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Full Tour Itinerary

Western Kaleidoscope: Landscapes and Lights of the American West

  • Days / nights22 / 21
  • PRICE (Starting at) CA$5299

Day 1

Meet your guide and fellow adventurers. Be sure to have your insurance documents and passports available for presentation to your tour leader. After your tour briefing, you may want to go out together for dinner to one of Vancouver’s many renowned restaurants nearby.

Overnight at joining hotel.

Included meals: none

Day 2

We depart relatively early bound for BC’s South Okanagan region. After passing through the verdant Fraser Valley, the source of much of BC’s fruits, vegetables, dairy and poultry products, we enter the Cascade Mountains. We’ll stop several times along the way to marvel at such sites as Hope Slide, Manning Park and Spotted Lake. We arrive mid-afternoon in Osoyoos, BC’s summer playground. Options here include beach activities, visiting BC’s only desert, visiting a winery (or two), visiting the train museum, and much more.

Overnight: hotel.

Included meals: none

Day 3

This is a long travelling day, but it is through majestic mountain vistas, and there will be plenty of stops as well. Travelling across Southern BC, we experience gorgeous mountain scenery as well as the scenic Kootenay Valley. We eventually cross the Rocky Mountains through Crowsnest Pass, and into the neighbouring province of Alberta. Waterton National Park lies at the boundary of the Great Canadian Plains and the Rocky Mountains. We arrive in time to set up camp and enjoy a sumptuous campsite dinner and then a relaxing evening.

Overnight: Camping;

Included meals: dinner

Day 4

We have a full day to explore Waterton. There are numerous scenic hikes for all levels of fitness; it will be hard to choose which one. Maybe you just want to explore the geology around Red Rock Canyon. Or enjoy your time relaxing in the village or around picturesque Waterton Lake, or site-seeing at a relaxed pace. But, with another full driving day tomorrow you’ll likely opt for some good exercise.

Overnight: camping;

Included meals: breakfast, dinner

Day 5

Today we cross the border into the United States and travel along the foothills of the Rocky Mountain chain to Yellowstone National Park, arriving there mid-afternoon. Yellowstone is the world’s first National Park, established to protect the great volcanic caldera and the geothermal hot spot that creates geysers, hot springs and fumaroles. The park has also become known for the wide variety of wildlife, and we’ll be almost sure to spot some amazing animals. Entering the park, we’ll visit Mammoth Hot Springs and various sites on our way to our campsite for the night.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: breakfast, dinner

Day 6

Today is a full day to explore Yellowstone. Your tour driver will take you on a circuit of the park, stopping at numerous sites along the way, including Yellowstone Lodge and at least one stop at the Old Faithful geyser.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: breakfast, dinner

Included activities: Park tour

Day 7

Today we travel to Salt Lake City, on the edge of the great Sonoran desert, and beside the Great Salt Lake. This is also the headquarters of the Mormon Church. We’ll visit the headquarters of this unique American religious group and learn about their tortured history and have the option of visiting the Ancestry museum. After four nights of camping, we’ll get the comfort of a hotel tonight.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: breakfast

Included activities: Mormon headquarters tour, Ancestry Museum

Day 8

Today we leave early so as to maximize our time at Zion National Park. We’ll tour the amazing sandstone formations of the Park, with time to explore on foot and some time for hiking. You’ll want to spend at least some time hiking along the gorge of the Virgin River. We camp just outside the park this night.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: dinner

Included activities: canyon tour

Day 9

We have a slower pace today. After cleaning up camp, we travel to Bryce Canyon National Park, stopping to explore a completely different set of amazing sandstone formations. Every one of Utah’s National parks is different, but all are worth a significant stop for exploring and photos. We’ll continue on for another 1-2 hours to our campsite for the night.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: breakfast, dinner

Included activities: canyon tour

Day 10

Today we have a relatively short travel day to Moab, Utah. We’ll be here for a day-and-a-half. This is the outdoor activity capital of this region of the United States. Options include hiking, cycling, and numerous other activities. We include a visit to Arches National park and you also have the option to take a tour to Canyonlands National park. From Moab there are also many adventure activities you may like to try. The minibus will be available for these excursions.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: breakfast

Included activities: park tours

Day 11

Another day to explore the parks and participate in the activities you started enjoying yesterday. On either Day 10 or day 11 we’ll travel to the iconic Delicate Arch, one of the most photographed scenes in the entire United States. If you’re more into adrenaline-pumping activities, options include zip-lining, river rafting, horseback riding, canyoneering, rock climbing, Jeep and Hummer safaris, mountain-biking and stand up paddle. Or do a night tour of the unpolluted skies guided by a renowned astronomer.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: none

