Yosemite & The Grand Canyon Guided Walking Holiday

From San Francisco to Las Vegas, explore some of the USA's finest national parks

Code: SFWHW

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Activity types:

  • Culture
  • High Mountains
  • Outdoors
  • Value

Level

  • 2
More information

Choosing the level of your walks

Our easy grading system shows whether a region offer gentle strolls or more challenging routes to help you choose the right holiday for you. 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 grade our walks 1 to 5 (where 1 is easy and 5 hard). Our challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.

More about difficulty levels

From £4,099.00 - 11 nights

Book

Prices are per person

Room 1:
Room 2:
Room 3:

Holiday overview

New at HF Holidays

Start among the Victorian roof lines of San Francisco and the fog rolling over the Golden Gate Bridge, whetting your appetite for the adventures to come. After a visit to the notorious prison island of Alcatraz, get ready to make your escape to Yosemite National Park. Here, waterfall-stripped walls contrast the emerald-green Yosemite Valley and your heart skips a beat at the haughty profile of Half Dome and as you gaze in wonderment at the subalpine wilderness. 

Price includes

  • 11 nights' en-suite accommodation
  • Full board from dinner on arrival to breakfast on departure
  • A full holiday programme with experienced local guides and a HF Holidays Leader
  • Sightseeing
  • Entrance fees
  • Travel by minibus or coach
  • Tips

In pictures...

Accommodation

Stay in city hotels, lodges and inns located in or near national parks. 

 

San Francisco - Holiday Inn Express, Fisherman's Wharf or Courtyard Marriott, Oakland

We spend two nights in the city: the June and July tours stay in the Fisherman's Wharf district, while the September tour will stay across the bay in Oakland. On this date, guests will enjoy a ferry boat ride across to Fisherman's Wharf so as not to miss out on the district's atmosphere.

 

Yosemite - Yosemite View Lodge

This riverside lodge gets you close to the wild beauty of the national park, located only a few minutes from the entrance to the park, and offers comfortable guest accommodation.

 

Mammoth Mountain - Mammoth Mountain Inn

Situated at the base of the mountain it takes its name from, the inn offers comfortable ensuite guest rooms. The hotel also features a pool and several hot tubs.

 

Death Valley - The Ranch at Death Valley

As its name suggests, this accommodation was originally established as a ranch. On site there is a warm spring-fed pool, a general store and a small museum. It's a short walk to the visitor centre in Furnace Creek. The site is currently undergoing some construction work, which is due to be completed by the end of 2018.

 

Grand Canyon - Grand Canyon Plaza Hotel

The Canyon Plaza Resort is 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.

 

Las Vegas - Golden Nugget

The Golden Nugget offers iconic Vegas ambience with a luxurious, modern feel. In the vibrant downtown area, the hotel features a lagoon-style pool and spa.

Itinerary

Guided Walking & Sightseeing

A mix of part and full-day walks as well as sightseeing. Walks are 2-7 miles (3-11km) with up to 2,000 feet (600m) of ascent. 

Day 1

Fly to San Fransisco and transfer to our hotel, where the rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 2 - San Fransisco

Cable tram in San FranciscoWe'll explore the city on foot today, including taking a cable car ride. This evening we'll take the boat across the bay to Alcatraz Island, home to the famous prison complex.

Days 3 - 5 - Yosemite National Park

THalf Dome in Yosemite Valleyoday we head to the internationally renowned Yosemite National Park, our base for three nights. We'll enjoy an afternoon walk amongst Sequoia trees, from Mariposa Grove to Wawona Vista. 

We'll explore the park further, with walks along the Panorama Trail and a hike to North Dome.

Day 6 - Lembert Dome

Lembert domeWe cross the Sierra to walk at Tuolumne Meadows and up to Lembert Dome. We'll also enjoy walking at South Tufa at Mono Lake before continuing our journey to Mammoth Mountain.

Day 7 - Mammoth Mountain

Mammoth mountainTake a scenic tram ride to the summit of Mammoth Mountain, which stands at 11,053 ft high. After we've had time to soak up the astounding panoramic views, we'll descend the mountain on foot. Back at the bottom, we'll then drive to Death Valley, where we'll have time for some sightseeing in the evening.

Day 8 - Death Valley and to the Grand Canyon.

Sand dunes in Death ValleyTo beat the heat of Death Valley National Park, we'll get up early to explore and take a short walk. From here, we then drive via the historic Route 66 to the Grand Canyon, our base for three nights.

