ARIZONA ~ COLORADO ~ NEVADA ~ NEW MEXICO ~ UTAH

The Essence of the Southwest Tour

Grand Circle Members:

The Essence of the Southwest Tour

Stops:

  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Grand Canyon, AZ
  • Tusayan, AZ
  • Cameron/ Gray Mountain/ Tuba City, AZ
  • Page, AZ
  • Wahweap Lodge, AZ
  • Monument Valley, UT/AZ
  • Monument Valley Tribal Park, AZ
  • Gouldings Lodge, UT
  • San Juan Inn & Trading Post, UT
  • Kayenta, AZ
  • Hampton Inn of Kayenta, AZ
  • Mesa Verde, CO
  • Four Corners Monument
  • Far View Lodge, CO
  • Chinle, AZ
  • Canyon de Chelly National Monument, AZ
  • Thunderbird Lodge, AZ
  • Hubbell Trading Post, AZ
  • Petrified Forest National Park, AZ
  • Meteor Crater National Historic Site, AZ
  • Flagstaff, AZ

Members located in Las Vegas, NV:

  • Scenic Airlines- North Las Vegas

Members located in Grand Canyon, AZ:

  • Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn
  • Canyon Star Restaurant & Saloon
  • Grand Canyon Airlines
  • Grand Canyon Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites
  • Grand Canyon National Park Lodges
  • Grand Hotel
  • Native American Experience
  • Roadway Inn Red Feather Lodge

Members located in Cameron/ Gray Mountain/ Tuba City, AZ:

  • Cameron Trading Post- Cameron
  • Anasazi Inn- Gray Mountain
  • Greyhills Inn- Tuba City
  • Members located in Page, AZ:
  • ARAMARK Lake Powell/ Wahweap Lodge & Marina
  • Lake Powell Days Inn & Suites
  • Page Lake Powell Chamber of Commerce
  • Ramada Inn Page Lake Powell

Members located in Monument Valley, UT:

  • Gouldings Lodge

 Members located in Mexican Hat, UT:

  • San Juan Inn & Trading Post

Members located in Kayenta, AZ:

  • Hampton Inn of Kayenta
  • Anasazi Inn at Tsegi Canyon

Members located in Mancos/ Cortez/ Mesa Verde National Park, CO:

  • Mesa Verde Far View Lodge- Mancos
  • Holiday Inn Express Cortez- Mesa Verde National Park, CO
  • Mesa Verde National Park- Mesa Verde National Park, CO
  • Mesa Verde Country- Cortez
  • Tomahawk Lodge- Cortez
  • Ute Mountain Casino- Cortez
  • Comfort Inn- Cortez
  • Crow Canyon Archaeological Center- Cortez
  • Days Inn- Cortez

Members located in Chinle, AZ:

  • Thunderbird Lodge

Members located in Winslow, AZ:

  • Meteor Crater Enterprises, Inc.

Members located in Flagstaff, AZ:

  • Flagstaff Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Hampton Inn & Suites
  • Museum of Northern Arizona
  • NAU Arizona Hospitality Research/ Resource Center
  • Residence Inn by Marriott
  • Route 66 Concierge

Arizona

Grand Canyon to Las Vegas via Monument Valley; Page; Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park

This itinerary starts at the Grand Canyon Plaza Hotel in the Grand Canyon, and takes you through some amazing stops along your way to Las Vegas. The Grand Canyon Plaza Hotel has come up with a road trip you won’t want to miss. Including sites like The Cameron Trading Post, Monument Valley, Horseshoe Bend Lookout, Zion Park and much more! Make sure to visit Canyon Plaza Hotel’s website for more vacation ideas. 

Grandcanyonplaza.com.

  • Click HERE to view the itinerary
Driving from Phoenix or Scottsdale (optional Sedona Side Trip) to Grand Canyon

Planning on a vacation from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon? The Grand Canyon Plaza Hotel in the Grand Canyon has offered this amazing and fun travel guide complete with side activities and even where to stop for a bite to eat. This guide will take you through scenic areas like Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon. Visit them at GrandCanyonPlaza.com for more information and fun ideas.

Grand Canyon and Surrounding Area Tours

Here is an amazingly detailed list of tour ideas and pricing for the Grand Canyon area provided by Grand Canyon Plaza Hotel. This list not only includes just about everything you would be looking to do in the Grand Canyon, but it also offers options to save money for a lower budget vacation. Take a helicopter ride or go for a Jeep ride, do it all thanks to Canyon Plaza Hotel. Visit them at GrandCanyonPlaza.com for more information and other great ideas!

Grand Canyon Itinerary Ideas

Half Day/ Auto Tour Itinerary

Visitors who have just half a day at the more easily accessible South Rim of the Grand Canyon, can combine touring in their own vehicle with a bus tour.

  • Drive between the Desert View Visitor Center and back to the Grand Canyon Visitor Center, stopping at any overlook destination along the way.
  • Travel west of the Grand Canyon Visitor Center to Hermit Road.
  • Take the bus tour take makes at least 9 stops, with the option of getting off at a stop and boarding another bus later. The bus ride along Hermit Road is 75 minutes, without getting off.

Full Day Itinerary

Visitors with a full day on the South Rim can add some hiking perspective to their journey and take more time to soak in the sights of the expansive canyon.

  • Hike, bus, or bike (or combine travel) Hermits Road (7-mile one way), with 9 overlook stops.
  • Consider stopping at the Tusayan Museum and Ruin or the Yavapai Point and Geology Museum.
  • Visit the South Rim Canyon Overlook by the Visitor Center.
  • Consider adding another short hike, like the Grandview Trail, a 2.2 mile (round-trip) to Coconino Saddle. The trail is steep and rough is some places. Experienced hikers can this to their day itinerary to gain another perspective of the area.

Two Day Itinerary

Visitors who spend two days in the park may wish to see the North Rim, but driving from rim to rim is over 220 miles and 4 or more hours of driving. Excellent adventures await on the North Rim, however, this itinerary will recommend spending the second day on the South Rim, as there are plenty of destinations to keep visitors satisfied.

Day One:

  • Complete the Full Day Itinerary, listed above.
    • Visit the major overlooks, museums, and day hikes.

Day Two:

  • Hike either of these longer hikes based on time and ability. The national park guides recommend hikers only attempt to hike part of each of these hikes in one day. During the late spring and summer months, hikers attempting to hike to the river and back often overheat and overexert themselves, sometimes resulting in hospital trips. If you would like to hike all the way to the river and back, consider hiking all the way down on the first day, and coming back up the second. Also, always remember to bring enough water for these strenuous activities.
    • Bright Angel Trail: 12 miles (round-trip). A steep, difficult hike down to the river and back. Partial shade.
    • South Kaibab Trail: 6 miles (round-trip). Steep trail, little shade, difficult hike down to the river. Offers great views for a shorter hike.

Always check with the visitor center for any permits needed while camping.

Backcountry Itinerary

A backcountry permit is needed for all overnight hiking and use of backcountry.

Grand Canyon National Park has a large selection of backcountry hiking, but perhaps none more impressive than hiking rim to rim of the miles-wide canyon. Consider starting the overnight backpacking journey on the North Rim and hiking the North Kaibab Trail, 9.4 miles to Roaring Springs. The next day, continue to the river, crossing the bridge, and continue up to the South Rim by way of either the South Kaibab Trail or the Bright Angel Trail. About 19 miles total.

Another exciting backcountry opportunity is the popular Havasupai Indian Reservation. These permits are dealt directly through Havasupai: 1-928-448-2180.

The hike is 20 miles to the campground and another 8 more to the river. Hikers will experience the famous Havasu waterfalls and clear-blue water, and the incredible hike there. It is best done in 3 days, but can be accomplished in 2.

Grand Canyon Itinerary Ideas By Canyon Plaza Hotel

These were provided by Rich Milliron
Guest Services, Grand Canyon Plaza Hotel


www.grandcanyonplaza.com

Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours

Fly over the deepest and widest part of the Grand Canyon!
This exciting tour puts you in the action with a great view to this natural wonder of the world.  You will enjoy the canyon’s legendary beauty in a jet-powered Bell Helicopter.  You will fly over the widest – 20 miles – and deepest – over 6000 feet – part of the Canyon. 

See the full itinerary.

Grand Canyon to Las Vegas via Monument Valley; Page; Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park

When you leave the Grand Canyon headed to Bryce Canyon there are many places you will want to consider stopping along the way. First are the viewpoints as you head out on Highway 64 headed to the East Exit of the park. 

See the full itinerary.

Phoenix or Scottsdale (optional Sedona Side Trip) to Canyon Plaza Resort, Grand Canyon

The driving distance from Phoenix to the hotel is 222 miles and takes approximately 4 ½ hours… Please keep in mind that sunset is one of the wonderful scenes at the Grand Canyon so if you can arrive by late afternoon you will have a chance to drive into the park for sunset. It is magnificent. 

See the full itinerary.

Sightseeing from Albuquerque to the Grand Canyon Plaza Hotel

Heading west on Interstate 40 about 45 minutes you will come to SKY CITY. This is a very interesting stop if you are interested in learning about Indian Culture. There is an old Indian city here named Acoma. It is located on a hill and you have to take tours to go through it. 

See the full itinerary.

Grand Canyon to Capitol Reef

Grand Canyon to Capitol Reef

Day One: Arrive in Phoenix, Arizona – Phoenix Skyharbor International Airport

Located in the southwestern tip of the Grand Circle, Phoenix is a fantastic gateway to the west. With activities by the dozen, Phoenix offers a wide variety of attractions including horseback riding, golfing, sightseeing, fine dining, performing arts, museums and galleries, and rodeos! Stay the night or drive right up to Grand Canyon. (www.phoenix.gov/AVIATION)

Day One/Two: Arrive in Grand Canyon, Arizona

The Grand Canyon is over a mile deep and 277 miles long, the canyon is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and offers visitors an amazing view of history, science and beauty all in one. Enjoy a narrated tour of the South Rim, hop a flight on a helicopter, trail down the canyon on a mule or simply take in the sights on your own. Don’t forget to stop off at the National Geographic Visitors Center – IMAX Theatre for a unique view of this natural wonder.

Overnight in Grand Canyon, Arizona

-Anasazi Inn

-Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn

-Grand Canyon Quality Inn & Suites

-Grand Hotel

-Grand Canyon National Park Lodges

Day Three: Travel to Springdale, Utah

Take an afternoon tour of Zion National Park. Famous for it’s deep canyons, sandstone cliffs, seeping springs and scenic vistas, Zion National Park is nature at its most eloquent.  Hop the shuttle inside the park and get on and off at scenic spots along the way.

Overnight in Springdale/Zion, Utah

-Best Western Zion Park Inn

-Desert Pearl Inn

-National Park Lodges

Day Four: Travel to Tropic, Utah

Enjoy nature’s erosive handiwork, as the sun sets on a vast array of fingers, spires and pinnacles, all of rosy hue, carved into fantastic shapes, some extremely delicate, others massive and sturdy.

Overnight in Tropic/Bryce, Utah

-Best Western Ruby’s Inn

-Bryce Valley Inn

-National Park Lodges

Day Five: Travel to Torrey, Utah

Capitol Reef, also known as the Waterpocket Fold, is an enormous wrinkle in the earth’s crust known as a monocline. This formation serves as the 100-mile long backbone of this National Treasure. Early settlers described this structure as an “impassable reef” of rock coining the Park’s name. The Waterpocket Fold formed between 50 million and 70 million years ago when a major geologic shift in western North America reactivated an ancient buried fault. When the fault moved, the overlying rock layers were pushed up, bent, and draped into the monocline. Enjoy a full day tour of the natural wonder.

Overnight in Torrey/Brian Head, Utah

-Cedar Breaks Lodges

-Wonderland Inn

Day Six: Travel to Monument Valley, Utah

Perhaps America’s most photographed landscape, Monument Valley is a scenic region encompassing approximately 5,180 sq km (2,000 sq mi) in northeastern Arizona and southeastern Utah. The landscape is characterized by tall, red sandstone buttes, mesas, and arches created by erosion, rising up to 300 m (1,000 ft) from a sandy plain. Monument Valley has been a favorite Hollywood backdrop for over 80 years and is still a traditional Navajo homeland. Take a narrated Jeep tour of this Western favorite.

Overnight in Monument Valley, Utah

-Gouldings Lodge

Day Seven: Travel to Phoenix, Arizona/Albuquerque, New Mexico for late afternoon departure

Depart Phoenix Skyharbor International Airport or Albuquerque International Sunport Airport.

Itineraries for Williams, AZ

This itinerary was provided by the Williams Chamber of Commerce, visit them at Williamschamber.org

Williams, AZ is located at 6,700 feet in the largest spread of Ponderosa Pine Forest in the world. Within an hour’s drive of the Grand Canyon’s beautiful South Rim, Williams provides visitors with a variety of fun activities. The Grand Canyon Railway departs the depot daily for the 2 hour ride to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Adults and children alike, will enjoy the 160 acre Bearizona Drive-Thru Wildlife Park. Hop on Historic Route 66 and enjoy the ‘nicest stretch of the Mother Road’, experiencing the town known as the last town bypassed by Interstate 40.

As you stroll along Route 66, take in an historic walking tour of buildings in this old frontier town, named after mountain man Bill Williams. Seven lakes for fishing or just relaxing can be found within a short distance of downtown, hiking and biking in the Kaibab National Forest and camping are available for the outdoor enthusiast. For the golf fan, Elephant Rocks Golf Course (http://www.elephant-rocks.com/) meanders through  Ponderosa Pine Forest and spreading meadows. Williams is host to several events including the Northern Arizona BBQ Festival, Classic Car Shows, National Train Day, Mountain Village Holiday, Parades and so much more. For more information contact the Williams and Forest Service Visitor Center at 1-800-863-0546 or visit our website at:

www.experiencewilliams.com.

Itinerary, Sedona to Albuquerque

Day 1: Start in Sedona

Take a Jeep Tour to Native American Ruins, Cliff Dwellings (Palatki, Honanki, etc.), or petroglyph sites. Take a Tour or Drive to Montezuma Castle and Well. Visit V-V Ranch Petroglyphs Site. Visit Native American Jewelry/Arts/Crafts/Culture Shops & Galleries.

Day 2: Drive to Williams, AZ

Overnight at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel. Take the train to the Grand Canyon the next day. The Grand Canyon Railway departs the depot daily for the 2 hour ride to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Spend the day at the South Rim. Overnight in Tusayan.

Day 3: Drive to Tuba City, AZ

Attend a Hopi dance provided by Moenkopi Legacy Inn and Suites. Overnight at Moenkopi.

Day 4: Drive through Hopi and Navajo Reservations to Monument Valley

Tour of Hopi villages. Visit Native craft shops. Overnight at Gouldings Lodge or The View at Monument Valley.

Day 5: Tour of Monument Valley, then drive to Farmington, NM

Overnight in Farmington, NM.

Day 6: Drive to Aztec, NM

Half-day tour of Aztec Ruins in the morning. Lunch in Aztec. Half-day tour of Chaco Canyon in the afternoon. Slightly northwest of the visitor center begins the 9-mile one-way loop road that takes visitors around Chaco Canyon. Visitors can stop at any of these prehistoric sites with short, self-guiding trails, as time allows:

  • Hungo Pavi
  • Chetro Ketl
  • Pueblo Bonito
  • Pueblo del Arroyo (just a short way northwest drive off the main loop road)
  • Casa Rinconada

Overnight in Aztec.

Day 7: Drive to Acoma Pueblo, NM

Morning tour of Sky City and Cultural Center. Drive to Albuquerque in late afternoon.

Day 8: Drive to Santa Fe

Spend the day walking around Santa Fe’s historic Plaza and the art galleries on Canyon Road. Drive back to Albuquerque in the evening.

Day 9: Albuquerque

Spend the morning in Albuquerque, shopping in Old Town or taking the tram to the Crest, or visiting the Petroglyph Park. Fly out in the late afternoon.

