those who call it home, is dotted with fabulous red-sandstone monoliths. From here, you witness spectacular sunsets and sunrises. It’s been the backdrop for countless Westerns, so you half expect to see cowboys riding into the sunset. Explore the incredible array of rock formations on an included and guided 4x4 backroads tour, learning all about the magic and myths of the Native American culture. The Navajo Tribal Lands of Monument Valley are a true photographer's paradise. For dinner, we have included a traditional meal, the Navajo taco, out in the valley with the Navajo themselves.



Accommodation: Kayenta Monument Valley Inn (or similar)

Day 9 : Grand Canyon National Park

Location: Grand Canyon National Park

Accommodation Name: Red Feather Lodge (or similar)

Meals Included: breakfast

This morning, we leave Monument Valley and drive towards Grand Canyon National Park for the ultimate desert showstopper. Crossing the eastern entrance of the canyon, we catch our first glimpse at Desert View. This incredible spectacle is difficult to comprehend, even as you stand at the rim or hike down into the canyon. Carved over several millennia, this natural wonder is 275mi (445km) long, up to 18mi (29km) wide and more than 1mi (1.6km) deep. Snaking through the canyon floor is the mighty Colorado River, which runs 1,450mi (2,330km) through seven US and two Mexican states.



Accommodation: Red Feather Lodge (or similar)

Day 10 : Grand Canyon National Park

Location: Grand Canyon National Park

Accommodation Name: Red Feather Lodge (or similar)

You have a full day to explore this awe-inspiring canyon. We highly recommend a scenic flight over the canyon, which offers a perspective you cannot see by visiting on foot. Alternatively, lace up your boots for a hike on the South Kaibab Trail to Cedar Ridge, hike down the more challenging trail to Plateau Point, or simply relax at the canyon edge and enjoy a spectacular sunset over one of the most incredible natural wonders in the world.



Optional Activities:



Grand Canyon Helicopter flight: US$349 (starting rate, price varies according to demand)



Accommodation: Red Feather Lodge (or similar)

Day 11 : Route 66 To Las Vegas

Location: Las Vegas

En route to Vegas, we travel a section of the original Route 66 and visit Seligman, a town full to the brim with Americana wares. Continuing, we travel to hedonistic Sin City, the fastest-growing city in the United States and renowned as the ‘tacky capital of the world’ – home to pirates and pyramids, weddings and water fountains. Upon arrival, enjoy a driving tour down the Las Vegas Strip and see first-hand the resort hotels that make this desert city tick. Vegas comes alive at night with resort hotels, shows and the Bellagio Fountain's regular water displays. We recommend booking extra nights to explore the city because it's not all clubs and resort hotels. There are numerous art galleries, shops and world-class restaurants to enjoy. If you want a couple of extra nights, please advise your sales representative when booking your trip.



For those who are not extending their stay in Las Vegas, this tour ends with a transfer to Las Vegas International Airport.

What's Included

  • All accommodation

  • Two breakfasts and one dinner

  • All transport and listed activities

  • Tour leader throughout

  • Arrival and departure transfers are available

What's Not Included

  • Travel insurance

  • Single accommodation (available on request)

  • Visas or vaccinations

  • Optional activities

Food

Two breakfasts and one dinner are included on this trip.



On this tour, we usually eat in local restaurants. To help you budget for these meals, average costs are:



Hotel breakfasts: US$12-US$17

Lunches: US$15-US$20

Dinners: US$20-US$35, not including alcoholic beverages



Drinks cost on average:



Wine: US$7-10 per glass

Beer: US$5-8 per bottle



A tip of approximately 17%-20% is added to group meals in North American restaurants. Applicable taxes will also be added to all listed menu prices.



Your tour leader may offer your group the option to operate a ‘lunch only’ food kitty; this has proven a popular alternative to three daily restaurant meals. Leaders will explain this option while on your tour, and the whole group will have to agree for this system to run.



Vegetarians and vegans can be well catered for on this adventure – please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests so our local team can be well prepared. We do all we can to accommodate other dietary requirements but in certain parts of North America certain food types can be limited.

