This route takes you from Los Angeles through the deserts of the wild west and to the region’s most fascinating ecosystems. Travel through the Sonoran Desert, the most species-rich desert in North America, before stopping to explore Grand Canyon National Park where you can learn about its history and culture. Continue your journey to Lake Powell, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Zion National Park to see the region’s unique rock formations. Go on to spend a couple of days in Las Vegas before hiking and wildlife-watching in Yosemite National Park, where you can see bobcats and black bears. End your journey in coastal San Francisco.

Key information

Destinations Destinations San Francisco, Los Angeles, Yosemite National Park, Grand Canyon, Palm Springs, Sedona, Monument Valley, Lake Powell, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, Mammoth Lakes
Activity Activity Nature & Wildlife, Culture
Season Season January - December

Suggested itinerary

Mix with the Hollywood crowd

Mix with the Hollywood crowd

Day 1 in Los Angeles

Stroll along Hollywood Boulevard, spot your favourite TV and film stars on the Walk of Fame, and you can’t miss the hillside Hollywood sign. Kids can also get up close to their own entertainment stars in Disneyland.

Unwind in exclusive Palm Springs

Unwind in exclusive Palm Springs

Day 2–3 in Palm Springs

Set in possibly the most biologically diverse ecosystem in the Americas, Palm Springs is not only a winter playground for celebrities, but also a stylish place to relax in hot springs, spas and top-class golf courses at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains.

Explore unique rock formations in Sedona

Explore unique rock formations in Sedona

Day 4 in Sedona

On arrival to the unique geological area of Sedona, you will be welcomed by red-rock monoliths, with names such as Coffee Pot and Cathedral, protruding from the desert landscape. Climbing up the sandstone spires is fascinating, as are the popular hiking trails that weave between them.

Admire a five million year old canyon

Admire a five million year old canyon

Day 5 in Grand Canyon

Follow the trails to explore Grand Canyon National Park and be sure to stop at the canyon edge to fully appreciate its enormity. At 446km long, up to 29km wide and 1,857m deep, the yawning gorge is full of caves and crevasses in which Native Americans built settlements. You can learn about this rich culture and history by visiting a reservation on the Canyon's south rim or inside the canyon.

Don't miss

Visit a Navajo Indian reservation

Visit a Navajo Indian reservation

The Navajo is one of the eleven affiliated American Indian tribes that are deeply embedded in the history and culture of the Grand Canyon. Learn about its cultural and spiritual traditions at the Navajo Indian Reservation.

Drive through Monument Valley

Drive through Monument Valley

Day 6 in Monument Valley

Pass through the Painted Desert with its kaleidoscope of colours to reach Monument Valley on the Arizona-Utah border. Visitors are welcomed by a distinct desert scape of finger-like sandstone monoliths that reach 300m above the valley of sweeping arid wilderness — the epitome of the American West.

Walk across the Glen Canyon Dam

Walk across the Glen Canyon Dam

Day 7 in Lake Powell

The concrete Glen Canyon Dam would dominate the scenery if it was not for the commanding Colorado River and the bright blue waters of Lake Powell that lap against the tall red walls of the canyon. The extraordinary scenery is appreciated best from atop the dam, which is the second highest concrete arch-dam in America.

Experience unique geology in Bryce Canyon

Experience unique geology in Bryce Canyon

Day 8 in Bryce Canyon

Within the Mormon State of Utah is this multi-coloured spectacle of protruding sandstone pinnacles that gather along the edges and deep inside Bryce Canyon. The canyon is set beside dense pine woods that are popular for walks and camping.

Walk in the wilderness of Zion National Park

Walk in the wilderness of Zion National Park

Day 9 in Zion National Park

Visit Zion National Park with its towering rock formations that have been carved over time with the help of the mighty Virgin River. Walk along the forest trails that line the river, alongside the Emerald Pools to admire their waterfalls, and to the deep chasms of Zion Narrows.

Enjoy Las Vegas's legendary nightlife

Enjoy Las Vegas's legendary nightlife

Day 10–11 in Las Vegas

Spend a day or two discovering the grandeur of Las Vegas and its famously flamboyant attractions. Stroll along the Strip, visit casinos, enjoy a Broadway-type, and relax at one of the popular restaurants and bars with city-scape views, such as Top of the World at The Stratosphere or Skybar at the Waldorf Astoria.

Get active in resort town Mammoth Lakes

Get active in resort town Mammoth Lakes

Day 12 in Mammoth Lakes

Journey through Death Valley and ascend the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the alpine resort of Mammoth Lakes, famous for its skiing and hiking trails. It was a successful gold mining town in the 19th century and you can take a tour of the ruins, mining equipment, and mine shafts.

Admire the wildlife and waterfalls of Yosemite

Admire the wildlife and waterfalls of Yosemite

Day 13–14 in Yosemite National Park

There are 800 miles of trails through the mountains and woodlands of Yosemite, where you can spot black bears, coyotes, bobcats and mule deer among other wildlife. Get up close to the famous El Captan, Half Dome, Bridal Falls and Yosemite Falls which plunges a dramatic 739m.

Walk the hills of San Francisco

Walk the hills of San Francisco

Day 15–16 in San Francisco

Crammed into less than 50 square miles and with a population of less than a million, small San Francisco packs a mighty punch. Its patchwork of different neighbourhoods -- Mission District, Haight-Ashbury, Chinatown and many more -- all offer a different side to the city, while the big attractions -- Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman's Wharf -- are all worth the visit.

This is also a city of culture. There are Michelin-starred restaurants. There are pop-up diners and incredible food trucks. There is a world-class music scene and plenty of outdoor adventures, from whale-watching at Land's End to hiking in Mount Diablo. Just watch out for the earth tremors -- San Francisco's proximity to the San Andreas faultline means it experiences several hundred tremors a year.

Don't miss

Enjoy the coastline of San Fran

Enjoy the coastline of San Fran

Take a stroll along Fisherman’s Wharf, explore the Marina District before experiencing the lively city at night. Stop at the spectacular Golden Gate bridge that connects San Francisco Bay with the Pacific Ocean to enjoy a classic view of the skyline. Perhaps even take a boat to the infamous Alcatraz.

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