National Parks Tours Offers

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National Parks of the Intermountain Region

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Arizona: Grand Canyon & Sedona

 

 

6 days from $3,098

Time moves slowly in the desert, and this Arizona adventure assumes a similar pace so you can experience some of Earth’s greatest wonders in a deeper way. Your senses will be dazzled by the Sonoran Desert, where rare California condors fly, and the Painted Desert’s exquisite panoramas. Otherworldly sights at Sunset Crater National Monument contrast with saguaro cactus, flowering palo verde trees, and the impressive ancient pueblos at Wupatki National Monument. At the Grand Canyon, you’ll find vast natural sculpture that leaves even veteran travelers speechless.

Enjoy lunch on the breathtaking canyon rim a mile above the Colorado River, and witness brilliant sunsets and sunrises that set the sky ablaze. There are 250-million-year-old fossils hiding in piñon-juniper forests, a historic canyon photography studio to visit, and 12th-century Sinagua Indian ruins to wander. Then depart for Sedona’s gallery-lined streets and gourmet Southwestern meals. You’ll explore red-rock cliff country, where towering signature monoliths like Bell Rock, Courthouse Butte, and Cathedral Rock put the desert’s magic on spellbinding display.

Sunrise at the Grand Canyon

 

 

  1. Explore Kaibab limestone fossil sites en route to Hermit’s Rest in Grand Canyon National Park
  2. Walk amongst 12th century Sinagua Indian ruins in Walnut Canyon
  3. See Sedona’s signature red rock monoliths
  4. Guided walking tour, rated easy to moderate, with an average of 5-7 miles of walking daily over varied terrain
  5. Two expert local guides

 

Day 1 – Sunset Crater and Wupatki National Monuments / Grand Canyon
Your tour begins in Tempe, where you will meet your local guides and traveling companions. You start in the Lower Sonoran Desert, which is distinctively marked by saguaro cacti and yellow-flowering Palo Verde. Ascending the Colorado Plateau, the San Francisco Peaks dominate the horizon, and Ponderosa pines line the route.

After driving through the dramatic volcanic terrain of Sunset Crater National Monument, stop for a picnic lunch at Wupatki National Monument. Explore the most impressive prehistoric Indian pueblo in Northern Arizona, known to have been a thriving center of trade and ritual gatherings in the 12th century A.D. Panoramic views of the Painted Desert unfold to the east, and the sacred Kachina Peaks lie to the west.

Arrive at Grand Canyon National Park mid-afternoon. With a brief pause at the Desert View Watchtower, you are introduced to the visionary architectural style of Mary Elizabeth Colter; her design influences are evident throughout the Park. More significantly, at an incredible overlook, you gain your first personal experience of the natural wonder that is the Grand Canyon. Entering the heart of the Park, you walk the Rim Trail from Yavapai Point to your home for the next two nights—a classic Grand Canyon hotel situated directly on the rim. Overnight El Tovar Hotel. (L, D)

Miles logged: Wupatki National Monument: 1-2 miles, easy; Grand Canyon Rim Trail: 1 mile, easy.

Day 2 – Grand Canyon Rim Trail to Hermit’s Rest
Early risers enjoy a brilliant sunrise in the cool morning air. After a hearty breakfast, walk directly from the hotel west on the Rim Trail to Hermit’s Rest. Early in the journey you can examine the Kaibab limestone fossil site, home to fossilized remains of marine creatures dating back 250 million years. Spectacular views of the Grand Canyon and the mighty Colorado River abound at many vantage points along the way. The route winds through pinyon-juniper forest, where you may catch a glimpse of vocal Abert’s squirrels, mule deer, or even silver coyotes. Lunch at a scenic overlook provides the opportunity to take in the sheer vastness of the canyon.

