Starting in/Ending in: Las Vegas, Nevada
Total driving distance approximately 1,115 miles
The American Southwest is filled with some of the country’s most impressive national parks and monuments. One of the best ways to experience them is to head out on the road. From the Grand Canyon to the fiery red rock landscapes of Bryce Canyon and Arches National Park and beyond, these must-visit parks and monuments on your itinerary are sure to make for the ultimate road trip.
- Las Vegas
- Zion National Park
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Arches and Canyonlands National Parks
- Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park
- Grand Canyon National Park
Arrival Las Vegas. Make your way to hotel to relax or get a head start exploring the “city that never sleeps”.
Overnight: Aria Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada. Resort fee of approx. $52 per night to be paid directly.
Leave the lights and sounds of Las Vegas behind for the serenity of the Mojave Desert. Your first impression of the wonders yet to come will be the “Virgin River Gorge”, where Interstate 15 winds its way through the canyons created by the force of Virgin River. Today’s destination is Zion National Park. Experience one of the many hikes and let the majestic of the canyon walls put your life back in prospective! In the evening take a stroll through the quaint little town of Springdale with its many restaurants and shops or take in the beauty of Zion NP at sunset.
Overnight Zion Lodge (Motel Room), Zion National Park, Utah (or similar Springdale, Utah property as this lodge sells out quickly)
Serpentine your way through the park to higher ground, before you descend into a scenery that has been the background for many Western movies. You are on your way to Bryce Canyon National Park, not really a “canyon”, but a collection of amphitheaters. Thousands of grays, amber and reddish rocks in all sizes and shapes create the impression of palaces, churches, bridges, spirals and gates. The Mormon cowboy Ebenenzer Bryce, after whom this park was named, was less poetical. He exclaimed at first sight: “A hell of a place to lose a cow!
Overnight: Bryce Canyon Lodge (Motel Room), Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
If you booked the optional “Adventure Package” you’ll enjoy a half-day trail ride to explore the beauty of the canyon firsthand! In the afternoon drive along one of the most beautiful stretches of highway which – amazingly enough – is only traveled by a few: the “Boulder Highway”. It takes you through one of America’s newest protected land, the Grand Staircase National Monument. Here the hike out to Calf Creek Falls is sure worth the effort!
Overnight Boulder Mountain Lodge, Boulder, Utah (2 nights)
Option Activity Package: You’ll see more grandeur and beauty than you can imagine on your visit to Bryce Canyon Lodge National Park! Like an exciting trip back through the eons of time…a close-up look at beautiful rock formations thousands of years in the making. Formations on which wind & rain are forever working their handicraft of sculpture.
Ebenezer Bryce, one of the early settlers in the region had few poetic words about it: “A hell of a place to lose a cow!” But don’t worry you won’t get lost in this series of horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters carved from the eastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau, where erosion has shaped colorful Clarion limestone’s, sandstone’s, and mudstones into thousands of spires, fins, pinnacles, and mazes. To add further to that illusion of timelessness you can see all of Bryce’s breathtaking beauty from horseback – man’s oldest (and most reliable) mode of transportation! Suitable for beginners. Weight limit: 91 kg. Check-in 8:00am, departure 8:30am (look for desk inside lodge), return 11:30pm.
Boulder is a gateway to some of the state’s best hiking opportunities. Be sure to be adequately prepared for conditions and always let someone know where you’re going and when you will be back.
Lower Calf Creek Falls is a popular 6.2-mile roundtrip waterfall hike. Plan for 3.5 to 4 hours to enjoy the stunning canyon, stream, and, of course, the waterfall. It begins at the Calf Creek campground, located between Boulder and Escalante. For a less-crowded option, hike Upper Calf Creek.
The Burr Trail is a 70-mile backcountry road which offers a variety of trailheads along the way. Singing Canyon is a popular and easy hiking option along this route. The slot canyon has 80-foot-high walls, incredible acoustics and stunning red, pink and purple hues.
Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument offers numerous adventurous hiking opportunities as well as hikes for families.
Don’t forget to stop at the Anasazi Indian Village to take in some of the historic facts! And take a little time to explore Capitol Reef National Park before making your way to Moab, the gateway to the Southwest, mountain biking capital of the world, with two beautiful National Parks at its doorsteps: Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park In the evening check out the shops, galleries and restaurants of this unique little Western town – heck, maybe even go out and join the locals at the local pub practicing the latest line-dance craze!
Overnight Red Cliffs Lodge (Creekside Room), Moab, Utah (2 nights)
If you have booked the optional “Adventure Package” you’ll start the day with a 4X4 expedition into Canyonlands National Park. You will see the Colorado River from several overlooks, climb the famous Shafer jeep trail and return to Moab by Long Canyon. In the afternoon you’ll go raft the Colorado River and experience the rapids of Professor Valley.
