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National Parks Explorer

Overview

America’s Southwest is a mouthwatering concentration of mesmerizing and diverse scenery – some of the world’s finest! – and our mission on this tour is to ensure you see as much of it as possible. The vibrancy of Los Angeles and cosmopolitan San Francisco top and tail this journey of supreme beauty on a vast scale. Your tour is interspersed with atmospheric western towns that conjure up powerful images of a captivating Wild West heritage, topped off with an unforgettable stay in glitzy Las Vegas.

What's included

• 17 nights’ accommodation
• Transportation by air-conditioned vehicle
• Entrance to the following parks & sites:
• Joshua Tree National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Monument Valley, Dead Horse Point State Park, Arches National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Craters of the Moon National Monument, Malad Gorge, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion Canyon National Park, Valley of Fire State Park, Death Valley National Park, Yosemite National Park
• Los Angeles sightseeing tour
• Salt Lake City sightseeing tour and visit to the Great Salt Lake
• Sightseeing tour of San Francisco and visit to Sausalito
• Tour director throughout

Itinerary

Day 1 - Los Angeles

Arriving at Los Angeles airport, you will make your way independently to your hotel in the LAX area where you will meet your tour director. Once you have checked into your hotel room, you will be free to spend the rest of your evening at leisure.

Day 2 - Los Angeles

Your morning sightseeing tour takes you on a journey of Los Angeles’ diverse neighbourhoods: exclusive Santa Monica and Beverley Hills and then onto Hollywood boulevard and the legendary Grauman’s Chinese Theatre where you will view the handprints and footprints of the famous stars. Your sightseeing culminates in the downtown area where you will see the business district and the Mexican quarter. An afternoon at leisure gives you ample opportunity to take in the sights at your own pace or alternatively take an optional excursion to Universal Studios in Hollywood.

Day 3 - Los Angeles to Scottsdale

A stop at glamorous Palm Springs is followed by a visit to the extraordinary Joshua Tree National Park, named after the twisted, spiky yucca plants that grow in wild abundance. This afternoon’s journey takes you to the desert resort of Scottsdale for an overnight stay.

Day 4 - Scottsdale to Grand Canyon

Your journey takes you north through the Sonoran Desert to the town of Sedona, tucked away with a backdrop of dramatic red rock scenery. With time to browse around, your spectacular drive this afternoon through Oak Creek Canyon prepares you for the remarkable Grand Canyon which awaits at journey’s end. Enjoy the various lookout points located along the South Rim before arriving at your overnight accommodation located within Grand Canyon National Park.

Day 5 - Grand Canyon to Page

Enjoy an unforgettable walk along the South Rim and take in the views of one of our planet’s most incredible sights. The mile-deep canyon with its tapestry of changing colours and eerie shapes is the spectacular result of millions of years’ wind and water erosion relentlessly shaped by the Colorado River below. This afternoon, at the entrance to the town of Page, visit the mighty Glen Canyon Dam and take in the contrasting colours of the crystal blue waters of stunning Lake Powell lapping against the flamboyant red hues of the surrounding rock.

Day 6 - Page to Moab

This morning we’ll head for Monument Valley, home to the Navajo Nation. With its coloured buttes and mesas that dominate the drifting sands below, Monument Valley has provided the backdrop to many a western over the years including ‘Stagecoach’, and more recently, ‘Back to the Future III’. To really get under the skin of Monument Valley and in among the imposing monoliths there will be an optional jeep tour with the Navajos and a specialty lunch. After a stop at Dead Horse Point, this afternoon’s journey takes you to the small, pretty town of Moab for an overnight stay.

Day 7 - Moab to Salt Lake City

There is more stunning scenery to come with a morning visit to the red rock wonderland of Arches National Park, with over 2,000 wind-eroded natural stone arches, towering pinnacles, massive fins and giant balanced rocks. This afternoon we replace the red rock desert landscape with the mountain vistas and beautiful Aspen forests of Fishlake National Forest. Continue for an overnight stay at Utah’s State Capital, Salt Lake City, beautifully set at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains.

Day 8 - Salt Lake City to Jackson

Your morning sightseeing tour includes a visit to Temple Square to view the splendour of the Mormon Temple from the outside and a stop to view the State Capitol building. Your journey takes you to the state of Wyoming and the western boardwalk town of Jackson.

Day 9 - Jackson to West Yellowstone

Sightseeing in two national parks today begins with a visit to Grand Teton National Park and a stop at Jenny Lake and the Chapel of the Transfiguration in the historic district. Make sure you have your cameras ready for a spectacular shot of the Teton peaks towering over 7,000 feet above the valley floor. You will then enter Yellowstone National Park, established as America’s first national park in 1872. Check in to your hotel after exploring this magnificent park for the first of a two-night stay.

