The Big One

Tour highlights

  • Visit the red-sand desert region; Monument Valley
  • Have a flutter in a Las Vegas casino
  • Discover the city of San Francisco
  • Explore Grand Canyon National Park and Yosemite National Park
  • Drive along California Highway 1

What's included

  • Flights from the UK to Los Angeles
  • Two nights 4-star hotel accommodation in Los Angeles
  • All transfers
  • Cruise America C19 Compact motorhome hire for 35 days (see what's included)
  • 34 nights in pre-booked campgrounds in sought-after areas
  • Personalised road book with travel tips, local information and day-to-day driving itinerary

Days 1 - 10: Los Angeles to Lake Powell

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Days 1 - 2: Los Angeles

Los Angeles has it all; so much so that you'll wish you had more time to spend here! You'll be transferred to your centrally-located 4-star hotel on arrival and have two nights to spend at your leisure. Visit Santa Monica Pier which is the official end of Route 66 or head to bohemian Venice Beach. You could stroll along the Hollywood Walk of fame and visit the Chinese Theatre, or there’s shopping on Rodeo Drive. Of course, for the young at heart, there’s Disneyland and Universal Studios.

Days 3 - 4: Joshua Tree National Park 

Distance: 270km / 168 miles

Day three will see you pick up your motorhome from the depot, then head east towards Joshua Tree National Park. We suggest a stop in Palm Springs in the Sonoran Desert, a city which is best known for its hot springs, spas and golf courses.

Joshua Tree National Park straddles the Colorado Desert and the Mojave Desert, and is best known for its rugged rock formations and its desert landscapes. It takes its name from the area's twisted and bristled Joshua trees and offers stunning sunsets from Keys View.

Days 5 - 6: Kingman

Distance: 310km / 193 miles

Continue east towards Vidal Junction where, if you take a slight detour, you can visit Lake Havasu City to see the original 1830s London Bridge. The bridge was dismantled in London in 1967 and then relocated to Arizona. You could also stop off at the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1941 it is comprised of 37,515 acres along the lower Colorado River, and provides a habitat for migrating birds.

Arriving in Kingman (best known for being a city along the legendary Route 66) you can visit the Route 66 Museum and learn about the role of the historic road in American History.

Days 7 - 8: Grand Canyon National Park

Distance: 267km / 172 miles

Cruise in the shadow of the Aquarius and Juniper Mountains as you head towards one of the Seven Wonders of the World – The Grand Canyon. Just over an hour outside of Kingman, you’ll encounter another Route 66 gem – Seligman. Home of the Roadkill Café, it’s an Arizona institution and a great stop for breakfast.

Nothing will prepare you for your first look at the Grand Canyon – it's truly breathtaking. The south rim offers a choice of hikes and walks for all abilities, or you could take a helicopter ride to the remote north rim. Early risers will be treated to an incredible sunrise over the Grand Canyon; a memory that you’ll never forget. 

Days 9 - 10: Lake Powell

Distance: 215km / 134 miles

Drive to Lake Powell, a man-made reservoir on the Colorado River which straddles the border between Arizona and Utah. The amazing backdrop of dramatic red rock against the shimmering water is stunning. Take a boat trip to Rainbow Bridge National Monument or explore the many lakes, canyons and sand dunes on foot. Be sure to include a visit to one of the most photographed slot canyons in the USA - Antelope Canyon. 

Days 11 - 20: Monument Valley to Zion National Park

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Days 11 - 12: Monument Valley

Distance: 196km / 122 miles

Rise early and journey east to Monument Valley, where monolithic sandstone rocks rise up to 1,000 feet from the desert floor. Feeling a bit of déjà vu? The valley has been used as a setting for countless Western movies since the 1940s, so it’s bound to feel familiar. 

Monument Valley is truly at its most magical at sunset and sunrise, so plan your day accordingly. If you are keen to learn about the myths and legends of the area – a tour with a Navajo guide is suggested. 

Days 13 - 14: Moab & Arches National Park

Distance: 74km / 146 miles

It’s wall to wall scenery on your way to Moab in the heart of Utah’s dramatic canyonlands. Most of Utah lies on a plateau 4,000 feet above sea level. Explore the Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, as well as the lesser known but still magnificent, Dead Horse State Park. If you're feeling adventurous, why not try white water rafting along the Colorado River or a 4x4 jeep tour deep into canyon country - both of which can be arranged when you book your tour. 

Days 15 - 16: Capitol Reef National Park

Distance: 251km / 156 miles

Be sure to include Goblin State Park along your way today. The strange and colourful landscape is full of strange rock formations that resemble a huge gathering of goblins!

The Waterpocket Fold defines Capitol Reef National Park. This 100 mile warp in the Earth’s crust was formed over 50 million years ago. Capitol Reef is considered the most scenic part of the fold. 

Days 17 - 18: Bryce Canyon National Park

Distance: 175km / 109 miles

Drive via one of America’s most dramatic drives – Highway 12 National Scenic Byway. The road is very narrow at the top, twisting through Dixie National Forest and across Boulder Mountain which exceeds 11,000 feet.

The limestone rock in Bryce National Park has been eroded by frost and rainwater into bizarre shapes including slot canyons, windows, fins and spires. Head for Fairytale and Sunset Point where you can see the best of these formations.

