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Western USA Highlights

18 Days | Uncover the best of the west, from LA to San Fran

4.3 out of 5 based on 3 reviews submitted.
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EUR €3,524
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Discover the captivating cities and natural attractions of the USA's west on an 18-day journey from lively Los Angeles to bayside San Francisco. Explore mother nature at its most diverse in Joshua Tree, Zion and Yosemite national parks, take a roadtrip stopping by Monumental Valley, Death Valley and the Grand Canyon, and join the high rollers and desert dwellers in Las Vegas. With a heap of outdoor excursions to choose from, some spectacular stretches of coastline and sensational city scenes, this is the ultimate round-up of the western USA's highlights.

Trip overview

Map of Western USA Highlights including United States Of America
Start
Santa Monica, United States
Finish
San Francisco, United States
Theme
Explorer
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 15
Group size
Min 1 - Max 12
Trip code
SSRSC
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.

Why you'll love this trip
  • Hike past sculpted sandstone formations, waterfalls and hanging gardens in Zion National Park, roasting s’mores around a campfire by night.
  • Learn about Navajo culture and history during an included Jeep tour of Monument Valley, where the landscape is as surreal as it is beautiful, before spending a night in a traditional hogan hut.
  • Hike through beautiful Joshua Tree National Park among the park's desert cactus gardens and unusual rock formations, before hitting the road on a section of Route 66.
  • Explore Bryce Canyon, known for its crimson-coloured hoodoos which are spire-shaped rock formations.
  • See the exquisite sandstone arches of the aptly named Arches National Park and witness spectacular desert colours during a sunrise hike to Delicate Arch.
  • See the exquisite sandstone arches of the aptly named Arches National Park and witness spectacular desert colours during a sunset hike.
  • The Grand Canyon National Park takes time to really discover – you'll spend two nights in the park, unlike on most trips, so there's a full day to explore properly and see the mighty canyon up close.
  • Discover another side to Yosemite’s Towering granite cliffs, sequoia forests and epic night skies by hiking one of its best, lesser-known trails – Hetch Hetchy – with your expert guide.

Is this trip right for you?
  • This trip involves either a partial or full camping experience, giving you access to more remote destinations at close proximity, and the joy of camping under the night skies and 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!
  • That teamwork also extends to our optional food kitty of approximately USD 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 USA is a big country. Travel times between some destinations can be long. You'll be spending a fair amount of time in a van with other travellers, so conditions may feel a little cramped. This allows you to see some stunning scenery and is all part of the adventure - you might even make some long-term friends.
  • The desert areas of Utah can be very hot and dry, especially in summer. Although our private vehicles do have air conditioning, it has to work pretty hard to keep a full group cool. Keep in mind that while the desert can be hot during the day it can get quite chilly at night, so pack accordingly.
  • You'll be travelling in a van with your group, so conditions may feel a little cramped. It’s simply the best way to get around, and you might even make some long-term friends.

Itinerary

Map of Western USA Highlights including United States Of America

Inclusions

Meals

1 breakfast, 1 dinner

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Camping (with facilities) (9 nights), Hotel (4 nights), Multishare cabin (2 nights), Multishare Hogan (1 night), Hostel (1 night)

Activities
  • Joshua Tree National Park - Entrance Fee
  • Grand Canyon National Park - Entrance
  • Zion National Park - Entrance Fee
  • Monument Valley - Jeep tour & overnight experience
  • Arches National Park - Sunset Hike to Delicate Arch
  • Dead Horse Point State Park
  • Arches National Park - Delicate Arch sunrise hike
  • Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Capitol Reef National Park
  • Yosemite National Park - Entrance Fee
  • Visit to Mono Lake
Add on activities
  • Colorado River - Swimming - Free
  • Joshua Tree National Park - Hiking - Free
  • Grand Canyon - Hiking - Free
  • Grand Canyon - IMAX Movie - USD15
  • Zion National Park - Walks - Free
  • Zion National Park - River tubing (seasonal) - USD24
  • Zion - Narrows Hiking Gear Rental - USD30
  • Moab - Raft Float Trip on Colorado River - USD72
  • Moab - Slickrock Hummer tour - USD100
  • Arches National Park - Landscape Arch hike - Free
  • Bryce Canyon National Park - Hiking - Free
  • Bryce Canyon - Horseback Riding - USD60
  • Las Vegas - Big Apple Express roller coaster - USD15
  • Las Vegas - Mob Museum - USD27
  • Las Vegas - Monorail - USD5
  • Las Vegas - Fremont Street Zip Line - Free
  • Las Vegas - Bellagio Fountains - Free
  • Las Vegas - Eiffel Tower - USD22
  • Yosemite - Cycling in Yosemite Valley - USD12
  • Yosemite National Park - Hiking - Free
  • Yosemite - Raft Rental (seasonal) - USD30
  • San Francisco - Sunset catamaran cruise - USD45

Dates and availability

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Important notes

1. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6:00pm on Day 1 in Los Angeles and finishes on arrival into San Francisco at approximately 5pm on Day 18.
2. The group will be in 8 and 6 person dorms in Los Angeles, 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 is available on this trip however excludes night 1 (Los Angeles), night 8 (Monument Valley) and nights 9 & 10 (Moab) where you will be in shared accommodation. 
4. A sleeping bag is required for this trip.
5. Please note that the legal drinking age in the US is 21 and in some parts of Canada it's 19.

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

4.3 out of 5 based on 3 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.

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HEATHER · Traveled June 2023
Great trip from LA to Grand Canyon, Las Vegas Joshua Tree, Monument Valley, MOAB and Bryce Canyon. Enjoyed the hiking challenges and camping. Trip to Yosemite very disappointing, 3 days driving, camped 1 and half hours outside Yosemite. Not worth it.
Review submitted 08 Jul 2023

Adam · Traveled September 2022
A fantastic tour of incredible American sites. It's well paced, ensuring you get the right amount of time at National Parks with some incredible accomodation throughout
Review submitted 02 Oct 2022

Anand · Traveled August 2022
The Western USA Highlights tour is highly recommended if you're looking for spectacular outdoor scenery, varied activities and the opportunity to explore some great US cities. Our tour leader Ellen was excellent and made us feel right at home!
Review submitted 22 Sep 2022
Western USA Highlights
From
EUR €3,524