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Hiking the Best of the West's National Parks

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Hiking the Best of the West's National Parks

Day 1 - Las Vegas

Arrive at any time. There are no planned activities today until the evening welcome meeting, so check out the strip or Fremont Street. This tour leaves Las Vegas in the morning on Day 2; if you would like to spend any additional time here, we recommend booking pre-tour accommodation.

Day 2 - Las Vegas/Bryce Canyon National Park

Hit the road from Las Vegas to Bryce Canyon, travelling past towering cliffs and massive canyon walls, stopping at several viewpoints along the way. Upon arrival the group will set up camp before setting off to explore this unique national park in the fading light. After the sun goes down, don't forget to look up to check out this renowned night sky while enjoying s'mores around the fire.

Day 3 - Bryce Canyon National Park/Moab

Set off early this morning in Bryce Canyon National Park, and stare in wonder at the largest collection of hoodoos in the world as the sun rises. Take a hike into the amphitheater of Queen's Garden and Navajo Loop to walk amongst the hoodoos, walls and fins that make up this geological wonder. In the afternoon, continue to Moab, an adventure capital of the southwest and the gateway to both Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. Set up camp upon arrival and spend the evening enjoying the peaceful atmosphere of the great outdoors.

Day 4 - Arches National Park

Enjoy breakfast at camp before driving to Arches National Park. Spend the first part of the day exploring the densest concentration of arches in the world. Take a hike through Devils Garden to Landscape Arch, and continue to Double O Arch, bouldering over rocks to reach the pinnacle views. Head back to Moab in the afternoon where you can take advantage of free time to try some of the optional activities available in the area. Opt to visit Delicate Arch Viewpoint in the evening for a sunset walk. Stand in awe at the over 2,000 sandstone arches ranging in size and shape that make up this park.

Day 5 - Canyonlands National Park

Travel to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. Stop at Newspaper Rock State Historical Monument, the largest known collection of petroglyphs in the Southwest. Spend the day hiking through desert lands to explore eroded towers of sandstone and fissures in the ground on the Joint Trail to Chesler Park.

Day 6 - Capitol Reef National Park

Travel to Capitol Reef National Park. Known for its geologic monocline, discover the cliffs, canyons, petroglyphs and orchards that make up the park. Learn about the geology and the ancient inhabitants who created the petroglyphs still visible on the cliff walls. In the evening check into the cabins we'll be staying in while in Capitol Reef. Then, take advantage of your free time after dark to look up at the starry night This national park has been designated a Gold Tier "International Dark Sky Park".

Day 7 - Capitol Reef National Park/Zion National Park

Today, travel along the scenic highway through the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Take in the mesas, canyons and arches that make up this diverse geological region. Set off on a hike and discover prehistoric petroglyphs and stunning waterfalls. Opt to cool off in the refreshing waters falling 38m (126 ft) to a natural swimming pool fed from Calf Creek Falls. Continue to Zion National Park, traveling past towering cliffs and massive canyon walls, stopping at several viewpoints along the way. Enjoy panoramic views and a free evening in the Springdale area.

Day 8 - Zion National Park

Spend the day discovering Zion National Park. First hike to Scout Lookout, a challenging, but rewarding 4 mile hike which passes through the iconic Walter's Wiggles before reaching the lookout point along a flat saddle with incredible views of the Zion Canyon. Head to the valley floor to trek through the river on one of the most popular hikes in the park, the Narrows. Admire monumental sandstone cliffs of cream, pink, and red that tower into the sky and opt to turn around at any point. Experience diverse plant and animal life in this narrow slot canyon as the park transitions from desert to forest. Gaze at the awe-inspiring beauty of the high plateaus, striking towers, temples, mesas, and the earth's tallest-known sheer sandstone walls. After returning to camp, head into the charming town of Springdale to celebrate the accomplishments of the last week.

Day 9 - Zion National Park/Las Vegas

Take the short drive from Zion to Las Vegas. Upon arrival, enjoy free time in Las Vegas. Explore the strip, try your luck at a casino, or take in a glitzy show.

