NATIONAL PARK LODGES PREMIUM
16 days departing SAN FRANCISCO from
Destination: USA West
Tour Code: PNL
This unique tour explores the crown jewels of America's National Park system, whilst enjoying the luxurious comfort of its historic lodges. Yosemite, Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon showcase some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes in the US, and their expansive vistas and abundant wildlife have been attracting visitors for over 100 years. Lodges that were built at the turn of the century to cater to this early wave of tourists are still operational in all their former glory, and today they're more than just places to stay, they're pieces of history!
- 8 nights in Historic National Park lodges
- Welcome dinner at Yosemite National Park
- Full day exploring Yosemite National Park
- Lake Tahoe panoramic views
- 2 nights in Yellowstone National Park
- Nightlife in western town of Jackson
- Arches & Canyonlands National Parks
- Navajo Indian guided backroads tour of Monument Valley
- 2 nights at Grand Canyon North Rim
- Amazing Grand Canyon sunrise or sunset
- Zion's towering cliffs and narrow canyons
- Scenic walks and hikes
- Wildlife viewing opportunities
- Meet cowboys and experience Western Saloons
- Drive the Las Vegas Strip
You can now check your email and keep in touch with family and friends while on the road with our wi-fi enabled vehicles. (Maximum 5 users at a time. Fair usage restrictions may apply. Only available in USA & Alaska).
- Whitewater rafting US$30-$200
- Great National Park hikes US$FREE
- Western horseback riding US$45-$95
- Country Western saloons US$5-$20
- Mountain biking in Moab US$45-$95
- Western Rodeo (in season) US$10-$25
- Las Vegas helicopter flight: US$115
- Extreme hummer tour US$77-$145
- Lake Tahoe sunset catamaran cruise US$45
|Accommodation:||8 nights in Historic National Park lodges + 7 nights in 4 star hotels on a twin share basis. No forced single supplements.|
|Transport:||All transportation by private adventure vehicle|
|Guided:||Services of a professional tour leader|
|Group size:||Maximum 13|
Our range of 3 - 4 day Mini Adventures are just the ticket for extending your tour and experiencing North America's most incredible 'must see' highlights. Check out the following adventures relevant to this trip.
CALIFORNIA COAST MINI - 3 DAYS
> California Coast and culture
> Rugged Big Sur shoreline
> Monterey bars and shopping
> Santa Cruz's famous boardwalk
> San Francisco skyline views
> View tour
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.
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
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.
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.
As this tour departs at 0730 we recommend that you book pre-tour accommodation. Please request hotel details at the time of booking.
Download the National Park Lodges Premium trip dossier for tour-specific details including full itinerary, pre-departure information, packing tips and more about our style of travel.
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Day 1: San Francisco and Yosemite National Park
After departing San Francisco we head east through California's historic gold country and then high into the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the magnificent Yosemite National Park. We begin with an easy trail walk to the Giant Sequoias before our two night stay at the historic Wawona Lodge. After enjoying the included welcome dinner at the lodge, you will be ready for Yosemite!
Featured Accommodation: Wawona Lodge
Wawona, a National Historic Landmark, rests upon verdant meadows and beside rushing streams. The tranquillity of this Victorian-style lodge in Yosemite makes it a favourite of those who prefer a relaxed environment and the gracious charm of a bygone era. All rooms are furnished with period pieces and antiques. There are no telephones or televisions, allowing you to completely escape and relax.
Meals: Dinner included. Other meals paid locally.
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. The Yosemite Valley beckons. Here we may bicycle, take a dip in the Merced River or wander the meadows.
We get to hike on one of the many trails enabling us to leave 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 breathtaking from every vantage point - the granite formations of Half Dome, El Capitan and Cathedral Rocks are sure to be forever etched on our minds. In the evening we return to our historic lodge and have the chance to relax with a cocktail on the veranda.
Featured Accommodation: Wawona Lodge | Meals: Paid locally
Day 3: Lake Tahoe
From Yosemite we continue the journey to the vibrant forest and deep blue of beautiful Lake Tahoe, the second deepest lake in USA with a maximum depth of 1645 feet. 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. We stay in a hotel next to the lake and have the chance to enjoy an optional sunset cruise on a catamaran, which is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
Meals: Paid locally | Accommodation: Resort Hotel included with indoor pool.
Day 4: Idaho
From Lake Tahoe we delve deeper into the vast desert for some grand scenery. The Great Basin Desert actually extends right across to California, Oregon, Idaho and Utah. We cover some great distances today, but also get to see some fascinating and contrasting scenery on our road trip.
Meals: Paid locally | Accommodation: Hotel included
Day 5-6: Yellowstone National Park
Our next destination, Yellowstone National Park, is the world's first national park and home to a large variety of wildlife including grizzly bear, wolf, bison and elk. 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. Yellowstone has one of the highest concentrations of geothermal activity on the planet. Herds of bison roam amongst the erupting geysers and 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.
Meals: Paid locally
Featured Accommodation: Lake Yellowstone Lodge (03 June, 01 & 29 July, 26 Aug & 09 Sep 2013 departures)
Situated on a site long known as a meeting place for Native Americans, trappers and mountain men, Lake Yellowstone Lodge was completed in 1891 and restored to its 1920s grandeur in 1990. Complete with ionic columns, extend gables and 15 false balconies, this majestic hotel sits on the shores of Yellowstone Lake and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The casually elegant restaurant features a delightfully extravagant menu. We usually stay in the comfortable twin-share cabins situated in the hotel grounds for a real authentic "frontier" feel.
