National Parks hiking holiday in America

“A 2 week, small group tour, with 8 days of guided hiking through the USA’s national park greats. Start in Wyoming, finish in LA. Introductory to moderate level hikes, staying in 2-3 star hotels or cabins. ”


Grand Teton National Park | Yellowstone National Park | Rocky Mountains National Park, Colorado | Mesa Verde National Park | Grand Canyon National Park | Descent trail into Grand Canyon | Monument Valley | Las Vegas

Description of National Parks hiking holiday in America

Our National Parks hiking holiday in America is a small group tour, following a carefully crafted itinerary that takes you to some of Western USA’s greatest national parks, with some additional treats thrown into this wonderful mix of natural heritage.

The hiking on this trip is not too tough, although eight out of our fourteen days do have guided treks through dramatic and unforgettable terrain. There are plenty of rest days built in, some of them a necessity as we travel from one national park to the next, using private transport.

Our hiking highlights along the way include Mount Washburn (3120m) in Yellowstone National Park, where the geysers, waterfalls, boiling mud pots and prolific wildlife never fail to impress. Colorado’s Rocky Mountains and eponymous national park are natural wonders that seem to go on forever, and we explore this exquisite, elevated state via beauty spots such as the town of Apsen, Maroon Bells and hiking on the Lost Man Loop.

Exploring the rims and mesas of Mesa Verde National Park is another highlight of Colorado state. Lesser known internationally, this magnificent landscape is the US’s only national park designated because of ‘the works of man’, with over 4000 archaeological sites and over 600 cliff dwellings of the Ancient Pueblo people, carved in between canyons and overhangs.

Our hiking holiday draws to a close at Grand Canyon National Park which needs little introduction and where we spend three and a half days in total. Here we not only take a leisurely hike around the West Rim but also descend into the Canyon itself following the trail that takes us to the remote Supai village and Havasupai Waterfalls. And one of the most spectacular sleep spots in the world at the village lodge. Our final stop at Las Vegas takes some getting used to after all that wilderness.

Travel Team

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Check dates, prices & availability

04 Sep 2021
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 04 Sep 2021 departure
18 Sep 2021
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 18 Sep 2021 departure
Holiday type
Small group holidays
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Meet a group leader
As well as taking care of all the day-to-day practicalities, your group leader is the one who will turn your trip into an adventure. Leaders are extraordinary characters – the kind of person who has spent 14 Christmas days on the slopes of Mount Everest, runs marathons wearing tiger suits to raise funds for their conservation and thinks nothing of leading an overland trip in Sudan or Afghanistan. Fearless and inspiring, group leaders are as important as the destination itself.

Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure. As well as doing crazy things like climbing Kilimanjaro 100 times, they also donate their time to local projects supported by travellers – such as rebuilding Sri Lankan villages following the 2004 tsunami.

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.

To help keep the national parks of America beautiful our local guides are trained in minimal impact principles and also provide a responsible travel code of conduct to travelers who participate. Each group size is maximum 11 people which helps once again to minimise our impact on each visit.

Our philosophy since 1975 has been to leave only footprints and take only photographs. To reiterate this, every customer who travels with us receives a copy of our award-winning Responsible Travel guidebook. This detailed book outlines our environmentally sustainable principles, and outlines how each customer can minimize their impact while traveling.

The root cause of Global Warming is society's dependence on emission creating fossil fuel. Planting trees is not going to reverse this trend or cancel our carbon emissions very quickly or effectively. We believe the way to reduce these dependencies is to create clean energy production. Therefore, we support renewable energy projects like wind and solar power, and we are aligned with Climate Friendly, the gold standard setter in effective, meaningful action addressing climate change. So, while we believe that tree planting can play a small role in greenhouse gas abatement, we have gone the extra mile in promoting a longer term solution. Is this cheap? No. Is it responsible? Absolutely.

The Impacts of this Trip

During the tour we support rural tourism by buying from local outfitters, Native Americans and small, locally owned family run hotels, restaurants, markets and transport providers. By visiting rural communities you are helping local rural development by as the majority of local people are invested in conservation as most towns we visit are attached to national parks.

By traveling on this tour you are also helping to support the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and Sierra Club as our local operator passed on a donation from every tour to these organisations.

Local cash payments are becoming increasingly popular with many operators in the adventure travel industry. This policy seems to benefit the tour operators more than the local economies or the travelers, as it avoids local taxes and transfers the costs and risks of cash handling onto the travelers. In accordance with our Responsible Travel practices, we have chosen a policy of not asking for such payments.


2 Reviews of National Parks hiking holiday in America

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 12 Oct 2016 by

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

The grand canyon

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

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

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

Reviewed on 02 Nov 2012 by

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

There were numerous memorable moments during the whole two week holiday due to the ever changing landscape covered by the trip.We covered nearly 2000 miles in the comfortable people carrier and the views,scenery and walks we superb and not too taxing.The first view of the Grand Canyon was of course stunning but for me the mountain views in Yosemite were breathtakingly beautiful ,the walk along the Panorama trail back to Curry village was awe inspiringly spectacular and the highlight for me. All the locations visited where really interesting and the guide on the walks provided lots of interesting nuggets of information about the walk and it's wildlife.The guide on our trip Marianne was simply great,she went out of her way to make the holiday the best it could be.

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

I booked an extra night in the start city Las Vegas to see a show,saw Penn and Tellor which was great. Both the start locations are good places to explore and seems a shame to rush it by spending just one night.I would advise people not to take too much luggage in their suitcase as it is a chew to rack a bulging case on the frequent change of locations.

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

The trip visited the Naverro nation at Monument valley and the fees help to maintain the native population and so benefits the Naverro people.Local produce is sold also I bought several items for gifts.

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

It was a really enjoyable interesting holiday,superbly planned to get the most out of the areas visited.The locations were truly wonderful,from the desert to the mountains and onto the ocean in San Francisco truly inspiring. The holiday flew over but I look back on it with some wonderful memories. It was as the name suggest simply the Best of the West.

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