Map of One Week in Las Vegas & the American Wilderness including United States Of America

Your Geckos trip, LA to San Francisco Highlights, has moved here to Intrepid.

From October 1st, Geckos Adventures tours will be run by Intrepid Travel under our brand new 18 to 29s range.

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Road trip like you mean it on this epic adventure through California, Arizona and Nevada

Pass through California, Arizona and Nevada on this sight-seeing road trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Hike through the spooky but beautiful Joshua Tree National Park, stare in wonder at the Grand Canyon, take in the glitz and neon lights of Vegas and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife in Yosemite National Park. This adventure covers all the best bits of these three great states.

This trip is for 18 to 29-year-olds

Some of our under-30 travellers prefer to get around with people their own age. If that’s you, you’re in the right place!

Over 29? We’ve got over 900 other great adventures to choose from for solo travellers, friends, families, food lovers, hiking enthusiasts, and more.


Start
Los Angeles, United States
Finish
San Francisco, United States
Destination
United States
Style
Basix
Theme
18 to 29s
Code
SSYW
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18, Max 29
Group size
Min 1, Max 13

Why you'll love this trip

  • Hike through spooky yet beautiful Joshua Tree National Park. We put it down to the park's desert cactus gardens, lush oases and strange rock formations.

  • It’s big, it’s beautiful, it’s the Grand Canyon! See it up close on a hike with your leader or take an optional helicopter flight overhead.

  • Lose yourself in the neon lights of Las Vegas. Maybe have a crack at blackjack, mosey the gaudy and glitzy Strip, catch a show or just soak up the craziness that is Sin City.

  • Granite cliffs, redwood forests, star-studded night skies, Instagram-smashing waterfalls… Yosemite National Park feels like utopia.

  • Camp in the great outdoors on this epic American road trip. This is a great trip for first-time campers, as the equipment is easy to assemble and there are always leaders on hand to help out.

  • Death Valley gets a bad rap, conjuring up images of a flat and barren wasteland and, y’know, death. Be surprised by the park's ethereal landscapes of sand dunes, water-sculpted canyons, extinct volcanic craters and, in the spring, fields of wildflowers.

  • End your adventure in the eclectic, multicultural City by the Bay. See the sights (the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and Fisherman's Wharf to name a few), sample the great food scene or get amongst the museums and fantastic cultural offerings of San Francisco.

Is this trip right for you?

  • The US 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.

  • Traffic in and out of LA and San Francisco can be hectic, especially during holiday periods. There may be delays, so be prepared to take part in car games to keep you entertained.

  • The desert in the summer is extremely hot and dry. Death Valley for instance holds the record as the hottest place on earth after all. Hiking at this time of year isn't recommended. Although our vans do have air conditioning, it has to work pretty hard to keep a full group cool so expect to be hot. At other times of the year, especially in Yosemite, it might be quite cold, 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 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 legal drinking age in the US is 21. Our leaders are unable to help under-agers procure alcohol.

Itinerary

Oh hey, LA! Roll into town any time today, as there are no activities planned. Check-in time at the hotel is 3 pm, but if you arrive early you can store your luggage and hit up the town for a stroll, a taco or a green smoothie. Just make sure you’re back at the hotel for an important welcome meeting at 6 pm, where you'll meet your tour leader and fellow travellers. As this is the only day you'll spend in LA, we recommend arriving a couple of days early so you can see the sights. Perhaps go celeb-spotting on Rodeo Drive, take a hike up Runyon Canyon or book a one-day sightseeing tour with Urban Adventures.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive in time for today's welcome meeting, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these on hand.

