For questions or to reserve:
ncsu.orbridge.com
(919) 515-0508
Main Program: October 09, 2024 – October 17, 2024
Pre-Tour: October 05, 2024 – October 09, 2024

Southwest National Parks

Journey with us into the awe-inspiring realm of the American Southwest, unveiling the mesmerizing geological marvels tucked within our treasured national parks. Traverse the timeless landscapes of the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Zion, where the intricate dance of uplift and erosion has etched an extraordinary tapestry across the Southwest plateau. Delve into a world where hoodoos, slot canyons, arches, buttes, and mesas stretch across the horizon in a breathtaking display of nature's artistry.


NOTE: Tour information is current as of 5/29/2024.

Program Highlights

– Explore the Southwest’s natural wonders with a knowledgeable Orbridge Expedition Leader.

– Stay at lodges inside Grand Canyon National Park and other properties carefully selected for their rich histories, beautiful locations, and superb service and accommodations.

– Spend additional time in Grand Canyon National Park or choose to join an optional helicopter flightseeing excursion over the Grand Canyon (additional fee).

– Discover the sunbaked natural structures and sacred lands of Monument Valley.

– Witness the towering red rock cliffs lining the Colorado River during a rafting excursion in Glen Canyon.

– Behold the radiant colors and fluid-like patterns inside the walls of Antelope Canyon.

– Visit a traditional Navajo hogan, and set out on a 4-wheel drive tour through Monument Valley.

– Observe the monolithic hoodoos in Bryce Canyon National Park.

– Follow the paths of Ancestral Puebloans and pioneers at Zion National Park.

What's Included

  • 8 nights accommodations
  • 8 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 4 dinners including a welcome dinner, and a farewell reception
  • Full guiding services of an Orbridge Expedition Leader as well as expert local guides
  • Admission and park fees throughout
  • All activities as described in the 9-day itinerary, unless noted otherwise
  • Private deluxe motor coach with air conditioning and comfortable seating
  • Luggage porterage
  • Gratuities to Orbridge Expedition Leader, local guides, drivers, and porters
  • Airport transfers for guests arriving and departing during the suggested times

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Phoenix, AZ / Scottsdale 
Wednesday, October 9, 2024
Settle at the hotel before departing for exploration of the beautiful Desert Botanical Gardens and an opportunity to meet your fellow travelers and Orbridge Expedition Leader. Enjoy a welcome dinner inside the gardens.
Overnight: Scottsdale Marriott at McDowell Mountains (D)

Day 2: Scottsdale / Sedona / Grand Canyon National Park
Thursday, October 10, 2024
After breakfast, travel north through the cactus-studded Sonoran Desert, arriving in Sedona. This picturesque town is a haven for artists and photographers who are dazzled by the landscape filled with remarkable red sandstone cliffs.

Continue to the 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.  

After checking in to the hotel, delight in the park's offerings at leisure before dining at one of the many on-site restaurants. 
Overnight: Kachina Lodge (B)

Day 3: Grand Canyon National Park
Friday, October 11, 2024
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 Grandview; 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 (B)

Day 4: Grand Canyon National Park / Monument Valley, UT
Saturday, October 12, 2024
After breakfast, enjoy the sites of Desert View as you leave the Grand Canyon and head towards the Navajo Nation. Continue to 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. 

Following lunch on your own at Goulding's Lodge, partake in a tour of Monument Valley. Board a 4x4 open-air vehicle to explore alongside a Navajo guide, viewing and listening to stories about the unique sandstone formations. 

Gain an authentic taste of Navajo cuisine at Goulding's Lodge this evening with a group dinner.
Overnight: Goulding's Lodge (B,D)

Day 5: Monument Valley / Lake Powell, AZ
Sunday, October 13, 2024
After breakfast, depart this morning for the Navajo National Monument, followed by a tour of beautiful Antelope Slot Canyon. Have a camera ready to capture the otherworldly passageways of red-orange rock created by water erosion. These appear to be "flowing," and they reflect light in the most stunning ways.

Delight in lunch on your own in Page, Arizona before seeing the Glen Canyon Dam overlook and heading to the Lake Powell Resort for a group dinner. 

The evening is at leisure to relax and relish the property's amenities.
Overnight: Lake Powell Resort (B,D)

Day 6: Lake Powell / Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
Monday, October 14, 2024
Today's adventure includes a gentle raft trip floating 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. 

