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Colorful Trails of the Southwest

10 Day US Tour of Arizona, Utah, Colorado

10 Days
1 Country

United States

13 Cities

Phoenix, Scottsdale, Sedona, Grand Canyon National Park, Monument Valley, Page, Moab, Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, Durango, Taos, Santa Fe

14 Meals

4 Dinners, 9 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch

Active

Faster paced with mix of 1 and 2-night stays in each destination. Requires walking to participate in top sites.

Average group size average 48-52
Tour brand Trafalgar

Trafalgar

If you like hassle free travel with everything handled for you – looking to meet great people, eat great food, enjoy great sightseeing, and have immersive experiences, Trafalgar is for you.  From the iconic not-to-be-missed to one-of-a-kind local experiences, including Be-my-Guest dining and stays with stories, you’ll connect deeper to your destination, and every tour has at least one MAKE TRAVEL MATTER immersive impact experience included advancing one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), offering you the chance to take a deep dive into culture and community. As the world’s leading tour company and trusted by more than 5 million guests, Trafalgar tours are simply the best value for your vacation dollar.

View all Trafalgar Tours

National Parks Tours

Explore the breathtaking beauty of the National Parks in the USA. See the wonders of Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, and more with local experts who provide insights into the park's history, geology, and wildlife. From magnific geysers to breathtaking vistas, these guided tours offer an unforgettable experience in the heart of America's natural treasures.

View all National Parks Tours

On this Southwest USA tour, each day is a cultural and natural adventure. You’ll stay inside Grand Canyon National Park, explore ancient Puebloan cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde National Park and natural arches near Moab, and ride a 4x4 through Monument Valley’s landscapes with a member of the Navajo Nation. 

Reviews
2
Average group size
average 48-52
Tour brand
Trafalgar
Travel style
National Parks
Globe

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Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Phoenix and Scottsdale

Arrive in sun-kissed Phoenix and transfer to Scottsdale at your leisure. This evening, meet your Travel Director and fellow travelers for a Welcome Dinner.

Papago Park in Phoenix, USA
Accommodation Sonesta Suites Scottsdale Gainey Ranch
Included Meals Dinner

Day 2

See the Red Rocks of Sedona

Your first stop today is in the artists' enclave of Sedona – surrounded by red-rock buttes, steep canyon walls and pine forests. You’ll travel through Oak Creek Canyon next, with its rocky red cliffs, then venture to the UNESCO-listed Grand Canyon National Park, where a Local Specialist will share the canyon’s many geological marvels. Tonight, you’ll have an opportunity to overnight at one of the lodges inside the park.

Desert Trail in Scottsdale, USA
Accommodation National Park Lodges Grand Canyon
Included Meals Breakfast
Iconic Experience Visit The Grand Canyon National Park in USA
Explore Grand Canyon National Park

One of the seven natural wonders of the world and the second most visited national park in the United States. Explore the Visitor Center and get fa...

See More
Included in Trip

Iconic Experience

Iconic Experience Enjoy a breathtaking tour of Sedona’s most magnificent sites, USA
Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Drive

Drive through Coconino National Forest on one of the most scenic drives in the U.S., offering a picture perfect view of the surrounding red-rock an...

See More
Included in Trip

Iconic Experience

Dive Into Culture Hiking Boots in Grand Canyon, USA
Grand Canyon National Park with a Geology Expert

The great outdoors is your classroom today when you meet geologist Canyon Tim for an enlightening talk about the Grand Canyon at the South Rim . Ha...

See More
Included in Trip

Dive Into Culture

Optional Experiences Walk through Red Rock Sedona, Arizona USA
Canyons and Cowboys

Your  Red  Rock  Western  Guide  takes  you  through  a  scenic wonderland  surrounded  by  seven  majestic  canyons  into  historic  Dry  Creek  B...

See More
Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Optional Experiences Bell Rock Of Arizona, Sedona, USA
Easy on the Asphalt (90 minutes)

A “Sedona snapshot” with great photo opportunities! Join us on this informative and relaxing, yet breathtaking tour of some of Sedona's most magnif...

See More
Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Day 3

Take In The Sights Of The Grand Canyon

Don’t miss an unforgettable experience: Rise early for an optional flightseeing tour over the Grand Canyon and then trace the scenic South Rim of the Grand Canyon along Desert View Drive. Enjoy a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience as we visit Desert View's Pueblo-style Watch tower and support the development of the Desert View Inter-tribal Heritage Center. Later, we’ll stop at Cameron Trading Post. Finally, we'll take a walk to the rim of Glen Canyon to Horseshoe Bend. Finish the day connecting to the soul of the land over a Be My Guest experience on the Navajo Nation, hosted by Dine tribe local Baya, her husband Paul and storyteller Eli Secody. 

