|San Francisco, California, United States
||Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Why we love it:
- Travel from the high deserts of the Sierra Nevada to the narrows of Zion Canyon
- Admire the spires and turrets of Bryce Canyon
- Relax in the tranquility of Lake Powell and revel in the mystique of Monument Valley
- We end our journey amidst the bright lights of Las Vegas
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 1: San Francisco - Yosemite National Park
Travel time: approx. 4 hours (320 km or 200 miles)
Accommodation: Holiday Inn Golden Gateway or similar, San Francisco
- Your tour starts at 7:30 am at the Holiday Inn Golden Gateway in San Francisco. As this is an early start we recommend booking a night's pre-tour accommodation at this hotel, which can be arranged when you book the tour.
- You will enjoy a short orientation tour around San Francisco that takes you to some great vantage points over the city before continuing on to enjoy 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 you'll head east through California’s historic gold country and set up camp at the scenic Yosemite National Park region – your ‘home’ for the next three nights.
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.
- You will visit the amazing giant sequoia trees.
- In Yosemite Valley you can hire a bicycle for a ride, take a dip in the Merced River or wander the meadows.
- Hiking options include one of the many trails that enable you 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 be etched in your minds.
Day 4: Death Valley
Accommodation: Stovepipe Wells Hotel or similar
- Today you will continue west, to Death Valley. You'll cover great distances and see the fascinating transformation from mountain to desert terrain on today’s road trip.
- Death Valley National Park includes a wealth of geological phenomena: large sand dune formations, sculpted rocks, isolated valleys and volcanic craters. The canyon and mountain walls change colour with the changing sunlight. Elevations fluctuate from 85 m below sea level near Badwater Point (the lowest point in the United States) to 3756 m above sea level at Telescope Peak. Stop at the visitor centre and, heat permitting, take a walk on the stunning salt flats.
Day 5: Zion National Park
Travel time: approx. 2½ hours (220 km or 140 miles)
- You'll make your way to Utah today and your 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 Gorge.
- You will have plenty of time to explore after you set up camp for your two-night stay.
Day 6: Zion National Park
- You will have a full day to further explore the delights of Zion National Park. There are various hikes to chose from, ranging from easy to strenuous.
- Warm up your legs with a short hike from the valley floor to view the magical Emerald Pools.
- You can also cool off from the summer sun by exploring the Riverside Walk.
- The challenging option is to ascend 760 metres (2500 feet) to experience unbeatable panoramic views from the top of Angels Landing.
- If weather conditions permit, you may choose to hike deep into the Zion Narrows.
- There is also a chance to partake in some horse riding.
Day 7: Bryce Canyon National Park – Kodachrome Basin State Park
Travel time: approx. 1½-2 hours (140 km or 90 miles)
- Leaving Zion National Park you will climb to almost 2438 metres (8000 feet) 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.
- 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 you to the lovely campsite at nearby Kodachrome Basin State Park.
Day 8: Lake Powell
Travel time: approx. 3 hours (240 km or 150 miles)
- 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 dam was built. Now the lake is a haven for watersports or just relaxing in one of the many sandstone coves.
- Enjoy a day of fun in the sun and spend an evening camping under the stars.
Day 9: Monument Valley
Travel time: approx. 2½ hours (210 km or 130 miles)
- In the heart of the Navajo Nation, Monument Valley is sacred land to those who call it home. The red sandstone monoliths have been the backdrop to countless ‘westerns’ featuring cowboys riding off into the sunset.
- Explore the incredible array of rock formations on an included guided 4WD tour and learn the magic and myth of the rich Native American culture.
- Your camp is also on the Navajo Tribal Lands of Monument Valley and is a true photographer’s paradise.
Day 10-11: Grand Canyon National Park
Travel time: approx. 3 hours (280 km or 180 miles)
- There is time to view a surreal sunrise at Monument Valley.
- Traversing the eastern entrance of the Grand Canyon, you'll catch your first glimpse of the canyon 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 flight over the canyon, which offer 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.
- There are many walks that you can enjoy ranging from easy to moderate ones.
- The Cameron Trading Post is a good place to browse and shop for local jewellery, crafts and cultural souvenirs.
Day 12: Las Vegas
Travel time: approx. 5½-6 hours (450 km or 280 miles)
Accommodation: Alexis Park or similar
- Leave nature behind and head into Las Vegas and all of its neon splendour. Las Vegas is renowned as the ‘tacky capital of the world’ - home to pirates and pyramids, weddings and waterfalls. If it is gambling you want, you have come to the right place as nowhere else in the world will you find so many casinos. But if you really want to look at something different, stop by one of its countless wedding chapels.