Nat. Geo. Visitor Center Grand Canyon, Itineraries

We appreciate National Geographic Visitor Center Grand Canyon for providing these itineraries for an amazing adventure in the Grand Canyon. Visit them at their website for more exciting information: 

explorethecanyon.com

Grand Canyon Visitor Center Wall Map

Suggested One or Two Day Trips

The National Geographic Visitor Center is host to an “official” Arizona Office of Tourism available in Tusayan or Grand Canyon. The desk offers an array of media and literature covering all of Arizona’s spectacular sights, focusing primarily on the Arizona high country to help you plan your Grand Canyon itinerary. Stop in and talk to our local representatives who can offer advice and suggested itineraries for travel in and around the Grand Canyon based on extensive knowledge of the area. Our representatives at the National Geographic Visitor Center are locals who have lived here for a time and have experienced all that the Grand Canyon and its surrounding area have to offer. Not sure where the Canyon is or how to get the best view?

Looking to make plans for 1 or 2 day trip? Looking to hike the best trails? Stop by and talk to our experienced staff at the National Geographic Visitor Center. Are you just passing through and need advice on the best way to squeeze it all into a few hours? Come in and ask us how to get the most out of your day with memories to last a lifetime. Do you have persons in your group with special needs who want to experience all the best spots available? Just ask us. We are prepared to help any individual create his or her best possible Grand Canyon National Park South Rim itinerary. There is no other place to go to discover the best way to explore all the awesome adventures that Grand Canyon, Arizona has to offer.

The following are examples of possible itineraries put together by the experts at the Arizona Office of Tourism Visitor desk located in the lobby of the National Geographic Visitor Center. There are several trip options available, and these represent only a sample. We are excited to work with you to find the very best itinerary for you and your group.

If you have a Half Day or Less…

Choose from any of the activities or sites listed below to help plan your half day at the Grand Canyon. You might begin by seeing theIMAX® Movie, “Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets” at the National Geographic Visitor Center. This 34-minute giant-screen film introduces viewers to the canyon, telling the story of the Native Americans, John Wesley Powell, and the unique wildlife.

  • National Geographic Visitor Center IMAX® Film “Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets”, tickets, reservations
  • Grand Canyon Visitor Center 5-minute walk from Mather Point; Shuttle access from Market Plaza parking.

Tight Schedule: Limited Physical Activity

  • Mather Point most popular lookout, wheelchair accessible, parking, short walk to Grand Canyon Visitor Center.
  • Yavapai Point Great photo opportunity, fossil exhibit.
  • Rim Trail between Mather Point and Yavapai Point Wheelchair accessible from Mather Point to Bright Angel Trailhead.

Flexible Schedule: Higher Activity Level

  • Fossil Beds Rim Trail to Maricopa Point
  • Hopi Point
  • Powell Memorial 10-minute walk from Hopi, great photo opportunity.
  • Pima Point Hermits Rest Refreshments available.

If you have a FULL DAY…

Hiking the Grand Canyon

With more time, you can do any of the half-day suggestions and add in a ranger program, flight tour, land tour, or, if physically active, a hike. You might, for example, view the “Grand Canyon: Discovery & Adventure” IMAX® film, do a fly-over, and then take a vigorous hike or a leisurely rim walk.

  • Ranger Interpretive Programs Information on history, geology, and wildlife.
  • Flight Tours Reserve at National Geographic Visitor Center.
  • Condor Encounter Live Bird Show and IMAX film at the National Geographic Visitor Center
  • Land Tours by Jeep, or Horse Reserve at National Geographic Visitor Center and Bright Angel Lodge. Learn about the flora and fauna of the Kaibab National Forest.

Physically Active Hikes

  • Bright Angel Trail to Indian Garden During non-summer months, you can go to Plateau Point for a view of the river.
  • South Kaibab Trail to Cedar Ridge 3-mile round trip.

If you have Two Days or More…

Grand Canyon South Kaibab Trail

With the luxury of time, you can mix any of the above Grand Canyon activities with the suggestions below. Make inquires early in the day for last-minute openings. You might consider day hiking into the canyon along Bright Angel or South Kaibab trails. Kids 4 to 14 can sign up for Junior Ranger Programs. The Grand Canyon Field Institute offers one- to eight-day classes and field trips.

  • Camping at Indian Garden or Bright Angel Campground: Booked months in advance. Ask about daily openings at the Backcountry Information Center.
  • Phantom Ranch: Ask at the National Geographic Visitor Center about reservations. Make bookings at Bright Angel Lodge.
  • Visit Tusayan Ruins near East Entrance: 3-hour round trip
  • Drive to North Rim: 8-hour round trip; open only in summer months.
Phoenix to Las Vegas 7 Day

Grand Circle Itinerary – Phoenix to Las Vegas 7 Day

Day One: Depart Phoenix/Scottsdale and tour through the Sonoran Desert to Montezuma Castle National Monument.  Walking tour of Monument, then to Sedona red rock country. 

Enjoy a Pink Jeep Tour into the Red Rock backcountry.  Continuing the adventure up scenic Oak Creek Canyon to the Grand Canyon. Enjoy an orientation at the Canyon rim then a stop at the Canyon View Information Plaza.  Check into a Grand Canyon hotel

Day Two: A 23-mile rim tour this morning with stops to learn about the Canyon.  Next a stop will be made on the Navajo Reservation at historic Cameron Trading Post. Then travel to Monument Valley. Late afternoon Navajo guided jeep tour into Monument Valley.  Overnight Kayenta, AZ

Day Three: Tour through the Southern Utah and Manti La Sal Mountains to Needles District of Canyonlands National Park.  Overnight in Moab, Utah

Day Four: Tour Arches National Park then to Capitol Reef National Park. Overnight in Torrey, Utah

Day Six: Tour over Boulder Mountain in Dixie National Forest to Escalante, Utah.  Tour through the new Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.  Then to Bryce National Park with a guided tour to Inspriation and Bryce Points.  Overnight at one of the Bryce Canyon hotels.

Day Seven: Tour from Bryce National Park to Zion National Park. Day in Zion. Late afternoon tour to Las Vegas. Overnight Las Vegas.

This itinerary may be reversed with Day One beginning in Las Vegas and Day Eight ending in Phoenix.

Additions of hiking, mountain biking, jeeping, scenic helicopter flights, horseback riding, river rafting (both smooth and white water), Native American experiences may be added to some of the days to make the itinerary more adventurous.  Only your imagination will be your limitation.

Itinerary developed by:

Open Road Tours
522 East Dunlap
Phoenix, AZ 85020
http://www.openroadtours.com/

Northern Arizona & Grand Canyon #1 To/From Las Vegas

NORTHERN ARIZONA & GRAND CANYON – SUGGESTED ITINERARY ONE

TO/FROM LAS VEGAS

(Prices are now old. Check locally for current rates.)

Day One: 205 miles/330 KM to Grand Canyon National Park, south rim,  1 night

Cost: $20 per car; motor coach entry $300 (26 persons or more)

www.nps.gov/grca

An opportunity to view one of the most magnificent natural wonders of the world  — step beneath the rim or enjoy the paved hiking trails along the edge; take in an interpretive program, dine and admire some of Arizona’s most unique historic buildings.

______________________________________________________

Day Two: Grand Canyon to Flagstaff via 64/180

80 Miles/130 KM

Two nights at Little America Hotel

www.flagstaff.littleamerica.com

Northern Arizona’s premier resort hotel, located on over 500 acres of ponderosa pine; The ideal location for watchable wildlife — see Abert’s squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, dozens of species of birds, even an occasional mule deer, bobcat or elk while you walk our two-mile hiking trail among the trees.

__________________________________________________________

Day trip to Walnut Canyon National Monument via 1-40

10 miles/16 KM

Cost: $5 per person, motor coach $100* (26 persons or more)

*Fee good for Walnut Canyon, Wupatki and Sunset Crater

www.nps.gov/waca

Visit and walk among the ruins of the cliff-dwelling Pueblo Indians who lived and farmed 1000 years ago in this stream-cut gorge. This is one of the few monuments that allows entry into an authentic Indian ruin. Wonderful visitor museum on the rim.

On to Sunset Crater and Wupatki National Monument via 1-40 & 89 North

15 miles/24 KM

Cost: $5 per person, motor coach $100(fee included for all three monuments)

www.nps.gov/wupa

www.nps.gov/sucr

View and walk among the lava flows of a dormant volcano, which erupted just 900 years ago, or walk over the cinder cones for a sneak view of the Painted Desert. Continue on to see the ruins of the Anasazi and Sinagua Indians; you may visit four pueblos as you view the beautiful high country desert.

______________________________________________________

Day Three: Little America to Lake Powell (lunch) and Zion National Park, Utah

212 miles/339 KM to Zion

Cost: visit the park’s website for fee information.

www.zioncanyon.com

www.nps.gov/glca

Stop near Lake Powell, formed by one of the world’s highest dams, with a shoreline of 1,960 miles. Continue on to Zion National Park, where 229 square-miles of cliff and canyon landscape and rugged wilderness make this an unforgettable experience. View the world’s largest natural arch (310 feet) in what is truly a spectacular view of the American West.

Return: Zion National Park to Las Vegas

160 miles/ 258 KM

Northern Arizona & Grand Canyon #2 To/From Las Vegas

NORTHERN ARIZONA & GRAND CANYON – SUGGESTED ITINERARY TWO

To/From Las Vegas

(Costs mentioned are now dated. Check locally for current rates.)

 Day One: To Flagstaff via I-40

Two nights Little America Hotel

265 miles/424 KM

www.flagstaff.littleamerica.com

Northern Arizona’s premier resort hotel, located on over 500 acres of ponderosa pine; The ideal location for watchable wildlife — see Abert’s squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, prairie dogs, dozens of species of birds, even an occasional mule deer or elk while you walk our two-mile hiking trail among the trees.

__________________________________________________________

Day Two: Day Trip To Grand Canyon National Park, South Rim via 64/180

80 miles/130 KM

(Round trip 160 miles/260 KM)

www.nps.gov/grca

Cost:  Visit the park website for fee information.

An opportunity to view one of the most magnificent natural wonders of the world  — step beneath the rim or enjoy the paved hiking trails along the edge; take in an interpretive program, dine and admire some of  Arizona’s most unique historic buildings.

Day Three: To Walnut Canyon National Monument via 1-40

10 miles/16 KM

Cost: Visit the park website for fee information.

www.nps.gov/waca

Visit and walk among the ruins of the cliff-dwelling Pueblo Indians who lived and farmed 1000 years ago in this stream-cut gorge. This is one of the few monuments that allows entry into an authentic Indian ruin. Wonderful visitor museum on the rim.

______________________________________________________

Day Four: Walnut Canyon to Lake Powell (lunch) and Zion National Park, Utah

212 miles/339 KM to Zion

Cost: Visit the park website for fee information.

www.zioncanyon.com

www.nps.gov/glca

Stop near Lake Powell, formed by one of the world’s highest dams, with a shoreline of 1,960 miles. Continue on to Zion National Park, where 229 square-miles of cliff and canyon landscape and rugged wilderness make this an unforgettable experience. View the world’s largest natural arch (310 feet) in what is truly a spectacular view of the American West.

Return: Zion National Park to Las Vegas

160 miles/258 KM

Petrified Forest National Park Itinerary Ideas

Half Day/ Auto-tour Itinerary

If you have several hours/ half a day in the park:

  • Stop in at Painted Desert Visitor Center, near the north end of the park.
    • Watch the film, gather any brochures, or ask any questions you may have.
  • Drive the length of the park (28-miles), stopping any of the several overlook locations, including:
    • Newspaper Rock, Jasper Forest, Crystal Forest,
  • Drop by the Rainbow Forest Museum to see fossil and petrified wood displays, and well as history and wildlife exhibitions.

Full Day Itinerary

If you have a full day to spend in the park, consider adding several destinations:

  • Stop in at Painted Desert Visitor Center, near the north end of the park.
    • Watch the film, gather any brochures, or ask any questions you may have.
  • Visit the Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark, located just north of the Visitor Center, a historic building which provided respite for Route 66 travelers.
    • The Inn also provides exhibits and great views of the surrounding vistas.
  • Drive the length of the park (28-miles), stopping any of the several overlook locations and hikes, including:
    • Puerco Pueblo Trail (located just before Newspaper Rock) and Giant Logs Trail (located next to the Rainbow Forest Museum).
    • Tiponi, Tawa, Kachina, Chinde, Pintado, Nizhoni, Whipple, Lacey, Newspaper Rock, Jasper Forest, and Crystal Forest.
    • Drive the short Blue Mesa Road (4-miles round-trip), located near the southern end of the park.
  • Drop by the Rainbow Forest Museum to see fossil and petrified wood displays, and well as history and wildlife exhibitions.

Two Day Itinerary

If you have two days to spend touring the park, you’ll be able to add several nice hikes to your trip. We recommend you split the trip up like this:

Day One – The Northern Half of the Park:

  • Begin at Painted Desert Visitor Center, near the north end of the park.
    • Watch the film, gather any brochures, or ask any questions you may have.
  • Visit the Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark, located just north of the Visitor Center, a historic building which provided respite for Route 66 travelers.
    • The Inn also provides exhibits and great views of the surrounding vistas.
  • Drive south on the main park road, stopping at any overlook locations and these three short hikes:
    • Painted Desert Rim Trail (located at Tawa Point and Kachina Point): 1 mile round trip; offers spectacular views of the Painted Desert and the chance to spot various plants and wildlife.
    • Puerco Pueblo Trail (located just before Newspaper Rock): .3 mile loop; paved trail that offers visitors sights of a 100-room pueblo, and several petroglyphs at the south end of the trail.
    • Drive the short Blue Mesa Road (4-miles round-trip), located near the southern end of the park, and hike the 1 mile loop located at the end of the road. Trail begins at Blue Mesa Sun Shelter, and provides a “badlands” hiking experience and views of the great blue mesas.

Day Two – The Southern Half of the Park:

  • Drop by the Rainbow Forest Museum to see fossil and petrified wood displays, and well as history and wildlife exhibitions.
  • Enjoy these hikes:
    • Crystal Forest (located north of the Rainbow Forest Museum, south of Blue Mesa Road): .75 mile loop; visitors can find beautiful crystals inside the petrified logs.
    • Giant Logs Trail (next to the Rainbow Forest Museum): .4 mile loop; features some of the largest and most colorful petrified logs in the park. The iconic “Old Faithful” log is located here, and is almost 10 feet in diameter at the base.
    • Long Logs Trail (next to the Rainbow Forest Museum): 1.6 mile round trip; one of the largest concentrations of petrified wood in the park.
    • Agate House (next to the Rainbow Forest Museum): 2 miles round trip; see a small, 8-room pueblo that was occupied 700 years ago.  
      • Long Logs and Agate House Trails can be combined for a total of 2.6 miles round trip.

Backcountry Itinerary

Backcountry permits are free, but must be obtained at least one hour before park closure, at either the Rainbow Forest Museum or the Painted Desert Visitor Center.

Most backpackers head into the Wilderness Area, located North of Hwy 40 and Route 66, as much of the other areas of the park are private access; however, some popular areas are located in other areas.

In the Wilderness Area:

  • Park at the Painted Desert Inn.
  • Backpackers must hike 1 mile from the trailhead, past LIthodendron Wash before setting up camp.
  • See the complete list of rules here.
  • See more hikes, located in other parts of the park here.
Scenic Drives from/to Sedona

The Sedona Chamber of Commerce has created this pdf itinerary to give you some great ideas:

Visit Sedona Chamber of Commerce for more great ideas and information at:

www.sedonachamber.com

Sedona 3-day 2-night / 4-day 3-night Experience

The Sedona Chamber of Commerce has provided the pdf document below offering excellent itinerary ideas:

Sedona Chamber of Commerce 14 different Itineraries

Sedona Chamber of Commerce has provided specific itineraries in and around Sedona, Arizona. Linked below is 14 different itineraries for any vacationer’s needs. 

Sedona Native American Experience

This 3-Day itinerary takes you on a Jeep tour, through the Hopi Reservations and much more!

Sedona Nature Experience

This 3-Day itinerary will take you hiking, exploring, and on a hot air balloon ride through the scenic areas around Sedona.

Sedona Scenic View by Motorcoaches

Here is a list of places that are non-US Forest Service lands. Great for off-roading.

