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Adventure Tours   >   North America Adventure Tours   >  Journeys: National Parks of the American West

Journeys: National Parks of the American West Adventure Tour

North America

  • United States

From Death Valley to the Grand Canyon, the American West features an astonishing array of geological extremes. Journey to seven incredible national parks in Utah, Arizona, and California, and gain new perspectives from scientists, naturalists, and other local experts along the way. Peer up at Sequoia's General Sherman-the planet's largest known living single-stem tree-and wade through the spectacular Narrows slot canyon. Step into the stunning natural sandstone cathedral of Antelope Canyon alongside a Navajo guide, and experience the sweeping majesty of the Grand Canyon and Yosemite. Cap off the adventure amid the urban vitality of San Francisco.


Group Size Notes  

Max 13, Avg 11.


Money Exchange  

The United States currency is the US Dollar (USD).

Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere in the US and can be used to purchase small and large items. When purchasing products or services with a foreign credit card in the USA, you may be charged additional fees by your credit card company for foreign purchases.

Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept 4-digit PINs). Both Cirrus and Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. Both Visa and Master Cards are the most widely accepted credit cards. While ATMs are commonly available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work check with your bank before you travel. A visit to an ATM can be arranged on Day 1 and other days of the trip.

Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US Dollars as cash (preferably smaller bills, 5's, 10's and 20's), and credit cards is best. Currency exchange is best obtained prior to travel or at the airport, currency exchange is very difficult to find in the USA and most banks do not accommodate.

Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.

As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com


Joining Instructions  

Please meet the group at the Golden Nugget - Claim Jumper Restaurant, no later than - 7:00pm

The Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino
129 E Fremont St
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Phone - 1+(702) 385-7111

When arriving in Las Vegas - McCarran International Airport (LAS) you have two transportation options to get to the Joining Hotel: public taxi or public transportation.

Taxi
The taxis are located outside of each terminal on the Lower/Arrival Level islands. The cost is approximately $18-25 USD, plus gratuity.

Public Transportation
Proceed to terminal 1 to the Zero Level. Take the Paradise line 108 - Northbound. This will take you about 35 minutes when you will arrive and get off at the Main @ Las Vegas stop. From here Head south on S Main St toward E St Louis Ave and you destination will be on the right.

Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned on this day.

Upon arrival to your Joining Hotel (note that check-in time will be in the afternoon), look for a note or bulletin board in the reception with a note from your CEO. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on day 1 (usually between 5pm and 7pm), where you will get a chance to meet your CEO and other travellers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don't see a note, please ask reception for details!

If you are arriving later and will miss the Welcome Meeting, your CEO will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need, and with morning instructions for the next day.


Packing List  

Cold Weather:
• Long-sleeved shirts or sweater
• Scarf
• Snow Boots
• Warm gloves
• Warm hat
• Warm layers
• Warm waterproof jacket

Documents:
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Visas or vaccination certificates (With photocopies)

Essentials:
• Toiletries (required) (Shampoo, bodywash, soap, etc.)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Footwear
• Hat
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Moneybelt
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Shirts/t-shirts
• Sleepwear
• Small travel towel
• Sunglasses
• Swimwear
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket

Health & Safety:
• Hand sanitizer (required)
• Face masks (Clients will be only be required to wear a face mask where it is mandated by local regulations.)
• Pen (Please bring your own pen for filling out documents.)
• Quick Covid Test/Antigen Test (optional)

Warm Weather:
• Sandals/flip-flops
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sturdy water shoes/sandals
• Sun hat/bandana
• Swimwear


Laundry  

Your CEO will advise you along the trip where you will be able to do your laundry.


Transport  

Air-conditioned private vehicle, hiking, walking.


My Own Room  

Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops


Safety and Security  

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.


Newsletter  

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation - Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.


Minimum Age  

You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.


International Flights  

Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.


Spending Money  

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.


Travel Insurance  

Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.


Accommodation  

Hotels (14 nts).


Emergency Contact  

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call the G Adventures Local Representative. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.


EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS?

