Dreamers, visionaries, and unsung heroes shaped the preservation of three great national parks of the American West – Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Zion – so all who came after would experience their magnificence and relish the moment...
You’ll start “climbing” it at the incredible Grand Canyon... stay on it through the Painted Desert... into Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, with Lake Powell and magnificent natural arches like Rainbow Bridge in the Navajo Nation... past the Vermillion, White, Grey and Pink Cliffs... on to the pinnacles and hoodoos of Bryce Canyon... and right into the cliffs and valleys of Zion National Park. “It” is the Grand Staircase of the Escalante – a vast, unbroken expanse of colorful sedimentary rock layers that took nature over 200 million years to create, and envisioned by a 19th-century geologist as a series of gigantic “steps” stretching across the Southwest. And all these wonders are part of it...
Tour begins: 5:30 PM, Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North. A transfer is included from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport to Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North. Meet your travel companions at the welcome reception and dinner tonight at your luxury desert resort.
From the red rocks of Sedona to Grand Canyon National Park
On this first full day of your Southwest and Grand Canyon tour, stop in Sedona – home to famous red-rock formations with whimsical names like the Mittens and the Rabbit Ears, and the backdrop for many western movies and TV shows – and check out this intriguing town shaped by early settlers, cowboys, artists and Hollywood celebrities. Later, wind through Oak Creek Canyon en route to Grand Canyon National Park. Arrive at your inside-the-park lodge on the South Rim of the amazing Grand Canyon, carved over millions of years by the Colorado River, and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tonight, enjoy dinner at your choice of restaurants on the canyon's rim at El Tovar, the Arizona Room or Bright Angel Café.
The Grand Canyon and a private Lake Powell cruise
You just might want to take advantage of your lodge's ideal location on the South Rim by waking early enough to catch one of nature's grandest shows – a Grand Canyon sunrise! Learn about the geology and wildlife of the region from a local geology expert in a perfect location, right on the rim. And no Grand Canyon tour would be complete without exploring the canyon rim and Canyon Village as you please, witnessing the rugged landscape's vast grandeur and changing colors as the sun climbs in the sky. Travel through the Navajo Reservation en route to the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Lake Powell, one of the largest man-made lakes in the world, for a two-night stay. Tonight, a true highlight – a private Lake Powell dinner cruise aboard the sleek double-decked yacht Canyon Princess.
Flightseeing & canyon views at Lake Powell
See remote corners of 186-mile-long Lake Powell – created from the Colorado River by the Glen Canyon Dam in the 1960s – from a variety of perspectives. First take an included early morning, 45-minute flight to see the unusual red-rock formations reflecting in the lake; see Rainbow Bridge, the world's largest natural arch. Then take a private boat cruise and guided tour past some of the incredible sandstone slot canyons in the Navajo Nation, among the most beautiful in the Southwest. You also have the possibility today to take an optional four-hour excursion to Monument Valley in the Navajo Nation (at an additional cost – see Pricing & Availability), made famous as a setting of many westerns by director John Ford; combine aerial sightseeing with a land tour by a Navajo guide through rock buttes and spires – ask at time of booking.
Colorado River rafting & on to Bryce Canyon
This morning’s float trip on the Colorado River takes you through Glen Canyon; your experienced river adventure guide imparts a wealth of knowledge about the canyon as you glide past colorful walls of Navajo sandstone. Utah’s iconic landscapes have served as ideal locations for movie and TV westerns over the years; view them on an afternoon drive to Bryce Canyon National Park – a wondrous land of pines, pinnacles and oddly sculpted formations known as hoodoos, resembling the towers of fairy-tale castles. Magnificent spires, tinted with shades of pink, orange and red, put on a captivating show as the light changes throughout the day. Keep an eye open for the park’s abundant wildlife, including mule deer, coyotes, marmots, and prairie dogs, as you explore the park from your sought-after accommodations at The Lodge at Bryce Canyon. Listed on the National Historic Register, The Lodge is nestled in a forest of towering ponderosa pines in the heart of the park.
Explore Bryce Canyon and Zion national parks
If you rise early this morning, you’ll be rewarded with an awe-inspiring Bryce Canyon sunrise, as the light of dawn slowly spreads across the hoodoos and other unique geological features steps from your room at The Lodge at Bryce Canyon! Spend the morning at leisure, perhaps venturing out on one of the park’s renowned hiking trails to observe a great variety of bird species, beautiful wildflowers and diverse wildlife. After lunch, travel across southwestern Utah to Zion National Park, where colorful sandstone canyons and 3,000-foot-high palisades tower above the lush greenery of the canyon floor. The park’s shuttle system and network of hiking trails afford access to its key geologic features – thriving vegetation includes cottonwood trees and dry desert plants; wildlife ranges from mule deer to hundreds of bird species. Spend the night at the restored Zion Lodge, the only hotel accommodation inside the park.
From Zion National Park to a finale in Las Vegas
The morning is yours to explore Zion National Park’s diverse geological features at leisure; its dramatic peaks and cliffs, odd geologic formations, desert oases featuring abundant pools and waterfalls, and mighty canyons splashed with vivid colors are all equally compelling. The Paiutes believed this place to be the home of their coyote spirit, Sinawava, while early Mormon visitors referred to it as “the natural temples of God.” Highlights include a trio of peaks known as the Three Patriarchs; the Emerald Pools, fed by waterfalls cascading over the canyon walls; and the veil of spring water trickling over Weeping Rock. Depart Zion for a memorable journey across the vast, colorful vistas of the northeastern Mojave Desert. Then get ready for a bit of culture shock as you arrive in Las Vegas, Nevada – a city that truly never sleeps, offering non-stop entertainment and fancifully themed casinos. Accommodations tonight are at the Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas, providing easy access to the famed Strip – and yet the hotel is a welcoming oasis unto itself. Wrap up your Zion, Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon tour with a farewell reception and dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas, one last chance to share travel memories with new friends.
Tour ends: Las Vegas. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas to Las Vegas McCarran International Airport. Checkout time at Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas is 12:00 PM; allow a minimum of two hours for flight check-in at the airport.