Sedona Scenic View Points by Motorcoaches

Here is a list of US Forest Service Coconino NF Red Rock Ranger Districts. Explore the areas around Sedona, Arizona on well groomed off-road trails.

Sedona and the Grand Canyon Experience

This 3-Day itinerary starts in beautiful Sedona, Arizona and ends in the Grand Canyon, Arizona. 

Day Trips From/To Sedona

4 amazing day trips in the Sedona, Arizona area. Including trips to Flagstaff, Arizona and the Grand Canyon.

Only Couple of Hours in Sedona?

Here are plenty of ideas to spend time in Sedona, Arizona. From visiting Red Rock Crossing to the art galleries, these ideas will keep you busy. 

Sedona & Gateway Cities

Gateway cities including Pheonix, Arizona and Los Angeles, California. Here’s a list of gateway cities connected to Sedona, Arizona and some great vacationing ideas around them. 

Sedona 3-day 2-night / 4-day 3-night Experience

Varied 3-day or 4-day itineraries for Sedona, Arizona and its surrounding areas. 

Sedona Spiritual and Healing Experience

This 3-day itinerary takes you hiking and to the spa, perfect for a healing experience in Sedona, Arizona. 

Sedona General Experience

This 3-day itinerary offers tours, hiking and much more for Sedona, Arizona.

Sedona Bed & Breakfast Experience

Here are some bed & breakfast locations and activities in Sedona, Arizona. 

Sedona Arts and Culture Experience

This 3-day itinerary list arts and cultural experiences and their dates for Sedona, Arizona.

Sedona Unique Meetings & Corporate Events Experience

This 3-day itinerary gives you ideas for your team-building meetings or corporate vacations in Sedona, Arizona. 

Visit Sedona Chamber of Commerce for more great ideas and information at:

www.sedonachamber.com

Sedona Chamber of Commerce Scenic Drives from/to Sedona

Sedona Chamber of Commerce has provided great itinerary ideas:

Visit the Sedona Chamber of Commerce for more information and vacation ideas at:

 www.sedonachamber.com

Southwest Adventure Tours Page, AZ 4 Day Experience

382 E 650 S Circle
Cedar City, UT 84720
Office: 435-590-5864
Fax: 206-350-9872

jason@southwestadventreutours.com
www.southwestadventuretours.com

Day 1:

  • Depart Phoenix 8 AM
  • Drive to South Rim of the Grand Canyon. (4 Hours of driving)
  • Tour South Rim and enjoy lunch at the park.
  • Depart for Page, AZ (3 hours of driving)
  • Arrive in Page. Lodging at Lake Powell Resort

Day 2:

  • Choose 1 activity for the day
    • Smooth Water Colorado River Float Trip
    • Boat trip to Rainbow Bridge National Monument
    • Lower Antelope Canyon Tour & Horseshoe Bend Hike
    • Lake Powell Half Day Kayaking
    • Lake Powell Half Day Paddle Boarding
    • White Pockets/Sidestep Canyon/Toadstools and other Grand Staircase Monument excursions
  • Evening program (5 or 6 pm) at the Navajo Heritage Center (Dinner Included)

Day 3:

  • Free Day with optional activities to choose from
    • Smooth Water Colorado River Float Trip
    • Boat trip to Rainbow Bridge National Monument
    • Lower Antelope Canyon Hike/Tour Horseshoe Bend Hike
    • Lake Powell Half Day Kayaking
    • Lake Powell Half Day Paddle Boarding
    • White Pockets/Sidestep Canyon/Toadstools and other Grand Staircase Monument excursions

Day 4:

  • 8:00 am departure from Page, AZ
  • Travel to Sedona, AZ (4 – 4.5 hours of driving)
  • Tour spend about 3 to 4 hours exploring Sedona, AZ
  • Arrive in Phoenix by 6:00pm (2-3 hours from Sedona or the monuments)

Tour Inclusions:

  • Tour Guide
  • Transportation
  • Lodging

Top


Colorado

Black Canyon of the Gunnison Itinerary Ideas

Half Day/ Auto Tour Itinerary

To explore Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in just half a day, travelers should plan on staying at the South Rim of the park. While the North Rim provides more scenic views of the entire canyon, the South Rim provides more overlook destinations and fantastic views of the Painted Wall, which is the national park’s most iconic symbol.

In a six-mile stretch at the South Rim, visitors should stop their vehicles at these overlooks:

  • Tomichi Point Overlook (South Rim)
  • Chasm View Overlook (South Rim)
  • Sunset View Overlook (South Rim)

Next, travelers should hike the easy, ⅔ mile (round trip) Cedar Point Nature Trail. This relatively flat walk offers two overlooks of the canyon and river over 2,000 feet below. Hikers are also afforded a spectacular view of the Painted Wall, which is considered Colorado’s tallest Cliff, as well as the beautiful and unique rock formations.

Lastly, if time allows, visitors should head back to the South Rim Visitor Center at the entrance of the park, to watch educational movie about the park and learn about how the canyon was created.

Full Day Itinerary

Travelers wishing to spend a full day at this national park may choose to visit the destinations listed in the Half Day Itinerary above, as well as explore a few more scenic areas of the South Rim of the park.

Depending on how much time is afforded, and the fitness levels of the group, consider hiking one or two of these trails, located on the South Rim:

  • Oak Flat Loop Trail: Located near the visitor center, this strenuous, 2 mile (round trip) hike treks across steep, narrow trails, through aspen, fir, and oak forests, and offers spectacular views of the canyon.
  • Rim Rock Nature Trail: Located near the visitor center, this moderate, 1 mile (round trip) hike guides explorers along a relatively flat path on the rim of the canyon. It offers plenty of views of the Gunnison River, the sheer cliff walls, and the flora surrounding, such as the sagebrush, pinyon pines, and junipers.
  • Warner Point Nature Trail: Located at the end of the South Rim Road, this moderate, 1 mile hike offers gorgeous views of the San Juan Mountains, Uncompahgre Valley, West Elk Mountains, Gunnison River, and the canyon. The trail is shaded by the native trees, such as mahogany, serviceberry, pines, and junipers.

Two Day Itinerary

Travelers spending two days at the park will have the best opportunity to visit both the south and north rims of the park. It is recommended that travelers visit the South Rim the first day and the North Rim the second day, due to more strenuous trails on the North Rim and the opportunity to stop by the South Rim Visitor Center to learn about the canyon and area before you begin exploring.

Listed below is a two day itinerary:

Day One

  • Visit the South Rim Visitor Center, near the entrance to the park, where travelers can watch a movie, learn about the formation of Black Canyon, and pick up maps and brochures on different destinations in the area.
  • Visit the three overlook points located on the South Rim Road:
    • Tomichi Point Overlook (South Rim)
    • Chasm View Overlook (South Rim)
    • Sunset View Overlook (South Rim)
  • Visit the easy, ⅔ mile (round trip) Cedar Point Nature Trail.
    • This relatively flat walk offers two overlooks of the canyon and river over 2,000 feet below. Hikers are also afforded a spectacular view of the Painted Wall, which is considered Colorado’s tallest Cliff, as well as the beautiful and unique rock formations.

Day Two

  • Drive 2.5 hours from the South Rim to the North Rim.
  • Visit the moderate, ⅓ mile (round trip) Chasm View Nature Trail.
    • This trail is a loop that features two excellent lookout points, one that towers 1800 feet above the Gunnison river, and one with a view of Painted Wall and the people directly across the canyon at the Chasm View overlook – 1,100 feet away.
  • Visit the North Vista Trail, either a moderate, 3 mile hike (round trip) to Exclamation Point or beyond that point, a strenuous 7 mile (total round trip) to Green Mountain.
    • This hike begins at the North Rim Ranger Station and goes through the forest along the canyon rim. It features several overlooks and great views of the canyon. Those who continue to Green Mountain will see far-reaching sights of the surrounding mountain ranges and an aerial view of Black Canyon.

If you have time:

  • Drive south down the road on the North Rim, and stop at any of the overlooks, The Narrows View, Balanced Rock View, Big Island View, Island Peaks View, or Kneeling Camel View.
  • Additionally, if there is remaining time on the itinerary, consider hiking the moderately easy, 5 mile (round trip) Deadhorse Trail.
    • This hike provides views of Deadhorse Gulch and the East Portal area. Travelers can see a variety of birds and other wildlife on this trek.

Backcountry Itinerary

Any hiking off established trails, including hiking the inner canyon, rock climbing, and using the river requires a backcountry permit. Limited numbers of permits are issued each day on a first-come, first-served basis. Permits are available at the South Rim Visitor Center, North Rim Ranger Station, and the East Portal registration board, located west of the campground.

Only anglers and hikers entering the national park from the East Portal do not require a permit, unless boating or staying overnight.

The most popular backcountry experience in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is hiking the inner canyon. There are several different routes and places to begin the descent into the inner canyon, most average about a mile (one way) down to the canyon floor, or about 1.5-2 hours. Talk with a ranger while obtaining your permit to decide which descent is best for you or your group. While hiking in this backcountry, remember:

  • There are no maintained trails or markers to guide the path into the inner canyon.
  • The terrain is difficult at times, and only fit individuals should attempt this hike.
  • Not all ravines and drains lead all the way down to the water, be prepared to backtrack and rescue yourselves out of sticky situations. 
Colorado Itinerary: 3 Scenic Byways: Short Walks, Long View

Three Scenic Byways in Southern Colorado offer a 3-day road tour for travelers who like frequent stops, short walks and awe-inspiring walking trails that are good for both kids and dogs.

See the itinerary here.

Colorado National Parks and Monument Tour

COLORADO NATIONAL PARKS & MONUMENT TOUR

Welcome to Colorado – home of the majestic Rocky Mountains, three National Parks, five National Monuments and America’s number one destination for outdoors adventure.

For more information please contact: Colorado Tourism Office

1625 Broadway, Suite 1700 Denver, CO 80202 Tel: 720-570-4110 or 1-866-484-3468

Email: international@colorado.com www.colorado.com

Day 1 – Begin your Colorado Vacation in Denver the Capitol of Colorado and known around the world as the “Mile High City.”

In Denver explore the museums and attractions including the Black American West Museum and Heritage Center, Buffalo Bills Museum, Denver Art Museum, Denver Museum of Nature and Science and Molly Brown House. Shop and dine at Denver Pavilions, Larimer Square and the 16th Street Mall, a mile-long pedestrian walkway in downtown Denver, and Cherry Creek Shopping Center. Overnight in Denver.


Day 2 – 
Travel south to Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region known for its majestic beauty and abundance of attractions: Garden of the Gods Park, U.S. Air Force Academy, Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, Olympic Training Center, Pikes Peak Cog Railway, Seven Falls and the Flying W. Ranch. Overnight in Colorado Springs.


Day 3 – 
Travel South to Walsenburg and west on Hwy 160 over La Veta Pass to Alamosa and the Great Sand Dunes National Monument & Preserve – www.nps.gov/grsa/index.htm, North America’s tallest dunes rising over 700 feet high against the rugged Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Overnight in Alamosa.


Day 4 – 
Travel west via South Fork to Durango and ride the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, an authentic turn-of-the-century steam-powered, coal-fired railroad through the scenic San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado. Overnight in Durango.


Day 5 – 
Travel to Cortez and on to Mesa Verde National Park – www.nps.gov/meve/index.htm, a World Heritage Cultural Park, and the nation’s best collection of ancient Anasazi Indian cliff dwellings built during the 13th century. Overnight in Cortez or Mesa Verde.


Day 6 – 
Travel to Montrose and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park -www.nps.gov/blca/index.htm. Return to Montrose and drive north to Grand Junction. In Grand Junction explore the Colorado National Monument – www.nps.gov/colm/index.htm. Overnight in Grand Junction.Day 7Travel East on Hwy I-70 to Hwy 46 and then north to Winter Park, Granby, Grand Lake and Rocky Mountain National Park – www.nps.gov/romo/index.htm, Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous highway in North America crossing the Continental Divide more than two miles above sea level, into Estes Park, a resort village and home of the famous Stanley Hotel the inspiration for Stephen King’s novel The Shining. Overnight in Estes Park.


Day 8 – 
Return to Denver


Option A 
– Travel Hwy 34 to Loveland, known as a sculpture colony. Take I-25 north to Fort Collins home of Colorado State University. Return to Hwy 34 and drive east to Greeley the Centennial Village and the Greeley Stampede headquarters (2 weeks June/July each year). Take Hwy 85 to Denver.


Option B 
– Travel Hwy 7 to Hwy 72 to Boulder, home of the University of Colorado, Chautauqua Park Historic District, Pearl Street a four-block pedestrian mall, Celestial Seasonings, and the Leanin’ Tree Museum of Western Art, the nation’s largest private collection of contemporary western art. Take Hwy 36 to Denver.


Other National Monuments and Historic Sites

Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site www.nps.gov/beo/index.htm Curecanti National Recreation Area www.nps.gov/cure/index.htm Dinosaur National Monument www.nps.gov/dino/index.htm Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument www.nps.gov/flfo/index.htm Hovenweep National Monument www.nps.gov/hove/index.htm

Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site www.nps.gov/sand/index.htm


Colorado’s 23 Scenic By-Ways

www.coloradobyways.org

Denver to Las Vegas 14 Day Itinerary

Denver to Las Vegas

14 Day Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Denver in the afternoon and spend the evening in Denver.

Day 2

Tour the city and overnight in Denver.

Day 3

Depart for Grand Junction via Interstate 70.

Tour the Colorado National Monument in the afternoon and overnight in Grand Junction.

Day 4

Depart Grand Junction and head to Utah where you will explore the Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park.

Stay the night in Moab, Utah.

Day 5

Depart Moab to Blanding via Scenic Byway 191 arrive Bullfrog via Scenic Byway 276 and overnight in Bullfrog.

Day 6

Tour Capital Reef National Park and continue on to Torrey and spend the evening.

Day 7

Depart Torrey and arrive and overnight at Bryce Canyon National Park via Scenic Byway 12.

Day 8

In the morning explore Bryce Canyon National Park. In the afternoon continue to Zion National Park.  Stay the night in Springdale.

Day 9

Depart Springdale for St. George and spend the evening.

Day 10

Tour St. George.

Day 11

Free day to allow for flexibility in time and destinations visited

Day 12

Arrive and overnight in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Day 13

Tour the city Las Vegas.

Day 14

Depart Las Vegas

Denver to Phoenix 14 Day Itinerary

 Denver to Phoenix

14 Day Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Denver in the afternoon and stay overnight.

Day 2

Tour the city and overnight in Denver for a second evening.

Day 3

Depart Denver and head west for Glenwood, Aspen, or Vail.

Continue into Grand Junction, Colorado.

Day 4

Tour Grand Junction in the morning then head south for Durango via Montrose and Silverton.

Stay the night in Durango, Colorado.

Day 5

Depart Durango and head southwest for Mesa Verde National Park.

Spend the evening in Mesa Verde National Park.

Day 6

In the morning explore Mesa Verde National Park.

Depart for Monument Valley, Arizona and spend the night.

Day 7

Enjoy a sunrise tour of Monument Valley and arrive at Lake Powell by noon.  Spend the afternoon on Lake Powell and spend the evening as well.

Day 8

Depart Lake Powell for the majestic Grand Canyon and overnight.

Day 9

Free day to allow for flexibility in time and destinations visited

Day 10

Arrive in Flagstaff, Arizona and spend the evening.

Day 11

Head to south to Sedona and spend the day and night.

Day 12

Depart Sedona and arrive in Phoenix.  Spend the evening.

Day 13

Tour Phoenix and Scottsdale and overnight in Phoenix.

Day 14

Depart Phoenix.

Denver to Salt Lake City 14 Day Itinerary

Denver to Salt Lake City

14 Day Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Denver, Colorado in the afternoon and overnight.

Day 2

Tour the city and spend a second night in Denver.

Day 3

Depart Denver and head west for Glenwood, Aspen, or Vail

Continue into Grand Junction, Colorado where you will spend the night.

Day 4

In the morning tour Grand Junction and then turn south for Durango via Montrose and Silverton. Spend the evening in Durango, Colorado.

