A one off trekking tour of the gorgeous national parks and sights that the United States has to offer. Starting in Wyoming, this is for the avid trekker who loves an adventure. You will see the famous Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon where you will experience camping like no other. Discover mountin peaks and lakes, wander through the parks and see the wildlife as well as ruins and springs.
The Rocky Mountains are considered by many to be a superb walking destination for outstanding wildlife and scenery. You will be shown many of the famous parks, such as Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Grand Canyon, as well as exceptional hiking in the lesser known areas of the Rockies. You will explore trails known only to locals and insiders near Aspen, Steamboat Springs and Ouray, all hidden gems in the heart of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. In Grand Teton National Park we hike along lakes and below towering mountain peaks. In Yellowstone National Park we wander through the world’s largest geothermal area, renown for its immense diversity of wildlife as well as astounding geysers and hot springs. We then explore the ancient ruins of Mesa Verde National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for its 1000 year old cliff dwellings perched in alcoves above steep canyons. Then we head on to Monument Valley, where we will spend a night under the stars with the Navajo. Last, but not least, you will cap off your walking adventure with hikes in and around the Grand Canyon. We trek along its rim inside the national park and finally descend into the canyon at Havasupai, a remote side canyon, inhabited by a native American tribe, where we spend 2 nights camping in an oasis in the Grand Canyon proper.
Rocky Mountains and Grand Canyon Trekking
Day 1: Arrival in Jackson, Wyoming
Your trip starts at the motel in Jackson where you will meet your guide.
Overnight – motel
Day 2: Grand Teton National Park (B,L)
8am introductory meeting. Leave your packed bags in your room and meet your group after breakfast in the lobby. Enjoy the cowboy town Jackson, which is nestled below the dramatic Grand Tetons, a steep mountain range on a slip fault. Join us on an invigorating walk along the base of Grand Teton along String and Leigh Lake. Great views abound. We stop for sight seeing and wildlife watching on our way to Tower Junction in Yellowstone NP, a remote
part of the park far away from the crowds. The area is known for its outstanding wildlife watching (wolves and bear). We stay in rustic cabins with communal bathrooms.
Hiking: 12 km, 4-5 hours of hiking, +/- 200m
Drive time: 135 miles / 200km, 2-3 hrs
Overnight – rustic cabins
Day 3: Yellowstone National Park (B,L)
Yellowstone National Park is the world’s oldest National Park. It protects the world’s most impressive geothermal area, along with one of the densest collections of mega fauna: bison, wolf, elk, moose and, of course, bear. We hike to the top of Mount Washburn, where we often see wild goats, and then hike along the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone for amazing views along its rim.
Hiking: 10-15 km, 5-6 hours of hiking, +/- 500m
Drive time: 40-60 miles / 100km, 1 hr
Day 4: Yellowstone National Park (B,L)
We explore the area around Old Faithful where wewalk on boardwalks through geothermal pools of multiple colors and past herds of wild bison. Of course there is time to see Old Faithful erupt. We then explore the areas around Grand Prismatic Spring, Norris Geysir Basin, and Mammoth HotSprings. In the evening we go looking for wolves in Lamar Valley near our hotel.
Hiking: 12-15 km, 5-6 hours of hiking, +/- 100m
Drive time: 140 miles / 250km, 3-4 hr
Overnight – Hotel
Day 5: Through the high deserts to Colorado (B,L)
In the rain shadow of the Rockies we drive south intothe heart of Colorado’s Rockies. We cross the vast expanse of the “Great American Desert” that challenged many emigrants coming West. We follow part of the old Oregon Trail through the dry prairie, before we enter the green hills of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. After a long day on the road, nestle into your cozy motel in historic Steamboat – a renowned ski town. There is time to soak in the local hot springs (small fee charged)
Drive time: 500 mls/800 kms, 8 hours
Overnight – Hotel; comfort or quality inn or similar.
Day 6: Colorado Rockies to Aspen (B,L)
In the morning we hike along a famous trail past Fish Creek Falls. Then we continue south towards Aspen for the next stage of your adventure. There is time for a first stroll through this famous resort town on hidden pathways. Stonebridge Inn Snowmass 3* or similar 3x.