Day 10 - West Yellowstone

A full day of stunning sightseeing packs in the magnificent sight of the waterfalls in the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, the extraordinary geological marvels of Mammoth Hot Springs, Turquoise Pool and you may get to see the eruption of Old Faithful, the most famous of the parks 300 geysers. Continue to Cody, named after Will Frederick Cody and otherwise known as Buffalo Bill who founded the town in 1896. Return to West Yellowstone for your final night.

Day 11 - West Yellowstone to Twin Falls

We head into the state of Idaho where your first stop for lunch (on your own) is at Idaho Falls. A visit is made to Craters of the Moon National Monument and its unique volcanic features of lava flow, scattered islands of cinder cones, spatter cones and sagebrush. A stop at Malad River Canyon allows a spectacular view of the gorge and you can also take a short hike to discover fingers of the gorge, where crystal clear springs flow into beautiful ponds and streams. Overnight in nearby Twin Falls.

Day 12 - Twin Falls to Salt Lake City

Morning drive to Salt Lake City. On the way you will make a stop at the Great Salt Lake, the largest salt lake in the western hemisphere. After lunch (on your own) you will continue your tour of Salt Lake City which takes you through the University of Utah, site of the 2002 Winter Olympic Village. Heritage Park is where you will see the ‘This Is The Place’ monument, which marks the end of the 1,300-mile trek across the plains by the Mormon pioneers.

Day 13 - Salt Lake City to Bryce

Journey to southern Utah to the Bryce Canyon area where you will spend the night.

Day 14 - Bryce to Las Vegas

This morning visit Bryce Canyon, one of the most unusual and intriguing of all the national parks with its fanciful collection of delicate, ornamental hoodoo spires rising out of vast natural amphitheatres. The afternoon takes you to your second national park of the day and also one of the prettiest – Zion, a tantalising combination of striking views, soaring monoliths, massive multi-hued sandstone cliffs and emerald pools. Continue to the town of St George, founded by a group of Mormon settlers, before heading to the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas for two nights.

Day 15 - Las Vegas

This morning you will explore Nevada’s first state park, Valley of Fire, so named because the brilliant formations of eroded sandstone and sand dunes – which are more than 150 million years old – often appear to be on fire when reflecting the sun's rays. With an afternoon and evening at leisure you are free to revel in the extravagance that is Las Vegas.

Day 16 - Las Vegas to Mammoth Lakes

Head across the state line into California where you will descend 320 feet below sea level to Death Valley. An expanse of extremes, Death Valley is the lowest, hottest and driest area within the USA. You will discover Badwater Point, the lowest spot in the valley, Furnace Creek, and the Stovepipe sand dunes before continuing to Mammoth Lakes for the night.

Day 17 - Mammoth Lakes to San Francisco

We head to one of America’s most beautiful national parks – Yosemite. An enchanting treat for both eye and camera, waterfalls, deep valleys, wilderness and ancient giant sequoias all vie for your attention in the 1,200 square miles of this imposing park. On your tour discover Half Dome, Yosemite Valley, Bridalveil Falls and Yosemite Falls. San Francisco welcomes you at the end of the day for the final night of your tour.

Day 18 - San Francisco & End of Tour

A morning sightseeing tour of San Francisco is a fitting finale to conclude your scenic journey through America’s stunning southwest. One of the most photographed, filmed and documented cities in the world, San Francisco is a enticing blend of history and modern sophistication. You will see the business district, Union Square and Chinatown before crossing the world-renowned Golden Gate Bridge to the picturesque town of Sausalito across the bay. Make your way back to the airport or alternatively extend your stay with additional nights in San Francisco.

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Map

Dates

2016

May                             31

Jul                               12 (Sold Out)

Aug                             2

Sep                             6 (Sold Out)

May 31 Los Angeles
July 12 Los Angeles
August 2 Los Angeles
September 6 Los Angeles

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At a glance


  • Child age: 11 years
  • 17 nights’ accommodation
  • Tour Director throughout
  • Visits to Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks
  • Does not include flights

Trusted travel partner


Winner of British Travel Awards 2016

Silver award for Best Holiday Company to Canada (Large)


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We are members of ATOL, ABTA and IATA.

Why book with American Affair


  • Expert Knowledge
  • 20 Years Travel Experience
  • ATOL & IATA Protected
  • Tailor Made Holidays

from £1,815 per person

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At a glance


  • Child age: 11 years
  • 17 nights’ accommodation
  • Tour Director throughout
  • Visits to Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks
  • Does not include flights

Trusted travel partner


Winner of British Travel Awards 2016

Silver award for Best Holiday Company to Canada (Large)


Fully Protected

We are members of ATOL, ABTA and IATA.

Why book with American Affair


  • Expert Knowledge
  • 20 Years Travel Experience
  • ATOL & IATA Protected
  • Tailor Made Holidays

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American Affair