Day 5

Depart Durango for Mesa Verde National Park

Overnight in Mesa Verde National Park

Day 6

In the morning tour Mesa Verde National Park.

Depart for Hovenweep National Monument and then continue onto Edge of The Cedars State Park where you will overnight in Blanding, Utah.

Day 7

Depart Blanding to Canyonlands National Park.  Continue to Arches National Park and overnight in Moab, Utah.

Day 8

Depart Moab to I-70 and then to Hwy 24.  Tour Capitol Reef National Park and overnight in Torrey, Utah.

Day 9

Depart Torrey via Scenic Byway 12 arrive at Bryce Canyon National Park.  Overnight in Bryce Canyon National Park.

Day 10

Bryce Canyon National Park to Cedar Breaks National Monument

Overnight in Brian Head, Utah.

Day 11

Free day to allow for flexibility in time and destinations visited

Day 12

Arrive Salt Lake City and spend the evening.

Day 13

Tour Salt Lake City.

Day 14

Depart Salt Lake City.

Durango Four-Day Itinerary

Provided By:
Visit Durango
802 Main Ave, Durango, CO 81301
800-525-8855 – www.durango.org

Day One: Historic Durango

Travel back in time via the historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad to Silverton (time varies: one way on train with return via coach: 5.5. Round trip on train: 9 hours). Relive the sites and sounds of yesteryear with a spectacular journey on board a historic, coal-fired, steam-powered train that has been transporting passengers since 1882. Upon return visit the Railroad Museum and take a walking tour of Downtown Durango. Enjoy dinner in one of our many local restaurants. After dinner stop by the Diamond Belle Saloon, or enjoy a live show at the Henry Strater Theatre.

Day Two: Agritourism and Culinary

In the morning head to James Ranch and enjoy a memorable tour through the lush green pastures in the beautiful Animas River Valley. (Time: approx. 2.5 hours). After the tour stop by Honeyville and experience a taste of the delicious locally made honey. In the afternoon take a tour of Durango local breweries. Our Tour de Brews will guide you on a fabulous journey to the best local breweries of beautiful Durango, Colorado. If you are not a beer lover you can opt for a wine tasting at Fox Fire Farm, the Southwest’s premier certified organic farm. Enjoy dinner in one of our farm-to-table restaurants in downtown Durango.

Day Three: Native American Heritage

Visit Mesa Verde National Park. Mesa Verde, Spanish for green table, offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from 600 to 1300 A.D. (Drive time: 50 min. Spend 5 hours.) Before returning to Durango visit the Anasazi Heritage Center, a museum of the Ancestral Puebloan (or Anasazi) culture and other native cultures in the Four Corners region. (Drive time from the Park: 20 min.)

Day Four: Outdoors and Adventure

Durango offers countless outdoor opportunities for you to enjoy from hiking, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, kayaking, and canoeing, to horseback riding, mountain climbing, ziplining and jeep tours. Enjoy a morning hike on the Colorado Trail, or take a full day rafting trip on the Animas River. If you are looking for a fun way to see the beautiful Durango scenery choose a zipline tour. In the evening soak at Trimble Hot Springs. After all this activity, lie back and relax under the star-filled sky.

Explore The Eastern Portion of the Grand Circle

This itinerary was developed for a “FAM tour” by the Grand Circle Association. Occasionally we invite journalists, photographers and tour operators to participate in tours to help educate them about attractions found here.

These ideas can be easily adapted for use by a family on vacation or by anyone interested in visiting this area.

This is a seven-day, six night itinerary

Welcome to Grand Junction, Colorado

Colorado Canyonlands and Wine Country

Grand Mesa, the largest flat-topped mountain in the world, near Grand Junction, Colorado

Monday: Arrival at Grand Junction Regional Airport

Pick up by Grand Vista Hotel Shuttle-Dinner and overnight at the Grand Vista Hotel

Grand Junction Visitor & Convention Bureau:
www.visitgrandjunction.com
Grand Vista Hotel
www.grandvistahotel.com

Transportation

 www.southwestadventuretours.com

As a Destination Management Company and a Receptive Tour Operator, Southwest Adventure Tours provides individuals and groups with scenic, photography, and adventure tours throughout the Southwest. We offer a wide range of tour options and activities and can create customized itineraries to meet your needs.

Tuesday: Moab, Utah

7 AM Breakfast at the Grand Vista Hotel (breakfast buffet)

8 AM Depart Grand Junction-Take I-70 to 191 140 miles

Moab Area Travel Council
http://www.discovermoab.com/
Where ADVENTURE Begins

11 AM Canyonlands National Park http://www.nps.gov/cany/planyourvisit/index.htm

Canyonlands invites you to explore a wilderness of countless canyons and fantastically formed buttes carved by the Colorado River and its tributaries. Rivers divide the park into four districts: the Island in the Sky, the Needles, the Maze, and the rivers themselves. These areas share a primitive desert atmosphere, but each offers different opportunities for sightseeing and adventure.

1 PM Lunch at Dead Horse Point 40 miles

The Legend Of Dead Horse Point
Before the turn of the 19th century, mustang herds ran wild on the mesas near Dead Horse Point. The unique promontory provided a natural corral into which the horses were driven by cowboys. The only escape was through a narrow, 30-yard neck of land controlled by fencing. Mustangs were then roped and broken, with the better ones being kept for personal use or sold to eastern markets. Unwanted culls of “broomtails” were left behind to find their way off the Point.

3 PM Arches http://www.nps.gov/arch/index.htm

Visit Arches and discover a landscape of contrasting colors, landforms and textures unlike any other in the world. The park has over 2,000 natural stone arches, in addition to hundreds of soaring pinnacles, massive fins and giant balanced rocks. This red rock wonderland will amaze you with its formations, refresh you with its trails, and inspire you with its sunsets.

5:30 PM Dinner at Pasta Jays

Home – Pasta Jay’s

In 1988, Jay Elowsky, along with his parents, opened the first Pasta Jay’s at 9th and Pearl. Thirty years later it is still a favorite of the Boulder Community. In addition to our original Boulder eatery you can find Pasta Jay’s in Moab, UT and Hays, KS.

7 PM Check into Red Cliffs Lodge and Wine Tasting

Red Cliffs Lodge

www.redcliffslodge.com

Wednesday Monument Valley and Cortez, Colorado

7:30 AM Breakfast and tour at Red Cliffs Lodge

9:00 AM Depart for Monument Valley 165 miles

12:00 PM Arrive at Goulding’s Lodge in Monument Valley

Goulding’s Monument Valley: Your Gateway to Adventure

Goulding’s Resort & Tours in beautiful Monument Valley has all the amenities and attractions for your American Southwestern adventure.

Welcome to beautiful Monument Valley, and Goulding’s Lodge & Trading Post Museum! Goulding’s Lodge was established in 1923 by Mike and Harry Goulding.  The historic backdrop of Monument Valley has been home to many motion pictures and countless television commercials. Goulding’s has welcomed visitors from all over the world for over 100 years. We hope you feel welcome to this truly amazing scenery and enjoy the Native American culture here at Goulding’s Lodge.

12-12:30 PM Enjoy the Gift Shop

12:30-1:15 PM Lunch

1:30-5 PM Tour

5:05 PM Depart Monument Valley for Cortez 130 miles

7:30 PM Check into hotel in Cortez

8 PM Dinner in Cortez

Thursday Cortez, Colorado to Sky Ute Casino

8 AM Breakfast in Cortez

9 AM Depart for Mesa Verde National Park for Mesa Top Guided Tour/Lunch 25 miles

Mesa Verde National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

Mesa Verde National Park was established in 1906 to preserve and interpret the archeological heritage of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from 600 to 1300 CE. Today, the park protects nearly 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings.

Mesa Verde, Spanish for green table, offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from A.D. 600 to 1300. Today the park protects nearly 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. These sites are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States.

2 PM Depart for Ignacio 73 miles

3:30 PM Arrive at Sky Ute Casino http://www.skyutecasino.com/

Check-In: Get settled, relax or enjoy a work out in the hotel gym. Swim in our indoor heated pool with “lazy river” or hot tub.

The Sky Ute Casino Resort offers 140 luxury rooms including 8 suites. Rooms and suites are finely appointed withthe highest quality in furnishings, linens, and more. Whether you are looking out at the majestic San JuanMountains or have a view of the stunning Atrium below, all rooms offer an exquisite view. Guests are provided access to all the unique dining establishments, the swimming pool and sun deck, and all the other amenities that the Sky Ute Casino Resort has to offer.

Ute Dancers at Sky Ute Casino

4:30 PM Personal tour of the 54,000SF Southern Ute Cultural Center Museum and the beautiful gift shop compared to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian

5:30 PM Tour the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s campus, new justice department, rodeo grounds, recreation center

7:00 PM Group Dinner at the ‘Willows Baja Grill’ Choices for Dinner are as follows:

– Marinated Steak & Tequila Lime

– Chicken Fajitas

– 10oz. Carne Asada New York Strip

– Camarones (shrimp) Del Cabo

8:00 PM Fun on the gaming floor, all guests will be provided $10 Sky Ute Loot

Friday Ignacio to Durango, Colorado

9 AM Group Breakfast in the Willows Restaurant

10 AM Depart for Durango

Nestled in the southwest corner of Colorado, centrally located between Mesa Verde National Park and Chimney Rock National Monument, Durango is a four-season adventure wonderland boasting outdoor recreation from skiing to rafting, hiking/biking to horseback riding, historic steam train to hot springs and everything in between. Durango is also home of the Durango & Silverton Narrow gauge Railroad, making it a must-see for history enthusiasts. Durango offers “a dozen vacations in one destination”. From old west experiences, ancient ruins, and art & culture to adventure sports, agritourism and special events, Durango has something to offer to all travelers.

DURANGO AREA TOURISM OFFICE

www.durango.org

11 AM Check in to the Strater Hotel/Rochester Hotel

12 PM Lunch at Carver Brewing (order off of menu)

1:30 PM Quick stop at the Welcome Center. Opened in 2012, the Downtown Welcome Center offers tourists and locals everything they need to know about the area. It is the first visitor center of its kind in the region, offering ticket sales for the Community Concert Hall, plus information on Fort Lewis College, outdoor activities, entertainment venues, restaurants, local events and more.

2 PM Take a Walking Tour of Historic Downtown and Third Avenue Residential District. Along the way we will also visit some of our art galleries. Durango is quickly becoming a hub for fine art in the Southwest. From contemporary to western to Native American, Durango has a strong and eclectic presence of world-class art, much of which is created in the area.

4 PM Free time for shopping

6:30 PM Dinner at El Moro (order off of menu)

Saturday Silverton, Colorado to Delta, Colorado

to Grand Junction, Colorado

7 AM Breakfast at hotels

8:45 AM Depart on Durango Silverton Railroad

12:35 PM Arrive in Silverton

Lunch in Silverton

1:45 PM Depart Silverton to Ouray, Colorado, the Switzerland of the Rockies

Ouray, Colorado

Stop in Delta for wine tasting

6 PM Arrive into Grand Junction and check into Grand Vista Hotel

7 PM Dinner in downtown Grand Junction

Sunday Grand Junction

9AM Breakfast on the Colorado National Monument (Salmon, Omelets)

Colorado National Monument

Hiking in McInnis National Conservation Area

CO Wine Country and activities

Dinner (Il Bistro Italiano: family style or Rockslide Brew Pub: off menu)

Depart Grand Junction Airport

Following in the Trail Of The Ancients

The Trail of Ancients is 116 mile road that connects some of the most impressive ancient archeological sites in the Southwestern U.S.

This information was provided by Mesa Verde Country. Visit them for more information at: www.mesaverdecountry.com

Gateways – Denver/Denver or Albuquerque

Gateways – Denver/Denver or Albuquerque

Day One: Visit Denver, CO, the Mile High City, sitting exactly 5,280 feet above sea level.  Just west of Denver is the Lariat Loop Scenic Byway, which takes in the Denver Mountain Parks System, including the world famous Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater, follows Bear Creek Canyon on SH 74 and the Lariat Trail into Golden.  Visit Buffalo Bill’s Museum and Grave and the Hiwan Homestead, as well as sites of religious and scientific importance such as the Mother Cabrini Shrine and Dinosaur Ridge.  Also nearby are the Mount Evans and Guanella Pass Scenic Byways– begin in the town of Idaho Springs at the Visitor Center for an orientation and stroll through the Idaho Springs Historic District.   From there, follow SH 103 to Echo Lake, another one of Denver’s mountain parks.  Open only in the summer, the drive to the summit of Mount Evans on SH 5 takes you to the top of a 14,000 foot peak, one of 54 “Fourteeners” in Colorado.  Continuing west, stop in Georgetown and visit the Georgetown Loop Railroad, drive the byway to the summit of Guanella Pass, at 11,669 feet above sea level.

Day Two: Continue traveling west to Grand Junction on I-70 and take a side trip on the Top of the Rockies National Scenic Byway.  At Copper Mountain, follow SH 91 over Fremont Pass into Leadville, the highest incorporated city in North America at 10,430 feet above sea level.  Stop at the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum and tour the mining district above town.   Follow US 24 over Tennessee Pass past the site of Camp Hale, where the brave men of World War II’s 10th Mountain Division trained for winter combat.  Make a final stop in the town of Minturn to learn the late 19th century railroad history of the Rocky Mountains before reconnecting with I-70 west.   Continue west to Colorado’s Wine Country and visit Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction and the Dinosaur Diamond National Scenic Byway.  Visit Fruita’s Dinosaur Journey, home to a number of large scale robotic dinosaurs and hands-on activities or Dinosaur Hill, Rabbit Valley and Riggs Hill, all well-known paleontology areas.

Or chose SH 65 over the Grand Mesa via the Grand Mesa National Scenic Byway where the top of Grand Mesa ranges from 10,000 to 11,000 feet above sea level. The cool, green slopes covered with aspen welcome hikers and numerous lakes will attract anglers.  Winter months provide unlimited terrain for snowmobilers and cross country skiers. Travel west to Delta, the City of Murals, then south on US 550 to Montrose, CO.

Day Three: Visit Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park east of Montrose then continue south to Ridgway where US 550 meets the San Juan Skyway, an All-American Road.  Here the traveler has two choices – follow US 550 south to Durango, CO or west via SH 62 to Telluride, CO then through the San Juan National Forest to Cortez, CO.   Either route features spectacular mountain scenery, wide open ranchland and rich mining and railroad history.   Ouray has a public hot springs pool; Silverton is the northern terminus of the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and also provides access to the Alpine Loop Scenic Byway – a backcountry adventure via four-wheel drive roads.   Telluride is a festival lover’s dream with its spectacular mountain setting.  The Dolores River Valley features recreation access points and wide open ranchland.

Day Four: Continuing on the San Juan Skyway, visit Mesa Verde National Park and the Ute Mountain Tribal Park.   Then travel west via the Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway to Hovenweep National Monument and the Four Corners National Monument.

Day Five: Head back to Denver by heading north to I-70.

Option 2

Day Four: Visit Mesa Verde National Park. Travel south to Farmington, NM, experience ancient Indian ruins, golf, fly fishing, and arts and crafts.

Day Five: Travel to Santa Fe, NM and visit Chaco Culture National Historic Park.

Day Six: Depart for Albuquerque, NM.

