15 days departing SAN FRANCISCO from

Style: Active
Destination: USA West
Tour Code: PNL

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Trip Overview

This unique tour explores the crown jewels of America's national park system, whilst enjoying the comfort of its historic and unique lodges and upgraded hotels. Yosemite, Yellowstone, Death Valley 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. That's not to forget the lesser known but equally stunning parks including Zion, Bryce Canyon and Arches. Some 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!

Included Highlights
  • Stay in historic and upgraded national park lodges / hotels
  • Navajo guided backroads tour of Monument Valley
  • Salt Lake City tour guided by local Mormon
  • Scenic ferry across Jenny Lake
  • Two nights in Yosemite National Park and visit to Tuolumne Grove
  • Visit Death Valley - one of the hottest, lowest and driest places in North America
  • Zion's towering cliffs and narrow canyons
  • Two nights at Grand Canyon North Rim including sunrise or sunset
  • See incredible rock formations in Arches National Park
  • Two nights in Yellowstone National Park
  • Hike to Inspiration Point in Grand Teton National Park
Guaranteed departures

All departures of this tour are guaranteed, so once you've booked you can be sure you're going! This guarantee gives you the confidence to book all of your travel arrangements and simply look forward to your holiday.

Tour Facts and Features
Accommodation: 14 nights unique, historic and upgraded accommodation. For your own room request our optional Solo Sleeper (see 'Dates and Prices' tab).
Transport: All transportation by private vehicle and ferry
Meals: All meals paid locally
Guided: Services of a professional tour leader
Group size: Maximum 13
Age range: 18+
Wi-Fi: Free Wi-Fi available in your vehicle. Maximum of five users at one time.

New vehicles in USA for 2016

From 2016 you'll travel in a new upgraded vehicle which has been designed with your comfort in mind. Our private, air-conditioned vehicles are custom-built to suit our style of travel, so getting from one destination to the next will be an even more enjoyable experience.

Extra-large windows for better viewing
Wider seats with more leg room
6'3'' interior height for added comfort
Electric bi-fold entry door for quicker and easier access
Overhead luggage racks, reading lamps and on-board TV screen

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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.

Download Trip Dossier (2016 version)

Download the National Parks and Lodges trip dossier for tour-specific details including full itinerary, pre-departure information, packing tips and more about our style of travel.

Download Dossier >

Optional Activities (paid locally)

Our optional activities offer the flexibility to do the things you want to and leave out the things you don't. Below are the main optional activities for this trip which can be arranged once you are on tour via your tour leader and paid for locally. Please note that not all optional activities may available on every tour and prices are subject to change.

  • Helicopter flight - Grand Canyon US$284
  • Western saloons - Jackson US$varies
  • Mountain biking - Moab US$45-$110
  • IMAX Theater - Grand Canyon US$15
  • Float trip on the Colorado River - Moab US$60-$90
  • Bike rental - Yosemite US$12-$34
  • Float trip on the Merced River - Yosemite US$31
  • Extreme off-road hummer tour - Moab US$90-$100
  • Western horseback riding - Zion US$40-$80
  • Drive-in Movie - Salt Lake City US$8

Day 1: Arrival day in San Francisco

Welcome to the 'City by the Bay' in sunny California. San Francisco is a city which the locals are fiercely proud of and for good reason. There's plenty to keep you entertained but the best introduction is to jump on a hop-on-hop-off bus tour or book one of our 'Urban Adventures' around the city. A welcome meeting will be held at 18:00 hrs in your hotel.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Paid locally

No trip to San Francisco is complete without a visit to Alcatraz. We recommend you book an extra night in our hotel the night before the tour starts and book your ticket online in advance with Alcatraz Cruises.

Day 2: San Francisco and Yosemite National Park

After departing San Francisco you head east through California's historic gold country then high into the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the magnificent Yosemite National Park. You begin with an easy trail walk to the Giant Sequoia Trees before your two night stay at your Yosemite Lodge.
Accommodation: Hotel included Meals: Paid locally

Day 3: 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 ft. 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, where you can bicycle, take a dip in the Merced River or wander the lush meadows.

Hiking in Yosemite is pretty special and anyone who visits the park must hit one of the many trails. 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 your minds. In the evening you return to your historic lodge where you can relax with a cocktail.
Featured Accommodation: Lodge | Meals: Paid locally

Day 4: Death Valley National Park

One of the hottest, driest and lowest places on earth, Death Valley is blessed with some of the most extreme and beautiful landscapes. Sculpted by erosion, richly tinted mudstone hills and canyons await exploration, with sand dunes and salt pans making for some exceptional photos. You cover a long distance today and you'll see some fascinating and contrasting scenery on your journey.
Accommodation: Lodge included | Meals: Paid locally

Day 5: Zion National Park

Make your way back to Utah and onto the soaring red and white cliffs of Zion, one of the most spectacular destinations in the USA park system. 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. Upon arriving you'll enjoy a hike along the narrows of the Virgin River.
Accommodation: Lodge included Meals: Paid locally

Day 6: Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park

With an early morning rise you have half a day to spend as you wish, perhaps spend some time hiking the wonderful park trails. 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, passing a beautiful waterfall along the way. Cool off from the summer sun by exploring the Riverside Walk section of the Virgin River. Zion is also home to epic red rock vistas, tiny grottoes, hanging gardens and meadows of mesa-top wildflowers - it's a wonderful place to spend a couple of days.