Day 10 - Las Vegas/Sequoia National Park

Leave the bright lights of Las Vegas behind and spend the day travelling through the desert to the granite cliffs and ancient giant trees of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Though these two parks were granted National Park status roughly 50 years apart, they are currently managed together by the National Park system. After setting up camp, slow down to relish the natural setting, and roast s'mores around the fire.

Day 11 - Sequoia National Park

Enjoy a full day in Sequoia National Park. Hike the half mile down to General Sherman, at 83 meters (275 feet) high, its the world's largest tree. Continue to trek through the Giant Forest on Congress Trail to see more of these colossal trees. Enjoy a picnic lunch amongst the giant trees. In the afternoon, choose to venture further into the park. The Marble Fork of the Kaweah River leads to inspiring granite cliffs of Tokopah Canyon, and in early summer, the 1200ft cascading Tokopah Falls is sure to impress.

Day 12 - Kings Canyon National Park

Rise early and head out for a final day in Sequoia National Park. Hike through the trees to the peak of Little Baldy for panoramic vistas of the surrounding Sierra Nevadas. After, travel to Buena Vista Peak trailhead. At just 2 miles, this round-trip hike packs a punch with 360-degree views from the top of the granite peak to see not only the High Sierra, but also the valley below. After a picnic lunch, continue exploring the park through the network of trails among the towering trees of Grant Grove before traveling back to camp.

Day 13 - Sequoia National Park/Yosemite National Park

Upon arrival in the Yosemite Valley, we first witness the iconic sights of Half Dome, El Capitan, and Bridalveil Fall. This afternoon, we get ourselves oriented among the Valley trails along the Lower Yosemite Falls trail and learn more about the park. After lunch, enjoy free time to walk trails from the Valley floor, simply relax under the towering granite monoliths, or choose to do a portion of the Valley Loop Trail where you can follow many of the Valley's first east-west trails and wagon roads through meadows and along talus slopes at the base of the granite cliffs, and near the Merced River. On our way to camp, we stop and stand in awe of El Capitan, looking for climbers on the sheer rock face.

Day 14 - Yosemite National Park

From the valley floor, take the park shuttle system to one of the most iconic trails in the park. Hike alongside the Merced River to climb the Mist Trail, getting sprayed by the waters of Vernal Fall. See the water rushing over the edge before crossing the river and climbing the steps to Nevada Fall. Enjoy lunch from the top, taking in the views of the High Sierra including Half Dome, Liberty Cap, Mount Broderick. On the return trip, take the John Muir Trail down to truly understand this visionaries passion for park. Enjoy free time to walk the Lower Yosemite Fall Trail, Bridalveil Fall Trail, or relax under the towering granite monoliths of Half Dome or El Capitan. On the way back to camp, stop at stand in awe of El Capitan, looking for climbers on the sheer rockface.

Day 15 - Yosemite National Park

Today we get off the beaten path for a challenging hike, bringing us face to face with the granite domes and slopes that make this park so iconic. Rising from the valley, we search for one last breathtaking view of Half Dome and a chance to overlook the Valley below. Nestled in the Sierra Nevada, Yosemite is dynamic and weather patterns can see dramatic shifts year to year. Seasonally, weather and trail conditions may require the CEO to assess which trail to take, but while the routes may change with the seasons, the views all share equal splendour and require comparable effort for the epic payoff. Our aim will be to set off for the roughly 9 mile hike to North Dome from Tioga Pass.

Day 16 - Yosemite National Park/San Francisco

Drive from the Sierra Nevadas to the San Francisco Bay. Tour ends on arrival. Onward travel should be booked no earlier than 7pm.
Overzicht

Wat is inbegrepen?

Accommodatie

Hotel (2 nts), participation camping (13 nts).

Lokaal vervoer

Air-conditioned private vehicle, hiking, walking.

Maaltijden

Meals Included: 13 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 11 dinners
Meals Budget: Allow USD190-250 for meals not included.

Houd er rekening mee

Moab
- Hummer Tour (88-180USD per person)
- Rafting (57USD per person)

Yosemite National Park
- Yosemite National Park Hike (Free)
- Yosemite Bike Rental (30-40USD per person)

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