Toroweap Point at Grand Canyon, USA
Accommodation Courtyard by Marriott Page at Lake Powell
Included Meals Breakfast, Dinner
MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® View of Grand Canyon, USA
Grand Canyon Inter-tribal Cultural Heritage Site, a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience

Feel good knowing you’re doing good visiting Desert Viewpoint Inter-tribal Cultural Heritage Site where members of 11 Indigenous tribes share their...

See More
Included in Trip

MAKE TRAVEL MATTER®

Iconic Experience
Visit Horseshoe Bend

Enjoy a walk to the rim of Glen Canyon where you will get the chance to visit Horseshoe Bend.

Included in Trip

Iconic Experience

Be My Guest
Shash Dine Eco Retreat

Enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience at Shash Dine Eco Retreat on the Navajo Nation. Meet your hosts Baya and Paul for an under-the-stars, traditional ...

See More
Included in Trip

Be My Guest

Optional Experiences Experience the grandeur of the Grand Canyon South Rim on a fascinating 45 minute aerial tour, USA
Grand Discovery Air Tour South Rim - 45 Min. Fixed-Wing Aircraft Flight

There’s no better way to experience the grandeur of the Grand Canyon South Rim than on a fascinating aerial tour offering unobstructed views. Sit b...

See More
Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Optional Experiences Enjoy a memorable 25-30 minute helicopter experience over the southern and northern rims of the Grand Canyon, USA
North Canyon Tour Helicopter Flight. Bell Aircraft - 25 minutes

The Grand Canyon opens up before you on a memorable helicopter experience over its southern and northern rims. After flying over the Kaibab Nationa...

See More
Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Optional Experiences Take a Helicopter ride to the top of Tower butte, Grand Canyon, USA
Grand Kingdom - 40 Min. EcoStar Helicopter Flight

Soar across the canyon rim on a helicopter flight, watching as the bottom seemingly drops out from under your feet. Gaze deep into the core of the ...

See More
Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Day 4

Take a Scenic Drive to Moab

Depart Page and drive through Navajo Tribal Lands to Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, the largest reservation in the United States with over 17 million acres of land between Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico. Dive Into Culture as you board a 4x4 vehicle and navigate the iconic red valley landscape guided by a member of the Navajo Nation and Local Specialist. Pause and settle in surrounded by buttes and mesas in this sacred land for an outdoor chicken and steak barbeque lunch prepared by a Navajo tribe member as they share stories about the Dineh (Navajo) people and their connection to Monument Valley. Then continue to Moab on a scenic drive from Monument Valley where your Travel Director will share intel on some of the sights you’ll see along the way.  Sit back and enjoy views of the San Juan River, Mexican Hat, Bluff, and the Abajo "Blue Mountain" and La Sal Mountains. Your final destination tonight is Moab, Utah - the gateway to Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and the Colorado River. Kick off your stay with dinner at a locally owned diner.

Mesa Arch at Canyonlands National Park, USA
Accommodation Hyatt Place Moab
Included Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Enjoy an outdoor cookout lunch prepared by a Navajo member in Monument Valley, Arizona, USA
Monument Valley Navajo Cookout

Travel to Monument Valley for a cookout lunch with members of the Navajo Nation. Take off-road vehicles to the cookout site where you’ll enjoy a de...

See More
Included in Trip

MAKE TRAVEL MATTER®

Iconic Experience Landscape, Monument Valley, USA​
Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park

Board a 4x4 vehicle and navigate the iconic red valley landscape guided by a member of the Navajo Nation and Local Specialist.

Included in Trip

Iconic Experience

Day 5

Admire the Landscape of Arches National Park

This morning, discover how the forces of wind and rain have shaped the enchanting landscape of Arches National Park in the stunning formations that they are, with countless perfect photo opportunities. Later, journey to Canyonlands National Park to connect with nature even more. We visit the Island in the Sky - a mesa resting 1,000 feet (305 meters) above the surrounding countryside, offering spectacular views over the dramatic sandstone formations.

