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Home » Destinations » United States of America » Utah » Riviera Travel Iconic National Parks of America
Embark on a journey away from the city lights to the otherworldly landscapes of renowned national parks such as Yellowstone, Bryce Canyon, and Arches. Traverse barren deserts with twisting sandstone formations and rugged mountains shrouded in wild forests. Encounter the rich history of tribes on the Navajo and Hualapai Indian Reservations, supporting their communities and preserving traditions. Spanning six states—Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming—this adventure also includes iconic landmarks like Grand Canyon West, Hoover Dam, and the Las Vegas Strip.
Day 1: Departure
Travel to the airport for your flight to Las Vegas. You’ll arrive later the same day, with time after checking it to relax or head out to discover the city’s sights.
Day 2: Grand Canyon West & Hoover Dam
Leave Las Vegas to visit the Grand Canyon’s West Rim. Here you can choose to walk along the world-famous Skywalk (pre-book), to get even better views of the canyon. During your time here, you’ll also learn about the heritage and traditions of the Hualapai Tribe, whose lands Grand Canyon West is part of. Later, visit the iconic Hoover Dam, walking across the top of it to enjoy sweeping views.
Return to Las Vegas this evening and enjoy more free time.
Day 3: Valley of Fire State Park
Head to Bryce, driving through Nevada’s ancient Valley of Fire State Park. Originating millions of years ago in the Jurassic period, the park’s dramatic red rock formations, shaped by faulting and eroding sand dunes, rise above the Mojave Desert. The landscape, resembling a fiery glow in sunlight, features bright red Aztec sandstone creating captivating formations against a backdrop of grey and tan limestone. Along the route, you may spot ancient petrified trees and encounter petroglyphs—prehistoric rock carvings dating back over 2,000 years, depicting aspects of daily life, hunting, gathering, cultivation, as well as shamanic and spiritual symbols.
Day 4: Bryce Canyon National Park
Today, spend the full day exploring the landscape of Byrce Canyon National Park, famed for its hoodoos, pillars of red stone. The park doesn’t protect a canyon but a collection of giant natural amphitheatres. As you explore, wind your way through then canyons, passing natural bridges and forests of spruces and fir trees.
Day 5: Navajo Indian Reservations
Venture across state lines to explore the vast Navajo Indian Reservation. Your journey begins at Horseshoe Bend in Arizona, a photogenic landmark with historical significance in the Creek Indian War. This site holds cultural importance for the Navajo people, as it was once a vital area for tribes like the Anasazi, Paiute, and Diné (Navajo). Next, visit Antelope Canyon to marvel at its stunning sandstone formations and vibrant colours, surrounded by epic desert scenery. Finally, head towards the Arizona-Utah border to experience Monument Valley, where a 4×4 tour guided by a Navajo guide awaits. This lower basin, famous in American cinema, showcases dramatic red sandstone towers and mesas, providing insights into the land’s significance for the Navajo people.
Day 6: Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde Park, though less frequented, is a unique national park dedicated to Native American Archaeological remains. Safeguarding the cultural heritage of 26 Pueblos and tribes, it provides an untouched glimpse into the past, predating Europe’s ‘discovery’ of the new world by hundreds of years. Exploring the dwellings of the Anasazi, an Ancestral Puebloan people who lived between 600 AD and 1300 AD, reveals exceptionally well-preserved mud-brick cliff dwellings in the dry desert climate, perched under massive rock folds.
Day 7: Arches National Park
This morning, head north to visit Arches National Park. Spanning 73,234 acres, the park claims the world’s largest concentration of natural sandstone arches. Its Mars-like terrain, characterized by shifting hues of oranges and deep reds, promises an unforgettable experience. With around two thousand colossal sandstone arches, including notable ones like Delicate Arch and Eye of Whale Arch, as well as monolith clusters, balanced rocks, soaring spires, and city-sized sandstone pipe organs, the landscape is truly unique—a paradise for photographers.
Day 8: Canyonlands National Park
Today, explore Utah’s largest and wildest park, Canyonlands National Park, covering 527 square miles of rugged landscapes divided by the Green and Colorado rivers into four distinct areas: Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze, and Horseshoe Canyon. This colourful terrain features countless canyons, mesas, arches, and buttes, hosting diverse flora like eleven cactus species, twenty moss species, liverworts, grasses, and wildflowers. Despite its ancient, untouched appearance, humans have inhabited the area for over 10,000 years, playing roles in Native American history, the Old Spanish Trail, ranching, and mining during the 1950s nuclear arms race. Notably, Canyonlands served as a hideout for Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch during the late 1800s. Later, your journey continues to Salt Lake City for a one-night stay.Top of Form
Day 9: Drive to West Yellowstone
This morning, take an orientation your of Salt Lake City, learning about the city’s history. Visit Temple Square and Beehive House. Later, travel north through the state of Idaho and into Montana, where you’ll stay at a hotel in West Yellowstone for the next two nights.
Day 10: Yellowstone National Park
Today, we’ll explore Yellowstone National Park, the USA’s first national park established in 1872, spanning 2.2 million acres across Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. Bursting with wildlife, the park features volcanic activity with geysers, mud pots, fumaroles, and hot springs. Our journey into the wilderness includes a stop at the impressive Lower Falls, twice the height of Niagara Falls, cascading between forested cliffs into Yellowstone Grand Canyon. En route to Steamboat Geyser and Yellowstone Lake, you’ll encounter bubbling mud pools, steaming rivers, and diverse wildlife like bison, elk, and possibly grizzly bears from a safe distance.
Day 11: Grand Teton National Park
This morning, travel through Yellowstone into Wyoming, known as The Cowboy State, and onward to Grand Teton National Park. Spanning nearly 500 square miles in the Jackson Hole Valley, the park showcases pristine wilderness with the awe-inspiring Teton Range. The Cathedral Mountain peaks, overseeing Cascade Canyon and the Snake River, stand as the park’s crown jewels. The scenic drive through the park and mountain range offers opportunities to admire the views and capture your version of Ansel Adams’ famous photo, ‘The Tetons and the Snake River.’
Day 12: Great Salt Lake and Antelope Island State Parks
On the last day of the tour, head south to return to Salt Lake City to see the Great Salt Lake. After, cross the seven-mile causeway to arrive at Antelope Island, the largest on the Great Lake. Soak in the views of the lake and spot some of the local wildlife
Day 13: Return Flight
Transfer to the airport for your overnight flight home.
Day 14: Arrive home
Arrive back in the UK
*All transfer times listed here are approximate and dependent on traffic.
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