Day 1 - Welcome to Los Angeles
Arrive in Los Angeles for the start of your 15 day National Park Splendour Self Drive. Collect your car from the airport depot and make your way into the city to begin the exploration of L.A.’s wonderfully diverse neighbourhoods. Take a stroll along Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, drive through picturesque Beverly Hills or maybe make your way to the beachside haven of Santa Monica to stroll along its famous pier – there’s plenty for you to see and do in this iconic city.
Standard: Four Points By Sheraton Los Angeles Int’l Airport or similar
Budget: Quality Inn & Suites Montebello or similar
Day 2 - Las Vegas (271 miles)
Cross the Mojave Desert this morning on your way to Las Vegas. This city roars with excitement, growing faster and more vibrant with every new night. Enjoy the city’s nightlife which is filled with fabulous shows by some of the world’s finest performers, fast-paced casinos, dancing and so much more.
Standard: Platinum Hotel & Spa or similar
Budget: Mardi Gras Hotel & Casino or similar
Day 3 - Bryce Canyon (via Zion N.P) (249 miles)
Leaving Las Vegas behind, travel to Utah to visit impressive Zion National Park where a million years of water flow has eroded the red and white beds of Navajo sandstone to form the famous ‘Narrows’. Unlike the Grand Canyon where one stands on the rim and looks out, Zion Canyon is best viewed from the bottom looking up.
After some time exploring the canyons of Zion, continue to Bryce Canyon. This unique National Park has some of Earth’s most colourful rocks which have been sculpted into pillars known as ‘Hoodoos’. The parks dramatic landscape is best viewed at sunrise and sunset when the park comes alive with vibrant colour.
Standard: Best Western Plus Ruby’s Inn or similar
Budget Hotel: Bryce View Lodge or similar
Day 4 - Salt Lake City (271 miles)
Today you will travel north to Salt Lake City. Once settled into your hotel, head out into the city to explore. Salt Lake City’s most popular attractions can be found in Temple Square, three city blocks in downtown which contain nearly 20 attractions related to Mormon pioneer history and genealogy, including the Salt Lake Temple, the famous Tabernacle and the Family History Library.
Standard: Little America Hotel or similar
Budget: Crystal Inn Hotel & Suites Salt Lake City or similar
Day 5 - Yellowstone National Park (383 miles)
Leave Salt Lake City behind and head towards Yellowstone. America’s first national park is well known for its wildlife and geothermal features. On your way there, drive past the spectacular Teton Mountain Range. The highest and most prominent peak of the Range is Grand Teton, standing at an awe-inspiring 13,770 feet from the valley’s floor.
Once inside the park, you can visit the hot springs, steam vents, mud pots and geysers which make Yellowstone so famous. And of course, a visit to Yellowstone wouldn’t be complete without witnessing the eruption of Old Faithful, the parks most predictable geyser.
Standard: Yellowstone Park Hotel or similar
Budget: Gray Wolf Inn & Suites or similar
Day 6 - Cody (134 miles)
The tour continues today as you head to Cody, home of the famous cowboy Buffalo Bill Cody. Once there you may want to visit the famous Buffalo Bill Historical Centre, a large and modern facility comprised of five museums in one, offering a comprehensive look at the history, art and culture of America’s West. There is The Whitney Gallery of Western Art, The Plains Indian Museum, The Cody Firearms Museum, The Drapper Museum of Natural History and The Harold McCracken Research Library.
Standard: Buffalo Bill Cabin Village or similar
Budget: Holiday Inn Cody E Yellowstone or similar
Day 7 - Cheyenne (392 miles)
Look out for Thermopolis as you cross the plains of Wyoming, its home to the world’s largest mineral hot springs. Later you will arrive in the Wyoming state capital, Cheyenne. This city offers non-stop activity and hospitality at its western best! Re-enactments of gunfights, western skits and many other Wild West activities take place in famous Old Town Square in the downtown area.
Standard: Little America Hotel & Resort or similar
Budget: Red Lion Hotel Cheyenne or similar
Day 8 - Denver (via Rocky Mountain National Park) (194 miles)
Today the journey continues to Estes Park and Rocky Mountains National Park. The valley town of Estes Park is known as the gateway to the Rockies, a glorious wilderness filled with towering mountains and abundant wildlife. As you drive through the park you will travel along a portion of The Trail Ridge Road, a route that provides some of the most spectacular mountain views available from any roadside in the USA.