Devil's Garden in Arches National Park, USA
Accommodation Hyatt Place Moab
Included Meals Breakfast
Iconic Experience Double Arch in Arches National Park, USA
Visit Arches National Park

Nature's creations spring to life at Arches National Park, home to the greatest concentration of natural arches in the world. Some 6,000 natural sa...

See More
Included in Trip

Iconic Experience

Iconic Experience Mesa Arch at Canyonlands National Park, USA
Visit Canyonlands National Park

There’s no better spot to witness the power of the Colorado River carving through rocky red landscapes than at Canyonlands National Park. Take in t...

See More
Included in Trip

Iconic Experience

Optional Experiences Mesa Arch in Canyonland National Park, USA
Sunset Canyonlands National Park Tour – Fixed Wing Sightseeing

Unlock the best of Canyonlands National Park at sunset. Make sure you have your camera ready -- the golden light in the minutes before the sun dips...

See More
Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Optional Experiences
Canyonlands by Night Dinner and Cruise

We hope you brought your appetite. Start with a cowboy-style dinner overlooking the Colorado River before boarding the Moab Queen II jet boat and h...

See More
Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Day 6

Discover the History of Mesa Verde

We arrive in the UNESCO-listed Mesa Verde National Park to delve into the history and culture of the Ancestral Puebloan people. Explore their beautifully preserved sandstone dwellings. This evening, in Durango, your Stay with Stories is historic Strater Hotel. You’ll have the evening at leisure to explore the historic town of Durango.

Cliff Palace in Mesa Verde National Park, USA
Strater Hotel View Hotel Details
Included Meals Breakfast

Strater Hotel

About the Hotel

Durango, United States

Style

  • Stays With Stories
Trafalgar Difference Stay at The Strater Hotel in Durango, USA
The Strater Hotel

Stay at The Strater Hotel, adorned with beautiful handcrafted woodwork, housing the largest collection of American Victorian walnut antiques. It's ...

See More
Included in Trip

Trafalgar Difference

Iconic Experience Visit Mesa Verde National Park in USA
Explore Mesa Verde National Park

There’s no better place to learn about the ancient cliff dwellings of the Ancestral Puebloan people than at Mesa Verde National Park. View the carv...

See More
Included in Trip

Iconic Experience

Optional Experiences Take guided food tour around Portland, Oregon, USA
11th Street Food Truck Station

When a couple of Durango locals wanted to create great food centered around a great environment, 11th Street Station was born in 2015. A permanent ...

See More
Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Day 7

Dive into Durango

Enjoy free time in Durango today, or you may take a scenic drive along the Million Dollar Highway from Ouray and Silverton. If you’re lucky, enjoy a truly unforgettable step back in time, on a ride aboard the coal-fired, steam-powered narrow-gauge train (booked independently). The train chugs along rails that were originally laid at the end of the 19th century, winding through a spectacular wilderness which would be inaccessible by car. If you're feeling more adventurous, opt for a white-water rafting trip on the Animas River.

Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad in Durango, USA
Strater Hotel View Hotel Details
Included Meals Breakfast

Strater Hotel

About the Hotel

Durango, United States

Style

  • Stays With Stories
Optional Experiences Enjoy drive along the Million Dollar Highway in Ouray, Silverton, USA
Ouray and Silverton Half-Day Tour

This morning, take a scenic drive on Colorado’s Million Dollars Highway (U.S. Route 550), from the beautiful town of Ouray known as the Switzerland...

See More
Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Optional Experiences Take a Mountain Waters Rafting trip through Durango, USA
Mountain Waters Rafting 2 Hours

Experience the adrenaline-pumping excitement of a rafting adventure on this professionally guided, 3-hour excursion. Ride along the clear, crisp wa...

See More
Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Day 8

Unlock the Legacy of the Southwest

The journey continues along the High Road – Santa Fe Scenic Byway, a picturesque route in Northern New Mexico that stretches approximately 56 miles from Santa Fe to Taos. This byway offers travelers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and artistic communities. Cross the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, also known as the "High Bridge," an iconic steel deck arch bridge. It spans the Rio Grande Gorge, offering breathtaking views and serving as a significant engineering landmark. Later, arrive at the hotel, ideally located two short blocks from Santa Fe’s Historic Plaza.

Woman with Woven Navajo Basket in Taos, USA
Accommodation Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza
Included Meals Breakfast

Day 9

Explore the Unique Culture of Santa Fe

Begin your day at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum with a Local Specialist. Later, enjoy a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience as you visit one of the greatest Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites in the Southwest. Be immersed in the fascinating adobe dwellings and take a walk through Taos Pueblo, a Native American community that has been continuously inhabited for the last 1,000 years. Meet your Taos tribal resident guide and explore the only living Native American community designated both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark. Cap off your trip with a Farewell Dinner at your hotel.

