14 days 13 nights
Best of the West

Total Price: $1,636

 

Starts: San Francisco, California

Ends: San Francisco, California

Early arrival options in Las Vegas, NV or Los Angeles, CA.

$100 reserves your spot today!

Experience the most spectacular destinations in the Southwest and on the West Coast of America.  Explore the the Big Sur coastline, kick-back on sandy California beaches, be dazzled in the glittering lights of Los Angeles, Hollywood and Las Vegas.  You’ll hike deep into the Grand Canyon, journey into the red rock wonderland of Zion and Bryce National Parks, take an optional horseback ride through Monument Valley — and more. This budget-friendly expedition is packed full of incredible opportunity!

Day 1

Welcome to the Green Tortoise!

Meet at the bus loading zone at the intersection of Columbus and Montgomery Street in downtown San Francisco with your e-ticket. 

The bus departs at 8:00 AM.  

Plan to arrive 30 minutes before departure.

Enjoy the scenery along the Pacific Coast Highway.  We’ll hit the beach in Santa Cruz.  You can get an adrenaline rush on the Giant Dipper, one of the oldest roller coasters in the US, or check out the Surfing Museum.  In Monterey, stroll along John Steinbeck’s beloved Cannery Row, wander around Fisherman’s Wharf, or visit the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium.  Afterwards, we’ll head for our campsite among the Coastal Redwoods of Big Sur.  

Camp Night

Meals Included: Dinner

Optional Swim

Day 2

Hop into the Pacific Ocean at San Simeon State Park.  You may choose to tour the antiquated Hearst Castle.  Admire the local elephant seal colony residing on the coast and watch the endless horizon go by as the road winds along the ocean cliffside to Santa Monica.  Take a walk around the Santa Monica Pier and sink your toes into the manicured sands of the beachfront.  

Hostel Night

Meals Included: Breakfast / Lunch

Optional Swim / Showers Available

Day 3

Meet back up with the bus and head for Venice Beach.  LA’s “city of endless summer” is the best place to go for souvenir shopping along the boardwalk, ogling at Muscle Beach and watching street performances.  Next, we head toward the Hollywood sign for time at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Walk of Fame, and the Kodak Theatre, the site of the Academy Awards.  A short drive brings us to Palm Springs in the Coachella Valley.  Spend a balmy evening at a downtown bistro before we head for Joshua Tree National Park, where we’ll camp alongside giant boulders.

Camp Night

Showers Available

Day 4

Today, we explore the Mojave DesertJoshua Tree National Park is home to otherworldly, whimsical yucca trees that give the park its name.  You’ll have multiple opportunities to hike and explore the boulder-strewn landscape.  Venture into Hidden Valley and gaze into Skull Rock.  Keep your eyes peeled for our cousin, the massive desert tortoise!  This evening, we’ll make our way to Las Vegas for a jaunt along the famous Strip.    

Custom Sleeper Coach Drive Night

Meals Included: Breakfast / Lunch

Day 5

Onward to Bryce Canyon National Park! This lesser-visited park is home to a brightly layered landscape rivalling the Grand Canyon. Bryce is not actually a true canyon, but instead a series of amphitheaters that cut into the earth. You can hike to the wind-sculpted “hoodoos,” otherworldly looking spires of rock, that rise alongside the Rim Trail. The trail stretches five miles to Fairyland, Inspiration Point and the Queens Garden.  We camp at Kodachrome Basin State Park this evening and watch the sun set over broad spires jutting from the earth.

Camp Night

Meals Included: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Showers Available

Day 6

Today, explore beneath the towering sandstone cliffs of Zion National Park.  Stretch your legs with an exhilarating hike to Angel’s Landing or take a short walk to witness the water cascading directly from the sandstone arch of Weeping Rock.  Wade through the legendary Zion Narrows, where the north fork of the Virgin River has etched and carved its way through copper-colored sandstone creating a stunning slot canyon.  If you’d simply like to cool your heels, splash around in the crystal clear Virgin River.

