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Best of the West – Wow, you’re not kidding! My third trip with you and every time I experience something new and amazing. — Anna I, OH
|Arizona and Utah||September 16 – 24, 2017||$2,895|
Arizona and Utah are home to over a dozen National Parks and in eight wonderful days, we’ll be adventuring in many of them. Names you’ve heard of but haven’t had an opportunity to yet explore or were so enthralled you feel the pull to return. We’ll hike, raft in the Colorado River, jeep, horse-ride, and plenty of swimming at all our favorite places. Sitting under Delicate Arch at sunrise, sloshing up the Narrows, horse or mule-riding through hoodoos, exploring Antelope Slot Canyon (the most photographed slot canyon in the US.. maybe the world!), visit Petrified Forest National Park, feeling the wonder of pictographs in Canyon de Chelly – picking your highlight is the hardest part of the trip! Come join us for orange sunsets on canyon walls and for a peace only the desert offers which has to be felt, and personally experienced to be understood.
Arrive in Sedona by 3pm. Your Trip Leader will meet you at the shuttle drop-off point at the Arabella Hotel Sedona, and we’ll check into our hotel and change into hiking clothes. Our tour of Sedona will include a visit to one of the four vortexes that Sedona is so famous for. We’ll hike amongst the red rocks and learn all about the geology and desert flora. We’ll dip our feet into Oak Creek beneath Cathedral Rock at Red Rock Crossing before dinner.
Breakfast early and depart Sedona and drive up onto the Colorado Plateau where we’ll spend the whole vacation. We just can’t go past Winslow without stopping at “the corner” that the Eagles made famous! We’ll drive south to the Petrified Forest National Park and hike among these 216 million year old logs that time and the elements have turned to mineral. We’ll see the beautiful Painted Desert, an unbelievable photo opportunity, and lunch at the park. Drive to Chinle and all aboard a jeep for a great ride into Canyon de Chelly including a visit to famous White House ruins as we’re mesmerized by our Navajo guide’s stories and enjoy native flute playing.
I am certain that many of the images and deeply emotional experiences I have had on this trip will remain clear in my memories. I am grateful for your leading me into challenging adventures that have given me more self-confidence. — Leslie V, CA
After breakfast we’ll enjoy a short walk to enchanting Spider Rock where Navajos believe that spider woman lives. Navajo legend claims she taught them to weave. Drive to Page, pick up lunch and hike to an amazing overlook at Horseshoe Bend. We’ll picnic on the rim enjoying the view as the Colorado River snakes its way south to the Grand Canyon. Next we’ll climb aboard a truck for a trip to Antelope Slot Canyon, the most famous of the slot canyons. Your guide will show you how to use the most appropriate settings on your cameras to get the best shots of the shafts of light coming down through the slot. We’ll enjoy dinner and overnight in Page.
After breakfast we’ll drive across to Zion National Park. The trip down into the canyon is nothing short of spectacular. Board the eco-bus and enjoy a ranger narration on our way to Zion Lodge for lunch. Back on the eco-bus, we’ll ride to Sinawava Temple. From there we’ll walk the one mile river walk and spend some time hiking and sloshing through the Virgin River in the Narrows – some even float back on the return. Great fun to be a kid again! Late afternoon will find us heading north to Bryce Canyon with a stop at unbelievably beautiful Red Canyon en route. Have dinner and check into our lodging outside the National Park.
This trip has been a treasure for me in ways I never expected. I came to see the Grand Canyon but so much more happened. Thank you for the beauty and magic of the places you led us to. — Lynn B, ME
Dress today in riding clothes and after breakfast, saddle-up for an incredible two-hour mule and horse ride through Bryce Canyon. We think this is the most stunningly scenic park in the US. Take a break half way through the trip – it’s great to dismount and stretch your legs. You’ll photograph unforgettable views from your horseback vantage-point. Lunch today will be at the Bryce Canyon Lodge. After lunch we’ll hike down the zig-zag Navajo Trail to see Wall St where ponderosa pines brush canyon walls as they reach for the sky. This two-hour hike is perhaps THE most scenic hike in any US national park! Later in the afternoon our drive takes us through the amazing scenery of Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. We climb over a 9600’ pass through alpine meadows of aspens with great views of the Waterpocket Fold and down to the small town of Torrey. Perhaps a dip in the pool before dinner with lodging outside Capital Reef National Park.
Today we’ll hike in Capitol Reef National Park on the Capital Gorge trail, seeing pictographs and petroglyphs from both Native Americans and pioneers who traveled through and lived in this area. There’ll be plenty of photo stops within this scenic park and we’ll explore the old community of Fruita and see Fremont Anasazi pictographs on ancient walls. We’ll lunch in Hanksville before driving across to Moab. Once there, we’ll check into our lodging for two nights, and eat dinner at the local brewery. The shops stay open late and it’s a fun town to shop in.
My word for this trip was trust. We trusted one another with our challenges and our hearts. From the full moon in Canyon de Chelly to sloshing up the Narrows – I feel so lucky to be part of this great cosmic experience! — Marybeth S, KS
It’s an early start this morning to enjoy the cool morning air and the park before the crowds arrive. After a quick stop for breakfast-to-go we drive into Arches National Park, and hike up to Delicate Arch, one of the most beautiful formations in the West. This is a moderately difficult hike (by some standards) and also one of the most satisfactory hikes we’ve experienced. Gorgeous views, challenging escalation, and when we reach the Arch you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world! On the way out we’ll take time to visit the Windows section of the park. We’ll spend the afternoon on a float trip on the Colorado River in rafts. This often involves relaxing in the river, floating along in our lifejackets. A barbecue lunch is served at the Red Cliffs Ranch. Late in the afternoon we head back to Moab to relax in our hotel or enjoy the shops of Moab before our dinner in town. Overnight Moab.
After breakfast we head south on our day drive back to Sedona, and such a scenic one! We’ll stop at famous Mexican Hat, beautifully colored formations, and drive by Monument Valley. The views here bring back wonderful memories of watching cowboy movies as kids. Then it’s on to lunch at historic Gouldings Trading Post. We’ll finish our journey fittingly at the Grandest of all Canyons enjoying the splendor from Desert View over the Grand Canyon. Drive into Sedona and check into our beautiful hotel with a pool and views to take your breathe away. Farewell dinner at one of the many excellent Sedona restaurants. We’ll look back on our adventure and agree this trip is very appropriately named.
Enjoy breakfast and our hotel’s amenities until check out time. Please remember to book your round-trip shuttle in advance between Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport and Sedona. www.arizonashuttle.com
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