Buildings in Santa Fe, USA
Accommodation Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza
Included Meals Breakfast, Dinner
MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® See the iconic, multi-storied adobe buildings in Taos Pueblo, USA
Visit Taos Pueblo

Visit Taos Pueblo, a UNESCO World's Heritage Center as well as a National Historic Landmark and one the oldest continuously inhabited communities i...

See More
Included in Trip

MAKE TRAVEL MATTER®

Iconic Experience Old Pueblo in Taos, USA
Meet the Puebloan People of Taos Pueblo

Explore Taos Pueblo with Local Specialists who call Taos Pueblo home. Gain insight into the history of the pueblo and what it is like to live there today.

Included in Trip

Iconic Experience

Day 10

End Your Journey in Santa Fe

Our journey through desert landscapes at its end, you will bid farewell and make your own way to Santa Fe Airport.

Chili Peppers in Santa Fe, USA
Included Meals Breakfast

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Special Departure

Special Departure

Included Highlights

Top rated highlights

Learn more about the landmarks, history and culture that makes your destination special.

Iconic Experience
Explore Grand Canyon National Park

One of the seven natural wonders of the world and the second most visited national park in the United States. Explore the Visitor Center and get fa...

See More
Included in Trip
Iconic Experience
Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Drive

Drive through Coconino National Forest on one of the most scenic drives in the U.S., offering a picture perfect view of the surrounding red-rock an...

See More
Included in Trip
Dive Into Culture
Grand Canyon National Park with a Geology Expert

The great outdoors is your classroom today when you meet geologist Canyon Tim for an enlightening talk about the Grand Canyon at the South Rim . Ha...

See More
Included in Trip
MAKE TRAVEL MATTER®
Grand Canyon Inter-tribal Cultural Heritage Site, a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience

Feel good knowing you’re doing good visiting Desert Viewpoint Inter-tribal Cultural Heritage Site where members of 11 Indigenous tribes share their...

See More
Included in Trip
Iconic Experience
Visit Horseshoe Bend

Enjoy a walk to the rim of Glen Canyon where you will get the chance to visit Horseshoe Bend.

Included in Trip
Be My Guest
Shash Dine Eco Retreat

Enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience at Shash Dine Eco Retreat on the Navajo Nation. Meet your hosts Baya and Paul for an under-the-stars, traditional ...

See More
Included in Trip
MAKE TRAVEL MATTER®
Monument Valley Navajo Cookout

Travel to Monument Valley for a cookout lunch with members of the Navajo Nation. Take off-road vehicles to the cookout site where you’ll enjoy a de...

See More
Included in Trip
Iconic Experience
Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park

Board a 4x4 vehicle and navigate the iconic red valley landscape guided by a member of the Navajo Nation and Local Specialist.

Included in Trip
Iconic Experience
Visit Arches National Park

Nature's creations spring to life at Arches National Park, home to the greatest concentration of natural arches in the world. Some 6,000 natural sa...

See More
Included in Trip
Iconic Experience
Visit Canyonlands National Park

There’s no better spot to witness the power of the Colorado River carving through rocky red landscapes than at Canyonlands National Park. Take in t...

See More
Included in Trip
Trafalgar Difference
The Strater Hotel

Stay at The Strater Hotel, adorned with beautiful handcrafted woodwork, housing the largest collection of American Victorian walnut antiques. It's ...

See More
Included in Trip
Iconic Experience
Explore Mesa Verde National Park

There’s no better place to learn about the ancient cliff dwellings of the Ancestral Puebloan people than at Mesa Verde National Park. View the carv...

See More
Included in Trip
MAKE TRAVEL MATTER®
Visit Taos Pueblo

Visit Taos Pueblo, a UNESCO World's Heritage Center as well as a National Historic Landmark and one the oldest continuously inhabited communities i...

See More
Included in Trip
Iconic Experience
Meet the Puebloan People of Taos Pueblo

Explore Taos Pueblo with Local Specialists who call Taos Pueblo home. Gain insight into the history of the pueblo and what it is like to live there today.

