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Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Highlights

  • Discovering the natural arches, buttes and mesas in Zion National Park
  • Driving through Oak Creek Canyon, one of Rand McNally’s top 5 scenic USA drives
  • Encountering Bryce Canyon’s mystical hoodoo spires which can rise 10-storey’s high
  • Spotting an Elvis look-alike while sauntering along the Las Vegas strip!
  • Traversing the vast wilderness of the Grand Escalante Staircase monument
  • Journeying deep into the rich ecosystems of the Grand Canyon

A Drive & Hike tour in some of the most magnificent national parks of the American West provides some truly awe-inspiring experiences and astounding photographic opportunities. Zion, with its incredible canyons and emerald lakes, Bryce’s mystical hoodoo spires and the immense Grand Canyon, two billion years old.

Your tour finishes in Las Vegas where you can soak in the sights, lights and sounds of the famous strip and begins in the “red rock country” of Sedona and a visit to stunning Oak Creek Canyon. The drive from Carefree to Sedona showcases the incredible diversity of Arizona.

The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide and was originally carved out by the Colorado River and it is here you will walk the South Kaibab Trail for 360 degree views. Follow trails deep into the intricately carved landscapes of Bryce Canyon, before marvelling at the vast wilderness of the Grand Escalante Staircase Monument.

Continue on to Zion National Park, named by early Mormon settlers and discover a micro-climate, trickling waterfalls and towering walls rising thousands of feet above you. Explore Zion’s hidden secrets and waterways in the Virgin River Narrows.

Your self-guided drive and hike tour in the American West includes 7 nights in hotels, resorts and lodges, welcome and orientation meeting, driving directions and maps, walking route notes and trail maps and a comprehensive information pack.

DAY 1: Arrive Phoenix

Upon arrival at Phoenix Airport pick up your rental car (optional supplement) and take a short drive to Carefree Resort. Depending on your time of arrival you may wish to take a scenic warm-up walk which begins at the Gateway Trailhead and takes you through the beautiful desert of Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve. As you walk you will enjoy views of the city and the preserve’s diverse desert flora and fauna, including the famed Giant Saguaro Cactus.


Overnight: Carefree Resort, Carefree


This is resort is located just north of Phoenix with great views of the Continental Mountains. All the comfortable rooms are spacious and you can relax by the pool or in the fitness centre.  


Walk: Optional 4.4 miles, elevation gain +/- 640 ft


Driving distance and time: From Phoenix Airport to Carefree, 30 mins. To Trailhead, 10 mins.


DAY 2: Oak Creek Trail

An early departure from your hotel takes you north through the Sonoran desert and into the high elevation plateaus of Northern Arizona. On today’s drive you traverse four distinct biomes showcasing the incredible diversity Arizona has to offer, from Sonoran desert to Ponderosa Pine Forest. About an hour into your drive you will come to Sedona then wind your way through Oak Creek Canyon. This route has been named one of Rand McNally’s top 5 scenic drives in America.


Continue on to the Grand Canyon National Park, where you will get your first glimpse of this magnificent abyss.


Overnight: Yavapai Lodge, Grand Canyon


This property is located within the Grand Canyon National Park and has 198 rooms. They are all decorated in a modern style and have air-conditioning, ceiling fans and coffee-making facilities.


Walk: 6 miles, elevation gain +/- 300 ft


Driving distance and time: From Carefree to Sedona & Oak Creek Trailhead, 1.5 hours. From here to South Rim, 4 hour and 220 miles


DAY 3: South Kaibab Trail

After breakfast and a short ride on the park’s convenient shuttle you will be at the trailhead for the South Kaibab Trail. This scenic trail is unique in the Grand Canyon as it traverses along a ridgeline instead of descending a side canyon, allowing for unobstructed views and excellent photography opportunities.


After your hike, drive to Lake Powell to begin another stage of your journey.


