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United States

United States

The national parks of Southwest America offer superb walking through iconic landscapes straight out of a classic western movie. Or step into Yellowstone and the Rockies for unique scenery and incredible wildlife encounters.

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For such a vast country America can seem very small, viewed, as it often is, through the distorting lens of a Hollywood movie. Stray away though from the tourist hubs and there is an incredible diversity of landscape and vistas to trek and explore; often in splendid isolation.

The National Parks of the Western States offer some of the most beautiful and iconic scenery anywhere in the world. Utah is particularly blessed with natural wonders, from the intricately carved, multi-coloured rock spires or ‘hoodoos’ of Bryce Canyon to the sheer rock faces and narrow gorges of Zion National Park; and from the vast wilds of Canyonlands, scarred by spectacular gorges, to the deep red hues and delicate rock bridges of Arches National Park.

Needless to say, the stunning scenery continues into the neighbouring state of Arizona where the vermillion rock monoliths of Sedona and Monument Valley create a scene, instantly recongisable from numerous classic westerns. But it is the seemingly bottomless depths of the Grand Canyon and its incomparable beauty that forms the landscape of the most celebrated park in the region. Walking down into a canyon or high onto a rock plateau or butte, gives a perspective that cannot be gained from the roadside. Our Walking the Grand Canyon & the American Wild West walking holiday will take you to all these iconic national parks and more, with good walks on every day of the holiday and comfortable hotel and lodge accommodation.

If you'd prefer to see more of America's wonderful wildlife such as moose, wolves and bison, as well as outstanding scenery, then our Yellowstone & the Rockies walking holiday will tick all your boxes. Plus, there's the remarkable thermal features of Yellowstone National Park including the world renowned Old Faithful that are unmatched anywhere on Earth.

Key Facts

  • Capital city: Washington DC
  • Population: 321,729,000 (est. 2015)
  • Size of country: 9,826,675 sq km
  • Currency: US Dollar
  • Power supply: 110 volts
  • Sockets: Flat two-pin variety
  • Language: American English. Hispanic is also widely spoken in some states.
  • Time difference: GMT -5 hours (east coast), GMT -8 hours (west coast)
  • Visas: British nationals do not require a visa, but do need to complete the online Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) application.
  • Religion: Protestant 51.3%, Roman Catholic 23.9%, Mormon 1.7%, other Christian 1.6%, Jewish 1.7%, Buddhist 0.7%, Muslim 0.6%, other or unspecified 2.5%, unaffiliated 12.1%, none 4% (2007 est.)
  • Popular dishes: Burger and fries is the archetypal American dish. Southwestern cuisine is renowned for the influence of Mexican dishes and spices.
  • Popular drinks: Soda (fizzy drinks), coffee and beer - America has many microbreweries producing first rate craft beers.
  • Did you know: You can see the original London Bridge in Arizona as it was shipped to the states and reconstructed stone by stone in 1971 at Lake Havasu in the middle of the desert.
  • FCDO advice: FCDO travel advice


When is the best time to travel to the Grand Canyon?

Our climate charts of Las Vegas will give you an idea of the weather conditions of the southwest USA.

The majority of the landscape in this region is dry, dusty and rocky, with plenty of sunshine. In the height of the summer months temperatures soar in the desert states of the American Southwest - reaching up to 40 degrees during the day. It is therefore best to visit during spring and autumn when daytime temperatures will be cooler, but still bright and sunny with very little rainfall. Our Grand Canyon & the American Wild West walking holiday, departs in these more temperate months making the daily walks in Arizona and Utah extremely pleasant, with very little required in the way of warm and waterproof layers.

If you can't make the dates of our group departures, then take a private departure on dates to suit you, or we can create a Tailor Made holiday to the Grand Canyon, especially for you and your family or friends.

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