Included in Trip

About this trip

An expert Travel Director and professional Driver
Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
All porterage and restaurant gratuities
All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
Breakfast daily and up to half of your evening meals
Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
Audio headsets for flexible sightseeing
All transport and transfers shown
Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
Optional Experiences and free time
On occasion, hotels of similar standard and location may be utilized.

What to expect

Explore the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Taos Pueblo
Visit Scottsdale, Mesa Verde National Park, Cameron Trading Post, Horseshoe Bend Lookout, Moab, Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Durango, Taos and Santa Fe
Scenic Drive through Sedona's Red Rock Country, Oak Creek Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park's Desert View Drive, Trail of the Ancients National Scenic Byway and the High Road Scenic Byway from Taos to Santa Fe
View Cliff Palace dwelling at Mesa Verde National Park, Desert Viewpoint

Hand-Picked Hotels

Stay at highly rated hotels in desirable locations offering superb service, superior rooms with comfy beds to rest in.

Strater Hotel

Optional Experiences

Sign up on tour for additional experiences that have been curated by your Travel Director from their own in-depth local knowledge.

Optional Experience
Canyons and Cowboys

Your  Red  Rock  Western  Guide  takes  you  through  a  scenic wonderland  surrounded  by  seven  majestic  canyons  into  historic  Dry  Creek  B...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
Optional Experience
Easy on the Asphalt (90 minutes)

A “Sedona snapshot” with great photo opportunities! Join us on this informative and relaxing, yet breathtaking tour of some of Sedona's most magnif...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
Optional Experience
Grand Discovery Air Tour South Rim - 45 Min. Fixed-Wing Aircraft Flight

There’s no better way to experience the grandeur of the Grand Canyon South Rim than on a fascinating aerial tour offering unobstructed views. Sit b...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
Optional Experience
North Canyon Tour Helicopter Flight. Bell Aircraft - 25 minutes

The Grand Canyon opens up before you on a memorable helicopter experience over its southern and northern rims. After flying over the Kaibab Nationa...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
Optional Experience
Grand Kingdom - 40 Min. EcoStar Helicopter Flight

Soar across the canyon rim on a helicopter flight, watching as the bottom seemingly drops out from under your feet. Gaze deep into the core of the ...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
Optional Experience
Sunset Canyonlands National Park Tour – Fixed Wing Sightseeing

Unlock the best of Canyonlands National Park at sunset. Make sure you have your camera ready -- the golden light in the minutes before the sun dips...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
Optional Experience
Canyonlands by Night Dinner and Cruise

We hope you brought your appetite. Start with a cowboy-style dinner overlooking the Colorado River before boarding the Moab Queen II jet boat and h...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
Optional Experience
11th Street Food Truck Station

When a couple of Durango locals wanted to create great food centered around a great environment, 11th Street Station was born in 2015. A permanent ...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
Optional Experience
Ouray and Silverton Half-Day Tour

This morning, take a scenic drive on Colorado’s Million Dollars Highway (U.S. Route 550), from the beautiful town of Ouray known as the Switzerland...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
Optional Experience
Mountain Waters Rafting 2 Hours

Experience the adrenaline-pumping excitement of a rafting adventure on this professionally guided, 3-hour excursion. Ride along the clear, crisp wa...

See More
Additional Cost Applies

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USA National Parks

The National Park system was launched when Congress established Yellowstone National Park in the Territories of Wyoming and Montana. Since this preceded statehood for both territories, they were placed under federal management within the Department of the Interior. Today, the National Park System administers 419 parks! Here are some quick facts about our top national parks in the USA. 

If you're planning to go on a tour of the USA's national parks, there are several important things to know to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are some key tips:

Pack Appropriately:

  • Depending on the time of year and location, weather conditions can vary greatly. Pack layers, waterproof gear, and appropriate footwear for hiking.
  • Don't forget essentials like water bottles, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a first aid kit.

Stay on Marked Trails:

  • Follow marked trails and paths to protect fragile ecosystems and your own safety.
  • Venturing off marked paths can harm plants, disturb wildlife, and increase the risk of accidents.

Wildlife Safety:

  • Keep a safe distance from wildlife. Use binoculars or a telephoto lens to observe animals from a distance.
  • Never feed wild animals, as it can alter their natural behaviors and potentially lead to dangerous encounters.

Leave No Trace:

  • Follow the principles of "Leave No Trace" by packing out all trash, minimizing your impact on the environment, and respecting the natural beauty of the parks.

Photography Etiquette:

  • Take photos responsibly and without disturbing the environment or other visitors.
  • Avoid climbing on delicate formations for the sake of a photo.

