National Parks of the Southwest

National Parks of the Southwest

ALL TOURS
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DETAILS

I t’s a land of scenes epic in scope, from the immense Grand Canyon and the sinuous Colorado to the sandstone spires of Bryce and the red-rock cliffs and chasms of Zion. It’s the Southwest, which our small group celebrates at favorite national parks and preserves. And, wrote author Wallace Stegner, it’s America’s “best idea.”

Pricing from
$3,895
Trip Type
Closer to Home, Group Travel Tour
Departure Dates
Sep 7, 2022 - Sep 16, 2022

HEALTH PROTECTION MEASURES

COVID-19 HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS:
The well-being of our guests and staff members on tour will continue to be our highest priorities. To maintain a healthy environment for travel, we will be establishing and adhering to a detailed set of health and safety protocols for all facets of your tour. We are committed to following the guidelines of the State Department, CDC, WHO, and authorities of respective countries regarding travel to a particular destination. Detailed protocols for this tour, based on conditions at the time, will be provided approximately 115 days prior to departure.

TERMS & CONDITIONS

*PLEASE NOTE: Your $500 per person deposit secures your space(s) on this tour. This deposit is fully refundable up until 95 days prior to departure, when final payment will be due. Meanwhile our tour operator, Odysseys Unlimited, will send you the tour brochure with a detailed day-by-day itinerary and booking terms and conditions when it becomes available.

TOUR MAP

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ITINERARY

  • day 1

    Depart for Phoenix

    We depart today for Phoenix, Arizona. As guests’ arrival times may vary, we have the day at leisure to explore Arizona’s capital city as we wish. This afternoon we check in at our hotel, where we enjoy a welcome briefing and dinner together. D

  • day 2

    Phoenix/Sedona/Williams

    We leave Phoenix today, bound for Williams. First, though, we’re headed to Sedona, one of the most striking spots in the American Southwest. Famed for its range of towering red sandstone formations, Sedona ranks as a popular destination for artists, filmmakers, photographers, hikers, and mountain bikers. We have time for lunch on our own and to do some exploring before we encounter this dazzling landscape in style, as we take a Pink Jeep tour for an exciting off-road excursion. Winding over dirt roads, we enjoy stunning panoramic views and learn about the region’s cultural and geological history on this guided tour to Honanki Heritage Site, a 700-year-old Sinaguan cliff dwelling. Then we continue north to our hotel, a few blocks from Route 66 and where we dine together tonight. B,D

  • day 3

    Williams/Grand Canyon

    It’s a day to remember as we visit one of the country’s most famous natural landmarks: the Grand Canyon. Considered a wonder of the natural world, this UNESCO site stretches nearly 300 miles through and 10 miles across the Arizona desert. We see truly awe-inspiring vistas: banded layers of rock rise to plateaus and bluffs thousands of feet overhead, while the mighty Colorado River rushes one mile below. On our guided tour, we learn about the canyon’s geological history, and also about human history here: it dates back some 10,000 years and includes Native peoples, explorers, miners, entrepreneurs, conservationists, and of course, visitors – who today number some six million annually. Then we have time for lunch on our own and an afternoon at leisure to appreciate the magnitude and beauty of the six million-year-old canyon as we wish. After this bucket-list day, dinner tonight is on our own. B

  • day 4

    Grand Canyon/Page/Antelope Canyon/ Lake Powell

    Today we travel to Page, Arizona, gateway to the imposing Glen Canyon Dam and its reservoir, Lake Powell. After reaching Page early this afternoon, we have lunch on our own then visit the sinuous – and spectacular – Upper Antelope Canyon. We travel onto Navajo land to reach this slot canyon, known to local tribes as “the place where water runs through rocks” – and one of the most photographed slot canyons in the world. Our tour through this stunning passageway reveals red-orange walls of “flowing” rock rising to heights of nearly 120 feet
    – the narrow canyon’s hard edges smoothed away by eons of water and sand erosion. We check in at our lakeside hotel this afternoon then enjoy dinner together there tonight. B,D

  • day 5

    Page/Colorado River/Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

    Our long, but incredibly scenic, day of travel begins with a rousing motorized rafting excursion on the smooth waters of the Colorado River. Controlled by a series of dams and reservoirs, the river provides hydro-electric power, irrigation, and municipal water supply to nearly 40 million people in the western U.S. Our adventure begins at the base of one of these structures: the 710-foot-high Glen Canyon Dam. The dam holds back man-made Lake Powell, the nation’s second largest artificial lake at 186 miles long and with nearly 2,000 miles of shoreline. As we drift downstream between soaring sand-stone cliffs on either side, we’re on the lookout for ancient Native American petroglyphs on the canyon walls, as well as local wildlife. We continue on to southern Utah and Bryce Canyon National Park, stopping for lunch along the way. We dine together tonight. B,L,D

  • day 6

    Bryce Canyon National Park

    Despite its name, Bryce isn’t truly a canyon at all, but a series of natural cliffs and amphitheaters carved into the region’s plateaus. The result: a stunning array of hoodoos, natural stone pillars and spires reminiscent of a child’s drip sand castle, as we see today. Thousands of these delicate structures stand side by side along the canyon’s ridgelines, lending a dramatic atmosphere to this remote location. In the park’s visitor center, we see a film about the unusual geology here then have the day free to explore at our own pace. Our full day of natural splendor concludes with dinner together tonight. B,D

  • day 7

    Bryce Canyon National Park/Zion National Park

    We depart this morning for Zion National Park, another celebrated Utah destination. We drive through Zion and on to our hotel, located in Springdale just a short distance from the park’s entrance and main visitor center. Upon arrival mid-day, we have lunch on our own then walk to Zion’s nearby visitor center, where we learn about this inimitable region, which encompasses four separate biomes: desert, riparian (or riverbank), woodland, and coniferous forest. Zion itself is so named for the 15-mile-long, 2,500-foot-deep Zion Canyon cutting through the park’s western half. We get our first taste of Zion’s wonders this afternoon then have the evening free for dinner on our own. B

  • day 8

    Zion National Park

    We spend the day amid the wondrous natural world of Zion National Park, representing some 150 million years of geological history. Zion was originally a desert millions of years ago, but continuous winds blew one dune on top of another until the sands reached a height of more than 2,000 feet – and the red rock landscape we see today. Despite its modest size, Zion counts as one of the most diverse national parks in the United States. Deserts and forests, rivers and canyons, buttes and natural arches all greet us here, along with numerous plant and animal species. As with most of the Southwest, the area is dominated by red-rock bluffs that show eons of sediment buildup; indeed, the rock formations here represent about 150 million years of geological history. We take a guided hike and have ample free time for exploration and lunch on our own. This evening we enjoy dinner together at our hotel. B,D

  • day 9

    Zion National Park/St. George/Las Vegas

    En route to Las Vegas today, we stop in St. George, Utah. This town of 80,000 contains the winter home of Mormon leader Brigham Young, and sits in a unique geographical area where the Mojave Desert, Colorado Plateau, and Great Basin converge in a stunning setting. We have time to explore and have lunch on our own before continuing on to Las Vegas, arriving late this afternoon. Tonight, we celebrate our Southwestern sojourn at a farewell dinner. B,D

  • day 10

    Depart Las Vegas

    This morning we transfer to the Las Vegas airport for our flights home. B

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