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AMERICA'S CANYONLANDS

from £4895
This USA walking holiday takes in the truly majestic landscapes of the south western United States.

America's Canyonlands and Desert Southwest

Wow! Rarely has one country got so many attractions, however America’s desert south west has more than its fair share of spectacular landscapes, incredible walking and picture-postcard views. The scale, colour and sheer majesty of the scenery is truly awe inspiring and no photograph or travelogue can prepare you for the reality of being there. 

Of course, the best way to explore American national parks is on foot, and that’s exactly what we have planned for you. 

Starting in Las Vegas we begin our circular route through the great national parks of Utah: the alpine valleys of Zion National Park, the sci-fi rock pillars of Bryce Canyon, and the bizarre buttresses, fins, balanced rocks of Arches National Park, perhaps the most surreal of all the landscapes. 

In Colorado, we hike the Pueblo Indian ruins of the Mesa Verde. These are perhaps the best preserved of any of the scarce pre-Hispanic building on the continent. We’ll drive through Monument Valley by 4x4 and walk in the back country to enjoy its huge sandstone buttes, recognisable from just about every Western film you’ve ever seen. 

The sun brings the desert rock formations to life with ochre, red and brown layers, with every shade, colour, hue and texture. 

The ultimate highlight is coming face to face with one of the world’s most iconic landscapes, the epic Grand Canyon. We will explore this mighty canyon with a walk around the rim ending in time to watch a glorious sunset.  An early start allows us to watch the sunrise from the rim and then we begin our walk to Plateau Point.  Our final stay is in the desert neon city of Las Vegas – a grand finale to an unforgettable trip!

Please note our 2019 departures will operate to an alternative itinerary, please see the individual departures Holiday Information Sheet for more details. 

 

Holiday Highlights

Walk the Grand Canyon rim trail for sunset and enjoy sunrise over the canyon before following the zig-zagging trails down to Plateau Point
Marvel at Bryce Canyon’s hoodoos from the rim and trails leading into the canyon
Explore the tribal lands backroads of Monument Valley by 4WD and on foot
Observe towering arches and obscure rock formations in Arches National Park 
Enjoy lush alpine scenery and hike up to Angels Landing in Zion Canyon National Park
Discover the ruins of Pueblo Indian villages on foot in Mesa Verde
Start and end your trip in the desert neon city of Las Vegas

 
The holiday inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What's included in this holiday Items that are covered in the cost of holiday price.

      Return flights from Gatwick to Las Vegas (Virgin Atlantic or British Airways)
      Airport transfers
      En suite accommodation with breakfasts taken at the hotels
      All travel for walking and sightseeing excursions
      All lunches and seven dinners     
      All National Park entrance fees
      All local transport costs.
      Services of a local guide
Whats not included in this holiday Items that are not covered in the cost of holiday price.

  • Entrance fees to some museums and historic buildings (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Insurance
Please select Departure Date to view:

Please see Holiday Information Sheet for this holidays individual departures itinerary (located under View Departures & Book tab)

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised program, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

This departure: Grade 6

  1. Day 1

    Depart London (Gatwick) to Las Vegas. The flight time is approximately 10 hours. Transfer by road to our hotel where we overnight. The journey to the hotel should take about 45 mins.

  2. Day 2

    Transfer by road late morning to Cedar City where we stay for two nights. The journey takes about 3hrs not including the stops we will make on the way.

  3. Day 3

    We drive to Zion National Park.  Here we will discover a labyrinth of narrow canyons, steep walls and amazing rock formations resembling cathedrals, temples, spires and altars. We have several shorter walks here to explore the best of the park. A classic walk for which the park is renowned is to Angels Landing. The last part of this walk is along a narrow rocky ridge with fixed ropes for assistance. It is certainly well over the grade for this holiday but a fit, experienced walkers with heads for heights have completed the walk on previous trips. All clients will enjoy the superb views from Scout Lookout at the beginning of the most difficult section of the path.

     
  4. Day 4

    We have short journey (90 mins) so will plenty of time to explore the highlights of Bryce Canyon National Park with its delicate sedimentary rock pinnacles, arches and spires from our base by the park entrance (1nt). Rivalling and probably surpassing Zion for bizarre rock formations Bryce offers many trails through around and amongst ‘hoodoos' - natural pillars created out of sandstone by action of wind, rain and ice.

  5. Day 5

    Morning departure to Moab for two nights. The journey is about 5-6 hours with stops, through stunning and ever changing scenery. There is plenty to see on the way and you will be stopping regularly to enjoys the views, short trails, coffee and comfort stops. Moab is a welcoming town with a great selections of restaurants, bars, cafes and shops. The Moab Brewery close by our hotel is particularly recommended for those who have worked up a thirst on the journey.

     
  6. Day 6

    We will walk in the Devil's Garden in the Arches National Park and in the surrounding area. Arches certainly rivals Bryce for other worldly scenery. We take in a great selection of naturally formed rock arches. Names like Landscape, Wall, Navajo, Partition, Double O, Private, Pine Tree and Tunnel perhaps give some idea of what to expect. The walk here is approximately 7 miles taking between 5 and 6 hours with ascent/descent of 200m. In places the path needs care, crossing smooth rock but in dry conditions (very common here) everybody can make it with perhaps the occasional helping hand from leader or fellow walker.

