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Trek the Canyons

USA Trek DEMANDING
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About the Challenge

The American South-West is renowned for its National Parks, offering colourful desert, spectacular rock formations, deep canyons – and unforgettable adventure! The Grand Canyon is an undisputed highlight; at 277 miles long, 18 miles wide and up to one mile deep, this Natural Wonder of the World is a sight on many wish-lists. We spend two days in the Grand Canyon before moving on to Zion National Park, less well-known than its famous neighbour, but packed with breath-taking and challenging landscapes for trekkers. We finish with a celebration in energetic Las Vegas, which couldn’t contrast more with the natural beauty we have been immersed in!

Trek the Canyons

8 DAYS
  • Depart London bound for Phoenix, capital of Arizona. We transfer to our hotel, have dinner and relax! Night hotel.
  • After an early breakfast and a detailed trip briefing we have a scenic drive north (approx 2 hours) through the Sonoran Desert. We arrive in the beautiful area of Sedona, known for its beautiful red sandstone landscapes and dramatic rock formations. We spend the rest of the day walking along the beautiful Oak Creek Canyon, often referred to as the Grand Canyon’s small cousin! This is the perfect acclimatisation trek, helping our bodies to get used to the heat and the terrain. We then meet our vehicles and transfer to our campground near the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Night camp.

    Drive approx. 2 hrs; trek approx. 3-4 hrs / 5-6 miles; drive approx. 2.5 hrs

  • Today we descend into the heart of the Grand Canyon! Bright Angel Trail was originally used by Native Americans to access the vital water source now called Indian Gardens, 3000ft (910m) below. Early western pioneers followed suit, and we follow in their footsteps. As we descend into the Canyon we pass through 750 million years of rock layers – a humbling way to start our trek. Despite the well-maintained trail it’s a challenging day, but the magnificent views that greet us the length of the trail are well worth it! We trek to the giant cottonwood trees of Indian Gardens; depending on conditions and group pace we may continue to Plateau Point, where the Colorado River can be seen below. We then return, with an arduously steep climb back up to the Rim, pausing to find rock art created by Havasupai Indians hundreds of years ago. Night camp.

    Trek approx. 6-8 hrs / 9-12 miles

  • We have an early breakfast and break camp, before descending once more into the depths of the Grand Canyon. A shorter trek does not diminish the views; we come to the aptly-named Ooh-Ahh Point, then continue our downhill trek through magnificent vistas to Cedar Ridge. The downhill walking should soften up any aching muscles before the tough uphill climb back to the Rim! After this spectacular morning’s trek, we leave the Grand Canyon for our next National Park adventure. En route we break our journey with a walk over Jurassic-era sand to the famous viewpoint at Horseshoe Bend, where the tremendous blue-green Colorado River curves widely around a sandstone escarpment. The contrasting colours of the river and the red-pink rocks, which change with the sun and shadows, make this a real highlight of our adventure. We drive on, crossing from Arizona into Utah, and to Zion National Park. Night camp.

    Trek approx. 4-5 hrs / 6-7 miles; Drive approx. 3.5 hrs

  • Zion National Park is known for its wide open spaces and spectacular deep, narrow ‘slot’ canyons. Today’s adventure takes us steadily uphill as we zig-zag steeply up the red sandstone slopes of Mt Baldy and through the deep gorge of Echo Canyon. Our destination is Observation Point, where we are rewarded by magnificent vistas over the surrounding cliffs, mountains and monoliths. We can admire the rock sculptures eroded by the elements into striking formations, and the lush valley of the Virgin River far below. It’s a tough day, with a descent that’s tiring and tough on the legs, but once more the views and sense of achievement are unforgettable. We enjoy our last night of camping under the clear Utah skies. Night camp.

