WESTERN EXPLORER

13 days departing SAN FRANCISCO from

Style: Active
Destination: USA West
Tour Code: PWE

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Trip Overview

A medley of man-made and natural wonders are on full display on this popular tour of Western USA. Yosemite Valley and the Grand Canyon are rivalled only by the power and beauty of the Navajo's sacred Monument Valley. Hike under the world's largest sandstone cliffs at Zion Canyon, marvel at Antelope Slot Canyon, observe strange landscapes in Death Valley, and gaze upon the ever-changing colours of Bryce Canyon. Adventure awaits around every corner in the most geographically diverse region of the United States.

HELLO SUMMER! SAVE UP TO 20%

Say hello to summer and save up to 20% on selected Western Explorer departures! Seats are limited so book by 4th July 2017 to take advantage of this offer (subject to availability).

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
  • Navajo guided backroads tour of Monument Valley
  • Visit Antelope Slot Canyon with a Navajo guide
  • Cheese and wine evening
  • Spot wildlife with three nights in Yosemite National Park
  • Experience the extreme landscape of Death Valley National Park
  • Zion's sandstone cliffs and towering waterfalls
  • Bryce Canyon's rock spires
  • View the Colorado River from Horseshoe Bend
  • Experience the vast Grand Canyon trails
  • Grand Canyon sunrise or sunset
  • Visit the town of Seligman on Route 66
  • Las Vegas nightlife and driving tour of The Strip
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: 9 hotel nights in twin share accommodation and 3 lodge nights
For your own room request our optional Solo Sleeper (see Dates & Prices tab).
Transport: All transportation by private vehicle and 4WD in Monument Valley
Meals: 1 dinner included; all other meals paid locally.
Guided: Services of a professional tour leader and local guides
Group size: Maximum 13
Age range: 18+
Wi-Fi: Free Wi-Fi available in your vehicle (USA only). Maximum of five users at one time.

Grand American Adventures vehicles

You'll travel in air-conditioned private vehicles, which offer great flexibility and guarantee to get you further off the beaten path. For our upgraded fleet of vehicles in the USA ensure an enjoyable travelling experience and are fully equipped with:

Extra-large windows for better viewing
Wider seats with additional leg room
6'3'' interior height for added comfort
Full-height electric bi-fold entry door for easy entry / exit
Overhead luggage racks, reading lamps and a TV screen
Wi-Fi in the USA (excluding Alaska)

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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

Download the Western Explorer 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
  • IMAX Theater - Grand Canyon US$15
  • Clubs & shows - Las Vegas US$10+
  • Bike rental - Yosemite US$12-$34
  • Helicopter flight - Las Vegas US$124
  • Western horseback riding - Bryce Canyon US$65-$90


Itinerary Update

For departures in 2017, we have introduced a wine and cheese evening at Death Valley National Park. The 2017 itinerary is displayed below.

For the current 2016 itinerary, please see the Trip Dossier.

Day 1: 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: Yosemite National Park

Depart San Francisco via the Golden Gate Bridge, heading east through California's historic gold country, and make tracks for Yosemite. Here, everything is in gargantuan proportions, including some of North America's tallest cliffs, waterfalls and trees. You'll check into your lodge in the Yosemite region - your 'home' for the next three nights.
Accommodation: Lodge included | Meals: Paid locally

Day 3-4: 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. As you explore the park keep your eyes peeled for varied wildlife such as deer, bobcats, marmots, pika and if you're lucky, bear. After a visit to see the amazing Giant Sequoia trees, Yosemite Valley beckons, offering the chance to cycle, take a dip in the Merced River or wander the meadows. 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 mind.
Accommodation: Lodge included | Meals: Paid locally

Day 5: 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 some great distances today but also see some fascinating and contrasting scenery on your road trip. Enjoy a wine and cheese evening with wonderful views.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Paid locally

Day 6: Zion National Park

Make your way to Utah and your destination for today - Zion National Park. Like an oasis rising up from the desert floor, Zion's multi-coloured cliffs and spring-fed hanging gardens are spectacular. 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 Gorge. With an early arrival today and two nights in Zion, you'll have plenty of time to explore.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Paid locally

Day 7: Zion National Park

Enjoy a full day to further explore the delights of Zion National Park. There are various hikes to choose from, ranging from easy to strenuous. Warm up your legs by taking a short hike from the valley floor to view the Lower Emerald Pool then continue on to the sparkling Upper Emerald Pools, passing a stunning waterfall along the way to discover Zion's `beach'. Cool off from the heat of the summer sun by exploring the Riverside Walk section of the Virgin River.