G Adventures Local Representative (Las Vegas) ?
From outside the USA: 1-725-201-1494
From within the USA: 725-201-1494

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local representative, please call the numbers listed below which will connect you directly with our Sales team who will happily assist you. Hours of operation by region can be found here.


Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999


Group Leader  

CEO (Chief Experience Officer) throughout, local guides.


Dossier Disclaimer  

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.


Itinerary Notes  

There are new Health & Safety Protocols for National Geographic Journeys tours. Please see here for full details and up-to-date requirements as they may change.


Important Notes  

1.TRAVEL DAYS
In order to cover the vast distance in North America to be able to visit several different parks and cities along our trip, we will have a couple of long driving days.

2. WALKS AND HIKES - OPTIONAL
All walks and hikes proposed by our CEO will be easy to moderate level. You may choose to participate or not, but exploring our national parks on foot is part of our way of travelling. It's a healthy way to discover North America's beauty and landscape.

3. COMBO TRIP
Please note that some trips could be a combination of multiple G Adventure tours. You should expect some group members to join or leave the tour between tour segments.

4. LEGAL DRINKING AGE
Please note that the legal drinking age in the United States is 21 and in Canada, 19 (with Alberta and Quebec at 18). Many bars and clubs will ask for ID at the door, therefore listening to live music in certain bars or spending a night out in Las Vegas or New Orleans is not possible when you are under the legal age, even if you don't plan on consuming alcohol. Drinking laws in both countries are strictly enforced and our CEOs are unable to help those under age obtain alcohol of any kind.

While this should not stop those under legal drinking age from booking a tour, it is important to note that if a traveller is under-age there are certain optional nighttime activities that they may not legally be able to participate in. When trying to book the right trip, we recommend that travellers under legal drinking age take this into consideration when booking a tour that visits several big cities.

5. LAS VEGAS HOTELS
Las Vegas is known for glitz and glamour, and is an adult's playground for the senses. However, hotel standards are different than in many other cities. Most hotels have thousands of rooms and an onsite casino open 24 hours a day, which can cause large crowds and excessive noise. Smoking is also permitted indoors in casinos. Although we only use non-smoking rooms on our tours and do our best to offer a smoke free environment, please be aware that standards may result in smoke permeating non-smoking areas of hotels.

6. ACCOMMODATION NOTE:
Please be aware that properties we stay in with only two stories may not have elevators installed and climbing the stairs with your luggage will be necessary.


Meals Included  

14 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner


Arrival Complications  

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.


Emergency Fund  

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!


About our Transportation  

For this trip we use 15-passenger vans for up to 14 people plus the CEO/Driver. These vans are durable vehicles that allow us to drive on most types of roads in North America.

With mandatory seat belts to keep us secure and safe. No standing is permitted in these vehicles.

This is not a physically demanding journey. There is air conditioning to cool things down on warm days to keep everyone more comfortable. Travelling can be difficult, with long drives and limited space in the van. Please take note of the travel times and distances in the above itinerary. Despite some of the long days, most travellers feel that the diversity of the North American landscape, culture and wildlife are all well worth the experience!


About Accommodation  

This trip uses comfortable 3 star hotels, well located in cities and close to National Parks. Our chosen hotels vary in size, character, and amenities, but are of a very good standard, and the rooms are double occupancy with a private bathroom.


What to Take  

You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible.

For days in the outdoors, we recommend the use of lightweight, breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics made of wool or synthetic fibers. Cotton is not recommended for days spent hiking as it does not allow for heat or moisture to enter or escape, and it will not dry easily once wet.

We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. Heavy luggage is not recommended for the health of the CEO, who will take a lead in loading the storage trailer. Due to space in the trailer, we will not be able to accommodate more than one piece of main luggage per person. A good size day-pack (20-35L) is also essential to carry your personal gear for the day, as access to luggage between destinations will be limited. This daypack will be used to carry your personal gear for the day, your lunch and a water bottle.

It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cool evenings, as well as a light jacket. A set of smart casual clothes is also advisable.


