Begin your exploration of California's national parks in Las Vegas, where you'll meet your Travel Director and travel companions for a Welcome Reception this evening.
Immerse yourself in the solitude and desolation of Death Valley-UNESCO World Heritage Site and barren, yet unexpectedly lively land of extremes which we will have an opportunity to explore for most of today. Admire scenic views of the undulating rocky landscape at Zabriskie Point and learn about the valley's unique geological features, history and intriguing weather patterns. Descend below sea level to the Badwater Basin and witness the tough salt pan terrain at Devil's Golf Course, where "only the devil could play golf on such rough link". After lunch at Furnace Creek, we continue through the desert landscape of Death Valley ascending to Mammoth Lakes, our home for the next two nights.
We spend the day exploring an outdoor playground amidst the rolling peaks of the Sierra Nevada. California's premier mountain resort is as action-packed as it is beautiful and a ride up the Scenic Gondola to the top of Mammoth Mountain (when operating) will reward you with 360-degree views of magnificent peaks. We view the basalt columns of Devils Postpile (seasonal) before a chance to enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Touch the clouds through the Tioga Pass (seasonal) and enter the UNESCO-listed Yosemite National Park. Driving past Tenaya Lake and Tuolumne Meadows, we journey to Yosemite Valley where we'll embark on a special valley floor tour. View Yosemite Valley's El Capitan, Cathedral Rocks, and Bridal Veil Falls. Join a Park Ranger and Local Specialist to delve into the natural history, flora and fauna, and people who found sanctuary in these tranquil emerald-green surrounds over the centuries. Our Stay with a Story tonight exudes a cosy, ski-lodge atmosphere and is located just a stone's throw from Yosemite Falls.
Stretch your legs in Kings Canyon and gaze towards the sky as you greet the giant boughs of General Grant Tree Enjoy a birds-eye view of the Kings Canyon before you continue along the Majestic Mountain Loop. Towering redwood trunks frame your journey to Sequoia National Park, where we'll spend the night in our Stay with a Story surrounded by forest and soaring Sierra peaks. Spend the evening gazing upwards at the star-spangled sky as a naturalist and Local Specialist guides you through the constellations.
Tread in the footsteps of giants, walking beneath the soaring sequoia canopy to see first-hand the world's largest living tree, General Sherman. Learn about the Giant Forest and its history during a stop at the Giant Forest Museum, then enjoy a leisurely walk along the Big Trees Trail, connecting with the invigorating natural surrounds. Immerse yourself in the pioneer history of the Old West, joining a living-history reenactor and Local Specialist for a barbecue lunch and stories of early life in the mountains. Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the park on your terms, using the complimentary shuttle system (seasonal).
We wind our way through the spectacular Sierra Nevada and Los Padres National Forest before arriving in Los Angeles, the City of Angels, where you'll be joined by a Local Specialist for a guided walking tour to see Hollywood's most famous icons: the Hollywood Sign, Grauman's Chinese Theatre and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Our invigorating encounter with California's epic natural beauty at its end, we join your Travel Director and newfound friends for a Farewell Dinner.
Say goodbye to LA and take your transfer to Los Angeles International Airport or consider extending your stay.
"While a city girl at heart, the easiest hike I've ever done was to Lower Yosemite Falls. Within 15 minutes, you'll be in the shadow of the tallest waterfall in North America."Brittani Osborne, Product Coordinator