Golf the Grand Circle #1

Sample Itinerary #1 – Golf the Grand Circle

Gateway Cities: Denver, Colorado; Albuquerque, New Mexico

Itinerary Highlights:

Rocky Mountain National Park

Colorado National Monument

Arches National Park

Telluride Historic Museum

Telluride Mountain Village Gondola

Mesa Verde National Park

New Mexico Museum of Fine Arts

Day One: Arrive in Denver, Colorado

  • Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Arrive in Grand Junction, Colorado
  • Overnight Grand Junction, Colorado
    • Holiday Inn
    • The Grand Vista Hotel
    • Adam’s Mark Hotel

Day Two: Grand Junction, Colorado

  • Redland Mesa Golf Club – 18 holes

“#1 Best Affordable Golf Course in America by Golf Digest, 2001”

  • Colorado National Monument
  • Two Rivers Winery
  • Overnight Grand Junction, Colorado
    • Holiday Inn *
    • The Grand Vista Hotel *
    • Adam’s Mark Hotel *

Day Three: Grand Junction, CO – Moab, Utah

  • Colorado River Scenic Byway 128
  • Arches National Park
  • Moab Golf Club – 18 holes
  • Overnight Moab, Utah
    • Aarchway Inn
    • Moab Valley Inn
    • Ramada Inn *
    • Sorrel River Ranch Resort
    • Moab Adventure & Lodging

Day Four: Moab, Utah – Telluride, Colorado

  • Scenic Byway Drive to Telluride
  • Telluride Golf Course – 9,545 Ft. High! 18-holes
  • Telluride Historic Museum
  • Round Trip Scenic Gondola Ride to Mountain Village
  • Overnight Telluride, Colorado
    • Telluride Mountain Lodging

Day Five: Telluride, Colorado – Cortez, Colorado

  • Scenic Byway 145 to Cortez
  • Conquistador Golf Course 18-holes
  • Mesa Verde National Park
  • Overnight Mesa Verde
    • Tomahawk Lodge
    • Mesa Verde Far View Lodge

Day Six: Mesa Verde, Colorado – Santa Fe, New Mexico

  • Pinon Hills Golf, Farmington, New Mexico 9-holes
  • Overnight Santa Fe
    • Radisson Santa Fe *
    • Hotel Plaza Real
    • DurangoReservations.com

Day Seven: Santa Fe, New Mexico

  • Museum of Fine Arts
  • Pueblo de Cochiti
  • Overnight Santa Fe, New Mexico
    • Radisson Santa Fe *
    • Hotel Plaza Real

Day Eight: Santa Fe, New Mexico – Albuquerque, New Mexico

  • Paa-ko Ridge Golf Club
  • Depart Albuquerque
  • Overnight (optional)
    • Baymont Inn & Suites
    • Best Western Rio Grand
    • Wyndham Garden Hotel
    • Sheraton Old Town
Grand Circle Golf Itineraries – Driving Distances

Grand Circle Golf Itineraries – Driving Distances

Itinerary #1

  • Denver to Grand Junction, Colorado

251 miles/403 km

4 hours

  • Grand Junction to Moab, Utah

94 miles/142 km

2 hours

  • Moab to Telluride, Colorado

133 miles/214 km

  • Moab to Cortez, Colorado

115 miles/186 km

2 hours

  • Telluride to Cortez, Colorado

100 miles/161 km

2 hours

  • Cortez to Durango, Colorado (optional golf or lodging)

50 miles/81 km

1 hour

  • Durango to Montrose, Colorado (optional golf or lodging)

107 miles/175 km

  • Cortez/Durango to Farmington, New Mexico

46-96 miles/ 74-155km

  • Farmington to Santa Fe, New Mexico

189 miles/ 304 km

3 hours

  • Santa Fe to Albuquerque, New Mexico

50 miles/ 81 km

1 hour

Itinerary #2

  • Salt Lake City to Bryce, Utah

217 miles/350 km

  • Bryce to Kanab, Utah

59 miles/95 km

  • Kanab to Page, Arizona

74 miles/119 km

  • Page to Grand Canyon, Arizona

151 miles/243 km

  • Grand Canyon to Flagstaff, Arizona

83 miles/134 km

  • Flagstaff to Wickenburg, Arizona

150 miles/241 km

  • Wickenburg to Phoenix, Arizona

54 miles/87 km

  • Phoenix to San Carlos, Arizona (optional golf or lodging)

92 miles/148 km

GRAND JUNCTION IN WINTER

Submitted by: Grand Junction Visitor Center
740 Horizon Drive, Grand Junction, Colorado
970-256-4060
www.visitgrandjunction.com

10:00 am                              Math and Science Center (indoor venue)
                                                www.mathandsciencecenter.org

Noon                                     Lunch on Main Street (downtown)
                                                www.downtowngj.org

1:00 pm                                Museum of the west (indoor venue)
                                                www.westcomuseum.org/visit/museum-of-the-west

2:00 pm                                Dinosaur Journey (indoor venue)
                                               www.museumofwesternco.com/visit/dinosaur-journey

3:00-5:00 pm                      Start at west entrance to the Colorado National Monument (windshield park)
                                               www.nps.gov/colm

For updated road condition information (and road/highway cameras):

Utah:                     http://udottraffic.utah.gov/
Colorado:                  www.cotrip.org

Itinerary – Modern Bride

Itinerary Ideas

Risa Weinreb

Wednesday, June 14th:

Lodging:            Far View Lodge

Tel: 970-529-4421

Fax: 970-529-4411

Directions:            Far View Lodge is located 15 miles inside Mesa Verde National Park, across road from Far View Visitor Center. Access to Park entrance is south off US Hwy 160, 10 miles east of Cortez, CO or 36 miles west of Durango, CO. Park entrance fee is $10 per automobile.

Rooms: no tv or phone. Private bath. Private balcony with up to 100 mile
view. Clock radio in room, some rooms also have refrigerator, hair dryer,
iron/ironing board. Natural setting, semi-rustic style.

Thursday, June 15th:

8:45 am            Meet at the Front Desk for 9:00 am tour

1:00 pm            Depart for Durango

3:30 pm            Arrive at Blue Lake Ranch

Owners/innkeepers/visionaries and gardens

Shirley and David Alford

16000 Highway 140

Hesperus, CO  81326

970-385-4537

970-385-4088 (fax)

1-888-BLUELAKE

www.bluelakeranch.com

bluelake@frontier.net

Directions to Blue Lake Ranch from the exit of Mesa Verde National Park.

Exit Highway 160 East though Mancos to Hesperus Hesperus is a very small town with a convenience store and post office. Turn right on Highway 140—6.5 miles to an unmarked gravel driveway on the right.  There is a white mailbox about 20 feet from the road marked Blue Lake Ranch.

Other signs—

6.4 miles from the intersection of Highway 160 and Highway 140 is a blue adopt a highway sign, (sign says highway adopted by Blue Lake Ranch) slow down Blue Lake Ranch is 100 yards on the right.)

Blue Lake Ranch has evolved from a simple homestead to a Nationally acclaimed luxurious European style Country Estate.  A year-round destination famous for its spring and summer gardens, Lake Blue Ranch offers spectacular fall color and weather, and becomes a winter wonderland with the first snowfall.

The Ridgewood Barn, the summer event center provides a unique and private setting for weddings. The facility holds 30 to 200 people. The Barn is built with hand-hewn timbers, pine floor, a wrap around porch and picturesque mountain views.

Dinner to be determined—what I am going to set up if possible.

Kennebec Café which is located just west (about 1.4 mile west on the north side of Highway 160 and west of the La Plata River) at the intersection of Highway 160 and Highway 140.

This is the closest restaurant to Blue Lake Ranch.

Friday, June 16th:

Directions to Durango—Highway 140 to Highway 160 west. At the intersection of Highway 160 and Highway 550 (the Doubletree is located at the corner). turn left, at traffic light turn right passed McDonald’s to the intersection of College and Main  Avenue, right turn the train depot is at the end of Main Avenue.

Welcome to Durango, Colorado

Durango was established in 1881 as a mining town. But many of the old-time settlers discovered they got more out of the scenery than the mines. Nestled in the Animas River Valley, in the afternoon shadows of the San Juan Mountains, people still find that to be true.

Durango is where ranches, rolling hills, breathtaking beauty and a storytelling river hearken back to the days when people has the time and took the time, to slow down and simply visit.

9:00a.m appointment with

Kristi Nelson Cohen, Vice President of Marketing

Mary Jo Rakowski-Marketing Assistant

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.

479 Main Avenue

Durango, Colorado  81301

970-247-2377

970-259-0274 (fax)

www.durangotrain.com

The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad was voted “Top10 Most Exciting Train Journey in the World” by the Society of American Travel Writers and received a “Five Star Award for Best Attraction” from the National Association of Travel Journalists.

The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad can run a chartered train for weddings.

Imagine having an entire train running on your customized schedule for your wedding. Charter our train with caterers, tables, chains, linens and china on board.  The train winds along the Highline and follows the Animas River to the Cascade Wye, where a meal can be served.

Local caterers can prepare elaborate meals, from buffets with all the works to sit-down three-course gourmet dinners, all served along the banks of the scenic Animas River. The scenery– it is magnificent. Aspen trees and pines whisper in the breeze.

After dinner, guests re-board the train where coffee and cordials are served in concession car. A variety of local entertainers can provide lively music. The only limitation is the bride and grooms imagination.

Another option is the serve a meal in our covered 40’ x 60’ covered pavilion.

Next appointment:

10:00 Meet with Su Compton at The Rochester Hotel

726 E. Second Avenue

Durango, Colorado  81301

970-385-1920

970-385-1967

www.rochesterhotel.com

lelande@rochesterhotel.com

The newly renovated Rochester Hotel (built 1892) offers fifteen spacious rooms with high ceilings and full baths, decorated in an Old West Motif (inspired by the many Western Movies filmed in and around Durango.)

The Rochester has a beautiful courtyard for weddings.

Durango has several delightful lodging properties for the wedding party and honeymoon including: Apple Orchard Inn, Lightner Creek Bed and Breakfast and The Strater Hotel.

Contact information

Patti Zink

Media Relations

Durango Area Chamber Resort Association

P.O. Box 2587

Durango, Colorado 81301

970-247-0312 phone

970-385-7884 fax

www.durango.org

general email: info@durango.org

patti@durango.org

11:00 am            Depart for Gallup, New Mexico

Stopping at Chaco Culture Natiopnal Historic Park

Lodging:            El Rancho Hotel on Route 66

Saturday, June 17th:

Tour of Richardsons Trading Post with a host from the Gallup CVB.  Enjoy lunch in Gallup and then depart early afternoon from Gallup for Phoenix.  The route to Phoenix is through Payson, Arizona,   This will allow you to see the Painted Desert, the route is shorter by 50 miles than traveling the interstates and is much more scenic.

Mesa Verde National Park Itinerary Ideas

Cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park are available sometimes by guided-tour only, and sometimes by self-guided tour only. Check here to see when and how you can visit these sites.

Half Day/Auto Tour Itinerary

If you can spend half a day at Mesa Verde, plan on auto-touring for about half of it, and visiting a few of the closely accessible sites. Start with:

  • Mesa Verde Visitor Center: located near the park entrance. This is the place for any information, current conditions, and history/orientations.
  • Drive south on the main road to Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum, where you can see exhibits and learn the history of the area and park.
  • If you are able, hike the .5 mile (round-trip), 100-foot descent, to Spruce Tree House, the best preserved cliff dwelling.
  • If time allows, continue the drive to Cliff Palace Loop, and stop at either Balcony House or Cliff Palace overlooks, before driving back out of the park.

Full Day Itinerary

Visitors will be able to enjoy seeing attractions in the half-day itinerary as well as some other key sites.

  • Mesa Verde Visitor Center: located near the park entrance. This is the place for any information, current conditions, and history/orientations. Obtain tickets ($4/person) for Balcony House (1-hr tour, steep, climbing) and/or Cliff Palace (1-hr tour, ¼-mile, steep, climbing) guided tours.
  • Drive south on the main road to Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum, where you can see exhibits and learn the history of the area and park.
  • Consider hiking the .5 mile (round-trip), 100-foot descent, to Spruce Tree House, the best preserved cliff dwelling.
  • Continue the drive to Mesa Top Loop, stopping at any of the canyon views or overlooks.
  • Return back towards Spruce Tree, but take the east turn toward the Cliff Palace Loop.
  • Drive the Cliff Palace Loop, stopping at Balcony House and/or Cliff Palace, before driving back out of the park.

Two Day Itinerary

Visitors in Mesa Verde for two two days should complete the full day itinerary on one of the days, which covers the east side of the park, and on the other day visit the west side of the park, located down Wetherill Mesa Road.

On the second day:

  • Obtain tickets through the visitor center for Long House.
  • Drive down Wetherill Mesa Road to the trail for Step House (.8-mile loop, 45-minute hike,100-foot descent). This is a unique dwelling, showcasing two different peoples’ history, one dating back A.D. 626, and one to A.D. 1226.
  • Next, drive south to Long House, and begin the tour (90-minute, ¾-mile, steep).
  • Next, hike Nordenskiold Site #16, a two-mile, leisurely walk along a quiet, secluded trail.
  • On the return drive down Wetherill Mesa Road, stop by any overlook locations, as time allows.
  • If there is room in your itinerary, consider hiking either Knife Edge Trail or Point Lookout Trail, both about 2 miles round-trip, and both located near Morefield Campground. Each provide excellent views of Montezuma Valley and the surrounding land.

Backcountry Itinerary

There is no typical backcountry hiking or camping permitted inside Mesa Verde National Park.

Outdoor Activity Itinerary In and Out of Denver

Outdoor Activity Itinerary

In and Out of Denver

Day One

Arrive in Denver late afternoon and overnight in Denver.

Day Two

Tour of Denver and visit the REI- Denver Flagship store which is a complete outdoor resource, a historical landmark and an award-winning architectural accomplishment.  Spend a second night in Denver.

Day Three

Turn west to Aspen, Colorado and spend the day fly-fishing.  Spend the evening in Aspen.

Day Four

Next head to Glenwood Springs, Colorado to relax in the hot springs and spend the night.

Day Five

In Grand Junction you will find hiking at Colorado National Monument and wine vineyards to visit. Spend the evening in Grand Junction.

Day Six

Utah calls your name where you will explore Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park.  Raft in the Moab area.

Day Seven

Continue your rafting expedition in the Moab area.

Day Eight

Lake Powell is next for a day of boating.

Day Nine

Hike at the Grand Canyon.

Day Ten

Turn east and visit Monument Valley and the Navajo Tribal Park.

Day Eleven

Explore the ancient wonder of Mesa Verde National Park in southwest Colorado.

Day Twelve

Horseback riding awaits you in Durango, Colorado.

Day Thirteen

Hike and fly fish at Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park.

Day Fourteen

Flexible day for scheduling and destinations visited.

Day Fifteen

Arrive Denver

Scenic Byways of the Grand Circle

Scenic Byways of the Grand Circle

The Grand Circle is home to some of the most spectacular scenic roads in the U. S. Known for their outstanding beauty, as well as the multitude of experiences they offer visitors, these scenic byways cover some of the nation’s most exceptional scenic areas. The Grand Circle boasts over 20 designated scenic byways, linking together the fabulous sites, history and recreation of the 11 National Parks and 16 National Monuments found within the Circle.

These itineraries offer several alternatives for your travels.  If you truly want to experience all there is to see along these byways and in the suggested National Parks, you probably want to schedule more time than is allocated in the suggested itinerary.  These itineraries are guidelines only and are NOT actual estimates of time you may decide to spend in any one of these areas.

Gateways – Denver/Denver or Albuquerque

Day One: Visit Denver, CO, the Mile High City, sitting exactly 5,280 feet above sea level.  Just west of Denver is the Lariat Loop Scenic Byway, including the world famous Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater.

Day Two: Heading out of Denver to Grand Junction consider taking the Mount Evans Scenic Byway that begins in the town of Idaho Springs or make a side trip on the Top of the Rockies National Scenic Byway beginning at Copper Mountain.  After reconnecting with I-70, continue west to Grand Junction, known as Colorado’s Wine Country and home to the Colorado National Monument.  Also near Grand Junction is the Dinosaur Diamond National Scenic Byway. 

Day Three: Travel to Montrose and Black Canyon National Park.  Travel SH 65 over Grand Mesa via the Grand Mesa National Scenic Byway. Then travel west to Delta, and south on US 550 to Montrose, CO.  Visit Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, with its sheer walls and startling depths, before continuing south to Ridgway where US 550 meets the San Juan Skyway, an All-American Road.  Here the traveler has two choices – follow US 550 south through Durango to Cortez, CO or west via SH 62 to Telluride, CO then on to Cortez, CO.

Day Four: Visit Mesa Verde National Park, world famous for its exceptional Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings. Travel to Moab, UT on Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway by taking SR 262 through Aneth to Bluff, and north on US 191 to Blanding.  Just north of Monticello, connect with Indian Creek Corridor Scenic Byway, which is SR 211, and head west into the Needles section of Canyonlands National Park.  Another section of the Park, called Island in the Sky, is reached via SR 279, Dead Horse Mesa Scenic Byway.

