One Week in Las Vegas & the American Wilderness

One Week in Las Vegas & the American Wilderness

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Description

Pass through California, Arizona and Nevada on this sight-seeing road trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Hike through the spooky but beautiful Joshua Tree National Park, stare in wonder at the Grand Canyon, take in the glitz and neon lights of Vegas and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife in Yosemite National Park. This adventure covers all the best bits of these three great states.

Trip Name
One Week in Las Vegas & the American Wilderness
Last Updated
2019-07-25
Days
8
Capacity
13
Highlights
  • Hike through spooky yet beautiful Joshua Tree National Park. We put it down to the park's desert cactus gardens, lush oases and strange rock formations.
  • It’s big, it’s beautiful, it’s the Grand Canyon! See it up close on a hike with your leader or take an optional helicopter flight overhead.
  • Lose yourself in the neon lights of Las Vegas. Maybe have a crack at blackjack, mosey the gaudy and glitzy Strip, catch a show or just soak up the craziness that is Sin City.
  • Granite cliffs, redwood forests, star-studded night skies, Instagram-smashing waterfalls… Yosemite National Park feels like utopia.
  • Camp in the great outdoors on this epic American road trip. This is a great trip for first-time campers, as the equipment is easy to assemble and there are always leaders on hand to help out.
  • Death Valley gets a bad rap, conjuring up images of a flat and barren wasteland and, y’know, death. Be surprised by the park's ethereal landscapes of sand dunes, water-sculpted canyons, extinct volcanic craters and, in the spring, fields of wildflowers.
  • End your adventure in the eclectic, multicultural City by the Bay. See the sights (the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and Fisherman's Wharf to name a few), sample the great food scene or get amongst the museums and fantastic cultural offerings of San Francisco.

Itinerary

We've allowed plenty of room for freedom and flexibility in our trips. In fact, flexibility is one of the ingredients that makes each of our trips so exciting. This style of travel offers us some unexpected circumstances at times, for example, bad weather and road conditions, technical defects of transportation, inconveniences caused by local operators and authorities, and other circumstances beyond our control. Changes in the program may be required to make the best of the unique situations that we encounter. Overnight stops and driving distances each day may vary to best suit the needs of the group. Our described itineraries are to be used as a general guide only. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Day 1 - Los Angeles
Oh hey, LA! Roll into town any time today, as there are no activities planned. Check-in time at the hotel is 3 pm, but if you arrive early you can store your luggage and hit up the town for a stroll, a taco or a green smoothie. Just make sure you’re back at the hotel for an important welcome meeting at 6 pm, where you'll meet your tour leader and fellow travellers. As this is the only day you'll spend in LA, we recommend arriving a couple of days early so you can see the sights. Perhaps go celeb-spotting on Rodeo Drive, take a hike up Runyon Canyon or book a one-day sightseeing tour with Urban Adventures.
Day 2 - Lake Havasu
Drive into desert country to Joshua Tree National Park, famous for its spiky trees, bizarre rock formations and a pretty good U2 album. After a wander through the park, head to Lake Havasu on the Colorado River (at the Arizona border) and set up camp for the night. We cover around 600 kilometres (372 miles) of ground today, which is broken up with short walks, photo stops and some roadside snacking opportunities. It’s a good idea to load your phone with some good podcasts and playlists to pass the time.
Day 3 - Grand Canyon National Park
Today we head north (4 hours north, to be precise) to one of the world’s seven wonders: the Grand Canyon. When you think about its dimensions – 450 kilometres long, 630 kilometres wide and 1600 metres deep – it really warrants the whole ‘grand’ title. Check out its massive scale on a walk on the South Rim, or if you’re feeling more active, hike into the canyon itself to stretch your legs. Angling for a bird’s eye view? Splash out on an optional helicopter ride. Spend the night at comfortable digs near the National Park.
Day 4 - Las Vegas
Today we cross Arizona's western deserts on the way to Las Vegas. We'll make a stop along the way so you can get your kicks on Route 66 before arriving in Sin City in the afternoon.
Day 5 - Las Vegas
Famous for its casinos, Elvis-themed wedding chapels, and epic residencies (the Backstreet Boy, Britney Spears and Elton John have all done long-running shows here), Vegas is a mecca for all things over-the-top. For those not interested in putting all their cash on black, there are heaps of other things to see and do in and around the Strip. Foodies may want to check out one of the celebrity chef restauants around town (Giada De Laurentiis, Gordon Ramsay and Wolfgang Puck all have places here).Chat to your tour leader for the lowdown on Sin City's best shows, clubs, restaurants and shopping. 
Day 6 - Death Valley
While it’s one of the hottest spots on the planet (temperatures get as high as 50°C in the summer months), Death Valley is also home to a diverse range of wildlife, such as lizards and bighorn sheep (weird), and some pretty awesome geological phenomena. Make sure the camera battery’s charged – the enormous sand dunes, sculpted rocks and volcanic craters are ready for their close-up. We’ll be covering about 600 kilometres (372 miles) of road today, before spending the night in Bakersfield.
Day 7 - Yosemite National Park
Head north through the Central Valley to Yosemite National Park. The park is a who’s who of natural wonders: El Capitan, the largest granite monolith in the world (take that, 2001: A Space Odyssey), Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America, and some of the biggest trees on earth, the mighty Giant Sequoia. Choose between an afternoon hike to Vernal Falls or stroll to Mirror Lake. Alternatively, just soak up the sights in your own time. Spend the night at a campsite near the park.
Day 8 - San Francisco
Leave Yosemite behind and drive 240 kilometres (149 miles) west (around 3.5 hours) towards San Francisco. Our arrival time depends on the group, but we’ll aim for a 3 pm arrival, where our epic road trip comes to an end. If you’re flying out of SF today, please book your flight after 8 pm – this will give you enough time to get a shuttle to the airport with enough time to check in. There’s heaps to see and do in San Francisco – we suggest staying on for a few days to get the most out of this awesome city. If you need a hand booking accom, our reservations team will be happy to help out.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type

Accommodation

Camping (with facilities) (4 nights),Hostel (1 night),Hotel (2 nights)

Transport

Private vehicle

Map