National Parks holiday in America, Western explorer

“A 13 day adventure, travelling in a small group and staying in hotel or lodges along the way. visiting and hiking in some of the USA’s most spectacular national parks. ”

Highlights

San Francisco | Yosemite National Park | Death Valley | Zion National Park |Bryce National Park | Antelope Canyon | Lake Powell | Monument Valley | Grand Canyon National Park

Description of National Parks holiday in America, Western explorer

Starting in San Francisco and ending in Las Vegas, this national parks holiday really is the most superb adventure into some of the western states’ finest 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. And what an introduction, taking hikes to splendid waterfalls, river swimming and exploring Yosemite Valley itself.

This outdoor theme is very much a feature of our holidays where, although we have a busy schedule, we make sure that the real experience is on the ground. In Zion National Park, for example, there are myriad hiking trails, one of the most exciting being the ascent up to Angels Landing with spectacular views of the park’s eponymous canyon. In beautiful Bryce Canyon National Park you can hike the Navajo or Peek-A-Boo Loop Trails which take you right into the heart of the park’s famous orange sandstone spires, known locally as hoodoos.

Monument Valley is another important stop on this national park holiday, although it isn’t a national park but the sacred lands of the Navajo Nation, called a Navajo Tribal Park and reservation. Here our local guide takes us through the history and sacred significance of this stunning landscape, one that is important not only in terms of natural but also cultural heritage.

Last but not least, we spend two days at Grand Canyon National Park, where you can choose from many trails, all of them stunning and a quick way to escape the coach tours which stick to the Rim Trail. If ever there was a breath-taking way to bring this trip to a close, this must be it. That and Route 66, great in a very different way but just the ticket for getting you back to Las Vegas for your journey home after enjoying this medley of magnificence that Western USA has to offer.

Travel Team

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18 Apr 2020
£3559
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14 May 2020
£3649
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09 Jun 2020
£3949
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£3599
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31 Jul 2020
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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.

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

When visiting desert areas it is important that we help to protect this fragile environment. The desert’s natural way to avoid sand erosion is by creating cryptobiotic soil which creates a living crust on the desert floor. This special soil helps the desert to protect itself from wind and rain erosion and promotes plant growth. All our tour leaders encourage our travellers to stick to the path to avoid damaging this special soil which can be hard to see.

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.
Community
Climate

3 Reviews of National Parks holiday in America, Western explorer

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 12 Apr 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Although I enjoyed all aspects of this trip, the most memorable for me was in Zion NP, the ascent to Scouts Corner [Angels Landing] - although along with many other hikers.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


That travel at this time of year can still be cold and people should have adequate warm gear.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Difficult to comment on this in this part of the world; certainly tour & meal with the Navajo at Monument Valley would relate to benefiting the Navajo people. Also on tour where we [participants] often bought food together for lunch &/or breakfast, thus avoiding extra packaging and waste. Evening meals in local restaurants also benefited to the local economy as well as the policy of staying in paths in hiking areas although there were in most cases very crowded!

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


As I said above I thoroughly enjoyed the trip, the scenery - especially in the parks and the travel companions & guide/driver as we all related well to one another - as two major aspects towards a very good holiday. Four & a half stars!

Reviewed on 09 Oct 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


All of it was incredible but climbing Angel's Landing was the highlight, it was
extreme!!!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Go and enjoy it! Be prepared for the hiking, make sure you've got sensible gear and check the temperatures before you go, the weather was quite warm when we were there (Sept/Oct), some of the hikes are pretty strenuous but they're all worth it. And there were always loads of options if you didn't fancy a big hike.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes. Staying at hotels and buying from local shops helps support businesses and local workers. We followed the National Parks' "leave no trace" policy to reduce environmental impacts and learnt a lot about the flora and fauna of the environment we were exploring. We spent some time with Navajo guides which brings income to them and helps us become more aware of different cultures.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Amazing, the best holiday I've ever had!

Reviewed on 14 Sep 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


So many highlights! Hiking to Angels landing & sunrise in Bryce canyon plus of course helicopter flight in Grand Canyon.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Bring flexible attitude and relax.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Our stay in the Navajo reservation fits this criteria.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Very worthwhile & enjoyable.

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