Optional Activities  

Grand Canyon National Park
- Grand Canyon IMAX Movie (14USD per person)
- Grand Canyon Sunset

Yosemite National Park
- Yosemite Bike Rental (30-40USD per person)
- Yosemite National Park Hike (Free)

San Francisco
- Sunset Sailing San Francisco (Mon-Wed)


Planeterra Foundation - the non-profit partner of G Adventures  

Planeterra International Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to turning travel into impact by helping local communities earn an income from tourism. Planeterra connects underserved local communities to the benefits of tourism by developing and supporting small community-owned businesses. These businesses support Indigenous people, empower women, grant youth access to employment opportunities, and protect the environment. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating their projects into G Adventures' itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra's largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs, so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.

G Adventures Dollar-a-day Program - Make Every Day Count - Turn your travel into impact with Planeterra Foundation.

Did you know? Most communities around the world do not benefit from tourism. Give back to the places you visit on your travels by creating opportunities for local people to earn an income, and protect the environment.

Make every day count by donating $1/day for the length of your trip, and join us in empowering the communities you will visit when you travel. 100% of your donation goes directly to Planeterra projects.


Feedback  

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at [email protected] and we will send it on to you.


Tipping  

It is customary in North America to tip service providers such as waiters, bartenders and taxi drivers, at approximately 18-20%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory - component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip any local guides used. Recommendations for tipping local guides would range from $2-8 USD per activity depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.


Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures Chief Experience Officer did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline $5-10 USD per person, per day can be used as a guide. If your CEO(s) exceeded your expectations, feel free to tip more.


A Couple of Rules  

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of people in the sex trade is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they utilize the services of paid sex workers, in any capacity.


Itinerary Disclaimer  

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.


Group Leader Description  

This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders, otherwise known as a Chief Experience Officer (CEO). The CEO will be the group manager, leader and driver - this person is experienced in the routes travelled.

As the group coordinator and manager, the aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. They will also offer suggestions for things to do and to see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends.

While our CEOs are trained and have resources to assist them along the way, the United States is the fourth largest country on the planet, and it is impossible for them to know everything about this massive country. We recommend local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting - we think it's the best of both worlds.

Please note that specific tour guide licenses are required to guide in certain cities and regions, and as such, our CEOs will oftentimes provide brief orientation walks or drives to point out useful places like supermarkets, main squares and ATMs but for more specific or in depth destination information, an official guided tour is recommended.


Visas and Entry Requirements  

All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Visa requirements for your trip will vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as far as possible, but rules do change and sometimes without warning. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check the information yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.

Visa information specific to your destination and nationality can be found in our Important Pre-Departure Information page here


Solo Travellers  

We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.


Joining Hotel  

For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.


What's Included  

Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Grand Canyon Exclusive, Grand Canyon National Park
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Lowell Observatory Experience, Flagstaff
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Sequoia National Park Naturalist Hike, Sequoia National Park
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Sequoia Parks Conservancy Stargazing, Sequoia National Park
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Yosemite Naturalist Experience, Yosemite National Park
Your G for Good Moment: Native Grill Food Truck Experience. All national park fees. Zion National Park visit and guided hike. Bryce Canyon National Park visit. Antelope Canyon guided visit. Horseshoe Bend hike. Grand Canyon National Park visit. Route 66 stop. Death Valley National Park visit. Sequoia National Park visit. Kings Canyon National Park visit. Yosemite National Park visit. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.


Highlights  

View world-famous canyons and stone formations, Hike through several national parks, View the giant Sequoias up close, Observe the stars from conservatories, Tour the city of San Francisco, Connect with Navajo people and their culture in Antelope Canyon

Day 1 Las Vegas

Arrive at any time.

There are no planned activities today until the evening welcome meeting, so check out the strip or get tickets to a show for this evening.

Day 2 Las Vegas/Zion National Park

Depart for the sandstone slot canyons of Zion, Utah's oldest national park, where monumental cliffs of cream, pink, and red pierce the sky. In the afternoon we get our first glimpse of the park as we hike along The Watchman Trail. This unpaved trail climbs 368 ft (112 m) to a magnificent viewpoint of the Watchman, Temples and Towers, lower Zion Canyon, and the Town of Springdale.

