• Yellowstone National Park

National Parks Explorer Tour

Our National Parks Explorer Tour guides you through America’s best nature preserves over 14 full days of adventure. Uncover the USA’s most important geological hotspots on this unforgettable tour of renowned landmarks and lesser travelled landscapes.

Travel back in time to the 19th century at the famous Old Town in Sacramento. Visit the beautiful Lake Tahoe and get lost in picturesque views. You’ll see what explorers call the ‘Niagara of the West’ - the roaring waterfall of the world-famous Twin Falls. Witness the volcanic marvel of the Craters of the Moon, a fascinating land of lava where the first men on the moon were trained.

Your tour through America’s national parks continues to Grand Teton Park in Yellowstone. Find cougars and the American black bear. Travel south to Salt Lake City to discover the precious history of Temple Square. Listen to the Tabernacle Choir. Uncover expansive wilderness and multiple canyons at Canyonlands National Park. Journey through one of Utah’s Mighty Five, Arches National Park, which is home to gargantuan fortresses and red stone arches. At Capitol Reef National Park, find a geological wrinkle on the earth before visiting one of America’s best national parks, Bruce Canyon.

Your National Parks Explorer Tour comes to an end with a visit to the entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas. Indulge in retail therapy or get lost on The Strip before taking a short tour of LA and Beverly Hills.

This tour through the USA's best national parks is perfect for travellers and adventurers who crave the unbeaten path without sacrificing comfort. Come with us on a trip through fascinating history, geology, remarkable landscapes and luxury.

Duration
15 days
Options
Group basis, Escorted
Start your journey
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Trip highlights

  • Stand atop the monumental Grand Canyon, one of the Seven Wonders of the World
  • Uncover the gargantuan fortresses of Arches National Park (one of Utah’s Mighty Five)
  • Walk where the first men on the moon were trained at the Craters of the Moon
  • Visit the famous entertainment capital of the world - Las Vegas City
a large body of water with a city in the background

On the first day of your National Parks Explorer Tour, you’ll arrive at San Francisco International Airport in the afternoon and make your way to your hotel. Settle in at the eco-luxury and eclectic Carlton Hotel only a stone’s throw away from the bustling Union Square. Take the afternoon to unwind in your room, enjoy the Californian cuisine at the hotel’s Saha Lounge or hit the ground running by exploring the lively neighbourhood. Your Tour Director will contact you in the evening, and will be on hand to answer any queries you might have and to guide you through your 14 day itinerary.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Carlton
Alcatraz

After breakfast, your tour through America’s best national parks starts with a guided tour around the city starting with Union Square, a 2.6 acres square near the theatre district. Fashion lovers will be spoilt for choice in San Francisco’s shopping paradise with upscale department stores and charming boutiques sprinkled on every corner. Then, it’s time to visit one of the best known attractions in the western side of the USA at Fisherman's Wharf. Jump in a cable car, go on a fishing excursion, or sample some of the finest local and seasonal wines and beers at Altalena Vinoteca.

Enjoy a stroll down Sea Lions’ Marina to watch the fun and interaction displays and real sea lion skeletons. Before you leave, look out across the bay to Alcatraz Island - the infamous and notorious federal prison that was home to America’s Most Wanted. It was in this very prison that Al Capone, George “Machine Gun” Kelly and Robert “The Birdman” Stroud were incarcerated.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Carlton
a man riding on the back of a boat in a body of water
a large tree surrounded by water

On day three of your tour, start your day with a trip to Sacramento, the capital of the ‘Golden State’. You’ll stop in the riverfront historic district, Old Town, where cobblestone streets whisk you back in time to the 19th century. After exploring the quaint town, it’s time for a trip to the sapphire-blue Lake Tahoe, a splendid and scenic locale loved by both the town dwellers and visitors alike. Find long mountain trails, beaches, and restaurants all in the same place.

In the afternoon you’ll venture towards Virginia City, the wonderfully preserved Old West mining town frozen in time. Over 150 years old, the city is adorned with 19th century homes, steam trains and a wealth of fascinating history. You will feel like you’ve been teleported back in time here.

After a packed day of exploring, a short drive takes you to your hotel in Reno.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Harrah’s Reno

Leave Reno behind and journey through the wide Black Rock Desert, which is one of the earth’s largest and flattest surfaces. You’ll go on a short drive through the remote desert of rugged canyons and dried lakes along the Humboldt River, passing Elko and finally arriving at Twin Falls. In this gateway to Snake River Canyon, you won’t be disappointed when you find the majestic waterfalls. It’s been described as the ‘Niagara of the West’ and it’s easy to see why. This is a powerful, thundering 212-foot waterfall that you don’t want to miss. 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Red Lion Hotel Twin Falls
a herd of cattle standing on top of a snow covered field
a close up of bison standing on top of a grass covered field

Today you’ll leave Twin Falls and cross the Snake River or ‘The River of No Return’ - but don’t worry, it’s completely safe. Explorers misunderstood that the ‘snake’ in the name was a tribute to a Native American hand symbol. You’ll continue until you reach the Craters of the National Monument, a fascinating yet eerie preserved land of lava dotted with scattered ember. Explore this volcanic wonderland’s caves and lava tubes, scenic routes of cinder beds and surreal landscapes. It so closely resembles lunar conditions that the training for the first men on the moon took place on this very spot.

