12. The Great Western Round-Trip


Tour Overview

  • 12 Days / 11 Nights
  • 1698 Miles / 2733 Kilometers 
  • Season: May – mid October

Vast deserts, dramatic coastlines, deep canyons and high mountains – this tour leaves nothing behind. The American West is in its full glory as we provide you with a host of remarkable experiences during this 12-day adventure. You will experience Palm Springs, Joshua Tree, Death Valley, the Sierra Nevada, Yosemite National Park, the bustle of Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Francisco and return home via the world’s most famous coastal route – the majestic Highway 1. Almost 1700 miles of fantastic roads and breathtaking scenery – “once in a lifetime experience” is not a phrase we use lightly.


Daily Details

Day 1: Arrival in Los Angeles

Venice Beach sunset

After arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, a shuttle bus will take you to your hotel. Get some rest tonight, tomorrow some of the most amazing scenery of the American West awaits you.

Day 2: Los Angeles – Palm Springs (184 Miles / 296 Kilometers)

San Bernadino National Forrest

You will head south before working your way east towards Palm Springs through the winding mountain roads of San Bernardino National Forest. After taking a break at beautiful Lake Hemet you will descent into the desert via the legendary “Pines to Palms” Highway with its panoramic views across the Coachella Valley. After arriving in Palm Springs it’s time to relax by the pool at one of its famous mid-century modern Hotels.

Day 3: Palm Springs to Las Vegas (271 Miles / 436 Kilometers)

Joshua Tree National Park

Leaving Palm Springs, you will head east and enter the famed Joshua Tree National Park, where you ride through colorful landscapes and amazing rock formations. A designated wilderness area, the park’s elevations range from 1,000 to 6,000 feet (305 to 1,829m). At Keys View you will be able to take in the sweeping vistas stretching from the Salton Sea to the San Andreas Fault, the tectonic boundary between the Pacific plate and the North American plate. Exiting the park, you get your first taste of Route 66 as you make a stop at legendary Roy’s Motel and Café, a historic site and one of the last remaining examples of roadside mid-century modern Googie architecture. Your day will end in Vegas.

Day 4: Las Vegas to Death Valley (210 miles / 338 Kilometers)

Sunrise in Death Valley

From Las Vegas you head west towards the notorious Death Valley, a National Park and truly one of the most impressive landscapes of the world. Badwater Basin, which is located 282 feet (86 m) below sea level, is the lowest place in the western hemisphere. Above Badwater Basin is Dante’s View, a vantage point from which you can look out over the entire Valley, giving you an idea of how unique and vast Death Valley really is. Tonight you will stay in Furnace Creek, which sits approximately 190 feet (58 m) below sea level.

Day 5: Death Valley to Mammoth Lakes (205 miles / 330 Kilometers)

Overlooking Death Vallet from Zabriskie Point

Departing from Furnace Creek you will make your way through the  heart of Death Valley towards the sand dunes by Stovepipe Wells.  As you leave the valley by crossing the Panamint mountain range, Father Crowley Viewpoint will provide you with one last spectacular outlook before you move on north. After passing through Lone Pine, a small town that was featured in many classic Western Movies, you reach Bishop and the highway begins to ascend the Sierra Nevada. Your day ends in Mammoth Lakes where you will spend the night.

Day 6: Mammoth Lakes to Yosemite (175 miles / 282 Kilometers)

Yosemite – the greatest of all National Parks

Leaving Mammoth Lakes you will head North for a while before taking the infamous Tioga Pass to cross Yosemite, the greatest of all National Parks. The road takes you past granite cliffs towering 3,000 feet (914 m) into the air and waterfalls cascading down nearly 2,500 feet (762 m). Yosemite conjures up thousands of images and raises expectations to dizzying heights. And when you are there it is just as beautiful, wild, tame, rich, and sublime as you would expect. At Glacier Point you will experience commanding views of Half Dome, Yosemite Valley and Yosemite Falls before heading over to El Portal, where your day ends.

Day 7: Yosemite to San Francisco (197 miles / 317 Kilometers)


You will begin your day with a beautiful ride down the winding roads of the Sierra Nevada mountains towards the little town of Mariposa where you should stop for lunch. From Mariposa on it’s wide open highways as you head west on “California’s Main Street”. With each passing mile you get closer to San Francisco until you can start smelling the fresh, salty air of the Pacific Ocean.

Day 8: San Francisco

San Francisco

In San Francisco you will take a day off. Good times and social revolutions tend to start here. If there’s a technology still unimagined, a poem left unspoken or a green scheme untested, chances are it’s about to happen here. Take your bike and get to know the city or just relax at the hotel.

Day 9: San Francisco to Monterey (119 Miles / 192 Kilometers)

Lonely cypress in Monterey

Departing from San Francisco you will ride along the rugged coastline and get a first taste of one of the best motorcycle routes in the world, Highway 1. Breathtaking views of the coves and inlets of the Pacific are yours en route to Monterey, which is famous for being featured in John Steinbeck’s novel “Cannery Row”. California’s undeveloped beauty will start to unfold right in front of you.

Day 10: Monterey to Big Sur (147 Miles / 237 Kilometers)

There are few things more satisfying than riding down Highway 1 with only the current moment on your mind

From Monterey you will continue south to Big Sur. This wild section of coastline along Highway 1 is the jewel in the crown of California’s coast. Dramatic cliffs fall into the Pacific Ocean and towering redwoods rise over coastal streams. Highway 1 was carved and blasted out of the western slopes of the Santa Lucia Mountains over 100 years ago and, fortunately, this area has remained unspoiled. You ride past San Simeon, Cambria and Morro Bay until you get to Pismo Beach, where you will spend the night.

Day 11: Big Sur to Los Angeles (190 Miles / 306 Kilometers)

Bixby Bridge on Highway 1 by Big Sur

After continuing south you will hit Santa Barbara for lunch. The Mediterranean atmosphere, which hints at its Spanish origins, makes Santa Barbara feel more like a European beach town than an American city. From Santa Barbara you will ride through Oxnard straight into Malibu. From here it’s only a few more miles to Venice Beach, where you should stop for coffee on Abbot Kinney Blvd, named “The coolest block in America” by GQ Magazine.

Day 12: Departure from Los Angeles

The City of Angels

Say your goodbyes and head to the airport or spend a few more days in the “City of Angels.”



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