Best of the West
September 3 - 10, 2014
$2,595 plus 9.35% sales tax
Arizona and Utah are home to over a dozen National Parks and in eight wonderful days, we'll be adventuring in six of them. Toss in Lake Powell (a National Recreation Area) and the Hopi and Navajo Reservation and we have quite a trip planned for you! We'll hike, boat, jeep, horse-ride, raft, and kayak. There'll be plenty of swimming at all our favorite places. Our one night camp is surprisingly luxurious and allows us to soak up the stars and the quiet inside Canyon de Chelly. Sitting under Delicate Arch at sunrise, sloshing up the Narrows, horse-riding through hoodoos, boating on Lake Powell, feeling the wonder of pictographs - picking your highlight is the hardest part of the trip! Come join us for orange sunsets on canyon walls and a for a peace only the desert offers which has to be felt to be understood.
Anna I, OH - Best of the West Wow, you're not kidding! My third trip with you and every time I experience something new and amazing.
Leslie V, CA -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.
Lynn B, ME - 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.
Marybeth S, KS - 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!
|Airfares are NOT INCLUDED in Canyon Calling trips. It is your responsibility to get yourself to the assembly point of a trip and home afterwards. There are many reasons for this policy including customers wanting to use their air miles, people wanting to go early or stay on after the trip, some wanting to drive etc. Jane at Jane’s Travel in Phoenix has helped our customers with booking their flights for the last 17 years. You can phone her at (480) 755-1388 or send an email to email@example.com Internal flights are included in trip prices when they fall inside a tour like on our Costa Rican, Peruvian Andes, Australian and Hawaiian Islands trips.
Arrive in Sedona by 3pm. Your tour leader, Cheryl, will meet you at the shuttle drop-off point at the Super 8 motel whenever your shuttle arrives. Check into our motel 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 to Devil’s Bridge and learn all about the geology and desert flora. Before dinner at Cheryl’s home we’ll be sure and dip our feet into Oak Creek beneath Cathedral Rock at Red Rock Crossing.
Breakfast early and depart Sedona by 7am 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! Visit Little Painted Desert, an unbelievable photo opportunity. Drive to Hopi Cultural Center for lunch. Visit the Hopi villages on First Mesa where we’ll visit an artisan’s home. This is a great opportunity to purchase a kachina doll or some pottery direct from the artist. Drive to Chinle. All aboard a jeep for a great ride into Canyon de Chelly including a visit to famous White House ruins. Camp the night beside Antelope ruins where you’ll be entertained around the campfire by our Navajo storyteller.
After a pancake breakfast we’ll jeep back out of the canyon with a stop at the Ute raid panel. Load our van and drive along the rim looking down into the great views of the canyon. It’s a short walk to enchanting Spider Rock where Navajos believe that spider woman lives. Navajo legend claims she taught them to weave. Drive north to Kayenta and view a small exhibit describing the importance of the Navajo Code Talkers during WWII. Drive to Page, pick up lunch and hike down 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. Check into our motel for a well-earned shower and rest. At 4pm we’ll board a launch for a pre-dinner cruise on Lake Powell. Our tour follows the original path of the mighty Colorado River through Antelope Canyon and this is followed by dinner in Page.
After breakfast in Page we’ll climb aboard a truck for a trip to Antelope Slot Canyon, the most famous of the slot canyons. Your Navajo guide will show you how to use all the most appropriate settings on your cameras to get the best shots of the shafts of light coming down through the slot. 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 a couple of hours 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. Check into our motel outside the National Park.
Dress today in riding clothes and after breakfast, saddle-up for an incredible three-hour mule-ride through Bryce Canyon on the Peek-a–Boo Loop Trail. 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 Ruby’s Inn, an iconic landmark. 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 or Torrey for dinner and lodging.
Today we’ll hike to Cassidy Arch in Capitol Reef National Park. Butch Cassidy used to hide out in this park and the trail to the arch is an easy 3.5mile round trip. 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 Dead Horse Point State Park. Here we’ll see the famous Goosenecks section of the Colorado River – a truly “wow” view. In Moab, check into our motel and eat at the local brewery. The shops stay open late and it’s a fun town to shop in. Our motel has a pool to relax in.
It’s an early start this morning to enjoy the cool morning air. After a quick stop for breakfast-to-go we drive into Arches National Park. Hike up to Delicate Arch one of the most beautiful formations in the West. It’s extra special to enjoy this vista before the crowds. On the way out we’ll take time to walk through the Windows section of the park. Your guide will drive you to more amazing roadside pictographs and we’ll have time for shopping at the fun stores before assembling for our river trip. Spend the afternoon on a float trip on the Colorado River in rafts and inflatable kayaks. This often involves relaxing in the river, floating along in our lifejackets. A picnic lunch is served riverside on a beach. Late in the afternoon we head up towards the La Sal mountains and stay at a wonderful country B&B. On the way we stop at Hole in the Rock, a unique home. There is no place in North America quite like this so we indulge in a short tour. We can relax before dinner in our luxurious cabins where deer often come close to graze.
After a delicious home cooked breakfast we head south and turn into Canyonlands National Park to see the ancient pictographs at Newspaper Rock. We’ll pass famous Mexican Hat on our way to Monument Valley. The views here bring back wonderful memories of watching cowboy movies as kids. We capture the quintessential photo of the left and right hand mitten buttes at the Navajo Tribal Park and it’s on to lunch at historic Gouldings Trading Post. Further south we’ll make a quick stop so you can see 40,000 year-old dinosaur tracks left in the desert. Take a break at historic Cameron Trading Post to shop and view the museum. We’ll finish our journey fittingly at the Grandest of all Canyons enjoying the splendor from Desert View. Drive down Oak Creek Canyon into Sedona and check into our motel. Farewell pizza dinner in Sedona on Cheryl’s patio. Watch a slide show of our eight-day adventure and you’ll agree this trip is very appropriately named.
How do I get to Sedona?
Arrange your flight into Phoenix in time to catch the noon shuttle van. It takes 2.5 hours to drive to Sedona where your Trip Leader will meet you at the Super 8 drop-off. Arrange your homebound flight after 12 noon on the following Sunday. You need to make shuttle reservations (928) 282-2066. The round trip fare is $90 which you can either pay for in advance or bring cash to pay in Phoenix.