Days 9 - 10 - Grand Canyon

Inspirationl scenery of the Grand CanyonWe've got two full days to explore this vast national park. Our guided walks on these days will take in the West Rim and the South Kaibab Trail. You're free to explore independently if you wish, too.

After our first full day in the park, we'll enjoy a great BBQ dinner, hosted by our US guide.

Day 11 - to Las Vegas

Skyscaper hotels at Las Vegas at nightWe've some free time this morning before we drive to Las Vegas, so a perfect opportunity for taking an optional helicopter tour (payable locally) or simply spend the morning at leisure. Once in Las Vegas, you're free to explore the bright lights at your own pace and we'll enjoy a final meal together.

Day 12

We return to Las Vegas airport after breakfast for our flight back to the UK.

Essential 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 absolutely essential.

Vaccines: Tetanus vaccine is recommended.

Money
The local currency in the United States of America is the US Dollar ($). ATMs are widely available across the country. Travellers cheques are not advised.

Tipping
Tips are included on this holiday for key services; any extras (including for any drinks) are at your own discretion.

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 for 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.

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

Trevor Irvin

Trevor is a retired Chartered Civil Engineer and he has been leading for HF Holidays since 2001, both in the UK, Europe and Worldwide.

He is widely travelled and his main interests apart from walking include history, geology, geography, architecture and natural history.

Trevor has travelled extensively to the USA and Canada. He likes to meet new people and is looking forward to sharing with them the beauty and history of this country to ensure that they have a really memorable holiday

Trevor is leading our June 2019 holiday.

Sandy Smith

Sandy’s professional career as a geologist takes her to lots of fascinating and beautiful countries. She has been leading for HF Holidays since 1995, including most of our USA holidays, as well as South Africa, Madagascar, Cape Verde, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Jordan itineraries. Sandy has written books on volcanoes and glaciers – a good connection with the mountain areas she enjoys for walking. She has trekked in the Himalayas and has done geological fieldwork in South America. Sandy is continually inspired by the amazing diversity of the natural world, and is a keen amateur naturalist and bird watcher.

Sandy lived in California for a few years, and visited Yosemite and the other the US National Parks in the SW USA often, finding the scenery there inspiring.

Sandy is leading our July 2019 holiday.

Geoff Goodwin

Geoff has been involved with HF Holidays for 22 years, leading more than 200 weeks, walking in Europe and the UK, as well as cross country skiing and navigational courses and ‘leaf-peeping’ trips to New England in the fall.

Over the years his interests have included water sports, cycling, tennis and orienteering.

He has  visited southern California regularly, where he has friends with a cabin in the Sierras, the ‘Range of Light’, and also New England and Canada. He first visited the National parks of Southern California over 40 years ago and the formidable geology of dramatic mountain landscapes, still preserved as wilderness, made an indelible impression. The rock faces, gorges, waterfalls, deserts, and giant trees and wildlife are truly unforgettable. Paraphrasing John Muir  – ‘they do not exist as views but saturate themselves into one’s body and live always’.

Geoff enjoys taking photos and has a keen interest in natural history and is looking forward to sharing his enthusiasm for this trip. He will be leading our September 2019 holiday.

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Book
13 Jul 2019 SFWHW - Yosemite & Grand Canyon - Without Flights 11 £4,099.00 Book Now
13 Jul 2019 SFWHW - Yosemite & Grand Canyon
(Travel included - Departs from: London Heathrow)

Flight - Outbound

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 13 Jul 2019, 2:15 p.m.
  • Arrive: 13 Jul 2019, 5:20 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: San Francisco International

Flight - Return

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 24 Jul 2019, 9:30 p.m.
  • Arrive: 25 Jul 2019, 3:30 p.m.
  • Depart from: Las Vegas Mccarren International
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
11 £4,899.00 Book Now
14 Sep 2019 SFWHW - Yosemite & Grand Canyon
(Travel included - Departs from: London Heathrow)

Flight - Outbound

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 14 Sep 2019, 2:15 p.m.
  • Arrive: 14 Sep 2019, 5:20 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: San Francisco International

Flight - Return

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 25 Sep 2019, 9:30 p.m.
  • Arrive: 26 Sep 2019, 3:30 p.m.
  • Depart from: Las Vegas Mccarren International
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
11 £4,899.00 Book Now

Price includes

  • 11 nights' en-suite accommodation
  • Full board from dinner on arrival to breakfast on departure
  • A full holiday programme with experienced local guides and a HF Holidays' leader
  • Sightseeing
  • Entrance fees
  • Travel by minibus or coach
  • Tips

Other important information

  • Single Room supplement: £999 for sole occupancy
  • £10 per person non-member fee applies

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