Yosemite national park united states tours

U.S. National Parks - Best Tours & Trips 2019

The United States currently has 58 national parks, extending from Glacier Bay in Alaska and Haleakala in Hawaii to the Florida Everglades and Maine's Acadia. While the best known are probably Arizona's Grand Canyon, California's Yosemite and Wyoming's Yellowstone, there are dozens of other jewels scattered throughout the country. Whether you find yourself touring in the rugged setting of South Dakota's Badlands, the cool shade of the California Redwoods, or the remarkable caverns of Kentucky's Mammoth Cave, you'll never forget your experiences in America's National Parks.
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Trip Type Trip Type Classic Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Guided Experiences Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ocean Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Tour Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Independent Package A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ocean Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.

Tour Styles

Lodging Level Lodging Level Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.

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$ 0 $ 10,000+

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Trip Length

Countries

Physical Level Physical Level Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.

Travel Theme

Travelers Age

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Solo Friendly Solo Friendly Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.

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Top U.S. National Parks Experiences and Attractions

Top U.S. National Parks Experiences

Standing on the rim of Arizona’s Grand Canyon, gazing into the vast width and depth of multi-hued rock carved over millions of years by the Colorado River.

Hiking among the world’s tallest trees in California’s Redwood National Park or the world’s biggest trees in California’s Sequoia National Park, and feeling nothing but awe.  

Riding an airboat over the surface of the Florida Everglades, checking out the crocodiles sunning themselves on the nearest land banks.

Following the boardwalks leading past steaming mud pots and geysers in Yellowstone National Park as bison wander freely in the distance.

Driving the winding Skyline Drive (speed limit: 35 mph) through Virginia’s mountainous Shenandoah National Park during fall foliage season.

Climbing as far as you dare up Half Dome, Yosemite’s most iconic granite formation and symbol.

Touring Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, the world’s longest complex of underground caverns.

Sailing Alaska’s Glacier Bay on a small ship cruise in search of whales, orcas, seals, and other sea mammals.

Marveling at the sometimes weird, always fascinating rock formations in Utah’s Bryce Canyon, Arches, and Zion national parks.

Stopping for fresh popovers after hiking the rugged Maine coast on a sunny day in Acadia National Park.

Discovering the diversity of life and attractions in California’s great desert parks, Death Valley and Joshua Tree.

Viewing the sunrise and then biking down Haleakala volcano on Hawaii’s island of Maui – the world’s longest downhill bike ride.

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U.S. National Parks Trip Reviews

74 U.S. National Parks Tour Reviews - Summary 99% Recommend

4.9 out of 5
Excellent 68
Great 5
Average 1
Disappointing 0
Terrible 0
Value
4.9
Guide
4.9
Activities
4.9
Lodging
4.9
Transportation
4.9
Meals
4.9

Tour Reviews Write a Review

I loved the attention to detail

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

I loved the attention to detail & the itineraries provided. I like that everything you need is supplied for you vs having to travel with camping/hiking equipment.

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Operator Arizona Outback Adventures

Western Explorer

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

A wonderful trip with each day having numerous wow moments.
Difficult to pick just one but the most unexpected was the walk down Antelope slot canyon and photographing the spectacular colours and shades on the rock that the sunlight cast.
Also the 4x4 drive in Monument valley with the Navajo tribe a place I have always wanted to visit.

Erin was excellent. She had a couple of long days driving but still had loads of energy. She had a good knowledge of the places we visited, had plenty of suggestions for our free days and tried to vary the places we ate at.

If you are planning on spending extra time in San Francisco at the start then there is no need to visit the Golden Gate bridge. On the first actual day of the trip the minibus deposits you at the bridge and allows you time to walk across before collecting you from the other side.
Don't expect any time to visit / see Hoover dam, due to security restrictions meaning all our bags would have had to be searched we did not stop. Although we did visit Glen Canyon dam which is a similar structure and size earlier on the trip
There are a couple of long days travelling one of which is around 7 hours, however there are numerous stops and videos to watch also the time seems to pass quickly when looking at the scenery. The earliest we set off in the morning was 7. All the accommodation was good with the 2 nights at Zion particularly good

I have been on 8 trips booked through Exodus this was the best of the lot

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Operator Exodus Travels

This tour has a free atmosphere for me and i can make so much good friends from all of the world.

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

amazing

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Operator G Adventures

WESTERN EXPLORER

4.0
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0

Ever changing scenery even made the travelling seem to pass by quicker than on other trips. A real variety of landscapes and colours with options for walking depending on individual wishes. All the scenery from the 'Westerns' and more. Wherever we went the views were fantastic. Hotels good and the outdoor lunches (and the evening barbecue) inspired by our tour guide were just right for the settings.
Having avoided looking at pictures before going, the evening view from the rim of Bryce Canyon is unbelievable and unforgettable. Views stretch the equivalent of north London to the south coast!  We weren't planning on taking the helicopter ride at the Grand Canyon but the closure of the National Parks (this was the only one we missed) prompted us to take the plunge. Even flying over the canyon it is impossible to take in the scale and to realise the river is a mile below. The change in the vegetation coming from the Sierra Nevada to Mono Lake, with its tufa rocks and wildlife, was almost instantaneous and summed up the trip in terms of the ever changing scenery. The trip around Monument Valley with the Navajo guide was all that was expected from the films.

Rebecca was full of enthusiasm and sought to meet everyone's needs. She did a sterling job as driver (safe and comfortable), guide, luggage handler, hotel booker inner, lunch organiser etc., etc. 

Very limited time in San Francisco so worth considering travelling a day or two beforehand. The National Park walks are at a fairly high altitude so be aware of this for both for breathing and temperature. 

There is limited room in the tour minibus with a full party.

