Natural Highlights of California

  • Trip Type: Journeys
  • 9 Days | Las Vegas to San Francisco
  • Group Size: Max 15

Trip Details


Set out on a nine-day quest through some of California’s greatest national parks. From the arid, sun-scorched landscapes of Death Valley to the astonishing giant redwoods of Sequoia National Park and Yosemite's awe-inspiring panorama of granite domes, this adventure covers a lot of ground—and almost every type of terrain imaginable.

Trip Highlights

    • Examine Sequoia National Park’s giant trees with a naturalist, and then stargaze with an astronomy expert after the sun goes down.
    • Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Monterey Aquarium and learn about the facility’s National Geographic-sponsored research.
    • Discover the breathtaking landscapes of Yosemite National Park.

Itinerary - 9 Days

Day 1 — Las Vegas

Arrive at any time.

Days 2, 3, & 4 — Death Valley/Yosemite National Park

Travel to Death Valley, the hottest and driest place in North America, and opt to take a jeep tour. The next day, sit back and enjoy the views on a drive across California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, arriving in the Yosemite area in the evening. Spend the following day exploring the park’s majestic waterfalls, crystal-clear lakes, and lush green meadows. (3B, 1D)

Day 5 — Sequoia National Park

Depart early for Sequoia National Park. Upon arrival, meet with a naturalist to learn about ongoing research in the wildlife preserve. Set off on a hike along the Big Tree Trail to see the park’s legendary sequoias and a section of the park that's been dedicated to the National Geographic Society. This evening, gaze at the stars with an astronomy expert from the Conservancy. (1B)

Days 6 & 7 — Monterey

Travel to Monterey, stopping along the way to take in spectacular coastal views at picturesque Big Sur. The next day, visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium on a tour specially arranged for National Geographic Journeys travelers. Get an inside look at the workings of the facility and find out how National Geographic grantees have collaborated with the Aquarium to understand and protect the marine world. Later, opt to explore the bay or wander historic Fisherman's Wharf and Cannery Row. (2B, 1D)

Days 8 & 9 — San Francisco

Continue on a scenic coastal drive to San Francisco for our final evening. Catch a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge on the way into one of America's most dynamic cities. Opt to catch a cable car for a ride along the city’s steep streets, explore the city by bicycle, or take a sunset cruise across the bay. Depart at any time the following day. (2B)

Related Trips

Offered in partnership with G Adventures, our National Geographic Journeys line blends fun, hands-on exploration, meaningful encounters with people and cultures, and more free time and choices—with the structure and security of traveling in a small group.


  • May 20 - 28, 2018
  • Jun 10 - 18, 2018
  • Jul 22 - 30, 2018
  • Aug 12 - 20, 2018
  • Sep 02 - 10, 2018
  • Sep 23 - Oct 01, 2018
  • Oct 14 - 22, 2018
  • May 19 - 27, 2019
  • Jun 09 - 17, 2019
  • Jul 21 - 29, 2019
  • Aug 11 - 19, 2019
  • Sep 01 - 09, 2019
  • Sep 29 - Oct 07, 2019
  • Oct 20 - 28, 2019

Trip Cost

Price From


Activity Level


Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives, or easy hikes, with options for more physical activities such as hiking, kayaking, snorkeling and biking.

Click here for a description of all activity levels.

Contact Us: 1-800-281-2354

Call to speak with a specialist about this trip.

Cost Details

All trip prices are per person based on double occupancy. If you're traveling on your own, we'll pair you up with a roommate of the same gender so that you can pay the same rate as other travelers. Prices are subject to change without notice and do not include airfare. All prices and fares are quoted in U.S. dollars.

My Own Room

During your trip, sometimes it's just more convenient and comfortable to have your own room. That's why we offer the "My Own Room" option - a single room all to yourself.

My Own Room Option: From $1,829

What's Included

Internal flights, transport between destinations and to/ from included activities, and activities as listed in the itinerary. Optional experiences are at an additional cost

Comfortable, mid-range hotels (8 nights)

Meals Included
8 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners. Allow an additional $380-495 for meals not included

Air-conditioned private touring van, hiking, walking

Optional Experience

You can do whatever you wish during your free time on tour, but if you're in need of suggestions, we've got them. Details about any optional experiences for this trip will be available during the booking process. Please note, these are at an additional cost.