Day Five: Visit Arches National Park, with more than 2 000 natural stone arches. Travel to Denver via Utah’s Upper Colorado River Scenic Byway, beginning near Moab and traveling north on SR 128 to I-70.

Option 2

Day Four: Visit Mesa Verde National Park, world famous for its exceptional Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings. Travel south on US 550, the Native Heritage Trail, to Farmington, NM.  Enjoy nearby Aztec Ruins National Monument or Salmon Ruins & Heritage Park.

Day Five: From Farmington continue traveling the Native Heritage Trail to Bloomfield and south on US 550 to the entrance of Chaco Canyon National Monument. Travel unpaved (but pretty good) roads through desolate country out of Chaco, and end up at Crownpoint, NM. Then down to the I-40 frontage road, which is also old Route 66, and a national scenic byway, to Grants, and I-40 to Albuquerque, following original portions of Route 66 where they still exist.

Day Six: Depart Albuquerque or take Highway 14, Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway, to Santa Fe for a day of sightseeing.

Gateways – Phoenix/Albuquerque

Day One: Arrive Phoenix, AZ and enjoy countless activities ranging from golf, museums, galleries, performing arts, or fine dining.

Day Two: Travel north to Flagstaff, AZ on I-17.  Exit I-17 on Red Rocks Scenic Road, SH 179, to Sedona and follow State Road 89A, Sedona-Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Road, north to Flagstaff. Located on Historic Route 66, Flagstaff is home to great museums and close to Sunset Crater, Wupatki, and Walnut Canyon National Monuments. Travel north from Flagstaff to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon on US 180, a portion of which is the San Francisco Peak Scenic Road.

Day Three: Visit Grand Canyon National Park-South Rim. Depart the South Rim on Highway 64 to the town of Cameron, AZ, and the historic Cameron Trading Post. Travel north on highway 89 to Page/Lake Powell.  As a side trip take alternate highway 89, the Fredonia-Vermillion Cliffs Scenic Road, towards Fredonia, cutting off at Jacob Lake for the North Rim of the Grand Canyon on highway 67, the Kaibab Plateau North Rim Parkway. The North Rim is not open in winter.

Day Four: Depart Page/Lake Powell for Monument Valley, AZ via highways 98 and 160 to Kayenta. Take highway 163, the Monument Valley to Bluff Scenic By-way, to Monument Valley– the most photographed landscape in America.

Day Five: Travel from Kayenta on Navajo Road 59 to Many Farms, then on highway 191 to Chinle, and on the Dinetah “Among the People” Scenic Road 64 to Canyon de Chelly National Monument.

Day Six: Continue from Canyon de Chelly on Dinetah Scenic Road 64, which becomes Scenic Road 12, to Lupton where you connect with I-40 for Albuquerque, NM.   Explore Old Town or any of the wonderful museums or other sites in Albuquerque, also located on sections of Historic Route 66.  As a side trip from Albuquerque, continue east on I-40 to exit 181 and go south on NM 217, Salt Missions Trail Scenic Byway, to see the three Saline Pueblos: Abo, Quarai, and Gran Quivera.

Gateways – Las Vegas/Salt Lake City

Day One: Arrive Las Vegas, NV.  After taking time to explore “The Strip,” travel north to St. George, UT for the night.

Day Two: Heading out of St. George, travel on the exceptionally beautiful Zion Park Scenic Byway, SR 9, which travels from I 15 (near the NV-UT border) to Zion. Visit Zion National Park, a place of towering cliffs, narrow slot canyons, arches, waterfalls, and seep springs.  Continue on to Kanab traveling on the Mt. Carmel Scenic Byway, US 89.

Day Three:Travel north from Kanab via US 89, Mt. Carmel Scenic Byway.  When you reach the junction with SR 14, take that road west, known as Markaguant High Plateau Scenic Byway.  Take a sharp turn north on SR 148, the Cedar Breaks Scenic Byway to reach Cedar Breaks National Monument.  This is a natural technicolor amphitheater, more than 2,000 feet deep and three miles from rim to rim.  From Cedar Breaks continue north to Panguitch on the Brian Head-Panguitch Lake Scenic Byway, SR 143.

Day Four: Travel to Bryce Canyon National Park via Highway 12, Utah’s All-American Scenic Byway.  This is one of the most beautiful drives in the country.Bryce Canyon National Park is famous for its delicately colored spires, fins and mazes, and the towering rock formations called “hoodoos.”

Day Five: Continue on Highway 12 All-American Road to the town of Torrey.  En route visit Escalante State Park, Calf Creek Falls, and Anasazi State Park. Allow plenty of time for photographs.

Day Six: From Torrey, take a side trip to the colorful rock formations and stellar canyon hikes in Capitol Reef National Park, where the Waterpocket Fold, an enormous wrinkle in the earth’s crust forms the 100-mile backbone of this park.

Day Seven: Depart Torrey for Salt Lake City, UT.

Six Day Grand Junction to Montrose

Western Colorado and Utah Tour – Six Day Grand Junction to Montrose

Day One: Arrive in Denver, Colorado – Denver International Airport

Located in central Colorado to the east of the Rocky Mountains, Denver offers a unique breath of city life and mountain air. Denver is filled with history, art, culture, entertainment and energy. Spend a night in Denver or hop a ride to Grand Junction, Colorado. (www.flydenver.com)

OVERNIGHT: Holiday Inn Denver, JW Marriott, Adam’s Mark Downtown Denver, or The Grand Hyatt

Denver Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau
Lisa Bruening, Manager of Tourism Sales
1555 California St. Ste 300
Denver, CO 80202
303-892-1112, F 303-892-1636
lbruening@dmcvb.org

Day One/Two: Arrive in Grand Junction, Colorado (If starting destination Arrive at Walker Field Airport)

Grand Junction serves as a gateway city to the Grand Circle Canyonlands, Rocky Mountains and ancient Indian ruins, located in Southwestern Colorado and Southeastern Utah. In Grand Junction enjoy Colorado’s Wine Country, with 12 wineries, and a scenic drive to Colorado National Monument with towering red sandstone monoliths and deep, sheer-walled canyons. (www.walkerfield.com)

  • Denver to Grand Junction, Colorado
  • 251 miles/403 km
  • 4 hours

OVERNIGHT: The Grand Junction Hotel (soon to be Doubletree Hotel), Grand Vista Hotel, or Holiday Inn Grand Junction

Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau
Debbie Kovalik
740 Horizon Drive
Grand Junction, CO 81506
970-244-1480, F 970-243-7391
debbiek@ci.grandjct.co.us

Day Three: Travel to Moab, Utah

Take a tour of Arches National Park, famous for it’s Delicate Arch, and Balanced Rock. The arches and numerous other extraordinary geologic features, such as spires, pinnacles, pedestals and balanced rocks, are highlighted in striking foreground and background views created by contrasting colors, landforms and textures.  In some areas, faulting has exposed millions of years of geologic history. See some of the most breath-taking views of natural formations created by water from the Colorado River.

  • Grand Junction to Moab, Utah
  • 94 miles/142 km
  • 2 hours

OVERNIGHT: Moab Adventure and Lodging, Aarchway Inn, Moab KOA Campground, Ramada Inn at Arches Park, Moab, Sorrel River Ranch Resort

Moab Area Travel Council
Marian Delay
89 E. Center Street
Moab, Utah 84532
435-259-8825, F 435-259-1376
mdelay@discovermoab.com

Day Four: Travel to Cortez, Colorado

Take an early morning tour of Mesa Verde National Park, a World Heritage Site, known internationally for the fabulous cliff dwellings. Though long familiar to Mesa Verde’s native inhabitants, the cliff dwellings were brought to the world’s attention after being noticed by European-Americans in the late 1800’s. Witness the natural preservations of homes and entire villages that have survived with many artifacts amazingly intact providing visitors a unique and thought-provoking glimpse into America’s pre-European past.

  • Moab to Cortez, Colorado
  • 115 miles/186 km
  • 2 hours

OVERNIGHT: Tomahawk Lodge, Ute Mountain Casino Hotel & Resort, Mesa Verde Far View Lodge

Mesa Verde Country
Lynn Dyer, Director
PO Box HH
Cortez, CO 81321
970-565-8227, F 970-565-1155
lynnd@mesaverdecountry.com

Day Five: Travel to Durango, Colorado

In the 1880s a narrow rail line was strung along the Animas River, a twisting river gorge, to connect Silverton and Durango. Hop a ride on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, or explore the Animas River on a rafting trip, try hiking, biking or skiing.

  • Cortez to Durango, Colorado
  • 50 miles/81 km
  • 1 hour

OVERNIGHT: DurangoReservations.com, LeLand House B&B/Rochester Hotel, Telluride Mountain Lodging

Durango Area of Tourism
111 S. Camino del Rio
Durango, CO 81301
970-247-3500, F 970-385-7884
datomarketing@durango.org

Day Six: Travel to Montrose, Colorado

Driving from Durango to Montrose is pure WOW.  You will pass through the scenic mining town of Ouray, called the Switzerland of America.  The Million Dollar Highway between Ouray and Silverton is one of the most scenic and spectacular mountain drives in North America. Once in Montrose, visit Black Canyon National Park, Ute Indian Museum, take a hike or go biking in the beautiful outdoors. Enjoy the scenery!

  • Durango to Montrose, Colorado
  • 107 miles/175 km

OVERNIGHT: Cimarron Lodge, Holiday Inn Express, Montrose Super 8 Motel

Montrose Visitor & Convention Bureau
Michelle Gottlieb
PO Box 335
Montrose, CO 81402
970-240-1414, F 970-249-2907
mgottlieb@ci.montrose.co.us

Southwest Colorado Along The Skyway

Provided By:
Durango Area Tourism Office
802 Main Ave, Durango, CO 81301
800-525-8855 – www.durango.org

Itinerary Highlights:
Durango, Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, Million Dollar Highway, Silverton, Ouray

Best time to go: Summer, when the wildflowers are in bloom.  Fall, when the Aspen leaves turn yellow.

Details: The San Juan Skyway is one of the most scenic drives in America. It winds for 232 miles (373 km) through quant mining towns in the breathtaking San Juan Mountains. The scenic loop connects Durango, Silverton, Ouray, Ridgway, Telluride and Cortez. Our itinerary starts in Durango and ends in Ouray.

Day One: Historic Downtown Durango and Art Galleries

Start with a walking tour of Downtown Durango and enjoy more than a dozen art galleries. From contemporary to western to Native American, Durango is quickly becoming a hub for fine art in the Southwest.  Downtown Durango is a Nationally Registered Historic District boasting historic hotels, award winning restaurants and boutique shopping. Enjoy dinner at one of our many local restaurants. After dinner don’t forget to stop by the Diamond Belle Saloon, revered as one of the most famous original ragtime piano bars in the Wild West.

Day Two: Train to Silverton, Colorado

Travel back in time via the historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad to Silverton (Round trip: 6-hour). Relive the sites and sounds of yesteryear with a spectacular journey on board a historic, coal-fired, steam-powered train that has been transporting passengers since 1882. Upon return visit the Railroad Museum where you will learn about the history of railroading, transportation and mining. End your evening with a live show at the Durango Concert Hall or Henry Strater Theatre.

Day Three: Drive the Million Dollar Highway to Ouray

Depart for Ouray on the scenic San Juan Skyway. The Million Dollar Highway section of the Skyway between Silverton and Ouray is considered one of the most scenic and spectacular mountain drives in North America. (Drive time from Durango to Ouray: approx. 2 hours). In Ouray visit the Box Canyon Falls to take pictures of the gorgeous waterfalls (45 min).

When in Ouray you can take a break from driving and enjoy a dip in the hot springs while enjoying the amazing views that surround the town. You can either overnight in Ouray or continue your trip to Ridgway. The San Juan Skyway offers excellent views of the San Juan Mountains. Driving this All-American Road is a wonderful way to enjoy the fall colors when the aspens’ leaves turn their vibrant shades of gold.

Top


Nevada

Driving from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon, Arizona

Going on a road trip from Las Vegas Nevada to the Grand Canyon in Arizona? The people at Canyon Plaza Hotel at the Grand Canyon have graciously offered a few ideas on pit stops, scenic byways and even where to stop for a bite to eat. Take a look at the pdf document linked below and plan a trip that will take you through Historic Route 66 and the Grand Canyon Caverns! Visit our friends at Canyon Plaza Hotel for great deals on where to stay the night and where to enjoy an amazing meal. GrandCanyonPlaza.com

Eaglerider 9 Day Itinerary out of Las Vegas

 9 Day Itinerary out of Las Vegas

Day 1 – Las Vegas

Day 2 – Las Vegas to Zion National Park (160 miles) – I-15 north to SR 9 (Hurricane

exit).  Stay in Springdale, Utah

Overnight at Desert Pearl Inn – www.desertpearl.com

Or visit:  http://utahstgeorge.com/lodging/springdale-(zion).html

For a listing of accommodations in the area – and dining.

Day 3 – Zion to Bryce Canyon (85 miles).  SR 9 to Hwy 89 – North – to Hwy 12 – North.

Places to stay at Bryce Canyon:

Best Western Ruby’s Inn – http://www.rubysinn.com/

Dinner at Ruby’s Inn

Day 4 – Bryce Canyon to Capitol Reef National Park (91 miles) – stay in Torrey, Utah

Best Western Capitol Reef – www.bestwestern.com/capitolreefresort

Sandstone Inn – www.sandstonecapitolreef.com

Dinner – Cafe Diablo – Torrey

Or                 Rim Rock Restaurant – Torrey

Day 5 – Capitol Reef National Park to Monument Valley (137 miles)

Hwy 24 East (which turns into Hwy 95 in Hanksville).  Hwy 95 South to Hwy

191 South to Hwy 163 South.

Please note – once you leave Torrey – you will come to a town Hanksville

(50 miles).  After Hanksville – there are no facilities (gas, food, water) – until

You get to Bluff.  I do not suggest you take SR 261 – as this road turns to gravel and goes down STEEP switchbacks.  I suggest taking 191 to 163 for Monument Valley.

Overnight at Goulding’s Lodge – Monument Valley

www.gouldings.com

Dinner – Goulding’s Lodge

(There is gasoline available at Gouldings)

Day 6 –  Monument Valley to Page/Lake Powell (127 miles)

Hwy 163 South to Hwy 160 West.  Hwy 160 West to Hwy 98 (North/West) to Page.

Overnight – Page – www.pagelakepowelltourism.com – or call Dwayne Cassidy

Who you met at Pow Wow – 928-660-3403.

Day 7 –  Page/Lake Powell to Grand Canyon South Rim (141 miles)

Hwy 89 South to Hwy 64 to South Rim.  Hwy 180/64 S. to Williams (25 miles)

Overnight – Williams, AZ www.williamschamber.com

Day 8 –  Williams, AZ to Laughlin, NV (via I-40 West to Hwy 68/Hwy 163

(145 miles)

Overnight Laughlin, NV

Day 9 –   Laughlin, NV to Las Vegas (95 miles).

Great Basin National Park Itinerary Ideas

Half Day/ Auto-Tour Itinerary

Visitors spending a half-day in Great Basin National Park can see the most iconic parts of the park.

  • Begin with driving directly to the Lehman Caves Visitor Center and reserving tickets for a cave tour (unless you have reserved your tickets for a later time beforehand).
  • Recommended is the shorter, 60-minute tour of the Lodge Room, which travels only .4 miles.
    • Remember to only bring shoes, clothing, and cameras that haven’t been in other caves or mines, or else undergo White Nose Syndrome decontamination.
  • Next, turn onto the 12-mile Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive, stopping at any overlooks, including Mather Overlook and Wheeler Peak Overlook.
  • Consider taking the 1/4 -mile Island Forest Trail at the very end of the scenic drive before heading back out of the park.

