United States: Western Wonders
USA’s National Parks: Geography and Natural Science in Action!
Discover the natural beauty of deserts, canyons and national parks along with the glittering, exciting metropolises of western America. From the grand valleys of Yosemite to San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge, this tour encompasses the best of the west.
Explore Yosemite, Death Valley, Bryce Canyon, Zion and Grand Canyon National Parks. These National Parks are home to extensive biodiversity. During this tour, you have the chance to spot a wide range of fascinating creatures and consider how the species have adapted to their habitats. Enjoy the spectacular scenery, wonderful waterfalls and captivating canyons that define this vast and rugged region. In addition to seeing these impressive landscapes, learn how they were created. See the effects of plate tectonics, faults and earthquakes on the desert landscapes. Blessed with stunning natural beauty, Western America is unique. Being your students to this paradise for geographers and scientists to ignite their passion for learning.
Dates available on request
Suggested itinerary by air
UK to San Francisco
Fly from the UK to San Francisco. On arrival you will be met by a guide and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to relax and enjoy the hotel facilities.
San Francisco – Alcatraz
After breakfast enjoy a cruise to Alcatraz Island. The former prison that operated here from 1934 to 1963 was once home to some of America’s most notorious criminals. Today Alcatraz is home to rare flowers, plants, marine wildlife and thousands of sea birds, while Civil War-era buildings dot the island. It also played an important role in the American Indian rights movement. In the evening enjoy a three course dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp.
After breakfast, travel to Oakhurst. Oakhurst is town south of the entrance to Yosemite National Park, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. On arrival, check in and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Yosemite National Park
Today you will travel through Yosemite National Park. Explore the dramatic waterfalls, giant sequoias and awe-inspiring vistas of Yosemite; an icon of majestic natural beauty. Learn about the park’s history and geology. Walk the granite slopes of Sentinel Dome or hike to Mirror Lake. The adventurous among you may opt for a more strenuous climb to the top of Vernal Falls. Travel to Bishop and check in to your hotel.
This morning travel to Las Vegas. Visit the Death Valley National Park and enjoy a guided tour. Known for its extremes: this below-sea-level basin is North America’s driest and hottest spot. Despite its morbid name, a great diversity of life survives in Death Valley.
Today is at leisure for you to explore the city and enjoy the hotel’s facilities.
Zion National Park
Travel to Cedar City and visit Zion National Park. On a guided tour, explore the crosshatch of canyons, hundreds of scenic trails and beautifully sculpted sand dunes. Zion’s diverse topography is home to a wide range of species.
Travel to Kayenta and visit Bryce Canyon. Explore this stunning National Park home to the world’s largest collection of hoodoos. Hike through the bristlecone pines and see the incredible natural bridges, narrow fins and breathtaking views – this is no ordinary forest.
Visit Monument Valley. Boasting sandstone masterpieces framed by scenic clouds, this park provides simply spellbinding scenery. Natural forces of wind and water have spent the last 50 million years eroding the land, cutting in to and peeling away at the surface of the plateau.
This morning travel to the Grand Canyon. Dating back nearly two million years, the Grand Canyon is perhaps the world’s most distinguishable and recognised landform. This immense mile deep and 18 mile wide gorge offers incredible panoramic vistas, towering forests, and side canyons filled with lush vegetation, gargling streams and the sounds of wildlife. Experience the Skywalk and look down through the glass platform at the bottom of the gorge some 2000 feet below.
Travel to Palm Springs. Today is at leisure for you to relax or explore the city. Enjoy a spot of shopping at the Desert Hills Outlet, the largest collection of luxury outlets in California.
End the trip with a visit to Los Angeles. Enjoy a behind the scenes tour of Universal Studios, one of the oldest and most famous Hollywood film studios still in use. Face action head-on in heart-pounding rides, shows and attractions in the theme park. Experience The Ride-3D which puts you inside some of the world’s most popular TV shows and movies.
Los Angeles to UK
After breakfast you will be picked up and transferred to Los Angeles Airport for your return flight to the UK.