Antarctica & Arctic
Enjoy the heart of America's western National Parks on this two week adventure. Marvel at Yosemite's majestic waterfalls, hike Zion's breathtaking Angel's Landing, explore Monument Valley and visit the awe inspiring Grand Canyon National Park.
Destinations > USA > Western Dream
10 nights camping with equipment (except sleeping bag) + 2 hotel nights in 3 star twin share accommodation, all transportation by private vehicle, all meals whilst camping included, services of a professional tour leader and free wi-fi available in your vehicle.
13 & 26 May; 11 Jul; 28 Aug; 12 Sep '18
Our most popular itinerary traverses the varied wilderness of the west coast of America, experiencing nature's transformation from pristine alpine forests to expansive arid deserts. Marvel at Yosemite's granite cliffs, the spectacular Antelope Slot Canyon and explore Zion and Bryce Canyon's winding trails and discover the hidden secrets of the Navajo nation on an included back roads tour of Monument Valley. With a visit to the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon, the Western Dream enjoys the finest national parks and adventurous activities to make this one amazing west coast American holiday.
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Experience the Old West in the heart of the Navajo Nation, Monument Valley a sacred land to those who call it home.
Traverse a high plateau to Bryce Canyon National Park. "Mysterious", "breath-taking" and "out of this world", are only a few of the descriptions offered by past visitors to describe this fascinating natural amphitheatre.
Explore the city of San Francisco and walk over the Golden Gate Bridge.
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Enjoy a free day in the desert neon city of Las Vegas before your epic adventure begins. Take a stroll along the Strip to discover the hotels and casinos that make this desert city tick. A welcome meeting will be held at approximately 18:00 hrs in the evening with free time afterwards to explore the neon cityscape.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Paid locally
Leaving the desert neon city of Las Vegas, you make your way towards the Grand Canyon National Park stopping en route for a view of the mighty Hoover Dam and the quirky Route 66 town of Seligman. You will never forget the moment you first lay eyes on the epic Grand Canyon, 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 kilometres (277 miles) long, up to 29 kilometres (18 miles) wide and over 1.6 kilometres (1 mile) deep. Snaking through the canyon floor is the mighty Colorado River, which runs 2330 kilometres (1450 miles) through seven US states and two Mexican states.
In your free time, we highly recommend a scenic helicopter flight over the canyon, which offers perspectives that you cannot see by 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 easy 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 natural wonders.
See day 2 itinerary.
Experience the Old West in the heart of the Navajo Nation, Monument Valley a sacred land to those who call it home. The red sandstone monoliths have been the backdrop to countless 'westerns' featuring cowboys riding off into the sunset. Here you'll explore the incredible array of rock formations on an included guided back roads tour and learn the magic and myth of the rich Native American culture. Your camp is also on the Navajo Tribal Lands of Monument Valley and is a true photographer's paradise with ample time to relax and view the valley's surreal sunset.
Visit Horseshoe Bend for that classic Colorado River view en route to beautiful Lake Powell. Lake Powell has a shoreline that stretches longer than the western coast of the USA! Many say that Glen Canyon was even more spectacular than the Grand Canyon before the 152 metre (500 feet) tall dam was built. Now the lake is a haven for water sports enthusiasts or for people just relaxing in one of the many sandstone coves. Included is a Navajo guided visit to the stunning Antelope Slot Canyon which in Navajo language means 'the place where water runs through rocks'. Your guide will show you how flash floods have carved and sculpted this beautiful area. End this great day with a swim in the afternoon sunshine, before spending an evening camped out under the desert stars.
This morning you traverse a high plateau to Bryce Canyon National Park. "Mysterious", "breath-taking" and "out of this world", are only a few of the descriptions offered by past visitors to describe this fascinating natural amphitheatre of pink, orange and white sandstone spires, known locally as 'hoodoos'. The Navajo trail will enable you to hike right in amongst these unique rock formations. Some may prefer to hike on the Queen's Garden trail or remain on the rim and photograph the ever-changing shadows and hues as the sun makes its way across the sky. A short drive takes you to your wonderful campsite at nearby Kodachrome Basin State Park.
Next up is Zion National Park with its incredible mountains and beautiful valleys stretching as far as the eye can see. Some of the best hiking in this desert terrain of southwest USA can be found in and around the fertile Virgin River as it meanders below massive, cathedral-like sandstone walls. Warm up your legs by taking a short hike from the valley floor to view the Lower Emerald pool before continuing on to the sparkling Upper Emerald pools, passing waterfalls along the way to Zion's "beach."
If you're feeling ambitious, enjoy the park's more challenging option and ascend 760 metres (2500 feet) to experience unbeatable panoramic views from the top of Angel's Landing. After a beautiful but strenuous hike along the knife-edge ridgeline you'll be rewarded with one of the most breath-taking and powerful panoramas you are ever likely to cast your eye upon. If weather conditions permit, you may choose to hike deep into the Zion Narrows.
See day 7 itinerary.
Today you make your way to one of the hottest, driest and lowest places on earth, Death Valley. Located in Eastern California's Mojave Desert, this arid area has only 5cm of rainfall each year and offers some incredible vistas and natural formations. Despite its morbid name, a great diversity of life survives in Death Valley but with temperatures regularly reaching above 40 degrees, you'll be glad your hotel has air conditioning!
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. The famous sites situated along these trails include Yosemite Falls, Nevada Falls, Vernal Falls, Mirror Lake and Half Dome. The views are breathtaking from every vantage point and the granite formations of Half Dome, El Capitan and Cathedral Rocks are sure to be forever etched on your mind. After a visit to see the amazing giant sequoia trees, Yosemite Valley beckons, here you may cycle, take a dip in the Merced River or wander the beautiful meadows.
See day 10 itinerary.
Leaving Yosemite's towering sequoias behind, you make your way towards `The City by the Bay' where your tour comes to a close, but not before an orientation tour around the city including the Haight-Ashbury area with its hippy vibes and the chance to walk across the famous Golden Gate Bridge. Another `must do' in San Francisco is the offshore prison of Alcatraz, here you can learn all about the infamous inmates and their failed escape attempts. The tour will end this afternoon at our gateway hotel at approximately 17:00 hrs.
We can book you post-tour accommodation at our gateway hotel if required. If you are planning to fly tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 21:00 hrs.
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