Western Explorer

Start: San Francisco Finish: Las Vegas

Visiting: California, Arizona, Monument Valley, , Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas


Duration: 11 Nights

Physical rating: Leisurely / Moderate

Special diets catered: Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements

Tour Operator: Exodus

Group size: 6 - 13

Age range: 16 to 99

Tour operated in: English


Prices From: $4806

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Tour Overview

A medley of man-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 world's largest sandstone cliffs at Zion Canyon, observe strange landscapes in Death Valley, and gaze upon the ever-changing colours of Bryce Canyon. Adventure awaits around every corner in the most geographically diverse region of the United States.

Highlights

  • iconFive breathtaking national parks
  • iconNavajo tour in Monument Valley
  • iconThe Grand Canyon
  • iconZion's sandstone cliffs and towering waterfall

Places You'll See

Itinerary

Map Image
icon Day 1 : San Francisco is a city which the locals are fiercely proud of and for good reason.

Welcome to the 'City by the Bay' in sunny California. San Francisco is a city which the locals are fiercely proud of 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 infamous cable car network. A welcome meeting will be held at 18:00 hrs in your hotel. We recommend you book an extra night in our hotel the night before the tour starts if you want to spend some time discovering San Francisco - Alcatraz is a must see, you can reserve a ticket online in advance with Alcatraz Cruises. *Accommodation:* Stanford Court, San Francisco (or similar)

icon Day 2 : Yosemite National Park

Depart San Francisco via the Golden Gate Bridge, heading east through California's historic gold country, and make tracks for Yosemite. Here, everything is in gargantuan proportions, including some of North America's tallest cliffs, waterfalls and trees. You'll check into your lodge in the Yosemite region - your 'home' for the next three nights. *Accommodation:* Yosemite View Lodge (or similar)

icon Day 3 -4 : Walking in Yosemite N.P.

Yosemite National Park sits nestled in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range of northern California. Here green forest meets granite walls measuring several thousand feet in height. Rock climbers come from all over the world to scale the rocks whilst hikers get to walk to the base of some of the largest waterfalls in the world. As you explore the park keep your eyes peeled for varied wildlife such as deer, bobcats, marmots, pika and if you're lucky, bear. After a visit to see the amazing Giant Sequoia trees, Yosemite Valley beckons, offering the chance to cycle, take a dip in the Merced River or wander the meadows. The views are breathtaking 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)

icon Day 5 : Drive across Tioga Pass and on to Death Valley N.P.

  One of the hottest, driest and lowest places on earth, Death Valley is blessed with some of the most extreme and beautiful landscapes. Sculpted by erosion, richly tinted mudstone hills and canyons await exploration, with sand dunes and salt pans making for some exceptional photos. You cover some great distances today but also see some fascinating and contrasting scenery on your road trip. Enjoy a wine and cheese evening with wonderful views. Please note: It has occurred in the past that extreme temperatures, higher than those expected, have prevented us from entering Death Valley National Park. In the event this happens, we will notify you as soon as possible with a suitable replacement. This is a worst-case scenario and we will endeavour to run the programme as advertised. *Accommodation:* Stovepipe Wells Village Hotel (or similar)

icon Day 6 : Make your way to Utah and your destination for today - Zion National Park.

Make your way to Utah and your destination for today - Zion National Park. Like an oasis rising up from the desert floor, Zion's 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 can be found here, in and around the fertile Virgin River Gorge. With an early arrival today and two nights in Zion, you'll have plenty of time to explore. *Accommodation:* La Quinta Inn & Suites (or similar)  

icon Day 7 : Walking options in Zion N.P. including Angel's Landing and The Narrows.