Cultural and Historic Sites:

  • Respect cultural and historical sites within the parks. Do not touch or disturb artifacts or structures.

The climate and weather in the USA's national parks can vary significantly due to their diverse geographical locations and elevations. It's important to note that the weather can be unpredictable in many national parks, so it's wise to be prepared for changing conditions. Always check the weather forecast before your trip, especially if you plan to participate in outdoor activities such as hiking or camping. Additionally, higher elevations tend to have cooler temperatures, and conditions can change rapidly, so be sure to pack accordingly and follow park guidelines for safety.

Here's a general overview of the climate and weather considerations for some of the top-visited national parks:

Yellowstone National Park:

  • Located in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.
  • Summers are short and cool, while winters are cold with heavy snowfall.
  • Weather can change rapidly, even within a single day.
  • Snow can be present even in summer at higher elevations.

Grand Canyon National Park:

  • Located in Arizona.
  • Summers are hot on the canyon floor, with cooler temperatures at higher elevations.
  • Winters can be mild at the bottom but cold at the rim. Snow is possible at the rim.

Yosemite National Park:

  • Located in California.
  • Mild temperatures in the valley during summer, with cooler temperatures at higher elevations.
  • Winters can bring snow to the valley floor and heavy snowfall at higher elevations.

Rocky Mountain National Park:

  • Located in Colorado.
  • Summers are pleasant, but temperatures can drop at night due to high elevation.
  • Winters are cold with heavy snowfall, especially at higher elevations.

Zion National Park:

  • Located in Utah.
  • Summers are hot, particularly in the narrow canyons.
  • Winters are mild in the lower elevations but can be snowy at higher elevations.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park:

  • Located in Tennessee and North Carolina.
  • Experiences a temperate climate with hot and humid summers and mild winters.
  • Rainfall is common, contributing to the lush vegetation.

Glacier National Park:

  • Located in Montana.
  • Short, cool summers with temperatures varying significantly depending on elevation.
  • Winters are cold with heavy snowfall, and many areas remain inaccessible due to snow.

Bryce Canyon National Park:

  • Located in Utah.
  • Summers are warm during the day and cool at night.
  • Winters are cold with significant snowfall, creating a unique snowy landscape.

Acadia National Park:

  • Located in Maine.
  • Summers are mild and pleasant, but fog can be expected along the coast.
  • Winters are cold, and snowfall is possible.

On-Tour Luggage & Carry-On Bag Size Limits

Luggage: Each guest traveling may bring one suitcase no larger than 30” x 18” x 10" and weighing no more than 50 lb

Carry-On Bag: *Restricted to one piece per person, not to exceed 12” x 11” x 6”

  • *Please note: A "carry-on bag" on a tour coach is not the same as a "carry-on" for a flight. Because our coaches have large windows to enjoy the view, there is minimal space to store large items securely overhead or under the seats. A "carry-on bag" may be a soft-sided daypack, purse, backpack, tote bag, or the like. Because we value our guests' safety, small rolling suitcases or bags with telescopic handles are not permitted. In order to guarantee a smooth trip, guests are not permitted to store an additional "carry-on" bag beneath the coach with the luggage. 

So your driver and any hotel porters can safely lift and transport your suitcase throughout your vacation, we strongly recommend that you test the weight of your baggage prior to travel. You should be able to lift and comfortably transport it for short distances. 

Baggage allowances vary from airline to airline, and you should check with your chosen carrier for details prior to travel.

Packing Tips for Your Tour

Packing for a trip to Alaska will vary depending on the duration of the trip, the time of year, and the activities planned. Still, it requires careful consideration due to the diverse climate and activities you might encounter. Here's a comprehensive list of packing tips to ensure you're well-prepared:

Clothing:

  • Comfortable walking shoes: Sturdy, comfortable hiking shoes or boots with good traction are essential for exploring park trails.
  • Layering is key: Bring a variety of lightweight, moisture-wicking base layers, insulating mid-layers, and waterproof outer layers to adapt to changing weather conditions.
  • A warm jacket: A waterproof and insulated jacket will be essential for colder days.
  • Rain gear: Bring a waterproof jacket, pants, and even a rain cover for your backpack/camera to stay dry during unexpected rain showers.
  • Fleece or sweaters: These provide extra warmth and can be worn over base layers.
  • Quick-dry pants: Opt for comfortable pants that dry quickly if they get wet.
  • Gloves and mittens: Pack lightweight gloves or heavy mittens for colder days.
  • Hats: A warm beanie and a sun hat with a wide brim for sun protection.
  • Polarized sunglasses for glare reduction and eye protection.

