Las Vegas to San Francisco

16 days from 4,079pp

Spend two weeks in the American West, discovering the beauty of many of its most iconic national parks. Encounter the crimson-striped cliffs of the Grand Canyon and hear the thundering surf at Big Sur. Stroll among the giants of Sequoia National Park and step behind the scenes at the Monterey Bay Aquarium on a tour designed for National Geographic Journeys. From Yosemite to Death Valley, escape to some of the greatest natural wonders anywhere.
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16 days Las Vegas to San Francisco

From 4,079 per person

Is this tour for me?

Travel Style: National Geographic Journeys

Greater exploration, insider access, and the freedom to roam – all without sacrificing comfort.

Service Level: Upgraded

Quality accommodations and more inclusions than on other G Adventures tours, like meals, private transport, and activities.

Physical Rating: 3 – Average

Some tours may include light hiking, biking, rafting, or kayaking in addition to walking.

Trip Type: Small Group

Small group experience; Max 15, Avg 12.

Age requirement: 12+

All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Day 1: Las Vegas

Arrive at any time.

There are no planned activities today until the evening welcome meeting, so check out the strip or get tickets to a show for this evening.

Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting:
1h19:00

The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.

Accommodation

Stratosphere Hotel (or similar)

Day 2: Las Vegas/Zion National Park

Depart early for Zion, Utah’s oldest national park, and observe some of the most beautiful canyon country scenes in the United States. Catch the shuttle into the park with our CEO and hike to the Emerald Pools and hanging gardens.

Private Vehicle
Las Vegas – Zion National Park2h30m-3h270km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Zion National Park Visit
Zion National Park

Admire monumental sandstone cliffs of cream, pink, and red that tower into the sky. Experience diverse plant and animal life in this narrow slot canyon as the park transitions from desert to forest. Gaze at the awe-inspiring beauty of the high plateaus, striking towers, temples, mesas, and the earth’s tallest-known sheer sandstone walls.

Accommodation

La Quinta Inn & Suites at Zion Park (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 3: Zion National Park

Enjoy a guided hike to the Narrows in Zion National Park. Splash and wade in the river that cuts through this stunning slot canyon. Witness the awe-inspiring beauty of the high plateaus, towers, temples, mesas, and the earth’s tallest-known sheer sandstone walls of pinks and reds.

The canyon is narrow, and the river covers the bottom in many places, which means you will have to wade or swim to proceed. Prepare to get wet but the cool water makes this hike particularly pleasant during the hot summer months.

Hiking is not permitted when the river is high from runoff or flash flooding. Runoff mostly occurs in April and early May. Late summer thunderstorms can occasionally produce flooding. If the hike is not possible due to weather, it will be replaced with another activity.

Narrows Hike
Zion National Park4h-5h 2-3km

Take a guided hike to the Narrows in Zion National Park. Splash and wade through the cool river which cuts though this stunning slot canyon. You’ll mostly be in up to your ankles and in some spots get waist-deep. The Narrows is one of the most popular hikes in Zion National Park, and is considered one of the world’s best slot canyon hikes.

Private Vehicle
Zion National Park

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Accommodation

La Quinta Inn & Suites at Zion Park (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch

Day 4: Zion National Park/Page

This morning, hike through Bryce Canyon National Park, famed for its multi-coloured rock pinnacles called ‘hoodoo’. Be sure to have your camera ready to snap shots of these spectacular, natural towers that cover the canyon floor. Continue on to Page, Arizona, stopping at Horseshoe Bend along the way.

Private Vehicle
Zion National Park – Bryce Canyon National Park2h140km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Bryce Canyon National Park Visit
Bryce Canyon National Park

See a sight like no other at this giant forest of stone made up of collection of massive natural amphitheaters. This park contains hundreds of thousands of eroded spires, pinnacles, and other shapes as far as the eye can see.

Private Vehicle
Bryce Canyon National Park – Page3h-3h30m250km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Horseshoe Bend Hike
Horseshoe Bend1h 1km

Take a short hike to this spectacular horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River. Stand atop steep orange-coloured sandstone cliffs and look out at Horseshoe Bend. Peer down more than 300m (1,000 ft) at the emerald river below.

