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My first visit to the Southwest was chock full of grand memories. You made the trip so relaxing and fun. It was like traveling with true “road sisters”! — Regina E, MD
|Northern Arizona, USA||October 22 – 27, 2017||$1,495|
The destination for all seasons, Flagstaff is alive with cultural diversity, beauty, history and recreational and scientific opportunities. At a cool 7,000-foot elevation, located in the world’s largest ponderosa pine forest, Flagstaff is a key base and destination for Canyon Calling Adventures and for enjoying the natural beauty of the American West. Only 80 miles from the Grand Canyon, which of course we will visit and enjoy this national treasure. We’ll also visit the wonder and beauty of Sedona and hike among the red rocks, and see if you feel the energy of the vortex! Northern Arizona is rich in Native American history and culture and with a variety of outdoor recreation as well as nightlife, Flagstaff is our hub for experiencing the wonders of Northern Arizona.
We will meet in Flagstaff, Arizona airport at 3pm (or the hotel lobby if you choose to arrive early or take the shuttle up from Phoenix.) We’ll take a walking tour of historic downtown Flagstaff and discover the charm of this western city right on the Mother Road (Route 66). The city was founded on lumber, railroad and ranching and is located near the southwestern edge of the Colorado Plateau, along the western side of the largest contiguous Ponderosa Pine forest in the continental United States. After we discover this slice of history and beauty, we’ll enjoy dinner at a local brewery and grill.
After breakfast, we’re off on a scenic hike through Walnut Canyon where we will gaze across the curved canyon walls. Among the remarkable geological cliff formations of the canyon itself, the shapes of the former homes of ancient inhabitants of Walnut Canyon are easily evident. On a hike along the Rim Trail we’ll imagine what life was like along and within Walnut Canyon while visiting actual pueblos and walking in the steps of those who came before us. We’ll stop for lunch, and then we’re off to the Northern Arizona Museum for a wonderful introduction to the Native people who live in Northern Arizona, especially the Navajo and Hopi. There are excellent interpretive exhibits and a fine bookstore and gift shop that showcases art, crafts and jewelry by Native American artists. Back at our hotel we’ll have some time for relaxation before dinner at a local favorite restaurant.
After breakfast we’re off to the breathtaking sights of Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona! Before it gets too warm in Sedona we’ll hike famous Bell Rock (where there is a vortex!) and Courthouse Butte, to experience this soul stirring area with phenomenal views. After hiking, we’ll have a bit of time for shopping in uptown Sedona before heading up the canyon for lunch at Indian Gardens, a local organic dining establishment right in the Canyon. Next stop is Slide Rock State Park for a short hike down to this natural water slide and enjoy the sights. If you’re brave and want to cool off, go ahead and ‘do the slide’! We’ll stop at the Oak Creek Overview to see across the entire canyon and peruse the local Native American arts and crafts before heading north to Flagstaff with time to relax before our dinner.
After breakfast we’ll visit Wupatki National Monument, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The many settlement sites scattered throughout the monument were built by the Ancient Pueblo People, more specifically the Cohonina, Kayenta, and Sinagua. Wupatki, which was first inhabited around 500 AD, means “Tall House” in the Hopi language, and is a multistory Sinagua pueblo dwelling comprising over 100 rooms and a community room and ball court, making it the largest building for nearly 50 miles. We’ll discover together what their life may have been like in the high desert. After lunch it’s off to the Grandest Canyon of them all – the Grand Canyon! We’ll enjoy the remainder of the day taking it all in from many viewpoints including a visit to El Tovar. The wildlife in the park is amazing and photo opportunities are endless. We’ll head back to Flagstaff for dinner and maybe try a local brew.
After breakfast, we’ll head up to the famous Snowbowl, located on the majestic San Francisco Peaks, the highest mountain range in the state of Arizona. We’ll hike and enjoy this beautiful natural setting in the Coconino National Forest. There still may be a trace of snow on the trail! After lunch, we’ll make a stop in the Lowell Observatory, established in 1894, it is among the oldest observatories in the United States. The Lowell was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965. In 2011, the Observatory was named one of “The World’s 100 Most Important Places” by TIME. It was at the Lowell Observatory where the dwarf planet Pluto was discovered in 1930. Back to our hotel for a bit of relaxation before our Farewell Dinner.
Enjoy breakfast and the hotel’s amenities before your flight departure or your pre-arranged shuttle to Phoenix.
What’s Not Included