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National Parks and Lodges
SAVE UP TO $1,411 on this tour

This unique tour explores the crown jewels of America's national parks 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 USA national 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!

North America
  • Duration: 15 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Average
  • Accommodation standard:   Moderate%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: PNL/208646
  • Starts: San Francisco, United States
  • Finishes: Jackson, United States
You will Visit
  • San Francisco
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Zion National Park
  • Monument Valley
  • Moab
  • Arches National Park
  • Salt Lake City
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Jackson

Itinerary

01

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.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.

Meals Included: Meals paid locally

02

Day 2: Yosemite National Park

After departing San Francisco, you head east through California's historic gold country then high into the Sierra Nevada Mountains to 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.

Meals Included: Meals paid locally

03

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. 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.

Meals Included: Meals paid locally

Optional Activities:

  • Bike rental US$12-$34
  • Float trip on the Merced River US$31

04

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.

Meals Included: Meals paid locally

05

Day 5: Zion National Park

Make your way back to Utah and on to 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.

Meals Included: Meals paid locally

Optional Activities:

  • Western horseback riding US$45-$90

06

Day 6: Bryce Canyon National Park - Zion National Park

With an early morning rise, and 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.In the afternoon, you depart Zion, climbing in elevation to almost 2,438 metres (8,296ft.) and traversing 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 Queen's Garden Trail or remain on the rim and photograph the ever-changing shadows and hues. In the late afternoon, you make you way back to Zion where you overnight.

Meals Included: Meals paid locally

07

Day 7-8: Grand Canyon (North Rim)

Head to the Grand Canyon for the ultimate desert showstopper! 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 around. 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.It is a fact that only 5% of all travellers who visit the Grand Canyon hike beneath the rim trails. If you are able, it gives you a very different perspective and idea of its vastness when you hit the snaking trails into the belly of the canyon. One thing you won't want to miss is sunset or sunrise as the canyon colours change. You have the lucky privilege of spending two nights on the Grand Canyon North Rim in a historic lodge.

Meals Included: Meals paid locally

08

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.

Meals Included: Meals paid locally

09

Day 10-11: Moab - Arches National Park

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 can 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.

Meals Included: Meals paid locally

Optional Activities:

  • Mountain biking US$45-$110
  • Float trip on the Colorado River US$60-$91

10

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.

Meals Included: Meals paid locally

Optional Activities:

  • Drive-in Movie US$9

11

Day 13-14: 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.

Meals Included: Meals paid locally

12

Day 15: Grand Teton National Park - Jackson

You continue your journey in Wyoming, travelling through Grand Teton National Park, where you enjoy a scenic ferry 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.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. 

Meals Included: Meals paid locally

Optional Activities:

  • Western saloons US$varies

Inclusions:
  • Services of a professional tour leader and Navajo guide
  • All transportation by private vehicle and ferry
  • Free Wi-Fi in your vehicle (Maximum 5 users at one time)
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Hotel: 14
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Tour Highlights:
  • Stay in historic and upgraded national park lodges and 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 - the hottest, lowest and driest place in North America
  • Zion's towering cliffs and narrow canyons
  • Two nights near the 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