Wild West Self-Drive Tour
We have gathered the best highlights from America’s Wild West. Stunning scenery, exciting cities, popular attractions and lots of driving on the legendary motorcycle road Pacific Highway 1. This 16-day tour has it all; Los Angeles, Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach, San Diego, Mexican border, Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Lake Powell, Utah’s national parks, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Las Vegas, Death Valley, Yosemite, San Francisco, Big Basin Redwood Park, Solvang and 4.400 km of fantastic motorcycle roads. This is the Dream Tour!
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Los Angeles – LAX|
|DEPARTURE TIME||Please arrive at least 2 hours before the flight.|
“At Explorify Tours we believe that good experiences and camaraderie are at least as important as the journey. Our goal is to fill your tour travelbag with as many positive memories as possible, so you go home with a big smile on your face. And with friends, you didn’t have before you started the tour.”
Day 1: Departure - Arrival Los Angeles, California
Day 2: Los Angeles - San Diego
(Driving day 1: 212 km/132 miles)
We start the day with an information meeting, where we cover information about your tour on the Wild West Dream Tour & your stay in LA. We also cover practical information & preparations regarding mc and car rental checkout.
Afterward, we check out of the hotel and drive to Explorify MC Rentals to pick up our bikes – late model Harley Davidsons. The bike you have booked for the tour is prepared, all necessary insurance is included.
When everyone is ready on the bikes we embark on our 4.400 km long journey. LA disappears behind us as we head south for a unique adventure full of history, excitement and fun! This first driving day will bring some city, some highway and a wonderful drive along the legendary Pacific Coast Highway 1 towards fun San Diego. We start slowly to tune everyone into California’s driving conditions and temperatures. In approx. 30 min our first stop is Long Beach, where we make an extra security check of the bikes, equipment and drivers before our tour begins for real.
Get ready for a tasty lunch at Ruby’s Diner in Laguna Beach. Milkshakes the old-fashioned way = highly recommended! Thereafter, we head straight to San Diego, where we drive to Historic Old Town, check in to the hotel, and we spend the rest of the day on everything this fun city has to offer: the USS Midway, Maritime Museum, Little Italy, Old Town.
Day 3: San Diego - Blythe
(Driving day 2: 362 km/225 miles)
We leave beautiful and fun San Diego to spend the day driving on fantastic motorcycle roads; Historic Route 94 and 98, plus Old Hwy 80. The roads are curvy and pass through spectacular scenery. Enjoy + have your camera ready!
During most of the day, we will drive along the Mexico border, which is well guarded by the U.S. Border Patrol. We eat a Mexican lunch at a popular local diner in Calexico.
After our stop in Calexico, we continue northeast through the Imperial Sand Dunes, which is a very special experience. It’s like driving through a sandy desert with sand dunes on each side of the road. Guaranteed a very rare experience. We make a stop in the middle of the “desert” before continuing to Blythe. In the evening, we go to a local steakhouse and eat a real American steak.
Day 4: Blythe - Sedona
(Driving day 3: 386 km/240 miles)
We start the day with a transport stage through the dry prairie landscape, before we start riding the spectacular motorcycle roads to Prescott, where we will enjoy a great lunch buffet.
We continue driving on curvy & fun motorcycle roads on our way to Jerome ghost town. Thereafter, we drive to the breathtaking natural preserve Oak Creek Canyon, where you will be surrounded by spectacular scenery and rock formations. This natural paradise might look familiar since many famous cowboy movies have been recorded here. Oak Creek Canyon is the second most popular tourist attraction in Arizona, after the Grand Canyon. Our last stop is Sedona, in the heart of Oak Creek Canyon, a unique Indian city with dramatic natural surroundings from another world. Sedona is known for its spiritual energy and a thriving cultural community.
Day 5: Sedona - Tuba City
(Driving day 4: 306 km/190 miles)
This is the tour’s highlight for many. Welcome to the Grand Canyon! We start the day by driving fun & curvy motorcycle roads on our way out of Oak Creek Canyon, passing Flagstaff, touching by Historic Route 66, before continuing through beautiful scenery. Just before the “entrance” to the Grand Canyon is the helicopter base. Those who have pre-ordered the helicopter tour will get an experience they will never forget. To hoover in the air over one of the world’s seven wonders and experience this natural wonder up close is almost magical. Highly recommended! NB: Helicopter rides must be booked in advance.
