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Grand Canyon & California Family Holiday

A family road trip taking in some of Western USA's biggest hitters: Las Vegas & the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Yosemite and then ending in the spirited city of San Francisco.

Tailor-made Classic 2 weeks

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Itinerary

Overview

  • See the Grand Canyon from the Skywalk
  • Visit the hottest valley on earth
  • Go for a private guided hike in Yosemite
  • Cycle the Golden Gate Bridge
This holiday begins in the city of neon and casinos; Las Vegas. Staying in a non-gaming hotel just off the strip, you will base yourself here to experience the bright lights and to recover from jet lag before heading off for an exhilarating day of amazing scenery and thrills at the Grand Canyon West. A visit to the see-through skywalk is a must and you also have the option of a day's rafting on the Colorado River at the bottom of the Canyon, before catching a helicopter ride to the top.

From the dizzy heights of the Grand Canyon, you will then head off to California to one of the lowest and hottest places on earth; Death Valley. In this barren landscape, summer temperatures regularly hit the high 40'sC, so you will want to spend the middle of the day inside and save exploring for the evening and early morning. Zabriskie Point offers some spectacular views and at Badwater you have the opportunity to walk out on a boardwalk over vast salt flats.

After the heat of Death Valley, you then drive over the mountains into Yosemite, where you will be based in a lodge just outside of the National Park. Forming a stark contrast to the desert you have just been in, the lodge is set amongst pine trees. From your base, you will have the opportunity to explore the park at your leisure, highlights include the amazing viewpoints, wild swimming in the rivers and the Giant Sequoia trees. On one of your days you will have a private guided hike, when you will be taken well away from the crowds to quiet trails, so you can experience the beauty in solitude.

From Yosemite, you then drive to San Francisco, which will be your last stop on your holiday. Here you can enjoy the diverse food on offer and explore the waterfront, Alcatraz and cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge. This city really does have something for everyone.

Day-by-day

Brief Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive Las Vegas
Day 2 Las Vegas
Day 3 Day at Grand Canyon West
Day 4 Drive to Death Valley
Day 5 Death Valley
Day 6 Drive to Yosemite
Day 7 Yosemite
Day 8 Yosemite - Guided Hike
Day 9 Yosemite
Day 10 Drive to San Francisco
Day 11 San Francisco
Day 12 San Francisco
Day 13 San Francisco
Day 14 Depart

Full Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive Las Vegas
After arriving in Las Vegas, you will pick up your hire car and drive to your hotel where we suggest you take it easy and recover from your flight.

Day 2 Las Vegas
Las Vegas is full of sights and given the right attitude, is a fun place to explore. Children are allowed to walk through casinos, but are not permitted to gamble, or stop and watch gambling. Activities families may enjoy include visiting a water park, watching the circus acts at Circus Circus and visiting the Adventure Dome theme park.

Day 3 Day at Grand Canyon West
Today we suggest you get up early and drive to Grand Canyon West. Not actually part of the Grand Canyon National Park, this part of the Grand Canyon is owned by the Hualapai Nation. A visit to the see-through skywalk is a must and you also have the option of a day's rafting on the Colorado River at the bottom of the Canyon, before catching a helicopter ride to the top.

Day 4 Drive to Death Valley
This morning you will depart Las Vegas for Death Valley National Park; a barren and stark desert holding the record for the America's hottest temperature (57C) Summer temperatures regularly hit the high 40'sC, so you will want to spend the middle of the day inside and save exploring for the evening and early morning. There is a visitor's centre in Furnace Creek where you will be able to get advice on the highlights of the area. Zabriskie Point offers some spectacular views and at Badwater you have the opportunity to walk out on a boardwalk over vast salt flats.

Day 5 Death Valley
Today you have the day to explore Death Valley.

Day 6 Drive to Yosemite
Today you will drive to Yosemite, crossing the spectacular Tioga Pass. Be sure to stop and admire the views at Olmsted Point, from where you will be able to see the Half Dome.

Day 7 Yosemite
Today is a free day. You might want to relax around your lodge, or perhaps venture into the park for some hiking. After a long drive yesterday, a swim in the pool is highly recommended!

Day 8 Yosemite - Guided Hike
You will meet your guide in the Yosemite Valley in the morning. You will have a full day together. Depending on what your preferences are, you can either go for a day hike, or a gentler walk taking in some of the less well known areas of the park.

Day 9 Yosemite
You might want to go back into the Valley today to visit some of the famous viewpoints in the park. Glacier Point is a particularly beautiful spot with jaw dropping views of the Half Dome. Don't forget your swimming costumes, as there are several opportunities for river swimming along the way; the perfect way to cool off.

Day 10 Drive to San Francisco
Today you will drive to San Francisco. The drive will take 3 - 4 hours.

Days 11 - 13 San Francisco
You have three days at leisure in San Francisco. Don't miss the Golden Gate Bridge, sealions on pier 39 and a ferry ride in the Bay. You might also want to consider driving out to the wine regions and spending a day touring the winelands.

Day 14 Depart

Accommodation


Guide price is based on recommended accommodations. Alternative accommodations and upgrades are available. Please get in touch or click on 'alternatives' below for alternatives and upgrade options.

