american southwest road trip in the best national parks

American Southwest Road Trip: Wonderful National Parks

Travel at your own pace on this 16-night southwest road trip itinerary, a mix of big cities and national parks. Start your trip in Los Angeles, the movie capital of the world. Then visit the main National Parks of the West including the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Zion, and end in San Francisco, the city by the bay.

Why you will love this road trip

Your itinerary

With years of experience organizing road trips in the United States, our team has put together a perfect itinerary to combine the freedom to explore with the security of a planned route guiding you to the main points of interest.

Your hotels

We take care of all the hotel bookings and make sure you have a great place to stay every night. Most hotels are located close to the National Parks so that you can make the most of your day, from sunrise to sunset if you wish!

Your impact

As part of our commitment to support the local communities, we donate 1% of the sales of our tours to a local non-profit, NavajoStrong, which was created to aid the Navajo community during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. 

Tour duration

17 days / 16 nights

Start/End

Los Angeles/San Francisco

Accommodation

Double room (single, triple, or quad available)

Departure dates

Any selected day in 2022

visit Arches national park on an american southwest road trip in the best national parks

Highlights

  • Enjoy 2 nights each in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Francisco. Teebsi’s tips will help you feel like you've always belonged here.

  • You will also spend 2 nights in Moab, giving you the perfect opportunity to catch the sunrise and the sunset in Arches or Canyonlands National Parks.

  • Stay close to some of the best parks of the West: Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Monument Valley, and more, so you can really explore as you wish.

  • Impact the communities you visit by travelling in November and December when business is slower. This is also when you can score the best prices!

Itinerary of your American Southwest Road Trip

Day 1 and 2, Los Angeles

Arrival in Los Angeles to start your Southwest road trip. Have a first look at the city, and settle in at your hotel for 2 nights. 

Teebsi tips:

Learn about the heritage and history of the city:

  • Head to El mercado de Los Angeles in Boyle Heights, a traditional Latin American marketplace where you will find Mexican goods, authentic Mexican food, and live mariachi music.

  • The California African American Museum conserves more than 3,500 objects of arts, historical artifacts and maintains a research library, all in the interest of preserving and interpreting the history, art and culture of African Americans.

Shop, eat, and visit to support the community and the environment:

  • Enjoy fresh, local, plant-based food at Sage Vegan Bistro, and discover plant-based comfort food. In addition to their 4 locations around Los Angeles, they offer free delivery via their app. 

  • Shop at Eso Won Books, an independent Black-owned bookshop that displays a range of books about and written by African American people. The store has seen an inspiring increase in business in June 2020 with the need for people to educate themselves on anti-racism.

Accommodation: Best Western Plus Dragon Gate

 

Day 3, Laughlin

Drive towards the southernmost tip of Nevada, Laughlin.

Teebsi tips:

On your way, get off the main tourist path at the Mojave National Preserve. Don't miss the Kelso dunes, Mitchell Caverns, and Teutonia Peak. In August 2020, the Dome Fire destroyed part of the trail and its surrounding. It is estimated that as many as 1.3 million Joshua trees were killed in the fire, as well as countless cactuses, bushes, shrubs, and grasses.

Accommodation: Aquarius Casino Resort

 

Day 4, Grand Canyon

Morning drive to Grand Canyon, superb geological phenomenon. 

Teebsi tips:

  • Walk along the South Rim to see one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring wonders in the world. Find more hikes on the official National Park website.

  • After admiring the views of the Grand Canyon, take a step back in time and stroll in this preserved village from the early 1900s. Take a self-guided tour through the various sites, including the Hopi House, the El Tovar hotel, and the Grand Canyon Railway Depot.

Accommodation: Grand Canyon Plaza Hotel

 

Day 5, Page

Page is your getaway to Lake Powell and Antelope Canyon.

