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Western Explorer

Corners of the World Sale
ends on 25 Jul 2018
This tour is operated by
Western Explorer - Exodus Travels
Western Explorer - Exodus Travels
Excellent
29 reviews
Starts
San Francisco
+9 Destinations
Grand Canyon
Ends
Las Vegas
Map

Highlights

  • Marvel at Yosemite’s epic waterfalls
  • Explore Death Valley’s sand dunes
  • Trek to Zion’s Emerald Pools
  • Walk the Queen’s Garden Trail
Age range
16 to 80 year olds
Accommodation
Hotel
Max Group Size
13
Transportation
Coach / Bus
Travel style
Adventure
Start in San Francisco and end in Las Vegas! With the adventure tour Western Explorer, you have a 13 day tour package taking you from San Francisco to Las Vegas and through San Francisco, USA and 10 other destinations in USA. Western Explorer is a small group tour that includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, transport.

29 Reviews

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  • Western Explorer reviewer 1
    Written on November 9, 2013
    4.0 - Good

    Ever changing scenery even made the travelling seem to pass by quicker than on other trips. A real variety of landscapes and colours with options for walking depending on individual wishes. All the scenery from the 'Westerns' and more. Wherever we went the views were fantastic. Hotels good and the outdoor lunches (and the evening barbecue) inspired by our tour guide were just right for the settings.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Having avoided looking at pictures before going, the evening view from the rim of Bryce Canyon is unbelievable and unforgettable. Views stretch the equivalent of north London to the south coast!  We weren't planning on taking the helicopter ride at the Grand Canyon but the closure of the National Parks (this was the only one we missed) prompted us to take the plunge. Even flying over the canyon it is impossible to take in the scale and to realise the river is a mile below. The change in the vegetation coming from the Sierra Nevada to Mono Lake, with its tufa rocks and wildlife, was almost instantaneous and summed up the trip in terms of the ever changing scenery. The trip around Monument Valley with the Navajo guide was all that was expected from the films.What did you think of your group leader?Rebecca was full of enthusiasm and sought to meet everyone's needs. She did a sterling job as driver (safe and comfortable), guide, luggage handler, hotel booker inner, lunch organiser etc., etc. Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Very limited time in San Francisco so worth considering travelling a day or two beforehand. The National Park walks are at a fairly high altitude so be aware of this for both for breathing and temperature. Is there anything else you would like to add?There is limited room in the tour minibus with a full party.

  • Western Explorer reviewer 2
    Written on June 19, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    I think it's a privilege to have had the opportunity to visit and hike in these breathtakingly beautiful and awe-inspiring locations. An amazing trip that I really can't recommend highly enough.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Gosh, there were several! Yosemite is just so beautiful and idyllic - I had been before but I still found it stunning.I really hadn't been sure if I would be able to brace myself to make it to the top of Angel's Landing in Zion National Park, but I did, and the spectacular view at the top was a wonderful reward!Wading in the Narrows at Zion National Park was a very memorable experience - a beautiful setting and the water was lovely (after the initially quite bracing sensation of stepping into it!).Monument Valley is as amazing as you hope it will be, given what a familiar location it is from films and TV. The jeep tour followed by dinner with the Navajo is extremely enjoyable, inspiring and fun. How can you beat sitting outside under the stars eating dinner by a campfire in Monument Valley?!The Grand Canyon: even standing there in person, looking at it in the sunset, I still found it hard to truly get my head around the sheer scale and beauty of it. The true meaning of the adjective 'awesome' has been somewhat undermined as it used too lightly now, but in the case of The Grand Canyon, it truly is legitimate to describe it as 'awesome'. What did you think of your group leader?Alex Yakshe was great fun, very organized, well informed and keen to ensure that we were all having the best-possible holiday experience. In a group you are always going to get varying tastes and interests, and he did everything that he could to accommodate different requests and/or suggestions.People on holiday tend to put their brains into a bit of a 'powered-down setting', and for my own part I appreciated that he seemed to be completely un-phased by having to explain things more than once (or twice, or three times...!).Alex has an infectious enthusiasm and energy, and I surprised myself by willingly waking very early to greet several sunrises. I'm not usually much of a morning person but it was undoubtedly worth it and in fact I would highly recommend it! It was pretty cool to get to attend a rodeo one evening, and also very educational.Importantly, he regularly emphasized safety considerations and taking the right kit with us, and we were well drilled in keeping ourselves properly hydrated - very important in the kinds of conditions that we were often hiking in.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Take aqua shoes or water-proof sandals so that you do have the option to wade in the Narrows at Zion National Park. You couldn't do it without appropriate footwear and it is a lovely experience.Remember to take a spare camera battery or camera-battery charger, and a spare memory card (or a memory card with *a lot* of capacity) as you will want to take many, many photos! If you are considering whether or not to do this trip - DO IT!Is there anything else you would like to add?One of the most amazing trips I have done. I left the USA feeling really very envious of their fabulous national parks, which are run and managed so well. I met some lovely people, had a lot of laughs, saw some amazing sights that I will never forget. It really doesn't get any better than this!