Camp Night

Meals Included: Breakfast /  Lunch / Dinner

Optional Swim / Showers Available

Day 7

Hop on the free shuttle to explore even more of Zion National Park.  Challenge yourself on a hike to Observation Point.  Gaze into the breathtaking waters on the Emerald Pools Trail.  You may choose to take a relaxing inner tube ride down the Virgin River.  Whatever you decide, it’s guaranteed to be full of epic views.  

Custom Sleeper Coach Drive Night

Meals Included: Breakfast / Lunch 

Showers Available

Day 8

Arches National Park invites us to explore beneath alluring natural archways.  We trek along the Devil’s Garden trail, which winds past the long, gravity-defying curiosity that is Landscape Arch.  Along the trail, spy Double O Arch, Partition Arch and the chiseled sandstone fins that will eventually turn into arches.  Enjoy lunch out in Moab, a small town with an adventurous spirit.  Later, we wind our way along the mighty Colorado River, past Native American petroglyphs, leading us to a remote, picturesque camp for the evening.

Camp Night

Meals Included: Breakfast / Dinner

Day 9

Enjoy a fabulous breakfast by the Colorado River, discover the nearby Corona Arch during a short hike, and then cool off in a clear-blue lake ringed by fragrant pine trees.  We make our way south across the Colorado Plateau to Mexican Hat, Utah, and the largest Native American reservation in the United States, the Navajo Nation.  Enjoy breathtaking Goosenecks State Park.  The San Juan River twists 1,000 feet below our viewpoint in a geological phenomenon known as “an entrenched meander.”  We make our way to some authentic hogans and camp the way the natives have been for thousands of years!

Camp Night

Meals Included: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 10

For the ultimate Western experience, take an optional horseback ride or a jeep tour through the rugged landscape of  Monument Valley, escorted by a local Navajo guide.  Take home a keepsake of Navajo art or jewelry and learn of the elaborate oral traditions during our time spent with the local community.  Lake Powell is particularly enticing in the afternoon for a refreshing plunge.  Indulge in the opportunity to tour Antelope Canyon on our way to the quaint town of Page, Arizona for dinner out.  Get a little slice of Americana here — show off your vocal skills at a karaoke bar, score a strike at the bowling alley, or sample the popcorn in the movie house!

Custom Sleeper Coach Drive Night

Meals Included: Breakfast / Lunch

Optional Swim

Day 11

Awaken at the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon National Park.  Stroll along the Rim Trail and behold the canyon’s wonder.  Bright Angel and South Kaibab trails descend into the canyon, where every bend in the trail reveals a new, mind-blowing panorama. Ranger talks are offered throughout the day on topics as varied as the endangered California Condor, canyon geology, and historical culture of the canyon.  A free shuttle bus provides transportation to the modern, informative Visitors Center, trailheads, lodges, and vista points. Get a thrilling perspective of the canyon with an optional helicopter tour. Perch at Hermit’s Rest for a taste of wilderness solitude in one of the world’s Seven Wonders. 

Camp Night

Meals Included: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Showers Available / Access to laundry facilities

Day 12

We make our way through kitschy Seligman, Arizona, putting your finger on the pulse of the fabled Route 66. Finish your adventure in style in Las Vegas, Nevada, with a limousine tour of the Las Vegas Strip.  See the celebrated acrobats of Cirque du Soleil, or get pumped full of adrenaline when you ride the sky-high roller coasters on top of the Stratosphere Tower. At the Bellagio, cool off in the mist from the fountains and wander beneath the lobby ceiling made of glass-blown Chihuly sculptures. For a taste of old Vegas admire the spectacle of light at the famous Fremont Street Experience or try your luck playing roulette at the Golden Nugget

Custom Sleeper Coach Drive Night

Meals Included: Breakfast / Lunch

Showers Available

Day 13

A short ferry ride brings us to the Channel Islands. The archipelago is home to 150 species of plant that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Our day is spent indulging in the unique biology while hiking over rolling hills and meandering through farm houses restored from the Spanish colonization in the early 19th century.  There is an option to take a wildlife cruise or a kayak adventure for viewing sea lions, seals, birds and maybe even a dolphin or whale.  

