The fastest route from A to B isn’t always the best. That’s why when we take you from San Fran to LA, we go the long way round. A detour taking in seven National Parks.
It also takes in gold rush country: leaving San Francisco’s fog-draped hills, you’ll follow the old prospector trails to ‘gold rush capital’ Sacramento, Old West infused Virginia City, and the once rough and tumble railroad town Elko; and track the pioneer’s route along Humboldt River.
By going ‘off road’ you get to see America’s contrasts, from scorched Mojave Desert to lush Lakes Tahoe and Powell, and from Route 66’s ageless Seligman to eternally evolving Las Vegas. And you get to stop off in whimsically named spots like Snake River Outlook, a prairieland of wild buffalo and moose, and Craters of the Moon National Monument, with lunar landscapes so realistic the first men on the moon trained there.
But it’s seeing seven national parks that make a detour so worthwhile: the geyser-packed Yellowstone, the snow-dusted peaks of Grand Teton, the boundless sandstone curves of Arches, the Colorado-carved ravines of Canyonlands, the ‘wrinkle on the earth’ of Capitol Reef, the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon, and the eye-defying depth of Grand Canyon. And all before arriving in LA.
Fly from the UK to San Francisco. Arrive at San Francisco Airport and meet your ATI tour director at the airport who will assist you with pre-arranged seat-in transfer to your hotel. ATI welcome reception in the evening. Once you’re all checked-in and settled, the rest of the day is at leisure for you to relax. Accommodation stay – 3 nights in San Francisco area.
Spend a full day at leisure where you can enjoy the sites of San Francisco at your own pace. This evening you will be contacted by your ATI Tour Director.
Take a city tour which includes Union Square, the Civic Center and Fisherman’s Wharf. Standing on a hilltop, watching the fog swirl in through the Golden Gate, it is easy to understand why many consider San Francisco the most beautiful city in America. Enjoy the afternoon and evening at leisure, perhaps a cable car ride to Fisherman’s Wharf where one may enjoy a 'Taste of San Francisco': local seafood, famous sourdough breads or decadent Ghiradelli’s Chocolate. Or take a stroll by Sea Lions’ Marina to watch them frolic and play. Be sure to gaze across the bay to Alcatraz Island where 'America’s Most Wanted' such as Al Capone and 'Machine Gun' Kelly were incarcerated.
Depart for Sacramento, capital of the 'Golden State'. A stop will be made in Old Town, once a bustling center of the Gold Rush and terminus of the Pony Express. Continue to gorgeous Lake Tahoe, nestled in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In the afternoon you will visit Virginia City, a 19th century mining metropolis where the Old West comes to life. A short drive takes you to Reno and your hotel, where you may be tempted to try your luck in the casino. Accommodation stay – 1 night in Reno area.
Journey through the Black Rock Desert and across the plains of northern Nevada. Follow the Humboldt River along the route that was once used by early pioneers on the Oregon and California Trails. Visit Elko, the formerly rough and tumble town that once sat at the end of the tracks laid from the west by the Central Pacific Railroad. Cross the state line at Jackpot and enter Twin Falls, located within Idaho’s Magic Valley region. Accommodation stay – 1 night in Twin Falls area.
Leaving Twin Falls, you will cross the Snake River, known as 'The River of No Return'. Then visit Craters of the Moon National Monument. This eerie desert landscape so closely resembles lunar conditions that the training for the first men on the moon actually took place here. Later this afternoon you arrive at Yellowstone National Park, established in 1872 by Ulysses S. Grant as the nation’s first National Park. Accommodation stay – 2 nights in Yellowstone area.
Enjoy a comprehensive sightseeing tour of this immense geothermal wonderland. Highlights of your tour will include Yellowstone Lake, Old Faithful, Mammoth Hot Springs and Yellowstone Canyon’s majestic falls (seasonal).
This morning’s journey is through the rugged, snow-capped mountains which welcome you to Grand Teton National Park. Visit the Snake River Outlook and try your eye at capturing the stunning landscape made famous by Ansel Adam’s iconic shot. This prairie land is home to wild buffalo (Tatonka!), moose and elk. Continue to Jackson Hole, the sophisticated 'Crown Jewel' of the Rocky Mountains. Travel through southern Idaho to Salt Lake City in the Mormon State of Utah. See the State Capitol building and visit famed Temple Square and the Tabernacle before arriving at the hotel for the evening. May we suggest dinner at the Roof Restaurant for panoramic views of Temple Square? (optional). Accommodation stay – 1 night in Salt Lake City area.
