• El Capitan

National Parks and Lodges Tour

Get ready to see some of the most spectacular landscapes on earth and the best of America’s incredible national parks, on this unforgettable national park tour of the American south west.

Starting off in beautiful San Francisco, this 14 night tour includes stop offs at three national parks: Yosemite, Yellowstone and Death Valley. The itinerary is a nature lover’s dream and includes visits to some of the most extreme and awe inspiring environments on earth. You’ll be able to see the unbelievably tall giant sequoias in Yosemite, the spectacular red arches of Arches National Park, the sacred land of Monument Valley and – the highlight for many visitors – spend a night at the magnificent Grand Canyon, staying in a rustic lodge on the canyon’s North Rim. The trip also includes city stopovers, with time given to explore vibrant San Francisco and Utah’s state capital, Salt Lake City.

After a day spent sightseeing, you’ll come home to comfortable accommodation - often right in the middle of the USA’s dramatic natural landscapes. Your tour guide knows the areas you’ll visit very well and will ensure you have the best experience on every stage of your tour. One thing is certain - you’ll never forget the sights, sounds and smells of this spellbinding American south west road trip and the best of the country’s natural beauty.

Duration
15 days

Guide Price

 £5,199  pp
Options
Group basis, Escorted
Start your journey
Louisville

Trip highlights

  • Spend two nights in a lodge on the great North Rim of the Grand Canyon
  • Experience the mesmerising Monument Valley and share stories with a Navajo tour guide
  • See the best natural landscapes the US has to offer at Yosemite and Yellowstone national parks
  • Visit the hottest, driest place on earth – world famous Death Valley

Known as the city by the bay, San Francisco is an exciting city with a modern outlook and vibrant atmosphere. On arrival in ‘San Fran’, you can spend the afternoon exploring before heading to the welcome meeting, where you’ll meet your guide and find out more exciting details about your tour.

 

Suggested Accommodation

  • The Buchanan Hotel or similar
a tree with a mountain in the background

Today, you’ll head east through gold mining country, along the fabulous winding roads of the Sierra Nevada mountain range to reach stunning Yosemite National Park. You’ll gasp at the size of the giant sequoias - the largest trees on earth – and marvel at the natural wonders that surround you at every turn. Your Yosemite adventure doesn’t have to end when the sun sets; you’ll spend two very special nights at this magnificent place, staying in a lodge.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Tenaya Lodge or similar
Yosemite National Park

Enjoy another day of exploration in Yosemite National Park. There are countless activities you can choose in the park, including cycling, hiking, swimming and rafting in the Merced River, all while surrounded by lush green forests and sun baked rock faces. Hiking one of the park’s many trails will take you past crashing waterfalls and sparkling lakes, along with the legendary El Capitan rock. Be sure to take photos and capture the memories of this wonderful place. As night falls, you can head back to the lodge to sit back and relax beneath a million stars.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Tenaya Lodge or similar
a group of clouds in the sky

Experience the heat and intensity of one of the hottest places on earth, with a trip to fabled Death Valley. One of the lowest and driest places on earth, the landscape here is a sight to behold; canyons sit in contrast next to towering sand dunes, and salt flats stretch as far as the eye can see.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Oasis at Death Valley or similar
Zion National Park

After the excitement of Death Valley, you’ll head back to Utah and see breathtaking Zion Canyon. Zion Canyon was named by the Mormon settlers who saw it as their ‘promised land’, which gives a hint of the incredible beauty of this place. The canyon is majestic, with deep red cliffs and lush vegetation stretching for miles. The park is known for its hiking, and you can take a pleasant trail around the winding Virgin River while surrounded by sheer sandstone cliffs.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Majestic View Lodge or similar
a narrow river in a forest

The morning will begin bright and early as you prepare to see Zion Canyon from a bird’s eye view. You’ll trek 2.5 miles to Angel’s Landing - a 1,500 foot tall rock formation - which offers the most spectacular views of the canyon. The hike can be challenging, but every step is worth it once you reach the summit.

 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Majestic View Lodge or similar

Over days seven and eight, it’s time for one of the highlights of your American adventure - a visit to the Grand Canyon.

One of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon is almost 300 miles long, 18 miles wide in parts and more than a mile deep. Its sheer size and scale are hard to comprehend until you see it with your own eyes.

You’ll spend two nights in this majestic place, giving you plenty of time to explore and appreciate its many facets. Take in the views, walk along the trails and watch the most spectacular sunset you’re ever likely to see before settling in for the night at your lodge accommodation on the North Rim of the canyon.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Grand Hotel at the Grand Canyon or similar
Monument Valley

Monument Valley is sacred to the Navajo people and when you see it, you’ll understand why.

This special place features Mars like terrain of red sandstone columns and is the inspiration for all the classic Western movies.

The most memorable way to see the valley is with a Navajo guide on a tour of the less travelled backroads. Your guide will tell you traditional stories of the Navajo people and take you to places few people get to see.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Goulding's Lodge or similar
Arches National Park

For the next two days you’ll explore one of America’s lesser known, but equally impressive, national parks, Arches.

First, you’ll travel to the city of Moab, which, with its plethora of restaurants and outdoor activities, makes the perfect base for your two night stay. From here, you’ll visit Arches National Park, which is home to the highest concentration of natural arches anywhere in the world. The park is dotted with spectacular arches forged from sandstone over millions of years. Each arch has its own characteristics and is slightly different from the rest, though all of them have mesmerising hues of red and orange which glow in the sunlight.

 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Red Cliffs Lodge or similar
City Skyline

After spending so much time immersed in nature, today it’s time for a quick city break. Salt Lake City is the capital of Utah and the birthplace of the Mormon church. Take a tour with a Mormon guide to discover the city’s religious history or visit the Natural History Museum of Utah to learn about the state’s remarkable natural landscape.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Little America Hotel or similar
Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is known around the world for its incredible scenery and wildlife, which includes grizzly bears, moose, bison, mountain goats and wolves. It’s also home to explosive geysers, shimmering lakes, soaring mountains, lush meadows and dense forests, where the scent of pine fills the air. Nature lovers will be captivated by the beauty of Yellowstone National Park.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Shoshone Lodge and Guest Ranch cabins or similar

Your once in a lifetime tour of the American west concludes in Bozeman.

Included

  • International flights and airfare taxes
  • Cost of accommodation (double room based on two people sharing) for a total of 14 nights (alternative but similar accommodation may be used at certain times of the year)
  • Board basis: Room only
  • Services of a professional tour guide and Navajo guide
  • Transportation by private air-conditioned 15-seater vehicle driven by your tour guide
  • Local guides for all guided excursions as illustrated in the itinerary
  • Taxes

Not included

  • Visa arrangements and fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses, such as beverages, telephone calls, laundry, camera fees, spa and business facilities in the hotel
  • Gratuities for drivers, tour leaders, local guides and hotel staff
  • Meals (unless specified)
  • Optional attractions and excursions (unless specified)