Otherwise explore what Moab has to offer! Rent a mountain bike or a jeep, take the hike to Arches famous “Delicate Arch” – or just kick back and relax and get ready for the awesome adventures still ahead!
Optional Activity Package: Your expedition begins with a 4X4-vehicle expedition into Canyonlands National Park. Depart by crossing the Colorado River and follow the scenic route along the river. Stop to view ancient Anasazi rock art and dinosaur tracks. Your guide will discuss the ancient cultures, history and geology of the area throughout your trip. Continuing by Jug Handle Arch and on to the White Rim Trail of Canyonlands National Park. Enjoy spectacular views of the Colorado River, as it carves its route through the steep sandstone canyon walls. Climb the Shafer Trail to the rim of the Island in the Sky region and return to Moab passing the rock formations of the Monitor and Merrimac.
Arriving back in Moab at 11:45 AM you will meet the bus that takes you to the rafts on the Colorado River. The afternoon will be on splashy rapids and beautiful calm sections of the river. At the rafts, after a short safety orientation you will continue down river to a location where the guides will prepare lunch. After lunch raft the Colorado River through Professor Valley.
Your guide will discuss the history of the area and river travel. You will have time for swimming. Check-in 7:45am, departure 8:00am, return 4:30pm. This adventure is not suitable for people with back problems or during pregnancy.
Travel to Monument Valley, famous backdrop for many well-known Western movies and commercials. Drive up to the Visitors Center for a breathtaking view of this fascinating landscape! Optional “Adventure Package”: Check-in with your Navajo Indian host for a Native American program in Monument Valley.
Afterwards continue to accommodation.
Overnight: Goulding’s Lodge, Monument Valley, Utah
Optional Activity Package: Who else knows more inside information about beautiful Monument Valley than the people that are born and raised there, the people that call it their Motherland? The family’s Great great-grandfather, Mr. Grey Whiskers, has left a legacy to his children, who to this day still live in Monument Valley. His knowledge and understanding has been respectfully shared from generation to generation, making it possible for different nationalities from all over the world who visit this wonderful and beautiful ‘eighth Wonder of the World’, to experience Monument Valley in the purest way. As children, they played hide-and-seek among these huge rocks, explored, uncovered many amazing things and learned what beauty is me as the eyes beheld the inspiring views. These were moments in which they realized the presence of the omnipotent forces of Nature among them. Now they gladly invite you to come share their great-great grandfather’s legacy with them.
After a guided tour of Monument Valley your host will share and let you experiences the original Navajo culture, traditions and their precious heritage. Sitting at a campfire (subject to weather) enjoy a Navajo meal.
Sunset tour description: A complete package of 30+ miles secluded off-roads lets you discover the restricted area in the backcountry of Monument Valley. This land is a notable sacred site for the Dineh – the Navajos who are the Keepers of Monument Valley – a sacred unforgettable homeland and motherland to them. The special character of the area is further strengthened by the history of the Anasazis, the “Ancient Ones”, and well known for their imaginative ability, by way of concealed or secret illustration, such as, petroglyphs, pictographs and ruins known as cliff dwellings. The “Off the Beaten Track” tour solicits the delicate, breathtaking arches that withstand the contrasting, massive buttes. You will also visit the famous places in Monument Valley that once served as real-life backdrops for numerous movies, especially Westerns. For example, Stagecoach, The Searchers, How the West Was Won, Back to The Future- Part 3, Thelma and Louise and much, much more. The tour starts at approx. 5:00pm (17:00), depending on time of sunset. After program you will be returned to your car park at the Monument Valley Visitor Center.
Travel to yet another highlight of your trip through the Southwest: the awesome Grand Canyon (South Rim)! Words cannot describe the beauty of this wonder, so we leave it to you to experience it.
Overnight: Yavapai East Lodge, Grand Canyon National Park (2 nights).
Spend the day exploring the Grand Canyon. Hike day trails such as the Rim Trail, Bright Angel Trail, or South Kaibab Trail. Visit the IMAX theater in Tusayan or book a helicopter flight over the canyon (just let us know!)
Back into the 20th century! Hit the casinos, take in a show, and marvel at the architectural wonders this city has to offer.
Overnight: Aria Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada. Resort fee of approx. $52 per night to be paid directly.
- 11 hotel nights at published hotels (or similar), local hotel taxes and resort fees (except where mentioned), travel tips, maps, and brochures. Complimentary Breakfast subject to change at the hotel’s discretion.
- Activity Package (if booked) includes 4 activities throughout your trip
- Rental car, gas, parking fees, porterage, flights, airport transfers, meals, unless otherwise specified in the tour description, park & attractions entrance fees, unless otherwise specified in the tour description, ferry charges, travel insurance.