From flashy Las Vegas to the arid desert of Zion National Park and the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon, you will discover a range of American landscapes at your own pace.. Admire the oasis of Emerald Pools during a hike past waterfalls and lush vegetation in Utah’s Zion National Park.. Ride a jeep through Utah’s iconic Monument Valley, and then share stories and a meal by the campfire with members of Navajo Nation.. Be left gobsmacked by the steep red-rock escarpments and gorges of the Grand Canyon, experiencing a bird’s eye view of the park with an optional unforgettable helicopter adventure.
From the glitz and glam of Las Vegas to the peacefulness of Zion, this trip journeys from Sin City to the City of Angels through some of the best national parks in the USA. Walk amid the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Park, gaze in awe at the Grand Canyon, sit by a Navajo campfire in Monument Valley and see the unique vegetation of Joshua Tree National Park. Finish this desert adventure with a day and night in Los Angeles, for a dose of sea, sand and celebrity. This 10-day Vegas to LA tour takes you deep into the Utah and Arizona desert, and to the bright lights of the city, all in one.
Breakfast Included: 4 Lunches Included: Dinner Included: 1
Welcome to Las Vegas, Nevada. From a western outpost in the desert, Las Vegas is now a gambling and entertainment metropolis. It’s a city of larger-than-life characters, but beyond the glitz, Vegas is home to diverse urban neighbourhoods and a thriving arts scene. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting in the hotel lobby at 6 pm. As there's a great deal to do in Las Vegas, we recommend you arrive a day or two early to make the most of this city. Try your luck on the casino floors, hit up Fremont Street, soak up the gaudiness of the strip or catch one of the many shows on offer.
Zion National Park
Today, leave behind the neon and nightclubs behind, and travel to Zion National Park (approximately 3 hours). Warm up with a leader-led orientation or the park, and gentle walk to the lower end of the Emerald Pools, passing the sparkling waterfalls and streams along the way. Continue on a more difficult trail to the upper section, checking out another waterfall on the way to Zion's 'beach'. Enjoy some free time this afternoon to explore more of the park's hiking trails. If you're feeling ambitious, perhaps enjoy the park's most famous challenge: Angels Landing. After a hike along the thin ridge of the cliffs, you'll be rewarded with a sweeping panorama of the red desert. This isn't for the faint-hearted as the trails do get quite narrow.
Zion National Park
Enjoy some free time in Zion National Park. This is a great opportunity to tackle any trails you may not have yesterday. The Narrows is a good choice, as it is probably the most popular hike in the park, and one of the best slot canyon hikes on Earth. Trek through a gorge surrounded by cliff faces 300 metres high, and after a while, cool off in a river along the way. The Narrows hike can be tailored to suit various levels of skill and experience, so there’s a trek for everyone!
In the morning, drive to Bryce Canyon. Millions of years of wind and water erosion have formed the park's distinctive hoodoos – uniquely shaped rock spires rising out of the desert. You will have heaps of time to explore the park's selection of hikes, from the easy Rim Trail, to the moderate Queen's Garden Trail or the strenuous Peek-a-boo Loop. Wherever you walk, you'll encounter the canyon’s colourful landscapes. The group leader will join you on a hike and for lunch in the Canyon. If you’re feeling adventurous, book in a horse-riding tour and experience the park in a different way. The accommodation tonight is not too far away, so you’ll be able to enjoy scenic views over the canyon into the night.
Today you’ll make the 6-hour drive to the spectacular Monument Valley. There will be time to visit the cliffs, canyons and domes of the lesser-known but no less picturesque Capitol Reef National Park on the way. Take Scenic Byway 12 and stop off at Kiva Koffeehouse for lunch and views over the Escalante Grand Staircase National Monument in southern Utah. Pass by more scenic lookouts at Goosenecks State Park and Moki Dugway before hitting Monument Valley. Once arrived, explore the giant sandstone formations scattered across the desert as far as the eye can see. In the evening, travel by jeep through the valley with a Navajo guide. Join the locals for an authentic Navajo dinner around a campfire and settle in for an evening of traditional songs and stories.
Grand Canyon National Park
In the morning, make the 3.5-hour drive to the Grand Canyon, one of the largest canyon systems in the world. Photos really don't do this massive network of gorges, rivers and cliffs justice. This a real highlight of the trip, and you'll be spending two nights here in order to take it all in. Perhaps start with a stroll along the South Rim Trail, which gives great views over the park. While you can't hike to the Colorado River and back in one day, you can take a roughly 4-hour trail to Skeleton Point, which offers great views of the river. Ask the group leader for advice on which trails are right for you and your fitness level.
Grand Canyon National Park
Today is as clear as an Arizona sky in summer. Explore at your own pace, but remember to always have a supply of water and high-energy snacks handy. Touch base with the group leader about optional activities available today – recommended is a helicopter flight over the gorges, providing a chance to see the entire park. If you'd rather get the bird’s eye view without leaving the ground, you can choose to watch a documentary on the canyon at the local IMAX theatre. Of course, there are myriad trails and treks to keep the active occupied. Bright Angel has wonderful views all along the trail and Ooh-Aah Point is a favourite shorter hike on the South Kaibab Trail, offering another viewpoint to the park. In the evening, sit back and enjoy the sunset behind the red peaks.
Joshua Tree National Park
In the morning, take the drive to Joshua Tree National Park (approximately 7 hours). You’ll spend some time driving the famous Route 66 and have a quick stop by the eccentric community of Seligman. Sitting between the Mojave and Colorado Deserts, Joshua Tree is home to striking rock formations, many species of cacti and varied desert wildlife such as coyotes, lizards and bighorn sheep. Joshua Tree provides a considerable contrast to the wildlife and natural scenery you have seen recently.
There may be time to squeeze in a sunrise hike at Joshua Tree before making the approximately 3-hour journey to Los Angeles. Visit the Original Farmers Market for lunch before spending an afternoon at Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach for a bit of people watching. Then you’re free to discover LA at your own pace. Stroll Rodeo Drive, amp up the culture with a trip to the Getty Centre or take a tour around the Beverly Hills mansions. You will have no problem finding a spot for dinner this evening – the cultural mishmash of LA provides excellent food wherever you are.
There are no more activities planned today. If you're planning to stay in LA for a little while longer, why not take an Urban Adventure tour like Sips of Old Hollywood. Stroll along the Walk of Fame and soak up the atmosphere at iconic bars, lounges, speakeasies, and mobster hangouts. Find out more at urbanadventures.com/destination/los-angeles-tours.