Accommodation

Hotel accommodation will be in clean, comfortable three-star hotels or lodges with en suite bathroom facilities, chosen for their friendly atmosphere and proximity to the highlights of the region. You will be roomed with a fellow passenger of the same sex on a twin-share basis (two people per room) unless you are travelling as a couple. In the event you cannot be matched with another passenger, there will not be a single supplement charge.

Check out our Q&As

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    If you wish to make any changes to your booking, particularly if you need to alter any flights booked through us, please let us know as soon as possible. There is a booking or flight amendment fee of £40 per change and flight amendments often incur extra airline costs depending on the changes to be made and if the ticket has been issued or not.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Exodus has been trading since 1974

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Your final joining instructions and flight details, if booked with us, will then be sent out 2 to 3 weeks before departure. If you would like a hard copy posted, or if you require these any earlier, please contact the customer operations team. We advise that if you are booking connecting travel before receiving these, please ensure you leave plenty of time.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Travellers are welcome to opt to share a room with a tour member of the same gender for no additional charge. If you'd like your own room, we can request a single supplement so that you will have your own room throughout.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    You are welcome to meet the group after the tour has departed however there is no reduction in rate for joining a tour after the departure date.

Reviews from travellers on this tour

NATIONAL PARKS OF THE WEST

A packed two weeks seeing the highlights of and hi

A packed two weeks seeing the highlights of and hiking in the National Parks of Yosemite, Zion Canyon, Bryce Canyon and the Navajo Nation lands of Monument Valley, finally ending up at the Grand Canyon. The variation and beauty of all the sites made the few long journey days well worth while.

Incredible views, great food and wonderful memories!

This was an incredible trip which exceeded my expe

This was an incredible trip which exceeded my expectations! The National Parks on the itinerary were all places I'd wanted to visit for a long, long time but actually visiting them was much more impressive than I had imagined. Often this was due to the scale of these natural wonders which you just can't get a sense of in photographs or it was due to the varying colours of the rocks such as in Zion or the Grand Canyon which made the views all the more enjoyable. Unfortunately when we visited Yosemite there were forest fires nearby and the smoke spoiled some of the views but luckily the park itself remained open! Yes there are some long drives but the varying landscapes, regular stops for photos or snacks, WiFi, good conversation and a wide range of music available on the tour leader's iPhone all made them pass fairly quickly. It's a fairly busy itinerary but I did feel it provided enough time in each place to really get a 'feel' for them! The vast majority of restaurants I ate in were terrific (be prepared for large potions), the standard of hotels was very high and it was a great group of people to be on holiday with!

NATIONAL PARKS OF THE WEST

WOW is the best word to describe this trip. The la

WOW is the best word to describe this trip. The landscape is vast and amazing.

A trip to remember

The itinerary was very well-balanced, including a

The itinerary was very well-balanced, including a combination of various sightseeing and walks. For us, first-time visitors to these parts of the USA, every day brought something new and amazing, and we enjoyed it thoroughly. Mike, our guide, is a consummate professional – he ensured everything went like clockwork and without doubts or worries, he gave us all the information we needed, told us in an attractive storytelling manner short historical, geographical, and social narratives, enabling us to understand better the places we saw. His permanent optimism and sense of humor made everything look easy and every minute pleasant and worth remembering. The whole atmosphere was relaxing and as magical as the sites we visited. Thanks! Suggestions for improving the experience: 1. It should be noted that the seats in the van are quite narrow, especially in the last row. There were 11 of us and we fit in the van relatively comfortably. A party of 13 would feel very tight, especially on the longer drives. 2. The best accommodations were in Tonopah and Zion. I understand that there are few other options in most of the locations, but at the price we paid, better motels would have been welcomed. Sorry if I seem a bit picky - all in all, it was a trip to remember, an experience of a lifetime.

Mr

If you love seeing spectacular natural wonders and

If you love seeing spectacular natural wonders and also see some amazing cities, this trip is for you.

NATIONAL PARKS OF THE WEST

This was an absolutely amazing holiday that met an

This was an absolutely amazing holiday that met and exceeded my expectations! We went from one breathtaking moment to another everywhere we went.