If you're feeling ambitious, enjoy the park's more challenging option and ascend 2,500 ft. to experience unbeatable panoramic views from the top of Angels Landing. After a beautiful but strenuous hike along the knife-edge ridgeline you'll be rewarded with one of the most breathtaking and powerful panoramas you've ever experienced. If weather conditions permit, you may choose to hike deep into the Zion Narrows, just be prepared to get a little wet.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Paid locally

Day 8: Bryce Canyon National Park

Leaving Zion National Park, you climb in elevation to almost 8,300 ft. and traverse a high plateau to Bryce Canyon National Park. Bryce Canyon is a 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 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 Queens Garden Trail or remain on the rim and photograph the ever-changing shadows and hues as the sun makes its way across the sky.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Paid locally

Day 9: Antelope Canyon - Lake Powell

Returning south along Scenic Highway 89, you descend from the high plateau to the arid plains and past the Vermillion Cliffs en route to Antelope Canyon. A Navajo guided visit is included to the stunning Antelope Slot Canyon, which in Navajo language means 'the place where water runs through rocks'. Your guide will show you how flash floods have carved and sculpted this beautiful area. In the late afternoon there may be time to swim in Lake Powell depending on timings on the actual day and what time we finish with Antelope Canyon. Located on the border of Utah and Arizona, Lake Powell has a shoreline that stretches longer than the western coast of the USA!
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Paid locally

Day 10: Monument Valley

Stop for a walk at Horseshoe Bend for an amazing view of the Colorado River before heading to the heart of the Navajo Nation. Monument Valley, a sacred land to those who call it home, is dotted with fabulous red sandstone monoliths and from here you'll witness spectacular sunsets and sunrises. Having been the backdrop for countless Westerns, you'll half expect to see cowboys riding off into the sunset. You'll explore the incredible array of rock formations on an included and guided 4x4 backroads tour, learning all about the magic and myths of the rich Native American culture. The Navajo Tribal Lands of Monument Valley are a true photographer's paradise. For your evening meal, try a Navajo taco, a local speciality dish.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Dinner included

Day 11-12: Grand Canyon National Park

This morning you leave Monument Valley and drive towards Grand Canyon National Park for the ultimate desert showstopper! Crossing the eastern entrance of the canyon, you'll catch your first glimpse 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 km long, up to 29 km wide and over 1.6 km deep. Snaking through the canyon floor is the mighty Colorado River, which runs 2,330 km 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 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 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 most incredible natural wonders.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Paid locally

Day 13: Grand Canyon National Park - Route 66 - Las Vegas

En route to Vegas you travel a section of the original Route 66 and visit Seligman, a town full to the brim with Americana wares. Continuing on, you make your way towards hedonistic `Sin City', which really has to be seen to be believed! Las Vegas is the fastest growing city in the United States and is renowned as the `tacky capital of the world' - home to pirates and pyramids, weddings and water fountains! Upon arrival enjoy a driving tour down the famous Las Vegas Strip and see first-hand the resort hotels that make this desert city tick. Vegas really comes alive at night with resort hotels, shows and the Bellagio Fountain's regular water displays. We recommend booking extra nights to explore the city because it's not all clubs and resort hotels. There are numerous art galleries, shops and world-class restaurants for you to enjoy. If you want to enjoy a couple of extra nights, please advise your Americas Specialist when booking your trip.

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

Book Your Trip
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 charge 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 (2017). This will guarantee you your own room for every night of the tour. The number of single rooms 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 60 days prior to departure. Reservations received within 30 days will be on request and subject to availability of en-route accommodation.

HELLO SUMMER! SAVE UP TO 20%

Say hello to summer and save up to 20% on selected Western Explorer departures! Seats are limited so book by 4th July 2017 to take advantage of this offer (subject to availability).

Discount applies to new bookings only and cannot be combined with any other promotional offer except loyalty discounts.


Status Key
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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 tailor-made private departures for any of our published tours enabling friends, families or organizations to enjoy our style of travel at special rates. Tailored itineraries and departure dates can be chosen to suit your needs. (Subject to seasonal/operational restrictions).

Read more and request a quote here >

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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.

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.

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


Hotel Tomo

SAN FRANCISCO - THE BUCHANAN HOTEL (formely Hotel Tomo)

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

  • Full room: From  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 +44 208 682 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

We recommend you take out insurance as soon as your booking is confirmed. 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

SAN FRANCISCO & LOS ANGELES

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

Call us
0333 999 7965
Call us
1800 873-5872
Call us 1300 030 714
Call us 0800 102 364
+44 208 682 8921
Real Americas | Real Adventure