Explore the southwest USA on this Las Vegas & Grand Canyon Holiday. Begin in Las Vegas, where you can spend a day exploring the casinos and hotels, before heading north to Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks, both ideal for hiking and horse riding. Discover the landscapes of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks before driving to Monument Valley. Here you can soak up the iconic scenery and learn about Navajo culture. Next, make a stop at Page, where you can descend into colourful Antelope Canyon and watch the green Colorado River as it snakes its way around Horseshoe Bend. Finish in the Grand Canyon, where the dizzying views over the vast crater will finish your USA road trip in style.
This itinerary can be tailored to suit your requirements; please contact one of our consultants to start planning your dream trip.
Depart the UK from your chosen airport. On arrival in Las Vegas airport you will pick up your rental car and drive to your hotel on the strip, where you will check in for three nights.
Spend a couple of days exploring Las Vegas – it’s definitely a feast for the senses! We recommend that you start by strolling down the strip to see the fountains at the Bellagio, the erupting volcano at the Mirage and the pirate show at Treasure Island. Stop in at the Aria or the Cosmopolitan for a flutter on the blackjack tables before heading to see a show, whether it’s Britney, Celine Dion or Cirque du Soleil. If you want to get out of town, you can take a scenic drive to the Valley of Fire, just 50 miles outside of Vegas. Back in Sin City, tuck into a famous buffet at one of the hotels and toast this over-the-top city with a glass of champagne!
Today you’ll drive north from Las Vegas towards Zion National Park, where you’ll check in for one night. If you leave early, you’ll have all afternoon to explore the park, so there’s plenty of time for some hiking. Zion has a huge range of hiking trails ranging from short walks to multi-day treks, so there’s something for everyone. The most famous trail is the 2.5 mile climb to Angel’s Landing, a fairly steep uphill climb which reveals spectacular views over the lush valley from the top. For something a little easier try, the Emerald Pools Trail, which will take you past waterfalls, or the Canyon Overlook Trail, filled with picture-postcard views of Zion.
You can choose where to spend today, as the drive to Bryce Canyon is only about 2 hours. We’d recommend spending the morning in Zion before driving towards Bryce around lunchtime. If you’re hungry, grab a tasty slice of cherry pie before checking into your hotel for two nights. Pass the afternoon in Bryce Canyon and when evening comes, go and see the local rodeo or head to a country music show for a hoedown!
Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the most recognisable in the country - all thanks to the hoodoos. These thin spires of red rock are created when water creeps into cracks in the rock and freezes in the winter, expanding out and forming the hoodoo. The drive along the rim will provide stunning views over the canyon, so drive to the end and work your way back before deciding which hike to do. The short Sunset and Sunrise Trails are beautiful, with little chipmunks scurrying around the undergrowth alongside the path. If you really want to get up close to this bizarre landscape, you can take a walk down into the canyon itself.
Today you’ll drive north, towards the small town of Moab. You could stop in at Capitol Reef National Park for a hike to Hickman Bridge on your way. Arriving in Moab you’ll check in for three nights.
Staying in Moab is the perfect base to explore two of Utah’s beautiful national parks, Canyonlands and Arches. Spend a day in each – you can go biking or hiking, ride horses or even try climbing. The beautiful sweeping red rock arches are so photogenic you’ll be there all day but try to tear yourself away and enjoy some white-water rafting on the Colorado River.
One of our favourite spots is Dead Horse State Park, where the infamous final scene of Thelma and Louise was filmed, just outside the entrance to Canyonlands. This area is an ideal place to try some stargazing – Canyonlands’ skies are particularly dark, perfect for enjoying spotting planets and magical views of the Milky Way. There are often ranger-led programmes with telescopes to help you identify the wealth of twinkling stars above you.
This morning, you’ll head south towards the Navajo heartland of Monument Valley. This beautiful area is instantly recognisable from the old westerns films that were filmed here. The flat, red landscape is interjected with mesas and buttes. These huge rock formations are beautiful – one is called the Mittens, where two mesas look like huge hands rising out of the ground.
Most of your time here will be spend soaking up this incredible landscape – it really feels like you are in a postcard. If you want to explore further you could go horse riding, do a local Navajo tour or even go stargazing under the clear, dark skies.
Today you’ll drive west through the red rock landscape towards Page, a small town that sits on the shores of Lake Powell. The town is nice enough but the two must-see spots are Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend. Antelope Canyon is best seen on a tour, where you will descend deep into the carved-out depths of the rock and walk through pink, orange and red waves as the sunlight hits the beautiful landscape. Horseshoe Bend is a deep curve in the Colorado River where the red rock contrasts with the green water that twists its way through the canyon and is easily accessible by a short drive and hike to the edge of the rock.
If you have time to spare, take a boat trip on Lake Powell. This manmade lake is actually a canyon filled with deep blue water, where locals spend their summers on houseboats, swimming and fishing in the warm air.
Today you’ll drive to the Grand Canyon, one of the most famous national parks in the world. On arrival you’ll check into your hotel for two nights. Why not drop your bags and head straight to the rim for sunset views over the canyon below?
A day exploring the Grand Canyon is one you won’t forget in a hurry. This vast expanse stretches out as far as the eye can see and whether you hike along the Rim Trail or clamber down into the canyon, you won’t be able to tear your eyes away. For a bird’s eye view of the canyon, we can book you a helicopter tour. Opt for a simple half hour flight or zip down to the canyon floor to experience a boat ride on the river and a champagne brunch – just ask and we’ll put the arrangements in place!
Today is your final day in the USA. On your way back to Las Vegas, you can even drive a small section of Route 66 and stop in at the Hoover Dam before dropping your rental car back at the airport in time to catch your onwards flight.
Utah and Arizona are wonderful areas to visit at any time of year, but summer is the most popular thanks to warm sunny days and school holidays. Winter brings a sprinkling of snow over the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon and can be a magical season, while spring and autumn bring occasional thunderstorms but dry and temperate weather.
This itinerary is purely a suggestion and can be tailor-made to your requirements, so please contact us with your dates and requests, and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.