LOS ANGELES – SAN FRANCISCO

17 nights – 18 days

JUNE – SEPTEMBER  2015

Guaranteed departures with 2 pax minimum and 49 pax maximum.

Dates:

  • Tuesday June 2, 2015
  • Tuesday July 14, 2015
  • Tuesday August 4, 2015
  • Tuesday September 8, 2015
  • Tuesday September 22, 2015

Itinerary:

Day 1: Los Angeles – Arrival

Meet your Tour director at the hotel. Dinner on your own. Overnight in Los Angeles.

Day 2: Los Angeles

Morning sightseeing tour of exclusive Santa Monica and Beverly Hills. Continue to Hollywood for a walk down Hollywood Boulevard with the legendary Grauman’s Chinese Theatre where you will find the handprints of famous stars in the cement. Then downtown, you will see the business district and the Mexican quarter. Lunch on your own. Afternoon at leisure. Dinner on your own and transfer back to your hotel for overnight. Dinner (half board).

Optional: Transfer to Universal Studios in Hollywood, the largest movie studios in the world. First, board a tram on the studio tour to discover different movie sets like “War of the Worlds”, Jurassic Park” and the TV series “Desperate Housewives”. Then you will see a presentation on the great moments of Hollywood moviemaking or learn some secrets about special effects. Free time to explore the park on your own.

Day 3: Los Angeles – Palm Springs – Scottsdale (620 km/388 miles – 6h30)

Departure towards Palm Springs. Then continue to beautiful Joshua Tree National Park. 3,000 feet below, the Colorado Desert encompasses the eastern part of the park and features natural gardens of bushes and cacti. The Little San Bernardino Mountains run through the southwest edge of the park; and the higher, moister, and slightly cooler Mojave Desert is the special habitat of the Joshua Tree, from which the park gets its name. At least 240 species of birds have been observed in the park and it’s a good place to observe wildlife. Lunch on your own. Drive to Scottsdale. Dinner (half board) and overnight.

Day 4: Scottsdale – Sedona – Grand Canyon (384 km/240 miles – 4h)

Travel through the Sonoran Desert, the richest, most biologically diverse desert ecosystem in the Americas. Continue to Sedona and see the spectacular red rock scenery. Situated in a unique geological area, Sedona is encircled by distinctive red-rock monoliths with such names as Cathedral and Coffee Pot. Lunch on your own. Then drive through the breathtaking Oak Creek Canyon before arriving at Grand Canyon National Park. Visit lookout points along the South Rim to fully experience this mile-deep canyon. Dinner (half board) and overnight in Grand Canyon National Park.

Day 5: Grand Canyon – Page (214 km/134 miles – 2h30)

Morning visit of the Grand Canyon, a superb geological phenomenon. This is most certainly one of the highlights of your trip. Walk along the South Rim to see one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring wonders in the world. The Grand Canyon is the result of millions of years of wind and water erosion. it’s an endless expanse of shapes, colors and impenetrable shadow. The Colorado River flows over a mile below the canyon rim. Lunch on your own. In the afternoon, we will enter the town of Page, in the Lake Powell Region. Visit the mighty Glen Canyon Dam, the second highest concrete-arch dam in America. From here you’ll enjoy views of stunning Lake Powell, where crystal blue water laps against towering red-rock canyon walls.  Western dinner at Ken’s Old West (half board) and overnight in Page.

Day 6 : Page – Monument Valley – Moab (443 km/277 miles – 5h)

Leave for Monument Valley, where you will find yourself surrounded by dark red hills. Visit of this imposing area where numerous westerns have been filmed. This 25 mile-long and 16-mile wide desert plain overflows with gigantic sandstone monolithic structures rising high above the valley. Lunch on your own. Optional: Jeep tour with Navajo Indians including Navajo specialties lunch. Afternoon stop at Dead Horse Point, a promontory dominating the Colorado River that can be reached by a trail. The view of Canyonlands and the Colorado is spectacular. Dinner (half board) and overnight in Moab.

Day 7 : Moab – Arches – Salt Lake City (455 km/284 miles – 4h55)

Morning visit of Arches National Park in the state of Utah, with its arid and austere landscape, where you can find over 2,000 natural arches of various shapes and sizes resulting from the erosion of red and gold sandstone. Lunch on your own. Afternoon drive to Salt Lake City. The scenery is beautiful, in particular throughout the Fishlake National Forest. Dinner (half board) and overnight in Salt Lake City.

Day 8 : Salt Lake City – Jackson (450 km/281 miles – 4h35)

Sightseeing tour of the Mormon capital. Visit Temple Square where you can appreciate the Mormon temple from the outside. Stop near the State Capitol, a Corinthian-style building and seat of the state of Utah’s federated government. Leave to the north. Lunch on your own. Arrival and western dinner Bar J Chuckwagon (half board) in Jackson, a typical Far West city with wood houses and cowboy bars.

Day 9 : Jackson – Grand Teton – West Yellowstone (260 km/163 miles – 4h)

Leave for Grand Teton National Park in northwestern Wyoming. Stop at Jenny Lake and the Chapel of the Transfiguration in the historic district. Enjoy a superb view of the Teton Range rising abruptly to tower 7,000 ft above the valley floor and frame a majestic landscape of lakes, glaciers and extensive forests. Lunch on your own. In the afternoon, visit Yellowstone National Park. This park will appeal to lovers of wildlife like grizzly bears, buffalo, deer, elk and longhorn sheep. Dinner (half board) and night in Yellowstone.

 Day 10: Yellowstone

Day in Yellowstone National Parkused in the past by many groups of Native Americans. You will delight in the splendid waterfalls in the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. On your tour through the park, you may see the eruption of Old Faithful, the best known of the park’s 300 geysers, along with other geological marvels like Mammoth Hot Springs and Turquoise Pool. Lunch on your own in the park. Continue to Cody, where colorful Buffalo Bill once lived. Dinner (half board) and overnight in West Yellowstone.

