Experience the highlights of western USA
Discover the captivating cities and astounding natural attractions of the USA's west on a 19-day adventure that will take you from lively Los Angeles to stylish San Francisco. Experience the wonderful wilds of Joshua Tree, Zion and Yosemite national parks, explore Monumental Valley, Death Valley and the Grand Canyon, and join the high rollers and hard livers of illustrious Las Vegas. With exceptional outdoor excursions, some spectacular stretches of coastline and sensational city scenes, this is the ultimate round-up of the western USA's highlights.
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Experience the south western corner of the USA in depth, visiting the iconic national parks, lesser known gems, as well as the glamorous capitals of California and Nevada
Towering granite cliffs, cascading waterfalls, redwood forests and epic night skies - Yosemite National Park feels like utopia. While other tour groups breeze through in a day, you'll spend two nights in the park, allowing for a full day of hiking and exploring
For many, Death Valley conjures up images of a flat and barren wasteland. Be surprised by the park's ethereal landscapes of sand dunes, water-sculpted canyons, extinct volcanic craters and, in the spring, fields of wildflowers
From the stone hoodoos of Bryce Canyon to the hanging gardens of Zion National Park, see a diversity of landscapes all within a short drive of each other
As well as the famous must-see attractions on this trip, visit some lesser-known but no less spectacular national parks, such as Dead Horse Point and Arches National Park
The iconic sandstone formations of Monument Valley have played backdrop to many a cowboy western. Learn about Navajo culture and history during a jeep tour of the park, before spending a unique night in a traditional hogan hut
This is a participatory trip. That’s a fancy way of saying you’re not just along for the ride – you’re part of a team! You know the phrase ‘the more you put in, the more you get out’. Well that’s extra true on this trip. 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 – everyone knows there’s nothing worse than trying to put up a tent on your own!
That teamwork also extends to our optional food kitty of approximately US$10 per day, run to cover the cost of meals. This kitty saves you worrying about stuff like where to get food or what exactly sales tax is, and actually helps keep your costs down. Instead of paying individually as you go, it means we can bulk purchase items and cook our own food – though there’s always the chance to use it for the occasional pizza night! The kitty is optional and for your convenience, so if you've got specific dietary requirements you can opt out and purchase (and cook) your own food.
The United States is a world of endless possibilities – that’s why our Basix trips are designed so they fit together as (not quite endless) combinations. That means while you might just be starting your trip, some of your new travel mates may have been travelling together for a week or more (and so have some great tips for you). You can see how our trips fit together and all the different possible combinations at www.intrepidtravel.com/brochures. Simply click view/download on the North America brochure and look at the combo map on page 12.
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. Sometimes in mid-summer we may be unable to visit the Valley itself if we feel that the heat presents a safety risk. .
You'll be travelling in a van with a group of travellers, so conditions may feel a little cramped. This is all part of the adventure, however, and you might even make some long-term friends.
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 many long days of driving, so expect to spend a lot of time in the van.
Although our vans do have air conditioning, it has to work pretty 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.
From the steep hiking trails of the various national parks to the towering hills of 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 if you have at least a moderate level of fitness.
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There are currently no scheduled departures on our Western USA Highlights trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.
1. This trip finishes on arrival into San Francisco in the afternoon on day 18.
Our Western USA Highlights trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 3 reviews in the last year.
Amazing trip! Amazing hikes, great views, and loads of outstanding memories. But remember to bring electrolyte tabs since it's hot and you're hiking a lot.
Review submitted 02 Jul 2018
A well organised trip takes in some of the most amazing sights the western USA has to offer - a must for anyone seeking natures beauty!
Review submitted 01 Sep 2017