Natural Highlights of California

Start: Las Vegas Finish: San Francisco

Visiting: Las Vegas, Death Valley National Park, Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyon National Park, Yosemite National Park, San Francisco


Duration: 8 Nights

Physical rating: 3 - Average

Special diets catered: Vegetarians, Vegans

Tour Operator: G Adventures

Age range: You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.

Tour operated in: English


Prices From: $2904

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Tour Overview

Marvel at the natural splendor of California as you delve deep into its incredible national parks. Gaze up at 100-foot-tall sand dunes and the towering trees of Sequoia National Park. Be surprised by the abundance of life that flourishes amid the depths of Death Valley, spot glacial erratics in Yosemite Valley, and watch for endangered Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep roaming the Great Western Divide. Bookend the adventure amid the glitz of Las Vegas and the cultural vibrancy of San Francisco.

Highlights

  • icon Sequoia National Park Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Sequoia Parks Conservancy Stargazing
  • iconImmerse yourself in the stark beauty of Death Valley
  • icon Sequoia National Park Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Yosemite Naturalist Experience
  • iconImmerse yourself in the stark beauty of Death Valley, cross the stunning Sierra Nevada mountains, explore world-famous Yosemite National Park on a naturalist walk, marvel at ancient trees in Sequoia National Park, enjoy a full day in Kings Canyon National Park
  • icon cross the stunning Sierra Nevada mountains
  • icon explore world-famous Yosemite National Park on a naturalist walk
  • icon marvel at ancient trees in Sequoia National Park
  • icon enjoy a full day in Kings Canyon National Park

Itinerary

Map Image
icon Day 1: Las Vegas

Location: Las Vegas

Accommodation: Golden Nugget Las Vegas - Gold Tower

Arrive at any time.

There are no planned activities today until the evening welcome meeting, so check out the strip or get tickets to a show for this evening.

ACTIVITY: The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. Check for the meeting time on the welcome note at the hotel. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.

icon Day 2: Las Vegas/Death Valley National Park

Location: Las Vegas

Meals: BREAKFAST

Enjoy a scenic drive through the desert to Death Valley National Park—the lowest, hottest, and driest place in North America. Experience the extremes of this landscape as you pass through the multi-hued badlands of Twenty Mule Team Canyon, take a break to listen to the eroded rock salt at the craggy Devils Golf Course, and descend into Badwater Basin, cradled 282 feet below sea level. Cap off the day at Zabriskie Point as the sun sets over the distinctive Furnace Creek formation.

Drive through the spectacular landscape of Death Valley. Take in the views of diverse geological features as far as the eye can see. Drive through Twenty Mule Team Canyon to see the different shades of the badlands. Continue to the Devils Golf Course, get out to see and hear the eroded rock salt, so craggy "only the devil could play golf on such rough links". Then descend into Badwater Basin, the lowest, hottest, driest point in North America that sits 282 feet below sea level. Continue to the Furnace Creek Visitor Center to get out of the sun and get for a further look into this unique park. Once the heat of the day has passed, head to the most photographed spot in the park, Zabriskie Point for sunset.

Additional Information: Expect high temperatures of 100°F to over 120°F (38°C to over 49°C). Drink plenty of water and carry extra supplies. Avoid hiking at mid-day.

TRANSPORT: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

ACTIVITY: The Death Valley is one of America’s most extreme locations – from sand dunes and desert, to badlands, towering peaks, and a basin that actually registers below sea-level, this is sure to be an unforgettable stop. Hottest. Driest. Lowest. There’s a bit of everything here on the border of California and Nevada.

icon Day 3: Death Valley National Park/Sequoia National Park

Location: Death Valley National Park

Meals: BREAKFAST

Begin the day searching for animal tracks amid the otherworldly landscape of Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, where shifting sands soar up to 100 feet high. Then discover Father Crowley Vista Point, where an easy hike offers an epic payoff: a sweeping view over Rainbow Canyon and Panamint Valley. Keep an eye out for fighter jets practicing between the cliffs. Continue around the Sierra Nevada mountains to California’s Sequoia National Park.

TRANSPORT: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

ACTIVITY: Explore the otherworldly landscape of one of America's largest National Parks. The sand dunes here soar up to 100 feet tall, and have no marked trails due to the shifting sands. Keep a keen eye out for animal tracks along the dunes as well, which show just how full of life this seemingly desolate place can be.

ACTIVITY: One of Death Valley's best vantage points, this quick there-and-back trail brings you to a sweeping view of the valley floor, with views of Rainbow Canyon below. The local air force base often sends jets to practice flying through what is colloquially known as "Star Wars Canyon" so keep an ear out for potential fly bys!

icon Day 4: Sequoia National Park

Location: Sequoia National Park

Meals: BREAKFAST

Enjoy a full day to explore the legendary trees of Sequoia National Park. Walk in the shadow of its formidable giants—including General Sherman, the planet’s largest known living single-stem tree—alongside a naturalist from Sequoia Parks Conservancy. On an afternoon hike along Big Tree Trail, hear how, in 1916, National Geographic deeded tracts of giant trees here to the National Parks Service for safekeeping. This evening, return to the park for an evening of stargazing with a local expert; or, if skies are cloudy, set out on a nighttime walk to witness nocturnal life.

