I thoroughly enjoyed this tour and would highly recommend it to others. I have a love of nature and natural landscapes and am a keen amateur photographer, so this tour was perfect and everything I had hoped it would be. We had a group of 36 from various countries as well as some from the USA, which was a good number and everyone got on very well.
Our tour guide Matt was excellent, and his knowledge of the national parks we were visiting was awesome, as he has done long hikes in most of them. Just a warning to anyone considering this tour who can’t handle heights at all – there are a lot of high mountain passes (many with winding roads and lots of hair pin bends), as well as high lookouts! In fact, I was surprised at the amount of times we crossed high mountain passes.
The road through the Colorado National Monument is extremely high, narrow and winding, with no barriers – I didn’t enjoy that section of the trip (about 2 hrs of driving) as I don't like high roads, although the views when we stopped at the lookouts were amazing. Our driver Randy was an excellent and experienced driver and drove up and down the winding roads extremely carefully.
There was so much to see on this tour, but the highlights for me were Arches National Park, Mt Rushmore, Yellowstone NP and Zion NP. We saw some amazing wildlife both in the national parks and as we drove along outside the parks - black bears, bison including calves, elk, deer, prairie dogs and moose.
The hotel accommodation was excellent and much better than I had expected – at least 4 star in all places except Cody, where we had individual rustic cabins - only about 3 star. Although acceptable, I think Cosmos should review the accommodation at Cody, as the Buffalo Bill Resort has 2 other hotels on site that would be better than the cabins.
We had a couple of early starts, but we usually got in at quite a reasonable time each evening. We often stopped near supermarkets for morning tea or lunch, which made it great for buying something easy for lunch or to stock up on snacks/fruit etc. There were only 6 breakfasts included and a couple of these were only continental.
I chose to go on the optional Navajo Cookout at the end of our tour of Monument Valley, and although I enjoyed the barbecue and salad and the talk by the Navajo guide, I don’t think it was really value for money and another guest agreed with me, as we had expected more cultural things such as some dancing and native stories. I also did the optional dinner of the Temple Restaurant dinner in Salt Lake City. Although not cheap, it was a fantastic buffet meal 10 stories above the temple square. The food was superb and the atmosphere wonderful – I would highly recommend this optional tour.
Thanks so much to Madeleine Lewis at Global Journeys for her great patience with my endless emails! I would definitely use Global Journeys again.