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National Parks of California & Arizona Overview
- 2014-01-01 - 2014-12-31
Experience the incredible natural landscapes of California and Arizona.
Reawaken your senses on a trip through the national parks, deserts and beaches of California and Arizona. Breathtaking natural landscapes await, from the rolling vineyards of Napa to the rampaging waterfalls of Yosemite and the surreal colours of Monument Valley's desert. See the world’s largest trees and the highest mountain peaks in Sequoia National Park. Be mesmerised by the spectacular valley of the Grand Canyon and explore the rocky terrain of Death Valley. Along the way, there are cultural experiences to give you an appreciation for different ways of life. Learn about Najavo culture in the USA’s largest Native American settlement and make like a cowboy in historic downtown Prescott. Each stop on this trip promises incredible landscapes that make you feel like you’re in a whole different world.
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National Parks of California & Arizona SummaryAdd to Shortlist
This chilled out waterfront city greets you briefly, but it is as swift a kiss as the breeze off Pier 39. If needing extra time to explore the wonders of Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge and SoMa, journey to this gorgeous city a few days early.
Welcome to wine country. Explore the vast stretches of rolling vineyards, quaint farms and acres of parkland around this scenic valley. Perhaps visit the home and final resting place of author Jack London and, of course, sample some the region’s best wine and cheese.
Big brother to Sonoma, Napa first boomed during California’s gold rush and never really stopped. Visit the old downtown area to admire the Victorian buildings and tranquil waterfront. But of course, the main drawcard is the vino. Pair the world’s very best Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot with some of the country’s most incredible dining experiences.
Be dwarfed by one of the world’s largest living things: the giant sequoia tree. Spot bucks prancing in the wild and gaze in wonder at the 3,081 sq km that is Yosemite, America’s most popular national park. Yosemite is an historic emblem for California and offers visitors incredible hiking trails, impressive geological formations and jaw-dropping scenic views. Spend a few days getting in touch with nature while hiking to the Nevada Falls and serene Mirror Lake.
Welcome to the land of giants, where every huge mountain has a twin plunging canyon. The major drawcard of this region is visiting the Giant Forest, where breathtakingly tall trees stretch up to 11 m. Perhaps climb the impressive Moro Rock, which will elevate trekkers to 2,050 m above sea level. Be sure to visit the country’s deepest canyon and then take a breather in a quiet spot to truly appreciate the spectacular surrounding scenery.
While it may sound grim, Death Valley is anything but. Explore huge sand dunes, sculptured rocks and volcanic craters before taking a stroll on the stunning salt flats. It is bizarre, unearthly and hot – be sure to pack a hat for this portion of the adventure.
There is no greater contrast then that between the serene surroundings of the great outdoors and entering the mouth of ‘Sin City’. Play responsibly, chomp away at an all-you-can-eat buffet, see a volcano at the Mirage, meet a gladiator at Caesars and spot the Eiffel Tower and pyramids on the Strip.
Leave behind Las Vegas and enter the desert of Arizona. Enjoy the wide open spaces and sleep overnight in a ranch hand’s bunkhouse at Lake Powell. Relax in a sandstone cave, walk around the area or get active on the lake, whether in flippers or on a kayak or boat.
Learn about the Navajo, the largest Native American tribe in the US, at Monument Valley. Walk past giant sandstone pillars and rock pinnacles and marvel at the constantly changing colour of the landscape.
Stand in awe of the incredible Grand Canyon, which stretches 28 km wide, 365 km long and more than 1.6 km deep, and took between three and six million years to form. Explore the site on foot while walking the South Rim Trail or hiking to Plateau Point. Alternatively, opt to take to the skies on a scenic helicopter ride over the spectacular valley.
Once the capital of Arizona, Prescott is now a small town with a whole lot of charm. Stroll though Prescott’s historic downtown and head to Whiskey Row, where America’s most famous cowboys and notorious outlaws once came to drink. Perhaps head to Prescott National Forest, see the stunning Willow and Watson Lakes or hang about in town and watch a true blue rodeo show.
Journey to the ‘City of Angels’ to see the Hollywood sign, shop on Rodeo Drive or laze on Venice Beach. Explore the impressive collection at the Getty Center, including the artistic works of Van Gogh and Monet, or chase down the city’s best food trucks for an Angelenos dining experience. Los Angeles has something for everyone and makes for an awesome final destination.
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