Explore the contrast of country and Vegas, on this nine-day trip through California and Nevada

What do you get when you combine the steep hills of San Francisco, a Yosemite hike, a stroll into one of the hottest places on earth and a trip to the Strip? A diverse – and excellent – adventure! Start with a guided tour of the City by the Bay, travel through California’s wine country and sample fine wines and cheese (yes please), crane your neck beneath the tallest trees on earth in the Sequoia National Park, explore Death Valley’s nooks and crannies and say hello to Vegas, baby! Covering forests, canyons, deserts and Sin City, fall in love with this unique and exciting part of the USA.


Start
San Francisco, United States
Finish
Las Vegas, United States
Country
United States
Style
Comfort
Theme
Explorer
Code
SSKG
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 13

Why we love this trip

  • Yosemite National Park feels like something out of the film, The Land Before Time. While other tour groups breeze through in a day, spend two nights in the park - allowing for a full day of hiking and exploring

  • For many, Death Valley conjures up images of flat, barren wastelands. Be surprised by diverse landscapes of sand dunes, water-sculpted canyons, extinct volcanic craters and in the spring, fields of wildflowers

  • Release your inner sommelier during a tasting in the famous wine region of the Sonoma Valley. For something a little different, visit the nearby Jack London State Historic Park, which celebrates the life and home of the legendary writer among stunning scenery

  • If you love trees (and who doesn't), there's no better place to see them than in Sequoia National Park. Feel small beneath the ancient redwoods and sequoias, which are as tall as skyscrapers and as wide as city streets

  • Enjoy a free day to lose yourself among the bright desert lights of Las Vegas. This is a great way to end your adventure. Remember, what happens in Vegas...

Is this trip right for you?

  • Death Valley in the summer is extremely hot and dry. It does hold the record as the hottest place on earth after all. Hiking at this time of year isn't recommended. Although our vans do have air conditioning, it has to work pretty hard to keep a full group cool so expect to be hot. At other times of the year, it might be quite cold, especially at night. Please consider the season and research the weather conditions to determine the best time to travel for you. Remember to come prepared with adequate clothing.

  • The USA is a big country. Distances between destinations may be longer than what you're used to, especially if you're coming from Europe. There are some long days of driving, so expect to spend a lot of time in the van. Conditions can feel a little cramped, but the passing scenery and your new friends in the van will keep you occupied.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Welcome to the San Francisco, USA. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so ensure you bring these details to provide to your leader. If you're going to be late, please inform hotel reception. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time for today's welcome meeting, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. This evening head out with the group on an Urban Adventures tour, which includes a guided walk through San Francisco's famous Chinatown district and dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • San Francisco Dinner Urban Adventure
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
Notes: As there's very little time spent in San Francisco on this trip, we recommend you arrive a few days early to see the sights. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). Consider doing our one-day sightseeing tours of San Francisco: urbanadventures.com.

