Grand Canyon & Monument Valley
A thrilling USA walking holiday exploring the incredible, wild landscapes of the South West
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Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
A parade of dramatic rocks marches through the Canyonlands of America's South West. Treat the entire area as one dramatic sculpture and immerse yourself in this playground of smoothed rock, twin rivers, narrow canyons, wildflower gardens, secret meadows and otherworldly colours. Spend your days enjoying the natural wonders of America's National Parks on foot; take in the magnificence of the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and Arches National Park. Then, in the evening, relax in handpicked lodges and hotels, stargazing beneath the unspoiled desert skies.
- Chance your luck on the gaming tables beneath the bright lights of Las Vegas
- Immerse yourself in the Grand Canyon as you descend the sheer sides of the gorge on the South Kaibab Trail
- Head off the beaten track on an adventurous 4-wheel drive road trip through Monument Valley
- Get a glimpse into the past in Mesa Verde via the remains of the thousand-year-old Puebloan culture
- Discover Zion National Park's waterfalls, steep overhanging cliffs and surreal rock formations
- Hike the Devil’s Garden Trail below the stunning stone spans of Arches National Park
3 to 4-star standard modern hotels offering comfortable, spacious rooms with excellent facilities. All hotels have their own pool, some also offer spa. These are American spas, which often are hot tubs adjacent to a swimming pool, not spa centres as we would know them in the UK. Here you can relax in the evening after your day's walks. The hotels are set amidst magnificent scenery, offering us ideal locations for access to the national parks.
Tropicana Hotel, Las Vegas - 1nt at start and end of tour
We begin with the Tropicana Hotel, situated on the Las Vegas strip. We spend our first and last evenings here, enjoying large comfortable rooms and the opportunity for a dip in the pool, or the use of the fitness suite. Please bear in mind that Las Vegas is a casino city, and most hotels have active casinos within the hotel.
Best Western Ruby's Inn - 2nts
Part of the Best Western chain, Ruby's Inn has a distinctive Southwestern feel. Situated at the entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park, this hotel offers the perfect base for exploring this spectacular area.
River Terrace Inn, Green River - 1nt
Located on the banks of the Green River, we enjoy a short stay in the large, comfortable rooms of the River Terrace Inn. We have time to relax in this scenic setting, walk the gardens or take a dip in the outdoor pool.
La Quinta, Moab - 3nts
A warm welcom awaits at La Qunita, friendly staff and modern rooms will ensure a pleasant 3 night stay in Moab. The hotel has a pool and hot tub, to help relax any weary limbs.
Best Western Turquoise Inn, Cortez -2nts
In Cortez we stay for 2 nights at the Best Western Turquoise Inn. Conveniently located just 10 miles from the entrance to Mesa Verde National Park, you can really make the most of your time spent here.
Gouldings Lodge, Monument Valley - 1nt
Get closer to nature during your stay at Gouldings Lodge, Monument Valley. Watch the sunlight dance and set from your room's balcony; the panorama here is phenomenal.
Canyon Plaza Resort, Grand Canyon - 3nts
Finally, the Grand Canyon! 3 nights are spent here at the Canyon Plaza Resort, situated only a mile south of the entrance to the Grand Canyon itself. The outdoor pool and jacuzzi are perfect for relaxing weary limbs after a long day walking.
On occasion we may need to change the accommodation listed above. If this happens, your replacement accommodation will be of the equivalent standard or higher. In the rare instance this is not possible, we will contact you in advance.
Grand Canyon & Monument Valley itinerary
Walks are 2-6 miles (3.25-6.5km), with some ascent or descent. In the Grand Canyon, the choice of walks includes the option of walking on the South Kaibab Trail to Skeleton Point. Some walks follow paved paths, others are on more rocky terrain.
Day 1: To Las Vegas
Fly to Las Vegas and transfer to our city center hotel for 1 night. Spend the evening exploring the bright lights of the city.
Days 2-3: Zion & Bryce Canyon National Parks
Journey to Zion National Park, a green oasis in the desert, for a leisurely walk following the Virgin River upstream into Zion Canyon and Emerald Pools. Visit the Red Rock Amphitheatre known as temple of Sinawava, before continuing to Bryce Canyon for 2 nights.
We spend the next day in the extraordinary landscapes of Bryce Canyon with walks on the Navajo Loop Trail and Rainbow Point making for a fascination exploration of the area. Enjoy fantastic views of the unique cathedral-like formations.
