BEST OF THE WEST

18 days departing SAN FRANCISCO from

Style: Active
Destination: USA West
Tour Code: PBW

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Trip Overview

You'll hit all the top spots on this 18 day camping tour of America's Wild West, including Yosemite, Yellowstone, Zion and the magnificent Grand Canyon National Parks! Hike under towering waterfalls, climb to alpine lakes, witness erupting geysers, and meet the Navajo Nation on an included Monument Valley backcountry tour. Keep an eye out for bison, grizzlies, and bald eagles as we pass through some of the best wildlife reserves in North America. With so much to see and do, this tour embodies the true American spirit and is most definitely the best of the west!

THE GRAND AMERICAN SALE - BOOK NOW & SAVE 10%

Book now and save 10% on Best of the West tours departing in 2015 (subject to availability). Limited seats are available so secure your trip today and start getting excited about your next adventure! See Dates and Prices tab for savings. (Discount applies to new bookings only and cannot be combined with any other promotional offer except Loyalty discounts)

Included Highlights
  • Two nights in Yosemite National Park
  • Cross the Nevada Desert
  • Western town of Jackson, Wyoming
  • Arches and Canyonlands National Park
  • Navajo guided backroads tour of Monument Valley
  • Two nights at Grand Canyon National Park
  • Amazing Grand Canyon sunrise or sunset
  • Zion & Grand Teton National Park trails
  • Scenic walks and hikes
  • Wildlife encounters and incredible landscapes
  • Cruise the Las Vegas Strip
  • Watch Old Faithful erupt in Yellowstone National Park
  • Visit (and swim) at Homestead Crater - from film '127 Hours'
Tour Facts & Features
Accommodation: 15 nights camping with equipment (except sleeping bag) + 2 hotel nights in 3 star twin share accommodation. For your own tent & room request our optional Solo Sleeper (see Dates & Prices tab).
Transport: All transportation by private vehicle
Meals: All meals whilst camping included
Guided: Services of a professional tour leader
Group size: Maximum 13
Age range: 18+
Wifi: Free wi-fi available in your vehicle (Max 5 users)

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Trip Itinerary

Our routes have been carefully chosen to include the best night stops and highlights. However, as local and operational conditions may vary and unforeseen circumstances can arise, the following itinerary should be used as a guideline.


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Optional Activities (paid locally)
  • Grand Canyon helicopter flight US$254-$284
  • Western Saloons US$varies
  • Mountain biking in Moab US$45-$110
  • Grand Canyon IMAX theater US$15
  • Float trip on Colorado River US$43-$85
  • Bike rental in Yosemite US$12-$32
  • Lake Tahoe sunset champagne cruise US$53
  • Lake Tahoe casinos US$FREE
  • Whitewater rafting on the Snake River US$77-$124
  • Extreme off-road hummer tour in Moab US$79-$91
  • Horseback riding in Jackson US$65
  • Bar J Chuckwagon Dinner in Jackson US$25
  • Drive-in Cinema, Salt Lake City US$8


Trip Departure Time

As this tour departs at 0730 we recommend that you book pre-tour accommodation. Please request hotel details at the time of booking.

Day 1: San Francisco and Yosemite National Park

You'll no doubt be sad to leave the City by the Bay behind, but you have 18 adventure filled days ahead of you. As you head east through California's historic gold country, you will soon reach Yosemite National Park, where everything is super-sized, including some of North America's tallest cliffs, waterfalls and trees. Enjoy an afternoon under the mighty Sequoias before setting up camp under the towering granite cliffs of Yosemite Valley.
Accommodation: Camping with meals included

Day 2: Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park sits nestled in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range of northern California. Here green forest meets granite walls measuring several thousand feet in height. Rock climbers come from all over the world to scale the rocks whilst hikers get to walk to the base of some of the largest waterfalls in the world. After a visit to see the amazing giant sequoia trees, Yosemite Valley beckons. Here you may cycle, take a dip in the Merced River or wander the meadows. You will get the chance to hike on one of the many trails, leaving the crowds behind. The famous sites situated along these trails include Yosemite Falls, Nevada Falls, Vernal Falls, Mirror Lake and Half Dome. The views are breath-taking from every vantage point as granite formations of Half Dome, El Capitan and Cathedral Rocks are sure to be forever etched on your mind.
Accommodation: Camping with meals included