In the late afternoon, arrive at Yellowstone National Park, a unique wilderness recreational area in Wyoming. Walk among the pretty lush forests, alpine rivers and hot springs. Animal lovers will appreciate the wildlife here - lookout for bison, elk, and antelope.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Gray Wolf Inn
a sunset over a body of water
jac

Explore deeper into the Yellowstone National Park today with visits to Mammoth Hot Springs and Yellowstone Canyon’s majestic falls. Admire the thundering falls and enjoy the warm natural waters of the hot springs, which are both set within the gloriously beautiful national park. 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Gray Wolf Inn
a body of water with a mountain in the background

Your morning starts with a venture into the snow-capped mountains of Grand Teton Park. Explorers will love the alpine terrains and over two hundred miles of trails. Wildlife admirers will revel in sighting cougars, elk, the American black bear, wild buffalo and bison. Capture the stunning landscape of the majestic white mountains bouncing off the reflection in the sapphire waters.

You’ll then travel through southern Idaho to reach the famous Salt Lake City in Utah. Discover the historic architecture and the vivid art scene and Temple Square. Bring the afternoon to a close with an inspiring visit to The Tabernacle, which is home to the world-renowned Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square. Get lost in a timeless choir performance, explore the flowers and foliage of the 250 flower bed garden, or admire scale models of ancient Jerusalem. Head back to your hotel for the evening to unwind and reflect on the day. For impressive views over Temple Square, we suggest dining at the Roof Restaurant (optional), a premier and luxury gourmet style culinary spot - which will mark the perfect to end your day.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel RL Salt Lake City
Mesa archway
a canyon with a mountain in the background

On the eighth day of your National Parks Explorer tour it’s time to head south to Canyonlands National Park. Spend the morning exploring an expansive wilderness and more canyons than you can count on one hand. Choose to delve deeper into one of the park’s four districts: The Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze and the two combined rivers. Expect a dramatic desert atmosphere and dark orange and red ravines for as far as you can see. It’s the perfect setting to appreciate the deep trails and lofty canyon views.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Moab Valley Inn
Arches National Park, Utah
a canyon with Arches National Park in the background

Today you’ll visit one of Utah’s Mighty Five, Arches National Park. There’s so much to explore here - over 2,000 enormous natural stone arches and hundreds of towering peaks that look like fortresses made for giants. In the early morning, sparkling rays of light pierce through the colossal red rock - you won’t take another photo quite like it. After you’ve explored what you can of the huge 76,679 acres Park, we recommend you take an optional tour with an exciting jet boat float trip on the Colorado River. 

 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Moab Valley Inn

Today’s tour through America’s best explorer locations will take you to Capitol Reef National Park in the heart of red rock county. This hidden treasure was established just over 80 years ago to protect a fascinating and unique geological mishap - a Waterpocket Fold, which is a literal wrinkle on the earth. This beautiful park is bursting with huge cliffs, white sandstone domes and historic orchards. 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Bryce View Lodge
Bryce Canyon National Park

Discover one of America’s best national parks today - Bryce Canyon, a stunning reservoir on the border between Arizona and Utah. The park looks like a real life painting, with red rock vistas twisting and turning like snakes around deep-blue waters that shine, almost glistening. For an exhilarating cool off, dive from the cliffs that surround the lake into the waters. Depending on where you are in the lake, the water might be a rich deep-blue or a striking emerald-green. This is a picture-perfect setting wherever you find yourself.

Continue your afternoon with a drive through what explorers have named ‘the multilayer cake’ - the Painted Desert. This huge ‘desert’ is home to some of the earth’s most important formations caused by floods, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. You’ll arrive at the monumental Grand Canyon. Nothing can quite prepare you for the enormous landmark, with its colossal sandstone canyons against a backdrop of pine and fir forest. This mighty desert washed over with its bold orange and reds will simply take your breath away.

As the afternoon draws to an end, head back to your hotel and recharge for tomorrow’s adventures.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Flagstaff
Las Vegas

No trip this side of the USA would be complete without stepping into the entertainment capital of the world - Las Vegas. But first, enjoy a trip through Seligman, the tiny railroad town with only 415 citizens and the birthplace of the historic 66.

The rest of your day can be spent at leisure. See what the famous Las Vegas Strip has to offer - feast in one of the many fine dining restaurants, find a replica of well-known landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower and the Egyptian pyramids, or indulge in a little retail therapy in the endless strip of designer and boutique shops.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Luxor Las Vegas - Pyramid Rooms
Las Vegas
Las Vegas Strip

Enjoy today entirely at your leisure. Relax after 12 action-packed days of exploring the deep south of the USA, or immerse yourself deeper in the frenetic bustle of Las Vegas. You can take in a show, try your luck at one of the many casinos, visit sprawling malls, try delicious all American cuisine and so much more. If you would like to get out of the city for the day, speak with your ATI Tour Director about an optional day trip to Death Valley. 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Luxor Las Vegas - Pyramid Rooms
Las Vegas Sign

Today is the last day of your National Parks Explorer Tour. Make a quick stop at the heart and symbol of Las Vegas City, the famous ‘Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas City’ sign before heading to Los Angeles. You can expect stunning views until the end as you pass through the Mojave Desert, a beautiful stretch of orange land lined with unique Joshua Trees and pink wildflower bloom. Once you reach LA, enjoy a final tour through Hollywood, the Sunset Strip and Beverly Hills. 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Crowne Plaza LAX

It’s time to leave America’s best national parks behind and begin your travels home. Travel independently to the airport for your international or domestic transfer.

Included

  • International flights and airfare taxes
  • Cost of accommodation (double room based on two people sharing) for a total of 4 nights (alternative but similar accommodation may be used at certain times of the year)
  • Board basis: Four complimentary breakfasts
  • Transportation by modern motorcoach with an experienced tour driver
  • 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 directors, local guides, naturalists and hotel staff
  • Meals (unless specified)
  • Optional attractions and excursions (unless specified)