Our rating

9/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Excellent family choice
- Walking distance from the strip
- Sophisticated, smart and safe
- Roof terrace & pool

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Prime position in Death Valley
- 2 swimming pools

Our rating

9/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Delightful cabin accommodation
- Forest location
- On the edge of Yosemite
- Large swimming pool

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Good value hotel
- Union Square Location
- Modern rooms
- Swimming Pool

Details

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 601 reviews

(4.93/5)

  • Thanks for organising an excellent holiday for us. It's my first time using Tourdust and I've been really impressed and will certainly be recommending you to friends and family. You provided an excellent level of service all the way through, and the bespoke nature of the trip was fantastic whilst being really good value for money.
    Key highlights:
    - Le Kasbah de Toubkal blew us away - one not to miss!
    - The trek was amazing and my kids loved it. The camping was really fun, the food was excellent, and I'd particularly call out our guide Rashid who was fantastic show especially with my kids.
    - Riad Adore was outstanding - far exceeding my expectations - it was beautiful and we were very well looked after
    - Le Doux Tour was luxurious and a nice relaxing way to end the holiday.
    - Logistics were great and our main driver Mustapha was brilliant

    If there was one build / thing I would change, it's a very small one but some candles / lanterns to use in the evening whilst camping would have made it easier to stay outside for a bit longer.

    MissingMark Dilley reviewing Boutique Marrakech & Atlas Mountains on 07 June 2016

  • Truly another world. The sky was enormous and the summits snow covered. Blue irises, wild herbs and fruit trees flowered on the slopes. Even as I toiled up the dry river bed I gazed in admiration.

    Without exception, everyone was courteous and welcoming. Food was good ( and far too plentiful); accommodation clean. Above all-everything worked! A pick-up was promised for 9.00am. At 8.55 the doorbell rang. Impeccable.

    No praise is too high for the organisation and staff. I am definitely going back.

    MissingTerence Humphreys reviewing Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 16 May 2016

  • Our trip was excellent. Thank you! We were particularly impressed with the way it all worked seamlessly: someone was at each arrival point to meet us (or Alex was on the end of the phone to tell us what to do) or there was a phone message at Reception for when to expect someone.

    The Jerusalem Hotel in Lalibela is not the same standard as Tukul Villages but it was OK for one night & we had plenty of warning. Lalibela at Christmas is pretty manic: full to bursting!

    I must say that Alex looked after us well. He came to see us in Gondar to make sure everything was in place for the Simiens Trek & that we knew what to expect. When we got back after it, there he was again! Small but highly-valued pieces of customer care, evident again when he spoke to drivers while we were travelling.

    All the staff who worked with us were of high quality, especially drivers and guides. Two who stood out were Younus, our driver both times we were in Addis Ababa, who we felt went beyond the call of duty & made our time there enjoyable - our last evening when waiting for a 2 a.m. flight could have been a drag, was in fact absolutely fine because of his suggestions (the Via Via cafe for dinner & then Mama's Kitchen for some music) and company.

    The Simiens Trek was outstanding. Spectacular scenery, challenging at times, full of interest. Key to making it so was Dereje Gedamu who is a wonderful guide: we felt privileged to have him. he was ably assisted by the other staff & when our first, excellent chef had to leave at short notice to visit his mother in hospital, a replacement was found immediately (at Chenek!) who fed us to the same high standard. It was all a great experience that we will be talking about for a long time.

    We were all pleased to have selected the 8 day option (& were not at all jealous of the peak-baggers heading for Ras Dashen). The second half of the trek was a good contrast to the high altitude section in the National Park's heartland as we descended through more intensively cultivated and populated areas, down steeply to the river and then back up past wonderful rock formations towards Mulit and out to the road at Adi Arkaye. It was full of interest and we were pleased to be pretty much on our own, rather than with the crowds at Geech & Chenek.

    By comparison, the TESFA trek was rather tame, although an interesting comparison to see a more pastoral landscape and less remote villages. We had another good guide & enjoyed the lunch & evening stops, and the "loos with a view".

    Pleased as we were that we had opted to drive from Bahir Dar to Lalibela, we had mixed feelings about driving the rough Gashena-Lalibela road three times - the starting and finishing points for the TESFA trek were just beyond Gashena. In 3 years when the road is complete this point may become academic, but meanwhile - if anyone else wants to do the same thing - it would be better for them to drive from Bahir Dar to Gashena, meet the TESFA crew there, do the trek & then continue to Lalibela. I am sure that TESFA could look after any extra baggage that people did not want on the trek.

    One other point about the TESFA trek: we were not aware that there are several grades offered. I think we did the easiest and might well have preferred something more challenging so perhaps you could clarify the options available.

    Only one other critical comment: we were underwhelmed by the Mayleko Lodge near Gondar airport. It was indeed welcome to have somewhere peaceful to return to after the trek, the rooms are nice & a couple of us enjoyed a "refreshing" swim, but on the other hand the restaurant was pretty mediocre and slow: we might have preferred to be out in the town.

    Apart from that it was all good! A glimpse of Addis and another of Gondar; trekking with some R&R in Bahir Dar with its different scenery and history, ending with the religious fervour at Lalibela. A great holiday.

    MissingGordon Parker reviewing Simien Mountains Trek & Northern Highlights on 09 February 2016

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Alternative Itineraries

Our itineraries are carefully designed by our experienced travel designers based on years of experience and customer feedback. For a custom itinerary tailored to you, please enquire giving as much detail as possible on your brief.

Live the Californian dream on the ultimate road trip, exploring San Francisco and the beaches of the Pacific Coast.

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Families from $1,158 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $1,355 per person economy class from London

Visit theme parks in LA, then explore Yosemite before ending your holiday in San Francisco.

Tailor-made Classic 2 weeks

Families from $1,204 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $1,392 per person economy class from London

Cycle the Golden Gate Bridge, raft the Colorado River, see the Grand Canyon & enjoy the bright lights of Las Vegas.

Tailor-made Classic 2 weeks

Families from $1,419 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $1,232 per person economy class from London

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