After the helicopter tour, we ride a short trip to the visitor center, where we see the world’s most-watched Imax movie. When you see the film it feels almost like standing inside the Grand Canyon. We also eat lunch here. Then, we drive into the Grand Canyon and spend the rest of the day here. Finally, we set course towards another very famous natural phenomenon; Monument Valley, but make an overnight stop in Tuba City.
Day 6: Tuba City - Hanksville
(Driving day 5: 398 km/247 miles)
We start the day by driving to Monument Valley, one of the world’s most photographed natural phenomena. Monument Valley cannot be described in words; it must be experienced. Up close, we experience the classic Wild West landscape of sandstone rock formations. Everything has a reddish shade and is beautiful to look at. It is only when you are in Monument Valley that you will understand how much this area has influenced your perspective on the wild west. These natural surroundings are also other places, but not as perfect as exhibited here. When we ride amongst these majestic rock formations, we are in the middle of the Navajo Indians’ area, so you just have to get the spiritual mood up.
We continue to Mexican Hat, another natural phenomenon. Is it a sombrero or stone formation? Then we head north to Lake Powell and Utah’s national parks. This will be a driving distance you never will forget. We are surrounded by amazing rock formations and have a three-dimensional height perspective. All-day we drive through exceptional beautiful and spectacular scenery, with fun motorcycle roads. Today’s driving one of the tour’s absolute highlights! We drive through Goosenecks State Park, Natural Bridges National Monument, Glen Canyon, Lake Powell, Goblin Valley, and Horseshoe Canyon. Enjoy!
Day 7: Hanksville - Kanab
(Driving day 6: 397 km/247 miles)
We continue our amazing and spectacular drive through Utah. The national parks come like beads on a string; Goblin Canyon, Capitol Reef, Thousand Lake, and Otter Creek State Park. Best of all is our ride up and down the elevations of the Escalante staircase. We believe you will have a problem stopping smiling.
One of the tour highlights is the magic of Bryce Canyon. Bryce Canyons rock formations are difficult to describe, an experience on par with the Grand Canyon. We continue through Dixie National Forest to another great National Park; Zion.
Day 8: Kanab - Las Vegas
(Driving day 7: 255 km/158 miles)
Get ready for another amazing day! We start by driving through spectacular Zion. Besides seeing some of the world’s finest rock formations, the roads are particularly curvy here – “the switchbacks of Zion”! Compared to Yosemite and Grand Canyon, Zion radiates a more aesthetic appreciation of nature.
When we come out of Zion, it’s straight ahead to the neon-lit gambling oasis Las Vegas. We arrive at lunchtime, park the bikes and spend the rest of the day exploring this exciting city. This evening you can explore the famous “Sin City” on your own. Enjoy! You are in one of the most fun cities in the world.
Las Vegas has it all, amazing architecture, unique shows, casinos and all kinds of entertainment. Vegas is never boring! Most attractions are within walking distance. We highly recommend taking a trip to Caesar’s Palace, Bellagio, MGM, Stardust, Treasure Island, The Venetian, Mirage, Wyatt and The Fashion Show Mall (over 200 stores). At the Mirage you will be able to enjoy the evening volcanic eruptions every 30 minutes, turning the garden into a flame show. Inside the casino are rare white tigers. The water show outside the Bellagio is also a memory for life.
Day 9: Las Vegas - Lone Pine
(Driving day 8: 401 km/249 miles)
We head west out of Las Vegas, where the road takes us to Death Valley – the hottest place on the planet outside the Equator! There is almost no shade anywhere and the heat is extreme – yet nature is wonderful & exciting. We eat an early lunch in the middle of Death Valley. Afterward, we drive through a series of turns and mountains and find ourselves located more than 30 meters below sea level. We continue west, ride Sequoia National Park to Lone Pine, where we stay overnight.
Day 10: Lone Pine - Mariposa
(Driving day 9: 386 km/240 miles)
We start the day by driving to Lake Crawley and Mammoth Lakes, known for mountain-biking in summer and skiing in winter. We continue north to Tioga Pass before we cross Yosemite National Park. Here we ride through enormous granite mountains and curvy motorcycle roads. This will require some concentration until we approach the mother of the mother of all national parks.
Yosemite draws thousands of images and rises to dizzying heights. Here you will experience the beautiful, wild, tame and abundant nature that spreads around you. We drive to another natural highlight; Glacier Point, which is one of the most spectacular scenic viewpoints in the US. At the end of the day, we drive to a fun little mountain town in Yosemite.
