Grand Canyon & the American Southwest Guided Walking Holiday

Discover hidden wonders of this wild and rugged landscape

Code: GCWHW

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Activity types:

  • Culture
  • History
  • Outdoors

Level

  • 2
More information

Difficulty indicator

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.

More about difficulty levels

From £3,999.00 - 14 nights

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Holiday overview

Download Grand Canyon Guided Walking Trip Notes

One of the world's seven natural wonders, you'll be excused for having your breath taken away. Hike over lava rocks in Snow Creek Canyon, discover the rock formations at Zion National Park, and see the parade of dramatic rocks through the canyon lands of America's South West. 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 and Arches National Park. Then, in the evening, relax in handpicked lodges and hotels, stargazing beneath the unspoiled desert skies.

Holiday highlights

  • 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
  • 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

Price includes

  • 14 nights’ accommodation in en-suite rooms
  • Full board from dinner on arrival to breakfast on day of departure
  • 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
  • Tips

In pictures...

Accommodation

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. 

This accommodation is for the 2018 itinerary; details for the 2019 holidays will be updated shortly.

 Tropicana-Hotel in Las Vegas, USA

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, USA

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 in USA

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 in USA

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 in Cortez, USA

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 in Monument Valley

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 in USA

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.

Itinerary

Guided Walking & Sightseeing in the Grand Canyon

We've made some changes to this holiday for 2019; both itineraries are shown below so you can pick which most excites you for your trip of a lifetime!

View our 2018 itinerary | View our 2019 itinerary 

 

2018 Itinerary

Day 1 - arrive in Las Vegas

After transferring to our hotel, we have the opportunity to view the famous bright lights, or to rest and relax a little.

Day 2 - Zion National Park to Bryce Canyon

Zion National ParkToday we begin our tour of the Grand Circle with a morning drive via St. George and Mesquite to Zion National Park. A wide array of waterfalls, steep overhanging cliffs and rock formations are found within Zion’s spectacular canyons. We explore the park with walks to Lower and Upper Emerald Pools. Hanging gardens of wild flowers can often be found here in spring and summer. In the late afternoon we travel to our hotel.

Days 3- Bryce National Park

Rocky towers at Bryce CanyonA marvellous day’s outing to Bryce Canyon for walks from Sunrise Point to Queen’s Garden and along the Navajo Loop trail. The trail passes the pinnacles, spires and cathedral-like formations which make Bryce such a stunning area. There will also be a short walk from Rainbow Point on the 3 Bristlecone Loop. (Queen’s Garden and Navajo Loop: 3 miles / 4.5km. Ascent: 521ft / 156m. Rainbow Point on the Bristlecone Loop: 1 mile / 1.6km. Ascent: 100ft / 30m).

Day 4 - Capitol Reef National Park to Green River

Leaving Bryce, our drive takes us along scenic Highway 12 via Escalante Canyons to Capitol Reef National Park. After viewing some excellent displays at the visitor centre we enjoy walks along the Fremont River and Grand Wash trails. The coach then continues to Green River (Fremont River trail: 1.5 miles / 2.5km. Ascent 870ft / 265m. Grand Wash trail: 3.5 miles / 5.6km. Ascent 100ft / 30m).

Day 5 - Canyonlands National Park and Moab

Today we enter the ‘Island in the Sky’ area of Canyonlands National Park en route to Moab. Here we’ll enjoy short walks on the Mesa Arch Trail, for excellent views of Buck Canyon and Washerwoman Arch (1 mile / 1.6km) for lunch and to the Grand Viewpoint (2 miles / 3.2km) for superb panoramic views of the park.

Day 6 - Arches National Park

Incredible rock arches at Arches National ParkToday is spent walking in Arches National Park, an area that contains the world’s largest concentration of stone arches. Our evening meal is taken at Canyonlands by Night & Day, on the banks of the Colorado River, after which we take a cruise on the ‘Moab Queen’, which offers a light and sound show as she sails upstream to the Colorado River Canyon. (Park Avenue trail: 0.9 miles / 1.4km Windows Primitive trail: 1 mile / 1.7km. Ascent 100ft / 30m Devil’s Garden trail to Landscape Arch: 2 miles / 3.2km).

Day 7 - Grand Monument Valley

Our morning walk follows a trail into Grandstaff Canyon. The canyon floor is green thanks to a perennial stream that supports cottonwoods and Gambel’s Oaks. The walk culminates at Morning Glory Natural Bridge (243ft long), tucked into the end of the canyon above a spring and a small pool. (6 miles / 9.6km. Ascent: 330ft / 101m). We return to Moab for a free afternoon.

Day 8 - Canyonlands, the Needles to Cortez 

The Needles in Canyonlands National ParkA short journey takes us to the Needles area of Canyonlands. We walk the Slickrock foot trail to view pinnacles, arches, spires and Indian ruins before continuing to Cortez, our base for exploring Mesa Verde National Park. (Slickrock foot trail: 2.5 miles / 4km. Ascent: 50ft / 15m).