Full Day Itinerary

Begin the day at the Lehman Caves Visitor Center, purchasing tickets, then:

  • Take the 90-minute Grand Palace Tour of Lehman Caves.
  • Walk the short Mountain View Nature Trail, just outside the Lehman Caves Visitor Center.
  • Drive the 12-mile Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive, stopping at any overlook destinations.
  • Hike the 2.8-mile (round-trip) Bristlecone Pine Trail, featuring some of the world’s most ancient trees.
  • If time allows, continue the Bristlecone Trail onto the Glacier Trail another 2.5 miles, which travels to the only glacier in the state and right up to the base of Wheeler Peak.

Two Day Itinerary

Itineraries spanning two days will be able to accommodate both cave tours, as well as several of the beautiful nature trails. Be sure to purchase tour tickets before your trip, or when you first arrive to the park at the Lehman Caves Visitor Center.

Day One:

  • Participate in the 60-minute Lodge Room Tour of Lehman Caves.
  • Walk the short Mountain View Nature Trail, just outside the Lehman Caves Visitor Center.
  • Drive the 12-mile Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive, stopping at any overlook destinations.
  • Hike the 2.8-mile (round-trip) Bristlecone Pine Trail, featuring some of the world’s most ancient trees.
  • If time allows, continue the Bristlecone Trail onto the Glacier Trail another 2.5 miles, which travels to the only glacier in the state and right up to the base of Wheeler Peak.

Day Two:

  • Participate in the 90-minute Grand Palace Tour of Lehman Caves.
  • Consider any of the following hikes, based on time and ability:
    • Lehman Creek Trail: 6.8 miles (round-trip), connects Lehman Campground to Wheeler Peak. Runs along the creek.
    • Wheeler Peak Summit Trail: 8.6 miles (round-trip), best to start earlier in the day, reaches the summit of the beautiful Wheeler Peak.
    • Baker Lake Trail: 12 miles (round-trip), the trail begins at the Baker Creek Road and ends at Baker Lake.

Backcountry Itinerary

Backcountry use and camping do not require permits, but registration (for use in emergency) is strongly encouraged.

Backcountry hikes to consider for a 1 or 2 day trip, include:

  • Wheeler Peak Summit Trail: 8.6 miles (round-trip), best to start earlier in the day, reaches the summit of the beautiful Wheeler Peak.
  • Baker Lake/Johnson Lake Loop: 13.1 miles (round-trip), this loop combines two trails with a steep ridge between Baker and Johnson Lakes. This ridgetop offers views of Wheeler Peak and Baker Peak, in addition to the two lakes and the spectacular views in between.
Las Vegas Gateway to Utah, Colorado, and Arizona

Las Vegas Gateway to Utah, Colorado and Arizona

Day One: Arrive in Las Vegas, Nevada –McCarran International Airport Las Vegas, Nevada

Located in the western-most tip of the Grand Circle, Las Vegas is a fantastic Gateway to the sights of the Grand Circle. With plenty of shows, nightclubs, casinos and amazing architecture, Las Vegas is a great way to start your Grand Circle tour! Spend the night or travel up to Springdale, Utah. (www.mccarran.com)

Day One/Two: Travel to Springdale and Tropic, Utah

Take an afternoon tour of Zion National Park. Famous for its deep canyons, sandstone cliffs, seeping springs and scenic vistas, Zion National Park is nature at its most eloquent.  Hop the shuttle inside the park and get on and off at scenic spots along the way. Enjoy nature’s erosive handiwork at Bryce Canyon National Park, as the sun sets on a vast array of fingers, spires and pinnacles, all of rosy hue, carved into fantastic shapes, some extremely delicate, others massive and sturdy.

Overnight in Tropic/Bryce, Utah

-Best Western Ruby’s Inn 435.834.5338

-National Park Lodges 435.586.9476

Day Three: Travel to Moab, Utah

Take a tour of Arches National Park, famous for its Delicate Arch, and Balanced Rock. The arches and numerous other extraordinary geologic features, such as spires, pinnacles, pedestals and balanced rocks, are highlighted in striking foreground and background views created by contrasting colors, landforms and textures.  In some areas, faulting has exposed millions of years of geologic history. See some of the most breath-taking views of natural formations created by water from the Colorado River.

Overnight in Moab, Utah

-Ramada Inn Downtown Moab 435.259.6869

-Sorrel River Ranch Resort 435.259.4642

-Moab Adventure & Lodging 435.259.2002

 Day Four: Travel to Durango, Colorado

In the 1880s a narrow rail line was strung along the Animas River, a twisting river gorge, to connect Silverton and Durango. Hop a ride on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, or explore the Animas River on a rafting trip, try hiking, biking or skiing.

Overnight in Durango, Colorado

-Leland House B & B / Rochester Hotel 970.385.1920

 Day Five: Travel to Cortez, Colorado

Take an early morning tour of Mesa Verde National Park, a World Heritage Site, known internationally for the fabulous cliff dwellings. Though long familiar to Mesa Verde’s native inhabitants, the cliff dwellings were brought to the world’s attention after being noticed by European-Americans in the late 1800’s.Witness the natural preservations of homes and entire villages that have survived with many artifacts amazingly intact providing visitors a unique and thought-provoking glimpse into America’s pre-European past.

Overnight in Towaoc/Cortez/Mesa Verde, Colorado

-Mesa Verde Far View Lodge 970.533.7731

-Kelly Place Bed & Breakfast & Retreat Center 970.565.3125

-Ute Mountain Casino Hotel & Resort – Tribal Park 970.565.8800

 Day Six: Travel to Grand Canyon, Arizona through Monument Valley, Utah

Perhaps America’s most photographed landscape, Monument Valley is a scenic region encompassing approximately 5,180 sq km (2,000 sq mi) in northeastern Arizona and southeastern Utah. The landscape is characterized by tall, red sandstone buttes, mesas, and arches created by erosion, rising up to 300 m (1,000 ft) from a sandy plain. Monument Valley has been a favorite Hollywood backdrop for over 80 years and is still a traditional Navajo homeland. Continue your journey to Grand Canyon, Arizona.

Overnight Grand Canyon, Arizona

-Anasazi Inn 928-679-2214

-Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn 928.638.8410

-Grand Canyon National Park Lodges 928.638.2991

-Grand Hotel 928.638.3333

 Day Seven: Travel to Las Vegas, Nevada

Enjoy one final night in the Grand Circle or depart in the late afternoon.

National Parks Itinerary – Vegas to Vegas 6 Nights

Las Vegas – Las Vegas 6 nights
(Itinerary by Lake Powell Resorts & Marinas)

1) Las Vegas, NV- arrival

2) Las Vegas, NV to Hoover Dam, Lake Meade (34 miles)

Hoover Dam to Grand Canyon National Park (243 miles) 3 hrs. 45 min.

Hoover Dam to Williams, AZ (185 miles) 2 hours 45 min.

  • You could take the Grand Canyon Train to the canyon
    • Overnight at Grand Canyon or Tusayan

3-4) Grand Canyon to Monument Valley (180 miles) 3 hours

Monument Valley to Page/ Lake Powell – Glen Canyon Recreation Area(127 miles) 2 hours

5) Lake Powell to Zion National Park (103 miles) 1 hours 40 min.

Lake Powell to Bryce Canyon National Park (151 miles) 2 hours 30 min.

-73 miles between Zion & Bryce Canyons

From Bryce or Zion you could select a couple of different routes- head back to Vegas

National Parks Itinerary – Vegas to Vegas or Denver

(Itinerary by Lake Powell Resorts & Marinas)

Las Vegas – Las Vegas 7 days
Las Vegas – Denver 12/13 days

9 National Parks, 1 Recreation Area, 1 National Monument, 1 State Park

1) Las Vegas, NV- arrival

2) Las Vegas, NV to Hoover Dam, Lake Meade (34 miles)

Hoover Dam to Grand Canyon National Park (243 miles) 3 hrs. 45 min.

Hoover Dam to Williams, AZ (185 miles) 2 hours 45 min.

  • You could take the Grand Canyon Train to the canyon
    • Overnight at Grand Canyon or Tusayan

3-4) Grand Canyon to Monument Valley (180 miles) 3 hours

Monument Valley to Page/ Lake Powell – Glen Canyon Recreation Area(127 miles) 2 hours

5) Lake Powell to Zion National Park (103 miles) 1 hours 40 min.

Lake Powell to Bryce Canyon National Park (151 miles) 2 hours 30 min.

-73 miles between Zion & Bryce Canyons

From Bryce or Zion you could select a couple of different routes- head back to Vegas or head East.

  • Overnight at

6) Bryce Canyon to Vegas- (250) 4 hours

Zion to Vegas-(173 miles) 3 hours

7) Vegas flights home

Alternate Ending

6) Bryce to Capital Reef National Park- ( 134 miles) 3 hours

Capital Reef NP to Bullfrog(Lake Powell – Defiance House Lodge)(102 miles) 2 hours

Capital Reef NP to Moab UT(156) 2 hours 40 min.

7-8) Bullfrog to Moab (162) 2 hours 35 min.

-Arches National Park

-Canyonlands National Park

-Dead Horse State Park

http://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/dead-horse

9) Moab, UT to Mesa Verde National Park (135 miles) 2 hours 25 minutes

10) Mesa Verde to Great Sand Dunes National Park (the newest National Park) (220 miles) 4 hours

Great Sand Dunes to Colorado Springs(170 miles) 2 hours 45 min.

11) Colorado Springs to Rocky Mountain National Park (138 miles) 2 hours 25 min.

12) Rocky Mountain National Park to Denver (70 miles) 1 hours 30 minutes

Denver flights home

Western Grand Circle – Forever Resorts

Forever Resorts has put together a map showing destinations in the western Grand Circle, mapping out a loop from Las Vegas. The map shows the location of Forever Resort properties near major destinations.

White Pine County Eastern Nevada Parks Itinerary

Visit Kershaw-Ryan State Park, Cathedral Gorge State Park, Great Basin National Park, Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park and other scenic/historic spots in eastern Nevada.

DISTANCE: 598 MILES ~ 962 KILOMETERS

Click here to see the full itinerary.

White Pine County Southeast Nevada Itinerary

Visit Mesquite, Pioche, CalieNte, AlaMo and other scenic/historic spots by following this itinerary which focuses on Southeastern Nevada but also cuts through areas in NE Arizona and SW Utah.

DISTANCE: 500 MILES :: 805 KILOMETERS | NUMBER OF NIGHTS 4 

Click here to see the full itinerary.

White Pine County Tourism 2-Day Fire and Ice

White Pine County Tourism and Recreation Board have provided itinerary ideas via pdf document.

Visit White Pine County Tourism & Recreation Board at www.elynevada.net

White Pine County Tourism 2-Day Holiday in Ely Nevada

White Pine County Tourism and Recreation Board wants you to enjoy the sights sounds and smells of Bristlecone Convention Centers Holiday celebrations. This pdf document has itinerary ideas.

Visit White Pine County Tourism & Recreation Board at www.elynevada.net

White Pine County Tourism 3-Day Cocktails and Cannons

White Pine County Tourism & Recreation Board wants to share itinerary ideas on a pdf document:

Visit White Pine County Tourism & Recreation Board at www.elynevada.net

White Pine County Tourism 4-Day Eastern Nevada

White Pine County Tourism & Recreation Board has provided itinerary ideas in this pdf document:

Visit White Pine County Tourism & Recreation Board at www.elynevada.net

White Pine County Tourism 4-Day Historic Southern Nevada

White Pine County Tourism & Recreation Board shares these itinerary ideas in a pdf document:

Go on the Laughlin Paddle Boat or drive down Route 66, enjoy 4 days of beautiful and historic Nevada.

Visit White Pine County Tourism & Recreation Board at www.elynevada.net

White Pine County Tourism 5-day Central Nevada

The people at White Pine County Tourism & Recreation Board have provided you with this itinerary on pdf.

From open air and mining museums, to opera houses this itinerary has it all.

Visit White Pine County Tourism & Recreation Board at www.elynevada.net.

White Pine County Tourism 5-Day Western History Tour

White Pine County Tourism & Recreation Board has provided these itinerary ideas on a pdf document:

Visit White Pine County Tourism & Recreation Board at www.elynevada.net

White Pine County Tourism 7-Day Trains across the West

White Pine County Tourism & Recreation Board is excited about trains in the historic West and has provided itinerary ideas on a pdf document.

Visit White Pine County Tourism & Recreation Board at www.elynevada.net

White Pine County Tourism 8-Day Wild West Tour

White Pine County Tourism and Recreation Board has provided you with these itinerary ideas via a pdf document.

Visit White Pine County Tourism & Recreation Board at www.elynevada.net.

White Pine County Tourism National Parks and Arts

White Pine County Tourism & Recreation Board compiled a list of some of the most spectacular National Parks, Opera Houses, Murals, and Shakespeare Festivals in the Grand Circle area, featured in the pdf document linked below.

Visit White Pine County Tourism & Recreation Board at www.elynevada.net

Top


New Mexico

14-day Grand Circle tour ideas provided by Kingman Visitor Center

These itinerary ideas were provided by the historic Kingman Visitor Center in Kingman, AZ.

Grand Circle Tour

Submitted by Kingman Powerhouse Visitor Center

Day 1: Fly into Las Vegas, NV McCarren Field Airport from your home city. You will be met at the airport by someone with your name on a sign. They will make arrangements to transport you and your luggage to the hotel. This service is included in your tour cost. This evening is at your leisure as people are coming from all over the country to join the tour.

Day 2: Breakfast at leisure and day at leisure until 7pm when there will be a welcome dinner and an opportunity to meet your fellow travelers.

Day 3: Bag pull at 6:30a. Breakfast at leisure. Depart hotel at 8a from bus/tour lobby.

You will be traveling north out of Las Vegas via Interstate Highway 15. Approximately one and a half hours there will be a leg stretching stop in Mesquite, NV. About 10a, you’ll resume your trip north and Interestate 15 will traverse the Virgin River Gorge. This stretch of road is comprised of approximately 16 bridges making up the road as it stretches through the gorge and over the river. Lunch is included today in St. George, UT. After lunch you will visit the home of Brigham Young. He had some 52 wives. You will view the St. George Temple from the curb. After the tour of Brigham Young’s home, the journey will continue to Springdale, UT where we will spend the night. The towering red & yellow cliffs of Zion National Park will be above us on both sides of the road. Dinner on your own.

Day 4: Bag pull at 7:30a Breakfast is included at the hotel this morning. Departure will be 8a. The view of the park from the coach as we travel towards Mt Carmel Jct is absolutely astounding. The morning break will be at Mt Carmel Jct. About 10a the journey will continue towards Bryce Canyon National Park. Ruby’s Lodge will be the location for lunch and it is included in your tour. Around 2p we will enter the Park and view the red and yellow hoodoos, pinnacles, & spires. When we exit the Park about 4p we will check into Ruby’s Lodge for the evening.

Day 5: Bag pull at 7:30a Breakfast is included at the hotel this morning and departure will be 8a. There will be a little longer day on the coach today and you will be viewing the sights of Escalante Natl Monument a leg stretching break before lunch in Torrey. After lunch the trip continues to Moab. Two nights will be spent in Moab and you will visit Arches Natl Park, Canyon Lands National Park and have the option of a float trip on the Colorado River.

Day 7: Bag pull at 7:30a Breakfast included at hotel. Departure 8a. South from Moab to Monticello, then east into Colorado. There’ll be a short leg stretch in Dove Creek followed by lunch in Cortez. After lunch the coach will climb the hill into Mesa Verde where you’ll spend the night at Far Away Lodge.

Dinner at the hotel on own.

Day 8: Bag pull at 7a. Breakfast on own. Departure 8a. You will tour the ruins along the rim road and leave the park about 10a. Destination tonight, a short ride to Durango, where you will spend the night in the historic Strater Hotel. Arrival in Durango should be in time for the after Silverton Train Ride into Silverton with a return ride into Durango. Evening at your leisure.

Day 9: Driving south out of Durango, you will visit the Aztec Ruins in Aztec, NM and travel on toward the 4 Corners where you’ll have the opportunity to stand in four States at one time. From 4 Corners you’ll travel south to Chinle and Canyon de Chelly where tonight you’ll stay at the Thunderbird Lodge. Dinner is included tonight.