Teebsi tips:

  • Take a cruise on the Lake Powell to get a better view of this man-made reservoir on the Colorado River

  • The Vermillion Cliffs National Monument is a lesser known but spectacular area, made of sandy canyons, rock formation, and miles of unmarked trails. Check the roads before heading there, as you need a high clearance, or 4x4 vehicle to access certain areas!

Accommodation: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Page - Lake Powell Area

 

Day 6, Monument Valley

Leave for Monument Valley in the morning.

Teebsi tips:

  • Experience Monument Valley on a horseback riding tour with a Navajo guide

  • Get off the main tourist path and admire the San Juan River twists and turns 1,000 feet below you from Goosenecks State Park. Don't forget your camera, and come back at night for stargazing, you won’t regret it!

Accommodation: Monument Valley Inn

 

Day 7 and 8, Moab

Settle in Moab for two nights, the gateway to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.

Teebsi tips:

  • Make sure to hike to two scenic vistas in Arches National Park: Landscape Arch in the morning, and Delicate Arch for sunset. The next morning, start your day early and drive to Mesa Arch in Canyonlands to watch the sunrise.

  • If you're here during the summer on a Wednesday evening, consider helping the Youth Garden Project by weeding for a couple of hours. You will be rewarded by a delicious meal made with the vegetables from the garden with other community members. Check if your schedule matches! 

Accommodation: Aarchway Inn

 

Day 9, Bryce

Drive towards Bryce across the Dixie National Forest.

Teebsi tips:

  • Hike in Bryce Canyon National Park to admire the Hoodoos from closer on the Navajo Loop trail, a 1.3 miles moderate popular hike. 

  • Head to the less-visited Capitol Reef National Park, which maintains over 3,000 cherry, apricot, peach, pear, apple, plum, mulberry, almond, and walnut trees and visitors can pick their own fruit. The Fruita Orchard has been planted by early settlers, and are now providing fruits to park employees and visitors alike. 

Accommodation: Ruby's Inn

 

Day 10, Zion NP

Zion National Park is the oldest park in Utah and is sure to make a lifelong impression on you.

Teebsi tips:

  • Hike in Zion National Park: the Canyon overlook trail is short and rewards with incredible views on the canyon (moderate, 1 mile round trip) on the Zion - Mt Carmel highway, or ride a bike on the Pa'rus trail.

  • Participate in a guided Bird Walk lead by a ranger from Zion Canyon Visitor Center to share a convivial moment and connect with fellow traveler

Accommodation: Pioneer Lodge

 

Day 11 and 12, Las Vegas

Drive from the calm and serenity of the parks to the lights and extravagance of the legendary city of Las Vegas.

Teebsi tips:

Get off the main tourist path:

  • An unexpected view in the desert, the Seven Magic Mountains, seven towers of colorful, stacked boulders standing more than thirty feet high, by artist Ugo Rondinone.

  • If you’re travelling with kids, you can learn about the local eco-system in a fun way at the Springs Preserve, the original source of water for Native Americans thousands of years ago. 

Accommodation: Excalibur Hotel and Casino

 

Day 13, Mammoth Lakes (or Bakersfield)

This morning, cross the Nevada desert on the way to Pahrump and Shoshone and enter California.

Teebsi tips:

  • Inyo National Forest abounds with lakes; choose one or a couple and spend some time relaxing or rent a kayak, and get on the water. We recommend Lake Mary close to Mammoth Lakes for its easy access to water, or Lake Sabrina and Convict Lake on your way to Mammoth.

  • Near Bishop, visit the Laws Railroad Museum & Historical Site, including 11 acres of indoor and outdoor exhibits; experience a connection to the past as you immerse yourself in pioneer life.

Accommodation: Mammoth Mountain Inn (or Hampton Inn & Suite Bakersfield North before June 30th 2021 and after October 6th 2021 and if the Tioga Pass is closed)

 

Day 14, Yosemite

Access to Yosemite National Park from the Tioga Pass if you're staying in Mammoth Lakes.