Accommodation:

Hampton Inn & Suites Page – Lake Powell (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 5: Page/Grand Canyon National Park

Start the day with a visit to the incredible Antelope Canyon with a local Navajo guide. Located on Navajo land and accessible only with an authorized guide, this landmark is considered one of the most visually stunning slot canyon formations in the world. Next, travel to the Grand Canyon.

Marvel as the Grand Canyon unfolds before you but don’t get too close. The land drops almost straight down for more than 1,000m (3,280 ft) into the serpentine canyons below! The gorge is filled with rocky buttes, sheer limestone cliffs, and deep canyons all arrayed in a rainbow of colors. Words defy. This is truly one of the most magnificent sights on earth.

Antelope Canyon Tour
Antelope Canyon2h

Named for the pronghorn that used to roam the land, Antelope Canyon is a natural sandstone cathedral created by years of flash flooding, wind, and rain. Tour this breathtaking canyon to discover beams of light, flowing rock walls, and spiral arches and soak in the natural beauty of this surreal place.

Private Vehicle
Page – Grand Canyon National Park3h-4h220km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Accommodation

Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 6: Grand Canyon National Park

Spend the day exploring the Canyon with an expert from the Grand Canyon Association Field Institute. Enjoy a walk along the South Rim discussing the unique geology and botany of the Canyon, as well as human history here. After, visit the Historic Village District viewing iconic park structures then continue down the Bright Angel Trail below the canyon rim and view two-thousand-year-old rock art and 250-million-year-old fossils. Also visit the historic Kolb Studio, home to photography pioneers Emery and Ellsworth Kolb, who shared with the world the first pictures of the epic Canyon.

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Grand Canyon Exclusive

As part of a specially designed experience for National Geographic Journeys travellers, spend a day with a researcher from the Grand Canyon Association Field Institute. Begin with a walk with our expert along the South Rim to hear about the unique geology of the canyon and history of Native Americans here. Then visit the Historic Village District for a stroll past a number of iconic park structures including Hopi House, El Tovar Hotel, and Lookout Studio. Continue down the historic Bright Angel Trail to get a real sense of the feel of the canyon below the rim, viewing 2000-year-od rock art and 250-million-year-old fossils. Also visit Kolb Studio, the home and offices of photographer brothers Ellsworth and Emory Kolb from 1904 to 1976. National Geographic has long supported exploration of the Grand Canyon with the belief that celebrating and studying this iconic naitonal park better equips us in protecting its many natural wonders.

Optional Activities – Day 6

Grand Canyon IMAX Movie
Grand Canyon National Park

14USD per person

On a giant six-story movie screen, watch the most viewed IMAX film of all time, “Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets”. Escape, fly, and discover the history and beauty of this awe-inspiring landscape.

Grand Canyon Sunset
Grand Canyon National Park

Free

Head to the rim of the Grand Canyon at sunset. Point your camera in any direction and capture memorable shots as the shifting light plays off the layers of red, yellow, and brown rock. This is truly one of the great wonders. Enjoy the moment.

Accommodation

Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 7: Grand Canyon National Park/Las Vegas
This morning, visit Lowell Observatory for a tour of the giant telescopes and to learn about the study of astronomy, as well as a lecture on Mars. Continue back to Las Vegas, but not before getting your kicks on Route 66 in Seligman, Arizona — the birthplace of this famed highway.
Private Vehicle
Grand Canyon National Park – Flagstaff2h150km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Lowell Observatory Experience

Visit the highly renowned Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona for a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility alongside an educator. Established in 1894 (making it one of the oldest observatories in the United States), this centre focuses on educating the general public in astronomical research. Learn about the Clark and Pluto telescopes and enjoy a presentation on their study of Mars. National Geographic has long supported space research and featured impressive images of our solar system in the pages of National Geographic magazine. As far back as the 1950s, National Geographic has provided funding to astronomers based at the Lowell Observatory to gather important photographic data of Mars.

Private Vehicle
Flagstaff – Las Vegas5h-6h400km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Seligman (Route 66) Visit
Seligman

Take a trip back in time to the birthplace of Route 66. Check out the historic general store, original motels, as your CEO shows you the highlights of this quintessential American town.