Day 3 Zion National Park

Set out on an unforgettable guided hike to the famed Narrows. Splash, wade, and swim in the cool water of the river that cuts through this stunning slot canyon. Soak up the beauty of the high plateaus, towers, temples, mesas, and some of the planet's tallest sheer sandstone walls.

The canyon is narrow, and the river covers the bottom in many places, which means you will have to wade or swim to proceed. Prepare to get wet but the cool water makes this hike particularly pleasant during the hot summer months. During the cooler months, there are available gear rentals including Gore-Tex dry pants, canyon shoes, and neoprene socks. Hiking poles are available for rent year-round.

Hiking is not permitted when the river is high from runoff or flash flooding. Runoff mostly occurs in April and early May. Late summer thunderstorms can occasionally produce flooding. If the hike is not possible due to weather, it will be replaced with another activity.

This is a moderate level hike of 4 to 5 hours, during which you are wading through water which could be ankle or waist deep, depending on local conditions. As well, the terrain is often rocky and uneven. We recommend bringing water shoes with a hiking tread.

Should you choose to not do the hike, you can stay and relax at the lodge or discuss with your CEO other optional activities that may be available (at additional cost).

Day 4 Zion National Park/Page

This morning, hike through Bryce Canyon National Park, famed for its maze of multi-coloured rock pinnacles called hoodoo. Keep your camera at the ready to snap shots of these spectacular natural towers that cover the canyon floor. Continue on to Page, Arizona, the gateway to Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and the beautiful Lake Powell.

Day 5 Page/Grand Canyon National Park

Join a local Navajo guide for a thrilling exploration of Antelope Canyon, a stunning natural sandstone cathedral located on Navajo land and accessible only with an authorized guide. Later, go on a short hike to Horseshoe Bend, and stand on steep vermillion cliffs overlooking a spectacular natural bend in the Colorado River. Enjoy lunch at a family-owned Navajo food truck, a G Adventures-supported project, before continuing on to the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon.

Marvel as the Grand Canyon unfolds before you but don't get too close. The land drops almost straight down for more than 1,000m (3,280 ft) into the serpentine canyons below! The gorge is filled with rocky buttes, sheer limestone cliffs, and deep canyons all arrayed in a rainbow of colors. Words defy. This is truly one of the most magnificent sights on earth.

Day 6 Grand Canyon National Park

Spend the day exploring this ancient gorge with an expert from the Grand Canyon Conservancy Field Institute. Set out on foot along the South Rim and gain insights on the unique geology and botany of this geological phenomenon, as well as the local human history. After, view iconic park structures at the Historic Village District, then descend below the canyon rim along the Bright Angel Trail to see 2,000-year-old rock art and 250-million-year-old fossils.

Day 7 Grand Canyon National Park/Las Vegas

This morning, visit Lowell Observatory for a tour of the giant telescopes and to learn about the study of astronomy, and enjoy a lecture. Continue back to Las Vegas, but not before getting your kicks on Route 66 in Seligman, Arizona - the birthplace of this famed highway.

Day 8 Las Vegas/Death Valley National Park

Enjoy a scenic drive through the desert to Death Valley National Park-the lowest, hottest, and driest place in North America. Experience the extremes of this landscape as you pass through the multi-hued badlands of Twenty Mule Team Canyon and descend into Badwater Basin, cradled 282 feet below sea level. Cap off the day at Zabriskie Point as the sun sets over the distinctive Furnace Creek formation.

Drive through the spectacular landscape of Death Valley. Take in the views of diverse geological features as far as the eye can see. Drive through Twenty Mule Team Canyon to see the different shades of the badlands. Then descend into Badwater Basin, the lowest, hottest, driest point in North America that sits 282 feet below sea level.

Continue to the Furnace Creek Visitor Center to get out of the sun for a further look into this unique park. Once the heat of the day has passed, head to the most photographed spot in the park, Zabriskie Point for sunset.

Expect high temperatures of 100°F to over 120°F (38°C to over 49°C). Drink plenty of water and carry extra supplies. Avoid hiking at mid-day.

