USA National Parks
Natural geography offers a fascinating insight into the beginnings of the USA, with landscapes that date back millions of years. On this thrilling holiday you'll explore the vast national parks, hear tales of the Wild West and visit the immense Grand Canyon.
Tour Duration 16 Days
- Mount Rushmore
- Crazy Horse Memorial
- Badlands National Park
- Little Bighorn Battlefield
- Yellowstone National Park
- Grand Teton National Park
- Arches National Park
- Mesa Verde National Park
- Monument Valley
- Grand Canyon
- Bryce Canyon
- Zion National Park
- The bright lights of Las Vegas
Day 1 UK to Denver
Today we'll fly to Denver, Colorado.
Day 2 Rapid City
South Dakota's Black Hills are an impressive sight and Rapid City, where we'll head today, is nestled on the eastern foothills. En route we'll call at Cheyenne and Fort Laramie, where chief Red Cloud signed the treaty that gave much land to the Sioux. We will arrive in Fort Hays for a Chuckwagon Supper and Cowboy Music Show. The venue is located on the film set of the Oscar-winning 'Dances with Wolves', which starred Kevin Costner.
Day 3 Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore, with its famous granite sculptures of Presidents Roosevelt, Lincoln, Washington and Jefferson, is our destination today. We'll begin the day with breakfast overlooking the huge carvings, which are one of the definitive monuments of the United States. We'll also take in the Crazy Horse Memorial. Badlands National Park is a strange and beautiful landscape of deep gorges, saw-edged spires and grassy-topped buttes - an eerie world carved out by 35 million years of wind and water erosion. We will visit the park this afternoon.
Day 4 Deadwood
Our journey today takes us through the Black Hills into 'Wild West' territory and the city of Deadwood, which was frequented many years ago by the likes of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. We'll continue to Sheridan for an overnight stay.
Day 5 Little Bighorn Battlefield
The historic battlefield site of Little Bighorn is where General Custer and the 7th Cavalry were outfought by Crazy Horse. You can see where the soldiers fell (markers were placed only days after the battle), and absorb all the events of that fateful day on our guided tour.
Day 6 Yellowstone National Park
The world's oldest national park, Yellowstone is a wonderland of spouting geysers, terraced hot springs, boiling pools and bubbling mud pots. You may see the extraordinary Yellowstone Canyon with its waterfall twice the height of Niagara, the Fountain Paint Pots and, of course, 'Old Faithful', which erupts every 93 minutes, during our visit. The park is also a wildlife sanctuary, with wild bears, elk and herds of buffalo roaming freely.
Day 7 Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park is famed for its beautiful landscapes dominated by snow-capped peaks, serene lakes and mighty glaciers. Take in the vistas before travelling on to the lively town of Jackson.
Day 8 Salt Lake City
We'll visit Logan Canyon and Bear Lake for an included picnic lunch. Bear Lake is a natural freshwater lake on the Utah-Idaho border, known as the 'Caribbean of the Rockies' for its unique turquoise-blue colour. Continue to Salt Lake City
Day 9 Salt Lake City
Named after the Great Salt Lake, Salt Lake City was founded by the Mormons. You'll have the day to explore or join our optional excursion to the lake. Once part of the prehistoric Lake Bonneville, today it covers 2,000 square miles and is saltier than the ocean.
Day 10 Arches National Park
It's easy to see how Arches National Park was given its name. It's home to the world's greatest concentration of red sandstone arches - natural rock formations carved by the elements over millions of years. We'll discover this and more today.
Day 11 Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park is an archaeological masterpiece famed for its cliff dwellings. Cliff Palace, the largest of these homes carved into the rock face, has more than 200 rooms, and we'll see it today.
Day 12 Monument Valley
Marking the point where Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona converge, the monument at Four Corners is our first stop of the day. It's then on to Monument Valley, instantly recognisable to film-goers as the setting for many movies thanks to its spectacular and unique rock formations. An optional, narrated four-wheel drive tour will be available today.
Day 13 Grand Canyon
Eroded over millions of years by the ebb and flow of the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon is surely one of the world's most intense and absorbing sights. From the South Rim, you'll be able to admire the most incredible and spectacular panoramas, and for a bird's-eye view, why not take an optional flight over the canyon – it's the only way to get a real feel for the immense scale of this astounding natural wonder. We'll continue to Kanab. You may recognise the scenery here, as the town and surrounding desert has often been used as a film set.
Day 14 Bryce Canyon National Park
Subtle colours, delicate spires of rock and vast natural amphitheatres are all signatures of the unique geology of Bryce Canyon National Park and we'll discover them today. Set below an ever-changing sky, the colours of the rocks seem to continuously change with the light.
Day 15 Zion National Park
Today is a day of exploration of the sheer cliffs, deep chasms and rock formations of Zion National Park. In complete contrast to the sheer natural beauty of Zion are the bright lights of Las Vegas, which is where we'll head next. Why not join your Tour Manager for a tour of the city by night.
Day 16 Las Vegas to UK
Enjoy a morning at leisure before your late afternoon flight back to the UK.