Day 4: Capitol Reef National Park
Morning drive along Highway 12 to Capitol Reef National Park for walks along the Fremont River and Grand Wash Trails. Follow dry riverbeds through narrow sandstone cliffs as you stroll beneath spectacular rock formations. Continue to Green River, former hangout of Butch Casidy and our stop for the night.
Days 5-7: Canyonlands & Arches National Parks
A morning visit takes us to the 'Island in the Sky' area of Canyonlands National Park. An easy walk leads us to the canyon rim for excellent views of Bucks Canyon and Washwoman Arch. We then continue our journey to Moab for 3 nights.
On day 6 we'll walk in Arches National Park, an area that contains the world’s largest concentration of stone arches. We walk the Devils Garden Trail to Landscape Arch. This impressive ribbon of rock is believed to be the longest of its kind on the planet. Spend the evening crusing the Colorado River on board the 'Moab Queen'.
The next morning we follow a popular trail into William Granstaff Canyon before returning to Moab for an afternoon at leisure.
Days 8-9 Canyonlands & Mesa Verde National Parks
A short journey takes us to the Needles area of Canyonlands. We walk the Slickrock foot trail to view pinnacles, arches, spires and Indian ruins. This afternoon we continue our journey to Cortez, our base for exploring Mesa Verde National Park.
Uncover some of the finest archaeological sites in the US as you explore the UNESCO Mesa Verde National Park. Occupying part of a large plateau rising high above the Montezuma and Mancos Valleys, Mesa Verde preserves a spectacular remnant of the Ancestral Puebloans' thousand-year-old culture. See their ancient cliff dwellings as you explore the area by foot.
Day 10: Monument Valley
Take the scenic highway 163 into the breathtaking Monument Valley, for the famous sights of the huge red sandstone monoliths. In the afternoon take a 4-wheeled drive tour deeper into the valley with short walks to areas of interest. Spend the night at the historic Gouldings Lodge.
Days 11-13: Grand Canyon
Journey to the extraordinary Grand Canyon National Park. The grandeur and beauty of the Grand Canyon, carved our over two billion years by the Colorado River, is truly awe inspiring. Visit the Desert View watchtower and enjoy 360 degree views of the Canyon, Colorado River and beyond. We spend three nights here staying at the Canyon Plaza Resort.
During your stay in the Grand Canyon there will be an option to take a scenic canyon flight, approx $199 for 30 mins, payable locally.
Day 12 includes walks along the south and west rims, with visits to the Yavapai Museum and visitor centre. Discover the history of the many formations that exist within the park and enjoy unparalleled views of the canyon. In the evening we’ll visit the IMAX theatre to experience the 4,000 year history of the great canyon through film.
For our final day in Grand Canyon National Park we descend into the canyon following the South Kaibab trail, for views of the Colorado River 1,360ft below.
Days 14-15: Las Vegas & return flight
Drive via Kingman to Las Vegas for a final night in this famous, exciting city before our return flight to the UK.
A full passport is required and must be valid for the duration of your stay.
Since the change in the US presidency in January 2017, exact visa and other entry requirements could change at very short notice.
As of June 2017 Immigration processes will now take longer due to enhanced security screening.
For those travelling to, or through, the USA, you will need a visa or ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation). No visa is required by citizens with full right of residence in visa waiver programme (VWP) countries. This includes UK, Australia, New Zealand – please see https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/ for details of other countries included in the VWP. It’s your responsibility to know and understand the entry rules before you travel.
Visa Waiver Programme (VWP)
The VWP allows most British Citizen passport holders to visit the US for up to 90 days. The types of journey allowed under the VWP include tourism, certain types of business visit and transit to another country. Other nationals should check with their nearest United States embassy or consulate for details of entry requirements.
You’ll generally qualify to enter the USA using the VWP if your British passport:
- describes your nationality as a ‘British Citizen
- Is an ePassport
- have received authorisation from the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA)
haven’t been arrested for certain crimes, even if a criminal conviction didn’t result
aren’t a dual national of Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria
haven’t travelled to Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen since March 2011
- can show that you have enough funds available on arrival to support yourself during your stay, even if you’re staying with family and friends
Certain exemptions apply on a case-by-case basis to those who have travelled to Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia or Yemen since March 2011. For more information about these exemptions, see the website of the US Embassy in London or contact the nearest US Embassy or Consulate.
