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Grand Canyon and Rocky Mountain Trails

On this superb hiking adventure we bring to life western USA's most famous parks, home to some of the most dramatic wind and water sculptured landscapes in the world. During a series of selected hikes including Mt Washburn (3120m), we absorb the geysers, giant waterfalls, prolific wildlife and valleys full of boiling mud pots in Yellowstone, trek in the Grand Canyon, amongst the turquoise pools and waterfalls of the spectacular Havasupai Canyon and hike in the dramatic Rocky Mountains. From Aspen and Steamboat Springs we undertake some world class day hikes in the high Rockies, such as Lost Man Loop with its 3900m pass. Linking the parks and hikes are stunning drives such as the 'Million Dollar Highway', considered to be the most scenic in North America. A visit to Mesa Verde UNESCO World Heritage Site and Monument Valley and our final night in Las Vegas rounds off this exhilarating adventure.

Inclusions

14 breakfasts, 13 picnic lunches and 3 dinners plus trail snacks on hikes
accommodation in 2-3 star tourist class hotels or rustic cabins
Private transport throughout
services of an experienced driver-guide
national park entry fees, trekking permits & sightseeing as specified
Hightlights
Take in the views of Grand Teton National Park
Hike and spot wildlife in Yellowstone National Park
Marvel at the punctuality of Old Faithful geyser
Learn why Maroon Bells is one of the most photographed places in Colorado
Explore UNESCO-designated Mesa Verde
Walk among the imposing, red rock formations of Monument Valley
Trek into the Grand Canyon and wonder at Havasupai's turquoise waters
Live it up in Las Vegas
Tour Provider World Expeditions
Number of Days
15
Price From
AUD $5,690
Start Location
Jackson (Wyoming), United States of America
End Location
United States of America
Age Range
Avg. 30+
Group Size
4 to 14
Tour Style
Standard
Tour Themes
Adventure, Cycling/Trekking, Walking
Physical Rating
Easy to Moderate
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
15 Jun 201929 Jun 2019AvailableAUD $5,690
31 Aug 201914 Sep 2019AvailableAUD $5,690
14 Sep 201928 Sep 2019AvailableAUD $5,690
ItineraryExpand
Day 1
Today is an arrival day to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Please make your own way to the hotel in the center of town. Quality Inn 49er (3 star) or similar.
Day 2
This morning we have an 8:00am introductory meeting (leave your packed bags in your room and meet your group after breakfast in the lobby). We enjoy the cowboy town of Jackson, which is nestled below the dramatic Grand Tetons, a steep and jagged mountain range on a slip-fault. Enjoy an invigorating walk along the base of Grand Teton along String and Leigh Lake with great views throughout. Next we continue to Yellowstone National Park. We stop to sightsee and to watch wildlife on our way to Tower Junction, a remote part of the park far away from the crowds. The area is known for its outstanding wildlife including a chance to spot wolves and bears. We drive through the park and onto Cooke City to our comfortable accommodation, which is a few miles outside of the park. Hiking: 12km/7miles, 4-5 hrs of hiking, +/-200m, Drive time: 265km/166 miles, approx 3-4hrs
Day 3
Yellowstone National Park is the world's oldest National Park. It protects the world's most impressive geothermal area, along with one of the densest collections of mega fauna outside of Africa which includes bison, wolf, elk, moose and, of course, bear. We hike to the top of Mount Washburn (3120m), where we often see wild goats, and then hike along the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone for amazing views along its rim. Hiking: 10-15 km/6-9miles, 5-6 hrs of hiking, +/-500m Drive time: 100km/40-60 miles, approx 2 hrs
Day 4
We explore the area around Old Faithful where we walk through geothermal pools of multiple colours and hope to see herds of bison. We then explore the areas around Grand Prismatic Spring, Norris Geysir Basin, and Mammoth Hot Springs. In the evening we may go look for wolves in Lamar Valley near our hotel. Hiking: 12-15 km/7-9miles, 5-6 hrs of hiking, +/-100m Drive time: approx. 350km/240 miles, 5 hrs
Day 5
In the rain shadow of the Rockies we drive south into the heart of Colorado's Rockies. We cross the vast expanse of the "Great American Desert" that challenged many pioneers heading west. We follow part of the old 'Oregon Trail' through the dry prairie, before we enter the green hills of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. After a long day on the road, nestle into your cozy motel in historic Steamboat a renowned ski town. There is time to soak in the local hot springs (small fee) if you'd like. Drive time: approx. 500 miles/800 kms, 8 hours
Day 6