Sun Protection:

  • Sunscreen with high SPF. If you're visiting any coastal areas, bring "Reef-Safe" sunscreen formulated without harmful chemicals known to be damaging to coral reefs and marine life. Traditional sunscreens often contain ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxate, which have been found to contribute to coral bleaching and negatively impact marine ecosystems. Look for sunscreens with certifications such as "Reef Safe," "Coral Safe," or "Ocean-Friendly" to ensure they are environmentally friendly.

Medications and First Aid:

  • Any prescription medications you need. (See more below under Health & Wellness)
  • Basic first aid kit with adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, etc.

Toiletries:

  • Travel-sized toiletries, including shampoo, conditioner, soap, and toothpaste.
  • Travel towel (quick-drying and compact).
  • Hand sanitizer and wet wipes.
  • A washcloth and carry bag (often not available in hotels abroad).

Electronics:

  • A camera: You’re traveling to see extraordinary scenery and sites. So that you don't miss a single moment, bring a trustworthy camera. Check out our travel photography tips for capturing the best photos of your trips. If you feel comfortable, you can also try the camera on your phone. However, if you want to zoom in or capture moving objects, a camera might be your best bet.
  • Mobile phone.
  • Chargers for each electronic you bring.
  • Portable power bank for charging devices on the go.
  • Small travel hair dryer (make sure you have the correct converter and adapter).

Miscellaneous:

  • A travel-friendly daypack or bag is useful for carrying essentials like water, snacks, a camera, and any extra clothing layers during excursions.
  • Insect repellent can be essential, especially in parks with dense foliage or during warmer months.
  • Reusable water bottle. At GET, we’re all about caring for our planet, and with that in mind, we always recommend that you pack a reusable water bottle for your trip. Bringing your own reusable water bottle or asking for tap water at restaurants means you can make a difference by reducing your vacation plastic waste.
  • If you have a National Park Pass or any tour-related documents, keep them easily accessible.
  • Carry a copy of your ID, passport, or driver's license, especially if you're staying in lodges within the park.
  • A small travel alarm.
  • A travel iron if you like your clothes to be pressed.
  • A travel pillow.

Optional:

  • Light sleepwear.
  • A new, blank journal to document your trip. Don't know your travel journal style? Find out here!
  • Ziplock bags (storing snacks, toiletries, and keeping things organized).

Remember that the specific items you pack may vary based on the park you're visiting and the activities planned during your guided tour.

Since you are traveling within the USA, you won't need to worry about voltage and plug type differences. Just pack your electronic devices as you would for any domestic trip, and you'll be all set to enjoy your guided tour in the United States!

It's important to keep in mind that the focus of national park lodges is often on providing a comfortable and immersive experience that aligns with the natural surroundings. Depending on the lodge's location and the park's preservation priorities, the amenities offered might differ from what you'd find in a typical hotel. As well, the availability of amenities such as air conditioning and hair dryers in national park lodges can vary widely based on the specific lodge and park you're visiting. 

Here's a general idea of what to expect:

Electricity

  • Voltage and Plug Type: As an American traveler, you won't need a voltage converter or plug adapter for your electronic devices within the country.
  • Compatibility: Since you are traveling within the USA, your electronic devices, such as smartphones, laptops, and camera chargers, should be compatible with the standard voltage and plug type used in the country. You can use your regular chargers and power cords without any issues.
  • Hotels and Accommodations: Most hotels and accommodations in the USA provide electrical outlets compatible with American plugs. You won't need to worry about adaptors or converters within the country.
  • Airports and Public Places: Airports, train stations, and other public places in the USA will have outlets that match the American standard, so you can quickly charge your devices while on the go.
  • On the Go: We highly suggest bringing a portable power bank for charging devices on the go. You can charge it each night and pack it for your excursions during the day. There's nothing like missing that photo when your camera dies!

Air Conditioning:

  • Many national park lodges are located in areas with cooler temperatures or higher elevations, where air conditioning is not as commonly needed.
  • However, some lodges in warmer regions or lower elevations might offer air conditioning, especially if the climate calls for it.