Alternatively, you may decide to take the opportunity to spend the day beach combing in Ventura.  Rent a bike, go hiking or just sunbathe for a classic California experience.  Enjoy a dinner out with your adventure pals this evening in Santa Barbara.

Custom Sleeper Coach Drive Night

Meals Included: Breakfast / Lunch

Day 14

We wake up in San Francisco to bid farewell until our next big adventure.  

  • 70% of Meals
  • Travel By Custom Coach
  • Camping Fees
  • National & State Park Entrance Fees
  • Semi-Guided Exploration of the Parks & Cities
  • Sleeping Pad
What’s Not Included
    • Sleeping Bag  (Rent one from us!)
    • Tent  (You don’t need one.  You can sleep on the bus!)
    • Hostel or Hotel Stay During The Adventure
    • Flight-seeing Tours
    • Jeep Tour
    • Roller Coasters
    • Grand Canyon Overnight Backpacking*
    • Casino shows
    • Horseback Riding
    • Channel Island Ferry
    • Kayaking Tour

*Subject to availability

You’ll be traveling in a custom sleeper coach! 

 

A sleeping bag is required for this adventure. If you don’t have one, rent one from us upon booking!  Just $15 for the entire trip.

 

A tent is not required.  You are welcome to sleep on the bus or use one of our pads to sleep beneath the stars.  You may rent a tent from us for $50 (if you really want one).

 

Our coaches are equipped with a camp kitchen.  No need to bring your own cookware or utensils.  Bring a reusable lunch container to store your packed lunch and a reusable water bottle.

Departure:  7:40 AM – Green Tortoise Hostel – 494 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133

Arrival:  8:00 AM – San Francisco, CA, Columbus and Montgomery St. Bus Loading Zone


Early Arrival Options

(2 days prior to end date):  7:00 PM – Hostel Cat, 1236 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89104

(1 day prior to end date): 5:30 PM – Los Angeles – Ventura Amtrak Station – 39 East Harbor Blvd, Ventura, CA 93001 

Dates & Prices

Monday, June 8 – Sunday, June 21, 2020

Fare: $1279 + Food/Parks: $357
Total: $1,636

Monday, August 17 – Sunday, August 30, 2020

Fare: $1279 + Food/Parks: $357
Total: $1,636

Monday, September 14 – Sunday, September 27, 2020

Fare: $1279 + Food/Parks: $357
Total: $1,636

Experience the most spectacular destinations in the Southwest and on the West Coast of America.  Explore the the Big Sur coastline, kick-back on sandy California beaches, be dazzled in the glittering lights of Los Angeles, Hollywood and Las Vegas.  You’ll hike deep into the Grand Canyon, journey into the red rock wonderland of Zion and Bryce National Parks, take an optional horseback ride through Monument Valley — and more. This budget-friendly expedition is packed full of incredible opportunity!

Day By Day 

1.  Pacific Coast Highway – Camp Night

2.  San Simeon State Park / Santa Monica – Hostel Night

3.  Los Angeles / Palm Springs – Camp Night

4.  Joshua Tree National Park / Las Vegas – Drive Night

5.  Bryce Canyon National Park – Camp night

6.  Zion National Park – Camp Night

7.  Zion National Park – Drive Night

8. Arches National Park – Camp Night

9.  Monument Valley – Camp Night

10. Antelope Canyon – Drive Night

11. Grand Canyon National Park – Camp Night

12. Grand Canyon / Las Vegas – Drive Night

13. Channel Islands National Park – Drive Night

14. San Francisco, CA – Arrival