Overnight: Courtyard Page at Lake Powell, Lake Powell


Walk: 3 miles, elevation gain +/- 1140 ft


Driving Distance and time: 3. 5 hours and 134 miles to Lake Powell from the East Park Gate (Grand Canyon South Rim).


DAY 4: Bryce Canyon Classic Trail

Today’s journey takes you deeper into the intricately-carved landscape of the Colorado Plateau. Towards the end of Long Valley you will cross over the Sevier River as you make your way onto Utah’s Scenic Highway 12 leading you to breath-taking Bryce Canyon National Park and your home for the next two nights.


Located in the high desert of southern Utah, the Bryce Canyon landscape is a mysterious wonderland of distinctive rock formations known as hoodoos.  Enjoy your walk today through this unusual and spectacular scenery.


Overnight: Ruby’s Lodge, Bryce Canyon


This lodge is located only 1 mile from Bryce Canyon National Park and
offers comfortable,  airy rooms, and an on-site general store. 


Walk: 3 miles, elevation gain +/- 400 ft


Driving distance and time: 2.5 hours and 155 miles from Lake Powell to Bryce Canyon.


DAY 5: Calf Creek Falls Trail

Continue deep into Utah’s outback on Scenic Highway 12, the only paved road traversing the Grand Staircase National Monument. Rolling pastoral farmland is contrasted against towering buttes, domes and peaks on your way to the trailhead for Lower Calf Creek.


The Grand Staircase National Monument is a vast and intricate wilderness and one way to really appreciate it is to walk along the meandering trail that leads to Calf Creek Falls .This trail is so exquisitely beautiful and en route you will also see the native tribal rock art and pictographs.


Overnight: Ruby’s Lodge, Bryce Canyon


Walk: 6 miles, elevation gain +/- 100 ft


Driving Distance and time: 2. 5 hours and 127 miles


DAY 6: Zion National Park

Make your way to Zion National Park, often called “Yosemite dressed in red” due to its towering sandstone cliffs sculpted and carved from an ancient desert by the force of flood waters and time. Zion was named by early Mormon settlers, meaning a ‘place of refuge,’ you’re sure to see why they found comfort within these walls.


Take the park shuttle to begin today’s suggested walk where you will discover a hidden “micro-climate” surrounding three serene ponds.


Overnight: Pioneer Lodge, Springdale


This historic pioneer lodge built in 1882 has  simple, yet comfortable rooms and there is an outdoor pool, full-service restaurant and an internet café.


Walk: 8 miles, elevation +/- 400 ft


Driving distance and time: 1.5 hours and 127 miles.


DAY 7: Angel’s Landing Walk

Your day begins with a summit to Angel’s Landing. Drive 30 minutes to the trailhead at the grotto and when you have completed the hike you can spend the afternoon wading in the waters of the Virgin River or stop for a picnic under the shade of an enormous Cottonwood tree outside the Zion Park Lodge. Then drive to Nevada’s famous Las Vegas Strip! This evening explore the nightlife, casino’s, sights and sounds of this famous city.


Overnight: New York, New York Hotel, Las Vegas


All of the rooms at this hotel, situated at the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana, have flat screen tv’s, marble bathrooms, internet access and luxurious linens.



Walk: 5 miles, elevation +/- 1700 ft


Driving distance and time: 2.5 hours and 165 miles


DAY 8: Onward Travel

After breakfast you can either make your way to Las Vegas Airport or perhaps you would like to add an extra night to your stay in Las Vegas. Macs Adventure can make this arrangement for you. Either book on-line on the Macs Adventure website or speak to one of our Destination Specialists.


 


Accommodation

Your trip includes 7 nights in hotels, resorts and lodges.


Alternate Accommodation

During the high season you might be booked into alternative accommodations which are not listed in the description. However they will be of the same or better standard that those listed.


Solo Walkers and Single Rooms

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable. This holiday is also available for solo walkers. 


