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.
a Destinations d > Texas & South West > Western Dream
10 nights camping with equipment (except sleeping bag) + 2 hotel nights in 3 star twin share accommodation, all transportation by private vehicle and 4WD in Monument Valley, 10 breakfasts, 12 lunches & 9 dinners, services of a professional Grand American Adventures tour leader and free wi-fi available in your vehicle.
Select departures 12 Jul - 23 Sep 2017
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.
Leaving vibrant Las Vegas, make your way towards the Grand Canyon National Park stopping en route for a view of the mighty Hoover Dam and the unique Route 66 town of Seligman. The incredible spectacle that is the Grand Canyon 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 277 miles (445km) long, up to 18 miles (29km) wide and over one mile (1.6 km) deep. Snaking through the canyon floor is the Colorado River, which runs 1450 miles (2330 km) 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 cannot be seen 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.
Discover sacred land in the heart of the Navajo Nation, Monument Valley. 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 photographer's paradise with ample time to relax and view the valley's surreal sunset. This is set to be one of the highlights of your American adventure, there's no doubt about that!
Visit Horseshoe Bend for that classic Colorado River view en route to beautiful Lake Powell. Located on the border of Utah and Arizona, created by the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River, 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 500 ft. tall dam was built. Now the lake is a haven for water sports enthusiasts and a place for people to relax in one of the many sandstone coves. A Navajo guided visit is included 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 depending on what you finish at Antelope Canyon, before spending an evening camped out under the desert stars.
This morning you traverse a high plateau to Bryce Canyon National Park. "Mysterious", "breathtaking" 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. There's variety of scenic viewpoints and trails that range from easy to moderate in difficulty. The Navajo Trail will enable you to hike in amongst these unique rock formations. You may prefer to hike on the Queen's Garden Trail or to 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 and ever so colourful 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. 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 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 Pools 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 ft.) to experience unbeatable 360 degree 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 are ever likely to cast your eye upon. If weather conditions permit, you may choose to hike deep into the Zion Narrows for a completely new perspective.
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 topping 40 degrees plus, 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 ft. 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 and Mirror Lake. 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 as some of the most beautiful scenery you've ever seen. After a visit to see the amazing giant Sequoia Trees, Yosemite Valley beckons. Here you can cycle, take a dip in the Merced River or wander the lush meadows.
Leaving Yosemite's towering Sequoias behind, make your way towards the 'City by the Bay' where your tour comes to a close. That's 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. Completed in 1937, this iconic suspension bridge stretches for 1.7 miles (2.7km) and is one of the most photographed bridges in the world. Another 'must do' in San Francisco is the offshore prison of Alcatraz where you can learn all about the infamous inmates and their failed escape attempts. To do this you'll need to book directly with Alcatraz Cruises in advance for the day after your tour finishes.
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.
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