Meals: breakfast

Enjoy a full day to further explore the delights of Zion National Park. There are various hikes to choose from, ranging from easy to strenuous. Warm up your legs by taking a short hike from the valley floor to view the Lower Emerald Pool then continue on to the sparkling Upper Emerald Pools, passing a stunning waterfall along the way to discover Zion's `beach'. Cool off from the heat of the summer sun by exploring the Riverside Walk section of the Virgin River. If you're feeling ambitious, enjoy the park's more challenging option and ascend 2,500 ft. to experience unbeatable panoramic views from the top of Angels Landing. After a beautiful but strenuous hike along the knife-edge ridgeline you'll be rewarded with one of the most breathtaking and powerful panoramas you've ever experienced. If weather conditions permit, you may choose to hike deep into the Zion Narrows, just be prepared to get a little wet. *Accommodation:* La Quinta Inn & Suites (or similar)

icon Day 8 : Bryce Canyon National Park

Meals: breakfast

Leaving Zion National Park, you climb in elevation to almost 8,300 ft. 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 right in amongst 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 makes its way across the sky. *Accommodation:* Best Western Plus Ruby's Inn (or similar)

icon Day 9 : Monument Valley

Meals: 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'll witness spectacular sunsets and sunrises. Having been the backdrop for countless westerns, you'll half expect to see cowboys riding off into the sunset. You'll explore the incredible array of rock formations on an included and guided 4x4 backroads tour, learning all about the magic and myths of the rich 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)

icon Day 10 -11 : From Monument Valley to the Grand Canyon National Park

Meals: breakfast

This morning you’ll leave Monument Valley and drive towards the Grand Canyon National Park for the ultimate desert showstopper! Crossing the eastern entrance of the canyon, you'll catch your 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 massive wonder of nature is 445 km long, up to 29 km wide and over 1.6 km deep. Snaking through the canyon floor is the mighty Colorado River, which runs 2,330 km through seven US and two Mexican states. In your free time, we highly recommend a scenic flight over the canyon which offers a perspective that you cannot see by visiting on foot. Also recommended is the film show at the IMAX Theater, which will give you a good overview of the area and how it developed. Alternatively, stroll the meandering South Rim Trail, hike your way down the more challenging trail to Plateau Point, or simply relax at the canyon's edge and enjoy a spectacular sunset over one of the world's most incredible natural wonders. *Accommodation:* Holiday Inn Express - Tusayan (or Similar)

icon Day 12 : En route to Vegas you’ll travel a section of the original Route 66 and visit Seligman, a town full to the brim with Americana wares.

En route to Vegas you’ll travel a section of the original Route 66 and visit Seligman, a town full to the brim with Americana wares. Continuing, you’ll make your way towards hedonistic 'Sin City', which really has to be seen to be believed! Las Vegas is the fastest growing city in the United States and is 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 famous Las Vegas Strip and see first-hand the resort hotels that make this desert city tick. Vegas really 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 for you to enjoy. If you want to enjoy a couple of extra nights, please advise your Americas Specialist when booking your trip. This tour ends at our gateway hotel at approximately 17:00 hrs. We recommend booking post-tour accommodation if time allows. If you are planning to fly tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 21:00 hrs.

What's Included

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    All accommodation

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    We can include flights from the UK.  Please contact us for a quote.

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    3 breakfasts and 1 dinner

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    All transport and listed activities

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    Tour leader throughout

What's Not Included

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    Flights

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    Arrival & departure transfers

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    Travel insurance

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    Optional activities

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    Single accommodation (available on request)

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    Visas or vaccinations

Food

3 breakfasts and 1 dinner is included on this trip On hotel based tours, you will usually eat out in local restaurants. To help you budget for your meals on average hotel breakfasts cost from US$6-12, lunches from US$8-15 and dinners from US$13-30; this does not include alcoholic beverages. Wine costs approximately US$5 per glass and beer US$4 per bottle. Please also be aware that a tip of approximately 15%-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 to be 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. Please make sure we are aware of any special meal requirements before travelling. We will do all we can to accommodate for various dietary requirements but in certain parts of North America certain food types can be limited.  

Book with Confidence

  • icon
    Low Deposit

    Exodus requires a deposit of 20% to secure a place on this tour, and the final balance is not due till 70 days before departure..

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    Secure payments

    All payments to TourHub are deposited into an externally regulated Trust account.


Reviews

Read all 21 reviews
Western Explorer USA
A remarkable experience giving tasters of 5 quite unique National Parks. The group is small enough to give freedom to explore each area according to ability and fitness levels by ....more A remarkable experience giving tasters of 5 quite unique National Parks.