Days 19 - 20: Zion National Park

Distance: 140km / 87 miles

Continue on the scenic byway all the way to Utah’s oldest national park, Zion. From sunrise to sunset, the changing scenes pass before you in awesome hues. Be sure to watch as light plays upon the canyons and vistas in a dazzling light show. Surely this is another of Mother Nature’s masterpieces. 

Days 21 - 31: Las Vegas to San Francisco

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Days 21 - 22: Las Vegas

Distance: 265km / 165 miles

Today you’ll head to Las Vegas where you’ll be staying for the next two nights. There's plenty to do here; perhaps have a flutter in one of the casinos, see a show or simply walk the strip and take it all in. Vegas comes to life at night, so we recommend visiting when the city is up in lights. The Bellagio Hotel is a particularly beautiful sight to behold. 

For those wanting to escape Vegas we suggest taking an excursion to see the Grand Canyon. You’ll fly by plane from to the Grand Canyon from where you’ll take a helicopter ride over the stunning North Rim before exploring the South Rim and the Grand Canyon Village, all this and you’ll still be back in Vegas by evening to see a show!

Days 23 - 24: Calico

Distance: 238km / 148 miles

Your journey today takes you south west along the northern borders of the Mojave National Preserve which with its sand dunes, canyons, mountains and carpets of wildflowers is the complete opposite from what you will have experience in Vegas.

Calico is an old west mining town that has been around since 1881 during the largest silver strike in California. With its 500 mines, Calico produced over $20 million in silver ore over a 12-year span. When silver lost its value in the mid 1890s Calico lost its population. The miners packed up, loaded their mules and moved away abandoning the town that once gave them a good living.  It became a "ghost" town.

Days 25 - 26: Sequoia National Park

Distance: 444km / 276 miles

From Calico head north east towards the Sequoia National Forest which will be your home for the next two nights. On route make a stop at Bakersfield which is universally recognized as ‘The Country Music Capital of the West Coast’. It is the birthplace for what would  become known worldwide as the Bakersfield Sound. The sub genre of country music – described as a mix of twangy guitars, drums, fiddle, and steel guitar and was a defiant reaction to the string orchestras and the polished sound of albums being recorded in Nashville during the 1950s and 60s.

Running adjacent to Kings Canyon National Park in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Sequoia National Park is best known for its huge sequoia trees, notably the General Sherman Tree that dominates the Giant Forest. Moro Rock is a granite dome offering sweeping park views and close by is the Tunnel Tree, a toppled tree that has been cut to accommodate the road.

Days 27 - 28: Yosemite National Park

Distance: 193km / 120 miles

Today you’ll continue your journey north to Yosemite via Fresno, perhaps make a stop here to visit the Shinzen Japanese Gardens in Woodward Park.

Yosemite National Park is arguably California’s best known National Park, located in the Sierra Nevada mountains it counts giant ancient sequoia trees, the towering Bridalveil Fall and the cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome as its main attractions.

Days 29 - 31: San Francisco

Distance: 359 km / 223 miles

Leaving behind the Yosemite National Park, you’ll be heading east to the San Francisco, the city on the bay where you’ll be spending the next three nights.

No trip to San Francisco is complete without a visit to the former prison on the rock; Alcatraz, make sure you pre-book this though as only a limited amount of places are available each day.

For those with a little more energy we recommend hiring a bike and cycling along San Francisco’s stunning waterfront, across the Golden Gate Bridge and down to the picturesque seaside town of Sausalito before getting the ferry back to San Francisco.

Days 32 - 38: Moss Landing to Los Angeles

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Days 32 - 33: Moss Landing

177 km / 110 miles

Today you start the journey south along the famed Pacific Coast Highway; we suggest a stop in the city of Santa Cruz. Take a walk along its long wharf that stretches into Monterey Bay, see the bridge shaped rock formation on Natural Bridges State Beach or take a stroll along Pacific Avenue, famous for its vintage clothing stores, cafes and galleries.

Moss Landing is home to hundreds of bird species of waterfowl and migratory shorebirds as it's situated on one of California's largest wetland areas. There are also seals, sea otters and sea lions that can be seen from a nature cruise or from a kayak if you're up for exploring.

Days 34 - 35: Morro Bay 

230 km / 143 miles

Travel along Monterey Bay, then the famous 17-Mile Drive before cruising slowly south on one of the world’s most scenic routes – California Highway 1. This twisting route along the central California coast starts in Monterey and winds through Big Sur, where mountains meet the Pacific. The landscape becomes less harsh as you travel further south, and as you head to the coastal city of Morro Bay you'll pass Hearst Castle, known as 'The Enchanted Castle on the Hill'.

The coastal city of Morrow Bay is best known for Morrow Rock, an ancient volcanic mound at the end of Morrow Rock beach. It’s also home to lagoons, a bird-rich saltwater marsh as well as plenty of trails, including one up to Back Hill for magnificent views over the city.

Day 36: Los Angeles

364 km / 226 miles

Continue south along the scenic Pacific Coast Highway towards Los Angeles. We recommend a stop in Santa Barbara which is located on the central California coast. It’s well known for its Mediterranean style white stucco buildings with their red-tiled roofs that reflect Santa Barbara’s Spanish heritage. As well as some great beaches there are some impressive restaurants, a selection of wineries and the Santa Barbara Mission; a 1786 landmark home to period art and artefacts.

Days 37 - 38: Los Angles - UK

You have some time to yourself today before you returning your RV and heading to Los Angeles International airport for your evening flight back to the UK.

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