Southwest National ParksItinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Phoenix, AZ / Scottsdale
Wednesday, September 21, 2022
Settle in at the hotel before meeting fellow travel companions and your Orbridge Expedition Leader for a welcome reception.
Overnight: Scottsdale Marriott at McDowell Mountains (R)
Day 2: Scottsdale / Sedona / Grand Canyon National Park
Thursday, September 22, 2022
After breakfast, travel north through the cactus-studded Sonoran Desert, arriving in captivating Sedona for a brief stop. This breathtakingly picturesque town is a haven for artists and photographers who are dazzled by the landscape filled with remarkable red sandstone cliffs.
Continue on to Grand Canyon National Park—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—to marvel at the impressive views that make the park one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Wander along the canyon rim and admire the West's famous Colorado River below.
This afternoon, join a ranger-led program or relax and bask in the park's offerings at leisure.
Overnight: Kachina Lodge (B,D)
Day 3: Grand Canyon National Park
Friday, September 23, 2022
Following breakfast, spend free time exploring the park or take a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fly over the heart of the Grand Canyon during an optional helicopter flightseeing excursion. (You may purchase this optional excursion in advance from our Guest Services team. Reserve early for best availability as space is limited.)
Grand Canyon National Park is enormous, with thousands of acres of land appealing to travelers' different interests. Walking/hiking and taking photographs are popular activities and a great way to keep memories of the adventure vibrant.
Visit well-known viewpoints, such as Mather Point and Desert View; take a guided program that explains the geologic and human history of the canyon; or walk the rim at sunset. Other potential options for enjoying the park include strolling the trail of time, learning about the history and formation of the Grand Canyon at the Yavapai Museum of Geology, and/or visiting the historic Kolb studio to learn about the art of the Grand Canyon.
Overnight: Kachina Lodge
Day 4: Grand Canyon National Park / Monument Valley, UT
Saturday, September 24, 2022
After breakfast, delight in a coach ride through the Navajo Nation in northern Arizona, stopping at Navajo National Monument for the opportunity to take a short hike to an overlook to view Ancient Puebloan ruins. Continue a lodge that's famous for its role in dozens of Old West movies, trade, and Navajo territory culture. Settle in and explore the collection of movie memorabilia and Native American artifacts in the Goulding’s Museum and Trading Post.
Tonight, retreat to an authentic Navajo cookout and storytelling presentation focused on Navajo legend, songs, and history.
Overnight: Goulding's Lodge (L,D)
Day 5: Monument Valley / Lake Powell, AZ
Sunday, September 25, 2022
After breakfast, board a 4x4 open-air vehicle to explore the magnificent Monument Valley alongside a Navajo guide, viewing and listening to stories about the unique sandstone formations.
Next head to Lake Powell Resort for dinner. The evening is at leisure to relax and relish the property's amenities.
Overnight: Lake Powell Resort (B,L,D)
Day 6: Lake Powell / Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
Monday, September 26, 2022
Today's adventures include a raft trip down the Colorado River through nearby Glen Canyon. As you gaze at the 700- to 1,400-foot red rock cliffs overhead, watch for the California Condor. Stop to view 6,000-year-old petroglyphs, believed to have been carved by Ancestral Puebloans.
Following the raft trip, savor a picnic lunch in the great outdoors surrounded by nature's beauty.
Next is a guided tour of spectacular Red Canyon, also commonly known as Peek-a-Boo slot canyon. What's a slot canyon? They are narrow gorges in soft rocks, such as Utah’s layered sedimentary deposits. Slot canyons are named for their narrow width, sometimes squeezing down to a sliver. It is said that Utah has the largest concentration of slot canyons in the world, and many of them are easily accessible.
Discover the wonder of Peek-a-Boo's sheer rock walls that climb up 80 feet on both sides. In some portions, the canyon is so narrow you can touch both walls at the same time. Exploring here is a full sensory experience, with changes encountered in temperature, colors, and sounds. Admire the deep shades of red and orange with the blue sky above.
Later, view the slow erosion of ages in Bryce Canyon National Park. Resembling castle towers and cathedral spires, the unique hoodoos rock formations are unforgettable. Watch the natural amphitheaters and canyons glow while wandering the rim.
Overnight: The Lodge at Bryce Canyon (B,L)
Day 7: Bryce Canyon National Park / Zion National Park
Tuesday, September 27, 2022
Today start the day with more touring of Bryce Canyon before heading to Zion National Park for a riverside walk.
Overnight: Zion Park Lodge (B,D)
Day 8: Zion National Park / Las Vegas, NV
Wednesday, September 28, 2022
Hike to the Emerald Pools at Zion and spend the morning. Take a ranger-led program, or listen to one of many ranger talks at the Zion Human History Museum. Lunch is on your own before departing for Las Vegas and the farewell reception.
Overnight: The Westin Las Vegas Hotel & Spa (B,R)
Day 9: Depart Las Vegas
Thursday, September 29, 2022
After breakfast, guests departing during the suggested times take a complimentary transfer to Harry Reid International Airport (formerly McCarran International) for flights home. (B)
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch , D = Dinner, R = Reception
The majority of the program’s activities will take place outdoors, and a fair amount of walking on varying terrain is to be expected. Many of the parks have dirt trails—but they are usually fairly smooth for walking—and some do have paved pathways and boardwalks. It is our expectation that guests on this program are able to walk up and down a flight of stairs, and get in and out of a motor coach without assistance. If you are able to walk a mile at a moderate pace, you will be able to enjoy all of the excursions. Also keep in mind that you will experience varying altitudes, rising up to 8,000 feet, to which you may not be accustomed. Guests should also have the ability to embark and disembark a scenic raft, have proper fit into a life jacket, and be able to remain seated and balanced in the craft.