  • Western Explorer reviewer 3
    Written on June 19, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    I think it's a privilege to have had the opportunity to visit and hike in these breathtakingly beautiful and awe-inspiring locations. An amazing trip that I really can't recommend highly enough.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Gosh, there were several! Yosemite is just so beautiful and idyllic - I had been before but I still found it stunning.I really hadn't been sure if I would be able to brace myself to make it to the top of Angel's Landing in Zion National Park, but I did, and the spectacular view at the top was a wonderful reward!Wading in the Narrows at Zion National Park was a very memorable experience - a beautiful setting and the water was lovely (after the initially quite bracing sensation of stepping into it!).Monument Valley is as amazing as you hope it will be, given what a familiar location it is from films and TV. The jeep tour followed by dinner with the Navajo is extremely enjoyable, inspiring and fun. How can you beat sitting outside under the stars eating dinner by a campfire in Monument Valley?!The Grand Canyon: even standing there in person, looking at it in the sunset, I still found it hard to truly get my head around the sheer scale and beauty of it. The true meaning of the adjective 'awesome' has been somewhat undermined as it used too lightly now, but in the case of The Grand Canyon, it truly is legitimate to describe it as 'awesome'. What did you think of your group leader?Alex Yakshe was great fun, very organized, well informed and keen to ensure that we were all having the best-possible holiday experience. In a group you are always going to get varying tastes and interests, and he did everything that he could to accommodate different requests and/or suggestions.People on holiday tend to put their brains into a bit of a 'powered-down setting', and for my own part I appreciated that he seemed to be completely un-phased by having to explain things more than once (or twice, or three times...!).Alex has an infectious enthusiasm and energy, and I surprised myself by willingly waking very early to greet several sunrises. I'm not usually much of a morning person but it was undoubtedly worth it and in fact I would highly recommend it! It was pretty cool to get to attend a rodeo one evening, and also very educational.Importantly, he regularly emphasized safety considerations and taking the right kit with us, and we were well drilled in keeping ourselves properly hydrated - very important in the kinds of conditions that we were often hiking in.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Take aqua shoes or water-proof sandals so that you do have the option to wade in the Narrows at Zion National Park. You couldn't do it without appropriate footwear and it is a lovely experience.Remember to take a spare camera battery or camera-battery charger, and a spare memory card (or a memory card with *a lot* of capacity) as you will want to take many, many photos! If you are considering whether or not to do this trip - DO IT!Is there anything else you would like to add?One of the most amazing trips I have done. I left the USA feeling really very envious of their fabulous national parks, which are run and managed so well. I met some lovely people, had a lot of laughs, saw some amazing sights that I will never forget. It really doesn't get any better than this!

  • Western Explorer reviewer 4
    Written on June 12, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    This was an absolutely amazing holiday that met and exceeded my expectations! We went from one breathtaking moment to another everywhere we went.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The walk through The Narrows at Zion was glorious - you do need waterproof shoes/sandals for this as there are large and slippery rocks to negotiate, we didn't need a wetsuit but we did have our swimwear on just in case it got particularly deep. I also loved the Monument Valley jeep tour with the Navajo (stay for dinner and you'll drive back under the stars) and Bryce Canyon and its Hoodoos were 'awesome'.What did you think of your group leader?Alex was fantastic! He took very good care of us all and was extremely well organised and knowledgeable. Often the group split up to do different walks or activities and he always made sure that could be accommodated. He was endlessly patient, despite our constant stream of questions about everything from the colour of American cheese to gun legislation, and he did his upmost to ensure that everyone was having a great time.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Definitely take waterproof sandals/shoes so that you can do the Narrows walk. Take a good camera (plus charger) as there is so much you will want to take photos of. Unless you can read on a bus, don't bother taking a book as you won't have time to read during the day and you will be far too tired to read at the end of it!Is there anything else you would like to add?If you are at all nervous about signing up alone, don't be! You'd be surprised at how quickly the group bonds and you will start talking to people from the minute you meet up in reception, the size of the group (not to mention the bus!) means it's almost impossible not to be friendly!