In the morning you can hike along the Hot Springs Trail to the Strawberry Hot Springs (self-guided), where there is time to enjoy a soak in the amazing pools. After a picnic lunch in an idyllic forested environment we continue south towards Aspen for the next stage of our adventure. Our comfortable hotel is just outside of Aspen in Snowmass. There is a free shuttle to the town of Aspen and time for a first stroll through this famous resort town. Hiking: Hot Springs Trail 3miles/5km, approx. 2 hrs, +/-200m; Driving: 160 miles/250 kms, approx. 3 hrs
Day 7
Aspen must be one of the most picturesque towns in the USA. Started as a gold rush town, it is now home to some of the richest people in the country. The walking, though mostly unknown, is world class. We take a challenging loop walk on the Lost Man Loop over a steep pass (3900m), above treeline and through hanging lakes and deep forests. The beautiful Independence Lake adds to the dramatic scenery, while our local ranger regales us with plenty of interesting information about the flora and fauna. This must be one of Colorado's best hikes! Hiking: 15 km/9 miles, approx. 7 hrs of hiking, +450m/- 700m
Day 8
The Maroon Bells grace many postcards and rightfully so. They are beautiful peaks reflected in tranquil alpine lakes. We hike towards these proud peaks through dense aspen forests. There are several trail options depending on the aspirations of the group on the day with the Buckskin Pass (3800m) being a popular choice for great views of Maroon Bells and Pyramid Peak. The afternoon is free to enjoy Aspen. (Some options to choose are: visit the famous boutiques or take the gondola to the top of Aspen Peak for above-treeline views, at own expense). Hiking: approx. 10 km/6 miles, 4 hrs of hiking, +/- 200m
Day 9
Following spectacular mountain roads south through the Rockies to Mesa Verde. En route, we drive the famous 'Million Dollar Highway', considered by many to be one of the most scenic highways in North America. You have the opportunity to take the famous Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge railroad (approx. USD125 to be paid locally), voted among the world's 10 best railroad journeys. We overnight at the entrance to Mesa Verde. Drive time: 280 miles/450 kms (or less if taking the train), 5-6 hrs
Day 10
Today we explore Mesa Verde, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We take a ranger led walk through 1000-year-old ruins, or hike the rims and mesas to impressive view points. Then we drive to Monument Valley where we have a chance to book an optional jeep tour through the valley at sunset (starting at approximately US$75pp). Tonight, we settle into our cliff-side accommodation by the San Juan River. Drive time: approx. 200 miles/300km, 3-4 hrs
Day 11
We continue through the Painted Desert to the Grand Canyon. We reach the canyon in about 3 hours. Great views open up in all directions! We take a leisurely hike along the West Rim of the canyon (self-guided due to wilderness regulations) enjoying incredible views. There is time for an optional helicopter flight over the canyon (cost starting at about US$200pp for 30 minutes). Drive time: approx. 200 miles / 300km, 3 hrs
Day 12
We depart very early for our next adventure: a descent into the Grand Canyon to the famous turquoise waterfalls of Havasupai. We reach remote Hilltop in about three hours. We have one mule to carry our essentials to the lodge. Each person is allowed to bring a limited amount of gear, but we encourage you to carry your own personal belongings (approx 35-45L backpack). After about 5 hours, we reach the remote village of Supai, where 300 Indians still live today. The village can only be reached by foot, helicopter, or horse. We find our very simple lodge inside the canyon's village, where we spend two nights. (Due to the remoteness, electricity and hot water can not be guaranteed, so please bring a headlamp/flashlight). In the summer, occasionally violent flash floods can close the canyon, inwhich case we will find an alternative program for the trip. Hiking: approx. 8 miles/12.8km, 5-6 hrs,+/-700m Drive time: approx. 200 miles / 300km, 3 hrs
Day 13
We enjoy a full day at leisure to enjoy the scenery of Havasupai. We highly recommend a hike to the nearby Havasupai Waterfalls to enjoy the refreshing, turquoise waters. Alternatively, you may wish to hike to Mooney or Beaver Falls down valley. (Supai Village to Mooney Falls, Hiking: 5 miles/8 km, 4 hrs, +/-90m)
Day 14
We hike out of the canyon very early to avoid the mid day heat. We should reach the canyon rim before noon. On certain days of the week, you can catch a helicopter to the top of the canyon (optional at approx. $100). We then continue to Las Vegas to our hotel, where we enjoy a shower and the comforts of a hotel. This evening is free to indulge yourself in Las Vegas, and whether you love it or hate it, it is an astonishing city! Hiking: approx. 8 miles/12.8 km, 5-6 hrs, +/-70m Drive time: approx. 200 miles / 320km, 3-4 hrs
Day 15
The hotel offers a free airport shuttle for your onward flights. NOTE: Drive times provided above are approximate and may vary according to weather, traffic and changes in road conditions.