Leaving Zion National Park you climb in elevation to almost 2,438 metres (8,296ft.) and traverse a high plateau to Bryce Canyon National Park. Bryce Canyon is a fascinating natural amphitheater of pink, orange and white sandstone spires, known locally as hoodoos. There are a variety of scenic overlooks and trails that range from easy to moderate in difficulty. The Navajo or Peek-a-Boo Loop Trails will enable you to hike right in amongst these unique rock formations. Some may prefer to hike on the Queen's Garden Trail or remain on the rim and photograph the ever-changing shadows and hues as the sun makes its way across the wide-open sky.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Paid locally

Day 7-8: Grand Canyon National Park

Head to the Grand Canyon, for the ultimate desert showstopper! Traversing the eastern entrance of the canyon, you'll catch your first glimpse at Desert View. This incredible spectacle is difficult to comprehend, stretching for almost 300 miles and plunging to depths of over 6,000ft., there's plenty of rock to go round and viewing points from the south and west rims enable some jaw-dropping moments. Aside from the views, you'll also discover plenty of opportunities to get active with hiking trails. Snaking through the canyon floor is the mighty Colorado River, which runs 1,450 miles (2,330km) through seven US states and two Mexican states.

In your free time, we highly recommend a scenic flight over the canyon, which offers a perspective that you simply can't see visiting on foot. Also recommended is the film show at the IMAX Theater, which'll give you an excellent overview of the area and how it developed. Alternatively, stroll the easy meandering South Rim Trail, hike your way down the more challenging trail to Plateau Point, or relax at the canyon's edge and enjoy a spectacular sunset over one of the world's natural wonders.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Paid locally

Day 9: 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 and the best way to experience this special place is on a Navajo guided backroads tour, where you'll be taken to parts of the park that you can only reach by jeep. Listen to traditional stories and learn more about the history of the Navajo Nation. As you come across geological wonders, petroglyph drawings of animals and pottery crafted by local people, you'll soon realise why this place is so special to all who visit. There's also ample time to relax and view the valley's surreal sunset.
Accommodation: Kayenta Monument Valley Inn included | Meals: Paid locally

Day 10-11: Moab / Arches National Park

Today you are treated with yet more spectacular scenery amid the magnificent splendour of Arches National Park. Your base will be in Moab, the perfect place for restaurants and activity providers and your home for the next two days. These stunning red sandstone arches have been created over millions of years by the whipping wind down the west slope of the Rocky Mountains. Here you 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 terrain high above on a guided `hummer' tour or take a float trip down the Colorado River. Arches National Park is a photographer's playground with many a sandstone edifice providing the foreground against a clear blue or flame red sky. With hardly any light pollution there's plenty to see after dark too.
Accommodation: Best Western Plus included | Meals: Paid locally

Day 12: Salt Lake City

Your 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's the largest city in the state. Founded in 1847 by Brigham Young and his Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) followers. Salt Lake City is still the base for the religion although less than half the population in the city today are Mormons. Enjoy a city tour with a local Mormon guide and see the city from a local's perspective.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Paid locally

Day 13-14: Salt Lake City and Yellowstone National Park

Arrive in Yellowstone National Park, the world's first national park and home to a large variety of wildlife including Grizzly Bear, wolves, bison and elk. This park is so large that its boundaries cross into three states. Most of the park sits 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 destroyed much of the park, but it has recovered to the extent that it is now a living monument to nature's power of regeneration. From lush mountain meadows and vast freshwater lakes to sensuous pine forests and flower strewn hillsides, lovers of infinite wilderness will be in their absolute element in Yellowstone National Park.
Accommodation: Historic cabins included | Meals: Paid locally

Day 15: Grand Teton National Park and Jackson

You continue your journey in Wyoming, travelling through Grand Teton National Park where you have a scenic ferry included across Jenny Lake and the chance to hike up to Inspiration Point past waterfalls to a viewpoint that will take your breath away. Your tour finishes in the Western town of Jackson.

It's recommended to spend a few extra nights to experience this truly authentic Western town. 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 nearby wilderness.
Meals: Paid locally

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.

Tour Notes

Please note, featured hotels and 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.

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No credit card fes
  • A 10% deposit per person is required to confirm your booking.
  • Full payment is due 8 weeks before the tour departure
  • We charged no credit card fees or hidden surcharges
  • ABTA & ATOL licensed operator offering financial security for our tours
  • Prices are land only. Call 0333 999 7965 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 room for every night of the tour. Single rooms in the historic lodges are very limited so this option is on a request basis only. Please call us to enquire about this.

Important Notes

We highly recommend you book this trip at least 60 days prior to departure. Reservations received within 30 days will be on request and subject to availability of en-route accommodation.

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Guaranteed: Tour is guaranteed to operate once you book.
Available: Seats are available. Book Online now!
Limited: Limited seats only. Book Online now!
Contact Us: Seats may be available. Please contact us.

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 our designated hotels listed below in the departure and arrival cities. You can book additional hotel nights online or contact our sales team.

Hotel Tomo


Centrally located in Japantown with shops, boutiques and restaurants all nearby and close to Union Square and Lower Pacific Heights.

  • Full room:  per room per night
      Based on single, twin or double room.

The Lexington Hotel


Located 1.5 blocks from Jackson's historic town square, this hotel offers free W-Fi, an indoor pool, jacuzzi and complimentary airport shuttle service.

  • Full room:  per room per night
      Based on single, twin or double room.

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 8921 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.

San Francisco City Tours


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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Call us on 0333 999 7961 0333 999 7965
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Call us on 1300 157 153 1300 157 153
+44 208 6828921
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