The USA has some of the most amazing landscapes in the world. Experience the beautiful wilderness of America with the National Park Explorer itinerary.
Lightfoot Travel specialise in tailor-made itineraries for family holidays, honeymoons and corporate travel around the world. Below is a sample itinerary for a self-guided road trip through the national parks of the west coast, and can be adjusted based on your time, budget and interests.
Days 1-3 Las Vegas
The adventure begins in a city that needs no introduction. Check into the swish Wynn hotel and be sure to catch one of the incredible shows in town, from the inimitable Cirque du Soleil, to some of the world’s biggest musical acts.
Las Vegas is a mecca for practically every taste. Dine out at world-class restaurants. Shop til you drop in a dizzying number of designer boutiques. Lounge poolside in the dry desert heat. Book spa treatments that will leave you feeling 10 years younger and wondering if it’s too soon to book a repeat appointment. Soak up the city’s incredible energy and at the end of each day, retreat to your luxurious room at the Wynn, a soothing setting accented by elegant furnishings and natural light.
Stay: Wynn Las Vegas
Day 4 Zion National Park
After the buzz and bustle of Vegas, it’s time to pack up and head out to the wilds of Zion National Park. Pick up your hire car and set off for Zion, less than three hours drive. Zion National Park is a beautiful setting and a perfect example of the power of Mother Nature. Years of powerful storms have seen water and ice carve away at the rock face, crafting fascinating rock formations, now protected as a national park.
Hike, bike, climb, or ride a horse across the sandstone trails, then retire to the park’s best accommodation, Zion Lodge, where a combination of historic cabins, and comfortable rooms and suites offer inviting double beds, private porches, and spectacular views. Some even come with a gas log fireplace, the perfect spot to cozy up with a nightcap in hand.
Stay: Zion Lodge
Day 5 Bryce Canyon National Park
Setting off from Zion, you’ll arrive at Bryce Canyon National Park in less than two hours. Despite the name, Bryce Canyon is in fact a huge natural amphitheatre full of Hoodoos – pillars of rock that have been formed by wind, ice, and water erosion. Explore on foot, following the Rim Trail hiking path and capture the perfect photograph at Sunset Point. When the sun goes down, head to Ruby’s Inn, the ideal place to settle in for the night.
Stay: Ruby's Inn
Days 6-7 Arches National Park
The journey from Bryce to Arches is the longest of the trip, around 4-1/2 hours. Upon arrival, you’ll be immediately welcomed at the Sorrel River Ranch Resort and Spa, a place where luxury meets adventure. Set on the banks of the Colorado River, you’ll be within easy reach of both Moab in Utah’s Colorado Plateau, and Arches National Park.
Don’t delay. The park boasts the world’s greatest concentration of sandstone arches, and the red rocks practically glow at sunset, making golden hour the perfect time for photo ops. Take the 40-mile scenic drive ascending high atop the plateau, across a vast landscape with views of snow capped mountains in the distance. Return to the resort for bonfires, live music, or a delicious farm-to-table meal before heading to bed, full of great stories and good food.
Stay: Sorrel River Ranch Resort and Spa
Day 8 Monument Valley, a Navajo Tribal Park
The Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park straddles the border of Arizona and Utah, and is easily one of the most photographed U.S. National Parks. The park is dominated by deep red mesas and sandstone towers, some reaching the heady height of 1,000 feet. This impressive backdrop is often used as a film location for Westerns, so if you spot a camera, you may find yourself an extra on set!
After taking it all in, continue your journey to Lake Powell National Park and settle in for the night.
Stay: NO INFO PROVIDED ON ACCOMMODATION
Days 9-11 Lake Powell National Park
Lake Powell is actually a manmade lake, created in 1963 when the Glen Canyon Dam held back the water of the Colorado River, creating a vast blue lake surrounded by red hued sandstone walls. The national park encompasses over a million acres so give yourself plenty of time to roam.
Though there is a great deal of activity in the region (hiking and biking on the surrounding shores and cliffs are popular with visitors each year), the stunning lake often takes centre stage thanks to its striking beauty and vast size. Be sure to take advantage of the watersports on offer here, trying your hand at boating, fishing, kayaking, stand-up paddling, and more.
Stay: NO INFO PROVIDED ON ACCOMMODATION
Day 12 The Grand Canyon
Save the best for last, with a visit to the Grand Canyon, one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World. The Canyon measures 277 miles in length, up to 18 miles wide, and over a mile deep in parts, so taking to the skies in a helicopter is the best way to take in the sheer scale and incredible beauty of this national park. For those that prefer to keep their feet closer to ground level, there are plenty of lookouts around the canyon rim that will provide the perfect panorama. When you’ve taken photos from every possible vantage point, retire to Yavapai Lodge, just a mile from the canyon’s southern rim.
Stay: Yavapai Lodge
Day 13 A Stylish Sendoff
Return to Las Vegas and to the Wynn for your final night out west. Book a table at one of the city’s finest restaurants to end the trip in style and, over an evening cocktail, decide whether you want to get a good night’s rest, or pull an all-nighter trying your luck at the casino, hoping to win big.
Stay: Wynn Las Vegas
|Days 1-3||Las Vegas||Wynn Las Vegas|
|Day 4||Zion National Park||Zion Lodge|
|Day 5||Bryce Canyon National Park||Ruby's Inn|
|Days 6-7||Arches National Park||Sorrel River Ranch Resort and Spa|
|Day 8||Monument Valley, a Navajo Tribal Park||NO INFO PROVIDED ON ACCOMMODATION|
|Days 9-11||Lake Powell National Park||NO INFO PROVIDED ON ACCOMMODATION|
|Day 12||The Grand Canyon||Yavapai Lodge|
|Day 13||A Stylish Sendoff||Wynn Las Vegas|