National Geographic Journeys

National Parks of the American West

  • Duration 16 Days | Las Vegas to San Francisco
  • Group Size Max 15
  • From $7,912 AUD
Call 1300 363 742

Trip Overview

Spend two weeks in the American West, discovering the beauty of many of its most iconic national parks. Encounter the crimson-striped cliffs of the Grand Canyon and hear the thundering surf at Big Sur. Stroll among the giants of Sequoia National Park and step behind the scenes at the Monterey Bay Aquarium on a tour designed for National Geographic Journeys. From Yosemite to Death Valley, escape to some of the greatest natural wonders anywhere.

Trip Highlights

  • Join a scientist from the Grand Canyon Association Field Institute for an interpretive walk along the South Rim
  • Visit the renowned Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff for a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility’s high-powered telescopes.
  • Walk the floor of stunning Antelope Canyon with a Navajo guide.
  • Go behind the scenes at the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium, and hear about National Geographic-sponsored research.

Itinerary - 16 Days

Day 1 Las Vegas

Arrive at any time.

Days 2, 3, & 4 Zion National Park/Bryce Canyon National/Park

Depart early for Zion National Park, where red sandstone gorges and waterfall-laced cliffs make for some of the most scenic canyon landscapes in America. The next day, set out on a guided hike to the Narrows of the Virgin River to take in jaw-dropping views of the park's high plateaus, sculpted rock towers, and sheer sandstone walls. Spend time the following day discovering Bryce Canyon National Park, famed for the multi-colored rock pinnacles that jut skyward from the canyon floor. Later, continue toward Page, Arizona. (3B, 1L)

Days 5 & 6 Antelope Canyon/Grand Canyon

Join a Navajo guide for a walk through Antelope Canyon, considered one of the most stunning slot-canyon formations in the world. Then continue to the Grand Canyon. Spend the next day exploring the canyon alongside an expert from the Grand Canyon Association Field Institute, discussing the park's geology, history, and culture. Visit the Historic Village District, and then continue down the Bright Angel Trail to view 2,000-year-old rock art. Drop by Kolb Studio on the canyon’s South Rim, once the home and studio of photographers Emery and Ellsworth Kolb whose work was featured in National Geographic. (2B)

Days 7, 8, & 9 Flagstaff/Las Vegas/Death Valley

Visit Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff for a tour of its giant telescopes and learn about research done by National Geographic-funded astronomers before heading back to Las Vegas. Enjoy a free day here to explore. Wander the strip, opt to take in a show, try your luck at the gaming tables, or head out on a day trip to the Hoover Dam. The next day, travel to Death Valley, the hottest and driest place in North America, and opt to take a jeep tour. (3B)

Days 10, 11, & 12 Yosemite National park/Sequoia National Park

Sit back and enjoy the views on a full-day drive across California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, arriving in the Yosemite area in the evening. The next day, explore the park’s majestic waterfalls, crystal-clear lakes, and lush green meadows. Depart early the following day for Sequoia National Park. Meet with a naturalist to learn about ongoing research in the wildlife preserve. Hike along the Big Tree Trail to see the park’s legendary sequoias and a section of the park that's been dedicated to the National Geographic Society. This evening, enjoy an evening of stargazing with an expert from the Conservancy. (3B, 1D)

Days 13 & 14 Monterey

Travel to Monterey, stopping along the way to take in spectacular coastal views at picturesque Big Sur. The next day, visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium on a tour specially arranged for National Geographic Journeys travelers. Get an inside look at the workings of the facility and find out how National Geographic grantees have collaborated with the Aquarium to understand and protect the marine world. Later, opt to explore the bay or wander historic Fisherman's Wharf and Cannery Row. (2B, 1D)

Days 15 & 16 San Francisco

Continue on a scenic coastal drive to San Francisco for our final evening. Catch a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge on the way into one of America's most dynamic cities. Opt to catch a cable car for a ride along the city’s steep streets, explore the city by bicycle, or take a sunset cruise across the bay. Depart at any time the following day. (2B)

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National Parks of the American West

From AUD$7,912 Call 1300 363 742

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