A two-week driving holiday through the spectacular national parks of canyon country
- From towering sandstones and plunging river gorges to delicate desert arches and spires, see the sights of some of America’s most striking national parks
- Appreciate the freedom of the open road as you drive along the rim of the Grand Canyon, weave past towering red monoliths and hit sweeping desert highways
- Enjoy the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas before relaxing in a luxury lodge, completely at odds with its stunning yet inhospitable surrounds
- 2 Nights Las Vegas
- 2 Nights Zion National Park
- 1 Night Bryce Canyon
- 1 Night Torrey
- 2 Nights Moab
- 1 Night Mesa Verde National Park
- 1 Night Monument Valley
- 1 Night Grand Canyon
- 1 Night Sedona
- 1 Night Scottsdale
Activity adventure | City | Desert | Food & wine | Natural world | Self-drive
The deserts of south-west USA are home to some of the most incredible landscapes on earth. A geological wonderland of twisted rocks, gravity-defying arches, towering spires and plunging canyons characterise its unique and unforgiving terrain. This tailor-made road trip visits some of the region's most spectacular national parks as you swap the bright lights of the Las Vegas Strip for Zion's cliff-framed meadows and hanging gardens, Bryce Canyon's cavernous amphitheatres and the buttes and mesas of Monument Valley – the famous backdrop to countless Hollywood Westerns. Finally, drop back south to the Grand Canyon's dizzying precipices and the sacred gorges of Sedona.
Day by day itinerary
London – Las Vegas
Depart London and arrive in Las Vegas, where you'll spend the first two nights of your holiday. Las Vegas is a truly remarkable place, rising from the desert like a neon oasis. The 24-hour party town is home to the world's largest casinos, flamboyant hotels, top-class restaurants and big-name shows. The contrast to the natural beauty, tranquillity and relative isolation that awaits on the remainder of the holiday couldn't be bigger, so make the most of it!
Stay: Bellagio, Las Vegas (Deluxe)
Zion National Park
Spend the next two days exploring Zion National Park – the massive, awe-inspiring sandstone monoliths jutting skyward are like nothing else. The easiest way to get around Zion National Park is on a shuttle bus, which stops at 8 major locations in the park.
Stay: Cable Mountain Lodge, Zion National Park (Superior)
Bryce Canyon National Park
Famous for its unique geology, Bryce Canyon is made up of a series of spectacular horseshoe-shaped amphitheatres carved out of the ground by centuries of weather erosion. The colourful limestone rock has been transformed into all manor of bizarre shapes, including slot canyons, windows, fins and spires.
To make exploring easy, the Park's shuttle bus picks up in town for a four-hour circuit, enabling you to see the entire park in one ride.
Stay: Bryce Canyon Lodge, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah (Standard)
Torrey/Capitol Reef National Park
Capitol Reef National Park is certainly one of the most unusual places you'll visit, even among the incredible geological anomalies and landscapes displayed on this journey so far.
The 100-mile long Waterpocket Fold that defines Capitol Reef is a step up in rock layers lifted 7,000 feet higher on the western side than the eastern. The most scenic portion of this "fold" is Capitol Reef, named due to their resemblance of Washington's capitol buildings. You'll spend the night in the town of Torrey.
Stay: Cougar Ridge Lodge, Utah (Superior)
It's difficult to comprehend the forces of nature that sculpted the great density of natural arches at Arches National Park. Over 2,000 structures, ranging in size from a three foot opening to Landscape Arch, which measures 306 feet from base to base, can be found here. Towering spires, fins and balanced rocks complement the arches, creating a remarkable assortment of landforms in a relatively compact area. You'll spend two nights in the town of Moab from where you can access both the Arches and Canyonland National Parks.
Just when you thought the shapes of the landscape couldn't get any more bizarre, you'll arrive at Canyonlands, another unique landscape of canyons, mesas and deep river gorges. The scenic drive at Island in the Sky provides the best access to the spectacular scenery, with overlooks perched 1,000 feet about the surrounding terrain. Needles, the only other accessible portion of the Park is located in the southeast corner.
Stay: Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa, Moab (Superior)
Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park, home of the ancient Anasazi does indeed have dramatic landforms, however, the major feature is the homes of the cliff dwellers built into the rock hillsides more than 1600 years ago.
Since Cliff Palace, Balcony House, Spruce Tree House and Long House can only be toured with a guide, its best to get tickets for these tours as soon as you arrive at the Park. The six-mile Mesa Top Loop Road driving tour takes you through 700 years of Mesa Verde history to several scenic viewpoints.
Stay: Far View Lodge, Mesa Verde National Park (Standard)
Monument Valley Tribal Park
Even though Monument Valley is not officially a national park, it has all of the special characteristics of dramatic natural architecture to rival any of the other places on this trip. Plan to take the 17-mile Valley Drive with eleven marked stops along the way, delivering the most beautiful vistas and wonderful photo opportunities of this incredible desert landscape.
Stay: Goulding's Lodge, Utah (Standard)
Today you'll begin to make your way to the epic Grand Canyon, one of America's true icons. At 277 miles long and 6,000 feet deep, the Grand Canyon, a World Heritage site, is a remarkable place. Take the desert view scenic drive, a 25-mile route along the canyon's south rim, for magnificent views of the layers of multi-coloured that make up the canyon's sheer rock walls. Please note, El Tovar will be closed between January and June 2018. During this time, accommodation will be at Maswik North or at Kachina Lodge. Perched right on the canyon rim, Kachina Lodge is a modern hotel with easy access to a number of nearby hiking trails, and some rooms come with partial canyon views.
Stay: El Tovar, Grand Canyon (Deluxe)
Many say they can feel the special spirits in Sedona, others say it's just the pristine beauty of red rock that makes this such as special place. Sedona is set so far down into the rock formations that as you drive about town, towering rocks loom overhead in the most dramatic fashion. Catch the Sedona Trolley for tours of the region and for a complete introduction to this beautiful corner of Arizona desert.
Stay: Amara Resort & Spa, Sedona, Arizona (Superior)
Catch your breath in the spa-strewn Scottsdale, just a short hop from Phoenix. Recharge your batteries and prepare for your journey home.
Stay: Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa (Superior)
Phoenix – London
Return your hire car to Phoenix airport and board your return flight to the UK.
Arrive in London
Arrive in London after your overnight flight and continue your onward journey home.
Feeling inspired? Check our list of the best roads trips in the USA.
Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.
from £3,580 pp. incl. flights
from £4,020 pp. incl. flights
- Complimentary UK airport lounge access
- Return International flights from London to Las Vegas and from Phoenix to London
- 14 days Economy car hire
- 13 nights accommodation in typically 4* (Superior) hotels on a room-only basis
- Personalised driving pack
Terms & Conditions
Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.
Meet our experts
Speak to someone who has been there on 020 7590 0636