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Monument Valley

Las Vegas and the Canyons

A brilliant 10 night Road Trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon

This 10 night itinerary is exactly the one I chose a few years ago, because it takes in some remarkable scenery and yet without the very long drives involved in other trips.

After Las Vegas, each stop until you reach the Grand Canyon is for one night, but if you are keen on walking then add a second night at Zion - we had long enough for a short walk and some nice pictures, but for a more serious hike then you need the extra day.

The longest drive is on the very last day from the Grand Canyon back to Las Vegas, and iif you didn't want to stay there again and had a late flight, you could come straight home.

Summary

2 nights in Las Vegas
1 night in Zion NP
1 night in Bryce Canyon NP
1 night in Page / Lake Powell
1 night in Monument Valley
2 nights in Grand Canyon
2 night in Las Vegas (flexible)

The hotels we list are recommended as being in great locations and having good feedback and reviews, and at certain times of year at least, they include a free breakfast. However, we often have to switch if they are full or if the bedding arrangements doesn't suit.

Please note that hotels in the USA are increasing adding compulsory 'Resort Fees' which are payable directly to the hotel upon check-in. This includes most hotels in Las Vegas, however we'll advise if any other hotels on your road trip also charge a resort fee.

If you'd like to extend your stay then you can stay longer in Las Vegas, or perhaps drive through Death Valley to Yosemite and finish in San Francisco, giving a duration of about 2.5 to 3 weeks in all.

Las Vegas
 
2 nights

Your first two nights are in Las Vegas which prides itself on being big and tacky. We stayed at the very fine Venetian Hotel in the middle of the strip, complete with its own gondola rides in the fake Venice canals. Normally, I'd run a mile from these sort of things, but being Las Vegas, I just had to go and see it.

 

Las Vegas, USA
Your Hotel:  

Brilliant location and every room is a junior suite. There's even a Grand Canal (as in Venice!) with gondola rides.

It was fun to walk down the strip and see all the different hotels - the Luxor's iconic pyramid, the fountains at the Bellagio, and the fake statue of liberty outside the New York New York. We also found the famous wedding chapel and wandered through some of the vast casinos.

Resort fees - Las Vegas hotels have always been tremendous value for money - you can get 5* hotels at the same price as 3* hotels in somewhere like San Francisco, but most unfortunately now have resort fees. These mandatory charges have crept in over the years and are now almost unavoidable. You pay in cash locally, on top of the room rate.

Zion National Park
 
1 night

The drive out of Las Vegas to Zion takes around 3 hours, and in fact it's hard to think of two more different places. While Las Vegas is big and brash, Zion rivals Yosemite for the USA's most spectacular unspoilt scenery. Walks include canyons and waterfalls, and views of massive rock formations.

We did the easy Emerald Pools trail, but there are much more challengine and longer hikes if you have an extra day.

Meal plan:  
Bed & Breakfast
Bryce Canyon
 
1 night

Bryce Canyon is about 2 hours drive from Zion, and is made up of thousands of sandstone spires called hoodoos rising up from the ground. We found surprisingly few tourists walked down into the canyon and along the trails, so it's quite easy to get some amazing photographs of this dramatic landscape. The easiest is a one mile loop, but for the more adventourous the trails can be as long as 11 miles.

The other thing we noticed was the snow! It is much cooler here than at Zion with an elevation of over 8,000 feet.

And finally, the star gazing here is world class so be sure to take a look at the night sky if it's a clear night.

Bryce Canyon
Meal plan:  
Bed & Breakfast
Page
 
1 night

It's about 3 hours drive to the next stop, Page at Lake Powell. Apart from the lake itself, there are 2 interesting things to do and see around. First, the viewpoint of the famous horseshoe bend of the Colorado River - the best time to visit is as sunset!

Second, Antelope Canyon is a very narrow canyon although you'll need to join a guided tour, and the best time to visit is around midday.

 

Meal plan:  
Bed & Breakfast
Monument Valley
 
1 night

Another 2-3 hours further on is the extraordinary Monument Valley, the location for many films and westerns.

There is a 17 mile loop that you can drive yourself, or take a guided tour, both taking a few hours with plenty of photo stops. Make sure you pull over at 'Forest Gump Point' for the classic picture of a long straight road leading to Monument Valley.

Monument Valley Road Trip
Grand Canyon
 
2 nights

Next, drive to Grand Canyon South Rim, a trip of around 3 hours. We found the canyon at its mmost beautiful in the warm light of early monrning and late afternoon.

There are a number of ways to experience the canyon, including a walking trail along the rim with several viewpoints. Take a guided hike, enjoy a birds eye view with a helicopter tour, hire a bike, or visit the IMAX show.

Grand Canyon, USA
Your Hotel:  

This is the premium hotel at the Grand Canyon and located right on the south rim.

Las Vegas
 
2 nights

And finally it's back to Las Vegas, the longest trip of the tour at around 5-6 hours, but make sure you stop off at the Hoover Dam en-route. Some of this journey takes you along route 66.

Now, you can catch an onward flight, spend longer in Las Vegas, or perhaps drive through Death Valley to Yosemite and onward to San Francisco.

Your Hotel:  

This time it's a different hotel but another fantastic choice in a great location. Relax by the pools or catch a show before dining in a choice of excellent restaurants.

Guide Prices

This trip normally costs somewhere from around £2,000 to £3,000 per person but as always it depends on time of year and flight + hotel availability. Please let us know if you're trying to keep to a strict budget.

What's Included?
  • International Flights to and from Las Vegas
  • Hotels
  • Some breakfasts - we will confirm with the initial quotation
  • Car hire

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What do I need to enter the USA?
A. You will require an ESTA to enter the USA. There are some reasons why you might not be eligible, for example having travelled to Cuba since 2021, having a criminal conviction, or even having been arrested. Please follow the link at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/ and obtain your ESTA before committing to a large amount of money.

Q. What hotels do you use?
A. In many of the places along the route, there are just a handful of options and in many cases it will depend which have availability. There is a lot more choice in Las Vegas, depending on your budget.

Q. When should we book?
A. Hotels along the route can be booked several months in advance, so it is essential that you book as early as possible. For a summer holiday, we recommend booking up to a year in advance.

Q. When is the best time to travel?
A. Spring and Autumn are both perfect - the weather is pleasant and the crowds are less. We enjoyed travelling in winter, and although obviously cooler than most other months, we were surprised how few tourists were about.

Q. What are the alternative routes?
A. A similar itinerary includes Arches National Park, adding an extra day or two onto your trip. I would twek things so you drove from Bryce Canyon to Arches, then to Monument Valley, then Page, then Grand Canyon. Overall it's probably around an extra 4 hours driving time overall.

More information

Call  01462 677111

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