Explore the USA’s west from Los Angeles to Death Valley and Yosemite.
America is home to many sights with fascinating history at every turn, and this western US tour takes in some of the best spots around. Enjoy nature as you walk past centuries-old sequoia trees in Yosemite National Park, hike around the edge of the Grand Canyon, and enjoy the desert in super-hot Death Valley. Swap nature for the city and feel the power of hundreds of thousands of watts of neon lights in Las Vegas, before zipping off into the desert again. Sample excellent Mexican cuisine in San Diego and then try foodie delights in San Francisco. This trip, with its perfect mix of city and nature, will leave you refreshed and wanting to come back and do it all over again.
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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
With its out-there culture and wild night life, Las Vegas really deserves a decent stay. You'll have a full day and two nights to make the most of this awesome city
Although the long drives through the desert can be uncomfortable and trying at times, they also have their rewards. Enjoy the spectacular views of a classic American road trip
Enjoy your day at San Diego with plenty of time to soak up the sun on the sumptuous golden beaches
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.
This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2019 to 31 December 2019. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2018
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There are currently no scheduled departures on our Wild Western USA 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 11.
Our Wild Western USA trips score an average of 4.9 out of 5 based on 20 reviews in the last year.