  • Western Explorer reviewer 5
    Written on June 12, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    This was an absolutely amazing holiday that met and exceeded my expectations! We went from one breathtaking moment to another everywhere we went.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The walk through The Narrows at Zion was glorious - you do need waterproof shoes/sandals for this as there are large and slippery rocks to negotiate, we didn't need a wetsuit but we did have our swimwear on just in case it got particularly deep. I also loved the Monument Valley jeep tour with the Navajo (stay for dinner and you'll drive back under the stars) and Bryce Canyon and its Hoodoos were 'awesome'.What did you think of your group leader?Alex was fantastic! He took very good care of us all and was extremely well organised and knowledgeable. Often the group split up to do different walks or activities and he always made sure that could be accommodated. He was endlessly patient, despite our constant stream of questions about everything from the colour of American cheese to gun legislation, and he did his upmost to ensure that everyone was having a great time.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Definitely take waterproof sandals/shoes so that you can do the Narrows walk. Take a good camera (plus charger) as there is so much you will want to take photos of. Unless you can read on a bus, don't bother taking a book as you won't have time to read during the day and you will be far too tired to read at the end of it!Is there anything else you would like to add?If you are at all nervous about signing up alone, don't be! You'd be surprised at how quickly the group bonds and you will start talking to people from the minute you meet up in reception, the size of the group (not to mention the bus!) means it's almost impossible not to be friendly!

  • Western Explorer reviewer 6
    Written on June 7, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    WOW is the best word to describe this trip. The landscape is vast and amazing.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The entire trip was inspirational! Yes there are some long drives (one our leader aptly named "Van Appreciation Day") but there is so much to see even that long day passed too quick. The walks were definitely the highlights of course. The Yosemite walk up the waterfall trail was superb, especially walking in the spray from the falls and the sun created rainbows through which we walked - pure magic! Angels Landing in Zion was very exciting and Pam & I will never forget it - standing on the narrow ridge with vertiginous drops on either side of us - wow again! Bryce Canyon was wondrous, the Hoodoos have to be seen to be believed. We walked the Fairyland Trail and the name is spot on. It was early morning and we were the only ones on the trail, silence, birds singing and amazing rock formations all around. We would love to go back and explore more! Of course the Grand Canyon is the most awesome site - it is immense! Walk in the early morning though - it was like an oven! Which did we prefer? Hmm they all have their qualities but we opt for Zion & Bryce, there is something about them that wants us to go back and explore them more.What did you think of your group leader?Brady our leader was great. He went out of his way to make sure we enjoyed the trip. He even added on some extra locations and little surprises which were not on the itinerary. He gets our vote as leader of the year! He also did all the driving too and was VERY safe, at no time did we feel uncomfortable in the van.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Pam & I have been on over 12 trips with Exodus now and the leader has always accompanied us on the walks. However due to some quirk of the parks regulations in the USA in this case he cannot accompany you! But the trails are so easy to follow that you cannot get lost and it was not a problem. Bearing that in mind though ensure you take some first aid with you as the leader would normally carry it for the group! Also follow all his instructions regarding water - you need LOTS of it on the walks. We didn't manage the walk through the narrows in Zion due to lack of time, but in the itinerary it does not mention the need to hire wet suits as the water can be waist deep in places!One last word - the van holds about 13 travellers and would be very cramped with a full complement. As there were only 7 in our group we could spread out and swap seats as we went along. This added to the pleasure and comfort of the trip.Is there anything else you would like to add?On reflection my wife and I think this is the best trip we have ever been on and probably ranks as the best holiday we have ever had. If you fancy it - DO IT. You will not be disappointed!