After the day’s walk, you have the option of visiting two points of historic and cultural interest. Kolb Studio is the former home and business of the Kolb brothers, pioneering photographers at the Grand Canyon. The studio is located directly on the South Rim and offers free art exhibits and dramatic canyon views. Hopi House, which offers a variety of arts and crafts, is also perched at the South Rim. It was built by Native American laborers and was once home to Hopi and Navajo artisans and their families. Overnight El Tovar Hotel. (B, L, D)

Miles logged: Grand Canyon West Rim Trail from El Tovar Hotel to Hermit’s Rest: 8 miles, easy to moderate

Day 3 – Flagstaff / Sedona / Walnut Canyon / Oak Creek Canyon
A sunrise over the Grand Canyon is a stirring sight —a reward for all who join the dawn walk along the canyon rim. After an early breakfast, your guide leads you to remote Shoshone Point, where you depart Grand Canyon National Park. However, you cannot leave the area without experiencing the astonishing IMAX movie production, “Secrets of the Grand Canyon,” which serves as your final farewell. Flagstaff is your lunch spot en route to Sedona, followed by a visit to Walnut Canyon, where you walk among 12th-century Sinagua Indian ruins that have been built into the canyon walls. The vegetation here is unique; one side of the canyon contains fir and pine trees, typical of the Pacific Northwest, while the other, south-facing slopes have many species of cactus, more representative of the Upper Sonoran Desert in central Arizona. This diverse environment is a beautiful backdrop for walking along footpaths into the canyon.

Next, the route takes you through Oak Creek Canyon, where the road descends via switchbacks with stunning views of the Mogollon Rim, Oak Creek, and Sedona in the distance. Venture into the heart of Sedona’s red rock country and your home for the next three nights—an upscale resort located on the banks of Oak Creek, featuring exquisite service, comfortable rooms, and unique décor. Overnight Amara Resort and Spa. (B, L, D)

Miles logged: Shoshone Point (elevation 6,800 ft); 2 miles, easy. Transfer to Sedona via Oak Creek Canyon. Walnut Canyon National Monument; 2 miles, easy to moderate.

Day 4 – Little Horse Trail / Chapel of the Holy Cross
As the sun rises on your first morning in Sedona, the view from your private balcony is perfect for sipping coffee and anticipating the day’s discoveries. Gather for breakfast before heading out for a walk. Little Horse Trail penetrates deep into an area of massive domes and towering cliffs. Along the way it offers dramatic views of Sedona’s signature red rock monoliths—Bell Rock, Courthouse Butte, and Cathedral Rock. Your guides provide insight into the geological and ethnobotanical features that distinctively characterize the landscape of this region. A short walk from the trail leads to the remarkable Chapel of the Holy Cross, a landmark and pilgrimage sight for many visitors.

This afternoon, Sedona is yours to explore at your leisure. The lively town is home to a vibrant art scene. In Tlaquepaque, Sedona’s Arts and Crafts Village, stroll among the shops and galleries lining cobblestone walkways, or sit by the banks of Oak Creek and enjoy the peaceful feeling that envelops this unique setting. Overnight Amara Resort and Spa. (B, L)

Miles logged: Little Horse Trail and Chapel of the Holy Cross: 4 miles, easy to moderate

Day 5 – Templeton Trail
Following breakfast at the hotel, a short drive brings you to the start of today’s journey. The walk features dramatic red rock views, as well as a tranquil creekside settings. En route you skirt the base of Cathedral Rock, one of the most famous Sedona landmarks, and then enjoy a hearty packed lunch on the red rocks. Following the walk, you return to Sedona in time to enjoy a dip in the pool or a glass of wine on your private balcony before a farewell dinner. Overnight Amara Resort and Spa. (B, L, D)

Miles logged: Templeton Trail; 7 miles, moderate

Day 6 – Tour Conclusion
After a final group breakfast, the last walk is just a short drive from the hotel. Airport Mesa offers one of the most dramatic 360-degree viewpoints in Sedona—a parting view that is sure to endure in your travel memories. Here your guides will point out several of the landmarks and named rock formations that you have walked among during the past three days.

With lunch en route at a unique local eatery, you depart Sedona for a two-hour drive back to the lower desert and your final destination of Phoenix. (B, L)

Miles logged: Airport Mesa; 2 miles, easy. Transfer to Phoenix for departure

 

Grand Canyon National Park: El Tovar Hotel

Sedona: Amara Resort & Spa

 

 

 

Departure Date Twin Single Triple
April 21, 2013 $3,098.00 $3,898.00
May 5, 2013 $3,098.00 $3,898.00
October 13, 2013 $3,098.00 $3,898.00

 

Additional Information

 

Prices are land-only, per person.
Itinerary Changes: Please bear in mind that this is a typical itinerary, and the actual activities, sites, and accommodations may vary due to season, special events, weather, or transportation schedules. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary since tour arrangements are made up to a year in advance, and unforeseen circumstances that mandate change may arise. Itinerary changes are made to improve the tour and your experience.