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School Geography Trip to West Coast USA

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A geography school trip to the USA’s West Coast offers the unforgettable opportunity to explore the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Yosemite National Park and San Francisco!

Spectacular canyons, volcanic activity, diverse ecosystems, magnificent rivers and sprawling coastal urbanisation are all here for you to explore, giving your students plenty of opportunity to see geography in action.

Combine your trip with some amazing sightseeing options, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, all of which will highlight the human impact on the landscape and the methods employed to try to overcome the environmental challenges in the area.

Suggested Itinerary (Based on 10 days/8 nights )

Grand Canyon, USA

Explore the Grand Canyon!

Possibly the most famous natural attraction in the US, the Grand Canyon is possibly one of the best places in the world to learn about the effects of erosion.

Here, two billion years of the Earth’s geological history is laid bare, thanks to the erosive power of the Colorado River and its tributaries.

This is a truly spectacular visit that will impress upon your students how the study of geography can help them to understand the incredible world around them.

Did you know?

The Grand Canyon is huge! It measures 277 miles in length and at its stretches 18 miles across at its widest point!

Bryce Canyon, USA

Explore Bryce Canyon!

Bryce Canyon is a collection of natural amphitheatres and is most famous for its spectacular array of hoodoos!

Despite its name, Bryce Canyon isn’t actually a canyon, because it wasn’t formed by the erosion caused by a central stream. It was, in fact, carved out by headward erosion.

Of course, this means it’s the perfect place to learn more about different types of erosion and their effects on the landscape, particularly if you combine your visit to Bryce Canyon with a stop at the Grand Canyon.

Did you know?

Bryce Canyon is named after Mormon pioneer Ebenezer Bryce. It’s said that he stumbled into the main amphitheatre of the canyon when looking for lost cattle – after that, the locals referred to it as ‘Bryce’s Canyon’ and the name stuck!

Yosemite National Park, USA

Explore Yosemite National Park!

Hike and study the landscape of Yosemite National Park with a choice of three areas to focus on – life sciences and ecology, watershed studies, earth science and geology, cultural history or current environmental issues.

Located in the western Sierra Nevada and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984, Yosemite National Park is world famous for its spectacular scenery including waterfalls, giant sequoias, mountains, glaciers and meadows.

Yosemite was key to the development of the USA’s national park system, thanks to the movement to protect it from development which led to President Abraham Lincoln signing the Yosemite Grant in 1864.

Did you know?

Almost 95% of Yosemite National Park is designated wilderness and boasts an incredible biological diversity – the park is home to over 250 species of vertebrates.

Day 1


Flight to Phoenix 


On arrival transfer to your hotel


Evening meal at accommodation

Day 2


Travel to the Grand Canyon


Walk along the South Rim to view the millions of years of wind and water erosion that have created the Canyon

Continue to Tuba City


Evening meal and overnight in Tuba City

Day 3


Travel to Monument Valley to view the desert plain with its gigantic sandstone monolithic structures


Lunch of Navajo specialities followed by a jeep tour with Navajo Indians

Arrive Page late afternoon, making stops at Lake Powell and Glen Canyon Dam


Western meal with live country music show and overnight in Kanab

Day 4


Beautiful drive crossing the plains to Bryce Canyon to view its pink cliffs


Continue to Las Vegas


Buffet meal and overnight in Las Vegas 

Day 5


Travel to the Valley of Fire offering superb multicoloured desert landscapes, strangely eroded rocks and 150 million year old sand dunes


Continue to Lake Mead and visit the Hoover Dam on the famous Colorado River

Return to Las Vegas


Visit the Borax Museum displaying the history of mining in Death Valley

Continue to Mammoth Lakes

Day 6


Leave Las Vegas for Death Valley, approx. 320 ft below sea level

Discover Badwater Point, the lowest spot in the valley, Furnace Creek and Stovepipe Sand Dunes


Visit the Borax Museum displaying the history of mining in Death Valley

Continue to Mammoth Lakes


Meal and overnight at Mammoth Lakes

Day 7


Drive to Yosemite National Park, a clear contrast to the landscape previously visited

Discover Half Dome, Yosemite Valley, Bridalveil Falls and Yosemite Falls


Drive down from the mountains across the fertile agricultural lands of Central Valley to San Francisco


Meal and overnight in San Francisco

Day 8


Take a guided tour of San Francisco including the Bay, Chinatown, Union Square and more


Visit Golden Gate Park and the California Academy of Science with its excellent Earthquake Exhibition

