Wild, Wild, West - Family Adventure
|San Francisco, California, United States
||Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Exploration and discovery for the whole family in the national parks of America’s Wild West. Starting in San Francisco, this exciting trip takes us from the granite cliffs, sequoia groves and waterfalls of Yosemite National Park to the high deserts of the Sierra Nevada, from the narrows of Zion Canyon to the spires and turrets of Bryce Canyon, from the tranquillity of Lake Powell to the mystique of Monument Valley, and from the majesty of Grand Canyon to the bright lights of Las Vegas. Along the way we get close to nature and enjoy a true taste of adventure in the great American outdoors.
Please note that these trips are for adults and children travelling together and there must be at least one child under 18 with you.
Why we love it:
- Exploration and discovery for the whole family in the national parks of America’s Wild West.
- Starting in San Francisco, this exciting trip takes us from the granite cliffs, sequoia groves and waterfalls of Yosemite National Park to the high deserts of the Sierra Nevada.
- Travel from the narrows of Zion Canyon to the spires and turrets of Bryce Canyon,
- Experience the tranquillity of Lake Powell and the mystique of Monument Valley, the majesty of Grand Canyon to the bright lights of Las Vegas.
- Along the way we get close to nature and enjoy a true taste of adventure in the great American outdoors.
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 1: San Francisco
- Today is simply an arrival day, there will be no activities planned, but you can use this as an opportunity to become aquainted with San Fransisco in your own time.
Day 2: San Francisco - Yosemite National Park
- The tour starts at 7:30am with a group meeting. Before leaving San Francisco you will enjoy a brief orientation tour around the city including 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 will 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 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.
- After a visit to see the amazing giant sequoia trees, Yosemite Valley beckons. Here you can choose to bicycle, take a dip in the Merced River or wander the meadows. You will have the opportunity to hike on 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 and Mirror Lake. The views are breathtaking from every vantage point - the granite formations of El Capitan and Cathedral Rocks are sure to be forever be etched in your minds.
Day 5: Great Basin Desert
- Leaving Yosemite’s towering sequoias behind, you will make your way from west to east across the State of Nevada on your way to Utah and continue through the Sierra Nevada.
- The Great Basin Desert actually extends right across to California, Oregon, Idaho and Utah. You will cover some great distances today, but also get to see some fascinating and contrasting scenery on the road trip.
Day 6: Zion National Park
- You'll make your way to Utah and your destination for the day - 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 the 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 a two-night stay.
Day 7: 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. You'll warm up your legs by taking 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.
Day 8: Bryce Canyon National Park - Kodachrome Basin State Park
- Leaving Zion National Park you will climb in elevation 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 Trail enables you to hike right in amongst these unique rock formations. Some of you may prefer to hike on the Queen’s Garden Trail or 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 will take you to the lovely campsite at nearby Kodachrome Basin State Park.
Day 9: Lake Powell
- 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. Youw will enjoy a day of fun in the sun and spend an evening camped under the stars.
Day 10: Monument Valley
- 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.
- You will explore the incredible array of rock formations on an included guided 4x4 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 11-12: Grand Canyon National Park
- There is time to view a surreal sunrise at Monument Valley before driving towards Grand Canyon. Traversing the eastern entrance of the canyon, you will catch your first glimpse of it 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 Theatre, 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 13-14: Las Vegas
- From Grand Canyon, you will complete your journey by travelling back to Las Vegas, Nevada. Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of North America – home to pirates and pyramids, weddings and waterfalls. Nowhere else in the world will you find as many casinos, clubs and all-you-can-eat buffets.
- The tour will come to an end after breakfast on Day 14.
- The services of a professional tour leader.
- Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand Canyon National Park and Navajo guided tour of Monument Valley.
- Transport in a customised vehicle.
- All meals when camping.
- International flights, airport transfers, airport departure taxes, visas, insurance, sleeping bag, any optional tours and activities, tips and items of a personal nature.
- Airport transfers
- Airport departure taxes
- Sleeping bag
- Any optional tours and activities
- Tips and items of a personal nature
- Daily budget
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.
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!
30 April 2014
General Contact Details
Web: Visit Peregrine