Utah Parks Circuit

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Utah Parks Circuit

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Description

It may only be the USA’s thirteenth-largest state, but Utah packs more into its 200,000 square kilometres than most countries, let alone states, could ever dream of. Beginning in Las Vegas, leave Utah’s noisy neighbour behind to discover the tranquility of the hidden gardens of Zion, the majestic spires of Bryce Canyon, the inspired desert scenery of Moab and the iconic Monument Valley. Get into the heart of this giant continent, discovering what makes the USA tick by exploring it’s diverse and rugged scenery.

Trip Name
Utah Parks Circuit
Last Updated
2019-06-23
Days
8
Capacity
13
Highlights
  • Learn about pioneer spirit as you hike through Utah's varied national parks, stopping to wash off the desert dust in lakes and streams 
  • Camp beneath the towering Angel's Landing, and decide whether you'd like to tackle the the infamous trail to the top of the great rock formation
  • As well as the famous must-see attractions on this trip, visit some lesser-known but no less spectacular national parks, such as Dead Horse Point and Arches National Park 
  • Learn about Navajo culture and history during a jeep tour of Monument Valley, where the landscape is as surreal as it is beautiful, before spending a unique night in a traditional hogan hut
  • Joan Didion called it "bizarre and beautiful"; Chuck Palahniuk said it's how "heaven must look at night" and Katy Perry (arguably the most talented writer of the bunch) implored you to "get up and shake the glitter off your clothes" after spending the night there. That's right, it's Vegas, baby! Begin and end your trip in the original sin city

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 - Las Vegas
Welcome to the USA! Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting in the hotel lobby at 6 pm today. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. If you arrive early into the desert city of Las Vegas, there's plenty to see and do, even if gambling isn't your thing. Hit the shops, feel your stomach drop on a rooftop roller coaster or simply stroll along the Strip, soaking up the glitz and gaudiness. In the evening, perhaps feast on an 'all you can eat' buffet, check out one of the many shows on offer or party the night away in a Vegas nightclub.
Day 2 - Zion National Park
Today leave Nevada and drive for around three hours to Zion National Park. The park is home to stunning desert landscapes, sculpted sandstone formations, waterfalls and hanging gardens. There will be plenty of time on arrival to stretch your legs and have a good look around the park. The Emerald Pools trail, a two-hour stroll past a lush stream, is a good option for those who don't want anything too strenuous. If you are feeling adventurous and have a decent level of fitness (and aren't afraid of heights), you might want to tackle the famous Angel's Landing trail. At around six-hours and following a path with sheer drops on either side, this isn't for the faint of heart. However, the views from the top of the eponymous rock formation are spectacular. In the evening, set up camp for the night.
Day 3 - Bryce Canyon National Park
Drive for around two-and-a-half hours to Bryce Canyon. The canyon is famous for its 'hoodoos' – odd-shaped rock spires formed by centuries of erosion. You will have ample time to explore the park's extensive network of hiking trails, 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 unique landscapes and a kaleidoscope of desert colours. If you're keen to live out a Wild West fantasy, chat to your leader about the horse riding optional activity.
Day 4 - Moab
Continue on your journey this morning through the impressive landscape of Utah. Travel through the spectacular Capitol Reef National Park making a quick stop to appreciate its beauty before heading to Moab. Close to the incredible Canyonlands and Arches National Parks, Moab is a small city in Utah that attracts hikers, mountain bikers and nature enthusiasts. Arches National Park is punctuated with spectacularly eroded sandstone formations, and contains the world's largest concentration of natural stone arches. Take a hike out to see famous sights such as Delicate Arch and Landscape Arch. The total driving time today is approximately five-and-a-half hours. Once night falls, maybe grab a group and hit the local brewery.
Day 5 - Moab
On your second day in Moab, discover the red plateaus, cliffs and canyons of nearby Dead Horse Point State Park. Enjoy incredible views from Dead Horse Point. At 610 metres (2000 feet) above the ground, cowboys used to the point to round up wild mustangs in the 19th century. You might like to take an optional float down the Colorado River, or even hire a mountain bike to explore the area. Want to enjoy the scenery but need to give your weary muscles a rest? A Slickrock Hummer tour might be your thing – though keep in mind it's not exactly a smooth journey.
Day 6 - Monument Valley
Today drive through southern Utah to Monument Valley, so-named for the giant sandstone formations scattered across the desert. The backdrop for countless Westerns, the valley is part of a massive Navajo reservation and home to more than 200,000 Navajo people. Head out on an incredible guided jeep tour of the valley. Get your camera out and snap some photos of the spectacular landscape, which changes colour with the movement of the sun. Take in the stunning night skies and spend the night in a hogan, a traditional Navajo hut made of logs and earth. Total driving time today is approximately three hours.
Day 7 - Lake Powell
Drive through the unspoiled landscapes of the northern Arizona desert plateau to Lake Powell in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. This enormous man-made lake was created from the building of the Glen Canyon Dam along the Colorado River. Explore hidden coves and canyons, take a dip in the fresh water or laze on the lake's sunny shores. You could even paddle around in a kayak. Total driving time today is around three-and-a-half hours.
Day 8 - Las Vegas
Today drive across the border into Nevada and back to Las Vegas. The drive should take around five hours in total. Hit the shops, feel your stomach drop on a rooftop roller coaster or simply stroll along the Strip, soaking up the glitz and gaudiness. The trip finishes on arrival into Las Vegas and no accommodation is provided tonight. The arrival time depends on each group, but if you decide to fly out on this day, please don't book a flight before 8 pm. This will give you enough time to catch a shuttle from the hotel to the airport and be there two hours before departure. If you are staying in town for the evening, perhaps feast on an 'all you can eat' buffet, check out one of the many shows on offer or party the night away in a Vegas nightclub. If you do wish to spend extra time in Las Vegas we'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
23-07-201930-07-2019AUD $ 2,115-
30-07-201906-08-2019AUD $ 2,060-
13-08-201920-08-2019AUD $ 1,666-
20-08-201927-08-2019AUD $ 1,960-
27-08-201903-09-2019AUD $ 1,960-
03-09-201910-09-2019AUD $ 1,862-
10-09-201917-09-2019AUD $ 1,960-
19-05-202026-05-2020AUD $ 2,315-
16-06-202023-06-2020AUD $ 2,315-
21-07-202028-07-2020AUD $ 2,315-
28-07-202004-08-2020AUD $ 2,315-
11-08-202018-08-2020AUD $ 2,315-
18-08-202025-08-2020AUD $ 2,315-
25-08-202001-09-2020AUD $ 2,315-
01-09-202008-09-2020AUD $ 2,315-
08-09-202015-09-2020AUD $ 2,315-

Accommodation

Camping (with facilities) (5 nts),Hogan (1 nt),Hotel (1 nt)

Transport

Private vehicle

Map