- The trip will finish on arrival in Las Vegas. The arrival time at the hotel depends on each group, but we generally aim for a 5pm. If you decide to fly out today, please don't book a flight before 9pml, this will give you enough time catch a shuttle from the hotel to the airport and be there two hours before departure.
- The services of a professional tour leader
- Included sightseeing: San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Navajo guided tour of Monument Valley, Grand Canyon National Park and Las Vegas
- Navajo backroads tour
- Transport in a customised vehicle
- All meals when camping
Some meals are included on your trip (except for North America trips - please refer to your day-to-day itinerary). However, sometimes we think you'll benefit from getting out and discovering the local cuisine. So when a meal is not included, it's a great opportunity to try something new. For group trips, ask your leader for tips on where to get the best meal, or you might decide to dine out as a group and experience the fun together.
- International flights
- Airport transfers
- Airport departure taxes
- Sleeping bag
- Any optional tours and activities
- Items of a personal nature
- Daily budget
We have chosen a selection of some great optional activities to enhance your travel experience. You will need to cover any additional costs yourself. The below list is not exhaustive and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed below have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
- Bryce River Canyon - Western horseback riding
- Cycling in Yosemite Valley
- Grand Canyon - Scenic flight
US$220 (25 min) or US$264 (40 min)
- Grand Canyon IMAX Theater
- Mountain biking
- Scenic walks and hikes
What to know
Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Please talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region. We're travel experts, not doctors and defer to the medicos when it comes to inoculations.
Visas and Permits
Please ensure that you have all required visas for your trip – this is your responsibility. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.
The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables nationals of certain countries, including Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa, if certain requirements are met. Under the VWP, time spent in Canada, Mexico and adjacent islands counts towards the maximum of 90 days stay allowed under the program. You will be required to complete an online visa waiver prior to travelling (at a cost of US$14). This can be done at: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/
For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa requirements with your travel agent.
You are required to have travel insurance before heading off on a Peregrine trip. Insurance can be organised by your Peregrine representative or your travel agent.
Our Responsible Travel ethos is at the heart of everything we do, from getting the basics right like respecting local cultures and the environment, to initiating projects that make positive contributions to communities, to our staff’s fundraising efforts and offsetting our carbon emissions.
Customs and Culture
Please visit our Responsible Travel (http://www.peregrineadventures.com/rt) page for more information.
Our Pre Departure Information or Travel Dossier (provided upon booking a trip) provides tips on how you can show respect for the local customs and culture in the country you are travelling in. Your leader will also help steer you though the complexities of local cultural norms.
Pre Departure Information
The information listed above is a brief description of some things you may need to consider when booking a trip. Once a tour is booked you will be provided with a link to your Travel Dossier which will contain detailed Pre Departure information.
The Air-Conditioned Nightmare (1945) - Henry Miller Coast to Coast (1956) - Jan Morris On the Road (1957) - Jack Kerouac Travels with Charley (1962) - John Steinbeck Blue Highways (1982) - William Least Heat-Moon On the Rez (2000) - Ian Frazer The Great Gatsby (1925) - F.Scott Fitzgerald The Grapes of Wrath (1939) - John Steinbeck The Catcher in the Rye (1951) - J.D.Salinger The Call of the Wild (1903) - Jack London
Peregrine Adventures and Grand American Adventures
This trip is operated by our partners, Grand American Adventures, a US based company with nearly 40 years experience in adventure travel. They also share our ethos for offering unique holiday adventures. As this is a code-shared departure you can expect there to be both Grand American Adventures and Peregrine travellers on your trip.
In the event of an emergency or if you wish to report a problem on tour please do not hesitate to call Grand American Adventures' toll free* 24-hour emergency contact number.
Toll-Free (*in the US): 1 (800) 345 - 8777
International: 001 (310) 719 - 9877
Possible Itinerary Amendments
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, our stated itinerary should be used as a guideline. All travelling times quoted in the itinerary are also estimates only and can vary substantially due to unscheduled stops and traffic or weather conditions.
An essential part of a camping holiday is helping out around the campsite. Our tents are easy to set up and with guidance from your tour leader, everyone will assist with the setting up and packing of the campsite. As a team, it only takes approximately 20 minutes before setting up your 'home with a 'view in the great outdoors! Your tour leader will organise daily activities or guided hikes as well as coordinate and assist the group when shopping for food, preparing the daily meals and washing up. As this is a participatory trip, group members will assist with the preparation of meals and with the washing up. That said, often the best meals on the road are created when individuals offer to cook up one of their specialties from home!
About this Information
The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
7 November 2013
General Contact Details
Web: Visit Peregrine