For many adventurers, the allure of travel is in the land itself.
- Wildlife & Polar
Wildlife & Polar highlights
- Types of Holiday
Popular Cultural Holiday
Download the detailed trip notes for everything you could possibly want to know about this trip, including detailed itinerary and full kit list.
Overall an excellent trip. There are a couple of full days driving but this is necessary to cover the number of locations in the itinery
The waterfalls in Yosemite
Before booking, consider travelling a couple of days early so you have time to explore San Fransisco - my flight arrived mid afternoon which left no time for that. Similarly, as there is not an overnight stay in Las Vegas at the end, you may want to consider staying on as my departure flight left only a couple of hours mid afternoon in the city.
If you love seeing spectacular natural wonders and also see some amazing cities, this trip is for you.
Driving on Xmas Day in the heavy snow and blue skies from Zion to Bryce Canyon. The amazing views got even better in the snow! It was my first white Xmas as well.
He was kind, friendly, courteous and professional.
The tour does not leave much time to explore San Francisco and Las Vegas. I recommend arriving a few days before and/or staying a few days after the tour ends for city sightseeing.
In winter Mono Lake is not included on the itinerary as the road is closed.
A remarkable experience giving tasters of 5 quite unique National Parks. The group is small enough to give freedom to explore each area according to ability and fitness levels by oneself or in small subgroups. A lot of travelling but the views are worth it. Accommodation excellent although the facilities were not always used due to a packed timetable. People need to be aware of early morning starts to make the most of the day if walking as we experienced unusually high temperatures at the end of the season with no rain. There was sufficient freedom to choose whether to eat in the evenings with other members or in subgroups. The included activities added to the experience and were well worth it. Optional activities were available and wide ranging.
Each area was so unique and an unexpected contrast with each other. Yosemite was spectacular and Death Valley at -282ft below sea level with a temperature of 110F was impressive compared to 3 days later in Bryce Canyon at 8300ft with the onset of ice on the upper trail. Bryce itself was so mystical and fantastic to walk through the Hoodoos. Zion was so superb especially in the evening sun and the views from Angels Landing are something to behold if one has no fear of heights. Monument Valley- conjures up all the old westerns and other films that have used the setting for backdrops and just to immerse yourself in the Grand Canyon is all that needs to be said as words can not do it justification. Fortunately, the stays in cities were short for me as I am not a city person, but one feels compelled to just wander down the Las Vegas boulevard for a complete contrast- the loudness and brashness could not be so far removed from ones previous experiences the days preceding.
Ron Prince was consummately friendly, courteous, professional and full of good advice, information on what to see and where to go. He was well informed on historical and cultural issues. He was available when needed to offer any assistance but was also able to protect himself and have free time so as he could pace himself for a very packed two weeks.
Be prepared for early starts. Be sensible about your walking/hiking abilities in areas that are far greater and higher than what most people are used to and especially be aware of the dry heat that builds up throughout the day. We were fortunate with the weather but it can change very quickly and flash floods have been known to occur in some of the areas visited.
Better arrangements need to be made for the breakfast in the hotel in San Francisco as they were not prepared for a group of this size with such an early start (7.30)- they open for breakfast at 7am.
Exodus need to send all the necessary information re insurance, emergency numbers, that we have provided on our booking forms, to Grand American Adventures so as the individuals do not have to duplicate this information once there.
It would be helpful to know exactly what 'cooking ' facilities and utensils are in each accommodation used if one wishes to make their own breakfast or evening meal. The American 'tip/service charge' needs to be recognised as to the extent this adds to one budgeting.
The trails vary a great deal, as in the more developed parks the trails are well maintained and defined, although often rocky, whilst in the remote parks we might be following a sandy, rocky creek bed or hike cross country over open desert terrain. Crossing shallow streams or wading through a creek (Zion) can be expected. Most of the walking is at moderate altitudes and therefore should not cause any altitude-related
Karol Rogacki - Americas Operations
Our hotels and cabins are generally centrally located but at times, due to economic and space considerations, they are located thirty minutes from the park gates. Some of the hotels provide luxuries such as pools (generally, open only in summer months) and spas, perfect for relaxation after an active day in the outdoors.
Accommodation within the parks is either non-existent or limited. As a result we stay just out side the parks.
Dan Cockburn - Product Manager
The West is known for its very dry spring, summer and autumn weather and outstanding blue, sunny skies. Being as far south as southern Europe and Northern Africa, temperatures are normally much warmer than in Northern Europe. However, temperatures vary greatly depending on the elevation you are at, generally, the higher the elevation, the cooler the temperature and time of year.
Spring and autumn will offer perfect hiking days in the deserts, and cooler days at higher elevations.
On warmer days during the peak summer months, the leader may opt for early morning and late afternoon walks, leaving time for mid-day rest. Please note the hottest time of day in the deserts is actually 3 pm.
In the summer months you should be prepared for afternoon thunderstorms.
In the winter daytime temperatures can drop below freezing and there may be snowfall. Most nights will be mild to warm during the summer but in the winter it will be cold at night, it can be below freezing with snow.
Brendan Phelan - Customer Operations
Most useful will be clothing that can be worn in layers; i.e. walking trousers, shorts, light shirts and sweatshirts or jumpers. If you have a choice, a fleece jumper and waterproof jacket are much better than bulky/heavyweight sweaters/ jackets. It will be cold in the evenings in June and September, whilst it can be warm during the day.
Dan Cockburn - Product Manager
Most clients are eligible to travel via the US under the US Visa Waiver Programme, however to do this you must register for an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority). This must be done prior to departure - more details can be found at www.exodus.co.uk/usvisa.
Rebecca Caldicott - Customer Operations
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