Additional Information: In cases where the night sky is cloudy, we will replace the star gazing activity with a nighttime nature walk in the National Park. Embark on a one-mile walk to experience the dramatic changes of the soundscapes and nocturnal biodiversity of the area. This engaging walk will awaken awareness and provide an in-depth experience of Sequoia’s nocturnal plants and animals.

ACTIVITY: Walk through California’s Sequoia National Park with a naturalist from Sequoia Parks Conservancy. Over 2.5 hours, learn about these impressive giant trees – some so big, they have names. The one called General Sherman is the largest known living single-stem tree on the planet. Then head to Big Tree Trail for an afternoon hike. In 1916, National Geographic deeded tracts of giant trees in the heart of the park to the National Parks Service for safekeeping. Keep your eyes on the lookout for the plaque commemorating the important work the National Geographic Society has done in protecting this treasure of a national park.

ACTIVITY: The night sky above Sequoia National Park offers one of California’s most dazzling opportunities for stargazing, due to minimal light pollution and a higher altitude. Peer upward alongside an astronomy expert from the park who’ll discuss the constellations, planets, and stars that fill the twinkling sky. (Weather permitting, of course.) G. H. Grovesnor, first full-time editor of National Geographic magazine, first fell in love with national parks while observing the stars here in Sequoia NP. Thanks to his subsequent involvement in the creation of the National Park Service in 1916, we’re still able today to enjoy one of the most impressive dark skies above the Sierra.

icon Day 5: Sequoia National Park/Kings Canyon National Park

Location: Sequoia National Park

Meals: BREAKFAST

Embark on a spectacular drive, watching as the scenery changes from towering sequoias to one of the deepest canyons in the United States. On a journey from Grant Grove to Cedar Grove, be awed by the glacially carved Kings Canyon, and keep an eye out for the endangered Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep and other majestic wildlife.

TRANSPORT: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

ACTIVITY: Drive deep into the Sierra Nevada mountains and experience the natural splendour of Kings Canyon National Park. Marvel at the surrounding landscape as the ancient Redwood forests make way for the towering stone peaks and epic valleys as far as the eye can see. Get a closer look at the park with a variety of hikes and lookouts during this stop.

icon Day 6: Kings Canyon National Park/Yosemite National Park

Location: Kings Canyon National Park

Accommodation: The Pines Resort

Meals: BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER

Head north through the Sierras to the south entrance of Yosemite National Park, a natural wonderland of picturesque valleys and ancient granite formations. Stop at the trailhead to Sentinel Dome and climb to the pinnacle for a picnic lunch and breathtaking 360-degree views of Half Dome, El Capitan, and Yosemite Falls. Or, go on a hike in the old-growth forest of Mariposa Grove. Continue to Glacier Point for another dramatic vista—and a closer view at iconic Half Dome. Later enjoy a viewing of Free Solo, a National Geographic film based on climber Alex Honnold and his quest to ascend El Capitan without ropes or a safety net.

Additional Information: Please note: Glacier Point Road is closed in the winter and has varying opening dates based on snowfall. When Glacier Point Road is closed, we will substitute with a hike in the old growth forest of Mariposa Grove: Stop Mariposa Grove, the largest old growth forest in the park to enjoy picnic lunch and a hike amongst these magnificent trees. Continue into the park to Tunnel View to get your first sight of Half Dome, one of the most iconic views in the park.

TRANSPORT: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

ACTIVITY: Picturesque valleys, vast wilderness, powerful waterfalls, elusive wildlife, ancient sequoias and more than 16 types of granite make up this internationally recognized national park. Hike the trails, get up close to ancient rock formations and take panoramic photos of this gorgeous landscape. Keep an eye out for black bears, deer, and coyotes.

ACTIVITY: This documentary follows the incredible world-first free solo (without ropes or safety features) of Yosemite's iconic El Capitan climbing wall. Watch as free climber Alex Honnold grapples with the route, his body and his mind to conquer this 7500 foot rock face.

icon Day 7: Yosemite National Park

Location: Yosemite National Park

Accommodation: The Pines Resort

Meals: BREAKFAST

This morning, join a Yosemite Conservancy naturalist on a guided excursion around the park, gaining an insider’s perspective on the human, natural, and geological history of the region. Hike through the heart of Yosemite while hearing about its flora and fauna, and learn how this rugged backcountry became the U.S.’s first protected state park in 1864—and, with the help of John Muir, a national park in 1890. Enjoy the rest of the day on your own; choose your own adventure amid majestic waterfalls, crystal-clear lakes, lush meadows, and pristine groves. Keep an eye out for glacial erratics, rock climbers, and a diversity of wildlife. Opt to visit the Ansel Adams Studio or relax by the river with Half Dome as the backdrop.

