Cowboys and Indians Family Adventure    *alt*

13 days, from £1845
KE Adventure Travel
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Description

Explore the real Wild West on this USA Family Adventure Holiday
Tour type: Age

Highlights
* Sleep in cowboy wagons, a Native America Tepee, as well as camping and hotels with pools
* Activity options at our Ranch Resort including zip lines, canyoning or horseriding
* Meet the Navajo of Monument Valley, go tubing, rock climbing and kayaking or SUP
* Bryce Canyon, Death Valley and the Grand Canyon - WOW so much in this holiday

The western states of California, Utah and Arizona are famous for their astounding national parks and this great family adventure takes us to most of them. Arriving in Las Vegas we visit the fierce desert environment of Death Valley (all hotels here have pools!) where the scenery is stunning and out of this world. We then spend 2 days at a ranch resort in the heart of Utah's Canyon Country, sleeping in cowboy wagons and exploring at the nearby reserve areas of Zion and Bryce Canyon. In Bryce Canyon we sleep in Native American tepees. Moving on, we spend time at Lake Powell and in Monument Valley, the ancestral home of the Navajo Native Americans. Two days at the Grand Canyon allows us to explore some of the options here; rafting on the Colorado River, biking or hiking on the canyon rim, or simply enjoying the sunset views. A final drive on 'Route 66' takes us by way of the Hoover Dam to Las Vegas, with time to walk the 'Strip', with its outlandish hotels and casinos. As the Lone Ranger would say....."Hi ho Silver.. away!"

Is this holiday for you?
Suitable for children from 8yrs old
During this family holiday, we travel some long distances, but often spend at least 2 nights at the same accommodation. Exploring in the national parks can be guided or self-guided. Some of the activities at the ranch resort are optional and paid for locally. The swimming pool, hot tub and various other games are included. We overnight in simple hotels, in cowboy wagons, a tepee and have 5 nights camping. Many nights have swimming pools. All family members are expected to help with camp chores. If you wish to partake in any of the water activities you must be able to swim.

Itinerary


 Day 1 Meet at the group hotel in Las Vegas.

Meet at the group hotel in Las Vegas, which will is located just a short distance from 'the strip'! The hotel is family friendly and has a swimming pool. KE Land Only package services begin with the overnight stay at the hotel. A free airport shuttle is provided by the hotel. Swimming: In hotel pool.
Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool


 Day 2 Drive to Death Valley, visit ghost mining town, Mesquite Dunes, overnight Beatty.

We depart Las Vegas to explore the hottest deserts in North America - Death Valley. After a picnic lunch at Scotty Castle we walk along the mystical rim of Ubehebe crater. We then go to explore the ghost town of Rhyolite. This was once a booming gold mining town, and boasted the only opera house between San Francisco and Denver! We look around the ruins of the opera house as well as the school house, railroad depot and a famous house made from beer bottles! We can pretend we are in a real western movie here! We then continue to Mesquite Dunes. These rise nearly 100ft and in the late afternoon the light accentuates the ripples and patterns on the sands making it very beautiful. Of course there is also always fun to be had in the sandroll down them, dig holes and see if we can find damp sands, and look for tracks of the kangaroo rate. We then check into our hotel in Beatty where we can escape the desert heat with a dip in the pool. Approximate drive time 3hrs. Note that all drive times in this description include stops for breaks and photos! Swimming: In hotel pool.
Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool
Meals bl


 Day 3 Return to Las Vegas via Dante's View, Golden Canyon, Badwater and Zabriskie Point.

After breakfast and a quick dip in the hotel swimming pool we drive to Dante's View for the best panoramas of the Valley. We stop at Furnace Creek where we can have an optional horse ride or wagon ride. Our second stop is Golden Canyon where we have a short walk and explore the side canyons. This is great fun for the children as they can scramble on the rocks and pretend they are in Star Wars as this is where much of it was filmed. We then continue our drive before stopping at 'Artist's Palette'. As the name suggests these rocks are covered in an array of different colours from reds and yellows through to blues and purples. We continue to Badwater, which is the lowest place in the whole of North America, at 282ft below sea level. Our last stop on our journey back to Las Vegas is at the amazing eroded gulleys and mud hills at Zabriskie Point. Approximate drive time 3hrs. Swimming: In hotel pool.
Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool
Meals bl


 Day 4 Drive to Zion, walk or optional tubing, horseriding or rock climbing. Transfer to adventure ranch.