You will instead need to apply for a visa from the nearest US Embassy or Consulate.
If you’re arriving by air or sea you should provide details online at least 72 hours before travel. This is known as an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation or ESTA. Getting an ESTA is a separate process to providing your airline with advance passenger information (details of your passport, country of residence, address of your first night’s accommodation in the US etc). For more information, and to apply online, visit the official ESTA website. Please note that this is the only official ESTA website. There are third-party companies that operate websites which look like the ESTA application site, but which charge a processing fee on top of the official fees.
Before booking, you should check with your doctor to see if any health precautions are needed. The following websites provide a wealth of information on travelling and health: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk www.traveldoctor.co.uk
Visitors must pay for all medical services. Adequate health insurance is therefore essential.
Vaccines: Tetanus vaccine is recommended.
We have chosen dates that are the best for walking in the southwestern states. The climate is generally sunny and dry. Temperatures can be high, generally between 20° - 30°C (70° - 85°F) during the day, with cooler evenings.
The local currency in the United States of America is the US Dollar. ATMs are widely available across the country. Traveller’s cheques are not advised.
In the months of our travel to this part of the USA, Las Vegas is GMT - 7hrs, Cortez, Colorado is GMT - 6hrs
Tips are included on this holiday.
Companies operating outdoor or adventure activities in the USA now commonly require their clients to sign a liability waiver form before participating in the activity. These forms have been introduced by American insurance companies as a means of offering protection against ‘frivolous’ or ‘opportunistic’ legal claims.
During the course of your holiday you may be asked to complete a liability form with your name, address and signature. This form indicates that by signing it you are waiving your rights to pursue legal action against our agents, in the event of personal injury or loss. However, as all of the activities included in your itinerary are part of a pre-arranged holiday, booked and paid for in the UK, this waiver form has no legal weight whatsoever. Your holiday contract is with HF Holidays and as stated in our Booking Conditions, is therefore governed by UK law.
We must ask you to sign the waiver forms presented to you by our agents, as not doing so could effectively invalidate other key aspects of the insurance cover they hold. But please be reassured that in the unlikely event that you had cause to make a claim for negligence arising from your holiday, your signing of these waiver forms would in no way undermine or alter your legal rights.
Meal arrangements for breakfasts and dinners in hotels and restaurants will vary. At some you may be able to select from the full menu, at others there may be a restricted choice, or there may be no choice (with the exception of course of previously advised special dietary requirements). These arrangements are dictated by the policy of the particular hotel or restaurant in dealing with groups – some feel that in order to provide efficient service, they need to concentrate on a limited menu. We endeavour where possible to ensure that a good choice is available, but find some venues more flexible than others.
Our choice of places to eat is reviewed for each tour based on the experiences of each group, with the aim of ensuring the optimum arrangements at each stop on the tour.
It is worth noting that portions may well be larger than you are used to – it is generally considered acceptable to share, for example, a pudding or cake. Meals are often not served as hot as in the UK.
Breakfasts at some hotels in America are now becoming large continental buffet affairs where you self-select items and eat them on disposable plates.
Evening meals are normally arranged for between 7pm and 8pm to save rushing the day’s activities and to give you time to refresh beforehand.
For flights information please see the Dates and Prices tab
Sue has enjoyed leading for HF Holidays for many years. She has walked and camped in several of the National and State Parks in Southwest USA, including Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Arches and Monument Valley. Sue has hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon from the South rim, and to the inner canyon from the North rim.
Having a scientific background, she has a keen interest in plants, wildlife, geology and ecology.
Sue is leading our 29 September 2018 departure.
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Dates & Prices
Here at HF Holidays, we pride ourselves in offering a unique holiday full of experiences that you can’t find with anyone else. Find out what's included in this holiday.
|28 Sep 2018||GCWHW - Grand Canyon & Monument Valley - Without Flights||14||£4,340.00||Book Now|
|28 Sep 2018||
GCWHW - Grand Canyon & Monument Valley
(Travel included - Departs from: London Heathrow)
Flight - Outbound
Flight - Return
Prices are per person
- 14 nights’ accommodation in en-suite rooms
- Half Board from breakfast on Day 2 to breakfast on day of departure, plus 1 picnic lunch
- A full programme of guided walks led by local guides and an HF Holidays' leader
- All sightseeing, and entrance fees
- Travel by air-conditioned coach/minivan
Other important information
- Single room: £1,000 (2018)
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person