Western Explorer

A taste of many things! A time to walk alone and

A taste of many things! A time to walk alone and travel together. What a great way to discover Western USA. From walking the Golden Gate Bridge with clear blue skies to the 'awesome' view from Angel's Landing in Zion Valley. From the unforgettable moment you reach the rim of Bryce Canyon to the madness of Las Vegas. As a sworn-in Ranger (a very rigorous assessment) I feel qualified to recommend this trip to those who love variety and do not want to sit on a beach and roast. Fantastic.

The Wide Wild West by Mike Giles

When we started serious travel over 20 years ago t

When we started serious travel over 20 years ago the USA was never near the top of our agenda, to be honest it was never on our original list of must see places at all. However with the developing world reasonably well covered our time had come to visit our cousins across the pond. We started our holiday with a couple of added days in San Francisco. Highly recommended. It is a city easily negotiated with local transport and there are sights not to be missed. You can reach the Golden Gate Bridge from the city centre using local buses, ask for a transfer and, if a senior, accept a substantial discount and proffered seat. A return walk across the 1.7 mile span of the bridge is invigorating and gives magnificent views of the harbour. Have care for the trendy cyclists who, head down, pedal the pathway looking only to knock seconds off a previous best. Cable Cars are a nostalgic way of getting to and around downtown, the boardwalks and Chinatown. The Californian line, which is the least crowded, ends close to the Holiday Inn where day passes can be purchased. With stops every couple of blocks you can hop on and hold on as the locals always did but expect to queue in the most popular spots. The National Parks visited on the tour are magnificent and each very different with a range of walks and activities to be savoured individually depending upon fitness and ability. We cannot, as others, tell of the elation of reaching Angels Landing, wallowing waist deep in the Zion Narrows or descending perilous tracks into deep canyons. However we can recount we had some wonderful peaceful hikes in breath-taking locations at our own pace and distance. Free shuttle buses are operated by park authorities which make it possible to link easy-going and moderate hiking routes to viewpoints and to otherwise enjoy full days in the park. Monument Valley, Death Valley, Lakes, Dams and the sheer magnificence of scenery just kept rolling out ahead of us as we journeyed on through what is really just a small part of the west of this immense country. We are not hedonistic travellers, preferring natural wonders and historic edifices of an ancient world than modernity, so Las Vegas held little lure for us but we were to be dumfounded by its temples devoted to Lady Luck. Based in a prestigious central hotel we were well placed to explore every other luxurious resort on The Strip. We went to Paris, Venice, Rome and Egypt all in the course of one day and two evenings. Each vista faithfully reconstructed with no expense spared, such are the profits of the relentless gaming which epitomises this city. Unbelievable! We just loved it! The final day was a drive across desert to Los Angeles where this particular trip ended at Custom Hotel LAX with an immediate evening flight for UK participants. Again we added to the schedule, pre-booked two nights there and once more made use of local transport. We joined the old hippies and young things at Santa Monica Pier, the end of Route 66, and also chilled out on Venice Beach and Boardwalk. 'They playing our song Gal?' 'Yea Man!'

The National Parks

Very busy , hugely interesting itinerary. Some qui

Very busy , hugely interesting itinerary. Some quite breathtaking scenery, with opportunities for physical activity in order to experience it more fully. Very good tour leader, experienced, knowledgeable and well organised. Tour group (9 of us) , various ages and experiences, combined well. A great experience.

NATIONAL PARKS OF THE WEST

An excellent tour, covering a wide area but allowi

An excellent tour, covering a wide area but allowing adequate hiking time in the famous National Parks.  The variety of trails available in the Parks make the tour suitable for people of different abilities.  The scenery was tremendous, and the hotels generally of a high standard.

Read all 24 reviews

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Sunday - Wednesday

Sep 15, 2024 - Sep 25, 2024
$7048 $6521

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Oct 13, 2024 - Oct 23, 2024
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May 10, 2025 - May 20, 2025
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Sep 12, 2025 - Sep 22, 2025
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Oct 10, 2025 - Oct 20, 2025
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Book with Confidence

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Exodus allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform exodus, 43 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Exodus requires a minimum deposit of 25% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 90 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of exodus charges.

    Up to 70 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

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