The group is small enough to give freedom to explore each area according to ability and fitness levels by oneself or in small subgroups.

A lot of travelling but the views are worth it.

Accommodation excellent although the facilities were not always used due to a packed timetable.

People need to be aware of early morning starts to make the most of the day if walking as we experienced unusually high temperatures at the end of the season with no rain.

There was sufficient freedom to choose whether to eat in the evenings with other members or in subgroups.

The included activities added to the experience and were well worth it.

Optional activities were available and wide ranging.

; ....less
A wonderful trip!
I travelled with my 23 yr old daughter and we had a great time. Lots of superlatives which have been covered by reviewers below, so I will not repeat ....more I travelled with my 23 yr old daughter and we had a great time.

Lots of superlatives which have been covered by reviewers below, so I will not repeat them, but suffice to say that this trip exceeded both our expectations in terms of the amazing variation in landscape in the iconic National Parks visited, and the diversity of activities - ranging from exciting hikes, to laying on the ground in Death Valley looking at the Night Sky.

Never a dull moment - and our guide inserted little surprises at regular intervals.

; ....less
The Wide Wild West by Mike Giles
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 ....more 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!'; ....less
NATIONAL PARKS OF THE WEST
I think it's a privilege to have had the opportunity to visit and hike in these breathtakingly beautiful and awe-inspiring locations. An amazing trip that I really can't recommend highly ....more I think it's a privilege to have had the opportunity to visit and hike in these breathtakingly beautiful and awe-inspiring locations.

An amazing trip that I really can't recommend highly enough.

; ....less
NATIONAL PARKS OF THE WEST
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 ....more 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.

; ....less
WESTERN EXPLORER
Ever changing scenery even made the travelling seem to pass by quicker than on other trips. A real variety of landscapes and colours with options for walking depending on individual ....more Ever changing scenery even made the travelling seem to pass by quicker than on other trips.

A real variety of landscapes and colours with options for walking depending on individual wishes.

All the scenery from the 'Westerns' and more.

Wherever we went the views were fantastic.

Hotels good and the outdoor lunches (and the evening barbecue) inspired by our tour guide were just right for the settings.

; ....less
NATIONAL PARKS OF THE WEST
A wonderful adventure through the parks, canyons and deserts of south west America with options for all levels of walking/hiking at most destinations. A wonderful adventure through the parks, canyons and deserts of south west America with options for all levels of walking/hiking at most destinations.

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NATIONAL PARKS OF THE WEST
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 ....more 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.

; ....less
NATIONAL PARKS OF THE WEST
This was an absolutely amazing holiday that met and exceeded my expectations! We went from one breathtaking moment to another everywhere we went. This was an absolutely amazing holiday that met and exceeded my expectations! We went from one breathtaking moment to another everywhere we went.

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The National Parks
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 ....more 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.

; ....less

Travel, Your Way

Good reasons for travelling privately

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    Personalise your trip

    Make changes to the itinerary, accommodation, or transport method

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    Increased safety during COVID

    Spend the majority of time amongst your group to reduce exposure to others

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    Travel more exclusively

    Your tour guide can focus all their attention on your group

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    Travel for a special occasion

    Celebrate an important event by only travelling with your friends or family

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Dates & Availability

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Wednesday Aug 25, 2021

Nights

11

Available

8

$4945.69

Monday Sep 20, 2021

Nights

11

Available

1

$5015.36

Saturday Oct 16, 2021

Nights

11

Available

8

$4945.69

Thursday Nov 11, 2021

Nights

11

Available

8

$4806.33

Sunday May 15, 2022

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11

Available

8

$5154.72

Sunday Jun 12, 2022

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11

Available

8

$5154.72

Sunday Jul 03, 2022

Nights

11

Available

8

$5154.72

Sunday Jul 31, 2022

Nights

11

Available

8

$5154.72

Sunday Aug 28, 2022

Nights

11

Available

8

$5154.72

Sunday Sep 18, 2022

Nights

11

Available

8

$5154.72

Sunday Oct 16, 2022

Nights

11

Available

8

$5154.72

Sunday Nov 13, 2022

Nights

11

Available

8

$4945.69