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,D)

Day 7: Bryce Canyon National Park / Zion National Park
Tuesday, October 15, 2024
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)

Day 8: Zion National Park / Las Vegas, NV
Wednesday, October 16, 2024
Hike to the Emerald Pools at Zion and spend the morning. Admire the wonders of Zion National Park independently with an array of hiking trails, or visit 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, October 17, 2024
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

(Itinerary subject to change.)

Activity Level

Moderate

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 9,000 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.

Optional Excursion(s)


Grand Canyon Flightseeing Excursion
$339 per person

Set out on a helicopter tour of the North, South and East rim including a flight over the confluence of the little Colorado River. Fly deeper into the canyon viewing immense buttes, majestic temples, and spectacular side canyons. This incredible sightseeing opportunity has minimal impact on the nature of this remarkable destination.

Aboard the helicopter, witness amazing landmarks while remaining conscious of the fragility of the environment. Discover awe-inspiring views of the Grand Canyon's eastern gorge aboard a first rate, environmentally-friendly EC130 aircraft complete with forward-facing stadium seating and a nearly 180-degree view. Enjoy unobstructed aerial sights of the colossal walls of the Grand Canyon, the rugged forests of the North Rim, and Dragon Corridor.

These are some of the widest and deepest regions of the Grand Canyon and offer guests the most comprehensive views and experiences only available from the air.

Helicopter Features:

• Fenestron tail rotor system and the latest in quiet aircraft technology, aiming to achieve a peaceful environment
• Bose noise-canceling headphones provide guests with choreographed music and tour narrations
• 23% larger cabins with wrap-around glass create 180 degrees of beautiful, unobstructed views
• Forward-facing, raised platform, incredibly comfortable, theater-style seating
• Air conditioned and temperature controlled for comfort

Normal Orbridge cancellation policies apply where optional excursions are non-refundable within 90 days of departure. Not all excursions listed may be available. Availability is subject to sufficient participation and weather conditions. You may purchase this optional excursion in advance from our Guest Services team. We recommend reserving early for best availability as space is limited. For flight excursions, weight and minimum age requirements apply, and individual dressed weight and birth date must be provided at time of booking.

Accommodations

Scottsdale Marriott at McDowell Mountains

October 9

Delight in the well-appointed comforts of this modern hotel featuring breathtaking mountain views. Cool off in the outdoor pool, take advantage of the fitness center or relax outside on the picturesque patio.

Room Amenities: Individual climate control, sofa, writing desk, flat-screen cable/satellite TV, Wi-Fi (additional fee), phone, clock, coffee and tea maker, minibar, mini-fridge, robes, iron and ironing board, and marble bathroom with sundries and hair dryer.

Kachina Lodge

October 10 - October 11

Contemporary Kachina Lodge sits on the rim of the Grand Canyon featuring a tiered design that mimics the uppermost layers of rock in the canyon. Guest rooms offer a comfortable, modern ambiance. The property is within walking distance to restaurants, gifts shops, Kolb Studio, Verkamp’s Visitor Center and Bright Angel Trail Head. Wi-Fi access is limited. 

Room Amenities: Flat-screen satellite TV, phone, safe, refrigerator, coffee maker, and en suite bathroom with sundries and hair dryer.

Goulding’s Lodge

October 12

Relax and savor the spectacular views of Monument Valley at Goulding's Lodge, a popular locale for Old West movies. Be sure to check out Goulding's Trading Post Museum, showcasing artifacts, artwork and film memorabilia.

Room Amenities: Individual climate control, flat-screen satellite TV, complimentary Wi-Fi (in most areas), mini-fridge, coffee maker, and en suite bathroom with sundries and hair dryer.

NOTE: The lodge does not have an elevator.

Lake Powell Resort

October 13

Located in Page, Arizona, Lake Powell Resort offers comfortable lodging and first-rate dining. The property's lake-view rooms with Native American flair are an ideal retreat after a day full of adventurous fun. Sit back and take in views of Wahweap Bay, Lone Rock, Castle Rock and breathtaking sunsets. Complimentary Wi-Fi access is available in the lobby or lounge.

Room Amenities: Individual climate control, cable TV, phone, mini-fridge, coffee and tea maker, and en suite bathroom with sundries and hair dryer.

The Lodge at Bryce Canyon

October 14

Situated just steps away from the rim of Bryce Canyon National Park, this property's recently remodeled rooms provide contemporary comforts in combination with an authentic western park experience. Wi-Fi is complimentary in the main lodge.