Included activities: parks tour

Day 12

Today includes two travel segments and two included activities. First we travel to Mesa Verde (Colorado) to view the ancient home of the first peoples of North America, who lived in caves carved out of the sandstone canyon sides. Then we travel on to the famous Monument Valley, where numerous Western movies have been filmed. At Monument Valley we’ll take a guided sunset tour of the famous formations, as well as participate in a cultural experience that includes dinner.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: dinner

Included activities: Mesa Verde, Monument Valley

Day 13

Today we make our way to the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon. Need we say more? We’ll arrive at Grand Canyon Village on the south rim at about noon. We’ll spend about 24 hours at the Grand Canyon, with the opportunity to view the canyon at both sunset and sunrise. This night we camp near the canyon.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: breakfast, dinner

Included activities: Grand Canyon viewing

Day 14

After spending a few more hours at the Grand Canyon, we travel on toward Las Vegas. Along the way we’ll travel one of the last segments of historic Route 66, the original highway from Chicago to Los Angeles, then stop at the Hoover Dam. A tour of the dam is included. We’ll arrive at Las Vegas for a late dinner.

Overnight: casino hotel

Included meals: breakfast

Included activities: Hoover Dam tour

Day 15

A free day for you to explore Las Vegas on your own. Take in a show or two. Do with your time what you want in the city that never sleeps. And, of course, what happens in Vegas, they say, stays in Vegas. Enjoy the city as you wish; just remember you will want to get enough rest to enjoy tomorrow’s National park experience.

Overnight: casino hotel

Included meals: none

Day 16

Today we explore Death Valley, the lowest, and hottest, spot in the US. We leave Las Vegas relatively early (by Las Vegas standards) and get to Death Valley by about noon. At Death Valley we’ll stop at places such as Badwater, Dante’s View, The Devil’s Golf Course, the Furnace Creek visitor centre, Stovepipe Wells, and perhaps other unique places. Then we’ll travel on to the Sierra Nevada Mountains, setting up camp near Big Pine.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: dinner

Included activities: Death Valley tours

Day 17

Today we travel through the spectacular Tioga pass and on to the iconic Yosemite National Park. We stop several times along the way for amazing vistas. At Yosemite, we’ll tour to the various waterfalls, view El Capitan and Half Dome, and have the opportunity to participate in some short hikes, as well as explore the village. Sorry, no extreme mountain-climbing on this trip; you’ll have to come back another time for that. This night we camp near the park.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: breakfast, dinner

Included activities: Sight-seeing tours

Day 18

We leave our campsite and make our way San Francisco. This afternoon you’ll have a choice of many activities: visit Fisherman’s Wharf, take a tour of Alcatraz, ride a cable car, visit the waterfront market, or ride down curvey Lombard Street.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: breakfast

Day 19

A full day for you to explore San Francisco. Make sure to visit the downtown on one of the two days, and enjoy the fine dining San Francisco is known for. Your driver will also offer a tour that includes crossing the Golden Gate Bridge.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: breakfast

Day 20

Today is a relatively long day of travel. We start with a tour through Napa Valley, one of North America’s paramount wine regions, then travel up through northern California and into Oregon. Our destination tonight is Crater Lake, the deepest and one of the prettiest, cobalt-blue lakes in the country. Tonight we camp near the lake.

Overnight: camping

Included meals: breakfast, dinner

Included activities: wine tour

Day 21

Today’s scenery is of a totally different variety as we travel up through the interior plateau of Oregon and Washington states, crossing the mighty Columbia River about mid-day. Here we’ll examine the geological foundations of the region. We eventually arrive at the Bavarian-themed town of Leavenworth, in the heart of the Cascade Mountains. One of the biggest summer attractions here is a nightly, live, outdoor presentation of “The Sound of Music.” We’ll have a few hours to explore this unique town.

Overnight: hotel

Included meals: breakfast

Day 22

We leave relatively early on this, our final day, to reach our Vancouver destination by early afternoon. If you are flying out today, please do not book flights earlier than 6 pm as border lineups are unpredictable. If you would like to stay over in Vancouver for several days, we can book city tours or hotels, or an extension to Whistler or Victoria. If you are continuing on to one of our other tours, you will have the afternoon off, perhaps for a short city tour, then meet your new tour leader and fellow adventurers at the 6 pm orientation meeting.

Included meals: none

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