Carved by glaciers, Yosemite National Park became the first protected state park in the US in 1864. It took until 1890 to gain National Park status, with the work of John Muir. Though 95% of the park is backcountry, there is still plenty to explore via hikes or the shuttle system. Spend the day hiking amongst Giant Sequoias, granite cliffs, and rushing waterfalls and understand why around 4 million people come to the park each year.

TRANSPORT: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

ACTIVITY: Venture out into Yosemite National Park for a half-day excursion led by a Yosemite Conservancy naturalist-guide. They'll share their expert knowledge on the human history of the park, from American Indian traditions to legendary characters. They will also provide an insider's perspective on the park's most fascinating sites and share details of the flora, fauna and geological history of the area. Take in the breathtaking views with every step as you hike through this glacial valley, passing cliffs, waterfalls, and endless lush, dense forest along the way.

FREE TIME: Take advantage of a free afternoon in this stunning natural environment.

TRANSPORT: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

icon Day 8: Yosemite National Park/San Francisco

Location: Yosemite National Park

Accommodation: Le Meridien San Francisco

Meals: BREAKFAST

Pass through the Central Valley of California, stopping at a local farm stand to sample some of the region's best produce. Drive over the Bay Bridge on the way into one of America's most vibrant cities, San Francisco. Settle into the hotel before heading out on a CEO-led guided driving tour of the city. Take in the epic view from atop Twin Peaks, walk across a portion of the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge, and stroll past the Painted Ladies—a “postcard row” of Victorian houses that stand as symbols of the city. This evening, consider joining an optional sunset sail in the San Francisco Bay, departing from Fisherman’s Wharf to glide past notorious Alcatraz Island and underneath the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge.

TRANSPORT: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

ACTIVITY: Join your CEO for a driving tour through some of San Francisco's most iconic highlights. Take in the 360 degree view from the top of Twin Peaks, before driving through Golden Gate Park en route to Golden Gate Bridge. Have the opportunity to get out and walk across portion of the Golden Gate Bridge, for views of the city skyline in one direction and the Pacific Ocean in the other. Continue past the Palace of Fine Arts before getting out by historic Alamo Square to take a short walk to see the Painted Ladies, Victorian houses that make up "postcard row". Continue past Union Square en route to our hotel.

FREE TIME: AFTERNOON Enjoy free time to discover San Fran!

icon Day 9: San Francisco

Location: San Francisco

Meals: BREAKFAST

Depart at any time.

ACTIVITY: Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.

What's Included

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    Accommodation

    Hotels (8 nts).

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    Meals

    8 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

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    Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Sequoia Parks Conservancy Stargazing, Sequoia National Park

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    Yosemite National Park visit

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    Kings Canyon National Park visit

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    All national park fees

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    All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

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    Death Valley National Park visit

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    Sequoia National Park visit

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    Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Sequoia National Park Naturalist Hike, Sequoia National Park Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Sequoia Parks Conservancy Stargazing, Sequoia National Park Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Yosemite Naturalist Experience, Yosemite National Park

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    Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Yosemite Naturalist Experience, Yosemite National Park. All national park fees. Death Valley National Park visit. Sequoia National Park visit. Kings Canyon National Park visit. Yosemite National Park visit. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

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    Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Sequoia National Park Naturalist Hike, Sequoia National Park

Meals Included

8 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Accommodation

Hotels (8 nts).

Transport

Air-conditioned private vehicle, hiking, walking.

Book with Confidence

  • icon
    Low Deposit

    G Adventures requires a deposit of 200 GBP to secure a place on this tour, and the final balance is not due till 60 days before departure..

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    Secure payments

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


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Dates & Availability

Select departure month

Tuesday Aug 31, 2021

Nights

8

Available

1

$3180.32

Friday Sep 17, 2021

Nights

8

Available

9

$3180.32

Monday Oct 04, 2021

Nights

8

$3041.99

Tuesday May 03, 2022

Nights

8

Available

13

$2903.65

Sunday May 22, 2022

Nights

8

Available

13

$2903.65

Wednesday Jun 08, 2022

Nights

8

Available

8

$2903.65

Saturday Jun 25, 2022

Nights

8

Available

10

$2903.65

Tuesday Jul 12, 2022

Nights

8

Available

13

$3041.99

Sunday Aug 14, 2022

Nights

8

Available

13

$3180.32

Friday Sep 16, 2022

Nights

8

Available

9

$3180.32

Monday Oct 03, 2022

Nights

8

Available

13

$3041.99