We make an early start to catch the cool of the morning as we drive through the desert to reach Zion National Park. The principal feature of Zion National Park is the red sandstone canyon of the Virgin River, together with towering red sandstone walls, pretty stands of pine woodland, delicate waterfalls and emerald pools. We can hike 'The Narrows' (weather permitting), a deep chasm in the canyon or take up the option of one of a number of activities, which can be arranged locally, such as tubing (floating down the Virgin River on one-person inflatable rafts), horseback riding or rock climbing. The public shuttle takes us to all the sights inside the canyon. In late afternoon we head to our Adventure Ranch, the Zion Ponderosa Resort, in the cool hills above Zion. For the next 2 nights we'll stay in simple but functional cowboy wagons. Made of wood, each wagon has a curved roof and traditional wooden wagon wheels and they are sited on the vast grounds of this fun adventure resort. One wagon will be allocated per family, and all meals are provided. Note that bathrooms are communal, camp-ground style. Approximate drive time 3hrs. Swimming: In the swimming pool at the ranch.
Accommodation Cowboy Wagon
Meals bld


 Day 5 At the adventure ranch. Many optional activities including zip lines, wagon rides and canyoning.

We'll spend today on the ranch, which offers a wide range of optional activities for families including rock climbing, horse back riding, canyoning, quad bike rides, trampoline bungee, zip line, wagon ride & Dutch oven dinner and jeep tours. Today is a free day to enjoy these activities or you can accompany the tour leader on a hike in Zion National Park. Ranch activities must be paid for locally, and prices vary depending upon your chosen activity. The ranch also has a very nice swimming pool for those who just want to spend the day relaxing. Swimming: In the swimming pool at the ranch
Accommodation Cowboy Wagon
Meals bld


 Day 6 Walks in Bryce Canyon. Transfer to Bryce Canyon Village.

Today we head out to explore Bryce Canyon National Park, considered one of the most photogenic parks in the USA. Bryce Canyon is a unique natural spectacle, created by the erosion of colourful bedrock, which includes both limestone and sandstone, into a bewildering array of spires, fins and pinnacles which are known as 'hoodoos'. At an altitude of around 2500 metres (8200 feet), the many thousands of rock features are clustered into a number of canyons, which are cut into the eastern edge of Utah's Paunsaugunt Plateau. Predominant rock colours include red, orange, yellow and pink. We have most of the day to hike through the weird and wonderful rock formations. Tonight we overnight in a Native American Tepee in Bryce Canyon Village. These beautiful wigwam tents are erected and ready for us to enter. Each tent sleeps 8 people so it is likely we will share the tent with our fellow travellers tonight. Approximate drive time 2hrs. Swimming: In the swimming pool at camp ground.
Accommodation Teepee
Meals bld


 Day 7 Drive to Lake Powell. Walk through Antelope Canyon.

After packing up our sleeping bags from our tepee and having breakfast (maybe fitting in a quick swim!), we drive to Lake Powell. Here, the Colorado River was dammed creating an astounding shoreline of 3000 km, longer than the entire west coast of the USA. We make our next camp close to the lake shore. After lunch we have a guided walk through Antelope Canyon. This is a mystical, narrow slot canyon carved into dark red sandstone by flowing water, and is a photographer's dream. Thousands of years, wind and water have eroded this narrow canyon, which is 400 yards long and 130 feet deep. The rich colours and textures of this remarkable rock feature have made it one of the most photographed places in the desert states. We are guided during our canyon visit by a Native American. We'll spend the next 2 nights at a campground near the shores of the lake. Approximate drive time 3.5hrs. Swimming: In Lake Powell.
Accommodation Camping
Meals bld


 Day 8 Lake Powell water activities. Optional kayaking, SUP, white water rafting, or relax and swim.

