30 September 2016
This self-drive tour starts out from flashy Las Vegas, but quickly heads out into the spectacular natural landscapes of Arizona, Colorada and Utah. You'll visit unforgettable sites including the Grand Canyon and a host of national parks filled with astonishing rock formations. You'll take in Monument Valley, familiar to fans of cowboy movies, and have plenty of opportunities for hiking, horse-riding and boat tours in breathtaking settings.
Your adventure begins as you arrive at Las Vegas International Airport (LAS), pick up your car and proceed to your hotel. Here you can take a stroll down Las Vegas Boulevard, taking in all the themed hotels and casinos. Take in a live show, try your luck in a casino or take a trip to the top of the Stratosphere hotel tower, the tallest building west of the Mississippi, to enjoy the views. Shopaholics will be in their element, as you can enjoy luxury shopping in any of the premier hotels, or drive to one of the designer outlet malls in search of a bargain. The city is also famous for its world-class dining. To see a different side of Las Vegas, visit Fremont Street, a historic street filled with shops, restaurants and casinos, topped by a canopy screen where more than 12 million lights put on a spectacular show.
This morning you'll depart Las Vegas and begin driving towards one of the natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon. Along the South Rim you'll find many viewing areas, as well as a series of walkways, and you can visit the Bright Angel Lodge for an excellent vantage point, as well as a gallery and restaurant. If you're feeling adventurous, take a hiking trail or guided mule ride down to the Colorado River, or a rafting trip along the river itself.
It's worth rising early this morning to catch the awe-inspiring sight of sunrise at the Grand Canyon. Afterwards, you'll head toward the beautiful Lake Powell, a body of deep blue water surrounded by red cliff walls created in 1963 when the Glen Canyon Dam was constructed. You may like to visit the John Wesley Powell Museum, to learn more about the lake, before and after the dam construction, or perhaps try your hand at fishing in the lake.
Today you'll visit the magnificent Rainbow Bridge, the largest natural bridge in the world, formed by erosion of the sandstone by water. You'll also visit the Glen Canyon Dam and Visitor Center, and may like to take the optional Antelope Canyon Boat Tour, a 90-minute scenic cruise on Arizona’s Lake Powell. This gives you the chance to see the Antelope Canyon, with its dramatic red sandstone walls, as well as to enjoy stunning views of Glen Canyon Dam.
This morning you'll drive towards Monument Valley, the setting for more Western movies than any other site in the United States, filled with unique sandstone formations which seem to come to life at dawn and dusk. Here you may like to visit the Navajo National Monument, which preserves three cliff dwellings of the Ancestral Puebloan people.
This morning you'll visit Mesa Verde National Park, which houses over 4,000 archaeological sites and 600 cliff dwellings of the ancient Anasazi people. You can learn more at the Far View Visitor Center, and perhaps take a guided tour of one of the dwellings, before continuing towards Durango. This railroad town still has an old-west feel. Stroll along Main Avenue to see the region's first bank, as well as the sites of saloons and other businesses of the late 1800s. This evening you may like to enjoy a meal and a live Western stage show at one of the local ranches.
You have a full day today to soak up Durango's cowboy history and culture. Take a ride back through time in a coal-fired, steam-powered locomotive on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, winding through the San Juan National Forest to the old mining town of Silverton. You may also like to go horseback riding at one of the local ranches, visit the old gold and silver mines, explore archaeological ruins, or go hiking, rafting or fishing. On Main Avenue you'll find plenty of interesting boutiques, as well as excellent restaurants, or you could spend the day relaxing at one of the local hot springs.
Today you're heading for Canyonlands National Park, known for its spectacular rock formations, with spectacular views over the Colorado and Green Rivers. You'll visit the colourful Needles district and may like to hike the 1,500 feet to Needle Point for breathtaking views. You'll then continue to Moab for a two-night stay.
Today you'll visit Arches National Park, home to over 2,000 natural freestanding sandstone arches. You may also like to visit the Aztec Ruins National Monument, a 500-room house built around 100 AD. In the afternoon you'll drive to Dead Horse Point State Park, perhaps Utah’s most spectacular State Park, with stunning views from the overlook, 6,000 feet above sea level. You may also like to take an optional Antelope Canyon Boat Tour, an exciting rafting excursion through narrow canyons, rushing white water and the distinctive geology of the area.
Today you'll explore more amazing natural scenery at Capitol Reef National Park, created from a hundred-mile ridge of rock that has eroded into colourful sandstone formations. You'll stop at Panorama Point to enjoy the views, then explore the park's trails either by foot, on horseback or by car. Next, you'll drive through Kodachrome Basin State Park, filled with massive colourful sandstone chimneys, as well as numerous tranquil coves. You'll then continue to Bryce Canyon for a two-night stay.
This morning you'll visit Bryce Canyon National Park, home to "amphitheatres" of multi-coloured rock formations. Here you can explore on foot or on horseback. You may like to drive to Rainbow Point to enjoy the views, which can extend for up to 100 miles on a clear day, or take the optional Bryce Canyon Morning Hike, heading out with a lunch box and following a trail route to explore and photograph the remote areas of the park and view the native wildlife.
This morning you'll drive towards Zion National Park, where you'll be greeted by gigantic sandstone monoliths and hear the soft rush of the Virgin River. This is a wonderful place for hiking, with trails running among the colourful narrow stone crevices formed by years of erosion. You can also make use of the park's shuttle system to visit Zion's major attractions, which include the Emerald Pools, Weeping Rock and Angels Landing. When you've finished exploring, you'll continue to Las Vegas for an overnight stay.
Your trip comes to an end as you transfer to Las Vegas International Airport (LAS) for your onward flight.
Standard fr £705pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated