Epic American West

16 Days | Take a road trip, camping, hiking and hitting the big cities of America’s West

5 out of 5 based on 1 reviews submitted.
18 to 35s
From
EUR €2,230
View dates and book
This trip is for the 18 to 35 year olds

Hit the highlights of some big cities and sleep under the total darkness of an unpolluted night sky on this epic road trip through America’s West. On this 16-day adventure, you’ll start in San Francisco, enjoy three days of exploring Yosemite National Park and all its natural wonders then drive through the scenic Sierra Nevada. Cruise into glitzy Vegas for some nightlife and then get back to nature in Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park and the Grand Canyon. Explore at your own pace and see a pretty epic sunset before heading on to Joshua Tree on Route 66. Head to LA – the city of stars – and drive to some of California’s best coastal spots. See Big Sur, Monterey and McWay Falls before ending it all back in San Fran.

Trip overview

Map of Epic American West including United States Of America
Start
San Francisco, United States
Finish
San Francisco, United States
Theme
18 to 35s
Destinations
United States
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Style
Basix
Ages
Min 18 - Max 35
Group size
Min 1 - Max 12
Trip code
SSYGC
We’re in the process of figuring out how much CO2-e this trip generates. In the meantime, find out more about our climate commitments and carbon reduction target.
Bucket list destinations

Tick off all the popular spots and enjoy unique local experiences

Great value

Affordable trips with the freedom to choose how you spend your time

Responsible travel

You book, we donate to help support local communities


Why you'll love this trip
  • Discover Utah’s natural wonders at Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park – home to red-walled cliffs, towering hoodoos and vast horizons. 
  • Behold the beauty of Big Sur as you drive along California’s northern coastline, stopping to see the magical McWay Falls located on a beach that’s closed to public access.  
  • Cover Yosemite’s many trails over two full days and three nights dedicated to the park. You’ll be able to hike and explore until your heart (and camera) is content. 
  • Sleep under the stars in Monterey and along California’s Central Coast, getting close to Mother Nature as you join the communal camping experience.   
  • Appreciate the spectacle of Vegas as you explore this glitzy, neon-filled city at all hours of the day with plenty of time and flexibility to do as you please – night out, anyone? 
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, the Grand Canyon Conservancy. Donations help them protect Grand Canyon National Park and support trail restoration, conservation of native plants and wildlife, and educational programs.

Is this trip right for you?
  • This trip includes time spent travelling in a private vehicle with your group. Extra space can be tight, and conditions may feel a little cramped, but it’s all part of the adventure and a great way to get to know your fellow travellers. Please read the itinerary carefully for travel time estimates. 
  • Although your private vehicles have air conditioning, it has to work hard to keep a full group cool. Expect to feel hot during summer and cold at other times of the year, 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. 
  • This trip involves either a partial or full camping experience, giving you access to more remote destinations in close proximity and the joy of camping under the night skies beside a campfire. This is a participatory trip – a fancy way of saying you’re not just along for the ride, but you are part of a team! Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and help out with camp activities like food prep and washing up. It’s all about giving your new travel mates a hand, and everyone knows there’s nothing worse than trying to put up a tent on your own!  
  • From the steep hiking trails of the various national parks to the hilly San Francisco, this trip can involve a lot of walking. Please ensure you bring sturdy walking shoes and comfortable clothes. To make the most of the trip, it's best to have at least a moderate fitness level.

Itinerary

Map of Epic American West including United States Of America

Inclusions

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Camping (with facilities) (10 nights), Hotel (3 nights), Hostel (multishare) (2 nights)

Activities
  • Yosemite National Park - Entrance Fee
  • Visit to Mono Lake
  • Zion National Park - Entrance Fee
  • Bryce Canyon National Park - Entrance Fee
  • Grand Canyon National Park - Entrance Fee
  • Seligman - Route 66
  • Visit Santa Monica Pier
  • California Coastal Highway 1
  • Los Angeles - Venice Beach
  • Big Sur - Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
  • San Francisco - Leader-led city tour
  • Half Moon Bay
  • Santa Cruz Boardwalk
Add on activities
  • San Francisco - Adventure Cat Bay Cruise - USD45
  • Yosemite National Park - Hiking - Free
  • Yosemite - Cycling in Yosemite Valley - USD12
  • Las Vegas - Monorail - USD5
  • Las Vegas - Eiffel Tower - USD22
  • Las Vegas - Mob Museum - USD27
  • Las Vegas - Neon Museum - USD20
  • Las Vegas - Limo (per group) - USD300
  • Las Vegas - Big Apple Express roller coaster - USD15
  • Las Vegas - Bellagio Fountains - Free
  • Zion National Park - Walks - Free
  • Bryce Canyon National Park - Hiking - Free
  • Grand Canyon - IMAX Movie - USD15
  • Grand Canyon - Hiking - Free
  • Colorado River - Swimming - Free

Dates and availability

Loading trip dates and availabilities...

Important notes

1. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1 in San Francisco and finishes on arrival back into San Francisco at approximately 5pm on Day 16.
2. In San Francisco and Los Angeles the group will be in 8 and 6 person dorms, with shared bathrooms. The hostel will do their best to separate the group by gender, but it's not guaranteed.
3. A Single Supplement to have your own room (or tent) is available on this trip however excludes night 1 (San Francisco) and night 13 (Los Angeles) where you will be in shared accommodation.
4. On the last day of the trip: The arrival time into San Francisco depends on each group, but if you decide to fly out on this day, please don't book a flight before 9 pm.
5. A sleeping bag is required for this trip.
6. Please note that the legal drinking age in the US is 21 and in some parts of Canada it's 19.
7. 2024 departures: Highway 1 and Big Sur area parks are currently inaccessible due to landslides and are scheduled to reopen sometime in June 2024. Until the road is reopened you will spend two nights in the Central Coast region on Days 14 & 15 instead of camping near Monterey on Day 15. On Day 15 you will explore the scenic coastal regions near San Simeon, Cambria and Morro Bay.

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.

Read Essential Trip Information

Reviews

5 out of 5 based on 1 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

Filter by rating

Jess · Traveled May 2024
This was my first trip with Intrepid and I'll definitely be booking another. The route is incredible, and gives you time to explore a huge range of both parks and cities, but you never feel rushed. Nick, our leader, was amazing - his passion, kindness and enthusiasm are contagious, and you can tell he loves getting to share this beautiful part of the world with others. May was a perfect time to travel - we had stunning weather and hot days, but the nights are still cold so pack layers! All the campsites/hotels/hostels we stayed at were beautiful, with great facilities. Some of the driving times were much longer than listed on the trip info, but the van was excellent and we made stops when requested. I can't recommend this trip enough.
Review submitted 29 May 2024
Epic American West
From
EUR €2,230