The Canyons are Calling and we must go! Join us on this primarily hiking adventure in Northern Arizona and Southern Utah to explore many of the regional canyons rich in Native American history and culture. History buffs will delight in the Route 66 nostalgia, and the cool towns we stay in. We’re in craft brewery paradise so we may try a flight of the local brews to decide on your favorite. We’ll hike seven or more canyons on this trip, breaking it up with a rafting float in the Colorado River. Oh! The places we’ll go and explore in this gorgeous region of the American Southwest! The Paria Canyon – Vermillion Cliffs National Monument is a sight to behold. The natural beauty is a photographer’s delight – scenic and sought after! We’ll experience many different kinds of canyons too; slot canyons, islands in the sky, corkscrew canyons, and more. If you’re missing the fun and personal regeneration benefits that a canyon hike affords, this is the trip for you! Join us to explore these inspiring canyons of the American southwest.
We will meet in Flagstaff, Arizona at 3pm in the lobby of our hotel. At a cool 7,000-foot elevation, located in the world’s largest ponderosa pine forest, we’ll take a walking tour of historic downtown Flagstaff. We get to know our road sisters as we discover the charm of this western city located 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. After we stroll this slice of history and beauty, we’ll check into our hotel (if we haven’t already) then enjoy dinner at a local brewery. Overnight Flagstaff.
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 head up to Page, Arizona with lunch on the way. We’ll make a stop for a quick hike to Horseshoe Bend affording beautifully scenic photo opportunities. This was carved by the Colorado River snaking its way south to the Grand Canyon. Then we’ll head to Antelope Slot Canyon for a short hike and to experience this beautiful slot canyon. Over thousands of years, wind and water have formed a narrow crevice in the mesa measuring a quarter mile long and 130 feet deep. Breathtaking! We’ll head back to town for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. Overnight Page.
After an early breakfast, we’ll enjoy our Colorado River float trip, which begins with a ride down the two mile long Glen Canyon Dam access tunnel. With the dam soaring 700 feet above us, we will board a motorized pontoon raft for our journey downstream, where we will experience one of the most dramatic stretches of river found in the western US. This is a gentle float trip and while underway, our experienced guide will tell the area’s story of abundant wildlife, former inhabitation by native cultures, exploration by John Wesley Powell, and more. Our trip also includes a stop to view ancient petroglyphs left by ancestral puebloan peoples. We float to Lee’s Ferry and get picked up in our van. We’ll have lunch in a local eatery and relax in the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument area. This remote and unspoiled, 294,000-acre monument is a geologic treasure, containing Paria Canyon, Marble Canyon, the Vermilion Cliffs, and many more natural delights. We check into our lodge and you have the option to relax this afternoon or join us for a short hike. The Old Navajo Bridge is a half mile out and back trail that features wonderful views of the Colorado River, Marble Canyon and the Vermilion Cliffs from the deck of the Old Navajo Bridge. We’ll meet up for dinner and later enjoy a bit of sky gazing of the beautiful night skies. Overnight Marble Canyon/Lee’s Ferry.
I can’t believe I stood fearless, high in the canyon, free, laughing, with eight extraordinary loving women.
— Kathy C, NY
After breakfast, we’re off for a full day of exploration! The Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness is a 112,500 acres wilderness area located in northern Arizona and southern Utah, within the arid Colorado Plateau region. The wilderness is composed of broad plateaus, tall escarpments, and deep canyons. This morning we’re off to hike Marble Canyon on the Cathedral Wash Trailhead, or a trail to be named. A picnic lunch is fun on the trail or on the rocky shores of the river and a gorgeous place to rest. Then we’re back up the trail and into our van. Our next stop is a chosen trail in Paria Canyon. Paria Canyon is considered one of the best canyon-backpacking destinations in the world. Soaring walls are streaked with desert varnish, and serpentine canyons are so narrow in places that the sky is reduced to a ribbon of faded blue. Vast red-rock amphitheaters, sandstone arches, intricate erosion-carved sculptures, woodland terraces, and hanging gardens of ferns and orchids are found here. Common wildlife includes mountain lions, bighorn sheep, porcupines, beavers, rattlesnakes, red-spotted frogs, bald and golden eagles, violet-green swallows, and great blue herons. After this amazing hike, we’ll be ready to head to Kanab, Utah, as we enjoy the sights and stop at the overlooks of the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument. We’ll check into our Lodge and enjoy dinner. Overnight Kanab.
After breakfast, we’ll explore this cool little town. Kanab, Utah is classic American West, surrounded by towering Navajo sandstone cliffs and vistas of sagebrush. There are fun, locally owned shops to pop into and maybe bring back a souvenir. Then we’re off on a hike that is bucket ist worthy – so many to choose from. This magnificent hike makes for one morning of adventure giving us stellar views and a new perspective of slot canyons in Southern Utah. Unlike many of the nearby canyons, Peek-a-Boo Canyon (one hiking option) is a slot and corkscrew, and requires zero technical gear or know-how. Once we’re in the canyon, all we have to do is walk through a scenic paradise of red and purple rock. This afternoon, we’ll have lunch, then pile back into the van to head for the Grandest Canyon of them all – the Grand Canyon! We’ll enjoy the South Rim taking it all in from many viewpoints along the Desert View Drive. Next, we check into our National Park Lodge to get cleaned up and enjoy a well deserved dinner. Overnight Grand Canyon National Park.
I learned I could do things I never would have attempted without the power of the group and our exceptional leader.
— Pat L, CT
After breakfast, we’ll enjoy a 3 mile hike on the Bright Angel Trail in the Grand Canyon National Park. The Bright Angel Trail is considered the park’s premier hiking trail. Well maintained, graded for stock, with regular drinking water and covered rest-houses, it is without question the safest trail in Grand Canyon National Park. We’ll sense its rich history from ancient pictograph panels and historic structures. For those that wish to skip the hike and walk around Grand Canyon Village, you’ll have about two hours to do so. Back from our hike, we’ll stop at the Hopi House and spend a bit of time in Grand Canyon Village. The wildlife in the park is amazing and photo opportunities are endless. We’ll have lunch on our drive back to Flagstaff as we discuss this amazing week. We check into our hotel accommodations to get cleaned up and we’ll wander the historic downtown area and maybe enjoy a flight of craft beers. We’ll choose another fabulous dinner spot for our Farewell Dinner. Overnight Flagstaff.
Enjoy breakfast and the hotel’s amenities before departure; or stay and play in this delightful area of northern Arizona!