12 days departing SAN FRANCISCO from

Style: Active
Destination: USA West
Tour Code: PWD

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Trip Overview

Our most popular itinerary traverses the varied wilderness of the west coast of America, experiencing nature's transformation from pristine alpine forests to expansive arid deserts. Marvel at Yosemite's granite cliffs, explore Zion and Bryce Canyon's winding trails and discover the hidden secrets of the Navajo on an included backroads tour at Monument Valley. With a visit to the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon, the Western Dream enjoys the finest national parks and adventurous activities, before arriving under the bright lights of Las Vegas at the end of this amazing west coast America holiday.

Included Highlights
  • City tour of San Francisco
  • Two full days in Yosemite National Park
  • Cross the Sierra Nevadas
  • Full day in Zion National Park
  • Bryce Canyon trails
  • Desert oasis of Lake Powell
  • Navajo guided backroads tour of Monument Valley
  • Grand Canyon sunrise of sunset
  • Scenic walks and hikes
  • Cruise the Las Vegas Strip
  • Walk the Golden Gate Bridge
  • View iconic Horseshoe Bend
  • Visit the ecological playground of Death Valley
Tour Facts & Features
Accommodation: 10 nights camping with equipment (except sleeping bag) + 1 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.

Download Trip Dossier (2014 departures)

Download the Western Dream 2014 trip dossier for tour-specific details including full itinerary, pre-departure information, packing tips and more about our style of travel. 2015 dossiers will be available by end of December.

(Adobe Acrobat is required to read this pdf)

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Optional Activities (paid locally)
  • Grand Canyon helicopter flight US$254-$284
  • Grand Canyon IMAX theater US$15
  • Bike rental in Yosemite US$12-$32
  • Swimming at Lake Powell US$FREE
  • Float trip on the Merced River in Yosemite US$30
  • Western horseback riding at Bryce US$40-$80

Itinerary Update

Please note from 01/01/2015 this tour will operate in a reverse direction, starting in Las Vegas and finishing in San Francisco instead. Also included is a visit to Antelope Slot Canyon and the night stop for Bryce Canyon will be at Kodachrome Basin State Park. To read more click here >

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 to Yosemite National Park

Before leaving San Francisco we drive enjoy a brief orientation tour around the city including a close-up view of the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge. Completed in 1937, this iconic suspension bridge stretches for 2.7 km (1.7 miles) and is probably the most photographed bridge in the world. After departing San Francisco we head east through California's historic gold country and set up camp at the scenic Yosemite National Park region - our 'home' for the next three nights.
Accommodation: Camping with lunch & dinner included

Day 2-3: 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 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 we may bicycle, take a dip in the Merced River or wander the meadows. We will get to hike on the many trails that will enable 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.
Accommodation: Camping with all meals included

Day 4: Death Valley

Leaving Yosemite's towering sequoias behind, today's journey is one of incredible contrast as we make our way southwest through the State of California. After leaving the lush forest of the Sierra Nevada we overnight in one of the hottest, driest and lowest places on earth, Death Valley. This arid area has only 5cm of rainfall each year and offers some incredible vistas and natural formations. With temperatures regularly reaching above 40 degrees, you'll be glad your hotel has air conditioning!
Accommodation: Hotel included. Meals paid locally.

Day 5: Zion National Park

We make our way to Utah and our destination - Zion National Park. 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 an early arrival today and two nights here, we will have plenty of time to explore after we set up camp for our two-night stay.
Accommodation: Camping with all meals included

Day 6: 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!
Accommodation: Camping with all meals included

Day 7: Bryce Canyon

Leaving Zion National Park we climb in elevation to almost 2438 metres (8000 feet) and traverse a high plateau to Bryce Canyon National Park. "Mysterious", "breathtaking" and "out of this world", are only a few of the descriptions offered by past visitors to describe this fascinating natural amphitheatre 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 trail will enable us to hike right in amongst these unique rock formations. Some of us 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. A short drive takes us to our lovely campsite at nearby Kodachrome Basin State Park
Accommodation: Camping with all meals included

Day 8: Lake Powell

Visit Horseshoe Bend for that classic Colorado River view, then enjoy a day of relaxation by beautiful Lake Powell. Located on the border of Utah and Arizona and created by the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River, Lake Powell has a shoreline that stretches longer than the western coast of the USA! Many say that Glen Canyon was even more spectacular than the Grand Canyon before the 500-ft tall dam was built. Now the lake is a haven for water sports or just relaxing in one of the many sandstone coves. We enjoy our day of fun in the sun and spend an evening camped out under the desert stars.
Accommodation: Camping with meals included

Day 9: Monument Valley

In the heart of the Navajo Nation, 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. Our camp is also on the Navajo Tribal Lands of Monument Valley and is a true photographer's paradise. There is also ample time to relax and view the valley's surreal sunset.
Accommodation: Camping with all meals included

Day 10-11: Grand Canyon National Park

Leaving Monument Valley we drive towards Grand Canyon. Traversing the eastern entrance of the canyon, we catch our first glimpse of it at Desert View. This incredible spectacle is difficult to comprehend, even as you stand at the rim or hike down into the canyon. 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.

In your free time, we highly recommend a scenic helicopter flight over the canyon, which offers perspectives that you cannot see by visiting on foot. Also recommended is the film show at the IMAX Theater, which will give you a good 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 simply relax at the canyon's edge and enjoy a spectacular sunset over one of the World's natural wonders. There is also time to shop for local souvenirs.
Accommodation: Camping with all meals included

Day 12: Las Vegas

Leaving nature behind, we visit the quirky Route 66 town of Seligman before arriving at the neon splendour of Las Vegas, where we say our farewells. If you are staying on in this city, you'll have time to relax by the pool before a big night of bright lights, casinos and world class shows!

The tour will end this afternoon 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 UK sales office
  • Prices are land only. Call 0333 999 7951 for a flight inclusive quote

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 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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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 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

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

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.

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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