National Parks & Canyons
Headed straight into the Wild Wild West as you explore the dusty red desert of Arizona and Utah, ...
... filled with ravines, chasms and valleys, including the mighty Grand Canyon. Spin the roulette wheel under the dazzling neon lights of Las Vegas and finish of your adventure among the lakes and mountains of picturesque Yosemite and the vibrant city of San Francisco.
Some of the highlights included are:
- Admire the Grand Canyon, one of the world’s most impressive natural wonders
- Explore Monument Valley’s nature, and immerse yourself in the local indigenous culture
- Get lost among the incredible rock formations of Zion National Park
- Enjoy a performance of one of Las Vegas’ most magical shows: Le Rêve
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- International & internal flights
- 16 nights in 4–5* hotels & hand-picked local gems
- 16 days car hire
- Canyon Spirit Helicopter Ride
- Le Reve show at The Wynn Las Vegas
- Full day wine tour from San Francisco
Need to know+
- Arrives: Phoenix Sky Harbor international Airport (PHX)
- Time difference: GMT-8
- Visa requirements: British passport holders require an electronic travel authorisation (ESTA), available online
- Language: English
- Currency: US dollar (USD)
- Flying time from UK: around 10 hours direct
- Plug type: 2 flat pins
- Voltage: 120V
Fly from UK to Scottsdale
Browse Scottsdale’s historic Old Town and take some time to explore the galleries and boutiques of this swanky area, crossed by over 130 miles of canals. Known as the ‘Beverley Hills of the Desert,’ Scottsdale is more upmarket than neighbouring Phoenix, and is the where the well-heeled come to sip imaginative cocktails and dine out in style, when not looking around the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art or participating in the Scottsdale Art Walk of course.
Nourish your soul and spirit in quirky Sedona, an incredibly scenic city, with Oak Creek Canyon at its edge. Believed by some to have special powers, Sedona draws mystics, spiritualists and tourists alike. The town itself is filled with art galleries and gourmet restaurants, while outside town, grand red sandstone pillars are surrounded by clear streams and dramatic canyons. While you are here, be sure to gaze up at the night sky because Sedona is a great star-gazing spot, and is home to the Lowell Observatory, founded in 1894.
Stay right on the edge of the yawning abyss of the Grand Canyon, and take your pick as to how you want to explore this stunning landscape - perhaps on foot over a hundred miles of hiking trails, perhaps on a nature walk, or by taking the Grand Canyon Railway. Maybe learn a bit more by popping into a museum or two. Whatever you choose, the highlight will surely be when you take to the skies and enjoy breathtaking views of the ravines and gorges on your included helicopter ride.
Step straight into a western movie in Monument Valley, where you can follow the scenic driving route among the enormous rock formations. To see the valley in all its glory, head into Navajo Tribal Park, one of the most photographed landmarks in the United States. Admire the rich red colours of the dusty landscape and bizarre sandstone towers that dot the sands while learning more about the region’s Native American tribes.
Relax on the cool blue water of Lake Powell, a reservoir on the Colorado River that straddles the Utah-Arizona border. This man-made lake has over 1960 miles of shoreline, so unsurprisingly boating, water-skiing, kayaking and fishing are the order of the day here. Swimming, scuba diving and snorkelling are also possible, and for the less watery types, try hiking along many of the 96 canyons, although some are accessible only by boat.
Look out for deer, elk and black bears among Bryce Canyon’s horseshoe-shaped amphitheatres and jagged spires, known as hoodoos. These were created by erosion, offering shelter to the wildlife and excellent hiking and horse riding to visitors, who come to soak up the views. Don’t miss the Rim Road Scenic Drive, an 18-mile route taking in some of the best scenery. Just make sure your camera is fully charged.
Zion National Park
Enter Utah’s Zion National Park, where narrow slot canyons and deep red sandstone cliffs offer hikes galore. The park is home to over a thousand desert plant species and people have lived here for over 12,000 years, so there’s plenty of history to discover too. Explore this beautiful landscape by bike, on horseback or by canyoneering – it’s up to you. Walks range in length and difficulty so there’s something for everyone. With some epic hikes and spectacular scenery, it’s unsurprising that this is Utah’s most visited park, as well as its oldest.
Cross the state border to Nevada and be dazzled by the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip. Admire the rows of luxury hotels, take a flutter in the casinos and try a spin or two on the roulette wheel before taking in the aquatic Le Rêve theatre show. Watch the coloured lights light up the Atlantis Fountain at Caesars Palace and dine out in style at numerous themed restaurants. Try the Eiffel Tower Restaurant at the top of the Paris Hotel, with fabulous views of the dazzling lights of Las Vegas Boulevard below.
Fly on to San Francisco, pick up your car and hike, climb, drive or ski the deep valleys, majestic meadows and vast wilderness areas of Yosemite National Park, admiring the pristine mountain scenery, dotted with lakes and forests. The shining star of America’s national parks, Yosemite is open year-round, with flowing rivers and plunging waterfalls in spring, blooming wildflowers in summer, changing foliage colours in autumn, and dustings of white snow in winter.
Finish your Journey in vibrant San Francisco and spend the day tasting the locally produced wines from the nearby Napa and Sonoma Valleys. It’s not just the wine though – the food here’s pretty good too so be sure to try out the eclectic restaurants and atmospheric cocktail bars. No trip to San Fran would be complete without visiting Alcatraz, the infamous penitentiary, or cycling across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.
Depart San Francisco and return to the UK
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