Accommodation:

Stratosphere Hotel (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 8: Las Vegas
Enjoy a full free day to explore Las Vegas. Wander the Strip, do some shopping, and refuel at one of the many bars or restaurants. Opt to take in a glitzy Las Vegas show, try your luck at the gaming tables, or head out on a day trip to the Hoover Dam.
Carte Blanche
Las Vegas Full Day

There’s plenty to see and do in Las Vegas, and we wanted to make sure that you had some time to take it all in. Feel free to relax or try optional activities like watching a Vegas show, exploring the Vegas Strip, and going on a VIP party limo ride. Your CEO has more ideas if you need them. Just ask!

Optional Activities – Day 8

Optional Welcome Meeting for Travellers on Combos

You may be a seasoned pro at group travel by now, but there will likely be some new travellers joining the group. Sit in on the welcome meeting to meet the newest members of your group and learn about the next leg of your tour.

Accommodation:

Stratosphere Hotel (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 9: Las Vegas/Death Valley National Park

Leave the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas behind and travel to Death Valley — the lowest, hottest, and driest place in North America. Marvel at the extremes of this landscape.

Drive through the spectacular landscape of Death Valley. Visit Badwater Basin, the lowest, hottest, driest point in North America that sits 282 feet below sea level.

Private Vehicle
Las Vegas – Death Valley National Park2h30m-3h230km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Death Valley National Park Visit
Death Valley

The Death Valley is one of America’s most extreme locations – from sand dunes and desert, to badlands, towering peaks, and a basin that actually registers below sea-level, this is sure to be an unforgettable stop. Hottest. Driest. Lowest. There’s a bit of everything here on the border of California and Nevada.

Accommodation:

Furnace Creek Ranch (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 10: Death Valley National Park/Yosemite National Park

Sit back and enjoy the views on this full day drive via the mountain town of Bishop and across the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, along the famed Tioga Pass. Arrive into the Yosemite area by evening.

Surrounded by peaks which soar more than 14,000 ft (4,593m) in elevation, Bishop, one of “America’s Coolest Mountain Towns.” Travel via the Tioga Pass viewing Mono Lake and the Tufa Towers on the way.

Private Vehicle
Death Valley National Park – Yosemite National Park8h-10h

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Tioga Pass Drive
Tioga Pass2h-4h

Take this scenic route through the Sierra Nevada mountain range connecting Bishop with the Yosemite Valley floor. Pass by lakes, meadows, and groves, and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife along the way.

Accommodation

Pines Inn Resort (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 11: Yosemite National Park

With our CEO, explore stunning Yosemite National Park in the High Sierra. Explore on foot to view majestic waterfalls, crystal clear lakes, lush green meadows, and walk among pristine groves in Yosemite.

Yosemite National Park Visit
Yosemite National Park1h-8h

Picturesque valleys, vast wilderness, powerful waterfalls, elusive wildlife, ancient sequoias and more than 16 types of granite make up this internationally recognized national park. Hike the trails, get up close to ancient rock formations and take panoramic photos of this gorgeous landscape. Keep an eye out for black bears, deer, and coyotes.

Private Vehicle
Yosemite National Park

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Accommodation:

Pines Inn Resort (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 12: Yosemite National Park/Sequoia National Park
Depart early and walk through California’s Sequoia National Park alongside a naturalist. Learn about these impressive giant trees and enjoy a picnic lunch on the trail. Drive to Big Tree Trail for an afternoon hike and learn about how National Geographic deeded tracts of giant trees in the heart of the park to the National Parks Service for safekeeping. This evening, we return to the park for an evening of stargazing with an expert from the Sequoia Parks Conservancy (SPC).
In cases where the night sky is cloudy, we will replace the star gazing activity with a nighttime nature walk in the National Park. Embark on a one-mile walk to experience the dramatic changes of the soundscapes and nocturnal biodiversity of the area. This engaging walk will awaken awareness and provide an in-depth experience of Sequoia’s nocturnal plants and animals.
Private Vehicle
Yosemite National Park – Sequoia National Park2h30m-3h222km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Sequoia NP Hike

Walk through California’s Sequoia National Park with a naturalist from Sequoia Parks Conservancy. Over 2.5 hours, learn about these impressive giant trees – some so big, they have names. The one called General Sherman is the largest known living single-stem tree on the planet. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the trail and then drive to Big Tree Trail for an afternoon hike. In 1916, National Geographic deeded tracts of giant trees in the heart of the park to the National Parks Service for safekeeping. Keep your eyes on the lookout for the plaque commemorating the important work the National Geographic Society has done in protecting this treasure of a national park.