Day 3: Lake Tahoe

From Yosemite you continue the journey to the vibrant forest and deep blue hues of beautiful Lake Tahoe, the second deepest lake in USA with a maximum depth of 1645 feet. It contains enough water to provide every man, woman and child in the country with 200 litres of water a day, every day, for 5 years! Now that's what we call a lot of water. Formed about 2 million years ago and shaped during the Ice Age, the lake is actually located right on the border of California and Nevada and sits on an altitude of 6225 feet above sea level. It is a major tourist recreational area in both summer and winter with one of its ski areas, Squaw Valley, playing host to the 1960 Winter Olympics. You have the chance to enjoy an optional sunset cruise on a catamaran, which is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
Accommodation: Camping with meals included

Day 4: Nevada

From Lake Tahoe you delve deeper into the vast desert for some incredible scenery. The Great Basin Desert actually extends right across to California, Oregon, Idaho and Utah. You cover some great distances today, but also see some fascinating and contrasting scenery on your road trip.
Accommodation: Camping with meals included

Day 5-6: Yellowstone National Park

Enjoy a full day exploring the wilderness and wildlife at your next destination, Yellowstone National Park. The world's first and largest national park in the continental United States, Yellowstone was originally protected for it high concentrations of geothermal wonders, such as Old Faithful (which you will see erupt). This park is so large that its boundaries cross into three states. Most of it is in Wyoming, but parts of the reserve extend into Idaho and Montana. Home to a large variety of wildlife including grizzly bear, wolf, bison and elk, watch the herds of bison roam amongst the erupting geysers while steam rises from the various rivers running through the park. A fire in the 1980s ravaged much of the park, but it has recovered to the extent that it is now a living monument to nature's power of regeneration.
Accommodation: Camping with meals included

Day 7-8: Grand Teton National Park/Jackson

Continuing your journey in Wyoming, you visit Grand Teton National Park with the option to ferry across Jenny Lake and walk to Inspiration Point for views which will take your breath away. Next up is a truly friendly and authentic western town experience in Jackson; your home for the next two nights. Once home to trappers and a hideout for outlaws and rustlers, Jackson is now the base for hikers to take on some lovely hiking trails as well as a town renowned for its cafes and western style saloons! With a permanent population of around 8,600 people and a far greater transient tourist population, it attracts many of the rich and famous and is a great base for exploring the Teton Mountains. Surrounded by beautiful scenery you can spend your day hiking, mountain biking, rafting and more. Why not opt for a Chuckwagon dinner to really get you into the cowboy spirit?
Accommodation: Camping with meals included

Day 9: Salt Lake City

Your next destination is the capital of Utah - Salt Lake City but first you'll enjoy an included visit and swim at Homestead Crater, a stunning underground pool which featured in the film `127 Hours'. With a city population of 186,000 and a metropolitan population of 1.13 million, it is the largest city in the state. Founded in 1847 by Brigham Young and his Mormon followers, it is still the base for the religion although less than half the population in the city today are Mormons. At the centre of town is Temple Square and you have the afternoon free to explore the city's beautifully landscaped grounds, the granite Salt Lake Temple with its six spires and the domed Tabernacle, home of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Besides occasional free concerts, there are also nearby shopping centres and tasty local restaurants. Its location at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains makes for some beautiful photos, before you continue south to Utah's adventure capital, Moab.
Accommodation: Hotel included. Meals paid locally.