Day 9 - Mesa Verde National Park

Rock houses at Masa Verde National ParkMesa Verde National Park, which occupies part of a large plateau rising high above the Montezuma and Mancos Valleys, preserves a spectacular remnant of the Ancestral Puebloan thousand-year-old culture.

There are more than 4,000 archaeological ruins in the park and we will explore some of these by coach and on foot. (walks will be either Spruce Canyon trail: 2 miles / 3km. Ascent: 560ft / 170m, or Petroglyph Point Trail: 3 miles / 4.5km. Ascent: 300ft / 90m). 

Day 10 - Monument Valley

Stunning landscape of Monument VallleyFrom Cortez we travel into the dramatic Monument Valley, one of nature’s most artistic creations. Carved red sandstone buttes and slender sky-reaching monoliths bear names like “The Totem Pole”, “The Three Sisters” and “Roosters Rock”. We enjoy an afternoon 4-wheel drive tour into Monument Valley with short walks to areas of interest.

Days 11-13 - the Grand Canyon

Inspirationl scenery of the Grand CanyonWe continue southwest to the Grand Canyon. The grandeur and beauty of the Grand Canyon, carved out over millions of years by the Colorado River, is a spectacular sight not to be missed. In the afternoon there is the possibility to stop at the Desert View Watchtower. During your stay at the Grand Canyon there will be the opportunity to take a Canyon flight, weather conditions permitting. Approx cost $199 for 20-30 mins (payable locally).

We also enjoy a day of walks along the south and west rims with an optional visit to the Yavapai museum and visitor centre. In the evening there’s an optional visit to the Imax Theatre to watch an excellent film of the history of man’s discovery and settlement within the Grand Canyon.

On day 13 we descend into the canyon on the South Kaibab Trail. The trail, built in the mid1920’s, connects the South Rim with the Colorado River and offers sweeping views of the canyon, fossils and changing flora. (6 miles/9.5km. Ascent/ descent: 2,000ft/610m).

Day 14 - to Las Vegas

Skyscaper hotels at Las Vegas at nightThis final journey completes our circular tour with a drive via Kingman to Las Vegas. After dinner, there’s a chance to win your fortune at one of the many gaming tables in Las Vegas or time to see some of the sights of this colourful city.

Day 15 - Return flight to UK

After breakfast, we'll return to Las Vegas airport for our return flight to the UK.


 

2019 Itinerary

Explore some of the best known national parks - and some hidden gems! - in all their glory as we hike some famous routes and a some trails which take us off the beaten track to discover lesser-known areas of this amazing corner of America.

Day 1 - arrive in Las Vegas

Arrive at Las Vegas airport, and transfer to our downtown hotel. The rest of the day is then at leisure to relax ahead of our adventure - there may be time for you to try your luck in a casino or to explore Fremont Street.

Day 2 - Snow Creek Canyon

We'll head out to hike a loop trail at Snow Creek Canyon, passing by lava tubes and slick rocks with moqui marbles. Later, we'll discover something of the area's prehistory with a visit to a dinosaur track site.

Days 3-4 - Zion National Park

Zion National ParkOn our first day here, we've got a whole day to explore the national park. Our walk will take us out to Angel's Point - there's then an option, for those who fancy a bit of a challenge, to take on a short Via Ferrata section.

The next day, we'll get out early to walk on the Watchman Trail before driving to Bryce Canyon in time for sunset. This evening, don your Stetson and boots as we head out to enjoy an evening of entertainment with a Cowboy dinner show!

Day 5 - Bryce Canyon

Rocky towers at Bryce CanyonToday we'll spend a whole day walking in Bryce Canyon. We'll take in Queens Garden, the Peekaboo trail and follow in the footsteps of Native Americans on a Navajo trail. Our route will take us to a great picnic spot, with beautiful views over ancient bristle cone pines.

Day 6 - Capitol Reef National Park to Strike Valley Overlook

Dramatic landscapes of the Capitol Reef National ParkEnjoy a scenic drive via Highway 12 over petrified sand dunes then via the Burr Trail to Capitol Reef National Park, where we'll spend the day walking, heading out to Strike Valley overlook. We'll enjoy stunning views along the way. Later, we'll head to our waterside lodge at Lake Powell, an amazingly wild and beautiful area.

Day 7 - Little Wildhorse Canyon

Walkers in Little Wild Horse CanyonToday's walk takes in a loop trail through this well-known canyon, narrow and curvy rock walls. We'll then continue on to our hotel in Green River, which overlooks the river itself.

Day 8 - Arches National Park

Incredible rock arches at Arches National ParkWe have two walks to enjoy today: Double O Arch and Devils Garden; and Delicate Arch. We then head to Moab, where we'll be staying for two nights.

Day 9 - Needles, Canyonlands National Park

The Needles in Canyonlands National ParkToday we'll complete the Squaw and Lost Canyon loop with a full day in the remote region of Needles in Canyonlands National Park. This is sure to be an incredible walk!

Day 10 - Monument Valley and Canyon de Chelly

Stunning landscape of Monument VallleyWe drive to Monument Valley, where we'll enjoy a jeep tour around before the onward drive to Chinle, Canyon de Chelly where we'll be staying in the historic and Navajo-owned Thunderbird Lodge.