Room Amenities: Semi-private porch or balcony, phone, clock radio, microwave, mini-fridge, coffee maker, and en suite bathroom with sundries and hair dryer. (Guest rooms do not include a TV.)

Zion Park Lodge

October 15

The only in-park lodging at Zion National Park, Zion Park Lodge is serenely nestled among towering red rock cliffs. Each guest room provides a warm, comfortable atmosphere ensuring a memorable stay.

Room Amenities: Individual climate control, complimentary Wi-Fi, phone, radio/MP3 compatible alarm clock, coffee maker, iron and ironing board, and en suite bathroom with shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and hair dryer. (Guest rooms do not include a TV.)

The Westin Las Vegas Hotel & Spa

October 16

This stylish hotel—just off the Las Vegas Strip—features a non-smoking environment, modern guest rooms, outdoor heated pool, fitness studio, lobby lounge and 24-hour bistro.

Room Amenities: Individual climate control, Heavenly® Bed, 42" flat-screen LCD cable TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, phone, coffee maker, safe, and en suite bathroom with deluxe Heavenly® Bath sundries and hair dryer.

(Accommodations subject to change.)

Optional Pre-Tour

Denver to Moab Aboard Rocky Mountaineer


Travel by rail from the mile-high city of Denver to the red rock formations of Moab by joining a luxury train journey to America's Southwest—a region steeped in history and full of opportunities to explore. Oversized windows and glass-domed coaches allow you to relax and soak in the magnificent scenery that includes colorful deserts, bewitching hoodoos, and natural archways. As the train winds alongside rivers, through mountain ranges, and past ancient rock canyons, watch for wildlife, such as bighorn sheep, bears, mountain lions, deer, and marmots. Entertaining stories from onboard hosts and comfortable travel combine with locally inspired cuisine to make this an unforgettable adventure. Off the train, enjoy nature with guided tours of Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. 

Itinerary

Day +1: Arrive in Denver, CO 
Saturday, October 5, 2024
Settle in and relax for the exciting journey ahead. Enjoy the opportunity to meet your fellow travelers this evening at the Welcome Reception. Afterwards, enjoy the remainder of the evening and dinner at your leisure.
Overnight: Magnolia Denver (R)

Day +2: Denver | Rocky Mountaineer | Glenwood Springs
Sunday, October 6, 2024
Embark upon the Rocky Mountaineer for two days of extraordinary landscapes between Denver and Moab. This rail route is filled with highlights best seen by train, including Ruby Canyon and Mount Logan. 

Enjoy breakfast aboard the train as you set out past the towering Rockies on the way to Glenwood Springs and cross the Continental Divide. Later, get excited for lore, lunch, and landscapes! Hear engaging stories of the region from onboard hosts and delight in dining on a three-course lunch. Tour along the Colorado River through picturesque Byers Canyon and Gore Canyon. 

If desired, sip a signature cocktail upon approach of overnight destination Glenwood Springs. Disembark and reminisce about the day in comfortable accommodations. 
Overnight: Glenwood Springs Lodging (B,L)

Day +3: Glenwood Springs | Rocky Mountaineer | Moab, UT 
Monday, October 7, 2024
Rested and relaxed, depart Glenwood Springs aboard the Rocky Mountaineer, heading southwest for another day of awe-inspiring views of colorful archways and astounding rock formations. 

Savor a two-course hot breakfast while watching the morning light bounce off the magnificent Parachute Creek and Mount Logan. Take in the red rock formations lining the cliffs in Ruby Canyon and look for Mount Garfield. At 6,600 feet, it's the highest point of the Book Cliffs and easy to spot. These sandstone cliffs and mountains stretch nearly 200 miles from west to east—another great reason to take more photographs!

The train continues to follow the Colorado River and crosses the state line between Mack, Colorado, and Westwater, Utah. Watch for Mount Peale. It’s the highest point of the La Sal Mountains at 12,726 feet. Due to their immense height, these mountains are usually snow-capped until early summer.

As the train reaches Moab, you’ll be greeted by its brilliant red sandstone backdrop and a first glimpse of the iconic Arches National Park—a 73,234-acre wonderland of geological marvels. Depart the train and travel to downtown Moab. 

After lunch on your own in Moab, visit Canyonlands National Park—the largest national park in Utah—for guided sightseeing. Canyonlands' diverse landscape promises spectacular views of towering rock pinnacles and striking desert vistas. Over time, the Colorado River and its tributaries have carved intricate buttes and river beds into this beautifully rugged terrain.