Please download and review the latest trip notes before you jet off, as we often make improvements to our itineraries. This means you’ll have the most up-to-date info about your trip. Check the Visa section of these trip notes for information on visa requirements on your trip.
Drive into desert country to Joshua Tree National Park, famous for its spiky trees, bizarre rock formations and a pretty good U2 album. After a wander through the park, head to Lake Havasu on the Colorado River (at the Arizona border) and set up camp for the night. We cover around 600 kilometres (372 miles) of ground today, which is broken up with short walks, photo stops and some roadside snacking opportunities. It’s a good idea to load your phone with some good podcasts and playlists to pass the time.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today we head north (4 hours north, to be precise) to one of the world’s seven wonders: the Grand Canyon. When you think about its dimensions – 450 kilometres long, 630 kilometres wide and 1600 metres deep – it really warrants the whole ‘grand’ title. Check out its massive scale on a walk on the South Rim, or if you’re feeling more active, hike into the canyon itself to stretch your legs. Angling for a bird’s eye view? Splash out on an optional helicopter ride. Spend the night at comfortable digs near the National Park.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Grand Canyon National Park
Optional Activities
  • Grand Canyon - Helicopter flight (25 mins) - USD244
  • Grand Canyon - IMAX movie - USD15
  • Grand Canyon - Hiking - Free
  • Grand Canyon - Helicopter flight (45 mins) - USD295
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today we cross Arizona's western deserts on the way to Las Vegas. We'll make a stop along the way so you can get your kicks on Route 66 before arriving in Sin City in the afternoon.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Famous for its casinos, Elvis-themed wedding chapels, and epic residencies (the Backstreet Boy, Britney Spears and Elton John have all done long-running shows here), Vegas is a mecca for all things over-the-top. For those not interested in putting all their cash on black, there are heaps of other things to see and do in and around the Strip. Foodies may want to check out one of the celebrity chef restauants around town (Giada De Laurentiis, Gordon Ramsay and Wolfgang Puck all have places here).Chat to your tour leader for the lowdown on Sin City's best shows, clubs, restaurants and shopping. 
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Las Vegas - Big Apple Express roller coaster - USD15
  • Las Vegas - Go-Karts - USD25
  • Las Vegas - Limo (per group) - USD300
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
While it’s one of the hottest spots on the planet (temperatures get as high as 50°C in the summer months), Death Valley is also home to a diverse range of wildlife, such as lizards and bighorn sheep (weird), and some pretty awesome geological phenomena. Make sure the camera battery’s charged – the enormous sand dunes, sculpted rocks and volcanic craters are ready for their close-up. We’ll be covering about 600 kilometres (372 miles) of road today, before spending the night in Bakersfield.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Death Valley National Park
Optional Activities
  • Death Valley National Park - Hiking (seasonal) - Free
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Please note that sometimes over the summer months, we may not be able to visit Death Valley itself if the heat is extreme and we feel that the conditions present a safety risk. In these cases we will visit some areas on the outskirts with similar geography so that you can still get a feel for the valley, but at a higher elevation where it is not as hot. Depending on weather and the wishes of the group, you may also be offered the option of spending the morning in Las Vegas, visiting a ghost town in the desert, or going to Mono Lake.
Head north through the Central Valley to Yosemite National Park. The park is a who’s who of natural wonders: El Capitan, the largest granite monolith in the world (take that, 2001: A Space Odyssey), Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America, and some of the biggest trees on earth, the mighty Giant Sequoia. Choose between an afternoon hike to Vernal Falls or stroll to Mirror Lake. Alternatively, just soak up the sights in your own time. Spend the night at a campsite near the park.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Yosemite National Park - Entrance
Optional Activities
  • Yosemite National Park - Hiking - Free
  • Yosemite - Cycling in Yosemite Valley - USD12
  • Yosemite - Raft Rental (seasonal) - USD30
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Leave Yosemite behind and drive 240 kilometres (149 miles) west (around 3.5 hours) towards San Francisco. Our arrival time depends on the group, but we’ll aim for a 3 pm arrival, where our epic road trip comes to an end. If you’re flying out of SF today, please book your flight after 8 pm – this will give you enough time to get a shuttle to the airport with enough time to check in. There’s heaps to see and do in San Francisco – we suggest staying on for a few days to get the most out of this awesome city. If you need a hand booking accom, our reservations team will be happy to help out.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

No meals are included on this tour

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Camping (with facilities) (4 nights), Hostel (1 night), Hotel (2 nights)

Included activities

  • Grand Canyon National Park
  • Death Valley National Park
  • Yosemite National Park - Entrance

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. This trip finishes on arrival into San Francisco in the afternoon on Day 8.

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.