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It's Got Yellowstone

17 days Guided Tours

Virgin Holidays' view

The fastest route isn’t always the best. So we take you from San Fran to LA the long way round, ticking off no less than seven National Parks. Take in the geysers of Yellowstone, the snowy peaks of Grand Teton, the sandstone curves of Arches, the ravines of Canyonlands, the ‘wrinkle on the earth’ of Capitol Reef and the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon. Plus, of course, the eye-defying Grand Canyon. You can also discover gold rush country, following old prospector trails to the capital of Sacramento and the railroad town Elko, and the pioneer’s route along Humboldt River. And you’ll get to see America’s contrasts, from the Mojave Desert to the lakes of Tahoe and Powell, and from Route 66’s ageless Seligman to forever evolving Las Vegas. Add to this a stop off at Craters of the Moon National Monument, with lunar landscapes so realistic the first men on the moon trained there.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive San Francisco

Fly to San Francisco 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.

Day 2: San Francisco

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.

Day 3: San Francisco

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.

Day 4: San Francisco – Sacramento – Lake Tahoe – Reno

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. Coach mileage: approximately 320 miles. 

Day 5: Reno – Elko – Twin Falls, Idaho

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. Coach mileage: approximately 520 miles. 

Day 6: Twin Falls – Craters of the Moon – Yellowstone 

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. Coach mileage: approximately 355 miles. 

Day 7: Yellowstone National Park

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).

Day 8: Yellowstone – Grand Tetons – Jackson – Salt Lake City

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. Coach mileage: approximately 495 miles.

Day 9: Salt Lake City – Moab

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. Coach mileage: approximately 265 miles. 

Day 10 : Arches and Canyonlands National Parks

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. Coach mileage: approximately 220 miles. 

Day 11: Moab – Capitol Reef – Bryce Canyon

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. Coach mileage: approximately 340 miles.

Day 12: Bryce Canyon – Lake Powell – Grand Canyon – Flagstaff 

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. Coach mileage: approximately 440 miles.

Day 13: Flagstaff – Seligman/Route 66 - Las Vegas

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. Coach mileage: approximately 250 miles.

Day 14: Las Vegas (optional Death Valley trip*)

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.

Day 15: Las Vegas – Mojave Desert – Los Angeles

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. Your tour ends upon arrival at your hotel at this evening. Accommodation stay – 1 night in Los Angeles area. Coach mileage: approximately 280 miles. 

Days 16-17: Depart Los Angeles

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.

Dates & prices

The table below shows our escorted tour departure dates.

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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.

Tour information

Please click here to download a pdf of the itinerary and additional tour notes

Pre/Post Tour information

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.

Time difference

GMT -8 hours

Hotel List

Final hotel list confirmed 10 days prior to travel.

Tour inclusions

  • Meet and greet at the airport
  • Pre-arranged (seat-in) airport transfers
  • Private air conditioned motorcoach transportation throughout
  • Accommodation and sightseeing as listed above
  • This tour is not exclusive to Virgin Holidays guests
  • Complimentary Virgin Holidays tour kit, exclusive to Virgin Holidays
  • Dinner show at Bryce Canyon

Tour exclusions

  • International flight in economy class, including all UK and overseas airport taxes and applicable fuel surcharges
  • Flight upgrades and airport transfers in the UK
  • Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, tips & gratuities, video camera fees at monuments
  • The required ESTA application
  • Anything not detailed on the itinerary

Dining inclusions

Room Only

Journey times

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.

Group size

Maximum approximately 56 passengers (full coach).

Visa requirements

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

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Latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office repatriation travel advice


Over the past few weeks, we have repatriated our customers from overseas who wanted to come home.  

Please visit this page to keep up to date with the Government’s travel advice on returning to the UK, and to register for email alerts.
 

Your holiday may be affected by travel restrictions or cancellations

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the  Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know as least 21 days before travel.

You’ll be away before you know it

Your next holiday is only a click away - our website has thousands of options ready to book. But if you need more help, just give us a call on 0344 472 9499.

Looking for inspiration? Explore our destinations and holiday types and save your faves to your very own Wishlist. Or dive right in to our 2021 holiday offers.

For extra piece of mind, new bookings made before 30 September 2020 for travel up 30 April 2021 also have the flexibility to amend free of charge. If you need to change don’t worry, you can move your holiday as far out as 31 December 2021 subject to availability.

How would you like to talk to us?

With many customers needing our help, we are prioritising those customers due to travel before 31 December 2020. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Stay tuned for the latest updates


Rest assured; we will notify you as soon as we know if your holiday has been affected.  

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know as least 21 days before travel.

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

Let’s talk


If you need to speak to us to change or cancel your booking you can call our team on 0344 472 9646.

For the latest information on Covid-19 you can check our FAQs here.

Payment flexibility


Don’t worry if you’ve missed a payment or just need a little more time to pay; we have options available to help you. If your holiday is going ahead as planned, you can continue to pay for your holiday in Manage my booking, even if travelling in less than 12 weeks. If you’re unsure, you can delay any additional payments by choosing a new time to travel by requesting a call back in Manage My booking for one of our team to look at options. If your holiday is more than 6 months away, you may wish to set up a Direct Debit to spread the cost. This can be arranged whilst rebooking or afterwards in Manage my booking.

We're flexible with your holiday plans


We understand that you may wish to change your holiday plans and we appreciate the need for flexibility. 

We'll be in touch by email letting you know how to register to change your holiday plans. You can also log into Manage my booking to find the details there. 

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

You're holiday is going ahead as planned


If we haven’t notified you of any changes, your holiday will be going ahead as planned but if you prefer to move your holiday to a later time we can help. You can call our team on 0344 472 9499 who can look at options for you.

Thank you for your patience and understanding


Payments are being prioritised based on when the request was made, working in order from March 2020 onwards. We will always try to process refunds at the earliest opportunity, for requests before August our maximum timeframe is 120 days. As we are steadily reducing the maximum processing time for each new request, for refund requests made in August, we expect the maximum processing time to be 80 days, from the date the refund is requested. For those requesting a refund in September, we expect it to be processed within a maximum of 60 days, and then reduce to 30 days for refunds requested in October, before returning to normal levels.

We'll be in touch soon


To finalise the amendment, one of our customer advisors will phone you. We need to work through amend requests in departure date order so we can prioritise those with the most imminent travel plans, so you may have a longer wait than usual until we’re able to ring you back. We will help everyone that wants to move their holiday.

I returned early from holiday and have further questions?


You can contact our team by emailing feedback.backhome@virginholidays.com to discuss options on unused portions of your holiday. If you need to contact our team about amending an existing holiday or requesting a refund please log in to manage my booking.

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