Featured Accommodation: Yellowstone Inn (17 June, 15 July & 12 Aug 2013 departures)
The Yellowstone Inn offers seasonal lodging located in the heart of western Yellowstone country, outside of Yellowstone National Park. The Inn is family owned and each of their 10 units are unique with a character and charm of their own featuring knotty pine interiors with unique cabin furniture, cable TV, coffee makers, microwaves, small refrigerators and air conditioning.
Day 7: Jackson, Wyoming
We continue our journey in Wyoming, and travel past Grand Teton National Park before reaching Jackson to enjoy a truly friendly and authentic western town experience. 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!
Meals: Paid locally
Featured Accommodation: Trapper Inn Lexington
Conveniently located in the heart of Jackson, The Lexington at Jackson Hole Hotel & Suites (formerly the Trapper Inn), is a family-owned hotel with deep roots in Jackson's historic Western community. Offering a perfect blend of Western hospitality and modern luxury, The Lexington provides a variety of well-appointed, spacious sleeping quarters and quality amenities. The warm and personable staff are always pleased to share local insights and will help you navigate the adventure, dining, shopping, sightseeing and wildlife viewing that makes Jackson Hole such a spectacular destination.
Day 8: Salt Lake City
Our next destination is the capital of Utah - Salt Lake City. 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 (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) 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 we 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
Meals: Paid locally | Accommodation: Hotel included
Day 9-10: Arches & Canyonlands National Parks
Next - what seems impossible - more spectacular scenery amid the magnificent splendour of Arches National Park, located just a few miles outside Moab and our base for the next two 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 we have the opportunity to hike to many of these incredible arches, which are known by descriptive names such as Landscape Arch and the famous Delicate Arch.
Alternatively, why not tackle the terrain high above on a guided "hummer" tour or take a float trip down the Colorado River. In contrast, Canyonlands National Park is a little known place where the mighty Colorado and Green Rivers meet, carving this amazing landscape popular with mountain bikers and white water rafters. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you explore all if offers from natural bridges to towering cliffs and bottomless canyons.
Meals: Paid locally | Accommodation: Hotels included
Day 11: Monument Valley
In the heart of the Navajo Nation in Arizona, Monument Valley is sacred land to those who call it home. The red sandstone monoliths and spectacular sunsets and sunrises have been the backdrop to countless 'westerns' featuring cowboys riding off into the desert.
We explore the incredible array of rock formations on an included guided backroads tour and learn the magic and myth of the rich Native American culture. The Navajo Tribal Lands of Monument Valley is a true photographer's paradise. There is also ample time to relax and view the valley's surreal sunset.
Meals: Paid locally | Accommodation: Hotel included
Day 12-13: Grand Canyon National Park
We arrive at the Grand Canyon National Park for our two night lodge stay. Carved over several millennia, this massive wonder of nature is 445 kilometres (277 miles) long, up to 29 kilometres (18 miles) wide and over 1.6 kilometres (1 mile) deep. Snaking through the canyon floor is the mighty Colorado River, which runs 2330 kilometres (1450 miles) through seven US states and two Mexican states. Located on the less traveled North Rim, enjoy time exploring the natural beauty of the Canyon at your own pace before retiring to the lodge to relax and taking in the expansive views of the Canyon below, not to mention the glorious sunrise!
Featured Accommodation: Grand Canyon Lodge
This historic property is the only lodging available on the North Rim of the National Park. Located at Bright Angel Point, the lodge was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987. Here you can enjoy the quiet serenity of the North Rim while enjoying comfortable authenticity of western log cabins. In the evening The Rough Rider Saloon and Lodge Dining Room offers a wide range of beverages, appetizers and hearty 'home cooked' meals.
Meals: Paid locally.
Day 14: Zion National Park
We make our way back to Utah and onto Zion, our 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 this desert terrain of 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, we will have plenty of time to explore.
Featured Accommodation: Zion Lodge
The Zion National Park Lodge offers the only "in-park" accommodation around and lies in the middle of a venerable hiker's paradise. Designed by Gilbert Stanley Underwood in the 1920s, the lodge was restored back to its original classic design in 1990. Most rooms have two queen-size beds, full bathrooms, a private porch or balcony and flat-screen television with satellite. They are clean, comfortable and within walking distance to trails and the main lodge. Red Rock Grill, Zion Lodge's recently renovated dining room, boasts spectacular views of the magnificent surroundings.
Meals: Paid locally
Day 15: Zion National Park
We 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. We warm up our 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, passing a waterfall along the way to discover Zion's "beach." We can also 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 breathtaking 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!
Featured Accommodation: Zion Lodge | Meals: Paid locally
Day 16: Las Vegas
We leave nature behind and head into Las Vegas, Nevada, and all of its neon splendour. Las Vegas is the fastest growing city in United States and the entertainment capital of North America - home to pirates and pyramids, weddings and waterfalls. If it is gambling you want, you have come to the right place! Nowhere else in the world will you find as many casinos, clubs and all-you-can-eat buffets. Why not hit the strip tonight for a farewell party?
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.
Please note that the featured hotels & lodges may change if there are any unforeseen issues outside of our control. On the rare occasion that accommodation is changed we will stay in a local property of a similar standard.
You can easily book your trip online using our secure booking engine. You only need to pay a
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Prices below are land only . For customers departing from the United Kingdom please call us on 0844 576 1370 for a flight inclusive quote.
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