Set out on a nine-day quest through some of California’s greatest national parks. From the arid, sun-scorched landscapes of Death Valley to the astonishing giant redwoods of Sequoia National Park and Yosemite’s awe-inspiring panorama of granite domes, this adventure covers a lot of ground – and almost every type of terrain imaginable.
Day 1 Las Vegas
Arrive at any time.
Day 2 Las Vegas/Death Valley National Park (1B)
Leave the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas behind and travel to Death Valley National Park — the lowest, hottest, and driest place in North America. Marvel at the extremes of this landscape as you pass mountains, valleys, badlands, salt flats, dunes, and more.
Day 3 Death Valley National Park/Yosemite National Park (1B, 1D)
Before leaving the park, make a final stop at Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. Then sit back and enjoy the views on this full day drive via the mountain town of Bishop and€ross the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, along the famed Tioga Pass and through Yosemite Valley in the National Park.
Day 4 Yosemite National Park (1B)
With our CEO, explore stunning Yosemite National Park in the High Sierra. Explore on foot to view majestic waterfalls, crystal clear lakes, lush green meadows, and walk among pristine groves in Yosemite. Keep and eye out for glacial erratics, rock climbers and the diverse wildlife, including black bears, within the park.
Day 5 Yosemite National Park/Sequoia National Park (1B)
Depart early and walk through California’s Sequoia National Park alongside a naturalist. Learn about these impressive giant trees and opt to enjoy a picnic lunch on the trail. Drive to Big Tree Trail for an afternoon hike and learn about how National Geographic deeded tracts of giant trees in the heart of the park to the National Parks Service for safekeeping. This evening, we return to the park for an evening of stargazing with an expert from the Sequoia Parks Conservancy (SPC).
Day 6 Sequoia National Park/Monterey (1B, 1D)
Depart the Sierra Nevadas and travel from one of California’s mountain ranges to the other. Reaching the waters edge, stop to view elephant seals at Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery before driving north on the PCH, the famous Pacific Coast Highway.
Stop along the way for lunch in a little seaside town. Marvel at the dramatic vistas as the waves crash into where the cliffs meet the shore. Continue through Big Sur, past famous bridges and lighthouses, get out and stretch and even opt to feel the sand between your toes. Enjoy the day soaking in part of the most beautiful coastline this National Scenic Byway has to offer en route to Monterey.
Day 7 Monterey (1B)
Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium on a tour specially arranged for National Geographic Journeys travellers. Get an inside look at the workings of this world-class organization and find out how the Aquarium’s mission aligns with that of National Geographic. After, enjoy a free afternoon. Opt to go whale watching, try the famous clam chowder, walk or bike the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail or wander historic Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row.
Day 8 Monterey/San Francisco (1B)
Continue on a scenic coastal drive along the Pacific Coast Highway to San Francisco for our final evening. Catch a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge on the way into one of America’s most popular cities. Opt to take a cable car ride over the steep hills, explore the city by bicycle, or embark on a boat ride into the setting sun.
Day 9 San Francisco (1B)
Depart at any time.
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