  7. Day 7 to 8

    We drive about 2hrs to the Mesa Verde National Park where we stay for three nights in Cortez on the Colorado Plateau. On the way we pay another visit to Arches NP to take in Delicate Arch, perhaps the most distinctive and photogenic arch in the park, a high accolade indeed!

  8. Day 9

    The Mesa Verde Park was established by Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 and is dedicated to protecting America's ancient manmade treasures. There are more than 4,000 archaeological sites within the park and we explore some of these by coach and on foot. We hope to walk the Prater Ridge Trail in the Mesa Verde Park which is approximately 7 miles taking 4 hours and also the Petroglyph Point Trail which is 3 miles and takes approximately 2 hours with ascents/descents of 100m.

     
  9. Day 10

    We travel about 2hrs to Kayenta (one night) situated just outside Monument Valley, immediately recognisable to anybody who has seen a Hollywood western circa 1950's. We will have stops en route at places such as Navajo Twin Rocks and Goosenecks. We also have the opportunity to have a guided tour to explore the secret areas of the Monument Valley.

  10. Day 11 to 12

    We leave for the Grand Canyon (2hrs 30mins journey time) with an en route visit to the Navajo National Monument. The Grand Canyon is truly immense and nothing can prepare you for the experience of seeing it for the first time. The Colorado River has cut through many layers of rock over the centuries giving rise to the distinct colourful banding. We spend three nights on the South Rim.

  11. Day 13

    We spend two days walking the South Rim of the Canyon on trails such as the South Rim Trail which is approximately 10 miles and takes 6-7 hours and down into the Canyon on the South Kaibab trail.

     
  12. Day 14

    Descend the Grand Canyon and stay overnight at Phantom Ranch. (Non-hikers will stay at the South Rim and rejoin the party on Day 15). We will take the Bright Angel Trail down to Phantom Ranch. It is approximately 10 miles and will take around 5 hours plus stops. The trail will descend 1300m to the river with a slight ascent in Bright Angel Canyon to Phantom Ranch. On the descent there are rest houses with toilet stops and water taps to replenish your water bottles. At Phantom Ranch dinner, breakfast and a generous packed lunch with snacks (for the ascent) will be provided.

  13. Day 15

    Ascend the Grand Canyon and stay overnight on the North Rim. We have an early morning wakeup call and breakfast is at 0500. We collect our packed lunch and then set off on the ascent at 0530-0545. We will follow the North Kaibab Trail which is a distance of 14 miles and ascends approximately 1700m. This is a full day's walking to be undertaken at your own pace. There are some steep sections and once the sun enters the canyon it will be hot, just take it nice and steady! Experience shows that everybody has normally arrived at the top by 4 or 5 pm. Just after reaching the top of the North Kaibab we will walk to meet our coach to go to our hotel for the night.

  14. Day 16

    Finally we drive back about 4hrs 30mins to Las Vegas (one night), the gambling capital of the world. There will be some time for sightseeing in this brash, artificial wonderland which is in complete contrast to all the natural beauty you have just seen.

  15. Day 17

    Transfer to Las Vegas Airport for the overnight flight to the UK.

  16. Day 18

    We arrive back in the UK.

Travel Details

  • Return flights from Gatwick to Las Vegas (Virgin Atlantic or British Airways)     
  • Arrival transfer by road c. 40mins
  • Upgrades are available on most flights. For scheduled flights this may be Premium Economy, Business or First Class. Please ask us for details and a competitive quote.
  • If direct regional flights are not available, we can often offer add-on flights to a London airport at a competitive rate. Please ask us for details and a competitive quote.
  • Visa is required

Trip Map

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Our Accommodation on this holiday

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday. If you are on a multi-centre holiday, these are highlights of the places where we stay. Please refer to your Holiday Information sheet (which can be found under View Departures & Book), for your departure date and for all your accommodation details.

La Quinta Inn Springdale

La Quinta Inn Springdale is nestled in southwest Utah, surrounded by natural beauty near the borders of Nevada and Arizona, and only a mile from Zion National Park. Facilities include an outdoor pool, hot tub, fitness centre and complimentary WI-FI is provided throughout. Rooms are equipped with a telephone, hairdryer, mini fridge, microwave, cable TV and coffee machine. 

 

 


Hyatt Place Moab

The Hyatt Place Moab is ideally located for our programme of walks, with downtown Moab only a mile away and the Mesa Verde National Park five miles away. Facilities include an outdoor pool, fitness centre, 24-hour restaurant and bar service, and complimentary WI-FI is provided throughout. Rooms are equipped with a telephone, hairdryer, mini fridge, cable TV and coffee machine. 

 

 


Kayenta Monument Valley Inn

Monument Valley Inn is a great halfway stop between Cortez and Tusayan and ideally located as an access point to the Monument Valley. The hotels facilities include a heated outdoor pool, fitness facilities, and a restaurant serving both Native American cuisine and typical American dining. Rooms are equipped with flat screen TV, coffee maker, hairdryer, safe and complimentary Wi-Fi. 


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