Spend the morning exploring Salt Lake City. Then travel to Moab, where the landscape is distinguished by thousand-foot-deep canyons as well as snow-capped peaks. Accommodation stay – 2 nights in Moab area.
Journey today to two of America’s most spectacular National Parks. Your first stop, Arches National Park, home to over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, including the awe-inspiring Delicate Arch. Then it’s on to Canyonlands National Park, where you will explore the colour drenched landscape of sandstone eroded into hundreds of canyons, mesas and buttes by the forces of time and the Colorado River. This evening enjoy an optional Jet Boat Float trip on the mighty Colorado River.
Visit Capitol Reef National Park, a destination of extraordinary natural beauty, established in 1937 to protect a unique geological feature. Continue to spectacular Bryce Canyon, where a tour through a multi-colored world of sandstone spires and pinnacles, 'hoodoos', will dazzle the eye. This evening, weather permitting, be sure to gaze upon the spectacular night sky filled with sparkling stars and brilliant constellations and the aroma of pinewood campfires. Accommodation stay – 1 night in Bryce Canyon area.
Travel to stunning Lake Powell, where crystal blue water laps against towering red rock canyon walls. After crossing the Colorado, enter the Navajo Indian Reservation and drive through the Painted Desert via Cameron Trading Post. Arrive at the Grand Canyon, one of the 7 great natural wonders of the world. Stop at the rim to fully experience this mile-deep colorful canyon’s plunging gorges and rising spires formed by the mighty Colorado River. Overnight in Flagstaff. Accommodation stay – 1 night in Flagstaff area.
Descend the high Coconino Plateau into the Mojave Desert. Along the way, pass through Seligman, a town built along the famed Historic Route 66 that looks as if it were frozen in time 60 years ago. Onward to Las Vegas, the dazzling 'Entertainment Capital of the World'. Accommodation stay – 2 nights in Las Vegas.
Day at leisure! Enjoy all that Las Vegas offers. In addition to shopping, bustling casinos, and Broadway-caliber shows, you might simply stroll the famous Strip or take an optional trip to Death Valley*, one of the hottest, driest, and lowest places on the surface of the Earth.
Today starts with a stop at the iconic Las Vegas Welcome Sign where you may wish to capture your photo memory. Travel to Los Angeles via the Mojave Desert. Clusters of unique Joshua trees dot the mountainous landscape. Upon arrival in Los Angeles you will enjoy a tour including Hollywood, Sunset Strip and parts of Beverly Hills, before reaching your hotel. Tour ends upon arrival at hotel at approximately 17:00 hours. Accommodation stay – 1 night in Los Angeles area.
Free morning at leisure before you check out. Receive a complimentary shuttle transfer to Los Angeles Airport, before you depart for your overnight flight back to the UK. On day 17 arrive into the UK.
The table below shows our escorted tour departure dates.
Prices are described as Guide prices on this website and may be higher or lower due to availability and date of departure.
Prices are for departure dates listed, ex-UK and are per adult based on two adults travelling and sharing a standard room and with return economy flights where stated. Single room and flight prices are available at a supplement.
Please note some tours are subject to minimum numbers, please call our travel experts or visit your local retail store for full details as well as our latest prices.
If you would like to extend your trip or make the tour part of a longer holiday, we can easily add on a pre or post night stays for you. Our Sales Team will work with you to arrange the best connecting flights and book any additional hotel stays. Simply tell us what you’d like and we can arrange it.
GMT -8 hours
Final hotel list confirmed 10 days prior to travel.
Please note due to long distances covered on some of the tours, there will be some days when the majority of the day will be spent on the coach, so just sit back and enjoy the view.
Maximum approximately 56 passengers (full coach).
It's mandatory for everyone travelling to or transferring through the US, under the Visa Waiver Program, to obtain approval to travel no later than 72 hours prior to travel by completing an online process ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) scheme.
Failure to obtain an ESTA could result in the passenger being denied boarding by the airline.
The cost of an ESTA is currently approx $14 per person and can be obtained by visiting https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. Once completed & approved, the ESTA application is valid for two years and allows multiple visits without the need to reapply – simply update your details on the same website. Travelers can apply for an ESTA even if they have no firm plans to travel to the US.
If you need any further information on the ESTA or you have any other visa queries, then try the Visit USA Website atwww.visitusa.org.uk where further information on the scheme and up to date fee can also be found.
The ESTA is very similar to the automated visa that you purchase to enter Australia and is completely paperless