  • Western Explorer reviewer 7
    Written on June 7, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    WOW is the best word to describe this trip. The landscape is vast and amazing.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The entire trip was inspirational! Yes there are some long drives (one our leader aptly named "Van Appreciation Day") but there is so much to see even that long day passed too quick. The walks were definitely the highlights of course. The Yosemite walk up the waterfall trail was superb, especially walking in the spray from the falls and the sun created rainbows through which we walked - pure magic! Angels Landing in Zion was very exciting and Pam & I will never forget it - standing on the narrow ridge with vertiginous drops on either side of us - wow again! Bryce Canyon was wondrous, the Hoodoos have to be seen to be believed. We walked the Fairyland Trail and the name is spot on. It was early morning and we were the only ones on the trail, silence, birds singing and amazing rock formations all around. We would love to go back and explore more! Of course the Grand Canyon is the most awesome site - it is immense! Walk in the early morning though - it was like an oven! Which did we prefer? Hmm they all have their qualities but we opt for Zion & Bryce, there is something about them that wants us to go back and explore them more.What did you think of your group leader?Brady our leader was great. He went out of his way to make sure we enjoyed the trip. He even added on some extra locations and little surprises which were not on the itinerary. He gets our vote as leader of the year! He also did all the driving too and was VERY safe, at no time did we feel uncomfortable in the van.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Pam & I have been on over 12 trips with Exodus now and the leader has always accompanied us on the walks. However due to some quirk of the parks regulations in the USA in this case he cannot accompany you! But the trails are so easy to follow that you cannot get lost and it was not a problem. Bearing that in mind though ensure you take some first aid with you as the leader would normally carry it for the group! Also follow all his instructions regarding water - you need LOTS of it on the walks. We didn't manage the walk through the narrows in Zion due to lack of time, but in the itinerary it does not mention the need to hire wet suits as the water can be waist deep in places!One last word - the van holds about 13 travellers and would be very cramped with a full complement. As there were only 7 in our group we could spread out and swap seats as we went along. This added to the pleasure and comfort of the trip.Is there anything else you would like to add?On reflection my wife and I think this is the best trip we have ever been on and probably ranks as the best holiday we have ever had. If you fancy it - DO IT. You will not be disappointed!

  • Western Explorer reviewer 8
    Written on October 27, 2012
    5.0 - Excellent

    This holiday exceeded our expectations. It was, as advertised, busy, spectacular, very varied, and shared by a terrific group of people.  Our accommodation was great, and even the long travelling days were lightened by visits to interesting places on the way.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Bryce Canyon, a place I have wanted to see for many yéars, was breathtaking; the colours and shadows ever changing with the different quality of light.  Hugging a bristle cone pine was a long-held ambition and I achieved it!! Clambering up to Angel's Landing was the scariest thing I have ever done, so I'm not sure that it was inspirational, perhaps just foolhardy!What did you think of your group leader?Brendan was a superb and efficient leader, aware of our needs as a group, and sensitive to individual needs.  He went out of his way to take us to interesting places, such as star-gazing away from any source of light, and really wanted us to see the very best of his country. He was enthusiastic, generous with information about all the places we went to, a really good and careful driver, and on top of that  had a good sense of humour and fun.  His organisation of picnic lunches, hotel keys etc. was second to none, and he was universally appreciated and liked.  In short, he could not have been bettered! Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Be prepared for a very full and busy schedule, as stated in the trip notes.  There are some early starts. At this time of year,ie October, heed the advice about about taking and wearing layers, as we encountered frost and snow as well as warm conditions.  At times, the day-time temperature was hot, but when the sun went in, it got very cold, so carry extra layers while walking. Is there anything else you would like to add?I would just like to add that we had a superb holiday, enhanced by good company, a fantastic leader, and out of this world scenery.

  • Western Explorer reviewer 9
    Written on October 27, 2012
    5.0 - Excellent

    This holiday exceeded our expectations. It was, as advertised, busy, spectacular, very varied, and shared by a terrific group of people.  Our accommodation was great, and even the long travelling days were lightened by visits to interesting places on the way.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Bryce Canyon, a place I have wanted to see for many yéars, was breathtaking; the colours and shadows ever changing with the different quality of light.  Hugging a bristle cone pine was a long-held ambition and I achieved it!! Clambering up to Angel's Landing was the scariest thing I have ever done, so I'm not sure that it was inspirational, perhaps just foolhardy!What did you think of your group leader?Brendan was a superb and efficient leader, aware of our needs as a group, and sensitive to individual needs.  He went out of his way to take us to interesting places, such as star-gazing away from any source of light, and really wanted us to see the very best of his country. He was enthusiastic, generous with information about all the places we went to, a really good and careful driver, and on top of that  had a good sense of humour and fun.  His organisation of picnic lunches, hotel keys etc. was second to none, and he was universally appreciated and liked.  In short, he could not have been bettered! Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Be prepared for a very full and busy schedule, as stated in the trip notes.  There are some early starts. At this time of year,ie October, heed the advice about about taking and wearing layers, as we encountered frost and snow as well as warm conditions.  At times, the day-time temperature was hot, but when the sun went in, it got very cold, so carry extra layers while walking. Is there anything else you would like to add?I would just like to add that we had a superb holiday, enhanced by good company, a fantastic leader, and out of this world scenery.