Meals

You can eat your breakfasts and dinners either at your hotels or in local diners/restaurants (payable locally). You can buy sandwiches, etc for lunch (payable locally) in local shops, grocery stores or cafés. The walks are mostly in remote areas so it is better to take a packed lunch with you.

Time of Year

The American West has a primarily warm season from March through to November. The deserts are very hot in high summer, but the mountains and canyons are cool. Peak visitors arrive between June and September. Ideal months to travel are April, May, June or October.


Baggage Transfer

As you will have your own car the bags will be transferred from accommodation to accommodation by yourself.


Car Rental

As this is a drive & hike programme you can either rent a car through Macs Adventure or independently.


Navigation

Included in your tour is a welcome and orientation meeting with one of our team who will familiarize you with the driving directions and trail route notes for each day of hiking. Additionally maps of the local trails and maps for the driving will also be supplied. There are many different options for trails each day, but we provide information for the walks which we think are the best options. You will also be provided with information about the sites, suggested restaurants and things to do in all the local areas.


Grade & Fitness

Although some of the suggested walks have significant elevation gains and losses, there are lots of choices on offer which provide easier walking, so we have graded this trip as easy to moderate which is perfect for regular walkers. A good level of fitness is definitely required in order to enjoy this tour to the maximum. The terrain will be varied with some rough and rugged footpaths.


Equipment

Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes, and a day pack.


Getting to Phoenix

The most convenient airport is Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, which is served by many different airlines, including British Airways, American Airlines, US Airways and Virgin Altantic. From here you can pick up your rental car and it is an approximate 30 min drive to your first hotel.


Getting from Las Vegas

Since the hotel we will be using in Las Vegas offers complimentary parking you can park your rental car here for the night and then drop it at the airport when you fly home. There are many airlines that serve Las Vegas Airport, such as  US Airways, Jet Blue, Southwest and United. The journey by car is around 15 miles.

Getting to Phoenix

The most convenient airport is Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, which is served by many different airlines, including British Airways, American Airlines, US Airways and Virgin Altantic. From here you can pick up your rental car and it is an approximate 30 min drive to your first hotel.


Getting from Las Vegas

Since the hotel we will be using in Las Vegas offers complimentary parking you can park your rental car here for the night and then drop it at the airport when you fly home. There are many airlines that serve Las Vegas Airport, such as  US Airways, Jet Blue, Southwest and United. The journey by car is around 15 miles.


Included

  • 7 Nights in hotels, resorts and lodges
  • A welcome orientation meeting with one of our team
  • Driving directions and maps, trail directions and maps, information about the surrounding areas and a comprehensive information pack
  • Emergency telephone support from our US colleagues and our UK Macs Adventure office

Excluded

Travel to Phoenix and from Las Vegas
  • Breakfasts, dinners, lunches, snacks & drinks
  • Car Rental
  • Petrol/Gas & parking Fees
  • National Park Pass (around $80)
  • Travel Insurance

Extras

  • Single room or solo supplement(s) if applicable
  • Additional night(s)
  • Car Rental

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the region is extremely popular. However, we will always try our best to accommodate your plans.

How fit do I need to be?

Although some of the suggested walks have significant elevation gains and losses, there are lots of choices on offer which provide easier walking, so we have graded this trip as easy to moderate which is perfect for regular walkers. A good level of fitness is definitely required in order to enjoy this tour to the maximum. The terrain will be varied with some rough and rugged footpaths.

How do the baggage transfers work?

As you will have your own car the bags will be transferred from accommodation to accommodation by yourself.

What equipment do I need?

Your detailed information pack will be sent to you after you book. This has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.

When is the best time of year?

The American West has a primarily warm season from March through to November. The deserts are very hot in high summer, but the mountains and canyons are cool. Peak visitors arrive between June and September. Ideal months to travel are April, May, June or October.   

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lf you require more information before booking, please contact us on

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(USA & CANADA)

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Macs Adventure - Head Office: Skypark 5, 45 Finnieston Street, Glasgow, G3 8JU, UK

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