Day 11 - Canyon de Chelly

Explore the Canyon de Chelly and the sacred Navajo land on all-day guided walk with a local Navajo guide. We'll walk along the Bare Trail (with slick/exposed rock) to the  base of the canyon; from here, we'll walk along the canyon floor past Native American ruins and rock art, at times walking through creeks.

Days 12-13 - the Grand Canyon

Inspirationl scenery of the Grand CanyonOn our journey to the Grand Canyon, we'll stop to visit the National Historic Site of Hubbell Trading Post. Here you can see sheep, rugs, jewellery and more as you wander the 160 acre site. From here, we'll head to Hopi Mesas to visit the Walpi, an ancient Native American village. Arguably one of the most inspiring places in Arizona, we'll take in the amazing vistas of the sky and distant horizons as we look down over the valleys. 

We continue to the Grand Canyon, where we'll stay for the next two nights. Once there, we'll end the day on a high, watching as the sun sets over the vast and majestic expanse of this famous canyon.

The next day, enjoy a guided walk in the Grand Canyon National Park with our local guide. We'll hike along the famous South Kaibab Trail to Skeleton Point, enjoying the amazing views that surround us as we go.

Day 14 - to Las Vegas

Skyscaper hotels at Las Vegas at nightThis morning there's some free time before we continue our journey - you might like to arrange a helicopter ride (optional extra, payable locally) to experience the Grand Canyon from a completely different angle.

It's then on to the bright lights of Las Vegas, driving via the historic Route 66. Take time to explore the casinos and their many attractions or the vibrant downtown area.

Day 15 - Return flight to UK

After breakfast, we'll return to Las Vegas airport for our return flight to the UK.

General Information

Passport

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.

Visas

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

and you:

  • 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.

Health advice
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.

Climate
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.

Money
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.

Time

In the months of our travel to this part of the USA, Las Vegas is GMT - 7hrs, Cortez, Colorado is GMT - 6hrs

Tipping
Tips are included on this holiday.

Liability waivers
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.

Meals
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 

Leaders

Sue Alcock

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.

Reviews

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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.

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
28 Sep 2018 GCWHW - Grand Canyon & Monument Valley
(Travel included - Departs from: London Heathrow)

Flight - Outbound

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 28 Sep 2018, 4:40 p.m.
  • Arrive: 28 Sep 2018, 7:20 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Las Vegas Mccarren International

Flight - Return

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 12 Oct 2018, 9:35 p.m.
  • Arrive: 13 Oct 2018, 3:35 p.m.
  • Depart from: Las Vegas Mccarren International
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
14 £5,095.00 £5,094.00 Holiday Guaranteed to run - book now - few places left Book Now
28 Sep 2018 GCWHW - Grand Canyon & Monument Valley - Without Flights 14 £4,340.00 £4,339.00 Holiday Guaranteed to run - book now - few places left Book Now
6 Apr 2019 GCWHW - Grand Canyon - Without Flights 14 £4,199.00 £3,999.00 £200 off per person special Early Booking Offer Book Now
6 Apr 2019 GCWHW - Grand Canyon
(Travel included - Departs from: London Heathrow)

Flight - Outbound

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 6 Apr 2019, 3:50 p.m.
  • Arrive: 6 Apr 2019, 6:30 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Las Vegas Mccarren International

Flight - Return

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 20 Apr 2019, 10 p.m.
  • Arrive: 21 Apr 2019, 2:55 p.m.
  • Depart from: Las Vegas Mccarren International
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
14 £4,999.00 £4,799.00 £200 off per person special Early Booking Offer Book Now
4 May 2019 GCWHW - Grand Canyon - Without Flights 14 £4,199.00 £4,199.00 Book Now
4 May 2019 GCWHW - Grand Canyon
(Travel included - Departs from: London Heathrow)

Flight - Outbound

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 4 May 2019, 3:50 p.m.
  • Arrive: 4 May 2019, 6:30 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Las Vegas Mccarren International

Flight - Return

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 18 May 2019, 10 p.m.
  • Arrive: 19 May 2019, 2:55 p.m.
  • Depart from: Las Vegas Mccarren International
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
14 £4,999.00 £4,999.00 Book Now
12 Oct 2019 GCWHW - Grand Canyon
(Travel included - Departs from: London Heathrow)

Flight - Outbound

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 12 Oct 2019, 3:50 p.m.
  • Arrive: 12 Oct 2019, 6:30 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Las Vegas Mccarren International

Flight - Return

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 26 Oct 2019, 10 p.m.
  • Arrive: 27 Oct 2019, 2:55 p.m.
  • Depart from: Las Vegas Mccarren International
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
14 £4,999.00 £4,999.00 Book Now
12 Oct 2019 GCWHW - Grand Canyon - Without Flights 14 £4,199.00 £4,199.00 Book Now

Prices are per person

Price includes

  • 14 nights’ accommodation in en-suite rooms
  • Full board from dinner on arrival to breakfast on day of departure (2019)
  • 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
  • Tips

Other important information 

  • Single room: £999 (2019)
  • Non-member associate fee: £10 per person

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