Yosemite National Park feels like something out of the film, The Land Before Time. While other tour groups breeze through in a day, spend two nights in the park – allowing for a full day of hiking and exploring. For many, Death Valley conjures up images of flat, barren wastelands. Be surprised by diverse landscapes of sand dunes, water-sculpted canyons, extinct volcanic craters and in the spring, fields of wildflowers. Release your inner sommelier during a tasting in the famous wine region of the Sonoma Valley. For something a little different, visit the nearby Jack London State Historic Park, which celebrates the life and home of the legendary writer among stunning scenery. Lake Tahoe is a stunning destination year-round. In summer it is all about water activities, and in winter, it’s all about the snow. Enjoy a free afternoon here to try some of the activities on offer
What do you get when you combine the steep hills of San Francisco, a Yosemite hike, a stroll into one of the hottest places on earth and a trip to the Strip? A diverse – and excellent – adventure! Start with a guided tour of the City by the Bay, travel through California’s wine country and sample fine wines and cheese (yes please), get amongst the natural beauty of Lake Tahoe, explore Death Valley’s nooks and crannies and say hello to Vegas, baby! Covering forests, canyons, deserts and Sin City, fall in love with this unique and exciting part of the USA.
Breakfast Included: 2 Lunches Included: 1 Dinner Included: 2
Welcome to the San Francisco, USA. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so ensure you bring these details to provide to your leader. If you're going to be late, please inform hotel reception. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time for today's welcome meeting, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. This evening head out with the group on an Urban Adventures tour, which includes a guided walk through San Francisco's famous Little Italy and North Beach districts and dinner at a local restaurant.
This morning hit the road out of San Francisco and drive north to the beautiful Sonoma Valley wine region. The small town of Sonoma was the site of the rebellion, which paved the way for California's independence from Mexico. Enjoy lunch, a wine tasting and an optional winery tour at a local vineyard. Explore the historic buildings and scenic trails of nearby Jack London State Park - the area the famous writer and adventurer once called home. Spend the second night of the trip in Sonoma.
Yosemite National Park
Today is a long day of driving (approximately seven hours), as you head east to Yosemite National Park where you'll spend the next two nights. Featuring sequoia forests, granite cliff faces and waterfalls, the scenery in this World Heritage-listed park is amazing to explore.
Yosemite National Park
Enjoy a free day to explore Yosemite National Park. There are plenty of hikes to do, each varying in difficulty. Perhaps take a 4-5 hour hike to the top of Nevada Fall or a short and easy walk to the serene Mirror Lake. Keep an eye out for squirrels (and perhaps even a bear) along the way. You might like to hire a bike and cycle around Yosemite Valley, stopping by the park's museum, photo gallery, shops and restaurants on the way. In the heat of summer, float down the Merced River on a raft and enjoy a few drinks at the local cafe.
Make the drive to Lake Tahoe (approximately 4 hours). Enjoy free time for the rest of the day. If it's summer, perhaps using it to hike, swim, rent bikes or simply relax. An optional sunset sailing cruise on the lake is also available. In winter, your optional activities revolve around snow – strap on some snowshoes and go for a hike, take a sleigh ride, or try your hand at ice skating.
Drive south to Death Valley (approximately 6 hours). On the way to Lone Pine perhaps stop at Manzanar National Historic Site, a former Japanese Internment Camp during WWII. Spend the night in the town of Lone Pine, not far from the entrance to Death Valley. Here there's the option to visit the Museum of Western Film History, which celebrates the many movies that have been filmed in the area, such as Iron Man, Django Unchained, How The West Was Won, and True Grit.
This morning we drive the short distance into Death Valley National Park. Death Valley National Park is a geologically rich area, featuring huge sand dunes, canyons, sculpted rocks, valleys and volcanic craters. Elevations fluctuate from 85 metres below sea level near Badwater Point (the lowest point in the USA) to 3756 metres above sea level at Telescope Peak. Death Valley is extremely hot and dry, so pack plenty of water. Perhaps hike up to Dante's View for amazing vistas over the valley. Check out Ubehebe Crater or find a shady trail through Golden Canyon.
It's a short three-hour drive through Nevada today, to the glitzy desert city of Las Vegas. This city may be the gambling capital of the world, but if this isn't your thing there's a lot more to do in town. Wander along the Strip past impersonators, billboards and hotels, checking out the Bellagio fountain show. Head to a rooftop amusement park, hit the chain stores or lose all sense of time exploring the gaudy interiors of The Venetian, Caesars Palace and New York-New York hotels. In the evening, join up with the group for an included buffet dinner, Vegas style. If you're up for it, see an after dinner show or hit up a nightclub.
There are no activities planned for today and you're able to depart the accommodation at any time after breakfast. As there's a great deal to do in Las Vegas, we recommend staying a few extra days to make the most of this exciting city. If you need help booking extra accommodation, our reservations team will be happy to assist (subject to availability). If you do decide to stay on, perhaps take a helicopter trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon. The trip includes champagne, beverages and a light snack, all served above the Colorado River. The tour takes approximately two-and-a-half hours altogether.