Uncover the best of the west, from LA to San Fran
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.
Experience the southwestern corner of the USA in depth, visiting the renowned national parks, lesser-known gems, as well as the vibrant hotspots of California and Nevada
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.
Fly like an eagle and treat yourself to a scenic helicopter flight over the winding gorges of the Grand Canyon – an optional experience you’ll never forget.
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.
See the exquisite sandstone arches of the aptly named Arches National Park and witness spectacular desert colours during a sunset hike.
Discover another side to Yosemite’s Towering granite cliffs, redwood forests and epic night skies by hiking one of its best, lesser-known trails – Hetch Hetchy – with your expert guide.
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.
North America is a world of endless possibilities – that’s why our trips are designed so they fit together as (not quite endless) combinations. This means that 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). Visit intrepidtravel.com/north-america to check out our combination trips and other tours you can add on to this one to extend your journey.
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.
From the steep hiking trails of Yosemite 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.
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. 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 use sun protection and drink plenty of water.
Trip departures are unavailable.
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. 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.
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.View Essential Trip Information