  • Western Explorer reviewer 10
    Written on October 1, 2012
    5.0 - Excellent

    This was definitely the holiday of a lifetime!  Highlight after highlight as we covered 2,200 miles visiting some of America's most stunning national parks. Our young Californian guide Collin bubbled with enthusiasm and energy and looked after us brilliantly and it was a great group of fellow travellers, all keen to make the most of the opportunities on offer, including hiking, horse-riding, jeep tours and canyoneering.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?There were so many highlights, with sunrises and sunsets in all the parks, but a personal memory that will never fade was the sense of achievement and awe on hiking to the top of Angels' Landing in Zion - we saw condors flying below us!We saw lots of wildlife, including a bear, coyotes, elk, vultures and condors in the parks, plus dolphins in the bay below the Golden Gate Bridge. What did you think of your group leader?In his own words: awesome!  Collin was great fun and inspired us all with his love of the places we visited, and added to that he was a safe and thoughtful driver and guide.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Travel light: there were hairdryers in all the hotels and some had launderettes for washing clothes. American hotels provide coffeemakers but hot English tea is not so common - iced tea is widely available. Be prepared for lots of early starts and long days and take advantage of the optional excursions which are very good, but cost extra.  Breakfasts were often fruit and granola bars as we were up and away before most places opened, and there were a number of sandwich lunches, assembled ourselves from the frequently restocked cool boxes. Evening meals were taken in restaurants from pizza places to steakhouses.The journeys on the road in the minibus were well broken up with stops at places of interest and/or food every couple of hours. We swopped bus seats regularly and the front-seat passenger got to play their iPod selection of music, which gave us a great variety of soundtracks to our travels. Is there anything else you would like to add?Consider taking a few days either side of the trip if you can - we really enjoyed relaxing after the long flight out for a few great days in San Francisco, staying at Fisherman's Wharf, before the trip started; and then we returned to the city at the end to chill out and shop.  It's a beautiful oceanside city with lots to do - don't miss the wild sealions at Pier 39 or the wonderful foodie shops at the Ferry Building!

Itinerary

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  1. Introduction
  2. Expand all
  1. Day 1: Start San Francisco.
  2. Day 2: To Yosemite N.P.
  3. Day 3: Walking in Yosemite N.P.
  4. Day 4: Another day exploring Yosemite.
  5. Day 5: Drive across Tioga Pass and on to Death Valley N.P.
  6. Day 6: Travel to Zion N.P.
  7. Day 7: Walking options in Zion N.P. including Angel's Landing and The Narrows.
  8. Day 8: To Bryce N.P.; walk the Queen's Garden Trail.
  9. Day 9: To Lake Powell; visit to Antelope Canyon.
  10. Day 10: Jeep excursion with Navajo guide in Monument Valley.
  11. Day 11: To Grand Canyon N.P.
  12. Day 12: Another day exploring the Grand Canyon.
  13. Day 13: To Las Vegas via Seligman on Route 66; end.

What's included

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  • Accommodation

  • Guide

  • Transport

  • Insurance

  • Meals

  • Additional Services

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Questions & Answers

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  • What is the average age for this tour?

    On this tour, we generally seem to have an average age of 45yrs old.

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  • Martina25th April 2018
    The website is very complete and easy to navigate. All the information I could need was there and it made it easy for me to research and choose the tour that suited me the most. Moreover I got nice discounts. Will definitely keep using TourRadar

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About the countries

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Location
San Francisco is the starting point and Las Vegas is the endpoint.
Hold my space
TourRadar can request Exodus Travels to hold spaces for you for up to 48 hours without any credit card details.
Deposit
TourRadar only requires a deposit of 20% to confirm this Exodus Travels booking. The remaining balance is then payable 60 days prior to the departure date. For any tour departing before 19 September 2018 the full payment of $3,628 is necessary.
Cancellation policy
No additional cancellation fees! You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior to the departure date and you will not need to pay the full amount of $3628 for Western Explorer, but the deposit of 20% is non-refundable.
Credit Cards
The following cards are accepted for Exodus Travels tours: Visa - Master Card - American Express

Destinations

Covering a total distance of approx 1,668 km.
  • San Francisco (USA)
  • 258 km
  • Yosemite NP (USA)
  • 254 km
  • Death Valley NP (USA)
  • 371 km
  • Zion National Park (USA)
  • 80 km
  • Bryce Canyon National Park (USA)
  • 100 km
  • Lake Powell (USA)
  • 29 km
  • Horseshoe Bend (USA)
  • 90 km
  • Navajo National Monument (USA)
  • 140 km
  • Grand Canyon National Park (USA)
  • 121 km
  • Seligman (USA)
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