Photo stop at the Golden Gate Bridge


Fisherman's Wharf for meal and overnight in San Francisco

Day 9


Morning at your leisure for a little shopping


Transfer to the airport for your return flight


Return flight to the UK

Day 10


Arrive in the UK





  • tick icon8 nights' half-board accommodation
  • tick iconAirport taxes and passenger duty at current rates
  • tick iconAirport transfers in resort
  • tick iconATOL protected return flights from the UK
  • tick iconComprehensive travel and medical insurance
  • tick iconDetailed information pack
  • tick iconFree staff place ratio 1:10
  • tick iconGuide available throughout the tour
  • tick iconItinerary planning service
  • tick iconNational Park and California Acadamy of Science entry fees
  • tick iconVamoos travel app - giving you access to all your trip documents on your phone or tablet
  • tick iconVAT at current rates to tour operators

Educational activities and visits

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park is a spectacular sight and not to be missed on any trip to Utah… Read more

California Academy of Science

California Academy of Science

The California Academy of Sciences, located in Golden Gate Park San Francisco, contains an… Read more

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is the most famous natural attraction in the USA. It is one of the best… Read more

NatureBridge Yosemite

NatureBridge Yosemite

NatureBridge Yosemite gives your students the opportunity to immerse themselves in nature,… Read more


Circus Circus
Hospitality Suite Resort Scottsdale Hotel
Quality Inn Navajo Nation
Royal Inn and Suites
Sierra Nevada Lodge
The Embassy Hotel
Circus Circus

Circus Circus offers 3,767 guest rooms, including 135 suites, that provide comfortable, affordable accommodation with easy access to all the excitement Las Vegas has to offer.

The hotel offers a selection of shops and restaurants including a pizzeria, steak house and Deli.

Hospitality Suite Resort Scottsdale Hotel

Conveniently located at the border of Scottsdale and Tempe, this charming desert getaway continues to give each guest the royal treatment. 

Each suite offers a fully equipped kitchen along with a telephone, a TV with cable and in room movies. In room coffee, hair dryer, iron & ironing board are also available.

Quality Inn Navajo Nation

Experience the sights, sounds and history of the Navajo Nation Reservation at the Quality Inn Navajo Nation hotel in Tuba City, Arizona, minutes from Dinosaur Tracks, Diné College and the Explore Navajo Interactive Monument.

The historic Tuba Trading Post is next door to the property. Stop by the on-site Hogan’s Restaurant for a selection of Mexican, American and local cuisine.

All guest rooms feature a cable television, hairdryer, iron and board.

Royal Inn and Suites

Welcome to the Royal Inn Kanab, Utah centrally located between southern Utah's most popular national parks and other scenic destinations, Kanab is the perfect base for any visit to the great southwest; Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand Canyon North Rim, Lake Powell are an easy drive from Kanab.

All guest rooms have coffee makers, hair dryers, irons & ironing boards and cable television, some rooms come equipped with microwaves and refrigerators.

Sierra Nevada Lodge

This rustic resort offers comfortably appointed Lodge rooms and resort amenities at good value. Each Lodge Queen/Queen room includes a full en-suite, TV with Cable, hairdryer, coffee maker, refridgerator and microwave.

The Embassy Hotel

The Embassy Hotel offers 84 spacious, clean and comfortable rooms each with private bathrooms, a TV and a telephone.

In addition, this hotel is well known for its excellent personal service and great rates.

Continental breakfast is complimentary for all guests.

Supporting you every step of the way!

Creating your perfect trip

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Launching your trip

Head to our resources section for FREE promotional materials

After you've booked

Your dedicated Itinerary Coordinator will work with you on the finer details of your trip

While you're away

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After your trip

Head back to our resources section to continue the learning

Need help?

Don’t hesitate to contact me for any advice or further information on how your school trip can be tailored to your requirements.

We were delighted with the way the trip was organized beforehand and the support which was available once we had left school. An excellent initiation to the Halsbury experience!  — Eirias High School, September 2019

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Our ABTA bond means all our school trips are financially protected. Plus, all air tours and flights arranged by us are also ATOL protected.

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As an Assured Member of the School Travel Forum (STF) we have an effective Safety Management System in place.

As well as reassuring you that your group's safety will be prioritised at all times, this will also help you to meet your due diligence and reduces the amount of External Provider paperwork required.

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The Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) Quality Badge is your reassurance that Halsbury Travel is committed to offering LOtC activities that are safe and beneficial to learning.

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