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Sequoia Parks Conservancy Stargazing

The night sky above Sequoia National Park offers one of California’s most dazzling opportunities for stargazing, due to minimal light pollution and a higher altitude. Peer upward alongside an astronomy expert from the park who’ll discuss the constellations, planets, and stars that fill the twinkling sky. (Weather permitting, of course.) G. H. Grovesnor, first full-time editor of National Geographic magazine, first fell in love with national parks while observing the stars here in Sequoia NP. Thanks to his subsequent involvement in the creation of the National Park Service in 1916, we’re still able today to enjoy one of the most impressive dark skies above the Sierra.

Accommodation

Wuksachi Lodge (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 13: Sequoia National Park/Monterey

Travel to Monterey and marvel at the beautiful coastline and mountain ranges of Big Sur along the Pacific coast.

Time and conditions permitting, we will try to make a stop to view elephant seals at Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery.

Private Van with Wi-fi
Sequoia National Park – Monterey10h-12h

Stretch out, unwind, and check your messages aboard our private, wi-fi-equipped ride.

Accommodation

Casa Munras Garden Hotel & Spa (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 14: Monterey

Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium on a tour specially arranged for National Geographic Journeys travellers. Get an inside look at the workings of this world-class organization and find out how the Aquarium’s mission aligns with that of National Geographic. After, enjoy a free afternoon. Opt to explore the Bay, or wander historic Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row.

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Monterey Aquarium Exclusive

Visit this world-renowned aquarium on an experience specially arranged for National Geographic Journeys travellers. Get an inside look at the workings of the facility and learn about sea otters, kelp and all the marine life that call the Aquarium home. Learn how the Aquarium’s mission aligns with that of National Geographic in efforts to better understand and properly protect marine life. A special experience for every type of traveller.

Free Time
Monterey Afternoon

Don’t waste any time – get out and explore.

Optional Activities – Day 14

Whale Watching
Monterey Bay

45USD per person

Accommodation

Casa Munras Garden Hotel & Spa (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 15: Monterey/San Francisco

Continue on a scenic coastal drive along the Pacific Coast Highway to San Francisco for our final evening. Catch a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge on the way into one of America’s most popular cities. Opt to take a cable car ride over the steep hills, explore the city by bicycle, or embark on a boat ride into the setting sun.

Private Vehicle
Monterey – San Francisco3h30m-4h227km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Free Time
San Francisco Afternoon

Enjoy free time to discover San Fran!

Accommodation

Hotel Spero (formerly Hotel Serrano) (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 16: San Francisco

Depart at any time.

Departure Day

Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.

Meals included:

Breakfast

What’s Included

  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Grand Canyon Exclusive, Grand Canyon National Park
  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Lowell Observatory Experience, Flagstaff
  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Sequoia NP Hike, Sequoia National Park
  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Sequoia Parks Conservancy Stargazing, Sequoia National Park
  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Monterey Aquarium Exclusive, Monterey
  • All national park fees
  • Zion NP visit and guided hike
  • Bryce Canyon NP visit
  • Antelope Canyon guided visit
  • Death Valley NP visit
  • Yosemite NP excursion
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

This adventure boasts vans fitted with wi-fi for up to five users at a time. Check your email, upload a photo to Facebook, or send a tweet to your friends.

Accommodations

Hotels (15 nts).

Meals

15 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners
Allow USD730-950 for meals not included.

Transportation

Air-conditioned private vehicle, hiking, walking.

Staff & experts

Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.

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  Cork 021 4320710 Dublin 01 4851750 SMS 087 167 1119

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