Day 9 Death Valley National Park/Sequoia National Park

Begin the day searching for animal tracks amid the otherworldly landscape of Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, where shifting sands soar up to 100 feet high. Then discover Father Crowley Vista Point, where an easy hike offers an epic payoff: a sweeping view over Rainbow Canyon and Panamint Valley. Keep an eye out for fighter jets practicing between the cliffs. Continue around the Sierra Nevada mountains to California's Sequoia National Park.

Day 10 Sequoia National Park

Enjoy a full day to explore the legendary trees of Sequoia National Park. Walk in the shadow of its formidable giants-including General Sherman, the planet's largest known living single-stem tree-alongside a naturalist from Sequoia Parks Conservancy. On an afternoon hike along Big Tree Trail, hear how, in 1916, National Geographic deeded tracts of giant trees here to the National Parks Service for safekeeping. This evening, return to the park for an evening of stargazing with a local expert; or, if skies are cloudy, set out on a nighttime walk to witness nocturnal life.

In cases where the night sky is cloudy, we will replace the star gazing activity with a nighttime nature walk in the National Park. Embark on a one-mile walk to experience the dramatic changes of the soundscapes and nocturnal biodiversity of the area. This engaging walk will awaken awareness and provide an in-depth experience of Sequoia's nocturnal plants and animals.

Day 11 Sequoia National Park/Kings Canyon National Park

Embark on a spectacular drive, watching as the scenery changes from towering sequoias to one of the deepest canyons in the United States. On a journey from Grant Grove to Cedar Grove, be awed by the glacially carved Kings Canyon, and keep an eye out for the endangered Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep and other majestic wildlife.

Day 12 Kings Canyon National Park/Yosemite National Park

Head north through the Sierras to the south entrance of Yosemite National Park, a natural wonderland of picturesque valleys and ancient granite formations.

We recommend viewing the documentary Free Solo prior to your trip or downloading this film on your devices to watch during today's drive. This National Geographic film follows the incredible world-first free solo (without ropes or safety features) of Yosemite's iconic El Capitan climbing wall. Watch as free climber Alex Honnold grapples with the route, his body and his mind to conquer this rock face that is about 3,000 feet high.

Day 13 Yosemite National Park

This morning, join a Yosemite Conservancy naturalist on a guided excursion around the park, gaining an insider's perspective on the human, natural, and geological history of the region. Hike through the heart of Yosemite while hearing about its flora and fauna, and learn how this rugged backcountry became the U.S.'s first protected state park in 1864-and, with the help of John Muir, a national park in 1890. Enjoy the rest of the day on your own; choose your own adventure amid majestic waterfalls, crystal-clear lakes, lush meadows, and pristine groves. Keep an eye out for glacial erratics, rock climbers, and a diversity of wildlife. Opt to visit the Ansel Adams Studio or relax by the river with Half Dome as the backdrop.

Carved by glaciers, Yosemite National Park became the first protected state park in the US in 1864. It took until 1890 to gain National Park status, with the work of John Muir. Though 95% of the park is backcountry, there is still plenty to explore via hikes or the shuttle system. Spend the day hiking amongst Giant Sequoias, granite cliffs, and rushing waterfalls and understand why around 4 million people come to the park each year.

Day 14 Yosemite National Park/San Francisco

Pass through the Central Valley of California, stopping at a local farm stand to sample some of the region's best produce. Drive over the Bay Bridge on the way into one of America's most vibrant cities, San Francisco, where your CEO-led guided driving tour of the city begins. Make a visit to Haight-Ashbury, Golden Gate Park, walk across a portion of the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge, Continue past the Palace of Fine Arts and Union Square en route to our hotel. This evening, consider joining an optional sunset sail in the San Francisco Bay, departing from Fisherman's Wharf to glide past notorious Alcatraz Island and underneath the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge.

Day 15 San Francisco

Depart at any time.

Details

Prices from: €5999.00

Duration: 15 Days

Service Level: Upgraded

Travel Style: National Geographic Journeys

Trip Type: Small Group

Physical Grading: 3 - Average



Call Us: 01 2311889



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