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Day 1: San Diego
Arrive in San Diego and proceed to your hotel. Spend the rest of the day at leisure, discovering some of the sites for which this city is known, such as Balboa Park, the Gas Lamp District, and Seaport Village. If time permits visit the world famous San Diego Zoo or see Shamu at SeaWorld.
Day 2: San Diego – Temecula – Palm Springs (135 m / 217 km)
Leave the Pacific behind as you cross the coastal mountains, through the Temecula wine region and enter the vast Colorado Desert of Eastern California. Anza Borrego Desert Park offers an unspoiled view of the eerie lunar landscape along the old Butterfield Stage route. Arrive in Palm Springs located in the heart of the Coachella Valley.
Day 3: Palm Springs – Phoenix / Scottsdale (268 m / 431 km)
Continue east through Palm Desert, Indian Wells and the vast Coachella Valley as you pass Joshua Tree National Park. Cross the Colorado River at Blythe and enter the “Grand Canyon State” of Arizona. Arrive late afternoon in Phoenix – the “Valley of the Sun.” Enjoy an evening at leisure in this Southwestern resort.
Day 4: Phoenix / Scottsdale – Sedona – Grand Canyon National Park (226 m / 364 km)
Depart north through the desert landscape of barren rock and Saguaro cactus into the Verde Valley. Take a side trip to visit Montezuma Castle, an imposing 5-storey ruin of a Native American cliff dwelling built into a white limestone cliff. Then continue north to secluded Sedona. Ascend through Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff then continue to Grand Canyon National Park. Spend your afternoon strolling along the South Rim of this awe-inspiring spectacle of colorful, ever-changing rock formations.
Day 5: Grand Canyon National Park – Monument Valley – Page / Lake Powell (298 m / 485 km)
Take time this morning to discover the sunrise over the Grand Canyon's South Rim and then leave the canyon behind as you enter Navajo country and the Painted Desert. Take a popular route through sparsely-populated Indian Country to Monument Valley, where isolated monoliths of red sandstone tower 1,000 ft (305 m) above the valley floor. Arrive in Page, site of massive man-made Lake Powell. Learn about life in the early days of the canyon and the building of this remarkable engineering wonder at the Carl Hayden Visitor Center.
Day 6: Page / Lake Powell – Bryce Canyon National Park – Zion National Park (291 m / 466 km)
A morning departure north into Utah passes through scenic Kanab and takes you to Bryce Canyon National Park. Heading south, make the detour to see Cedar Breaks National Monument with more magical rock formations in even more vivid hues. Then continue on to Zion National Park, a monument of time carved by wind and water and well known for geological features with names like The Three Patriarchs, Bridge Mountain, White Throne and the Hidden Temple of Sinawava.
Day 7: Zion National Park – Las Vegas (159 m / 256 km)
Depart this morning for Las Vegas. On the way, take a short detour and visit Nevada’s oldest State Park, Valley of Fire. The rough floor and jagged walls of the park contain brilliant formations of eroded sandstone and sand dunes that often appear to be on fire when reflecting the sun's rays. From the fantastic works of nature to the man-made miracle in the desert – welcome to Las Vegas!
Day 8: Las Vegas
This is a day at leisure. Las Vegas is a city that never sleeps. The “Strip” will mesmerize you with its dazzling lights, casino action and opulent hotels with their lavish shows and headline performers. Try your hand with “Lady Luck”! Take the time to visit the well known resorts with their individual themes and a myriad of attractions, or just relax by the pool.
Day 9: Las Vegas – Death Valley National Park (187 m / 301 km)
Depart westward into the desert and Death Valley National Park. This area of unexpected contrasts offers eerie sites of barren desolation including the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere and mountains over 11,000 ft (3,353 m). Make a photo stop at Badwater, which is 282 ft (86 m) below sea level or hike to Zabriskie Point for impressive views of the valley. Drive along colorful formations before visiting the oasis of Furnace Creek Ranch, located in the center of the expansive valley.
Day 10: Death Valley National Park – Los Angeles (287 m / 462 km)
Continue through the great Mojave Desert and contemplate the impression this harsh land made on the first immigrants migrating to California. On the way, pass the city of Mojave, home to the world-record holding, experimental aircraft Voyager. Not far away is Edwards Air Force Base, the Air Force Flight Test Center site where “Chuck” Yeager first broke the sound barrier in 1947. Arrive in the “megalopolis” of Los Angeles.
Day 11: Los Angeles – Disneyland – San Diego (128 m / 206 km)
Depart Los Angeles for the short drive to Anaheim, home to Mickey Mouse and the original Disneyland. You may explore this fantasyland of magic before continuing south to sunny San Diego.
Day 12: San Diego
Spend the day at leisure, or take the opportunity for last minute sightseeing before your departure.
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