Day 11 : Jackson – Craters of the Moon – Twin Falls (495 km/309 miles – 5h45)

Morning drive West to the state of Idaho. Make a stop at Idaho Falls for lunch on your own. Afternoon visit of Craters of the Moon, a vast ocean of lava flows with scattered islands of cinder cones and sagebrush, one of the best-preserved flood basalt areas in the continental United States. The Monument and Preserve encompass three major lava fields, all lying along the Great Rift of Idaho, with some of the best examples of open rift cracks in the world, including the deepest known on Earth at 240 m. Make a stop at the Malad River Canyon. You will get a great view of the gorge from the slender-but-sturdy bridge that arcs across the canyon. You can also take a short hike to discover nearby fingers of the gorge where crystal clear springs produce ponds and streams. Dinner (half board) and overnight in nearby Twin Falls.

Day 12 :  Twin Falls – Salt Lake City (350 km/219 miles – 3h10)

Morning drive to Salt Lake City. On the way make a stop near the Great Salt Lake, the largest salt lake in the western hemisphere. Lunch on your own upon arrival. In the afternoon, continue you sightseeing tour of Salt Lake city. Passing the beautiful historic homes of the “Avenues” and South Temple, this driving tour continues through the University of Utah, the first University built west of the Missouri river, site of the 2002 Winter Olympic Village, and home to Fort Douglas, which was founded by Abraham Lincoln in 1862. Stop at Place Heritage Park – the landmark where the Mormon pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. Your final stop will bring you to Salt Lake City’s newest historic wonder, the Salt Lake Public Library. This unique architectural triumph has won over 10 architectural awards. Dinner (half board) and overnight in Salt Lake City.

Day 13: Salt Lake City – Bryce (430 km/269 miles – 4h30)

Visit of Bryce Canyon, one of the most fascinating natural parks of the state of Utah. The Mormons discovered this site in the 19th century. The dazzling shapes and shades of the stone of memorable Pink Cliffs constantly vary from dusk till dawn. Dinner (half board) and overnight in Bryce.

Day 14: Bryce – St George – Las Vegas (400 km/250 miles – 4h30)

Continue your visit of Bryce Canyon. Lunch on your own. Leave for the oldest park in Utah, Zion Canyon with its cathedral-shaped rocks, some of which are more than 3,000 feet high. There is also a great diversity of plant and animal life due to the park’s unique geography.  Continue to St George, a town founded by the Mormons. Photo stop at the Mormon visitor center and temple. Dinner (half board) and overnight in Las Vegas.

Day 15: Las Vegas – Valley of Fire – Las Vegas (180 km/110 miles – 2h15)

Morning visit of Valley of Fire. This was Nevada’s first state park. The Valley of Fire offers a superb desert landscape of multicolored, strangely eroded rocks that are the remains of sand dunes laid down 150 million years ago. Many westerns have been filmed there. Lunch and afternoon on your own in Las Vegas.

Dinner (half board) and overnight in Las Vegas.

Day 16: Las Vegas – Death Valley – Mammoth Lakes (540 km/338 miles – 5h45)

This morning, cross the Nevada desert on the way to Pahrump and Shoshone. On entering the state of California, you descend to impressive Death Valley approximately 320 feet below sea level. This area is so desolate that the first cowboys who ventured here described it as “no stream to drink from, no tree to hang from”. You will discover Badwater Point, the lowest spot in the valley, Furnace Creek, and the Stovepipe sand dunes. Lunch on your own followed by a visit of the Borax Museum with mining displays of the history of borax mining in Death Valley. Continue to Mammoth Lakes. Dinner (half board) and overnight.

Day 17: Mammoth Lakes – Yosemite – San Francisco (443 km / 660 km)

Drive to majestic Yosemite National Park, one of the most beautiful parks in the state of California. Yosemite surprises by its fresh Alpine landscapes with pine forests and magnificent waterfalls. Sheer white monolithic cliffs tower over the valley. You will discover Half Dome, Yosemite Valley, Bridalveil Falls and Yosemite Falls. Lunch on your own in the park. Drive down from the mountains and across the fertile agricultural lands of Central Valley. Dinner (half board) and overnight in San Francisco.

Day 18: San Francisco – Departure

Morning sightseeing tour of San Francisco, one of the most photographed, filmed, and documented cities in the world, a tantalizing mixture of history and modern sophistication. Built on several hills, the city is the gem of the magnificent bay at the foot of these hills. You will see the business district, Union Square, Chinatown, then cross world-famous Golden Gate Bridge to the picturesque town of Sausalito across the bay. Lunch on your own. Evening return flight or possible extension on your own.

End of services.  Please do not schedule flight before 5:00 pm on day 18.

 

The trip includes:

  • Transportation on a modern, comfortable, air-conditioned bus (no services on first and last day),
  • Services of an English speaking guide from start to finish
  • Double occupancy per hotel room,
  • Baggage handling at all the hotels
  • The entrance to the following parks & sites:
  • Joshua Tree
  • Grand canyon
  • Monument Valley
  • Dead Horse Point
  • Arches
  • Grand Teton
  • Yellowstone
  • Craters of the Moon
  • Malad Gorge
  • Bryce Canyon
  • Zion Canyon
  • Valley of Fire
  • Death Valley
  • Yosemite
  • Taxes and tips (not to the driver and guide)

The trip does not include:

  • Transportation to and from airports
  • Air fare,
  • Insurance,
  • Breakfasts & meals,
  • Drinks,
  • Tips to the driver and Tour Director
  • Optional excursions