Intrepid | Highlights of Southwestern USA

Cities, deserts, forests, canyons, valleys and the gambling capital of the world make up this larger-than-life journey through America’s West. Start slowly in the City by the Bay before lacing up your boots (and filling up your water bottle) and hiking through some of the most spectacular national parks this part of the world has to offer: Yosemite, Sequoia and Joshua Tree. Stay hydrated in Death Valley (it’s one of the hottest places on earth), gamble in Vegas, scramble to Angel’s Landing in Zion (not for the faint-hearted) and take a perfect picture as the sun sets over the Grand Canyon. This is America in all its rugged, dusty, splendid glory.

  • Highlights

    • An Urban Adventure tour around San Francisco’s Chinatown and North Beach areas offers a unique introduction to this exciting city. Learn to make your own fortune cookie, explore the city's oldest temple and discover the history of the Beat Generation
    • Boulder Mountain Guest Ranch is a true retreat from the bright lights of the city. Unwind as your hosts cook up gourmet meals in the heart of the wilderness
    • Explore the spectacular red desert formations of Monument Valley during a sunset jeep ride. End a day of adventure sharing tacos and stories by the campfire with members of America’s largest recognised tribe - the Navajo. This is a unique opportunity to learn more about Native American culture and history
    • Spend two nights at the Grand Canyon, allowing for plenty of free time to explore the canyon and partake in adventurous optional activities such as hiking or a helicopter flight
    • The journey up the Pacific Coast Highway and through Big Sur is one of the most scenic in the world. Sit back and enjoy the spectacular views while someone else does the driving
  • Pricing

      • Start Date
      • End Date
      • Price
      • Availability
      • Start Date:19 Jun 17
      • End Date:30 Jun 17
      • Price:$4,376
      • Availability:On Request
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      • Start Date:10 Jul 17
      • End Date:21 Jul 17
      • Price:$5,680
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:31 Jul 17
      • End Date:11 Aug 17
      • Price:$5,680
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:14 Aug 17
      • End Date:25 Aug 17
      • Price:$5,260
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:14 May 18
      • End Date:25 May 18
      • Price:$5,050
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:30 Jul 18
      • End Date:10 Aug 18
      • Price:$5,240
      • Availability:7+ Available
      • Enquire Now
    Please note: while prices are accurate at time of loading they are subject to change due to currency fluctuations and currency surcharges may apply. Please check price at time of booking
  • Itinerary

    Day - 1

    Location: Las Vegas - Welcome to the USA. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting in the hotel lobby at 6 pm. 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. As there's a great deal to do in Las Vegas, we recommend you arrive a few days early to make the most of this exciting city. Try your luck on the casino floors, hit the shops, soak up the glitz and gaudiness of the strip or catch one of the many shows on offer.


    Day - 2

    Location: Zion National Park - Today, travel across the border into Utah and the spectacular landscapes of Zion National Park (approximately three hours). There's a variety of trails to choose from and you'll have plenty of opportunity to explore among the park's soaring cliffs and cascading waterfalls. Warm up with a gentle walk to the lower end of the Emerald Pools. Continue onto the upper end of the pools, passing a waterfall on the way to Zion's 'beach'. If you're feeling ambitious, perhaps enjoy the park's most famous challenge: Angels Landing. After a strenuous hike along the narrow ridge of the cliffs, you'll be rewarded with a panorama of the red landscape. Please be aware that this isn't for the faint-hearted and requires a moderate level of fitness.


    Day - 3

    Location: Boulder Mountain Guest Ranch - In the morning drive to Bryce Canyon, where you’ll have time for a short hike. Millions of years of wind and water erosion have formed the park's distinctive hoodoos - uniquely shaped rock spires rising out of the red desert. Continue onto Boulder Mountain Guest Ranch, where you'll be staying for the next two nights. Today's total driving time will be about four to five hours. In the evening, enjoy an included dinner with the group on the ranch and use the rest of the night to relax.


    Day - 4

    Location: Boulder Mountain Guest Ranch - Today is a free day to enjoy at the ranch. After breakfast, perhaps take an optional horse ride or go for a hike in the surrounding Dixie Forest. Otherwise just relax on the veranda and take in the breathtaking scenery. Breakfast and dinner are included at the ranch and are sure to be a highlight. There is a kitchen on site and they specialise in (large) locally-sourced organic meals made from scratch.