Teebsi tips:

  • Once in Yosemite valley, park your car and switch to a bike, a fun and sustainable way to visit the park on the easy valley loop trail.

  • Visit the reconstructed Indian Village of Ahwahnee, located on the former site of the largest Indian village in Yosemite Valley. 

  • Take the time to cool down in the river or find a good spot to look for climbers on the famous El Cap!

Accommodation: Miners Inn Mariposa

 

Day 15 and 16, San Francisco

Drive down from the mountains and across the fertile agricultural lands of Central Valley then towards the Pacific to reach San Francisco.

Teebsi tips:

  • Go on a hike from the Sutro Bath near Ocean Beach towards Land’s End. The view of the Golden Gate Bridge keeps getting better as you get closer. You can go all the way to it or stop at one of the beaches on the way.

  • Discover some of the hidden staircases streets of the city; the Filbert Steps in Telegraph Hills (look for the parrots!) to Coit Tower, Harry Street near Glen Park, and Pemberton Place on the way to Twin Peaks.

  • Experience a diner show at AsiaSF, the world famous restaurant, cabaret and nightclub and a visionary pioneer in supporting the transgender community for over 20 years in San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood. 

  • Pack a picnic or find a meal-to-go from one of the several Mission Taquerias and eat at Dolores Park. Whenever it’s sunny out, this is where the locals to catch up with friends and people-watch.

  • Eat out at Eko Kitchen SF, a pop up restaurant founded by Simileoluwa Adebajo, Head Chef and Owner, open Friday-Sunday and brings the flavors from Nigeria to the Bay Area. The rest of the week? They work with SF New Deal to bring delicious meals to the homeless, the elderly, and others neighbors in need.

Accommodation: Hotel Vertigo

 

Day 17: Check out and last day of your Southwest road trip

 

Accommodations may vary based on departure date. The final hotel list will be sent to you 15 days before your departure.

American southwest road trip

Kids travel free!

If you're travelling with a 12 year old or younger, simply indicate their name(s) and their date of birth in the ''notes'' section of the reservation.

Room packages available:

Single room:

1 adult

1 adult and 1 kid

1 adult and 2 kids

Double room:

2 adults

2 adults and 1 kid

2 adults and 2 kids

Triple room:

3 adults

3 adults and 1 kid

Quad room:

4 adults

Package information

What is included

  • 16 nights of accommodation based on double occupancy 

  • 24/7 hotline

Not included

  • Car rental, transfers, or transportation 

  • Air fare

  • Insurance

  • Luggage storage

  • Personal expenses

  • Beverages and meals

  • Any visits, excursions, or entrance fees

Travel period

From*

*Price for 2 persons in a double room

June 1st - 18th, 2022

$3,090

$1,545 per person in a double room

June 19th - September 18th, 2022

$3,198

$1,599 per person in a double room

September 19th - October 6th, 2022

$3,078

$1,539 per person in a double room

October 7th - 16th, 2022

$2,658

$1,329 per person in a double room

October 17th - December 31st, 2022

$1,890

$945 per person in a double room

Cancellation Policy

Full refund if cancellation is received eight days prior to travel date, minus the deposit ($200 per room). After that, no refund will be issued. To cancel your trip, contact us by email or via the ''Contact us'' section of the website.

Terms & Conditions:

Accommodation cannot be guaranteed at the suggested hotels. Similar properties can be chosen at our discretion.

Mandatory daily Resort Fees may apply in some of the chosen properties. These can only be paid by guests directly at check-in.

Please refer to the full terms & conditions

Who is Teebsi

Teebsi creates mindful US Tours and Vacation Packages for conscious travelers, that provide a unique travel experience and positively impact local communities.

Our tours focus on conscious travel, meaningful moments with the local communities, and travel experiences that you won't find anywhere else. As part of our commitment for the local communities we travel to, we donate 1% of our sales to local nonprofits who work for the well-being of their community.

Learn more about Teebsi