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California Natural Highlights Tour

Marvel at the natural splendour of California as you delve deep into its incredible national parks on this 9-day journey
Las Vegas, United States
Duration
Duration
9 days, 8 nights
Max Group Size
Max Group Size
13
Minimum Age
Minimum Age
12 years
Fitness Level
Fitness Level
Moderate
Meals
Meals
Partially included
Start & End Location
Start & End Location
Las Vegas to San Francisco
What's Included

  • Get up to $90 cash back per person when you book with us
  • A 9-day adventure discovering the natural beauty of California's national parks
  • 8 nights quality hotel accommodation, with good locations & facilities
  • 8 breakfasts, 1 lunch, & 1 dinner
  • A mix of transport throughout the tour, including private vehicle,  hiking, & walking
  • All national park entry fees
  • Sequoia National Park Naturalist Hike
  • Sequoia Parks Conservancy Stargazing
  • Yosemite Naturalist Experience
  • Services of a locally-based CEO Chief Experience Officers to guide you through this exciting adventure
  • Departs from the meeting point at Golden Nugget Las Vegas – Gold Tower, 129 E Fremont St, Las Vegas (meeting location may change, please check your final documents for the confirmed location)

COVID restrictions may apply, please contact the tour operator to check their requirements.

What's excluded

  • Some meals – allow USD475-620 for meals not included
  • Optional activities
What to Expect

It is said that when you look deep into nature, then you will understand everything better. This is an opportunity like no other to soak your body and mind in the natural and uninterrupted beauty of California and its national parks on a 9-day quest. Indulge yourself in the diverse terrain of open spaces, mountains and forests, with abundant wildlife.

 

Itinerary

 

Marvel at the natural splendour of California as you delve deep into its incredible national parks. Gaze up at 100-foot-tall sand dunes and the towering trees of Sequoia National Park. Be surprised by the abundance of life that flourishes amid the depths of Death Valley, spot glacial erratics in Yosemite Valley, and watch for endangered Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep roaming the Great Western Divide. Finally, bookend the adventure amid the glitz of Las Vegas and the cultural vibrancy of San Francisco.

 

Day 1 – Las Vegas

 

There are no planned activities today until the evening welcome meeting, so check out The Strip or get tickets to a show for this evening.

 

Day 2 – Las Vegas to Death Valley National Park 

 

Leave the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas behind with a scenic drive through the desert to Death Valley National Park – the lowest, hottest, and driest place in North America. Experience the extremes of this landscape as you pass through the multi-hued badlands of Twenty Mule Team Canyon, take a break to listen to the eroded rock salt at the craggy Devils Golf Course, and descend into Badwater Basin, cradled 282 feet below sea level.

 

Cap off the day at Zabriskie Point as the sun sets over the distinctive Furnace Creek formation. This is the most photographed spot in the park. 

 

Day 3 – Death Valley National Park to Sequoia National Park

 

Begin the day exploring the otherworldly landscape of Death Valley. The sand dunes here soar up to 100 feet tall and have no marked trails due to the shifting sands. Keep a keen eye out for animal tracks along the dunes as well, which show just how full of life this seemingly desolate place can be.

 

Then discover Father Crowley Vista Point, which boasts one of Death Valley's best vantage points. This quick there-and-back trail brings you to a sweeping view of the valley floor, with views of Rainbow Canyon below. The local air force base often sends jets to practice flying through what is colloquially known as "Star Wars Canyon", so keep an ear out for potential flybys!

 

Continue around the Sierra Nevada mountains to California's Sequoia National Park.

 

Day 4 – Sequoia National Park

 

Enjoy a full day to explore the legendary trees of Sequoia National Park. Walk with a naturalist from Sequoia Parks Conservancy in the shadow of its formidable giants – including General Sherman, the planet's largest known living single-stem tree

 

Then in the afternoon, head to Big Tree Trail for an afternoon hike. In 1916, National Geographic deeded tracts of giant trees in the heart of the park to the National Parks Service for safekeeping. Keep your eyes on the lookout for the plaque commemorating the National Geographic Society's vital work in protecting this treasure of a national park.

 

This evening, return to the park for stargazing with a local expert. The night sky above Sequoia National Park offers one of California's most dazzling opportunities for stargazing due to minimal light pollution and a higher altitude. Peer upward alongside an astronomy expert from the park who'll discuss the constellations, planets, and stars that fill the twinkling sky. 

 

In cases where the night sky is cloudy, the star gazing activity will be replaced with a nighttime nature walk in the National Park. Embark on a one-mile journey to experience the dramatic changes of the soundscapes and nocturnal biodiversity of the area. This engaging walk will awaken awareness and provide an in-depth experience of Sequoia's nocturnal plants and animals.

 

Day 5 – Sequoia National Park to Kings Canyon National Park

 

Drive deep into the Sierra Nevada mountains and experience the natural splendour of Kings Canyon National Park. Marvel at the surrounding landscape as the ancient Redwood forests make way for the towering stone peaks and epic valleys as far as the eye can see. Get a closer look at the park with a variety of hikes and lookouts during this stop.

