Home to some of America's most magnificent landscapes, the canyon terrain of the Southwest boasts the largest concentration of national parks in the country. Accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, immerse yourself in the region's striking geological formations and towering mesas on in-depth tours of five national parks plus well-known national monuments and state parks.
• See a variety of national parks and iconic landscapes in Nevada, Utah and Arizona.
• Enjoy a Navajo Nation cultural show around the campfire in Monument Valley.
• Take a thrilling jet boat ride on the Colorado River followed by a BBQ dinner on the riverbank.
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Begin in Grand Canyon National Park, where you'll learn about the canyon's geology and history on both an afternoon and early morning tour. Have your camera ready as you take in the canyon's breathtaking beauty at all the best view points along the South Rim. In Monument Valley, the setting of countless films, your Navajo guide takes you on a 4x4 tour of the stunning sandstone monoliths. While staying in Moab, visit Arches National Park which has the highest concentration of natural arches in the world. Here you'll see the park's red rock canyons up close during a sunset jet boat ride on the Colorado River.
Then travel along one of the crown jewels of the Scenic Byways system, Scenic Byway 12. This route takes you through the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument with its colorfully banded rocks that form towers, arches and amphitheatres. In Capitol Reef National Park, enjoy an outdoor picnic lunch followed by sightseeing of ancient petroglyphs, some over 2,000 years old. Tour Bryce Canyon where you can walk amid the "hoodoos," whimsical rock formations created by wind and rain that form an otherworldly landscape. Conclude your journey in Zion National Park, renowned for its sheer cliffs and beautiful mountain passages. This is Utah's oldest and most famous national park and you'll have an opportunity to explore its narrow canyons and lush vegetation set against stark red cliffs.
Other highlights include Anasazi State Park with its ancient Native American ruins, mysteriously abandoned over 1,000 years ago; Dead Horse Point State Park which offers some of the most spectacular views in the region; and visits to the Route 66 Museum and Explore Navajo Museum, ensuring your Southwest adventure strikes the perfect balance between exploration and cultural enrichment.
• 6 nights accommodations: 1 night each in Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Moab, Bryce Canyon and St. George
• Meals - Daily breakfast, 2 lunches and 4 dinners
• All transportation by deluxe motor coach accompanied by a professional tour guide
• Sights - Guided tours of Grand Canyon National Park, Monument Valley, Arches National Park, Dead Horse Point State Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Anasazi State Park, Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park
• Activities - Navajo Nation cultural show and jet boat ride on the Colorado River
• Visits to Route 66 Museum, Explore Navajo Museum in the Navajo Nation, and Edge of the Cedars Museum & Ruins in Anasazi State Park
• Entry fees to all national parks, monuments and attractions as per itinerary
• Airport transfers plus gratuities for skycaps and bellmen, 1 suitcase per person
Note: Pre-tour and post-tour nights are available. Inquire at time of booking.
Day 1 - Arrive in Las Vegas
Arrive in the “Entertainment Capitol of the World,” Las Vegas. A shuttle transfer will take you to your downtown hotel located on Freemont Street. Your Tour Director is available to greet your and assist with check-in. The rest of the day is free to relax and explore all that Las Vegas has to offer.
Accommodation: Golden Nugget Hotel - 1 night
Day 2 - Route 66 to the Grand Canyon
This morning, depart Las Vegas and travel past Lake Mead and Hoover Dam, entering Arizona with a rest stop in Kingman for touring of the Route 66 Museum, which highlights the glory days of cross-country automobile travel. Then drive on what was once Route 66 as we head east through northern Arizona with a stop for lunch on your own along the way.
This afternoon, you will see "One of the Wonders of the World," Grand Canyon National Park. This 1.2 million acre national park hosts a vast variety of wildlife and scenic wonders. Learn about the geology and history of the canyon while taking in its breathtaking beauty as we traverse the South Rim to Grand Canyon Village. The Colorado River is the main contributor in the creation of the vast canyon and can still be seen carving its way through the rock roughly a mile below. After time to visit many of the scenic points, check into our hotel just outside the park. This evening, get to know your fellow passengers as you join the group for a Welcome Dinner.