Hiking: Fish Creek Falls, 8km/13 km, +/- 1700
ft/600m, 3-5 hrs
Drive time: 160 mls/250 kms, 3.5 hrs
Overnight – Hotel; Stonebridge Inn 3* or similar
Day 7: Aspen (B,L)
Aspen must be one of the most picturesque towns in the USA. Started as a gold rush town, it is now home to some of the richest people in the country. The walking, though mostly unknown, is world class. We take a challenging loop walk on the Lost Man Loop over a steep pass above treeline and through hanging lakes and deep forests. This must be one of Colorado’s most scenic hikes!
Hiking: 15 km, 7 hours of hiking, +450m, – 700m
Day 8: Maroon bells (B,L)
The Maroon Bells grace many postcards and rightfully so. They are beautiful peaks reflected in tranquil alpine lakes. We hike towards these proud peaks through dense aspen forests. This hike is self guided. The afternoon is off to enjoy in Aspen. Choose to visit the famous boutiques, or take the gondola to the top of Aspen Peak for above-treeline views (ca. $20).
Hiking: 10 km, 4 hours of hiking, +/- 200m
Day 9: Durango (B,L)
We follow remote mountain roads south through the Rockies to Mesa Verde. En route, we drive the famous Million Dollar Highway, considered by many to be one of the most scenic highways in North America. You have the opportunity to take the famous Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge railroad, voted among the 10 best railroad journeys (optional ca $70). We overnight at the entrance to Mesa Verde at the Baymont Inn in Cortez 3* or similar, 1x.
Drive time: 280 mls/450 kms, 5-6 hours
Overnight – Hotel; Baymont Inn, Cortez 3* or similar
Day 10: Mesa Verde National Park/Monument Valley (B,L,D)
Today we explore Mesa Verde, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We can take a ranger led walk through 1000-year-old ruins, or hike the rims and mesas to impressive view points. Then we drive to Monument Valley for a highlight of
the day: a night under the stars with the Navajo Indians. Arriving at Monument Valley we board our jeeps and head out into the valley. Dinner is served over a campfire while we watch traditional Navajo entertainment.
Drive time: 200 miles / 300km, 3-4 hrs
Overnight – camping
Day 11: Grand Canyon (B,L)
We continue through the Painted Desert to the Grand Canyon. We reach the canyon in about 3 hours. Great views open in all directions! We take a leisurely hike along the West Rim (self guided due to wilderness regulations) of the canyon enjoying incredible views far away from the crowds. There is time for an optional helicopter flight.
Drive time: 200 miles / 300km, 3 hrs
Overnight- Hotel; Red Feather Lodge 3* or similar
Day 12: Grand Canyon (B,L,D)
We depart very early for our next adventure: a descent into the Grand Canyon to the famous turquoise waterfalls of Havasupai. We reach remote Hilltop in about 3 hours. Our luggage and tents get packed onto mules, that carry our gear into the canyon (each passenger is allowed to bring a limited amount of gear only). We then descend into the canyon on a well maintained trail. After about 5 hours we reach the remote Indian village of Supai, where 300 Indians live until today. The village can only be reached on foot, helicopter or horse. We can get refreshments before we head another 2 miles to our campground in an oasis in the canyon under massive cottonwood trees. We set up our camp next to a turquoise creek between huge waterfalls and enjoy the amazing “inner canyon” scenery. Your guide prepares simple camp meals.
Hiking: 10miles/16 km, 5-6 hrs, -750m
Drive time: 200 miles / 300km, 3 hrs
Overnight – camping
Day 13: Havasupai Waterfalls (B,L,D)
We enjoy a full day at leisure to enjoy the waterfalls and scenery. You can choose to hike to the Indian village or bathe in the refreshing waterfalls.
Day 14: Las Vegas (B,L)
Very early we hike out of the canyon to avoid the mid day heat. We should reach the canyon rim before noon. Those not wanting to walk can take a helicopter or ride a mule (approx. $100, optional). We then continue to our Las Vegas hotel, where we enjoy a shower and the comforts of a hotel. The tour concludes today.
Hiking: 10miles/16 km, 5-6 hrs, +750m
Drive time: 200 miles / 320km, 3-4 hrs
Overnight – Hotel; La Quinta Las Vegas or similar 3*
Day 15: Departure (B)
The hotel offers a free airport shuttle. You depart on your own.