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Operator Exodus Travels

A very professionally run trip, comfortable and good value......I have already recommemnded to other travellers to do the same

4.0
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0

I had such a good time, memories for ever, I think Becca made the trip so much more entertaining on the long days on the road.......the hotels were great, maybe more breakfasts could be included in the price, because spending money on 3 meals a day gets very expensive.

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Operator G Adventures

Avoid Amtrak Vacations

3.0
  • Value 2.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 2.0
  • Meals 5.0
  • Activities 3.0

Avoid Amtrak VacationsAmtrak Vacations, Inc. let me tell you what a deplorable vacation we had on Amtrak. We scheduled a National Park Amtrak vacation June 2017 to travel July 2018. We were very excited to take this trip. Everyone knows that when you travel with Amtrak there will be delays because Amtrak does not own the tracks. The first part of the trip from Chicago to Salt Lake and the visit to Yellowstone were wonderful. From Salt Lake to Emeryville, CA they ran out of food and we only had a choice of hamburger or hot dog. Certainly not a deal breaker but at least poor planning on Amtrak's part. When we arrived in San Francisco and tried to check into our hotel we were told our reservation had been cancelled by Amtrak Vacations. The next day I was able to correct this after spending almost an hour on the phone with Amtrak Vacations. We waited for the bus to pick us up for our Yosemite tour and were told that the tour bus had already left even though we were where Amtrak Vacations told us where to pick up the bus and we were at this correct spot 35 minutes early. No trip to Yosemite for us. When we left Glacier National Park we had a two hour delay. The conductor made an announcement that several passingers needed to be put up in a hotel in Milwaukee because of the delay . These passengers were traveling on the same connecting train that we were. We questioned the conductor as to why were we not included with those passengers since we're were on the same connecting train. He assured us that we would make our connection. . . . ? How is that possible, of course it was not possible. We received no help from the customer service agent in Chicago. That particular day Chicago had two concerts,the Alzeheimers Conference, 50 years of Special Olympics and a Cubs vs. Card ball game. Needless to say there were no rental cars at either airport and the least expensive hotel cost $378 plus cab fare. We paid $799 for travel interruption insurance and were told today they would pay us $214 for the claim that we filed for $640. What a scam. Moral of the story AVOID Amtrak Vacations.

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Operator Amtrak Vacations

U.S. National Parks Tours and Travel Guide

U.S. National Parks Attractions & Landmarks Guide

Since the first national park in the U.S. – and the world – was established in 1872, America’s National Park System has grown to encompass more than 400 areas in 50 states, the District of Columbia, and various U.S. overseas territories. Of these, the majority are national recreation areas, monuments, designated scenic trails and historic places overseen by the National Park Service.

That first national park, Yellowstone – which protects a huge swath of volcanic land stretching across parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, and is best known for its geysers and wildlife – remains one of the jewels of the system. It’s now part of a diverse and highly select group of 58 forests, deserts, canyons, mountains, bodies of water and wetlands, battlegrounds and other areas of natural scenic beauty and historic significance that warrant full national park status.

The National Park Stars

The most visited national park is the Great Smoky Mountains, accessed via a highway that cuts through the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee and leads to hiking trails, waterfalls, wildlife viewing and fall color scenery.

It receives more than nine million visitors per year, about twice the number of the second most-visited park, the Grand Canyon – though the 277-mile-long, 6,000-foot-deep canyon is probably the most famous U.S. national park. California’s Yosemite – a natural wonderland of valleys, meadows, waterfalls, and granite rock formations -- is the third most visited national park, followed by Yellowstone.

Other Top 20 National Parks

Other popular U.S. national parks include Washington State’s Olympic (for hiking through rainforest) and 14,400-foot Mt. Rainier; Colorado’s Rocky Mountains (with 60 peaks 12,000 feet or higher); Wyoming’s Grand Tetons, south of Yellowstone and replete with mountains and wildlife; Utah’s Bryce Canyon, Zion and Arches, known for their unusual rock formations and multi-colored canyons; and Maine’s Acadia, which was the first national park east of the Mississippi, with good hiking trails, campgrounds and beaches.

Along with Yosemite, California offers up two outstanding desert parks, Joshua Tree and Death Valley, as well as Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Redwood national parks, which feature the world’s biggest and tallest trees, respectively. Sequoia’s 2,500-year-old General Sherman tree is believed to be the world’s largest living thing.

Other top 20 most-visited national parks include Ohio’s Cuyahoga, which features a scenic railway ride as well as biking, hiking and horse trails; Montana’s Glacier, for hiking, camping, and mountain scenery; South Dakota’s Badlands, where erosion has produced an array of canyons, spires, and buttes; Hawaii Volcanoes, where Kilauea has been erupting since 1983; Hawaii’s 10,000-foot-high Haleakala volcano; and Arkansas’ Hot Springs.

Don’t Overlook These Gems

Other notable national parks include Florida’s Everglades, the country’s only subtropical wilderness area, known for its network of rivers and wetlands as well as its wildlife; Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave, the world’s longest known cave system, with almost 400 miles of caverns and passageways; Arizona’s Petrified Forest, with its ancient fossilized trees, and Saguaro National Park, home of giant cacti.

Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park offers scenic drives through the mountains; Alaska’s Glacier Bay and Denali provide incredible scenery (Denali is North America’s highest mountain); and Minnesota’s Voyageurs National Park is great for boating in summer, snowshoeing in winter.

Don’t know where to start? You can rely on Stride to help sort your way through the U.S. National Park System and soon have you on your way to some of America’s most beautiful and historic settings.

Top U.S. National Parks Travel Companies

All U.S. National Parks tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.9 for all U.S. National Parks trips.

132 trips from 47 tour companies with 74 reviews

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