This trip doesn't allow time for a visit to Alcatraz, so you'll need to make your own arrangements if you want to see the island prison. Tickets must be booked in advance, as they sell out quickly and numbers are limited. You can make your reservations online at alcatrazcruises.com or by calling +1415 981 7625 between the hours of 8 am and 7 pm, Pacific Standard Time (USA). We recommend reserving your tickets for the day before the tour commences.
This morning hit the road out of San Francisco and drive north to the beautiful Sonoma Valley wine region. The small town of Sonoma was the site of the rebellion, which paved the way for California's independence from Mexico. Enjoy lunch, a wine tasting and an optional winery tour at a local vineyard. Explore the historic buildings and scenic trails of nearby Jack London State Park - the area the famous writer and adventurer once called home. Spend the second night of the trip in Sonoma.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jack London State Historic Park Entrance
  • Sonoma Wine Tasting
Optional Activities
  • Jack London Cottage - USD4
  • Sonoma Winery tour - USD10
Meals Included
  • Lunch
Today is a long day of driving (approximately seven hours), as you head east to Yosemite National Park where you'll spend the next two nights. Featuring sequoia forests, granite cliff faces and waterfalls, the scenery in this World Heritage-listed park is amazing to explore.
Accommodation
  • Motel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Yosemite National Park
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Enjoy a free day to explore Yosemite National Park. There are plenty of hikes to do, each varying in difficulty. Perhaps take a 4-5 hour hike to the base of Nevada Fall or a short and easy walk to the serene Mirror Lake. Keep an eye out for squirrels (and perhaps even a bear) along the way. You might like to hire a bike and cycle around Yosemite Valley, stopping by the park's museum, photo gallery, shops and restaurants on the way. In the heat of summer, float down the Merced River on a raft and enjoy a few drinks at the local cafe.
Accommodation
  • Motel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Cycling in Yosemite Valley - USD12
  • Yosemite National Park Hikes - Free
  • Yosemite Raft Rental (seasonal) - USD30
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Continue driving through national parkland today, on your way south to Sequoia National Park. Today is a long day of driving (8-9 hours in total), but the spectacular scenery will keep you distracted. Feel small as you explore the Giant Forest of sequoias and redwoods, which contains approximately half of the planet's largest trees. The General Sherman tree is not only the largest living tree in the world, but also the largest living organism.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sequoia National Park
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Leave the forest for the desert today as you drive south to Death Valley (approximately six hours). On our first night here we stay in the town of Lone Pine, not far from the entrance to Death Valley. Here there's the option to visit the Museum of Western Film History, which celebrates the many movies that have been filmed in the area, such as Iron Man, Django Unchained, How The West Was Won, and True Grit.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Museum of Western Film History - USD5
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning we drive the short distance into Death Valley National Park. Death Valley National Park is a geologically rich area, featuring huge sand dunes, canyons, sculpted rocks, valleys and volcanic craters. Elevations fluctuate from 85 metres below sea level near Badwater Point (the lowest point in the USA) to 3756 metres above sea level at Telescope Peak. Death Valley is extremely hot and dry, so pack plenty of water. Perhaps hike up to Dante's View for amazing vistas over the valley. Check out Ubehebe Crater or find a shady trail through Mosaic Canyon. You might like to take a guided historical tour of Scotty's Castle, named after Walter Scott, or brave the heat of the Badlands. 
After exploring the park, we drive out the other side of Death Valley and spend the night on the Nevada side.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Death Valley National Park
Optional Activities
  • Death Valley National Park Hikes (seasonal) - Free
  • Scotty's Castle Tour - USD15
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
It's a short three-hour drive through Nevada today, to the glitzy desert city of Las Vegas. This city may be the gambling capital of the world, but if this isn't your thing there's a lot more to do in town. Wander along the Strip past impersonators, billboards and hotels, checking out the Bellagio fountain show. Head to a rooftop amusement park, hit the chain stores or lose all sense of time exploring the gaudy interiors of The Venetian, Caesars Palace and New York-New York hotels. In the evening, join up with the group for an included buffet dinner, Vegas style. If you're up for it, see an after dinner show or hit up a nightclub.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Las Vegas Go-Karts - USD25
  • Las Vegas Helicopter Strip Tour - USD110
  • Las Vegas Limo (per group) - USD250
  • Roller Coaster - Las Vegas - USD14
Meals Included
  • Dinner
There are no activities planned for today and you're able to depart the accommodation at any time after breakfast. As there's a great deal to do in Las Vegas, we recommend staying a few extra days to make the most of this exciting city. If you need help booking extra accommodation, our reservations team will be happy to assist (subject to availability). If you do decide to stay on, perhaps take a helicopter trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon. The trip includes champagne, beverages and a light snack, all served above the Colorado River. The tour takes approximately two-and-a-half hours altogether.
Optional Activities
  • Grand Canyon Helicopter flight from Las Vegas - USD529
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

3 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (6 nights), Motel (2 nights)

Included Activities

  • San Francisco Dinner Urban Adventure
  • Jack London State Historic Park Entrance
  • Sonoma Wine Tasting
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Sequoia National Park
  • Death Valley National Park

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Reviews

Our San Francisco to Las Vegas trips score an average of 4.69 out of 5 based on 26 reviews in the last year.

San Francisco to Las Vegas, October 2016

Yvonne Lynes

San Francisco to Las Vegas, October 2016

John Lee