The United States: Luxury & Private Journeys
The United States is a patchwork of National Parks, national forests, public lands, state preserves, and home to a multitude of private lodges, camps, and ranches. Even though we might be itching to stamp our passports, now is the time for a great reminder that our own country has some of the most diverse, isolated, dramatic, and beautiful terrains in the world.
Through the U.S. National Parks system, we have access to more than 84 million acres of protected land spread across 419 areas in 50 states and territories. Bordering our federal lands, there are countless privately owned luxury properties – ranches, lodges, off-grid camps, fly-in camps, cabins, and boutique hotels – that are accessible by ground travel or short, domestic or private air.
Every state in the U.S. has several exceptional remote getaway opportunities if you know where to look. From the “wild west” and red rock canyons of the Southwest, to the pristine forests and mountains of the Rockies, to the rugged coastline and wine country of the West Coast, enjoy safari-level adventure, nature and wildlife experiences close to home.
Secrets and Tips from our Experts
- For the ‘best of both’ combine glamping near a National Park with a luxury ranch
- Go on a road trip!
- Private tented camps are an amazing way to experience the great outdoors. Bring the whole family along – the more people, better the value!
- Take this opportunity to learn of our country’s history. Incorporate a cultural experience, such as a river float on the Rio Grande in New Mexico, with a local Pueblo guide who can speak to the people and history of this land.
Is the United States the right destination for you?
There are a lot of benefits to traveling in your own backyard:
- Avoid long international flights, passport/visa paperwork, and potential COVID-related border closures by embarking on a US-based journey.
- The active traveler will adore so much the US has on offer. From white water rafting, to hiking, to horseback riding, to boating… the great outdoors awaits.
- Gain appreciation for this big, beautiful country many of us call home. Learn something new about our own parks, animals, landscapes and history.
When to visit the United States
USA can be a year round destination; when you travel will be influenced by your locations and activities of choice.
Generally, spring and autumn will be lovely times to visit National Parks and reserves, due to more temperate weather and blooming flowers or vivid foliage. Winter and summer bring the most extreme temperatures.
In the northern half of the country, winter brings cold weather, with temperatures decreasing the further north and/or higher elevation you travel. At this time, expect snowfall, snow-capped mountains, and frozen lakes and rivers. Summer brings the heat, ranging from humid to dry, though generally the coasts and mountainous parks will be comfortable – making it a great time to visit.
As we move south, temperatures increase, and even in the middle of winter some locations will remain comfortably warm, such as southern California, and parts of New Mexico or Arizona. Summers in the south can be uncomfortably hot, and tend to get more humid as you move east. Though even in the scorching summers there will be a number of parks at higher elevation, coastal areas with cooler breezes, or luxury accommodations with icy A/C to keep you comfortable – all in all making summer a good time to travel.
How much should I budget for a USA journey?
Extraordinary Journeys wants you to experience your country like never before, in a style reminiscent of an African safari. Private tented camps and luxury lodging, customized itineraries, incredibly knowledgeable guides, unique experiences, all coming together into a seamless and memorable journey. This type of adventure can range from $800 to $2500 per person per night or so, fully dependent on what type of accommodation and experiences you are looking to include.
Tip: Private tented camps are a wonderful way to experience remote nature. The more people, the better value, so bring the whole family along!
Our favorite areas
As safari-addicts, we are excited by similar types of nature and wildlife based experiences here in the USA.
The Southwest offers some of this country’s most other-wordly landscapes, such as the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, the Grand Canyon in Arizona, and Bisti Wilderness Area in New Mexico. This region offers a chance to learn of Native American culture, through many perspectives including the Navajo or Pueblo peoples. Expect a mix of towering cacti, sandstone canyons, open skies, and a dash of Route 66 Americana culture to boot.
Moving north, you’ll run into the great Rocky Mountains that continue from New Mexico up to British Columbia, spanning over 3000 miles. The Rockies are seemingly endless, and absolutely breathtaking, offering in its path an abundance of protected wilderness, just waiting to be explored. Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado are perfectly situated to enjoy all the peaks, valleys, and beauty at hand. Hiking, fishing, horseback riding, rafting, and more, all while surrounded by some of the most beautiful and pristine wilderness the minds eye can conjure. We adore Yellowstone, Lake Powell, the Grand Tetons, Aspen, Big Sky, and so much more. For something different, unleash your inner cowboy or cowgirl while staying at a traditional (or maybe a not-so-traditional, super luxury) “dude ranch”.
Moving west to Washington, Oregon, and California, we diversify our experiences yet again. National parks, ancient forests, and back wood trails are intertwined with rugged coastline, beaches, and wine country. The stunning range of terrain found in our country’s west coast is truly jaw-dropping, and provides incredible opportunity for a journey with many facets.
What else should I know before planning a United States journey?
- One may assume that domestic travel is easy and not worth splurging on. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. To enjoy curated itineraries, insider knowledge, and unique, private experiences, enlisting an expert to create a seamless journey is well worth it. And what better place to explore and invest in than your home country.
- Even here in the USA there are some restrictions pertaining to COVID-19. Our team will advise of any relevant guidelines and precautions that must be followed by you, your guide, and the accommodations. Your safety is always our primary concern!
Ways to experience the United States?
- Hike, bike or walk through countless national parks and protected reserves
- Explore by water, be it white water rafting or boating
- Set out on horseback or quad bike
- Go fishing (pole fishing, fly fishing, ice fishing – you name it!)
- Snow-shoeing and cross country skiing in the winters
- See the world from above by hot air balloon or helicopter
- Dive into the history of our country with visits to Native American dwellings, settlements, and museums
- Enjoy an array of other activities, dependent on your interests, such as archery, shooting ranges, wine tasting, and more
Wildlife you will see
The wildlife you will encounter of course is dependent on where you choose to visit, and what activities you include. The wildlife experiences here in USA are so different from what you may have experienced on safari, but still quite impressive in their own right. Deer, elk, bison, bear, antelope, jackrabbit, coyote, prairie dog, opossum, fox, wild turkey, hawks, eagles, and so much more.
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