There are 96 major canyons to explore at Lake Powell. The river below Lake Powell is generally considered flat water but the scenery is very impressive, with huge sandstone cliffs and crystal blue-green waters. It is possible to rent kayaks, stand up paddle boards, take a lake cruise or simply enjoy some relaxing and swimming. If you have heaps of energy then we can also arrange a half-day white water rafting expedition on the Colorado River. There is also an 'explorer' program which has fun-filled, educational, age-appropriate activities designed for parents and children to do together. The activities include discovery hikes, word puzzles, a field trip to Glen Canyon Dam visitor centre and an Alphabet Hunt. It has been created to teach children about Lake Powell as a natural resource, its flora and fauna, and safety. The Lake Powell Explorer pack includes maps, a badge and a completion certificate. Swimming: In Lake Powell
Accommodation Camping
Meals bd


 Day 9 Transfer to Monument Valley, via horse-shoe bends. Optional Native America Navajo jeep tour.

Today we continue our journey through the south-eastern corner of Utah to Monument Valley. Along the way we stop off at horse-shoe bends which shows off some of the best views of the Colorado River meandering around the immensely red sandstone. It's pretty stunning here. As we enter the famous Monument Valley we will recognise it instantly from the many films that the classic scenery with the clusters of red rocks sticking out of the plateau. Here, there is the option (paid locally) to take a jeep tour with a Navajo guide which will include some of the finest viewpoints in this sacred place. Camping in Monument Valley. Approximate drive time 2.5hrs. Swimming: In the swimming pool at camp ground.
Accommodation Camping
Meals bld


 Day 10 Drive to the Grand Canyon along the south rim. Camp at Grand Canyon Village.

Leaving Monument Valley we drive to the Grand Canyon, the ultimate attraction on a West USA holiday. We stop at the Cameron trading post for some lunch, which has an interesting native art and artefact gallery. We drive along the south rim and have plenty of opportunity to admire the views before arriving at our campground near the Grand Canyon Village. There is an Imax cinema here and we have the option to watch a film of flying over the Grand Canyon. Overnight camping Grand Canyon Village. Approximate drive time 4hrs.
Accommodation Camping
Meals bd


 Day 11 Full day at Grand Canyon. Walks in the canyon or ridges. Optional helicopter ride.

We have allowed a full day at the Grand Canyon, the final highlight of the journey. This is the greatest of the world's canyons, as its name implies. There are other contenders, but none has the sheer scale, colour and spectacle of the Grand Canyon. Up to 10 miles across and 5000 feet deep, it is impossible to get a true perspective of the canyon without spending a bit of time here. As the sun moves across the sky, the colours and shadows of the canyon change ceaselessly until it sets with a spectacle of changing colours. There is the option to take it easy, hike into the canyon or enjoy a short hike along the canyon rim or even to book a helicopter ride over the canyon (at additional cost - paid locally). There are also a few walking options on this day, one of these would be the Kaibab Ridge a 3-4 hr walk covering around 5km. We return to the campground for dinner and overnight.
Accommodation Camping
Meals bld


 Day 12 Sunrise walk. Drive Route AA via Hoover Dam back to Las Vegas.

It's well worth getting up early for a sunrise walk. Alternatively it is possible to book a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon for a memory of a lifetime (optional). In the late morning we drive on Route 66 via the magnificent Hoover Dam to reach the bright lights of Las Vegas. Here we check into a comfortable hotel. 270 miles/450kms driving, approximately 4.5 hours. You can relax by the pool or take a walk along the strip which, with its outrageous themed hotels and casinos is something of a culture shock after our time in the desert. We will enjoy a final evening amongst the bright lights of Las Vegas, the city that never sleeps!
Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool
Meals bl


 Day 13 Departure day.

KE Land Only package services end after breakfast. The hotel provides a complimentary airport shuttle.
Meals b