West Coast National Parks tour in America

“A two week small group tour, starting in San Francisco and ending in Bozeman, Wyoming, visiting eight national parks with plenty of opportunities for treks. Staying in hotels. Minimum age 16. ”

Highlights

San Francisco | Yosemite National Park | Death Valley National Park | Zion National Park | Bryce Canyon National Park | Grand Canyon National Park (North Rim) | Monument Valley | Moab | Arches National Park | Salt Lake City | Yellowstone National Park | Grand Teton National Park | Jackson, Wyoming

Description of West Coast National Parks tour in America

Starting in San Francisco and ending in Jackson, Wyoming, this national parks holiday takes you to eight of America’s greatest landscapes and wilderness areas. Staying in hotels or local lodges along the way, our adventure begins in Yosemite National Park, where we have two days to take in the great Sierra Nevada Mountains of California.

This is an action packed holiday where, although there is a busy schedule, the emphasis in on outdoor time, the next stop being Death Valley National Park, one of the driest places on the planet. Canyons are very much a feature of the next couple of national parks, Zion and Bryce where you can enjoy the views and trails of a lifetime. Highlights include the Navajo or Peek-A-Boo Loop Trails which take you right into the heart of the Bryce’s famous orange sandstone spires, known locally as hoodoos.

Next stop is the iconic Grand Canyon National Park where we spend two days, staying at the superbly located North Rim Lodge, so you can catch both sunrise and sunset over the canyon. Equally dramatic is the Navajo Tribal Park of Monument Valley, which are sacred lands for the Navajo Nation. Our local guide is from the Navajo tribe and gives the most fascinating tour through landscape and history.

Your next base for a couple of days is the town of Moab, gateway to Arches National park which is famous for its stunning red sandstone natural sculptures and arches. The last two parks on your itinerary are the world renowned Yellowstone and lesser known Grand Teton. The former is considered as mother of all the parks although not actually as popular with visitors as you might imagine, as it is quite far north. Even though Grand Teton isn’t so well known internationally, it is most definitely grand and our guests are always delighted with its landscapes, as this is Wyoming’s Rocky Mountain hub.

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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
We are committed to offering low impact tours that benefit both the places and communities we visit as well as our travellers. It is important for us all to be aware of the delicate balance that exists in the variety of natural wonders you will visit. National Parks and monuments, archaeological sites and other sensitive areas should and must be treated with respect.

We have created a 'Travellers' Code of Conduct' to help prepare and inform our groups of the various positive or negative effects they could have on a destination. The code includes tips on everything from handling wildlife encounters to how you can help to conserve precious natural resources. Our tour leaders will explain this code of conduct during the first night’s orientation talk and encourage you to follow it throughout the tour.

This code includes following the ‘Leave No Trace’ ethic, this is an international campaign that is designed to help us minimise the impact on the National Parks and other wilderness areas that we visit. Some key guidelines we follow include keeping to existing trails, staying in official campgrounds and disposing of all waste responsibly and recycling whatever we can.

We are proud supporters of Bay Area Wilderness Training (www.bawt.org) a charity based in Oakland California which works to connect disadvantaged children in the local urban area with the great outdoors. Their work helps to provide these young people with life changing experiences which they can
apply to everyday life. Everyone booking with Grand American Adventures has the option to donate £1/$1/€1 to support this well-deserved charity and we will match this donation.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

Whenever possible, we use local accommodation and activity providers. We also shop locally for groceries when buying camping food for the group, eat in small family-run restaurants and visit local shops whenever possible. This all brings economic benefit to the local communities that we visit.

We spend a significant amount of time at various National Parks on this tour, the included entrance fees help to preserve the status and upkeep of the park on a continued and sustainable basis. Interaction with National Park Rangers helps to preserve this role as an employment opportunity for local people and future generations.

Our tour leaders will educate travellers on how best to interact with the wildlife in the parks, for example advising people not to feed the animals to stop them becoming dependent on hand-outs from humans. They will also advise all groups to keep to the path to avoid upsetting the balance of nature.

In Monument Valley, we use a Navajo guide to show you their native lands. This gives you an opportunity to interact with and understand the community on an individual level; it also puts money back into the local economy to help sustain the future of their community.

The overnight stay at an American guest ranch it helps the preservation of this historic way of life. It helps to ensure that younger generations can enjoy this facility and learn new skills such as horse-riding, fly-fishing, and outdoor cookouts. This also puts money back into the smaller and less touristic ranches which sometimes struggle against the larger more commercial ranches.

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