Day 11: Mariposa - San Francisco
(Driving day 10: 356 km/221 miles)
When we drive out of Yosemite National Park we will ride on great motorcycle roads. We are confident you will have a big smile on your face. When we are out of Yosemite, we continue west to Sausalito and Golden Gate Bridge, where we will take the time to enjoy the view of the bridge and beautiful San Francisco. Afterward, we drive across this famous bridge and into San Francisco, where we will stay near the Embarcadero and all its attractions.
Day 12: San Francisco
(Fun and explorer day)
When you wake up in funny San Francisco you might understand why Frank Sinatra left his heart in this city. The city is a funky, individualistic and surprisingly small place – certainly the most liberal city in the US.
San Francisco really has a European feel and you have many more opportunities for sightseeing than it is possible to adapt to our short stay here. Make sure you visit Fisherman’s Wharf while dropping by small shops and street cafes famous for some of the best seafood dishes in the world. Feel free to hop on one of the city’s famous “Cable Cars” which is a moving landmark and the heart of this amazing city! Other good options are the prison island Alcatraz (must be booked in advance), harbor cruises, Chinatown, Lombard Street (one of America’s curviest streets). Those who wish can take a road trip to Napa Valley and taste wines.
Day 13: San Francisco - Monterey
(Driving day 11: 192 km/120 miles)
Get ready for some amazing driving experiences – this day is one of the tours’ definite highlights! We drive on the legendary Pacific Highway 1, the spectacular coastline and experience our first taste of one of the most amazing motorcycle roads in the world. Stunning views of caves and rock formations, there’ll be plenty of opportunities to take great pictures. We also stop by the famous biker bar “Alice’s” & drive through Big Basin Redwood State Park, which is packed with curvy & narrow motorcycle roads and the famous wide Redwood trees. We make several stops along Pacific Highway 1 and the Redwood forest before we head to Monterey.
Monterey is home to the world-famous Laguna Seca Automobile (known motorcycle race track). When we arrive at this spectacular seaside city, we will spend the afternoon along Cannery Row, which is packed with beautiful hotels, shops, and restaurants. We eat dinner at the famous Fisherman’s Wharf.
Day 14: Monterey - Solvang
(Driving day 12: 339 km/210 miles)
We’ll say it again: it is hard to believe that nature can be more beautiful, but today’s ride will simply take your breath away. We drive the highly appraised Pacific Highway 1 with mountains on our left side and the Pacific Ocean on our right side. As we continue past the Big Sur, you will feel the warm California sun together with delicious salty sea air on your skin. There will be several miles with fantastic views and great formations where the Santa Lucia Mountains meet the Pacific Ocean, creating one of the most beautiful stretches of the California coast. Today you will feel a delicious warm breeze and take in a spectacular sunset.
We drive through the beach resort Pismo Beach to the “Danish” city; Solvang (sister town of Aarhus), where we live in a Danish Gjæstgiveri, eat at a Danish beer restaurant and eat breakfast at a Danish bakery. We can even go behind the scenes to greet the Danish baker.
Day 15: Solvang - Los Angeles
(Driving day 13: 238 km/148 miles)
We say goodbye to Solvang and continue our wonderful trip to southern California, home of the Beach Boys, Hollywood and some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. We stop for lunch in Santa Barbara, referred to by many as America’s Riviera because of its similar climate and geography of the French and Italian Riviera.
Having digested Santa Barbara, we cruise down Pacific Coast Highway 1 to the famous Neptune’s Net biker restaurant & Malibu. Thereafter, we head straight to Los Angeles. We return the bikes, take off our boots and replace driving gear with light summer clothing. We spend the afternoon in the vicinity of the hotel. Here we also have a farewell dinner together and get ready for the journey home.
Day 16: Departure - Home Travel
We say goodbye to America’s Wild West, LA and return home. Group travel by shuttle to the airport.
Thanks for a great ride, good times and sincerely thank you for choosing to tour with Exploify Tours. We wish you a safe trip home and hope to see you again on one of our other tours in the US, South America, Asia, Oceania or Europe.
Note: Because of the time difference travelers from Europe will arrive home the date/day after departing the US.
Also: This program is a guideline for activities and experiences on the tour. Deviations may occur, but we guarantee that our positive tour leaders will do their utmost to execute the program as described – as far as it is feasible and circumstances allow. We are continually working to improve the program, thus you may experience positive surprises.