You should be arriving in Denver, the ‘Mile High City’, in the late afternoon. Denver has all of the urban charms of an industrious city, combined with all of the mystery and romance of the old West.
Standard: DoubleTree Curtis Hotel or similar
Budget Hotel: Best Western Plus Executive Residency Denver-Stapleton Hotel or similar
Day 9 - Durango (372 miles)
Depart early this morning across the Rockies to Grand Junction, a great spot so break for lunch, before continuing to the western mining town of Silverton. One of Colorado’s most atmospheric mountain towns Silverton appears lost in the American past. Here you can visit the town’s highlights, which revolve around its mining past, or, take a train ride on the famous Durango – a Narrow Gauge Railroad that travels through 44 miles of breathtaking scenery.
Standard: Historic Strater Hotel or similar
Budget: Durango Downtown Inn or similar
Day 10 - Lake Powell (via Mesa Verde N.P & Monument Valley) (325 miles)
Today, a short drive will bring you to Mesa Verde, which was home to the Anasazi or the ‘Ancient Ones’ who lived in dwellings here between 600 AD and 1300 AD. As you make your way through the park you are also likely to see some of the abundant wildlife that calls the park home, including mule deer, coyote, grey fox, mountain lion, black bear, elk, marmot and if you’re lucky you might even spot a porcupine or two.
Continue the drive on to iconic Monument Valley. Over the years, Monument Valley has been the setting for more Western movies than any other site in the United States. Unique sandstone formations punctuate the sometimes barren landscape and spires rise into strange formations that have inspired names such as ‘Three Sisters’ and ‘The Thumb.’ At dawn and dusk, the park comes to life when the sun transforms this area into a bright canvas, painting the monoliths with light and colour. Continue to Lake Powell where you will stay the night.
Standard: Lake Powell Resort or similar
Budget: Quality Inn at Lake Powell or similar
Day 11 - Grand Canyon (138 miles)
Enjoy the beauty of man-made Lake Powell this morning, here red rock spires and cliffs rise from the crystal blue depths. After a leisurely breakfast, depart to the Grand Canyon. The canyon offers spectacular vistas, majestic rock formations and experiences to savour for a lifetime. The myriad colours and constantly changing features include exquisite waterfalls, pools and the mighty Colorado River, as well as the often-photographed rock formations.
Standard: Yavapai Lodge Grand Canyon or similar
Budget: Red Feather Lodge or similar
Day 12 - Grand Canyon to Phoenix (228 miles)
This morning, the journey continues through scenic Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona. Oak Creek Canyon is a spectacular 16-mile gorge with streams and waterfalls between sheer rock walls. Breathtaking in its red rock beauty, the Canyon with its clear perennial stream provides a strong contrast to Sedona’s red rocks. After lunch, continue to the Phoenix/Scottsdale area for a mid-afternoon arrival.
Standard: Doubletree By Hilton Phoenix/Mesa or similar
Budget: Greentree Inn & Suites Phoenix Sky Harbor or similar
Day 13 - Phoenix to Los Angeles (via Palm Springs) (374 miles)
Today, head west toward Los Angeles through desert country where you will encounter the exclusive resort town of Palm Springs. Situated in the shadow of the San Jacinto Peak, Palm Springs serves as a playground to the rich and famous; it brims with lush farming land and manicured golf courses which does not conform to the typical desert image. Stop here for lunch before continuing to Los Angeles.
Standard: Hollywood Hotel or similar
Budget: Best Western plus Dragon Gate or similar
Day 14 - Los Angeles
Today is yours to explore the City of Angels. If movie making is what you fancy, visit Universal Studios Hollywood to tour the sets and cast yourself in the thrilling rides, shows and attractions that bring the movies to life. In the evening, enjoy Universal City Walk filled with restaurants and nightclubs.
Standard: Hollywood Hotel or similar
Budget: Best Western plus Dragon Gate or similar
Day 15 - Farewell from Los Angeles
The tour comes to an end today. After returning your car at the depot, head to Los Angeles airport for your scheduled flight to the UK.
15 day Fly Drive - from £1579
With flights from £2055
- Add extra nights in Las Vegas, L.A. or any location en route
- Pre-book a Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour
- Stay in budget accommodation from £1149
- Choose to fly Economy, Premium, Business or First Class
Budget hotels and motels are still comfortable but come with fewer frills than our standard options.