Accommodation: The Best Western Squire Inn - 1 night
Day 3 - Navajo Nation & Monument Valley
Continue sightseeing of Grand Canyon National Park as you traverse the South Rim to Desert View for one final look before exiting the park. Enter the Navajo Nation and continue on to Tuba City for a tour of the Explore Navajo Museum where you will learn about Navajo history, culture and art. The Navajo Code Talkers exhibit is also a highlight of the Museum.
After lunch on your own, depart and travel across the heart of the Navajo Nation on your way to world-famous Monument Valley and historic Goulding’s Lodge. After check-in, meet your Navajo guide and board a 4-wheel drive vehicle for a scenic tour of Monument Valley, location for scores of famous western films, television programs and commercials. As we travel through the valley and visit famous locations such as John Ford Point, Artist Point and The Totem Pole, we will also learn more of the Navajo traditions and way of life. Tonight, experience an evening of Navajo culture, food and entertainment.
Accommodation: Goulding’s Lodge - 1 night
Day 4 - Arches National Park
Depart Monument Valley and travel to Blanding where the Anasazi Indians come alive as you learn of their history and discover their artifacts at the Edge of the Cedars Museum & Ruins. Next we make our way to the town of Moab, also known as the “Adventure Capital of Utah,” and where you’ll have some free time for shopping and lunch on your own.
This afternoon we are off to Arches National Park. The brand new 18,000 square-foot visitor’s center will introduce us to the unique geologic forces that created the highest concentration of natural arches in the world with over 2,000 named arches within its 73,000-acre boundary. Visit all the park highlights including Park Avenue, Balance Rock, The Windows and Delicate Arch.
This evening, join the group for a unique experience as you take a Sunset Jet Boat Ride through spectacular red rock canyons on the mighty Colorado River. As the sun dips in the west, the canyon colors come to life while you learn about the river’s ecosystem, geology and history. After your ride, enjoy a delicious BBQ dinner served on the banks of the Colorado River before returning to your hotel.
Accommodation: Archway Inn - 1 night
Day 5 - Dead Horse Point / Capitol Reef
This morning, travel to Dead Horse Point State Park for one of the most spectacular scenes in the southwest. You will see the expanse of Canyonlands National Park stretching to the south and the mighty Colorado River 2,000 feet below. Arrive in Capitol Reef National Park for a wonderful picnic lunch under towering cottonwood trees followed by sightseeing of ancient petroglyphs, beautiful rock formations, deep canyons and pioneer relics. The park was established to protect a 100-mile wrinkle in the earth’s crust called The Waterpocket Fold.
Then embark on a drive on one of America’s most spectacular roads. Scenic Highway 12 has been designated as an “All American Road,” the crown jewel of the Scenic Byways system. Drive up and over Boulder Mountain, reaching altitudes over 9,000 feet with incredible views of Capitol Reef, the Circle Cliffs and the Henry Mountains. Stop in the town of Boulder for touring of Anasazi State Park with its ancient Indian ruins. Then travel through Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument, with vast its expanses of cream and rose-colored Navajo sandstone. There are dramatic cliffs, high mesas, beautiful streams and deep canyons in multi-hued colors across the 1.9 million acre monument.
Accommodation: Best Western Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel - 1 night
Day 6 - Bryce Canyon & Zion National Parks
Today, travel to nearby Bryce Canyon National Park for sightseeing. The hues and intricate shapes of Bryce Canyon carry even the most mature adult away into a fairyland fantasy. The Paiute Indians used a word to describe Bryce that translates into, "red rocks standing like men in a bowl-shaped canyon." Mormon settler Ebenezer Bryce, for whom the canyon was named, described it as "a hell of a place to lose a cow."
Then take a short drive to see Utah's oldest and most famous national park, Zion National Park. An early Mormon settler described the park's massive formations as "temples built by hands, not of man." The Paiute Indians believed mischievous spirits lived among the 2,000-foot high towers and would not enter the canyon alone or remain there after dark. There will be time for lunch on your own followed by the opportunity to explore Zion Canyon, a brilliant green canyon set against the backdrop of sheer red cliffs, with an occasional lacy waterfall fanning out from the rocks. This evening, arrive in St. George for hotel check-in followed by a Farewell Dinner.
Accommodation: Best Western Abbey Inn - 1 night
Day 7 - Depart Las Vegas
This morning, travel across the Nevada desert to the Las Vegas Airport for your flight home. Please schedule departure flights after 12:00 noon.
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