Discover deserts, national parks, forests and cities on this southwestern America trip
Cities, deserts, forests, canyons, valleys and the gambling capital of the world make up this larger-than-life journey through America’s West. Start slowly in the City by the Bay before lacing up your boots (and filling up your water bottle) and hiking through some of the most spectacular national parks this part of the world has to offer: Yosemite, Sequoia and Joshua Tree. Stay hydrated in Death Valley (it’s one of the hottest places on earth), gamble in Vegas, scramble to Angel’s Landing in Zion (not for the faint-hearted) and take a perfect picture as the sun sets over the Grand Canyon. This is America in all its rugged, dusty, splendid glory.
Boulder Mountain Guest Ranch is a true retreat from the bright lights of the city. Unwind as your hosts cook up gourmet meals in the heart of the wilderness
Explore the spectacular red desert formations of Monument Valley during a sunset jeep ride. End a day of adventure sharing tacos and stories by the campfire with members of America’s largest recognised tribe - the Navajo. This is a unique opportunity to learn more about Native American culture and history
Spend two nights at the Grand Canyon, allowing for plenty of free time to explore the canyon and partake in adventurous optional activities such as hiking or a helicopter flight
The journey up the Pacific Coast Highway and through Big Sur is one of the most scenic in the world. Sit back and enjoy the spectacular views while someone else does the driving
An Urban Adventure tour around San Francisco’s Chinatown and North Beach areas offers a unique introduction to this exciting city. Learn to make your own fortune cookie, explore the city's oldest temple and discover the history of the Beat Generation
Road tripping is the ultimate way to see the US, and scenic drives are a big part of this adventure’s focus. It's a very big country, so on a short trip expect to spend a lot of time driving in the van, rather than lots of time in each destination. Distances may be much longer than what you're used to (especially if coming from Europe). Long driving days though, while a little cramped, are perfect for soaking up the spectacular scenery, getting to know your fellow travellers, and breaking out that new book or album.
Los Angeles is one of the most car-heavy cities in the world and so, along with San Francisco, traffic can be hectic – especially during the holiday period. Take any delays in your stride and get your best car game ready to play.
Be prepared for a mix of extreme temperatures. Bryce Canyon is deceptively high and can see flurries of snow, while Zion National Park is usually hot and sunny. Be prepared for all weather conditions, especially outside of the July/August summer months. Pack warm clothes for the cold, sun protection and layers for the heat. It’s best to carefully consider the season and weather conditions to determine the best time to travel for you.
The accommodation at Boulder Mountain Guest Ranch is mixed and some rooms have outdoor bathrooms. Groups may be split between the main house, outdoor cabins, or even teepees. Your leader will manage the rooming so that people who have a problem with using outdoor bathrooms receive rooms inside.
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There are currently no scheduled departures on our Highlights of Southwestern USA trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.
1. A single supplement is available on this trip.
2. This trip finishes in San Francisco at approximately 5pm on day 12.
Our Highlights of Southwestern USA trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 4 reviews in the last year.
We loved this trip and it seriously was the best way to see the national parks in the South West. It's such a big region and having Intrepid's local knowledge and the driving taken care of meant we were free to focus on making the most of the scenery. Highly recommend!
Review submitted 06 Sep 2017
This tour was awesome. It was pretty accurately described in the brochure...would tend to say the physical rating should be higher as a lot of the activities were hiking in the national parks which involve steep hills which was not always suitable for all parties in our group. Ashley, our tour leader was great, her enthusiasm for the national parks and the local environments was infectious and really completed the tour for us. The accommodation was very good except for the location of the LA hotel which was a fair bit out of town and restricted what we could do on the night we were there. The overall time in LA felt somewhat rushed...if you want to cover LA in any detail, might be best to pause the tour for a couple of days then take the trip up the coast. Would definitely recommend this tour to anyone interested in the national parks and bookending their tour in Vegas / San Fran...as is usual with Intrepid...best to have a couple of extra days at the start and end to enjoy those cities as the tours tend to not cover them in any great detail.
Review submitted 01 Aug 2017