Hiking the Best of the West’s National Parks

Resort: Hiking the Best of the West's National Parks
Operator: G Adventures
Destination: United States
Price From: £1954.15

Over View

On a mission to visit as many of the west coast’s stunning national parks as you can? This 16-day tour will get you most of the way there with plenty of challenging but rewarding hikes along the way. Embark on a steep climb out of the valley on the Mist Trail (with incredible views for your efforts) and embark on a jaw-dropping narrow climb to the top of Angels Landing. You’ll have plenty of time to catch your breath in between, whether it’s star gazing in Capitol Reef’s designated gold-tier International Dark Sky Park or enjoying some evening s’mores at Bryce Canyon National Park to recharge for the next adventure.

Itineraries

Day 1
Las Vegas

Arrive at any time.

Day 2
Las VegasCapitol 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. After dark, look up at Capitol Reefs starry night, designated a Gold Tier International Dark Sky Park.

Day 3
Capitol Reef National ParkMoab

Set off in the morning to hike through the Waterpocket Fold, an 87 mile wrinkle in the earth’s surface. Climb through canyons and narrows to reach Cassidy Arch and panoramic views of this natural wonder. In the afternoon, continue to Moab, an adventure capital of the southwest and the gateway to both Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. In the evening, if you still have energy, head to Dead Horse State Park to watch the sunset from one of the most photographed spots in the region.

Day 4
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. Return to Moab for a night in the town.

Day 5
Arches National Park

Rise early for sunrise from Delicate Arch Viewpoint. Enjoy breakfast in the park before exploring the densest concentration of arches in the world. Stand in awe at the over 2,000 sandstone arches ranging in size and shape that make up this park. Take a hike through Devils Garden to Landscape Arch, passing fins and spires en route. Continue to Double O Arch, bouldering over rocks to to reach the pinnacle views. Pass by the famous Balanced Rock, The Windows and Double Arches before heading west to camp for the night.

Day 6
Grand Staircase-Escalante National MonumentBryce Canyon National Park

Hit the road again, to 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 Bryce Canyon National Park for the night. 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 7
Bryce Canyon National ParkZion National Park

Set off early 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. Continue to Zion National Park, traveling past towering cliffs and massive canyon walls, stopping at several viewpoints along the way. Head to the trailhead for Angels Landing, and begin the climb of 21 paved switchbacks to Scout Landing for panoramic views of the park. Opt to stop here, or continue on, scaling the side of the cliff while holding onto the chain links for support. Though not for the faint of heart, the heavenly views are certainly worth the effort.

Day 8
Zion National Park

Spend the day discovering Zion National Park. Hike the East Rim Trail through Echo Canyon to reach panoramic views of the park at Observation Point. Return 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 ParkLas 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 VegasSequoia 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, search the night sky for shooting stars, 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. Travel to Buena Vista Peak trailhead to continue to explore this park on foot. 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.

Day 12
Kings Canyon National Park

Check out Big Stump Grove before taking the iconic drive from Grant Grove with the second largest tree on earth through Kings Canyon to Cedar Grove past granite cliffs and vast valleys. Travel through one of the deepest canyons in the US, that continues to be carved by the Kings River stopping along the way to take it all in. Continue to the end of the road to hike one of the most scenic trails in the park along a cascading river to a 30m (100 ft) waterfall.

Day 13
Sequoia National ParkYosemite National Park

Rise early and head out for a final hike in Sequoia National Park. Hike through the trees to the peak of Little Baldy for panoramic vistas of the surrounding Sierra Nevadas. On the road again, travel north through the Sierras to the south entrance of Yosemite National Park and Mariposa Grove. Take the trail through the old growth trees to see the famous Bachelor and Three Graces, and more. Drive further into the park and stop at Tunnel View for iconic sights of Half Dome, El Capitan, and Bridalveil Fall.

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 full of switchbacks to bring us face to face with the granite domes and slopes that make this park so iconic. Taking the park shuttle, we begin with a mostly flat walk to Mirror Lake. Seasonally, this lake provides a spectacular reflection of Half Dome. We continue on to the beginning of Snow Creek Trail, a steep climb out of the Valley that delivers views of Half Dome, Quarter Domes and Clouds Rest. Opt to turn around at any point, or continue the strenuous climb as the canyon opens to panoramic vistas culminating at Snow Creek Footbridge. Enjoy the rest the day at your leisure. Relax by the water, check out the Ansel Adams Studio, or rent a bike to continue to explore the park.

Day 16
Yosemite National ParkSan Francisco

Drive from the Sierra Nevadas to the San Francisco Bay. Tour ends on arrival. Onward travel should be booked no earlier than 5pm.

Sign up to get exclusive deals and the latest news direct to your inbox!

Read what our customers have to say about us...

Speak to our Travel Expert
0161 755 3081
holidays@aspentravel.co.uk