Later, transfer to the property for free time at Red Cliffs before enjoying a special "Cowboy Cookout" this evening.
Overnight: Red Cliffs Lodge (B,D)

Day +4: Moab / Arches National Park | Canyonlands National Park | Moab
Tuesday, October 8, 2024
Following breakfast, set out for Arches National Park—featuring more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches. Observe the myriad of unusual rock formations, including Balanced Rock and the world famous Delicate Arch. Did you know? The enormous sandstone boulder atop Balanced Rock is presumed to weigh approximately 3,577 tons! See arch formations that include cliff-wall arches, free-standing arches, pothole arches, and natural bridges. In addition, there are 745 species of flora in Arches National Park. Hundreds of types of grasses, cacti, evergreens, deciduous trees, flowers, and bushes have adapted to surviving in the harsh conditions. 

After enjoying lunch in downtown Moab, take the free afternoon to explore the terrain or relax at the lodge.

This evening, bid farewell to Moab at a special reception before enjoying an included dinner at the Red Cliffs' Cowboy Grill.
Overnight: Red Cliffs Lodge (B,R,D) 

Day +5: Moab / Grand Junction, CO | Flight to Phoenix, AZ | Main Program Begins 
Wednesday, October 9, 2024
Following breakfast, transfer to Grand Junction for the flight to Phoenix to join fellow travelers on the main program. (B)

B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, R = Reception

Pre-tour space is limited. We recommend reserving early for best availability.

(Itinerary subject to change.)

Activity Level

Moderate

It is our expectation that guests on this program are able to walk a mile at a moderate pace, get in and out of a motor coach, and walk up a flight of stairs without assistance. Guests should be comfortable boarding and disembarking trains without assistance, and walking and moving between cars while the train is in motion. Activities take place at a high elevation.

Accommodations

Magnolia Denver

October 5

Close to Denver's downtown restaurants, shopping and entertainment areas, the Magnolia Hotel Denver is a landmark edifice providing business and fitness centers, lounge and comfortable guestrooms. 

Room Amenities: Individual climate control, writing desk and chair,  flat-screen TV, complimentary standard Wi-Fi, phone, coffee and tea maker, safe, iron and ironing board, and en suite bathroom with premium sundries and hair dryer.

Glenwood Springs

October 6

Accommodations in Glenwood Springs are determined by Rocky Mountaineer. Glenwood Springs' properties are considered moderate two- or three-star hotels or motor inns, satisfy our standards of cleanliness and comfort, and are the best available in the area. 

Glenwood Springs is a town that’s easy to navigate. The charming downtown area—close to hotels, restaurants and attractions—is walking friendly. Browse exclusive boutiques and choose among restaurants to satisfy a taste for a delicious burger, hometown micro brew, or fine dining with a glass of hearty wine.

Red Cliffs Lodge

October 7 - October 8

Located in Moab, Red Cliffs Lodge is a true example of an Old West-style property with modern amenities. Nestled on the banks of the Colorado River, enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding 2,000-foot sheer red rock cliffs.

Cool off in the swimming pool, take a dip in the hot tub or enjoy a game of tennis, volleyball or horseshoes. Check out the Moab Museum of Film and Western Heritage, featuring 100 years of colorful cowboy life and history alongside Hollywood movie memorabilia dating back to the late 1930s.

Room Amenities: Individual climate control, private patio, kitchen area, TV, DSL internet connection, phone, coffee maker, and en suite bathroom with sundries and hair dryer.

Note: The lodge does not have an elevator.

(Accommodations subject to change.)

What's Included

  • 1 night accommodations at the Magnolia Denver (or similar) in Denver 
  • 1 night accommodations in Glenwood Springs (hotel determined by Rocky Mountaineer)
  • 2 nights at Red Cliffs Lodge (or similar)
  • 4 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 receptions, and 2 dinners
  • Rocky Mountaineer rail transport with SilverLeaf or SilverLeaf Plus Service
  • Guiding services of an Orbridge Expedition Leader
  • Admission to, and guided touring of, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks
  • Private transportation for included park activities
  • Gratuities to Rocky Mountaineer staff, local guides, drivers, and porters
  • Internal airfare from Grand Junction to Phoenix, including luggage fees for one regular-sized bag (under 50lbs)
  • Airport transfer for guests arriving during the suggested times

The upgrade to SilverLeaf Plus provides access to a lounge car with an outdoor viewing area, enhanced meals, and premium alcohol. It also includes a room category upgrade in Moab to a Riverside Cabin.

Terms and Conditions