 

Day 6 – Kings Canyon National Park to Yosemite National Park

 

Head north through the Sierras to the south entrance of Yosemite National Park, a natural wonderland of picturesque valleys and ancient granite formations. Stop at the trailhead to Sentinel Dome and climb to the pinnacle for a picnic lunch and breathtaking 360-degree views of Half Dome, El Capitan, and Yosemite Falls. Alternatively, go on a hike in the old-growth forest of Mariposa Grove.

 

Continue to Glacier Point for another dramatic vista – and a closer view at iconic Half Dome. Later enjoy a viewing of Free Solo, a National Geographic film based on climber Alex Honnold and his quest to ascend El Capitan without ropes or a safety net.

 

Day 7 – Yosemite National Park

 

This morning, join a Yosemite Conservancy naturalist on a guided excursion around the park, gaining an insider's perspective on the region's human, natural, and geological history. Hike through the heart of Yosemite while hearing about its flora and fauna, and learn how this rugged backcountry became the United State's first protected state park in 1864—and, with the help of John Muir, a national park in 1890.

 

Then, enjoy the rest of the day on your own; choose your own adventure amid majestic waterfalls, crystal-clear lakes, lush meadows, and pristine groves. Keep an eye out for glacial erratics, rock climbers, and a diversity of wildlife. Opt to visit the Ansel Adams Studio or relax by the river with Half Dome as the backdrop.

 

Day 8 – Yosemite National Park to San Francisco

 

Pass through the Central Valley of California, stopping at a local farm stand to sample some of the region's best produce. Then, drive over the Bay Bridge on the way into one of America's most vibrant cities, San Francisco. Settle into the hotel before heading out on a CEO-led guided driving tour of the city.

 

Take in the epic view from atop Twin Peaks, walk across a portion of the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge, and stroll past the Painted Ladies – a "postcard row" of Victorian houses that stand as symbols of the city. This evening, consider joining an optional sunset sail in the San Francisco Bay, departing from Fisherman's Wharf to glide past notorious Alcatraz Island and underneath the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge.

 

Day 9 – San Francisco

 

You're welcome to depart at any time today. However, if you're not ready to leave, your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.

 

Where we Visit:

  • Las Vegas
  • Death Valley National Park
  • Sequoia National Park
  • Kings Canyon National Park
  • Yosemite National Park
  • San Francisco
Frequently Asked Questions

It is customary in North America to tip service providers such as waiters, bartenders and taxi drivers, at approximately 18-20%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory - component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are times during the trip where there is an opportunity to tip any local guides used. Recommendations for tipping local guides would range from $2-8 USD per activity depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.

 

Also at the end of each trip, if you felt your Chief Experience Officer did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however, as a guideline $5-10 USD per person, per day can be used as a guide. If your CEO(s) exceeded your expectations, feel free to tip more.

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Documents:

  • Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
  • Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
  • Passport (required) (With photocopies)
  • Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
  • Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)

Essentials:

  • Binoculars (optional)
  • Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
  • Cash, credit and debit cards
  • Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
  • Ear plugs
  • First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
  • Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
  • Fleece top/sweater
  • Footwear
  • Hat
  • Locks for bags
  • Long pants/jeans
  • Moneybelt
  • Outlet adapter
  • Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Shirts/t-shirts
  • Sleeping bag and liner
  • Sleepwear
  • Small travel towel
  • Sunglasses
  • Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
  • Watch and alarm clock
  • Waterproof backpack cover
  • Windproof rain jacket

Health & Safety:

  • Face masks (required)
  • Hand sanitizer (required)
  • Pen (Please bring your own pen for filling out documents.)
  • Rubber gloves

Smart Dress:

  • Smart outfit (For evenings out)

Warm Weather:

  • Sandals/flip-flops
  • Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
  • Sun hat/bandana
  • Swimwear
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Policies
Terms & Conditions:

  • Your nationality, passport expiry date, & passport number must be submitted for this tour
  • The minimum age is 12 years, & an adult over the age of 18 years must accompany each child under the age of 18 years
  • While it is The Operator's intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary, and on occasion, it may be necessary or desirable to make alterations
  • Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate in this trip. You will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details
  • All guests must complete & sign a waiver of liability
  • Guests should have a moderate level of fitness as the tour may include light hiking, biking, rafting, or kayaking in addition to walking

Cancellation Policy:

You may cancel your booking by notifying the Tour Operator. Cancellation fees, if any, will be determined with reference to the date on which notice of cancellation is received by the Tour Operator and are expressed as a percentage of the total price paid for the cancelled Tour, product or service (excluding any insurance products).

Cancellation of a Tour:

  • Cancellation received 60 days or more before departure of first product or service in relevant booking: Lifetime Deposit will be held by the Tour Operator in accordance with these Terms, the remainder of the payments made to the Tour Operator in respect of the cancelled product will be refunded
  • Cancellation received 30-59 days before departure of first product or service in relevant booking: Lifetime Deposit will be held by the Tour Operator in accordance with these Terms, an amount equal to 50% of the remainder of the payments made to the Tour Operator in respect of the cancelled Tour will be refunded
  • Cancellation less than 30 days before departure of first product or service in relevant booking: Lifetime Deposit will be held by the Tour Operator in accordance with these Terms, and no further refund will be payable

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