Day 10-11: Moab & Arches National Park

The scenery just keeps getting more and more epic as you lay eyes upon the amid and the magnificent splendour of Arches National Park. Located just a few miles outside Moab, this will be your base for the next three days. These stunning red sandstone arches have been created by millions of years of wind whipping down the west slope of the Rocky Mountains. Here you'll have the opportunity to hike to many of these incredible arches, some of which are known as Landscape Arch and the famous Delicate Arch, the latter being the most iconic and more photographed of the arches in the park. Alternatively, why not tackle the desert terrain on a guided "hummer" tour or take a float trip down the Colorado River, adventure is definitely out there in Moab.
Accommodation: Camping with meals included

Day 12: Canyonlands National Parks

In contrast, Canyonlands National Park is a little known place where the mighty Colorado and Green Rivers meet, after time they have carved through this amazing landscape, making it popular with mountain bikers and white-water rafters. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you explore all this incredible park has to offer, from the natural bridges to towering cliffs and bottomless canyons. A walk to Dead Horse Point for stunning views of the Colorado River will be high on your `to-do' list.
Accommodation: Camping with meals included

Day 13: Monument Valley

From red rock canyons to Indian tribal lands you travel out of Utah and into the heart of the Navajo Nation in Arizona. Monument Valley is sacred land to those who call it home and the sandstone monoliths and spectacular sunsets and sunrises have been the backdrop to countless 'westerns' films. You will be met by a Navajo guide, where you will be taken on an included back roads tour of the Monument Valley Tribal Lands. Learn about the history and culture of the Navajo people. Hear how Native Americans have embraced this harsh environment, and how their relationship to the world around them constantly changes and evolves. Such a day could only be topped by a spectacular desert sunset at one of the most majestic, and most photographed destination on earth. Then it's time to head back to your hotel because tomorrow you'll visit the ultimate desert show stopper, the Grand Canyon.
Accommodation: Hotel included. Meals paid locally.

Day 14-15: Grand Canyon National Park

Leaving Monument Valley you travel south through the Navajo Reservation to the Cameron Trading Post to browse and shop for local jewellery, crafts and cultural souvenirs. You then traverse the eastern entrance of the Grand Canyon and catch your first glimpse of this epic landscape at Desert View. This incredible spectacle is difficult to comprehend, even as you stand at the rim or hike down into the canyon, nothing can prepare you for just how epic this place really is. Once again, you will have plenty of opportunities to explore the park at your own pace. In your free time, we highly recommend a scenic helicopter flight over the canyon, which offer perspectives that you cannot see by just visiting on foot. Venture down the Bright Angel Trail to Plateau Point, or stroll along the more leisurely West Rim Trail and catch a shuttle bus out to Hermit's Rest. Why not opt to finish off the day by watching the amazing IMAX film, "The Grand Canyon Experience" and enjoy a spectacular sunset over one of the world's natural wonders?
Accommodation: Camping with meals included

Day 16: Zion National Park

Make your way back to Utah and onto Zion, your last national park, and one of the most spectacular destinations in the US. Zion Canyon was named by the early Mormon settlers of Utah who thought of it as their 'promised land'. Some of the best hiking in southwest USA can be found here in and around the fertile Virgin River as it meanders below massive, cathedral-like, sandstone walls. With two nights here, you'll will have plenty of time to explore.
Accommodation: Camping with meals included

Day 17: Zion National Park

You have a full day to further explore the delights of Zion National Park. There are various hikes to choose from, ranging from easy to strenuous ones. Warm up your legs by taking some of the short hikes from the valley floor to view the Lower Emerald pool and then continue on to the sparkling Upper Emerald pools. You'll pass more stunning scenery as you make your way to Zion's "beach", make sure you cool off from the summer sun by exploring the Riverside Walk section of the Virgin River. If you are feeling ambitious, enjoy the park's more challenging option and ascend 760 metres (2500 feet) to experience unbeatable panoramic views from the top of Angels Landing. After a beautiful but strenuous hike along the knife-edge ridgeline you will be rewarded with one of the most breath-taking and powerful panoramas you will ever experience. If weather conditions permit, you may choose to hike deep into the Zion Narrows. Of course, horse riding is available if you'd prefer a seat with a view!
Accommodation: Camping with meals included

Day 18: Las Vegas

Leave nature behind and head into Las Vegas, Nevada, and all of its neon splendour. Las Vegas is the fastest growing city in the United States and the entertainment capital of North America - home to pirates and pyramids, weddings and waterfalls. If you fancy trying your hand at a spot of gambling, you have definitely come to the right place! Nowhere else in the world will you find as many casinos, clubs and all-you-can-eat buffets. Finish this trip of a lifetime with a drive down the infamous Strip. If you have time, make sure you add on a few more days in Las Vegas to enjoy its world-class shows, nightlife and entertainment.