Hair Dryers:

  • National park lodges often prioritize preserving the natural environment and minimizing their ecological footprint, so some lodges might not provide hair dryers in rooms.
  • However, larger lodges or those near more developed areas might offer hair dryers as part of their room amenities.
  • If having a hair dryer is essential, check with the lodge in advance or consider bringing a compact, travel-sized hair dryer.

Traveling by coach

Our modern air-conditioned coaches have been selected with your comfort in mind. Your Travel Director will familiarize you with all the onboard features, including a washroom fitted for your convenience and comfort. Regular stops are made to stretch your legs, take refreshments, fill up your water bottles, and use the facilities.

Airport transfers

Airport transfers are not included or available on tours that operate in the United States. Guests will be provided local transfer options after booking so they can make their travel arrangements from the airport to the hotel and vice versa. Learn more about Airport Transfers here.

So that you can personalize your tour experience, you will find a number of Optional Experiences designed to complement the itinerary. These are designed to offer a deeper insight into the culture and character of the areas to be visited and provide some wonderful highlights to your travels. Optional programs are designed to help you experience more of what interests you and to get the most from your vacation without replacing or overlapping anything included in an itinerary.

The majority of Optional Experiences will be offered to you by your Travel Director at the beginning of your trip. Some may be subject to change, depending on the time you are traveling or local circumstances, including weather and days of the week. Your Travel Director will provide further information.

Exact payment options will be advised locally by your Travel Director/Local Representative for each Optional Experience, but in many cases, cash, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are all accepted.

Traveling on a guided tour can be an exciting and enriching experience. However, it's essential to prioritize your health and safety while exploring new territories. Staying informed, prepared, and cautious will go a long way in ensuring a safe and enjoyable travel experience. Always stay in touch with your Travel Director and always follow their recommendations.

Here are some health advice and recommendations for travelers:

Visit the Doctor: Before embarking on your trip, schedule a visit with a medicine specialist or your healthcare provider. They can provide personalized health advice based on your medical history and current health status.

Travel Insurance: Ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, evacuations, and trip cancellations.

First Aid Kit: Carry a basic kit with essential items like band-aids, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, antidiarrheal medication, and any prescribed medications.  

Stay Hydrated: Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, avoid strenuous activities during the hottest part of the day, and rest in air-conditioned or shaded areas.

In order to ensure a healthy and enjoyable trip, we strongly suggest that you pack an adequate supply of your prescription medications and carry them in their original packaging, along with a copy of your prescription. Here’s what you need to know about traveling with medications.

Prior to traveling, please notify GET of any disability requiring special assistance or any specific dietary needs that you may have, and we will strive to accommodate these. 

When traveling with GET, baggage handling at hotels, service charges, and tips for hotel wait staff (for included meals) will all be taken care of by your Travel Director. There are, however, a few instances where individual tipping is welcome.

Local Specialists

It is customary to show appreciation for the insights, stories, and know-how shared with you by the Local Specialists, and we suggest a gratuity of $1.00-$2.00 USD per person/half day. You can always ask your Travel Director if there will be any need to bring cash along to tip someone that day. 

Your Coach Driver and Travel Director

The trip cost does not include gratuities for your Travel Director and Driver. At the end of your trip, you may express appreciation to your Travel Director and Driver for their excellent service and the personal attention you received. Gratuities are given at the discretion of each guest, and a suggested amount per person/day is listed in your travel documents.

Hotel services

It is customary to tip hotel staff for room service delivery if the charge has not already been added to the bill. Where ice machines are not available, and you receive ice from the bar, a small tip to the bartender is always appreciated.

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Reviews
Service
Vacation
Independent Reviews
Trusted Customer
Review date: Sunday, October 13, 2019
Service
This was my 3rd trip with GET - Trafalgar. Fourth is already booked. Love everything about GET. Cost, discounts, schedules, ease of reserving. You get it right.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you so much for your kind words and repeat business. We are so happy you enjoyed yourself. Here's to trip number 4!
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Vacation
Kept moving and doing. That is my kind of trip.
Trusted Customer
Review date: Monday, June 18, 2018
Service
MORE TIME AT NATURAL ATTRACTIONS AND LESS TIME AT GIFT SHOPS.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you for taking the time to write. We do try to keep a balance on our trips that appeal to the interests of all guests in the group. We do hope that you were able to come home with some happy memories of the Southwest.
Monday, June 18, 2018
Vacation
I WILL TRAVEL ON MY OWN IN USA FROM NOW ON, BUT WILL TRAVEL WITH YOUR TOURS OVERSEAS.
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