    Trek approx. 5-7 hrs / 8 miles

  • Our last day sees us tackling The Narrows, often described as one of the best hiking experiences in the US. The cool shade of this deep chasm, carved through rock by the north fork of the Virgin River, is wonderful on a hot day. We walk upstream through the slot canyon, often wading through shallow water, admiring the sculpted rock and the perpendicular canyon walls towering above us – so narrow that in places we can touch both sides. Although the ground is only gently sloping, the going can be strenuous at times as we negotiate mossy boulders and water channels – a real adventure for our last day. Coming back to the trailhead and our vehicles, we drive through wonderful wilderness scenery for the last time as we cross into Nevada and arrive in Las Vegas, entertainment capital of the world. On arrival we are free to relax and explore – check out the famous sound-and-light fountain shows, fake erupting volcanoes, Elvis impersonators and replicas of everything from the Eiffel Tower to the Sphinx! It’s not subtle, but it’s a real contrast to the past few days and great fun! We enjoy a slap-up meal to celebrate our achievements of the past week. Night hotel.  (Dinner not included)

    Trek approx. 3-4 hours / 5-6 miles; drive approx. 3 hours

  • We are free to explore or relax until we transfer to the airport for our international flight home. (Lunch not included if not in-flight)


Prices may vary depending on date.

  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £499 Fundraising target £4,050 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £499 Fundraising target £3,050 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £499 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,800 Airline Taxes £225.00 Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    • All transport from London to Phoenix / Las Vegas return
    • All meals except where specified, accommodation and camping equipment
    • Discover Adventure leader; doctor with a group of 15 or more participants; local guides, drivers and cooks
    • Local support and back-up equipment
    • Entrance to National Parks and sites visited as part of the itinerary

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    • Two meals as specified in the itinerary
    • Travel insurance
    • Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks
    • Tips for local support crew
    • Inbound airport departure tax (no tax applied at the time of writing)
    • Sleeping bag
    • Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities
    • Airline taxes; we cap these so £250.00 is the maximum you will pay
    • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions

     

    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £499 Fundraising target £4,150 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £499 Fundraising target £3,050 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £499 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,850 Airline Taxes £225.00 Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    • All transport from London to Phoenix / Las Vegas return
    • All meals except where specified, accommodation and camping equipment
    • Discover Adventure leader; doctor with a group of 15 or more participants; local guides, drivers and cooks
    • Local support and back-up equipment
    • Entrance to National Parks and sites visited as part of the itinerary

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    • Two meals as specified in the itinerary
    • Travel insurance
    • Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks
    • Tips for local support crew
    • Inbound airport departure tax (no tax applied at the time of writing)
    • Sleeping bag
    • Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities
    • Airline taxes; we cap these so £250.00 is the maximum you will pay
    • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions

     

    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £499 Fundraising target £4,150 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £499 Fundraising target £3,150 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £499 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,850 Airline Taxes £225.00 Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    • All transport from London to Phoenix / Las Vegas return
    • All meals except where specified, accommodation and camping equipment
    • Discover Adventure leader; doctor with a group of 15 or more participants; local guides, drivers and cooks
    • Local support and back-up equipment
    • Entrance to National Parks and sites visited as part of the itinerary

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    • Two meals as specified in the itinerary
    • Travel insurance
    • Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks
    • Tips for local support crew
    • Inbound airport departure tax (no tax applied at the time of writing)
    • Sleeping bag
    • Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities
    • Airline taxes; we cap these so £250.00 is the maximum you will pay
    • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions

     

    Download Challenge Details

Detailed Information

  • Group flights leave from London Heathrow or Gatwick, (we regret that we are unable to book connecting flights), and are booked through Discover Adventure Ltd under ATOL licence 5636. By travelling with Discover Adventure you are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We do not always use the same airline for each destination; if you wish to know the probable carrier please call for details. You will usually receive confirmed flight details several months before departure. Our itineraries are always based on current flight schedules and are therefore subject to change by the airline. If you prefer to book your own flights please ask us for a land-only cost.

  • Accommodation is usually on a twin-share basis in hotels or camp. Occasionally we may use hostel-style accommodation. Please tell us if you know somebody else on the trip that you would like to share with and we will try our best to accommodate your request. If you don't know anyone else in the group don't worry, we always pair you up with someone of the same gender, and a similar age where possible. We do not charge a single supplement if you are a solo traveller.

  • We camp in roomy two-man tents in  wonderful campgrounds, often in state parks, with good facilities. Other nights are in hotels of a 2-3* standard or equivalent.

  • The food provided is plentiful, often local in style and freshly-cooked, and will give you plenty of energy. Sometimes we enjoy a buffet-style lunch-stop, other times we might have packed lunches. On some trips we stop at small local restaurants. Dinners are generally eaten in camp or at the hotel, depending on accommodation. In some regions there may be less variety than you are used to, and in others fresh meat or produce can be harder to come by. Any meals not included are listed in the itinerary and are generally on travel / free days, giving you the opportunity to explore and try other culinary experiences! There is always something to suit different budgets.

    Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. Please do not expect as much variety as you would have access to at home – we may be in very rural or remote areas and among people of a different culture who may not understand your requirements, however willing they are to help. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat we strongly recommend you bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Please feel free to ask us for advice.

  • Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. They are also trained in expedition first aid. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader. Usually leaders are based in the UK or other English-speaking countries and lead for us regularly throughout the year in many different countries. In some instances, trips are led by in-country guides with a wealth of knowledge about the region; they have been trained by us to provide the level of support expected on a Discover Adventure trip.

  • An expedition doctor or medic accompanies the group (dependent on group size.) Their role is to look after the well-being of the whole group and deal with any incidents. They help the leaders to ensure the trip runs smoothly, and encourage you when things get tough. The total number of crew looking after you will depend on the final size of your group, but at Discover Adventure we pride ourselves on our high leader: participant ratio and believe it leads to greater trip enjoyment as well as excellent trip safety.

  • Our local support crew is made up of local guides, assisted by drivers, porters, cooks and other support staff, depending on the type of trip. Local guides know the area well, and are a great source of knowledge about local lifestyles. The Discover Adventure crew work closely with the local crew to ensure your trip runs smoothly and safely. In some destinations we work together as a team with local guides to help set up or break camp, or prepare meals. Your leader will arrange a collection of tips for the local support crew at the end of your trek, and you will be provided with a guideline amount in advance. Tipping is not obligatory, but once you see how hard they work on your behalf you will be happy to donate something!

  • Your luggage, food, water and equipment is transported for you from one night-stop to the next. If there is easy road access this is done by vehicle; if not porters, mules or even camels might carry your bags, depending on the destination and terrain.

    Space is limited and hard-sided luggage is not suitable, so it is essential that your kit is packed in a soft bag, rucksack or expedition kitbag. Ask us about our specially-designed low-cost kitbags if you don’t have one already. You should also bring a small daypack to carry for items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening.

  • Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with communication devices (eg phones, radios and/or emergency satellite phones), medical kit and other safety apparatus appropriate to the destination. Our leaders always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. They are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary, should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration - such as medical questionnaires and travel insurance as appropriate - is all done with your safety in mind.

Preparing for the Challenge

  • We plan our trips around the optimal weather conditions, but could still be exposed to bad weather at any time. It is vital you are prepared for all conditions. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.

  • This is designed to be a challenge, and it is vital that you train sufficiently for it. We will supply you with a thorough training guide once you have registered. We expect all participants to train hard in advance, but we respect everyone’s limits and do not expect everyone to maintain the same pace. Inadequate training is likely to have an impact not just on your chances of completing the challenge, but enjoying it too - and we want you to have the time of your life!

    Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience and fitness, all ages and backgrounds. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners may find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.

  • Entry requirements vary depending on your destination and nationality. It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is valid, and any visas are obtained in good time. Check the FCO’s advice on entry requirements for your destination to be sure. To find out if you need a visa you can check requirements on our website; please ensure you allow plenty of time.

    Your routine UK schedule of vaccinations should be up-to-date (especially tetanus). We recommend you check Fit For Travel for further details. You should always check with a GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.

Extension

Explore Las Vegas

Stay on in Las Vegas to enjoy the many sights and sounds of the buzzing Sunset Strip. Renowned for its casinos, shows, spectacular hotels, and of course the famous wedding chapels, there’s plenty to see and do in the city.

There is also a huge variety of excursions on offer – enjoy a bird’s eye view with a flight over the Grand Canyon, go white-water rafting on the Colorado River, or take to the skies in a hot air balloon. Take a tour of Hoover Dam, or a relaxing boat trip on Lake Mead … there’s so much choice!

This extension does not have an organised itinerary. You are free to spend your time as you wish.

Trek Training Weekend

Snowdon_Training_Trekking

£160 Special Offer - Only when you book at the same time as registering for your main challenge

Discover Adventure Trek Training Weekends take place in Snowdonia National Park, Wales. This training weekend is designed to put you through your paces to enable you to gauge fitness levels and gain advice from our experienced leaders.

MORE INFORMATION

GRADE | demandING (2)

Trip grades range from Challenging (1) to Extreme (5).

DEMANDING trips ramp up the challenge with some long days over tough terrain, and require good stamina, fitness and determination.

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