This tour ends at our gateway hotel at approximately 17:00 hrs. We can book you post-tour accommodation at our gateway hotel if required. If you are planning to fly tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 21:00 hrs.

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  • A 10% deposit per person is required to book
  • Full payment is due 8 weeks before the tour departure
  • We are an ABTA and ATOL operator offering financial security for our inclusive tours.
  • If you prefer to book by telephone please contact our sales office
  • Prices are land only. Call 0333 999 7951 for a flight inclusive quote (UK)

Solo Sleepers   Optional Solo Sleeper

There are no forced supplements for single travellers. Accommodation is based on twin-share, so if you're travelling on your own, you'll share with a fellow passenger of the same sex. However, if you would prefer your own space our Solo Sleeper Option can be requested from per person. This will guarantee you your own tent & room for every night of the tour. The number of single tents we can offer is limited, so it's best to book early. Simply select the "Solo Sleepers" check box on the booking form or request over the phone.

Important Notes

We highly recommend you book this trip at least 30 days prior to departure. Reservations received within 30 days will be on request basis.

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Private Departures

Why not arrange your own Grand American Adventures departure? For groups of 8 or more, we can offer private departures on any of our published itineraries enabling friends, families or organizations to enjoy our style of travel at special rates. Although tours will run as per our standard itinerary shown here, slight modifications may be considered and dates can be chosen to suit your needs. (Subject to seasonal/operational restrictions). So contact us today and start planning your own adventure.

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Tour Extras

We've offer a whole range of travel extras with everything from city sightseeing, additional hotel nights, insurance and more so you can organise everything you'll need for your trip in one easy place

Hotels Before and After your trip

Tours begin and end at designated hotels in the departure and arrival cities, starting at 7.30am (check your tour voucher for exact details) and finishing at around 5pm, so it's a great idea to book a room for the night before and after your tour. You can book hotels either online when you book your tour or by call our sales team.

Alexis Park Resort Hotel

LAS VEGAS - ALEXIS PARK RESORT HOTEL
An all-suite hotel features 3 outdoor pools and gym. All rooms have flat screen TV, mini bar and refrigerator.

  • Twin share:  per person per night
      Matched with another traveller of the same sex.
       
    Full room:  per room per night
      Single or double room for travellers on the same booking.


Holiday Inn Golden Gateway

SAN FRANCISCO - HOLIDAY INN GOLDEN GATEWAY
This hotel is right on the San Francisco Trolley Line and you can enjoy the epic city views from the rooftop pool or from your bed, every room has a view!

  • Twin share:  per person per night
      Matched with another traveller of the same sex.
       
    Full room:  per room per night
      Single or double room for travellers on the same booking.


Book Flights

Our specialist flights department can offer UK customers a great airline fare to all of our travel destinations.

Book Flights

We have preferred contracts with many international carriers and have secured some of the most competitive prices in the industry. We are also ATOL protected and IATA licensed.

Special offers are regularly available, so call us now on 0208 682 8920 or click below to request a flight quote by email.

> Request a flight quote now

Travel Insurance

At Grand American Adventures we believe that your safety and enjoyment are the most important parts of your holiday.

Travel Insurance

Before you join your Grand American Adventures tour you MUST be covered by insurance that includes adequate coverage for baggage, medical expenses and the cost of repatriation. We can offer you a comprehensive travel insurance policy which is completely tailored for your trip and is specially designed to include all the activities listed.

See our insurance page for more information.


City Sightseeing Tours

If you are spending extra time in our gateway cities, you can now plan in advance by pre-booking unique city sightseeing day tours in addition to your trip.

Seattle Music Tour

SAN FRANCISCO & LAS VEGAS

All city day tours are operated by local experts who are dedicated to take you behind the scenes so you know it like a local! When booking your trip, simply select your chosen city tours from the Tour Extras section on the online booking form.

> View City Sightseeing Tours

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