    Day - 5

    Location: Monument Valley - In the morning make the six-hour drive to the spectacular Monument Valley. There may be time to visit the cliffs, canyons and domes of Capitol Reef National Park on the way. Monument Valley is part of the biggest Indian reservation in the USA, home to more than 200,000 enrolled members of the Navajo Tribe. Explore the giant sandstone formations scattered across the desert, witnessing the ever-changing colour of the landscape. In the evening, travel by jeep through the Monument Valley with a Navajo guide. Join the locals for an authentic Navajo dinner around a campfire and listen to their traditional songs and stories.


    Day - 6

    Location: Grand Canyon National Park - In the morning, make the 3-4 hour drive to the Grand Canyon, one of the largest canyon systems in the world. This a real highlight of the trip, so you'll be spending two nights here. Perhaps take a stroll along the South Rim Trail or hike to Skeleton Point. There's plenty to see and do during your time here.


    Day - 7

    Location: Grand Canyon National Park - Today is a free day to explore the Grand Canyon. There are plenty of optional activities to take part in - your leader will provide you with the details. Take a hike around the canyon or if you're feeling extra adventurous, opt for a helicopter flight over the area. In the evening, sit back and enjoy the sunset behind the red peaks.


    Day - 8

    Location: Joshua Tree National Park - In the morning, take the long drive to Joshua Tree National Park (approximately 7-8 hours). Sitting between the Mojave and Colorado Deserts, the park is home to striking rock formations, many species of cacti and varied desert wildlife such as coyotes, lizards and bighorn sheep. Spend the night in a nearby hotel.


    Day - 9

    Location: Los Angeles - After breakfast take the short drive to Los Angeles, which takes just over two hours. On arrival in the afternoon, venture out on a half-day sightseeing tour of LA with an Urban Adventure. The rest of the day is then free to do as you please. Perhaps take a stroll around the streets of Hollywood and Beverley Hills, or head to Venice Beach for some sea and sand. It can get really busy at the beach, so watch out for skaters, bikes and skateboarders speeding past as you approach the sands.


    Day - 10

    Location: Los Angeles/Santa Barbara/Pismo Beach - In the morning, drive north to your first stop of the day at Santa Barbara (approximately 1-2 hours). The traffic around Los Angeles can be very bad so please be prepared for delays. You'll have some free time to explore the charming town of Santa Barbara before continuing up the coast to Pismo Beach where we stay the night. Spend the rest of the afternoon walking along the beach, swimming in the ocean, or take a trip to the nearby town of San Luis Obispo - the happiest town in the USA. Optional activities here include a visit to the Spanish mission of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, a hike up to Bishop's Peak or a stroll around the farmers' market.


    Day - 11

    Location: Monterey - This morning jump on Highway 101 and head north towards Monterey. After a picnic lunch at Lover's Point, turn south and drive down Highway 1 as far as possible, stopping at Pfeiffer State Beach for some classic coastline views. The Highway here has been impacted by recent heavy rains and travel will be restricted by maintenance works. Head back to Monterey afterwards. On arrival into town, check in to your hotel and perhaps head out on an optional activity. Perhaps sign up for some whale spotting or visit Steinbeck's Cannery Row. The rest of the evening is free to do as you please.


    Day - 12

    Location: San Francisco - Head to San Francisco this morning, arriving into the city around lunchtime. This afternoon take part in the Temples, Tea and Beatniks Urban Adventure day tour. During the tour you'll make your own fortune cookie in Chinatown, explore the city's oldest temple and discover the Beatniks of North Beach. Your Highlights of Southwestern USA trip comes to an end after the tour, and you're free to depart at anytime.


    Highlights of Southwestern USA
*Terms and Conditions
Offer subject to availability at time of booking. Prices are per person share twin based on best available tour price, inclusive of all discounts unless otherwise stated. Prices are subject to currency fluctuations and are based on cash or cheque. Tour deposit, amendment and cancellation conditions may apply. Travel agent service fees may apply. Special conditions apply - please ask for full details at time of enquiry.
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