Pioneer Trails

  • Arizona + 11 more
  • Self Drive Ideas
  • 15
from  £945pp
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Trace the coast of California before visiting the incredible natural wonders of Arizona, then head to Las Vegas for some nightlife and fun.

A Free Personalised Road Book is included as standard with our Self Drive itineraries. 


Please note: – This is a suggested itinerary only and is intended to give an overview of what is possible. All of our holiday itineraries are fully customisable and can be tailor-made to suit your own individual requirements.  If you would like to start in a different destination, use specific hotel accommodation, include an extra night here, a side-trip there and/or include tickets to an event please let your Discover North America travel specialist know. They’ll also book you the best value flights to ensure a seamless holiday experience.


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Day 1 San Francisco

Arrive at San Francisco International Airport and proceed into the City by the Bay.

Day 2 San Francisco

Today, enjoy a wonderful day touring the city and seeing places like Union Square, the Presidio, Golden Gate Bridge, and Fisherman’s Wharf, where you can take a short boat trip to tour infamous Alcatraz Island.

Day 3 San Francisco - Monterey / Carmel (130mi/210km)

Pick-up your rent-a-car and drive this morning via Cas- troville to Monterey. Visit Cannery Row (brought to fame by John Steinbeck’s novel) and the quaint village of Carmel. Enjoy stunning views of the rugged coastline and the Pacific Ocean on 17-Mile Drive, then continue to your hotel for your overnight stay.

Day 4 Monterey / Carmel - Pacific Coast Highway - Santa Barbara - Anaheim (340mi/580km)

Today drive along the Pacific Coast Highway, passing San Simeon and Morro Bay to Santa Barbara. Continue toward the cosmopolitan city of Los Angeles and your hotel.

Day 5 Anaheim / Los Angeles

Spend the day at Disneyland, “The Hap- piest Place on Earth,” or take a compre- hensive tour of Los Angeles including hip Santa Monica, glamorous Hollywood and posh Bev- erly Hills. Stop by the “finish line” of Historic Route 66, see an iconic Californian lifeguard tower made famous by “Baywatch”, walk on the boulevard of stars and take a great photo of the famous Holly- wood sign, or visit Universal Studios where you will learn all about how movies are made.

Day 6 Los Angeles - Palm Springs (120mi/200km)

Today head for Palm Springs, a favorite playground for the stars of the entertainment industry.
Palm Springs is known for its golf courses, palm trees, and lavish private homes. Enjoy a desert sunset by the pool of your hotel.

Day 7 Palm Springs - Phoenix / Scottsdale (280mi/450km)

There is time this morning to shop in the exclusive boutiques and shops of Palm Springs before driving to Scottsdale and Phoenix. Phoenix is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, mainly due to the dry climate and many days of sunshine.

Day 8 Phoenix / Scottsdale - Montezuma Castle - Sedona (130mi/208km)

You will have an opportunity for plenty of sightseeing today as you visit the ancient cliff dwellings known as Montezuma Castle. Then continue to the idyllic town of Sedona. Nestled among red sandstone buttes and pinnacles, this is a spiritual place and sure to be a highlight.

Day 9 Sedona - Oak Creek Canyon - Grand Canyon (110km/176mi)

This morning a short drive takes you to Oak Creek Canyon and Flagstaff, which may look familiar as many scenes have been filmed here for Western movies. Then arrive at the extraordinary Grand Canyon. You have the day to stroll along the South Rim and experience this awesome work of nature, with its plunging gorges - and one mile below the rim - the mighty Colorado River.

Day 10 Grand Canyon - Las Vegas (290mi/470km)

Today’s drive takes you through Wil- liams on Historic Route 66 and Kingman to one of the world’s greatest man-made structures, Hoover Dam, which marks the border between Arizona and Nevada. Continue to Las Vegas, the glittering “Entertainment Capital of the World,” open 24-hours a day for nonstop fun and gambling.

Day 11 Las Vegas

A full day at leisure to enjoy the shopping, dining and gaming that make Vegas the playground that never sleeps.

Day 12 Las Vegas - Death Valley (140mi/230km)

Spend the morning at leisure in Las Vegas. Depart at noon for the drive across the Amargosa Desert to Death Valley National Park. At Zabriskie Point you can admire the panoramic view of this seemingly endless, unchanging valley. This evening, head outside for some of the best stargazing in the world.

Day 13 Death Valley - Yosemite (350mi/560km)

Today offers a complete contrast in landscape from the desolation of Death Valley, as the drive takes you into the high Sierra Nevada Mountains via Bishop to Tioga Pass and Yosemite, one of America’s most scenic national parks. Here, among pine trees, cascade the silvery waters of Yosemite and Bridalveil Falls. Massive ice-shaped formations rise sharply from the val- ley floor in the sculptured beauty of El Capitan and Half Dome.

Day 14 Yosemite - San Francisco (210mi/340km)

From Yosemite, take a drive west across the state of California and return to San Francisco.

Day 15 San Francisco

Return your car at the airport before your departure flight.