Day 10: Bag pull 8a. Breakfast included. Experience Canyon de Chelly from the bottom riding in a 6 x 6 truck with a Navajo Guide. Lunch on own at Lodge and then we’re off to Monument Valley. Night will be spent in Kayenta.

Day 11: Bag pull 7a, breakfast included at hotel, departure at 8a. Lunch will be at the Cameron Trading Post. Lunch is on your own and you will have until 2p to explore the trading post. You will enter Grand Canyon National Park at about 3p and first stop will be at the Desert View Overlook. Departing Desert View, you’ll make your way along the rim to the Grand Canyon Village where you will spend the night. After checking into the hotel, you will view the IMAX theatre film about the Grand Canyon….returning to the hotel in time for sunset on the Rim. Dinner is on your own.

Day 12: Bag pull 6:30a, breakfast included at hotel, departure 8a. There will be a leg stretch stop in Williams and then we’ll be off to Route 66. Following the longest undisturbed segment of this nostalgic highway, you’ll visit the town of Seligman for a lunch break; stop at the Grand Canyon Caverns for a tour of the largest dry caverns in the US; travel through Peach Springs, HDQRTS of the Hualapai Tribe, Valentine home of Keepers of the Wild and Hackberry General Store. We’ll arrive in Kingman for dinner and our evening accommodations.

Day 13: Bag pull 7:30a, breakfast included at hotel. Departure 8a. You will have a tour of the old downtown historic district, see a Sahuaro Cactus, visit Locomotive Park and stop in the Powerhouse Visitor Center for a leg stretch and last chance for AZ and Route 66 souvenirs. Departing Kingman at 11a, arrival back in Las Vegas at 1p and lunch on own. Hotel check in at 3pm. Dinner included at hotel tonight and everyone says goodbye!

Day 14: Breakfast on own and departures on own per your flight schedule home.

3 Day itineraries for Santa Fe

Enjoy Santa Fe, New Mexico! The people at SantaFe.org have comprised multiple 3-day vacation ideas for everyone. Different vacation themes vary from Relaxing, Outdoor Adventures, and the Art Lovers Itinerary.

3 Day itineraries for Seasonal Santa Fe

SantaFe.org has provided the pdf document linked below with vacation ideas for any time of the year! From hiking to enjoying an opera.

7 Day itinerary for Santa Fe

Spend a week visiting museums, ancient ruins, chapels, and more in the Santa Fe, NM, area! This was provided by SantaFe.org.

Albuquerque to the Grand Canyon (Driving Directions)

Albuquerque has some great shopping in “Old Town”; after hitting the shops there, head west on Interstate 40. It takes about 45 minutes to get to Sky City, an old Indian city at Acoma Pueblo. Located on a mesa top, you have to take a tour to go through it. For more information: www.skycity.com. There are tours about every hour from April through September. Nearby is a Sky City Casino and Hotel. Photos of Sky City are below:

Continue west to the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert. It takes time to visit these beautiful places, located near the western town of Holbrook. From Holbrook the Painted Desert is just a short drive east on AZ 77. The Petrified Forest National Park is exit 311 about 20 miles east of Holbrook. Continuing west on Interstate 40 you are about 45 minutes from Winslow, made famous by the Eagles “Standing on the corner in Winslow Arizona”. The song says it all.

If you really like geology and/or astronomy you will want to consider stopping at the Meteor Crater located about 20 miles west of Winslow.

Continuing west you are about 25 miles from Flagstaff. The driving time from Flagstaff is approximately 1 ½ hours to the hotel. Flagstaff is a good place to fill up your gas tank as, once you leave, the prices will be much higher. You might also want to pick up some things at the store and a throw-away ice chest to avoid the higher prices further up the road. Departing Flagstaff, you will continue west on Interstate 40 about 30 miles to exit 165 in Williams. From there you are just about an hour from Tusayan. Be very careful not to speed on AZ 64 North. Do not be the fastest car on the road!

Upon entering Tusayan, you will see the airport on your left. Try to make it in time for sunset which is the highlight of any day at the canyon.

There are several great hotels in Tusayan: Red Feather Lodge; Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn; and Grand Canyon Canyon Plaza Hotel. All three have dining, and Grand Canyon Canyon Plaza Resort and Grand Canyon Squire Inn have full-service lounges. Big E Steakhouse is also a great place for dinner. Also, check out the IMAX Theatre with its Grand Canyon welcome center. Grand Canyon Jeep Tours and Safaris provides great backcountry tours of the area.

Aztec NM Area Suggested Itineraries

Alamosa – Chama Loop, CO-NM

Alamosa – Chama Loop, CO-NM

This 440 mile loop drive will take you on a whirlwind of landscapes and several different communities including Durango, Bayfield, Pagosa Springs, Alamosa, Fort Garland, San Luis, Antonito, and Chama. Make plans to stay overnight if you attempt to do all the attractions! Part of this loop follows the Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic Byway.

Durango has endless recreational opportunities, a rich history, and countless stories to tell. From mountain biking, hiking, rafting the Animas River, scenic train ride, skiing, and awe-inspiring scenery there are endless ways to reinvigorate, rejuvenate, or just plain relax.

Canyon de Chelly – Window Rock Loop – aztecnm.com

Canyon de Chelly – Window Rock Loop

This drive forms a loop between Shiprock, Chinle, and Window Rock. One will traverse a range of elevations and plant ecozones from pinion-juniper woodland, ponderosa pine, and desert scrubland. Navajo Nation Route 13 This 45 mile route goes by Shiprock Pinnacle and over the pass of the Lukachukai Mountains.

The Navajo Nation Museum is located in Window Rock and is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the rich and unique culture of the Navajo Nation.

Canyons of the Ancients Loop

Canyons of the Ancients Loop

This approximate 160 mile loop drive will take you through desert canyons and wide open country of southwest Colorado and southeast Utah. You will go through the communities of Cortez, Blanding, Monticello, and Dove Creek. This road adventure will take about 4 hours with minimal stops.

This approximate 160 mile loop drive will take you through desert canyons and wide open country of southwest Colorado and southeast Utah. You will go through the communities of Cortez, Blanding, Monticello, and Dove Creek.

Chaco – Bisti Loop

Chaco – Bisti Loop

This approximate 200 mile road trip will take you through some high desert landscape and provide the opportunity to experience some cultural diversity from ancestral Puebloan to modern Navajo traditions. In addition, witness some geology which took millions of years to form.

A federal wilderness area, the Bisti De-Na-Zin Wilderness is a desolate area of eroded badlands that offer some of the most unusual scenery in the Four Corners region.

Chama – Pagosa Springs Loop, CO-NM

Chama – Pagosa Springs Loop, CO-NM

This 250 mile loop drive will take you on a scenic drive to Chama, New Mexico and Pagosa Springs, Colorado. The trip is best enjoyed over two days, especially if you choose to ride the Cumbres & Toltec Narrow Gauge Train, soak in the hot springs of Pagosa Springs, or recreate on Navajo Lake.

Once inhabited by ancestral Puebloans, Utes, Navajos and Apaches, “Pagosah” hot springs was believed to have extraordinary curative powers. In time, the U.S. military established a post to protect settlers from Indian hostilities and the town of Pagosa Springs was incorporated in 1891, sustained by ranching, logging and lumber.

Chimney Rock Loop, CO-NM

Chimney Rock Loop

This 155 mile loop drive will take you on a scenic drive to Chimney Rock. The trip can be done in a single day unless one decides to recreate on Navajo Lake. Bayfield, CO Located downstream from Lake Vallecito and between Durango and Pagosa Springs, Bayfield offers boating, fishing, hiking, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.

One of America’s newest national monuments, Chimney Rock is located in southwest Colorado between Durango and Pagosa Springs. The area derives its name from two 300-foot pinnacles that tower over the Chacoan Great House.

Chaco Canyon Itinerary Ideas

Half Day/ Auto Tour Itinerary

Slightly northwest of the visitor center begins the 9-mile one-way loop road that takes visitors around Chaco Canyon. Visitors can stop at any of these prehistoric sites with short, self-guiding trails, as time allows:

  • Hungo Pavi
  • Chetro Ketl
  • Pueblo Bonito
  • Pueblo del Arroyo (just a short way northwest drive off the main loop road)
  • Casa Rinconada

Self-guiding trail brochures can be purchased at the Visitor Center Bookstore.

Full Day Itinerary

Chaco Culture National Historic Park is a smaller park, with less trails and miles of hiking, perhaps, but it fully makes up for it with the densest collection of pre-columbian pueblos and cultural sites in the American Southwest. Visitors who are in the park for a full day have much more time to explore each Pueblo, listed above in the half day itinerary.

In addition to spending time visiting the sites along the 9-mile loop, visitors can see a few more sites a little off the beaten path, such as:

  • Una Vida/Petroglyphs: trail located by visitor center, less than 1/4 -mile long.
    • Una Vida is one of the earliest great houses, construction beginning around the mid-800’s.
  • Casa Rinconada: trail located 6 miles down the 9-mile loop, trail is a ½-mile long.
    • This graveled, sometimes steep trail winds through villages and buildings, highlighting the different architecture and building styles used by Chacoan culture.
  • Wijii: this trail is located east of the visitor center, and is 1.5 miles long.
    • This trail is a backcountry trail, and will require a permit.
    • It is one of the lesser visited sites, so if you or your group is looking for a little solidarity, take this trail down alongside the river.

Two Day Itinerary

Day One:

Visitors should stop by the visitor center and bookstore, and complete the full day itinerary, detailed above, during the first day of a two day stay.

Day Two:

Besides the short, self-guided trails located along the 9-mile loop, almost all trails in the park are backcountry hikes that require permits. Visitors can spend the second day obtaining a permit at the visitor center, and enjoying a few hikes to some of the further destinations.

Some backcountry hikes to consider are:

  • From Pueblo del Arroyo:
    • Hike .3 miles to Kin Kletso
    • Continue to hike .7 miles to Casa Chiquita
    • Continue to hike 2 miles (optional overarching trail to see petroglyphs along the way) to the fork to see more pictographs (.3 miles) or to continue on .6 miles to Penasco Blanco
    • On the way back, at Kin Kletso, consider taking the right fork .7 miles to a 3-mile loop that passes Pueblo Alto Complex and the Chacoan Staircase
    • Hikers can complete this whole trail and return, or turn back at any point
  • From the parking lot for the Casa Rinconada Community:
    • Hike the approximately 3.5-mile loop that leads to Tsin Kletsin

Backcountry Itinerary

Backcountry hiking requires a permit, and are only open from 7 am until sunset. No overnight backcountry camping is allowed. Backcountry hikers can camp at Gallo Campground.

Here is a list of the backcountry hikes available:

From Pueblo del Arroyo:

  • To Kin Kletso: .3 miles
  • To Casa Chiquita: .7 miles
  • To the Pictographs (trail before Penasco Blanco): 2.3 miles
  • To Penasco Blanco: 2.6 miles

From Kin Kletso:

  • To Pueblo Alto Complex (left hand of fork): 1.3 miles
  • To complete the whole loop hike: 3.8 miles

From the Casa Rinaconada Community parking lot:

  • To Tsin Kletsin: 1.6 miles
  • To complete the whole loop: 3.9 miles (approximately)

From the parking lot right after the fork with Gallo Campground: 

Day trips around the Farmington, NM area

The Farmington Convention and Visitors Bureau has provided great day trip ideas in New Mexico.

Farmington is the ideal hub from which to explore the remarkable Four Corners region. The following attractions are within an easy day’s drive, offering three days to a week of exhilarating adventure.

American Indian Culture: Past & Present

The Four Corners area is a scattered with ancient Indian ruins. Aztec Ruins National Monument, located 14 miles east on Hwy. 516 then left on Ruins Rd., provides a glimpse into the lives of the modern Puebloan peoples ancestors.  More than 800 years old, the monument features the only fully reconstructed Great Kiva in North America.  A self-guided tour will lead you through the village.  Admission is $5 per person.

Head south 7 miles on Hwy. 550 to Bloomfield, then west 3 miles on Hwy. 64 to visit Salmon Ruins and the San Juan County Archaeological Research Center and Library, with its extensive collection of artifacts from the Salmon Ruins excavation.  Enjoy a picnic lunch on the grounds of Heritage Park, which contains 8 separate habitation units representing thousands of years of human occupation of the San Juan Basin.  Visit the original adobe Salmon homestead site, full of unique pictures and 1800’s memorabilia.

Admission fee

Visit the many Farmington-area trading posts to shop for locally-crafted American Indian jewelry, pottery and rugs.  You may even catch a demonstration by a local artist or crafts person.  For a list of trading posts, see pages 61 & 62.  Spend the evening under the stars of Farmington’s Lions Wilderness Park Amphitheater, 2 miles north of San Juan College.

Four Corners Loops

Durango, CO lies 45 miles north of Farmington on Hwy. 550.  Spend the day browsing through the boutiques and souvenir shops of Main Street or take a ride on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.  Mesa Verde National Park, 75 miles north of Farmington on Hwy. 160, is known for its spectacular and vast cliff dwelling sites.  Visit Crow Canyon Archaeological Center to the west of Cortez, CO.  Take a day-long archaeology tour and witness the legacy left by the Ancestral Puebloans.

(800) 422-8975

www.crowcanyon.org

Towaoc, CO, 60 miles north of Farmington on Hwy. 160/491, is the capital of the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation and home of the Ute Mountain Casino & RV Park.  Stop in to play slots, keno or a game of blackjack or bingo, followed by dining at Kuchus Restaurant.  Arrange Tribal Park tours of Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings and ruins by calling (970) 565-3751, ext. 330 or (970) 565-9653.

Travel 30 miles southeast on Hwy. 160 to the Four Corners Monument and stand in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado all at the same time.  Shop for American Indian arts, crafts and jewelry at the vendor booths that surround the monument.  Cost is $3 per person.

On the drive back to Farmington (60 miles southeast via Hwy. 160/Hwy. 491/Hwy. 64) you will enter the scenic Navajo Reservation.  Enjoy views of Shiprock Pinnacle, Chimney Rock and the Sleeping Ute Mountain.

Custom Tour

Let a local guide offer you a custom tour of the area’s archaeological sites and remote canyons, specializing in Chaco Canyon and Dinetah.

*Journey into the Past Tours

PO Box 125, Bloomfield NM  87413

(505) 632-2013

sreducation@sisna.com

www.chacotours.org

Industrial Tours

PNM San Juan Generating Station, located 15 miles west of Farmington on Hwy. 64, offers group presentations and tours of the coal-fired power plant that supplies electricity to the Southwest and California.  For information, contact San Juan Generating Station.  Please call ahead to schedule.

PO Box 227

Waterflow, NM  87421

(505) 598-7281

Two coal mines in the area, operated by BHP Billiton, deliver coal to the two local power plants:  PNM San Juan Generating Station and APS Four Corners Power Plant.  Both plants generate electricity that is distributed throughout New Mexico,

California and the Southwest.  Call BHP to schedule a tour.

(505) 598-4200

Farmington NM Area For Arts, Culture, Sportsmen

The Farmington Convention and Visitors Bureau has provided these itinerary ideas.

Farmington Art & Sweets Tour

Find inspiration from artwork in galleries that embody the artisan spirit that thrives in this region rich with culture, history and magnificent landscapes, before treating yourself to something sweet. 

See the itinerary as a pdf.

3 Day Farmington Itinerary

This itinerary visits some of the key sites in the Farmington area including Aztec Ruins National Monument, Farmington Museum & Visitor Center, historic downtown Farmington, Chaco Culture National Historic Park, Outdoor Summer Theater, B-Square Ranch and Riverside Nature Center. 

See the itinerary as a pdf.

Sportsman Expedition

Work up an appetite on an adventure fit for a sportsman, before trying on of Farmington’s delicious unique restaurants. Featuring Animas Outdoors, Bolack Electromechanical Museum, Bolack Museum of Fish and Wildlife, Four Corners Explorers, The Chile Pod, Clancy’s Irish Cantina and Sushi Bar, Los Hermanitos, Porter’s Restaurant, Spare Rib BBQ, and St Clair Winery and Bistro. 

See the itinerary as a pdf.

Gallup NM Area Itineraries

Gallup New Mexico has provided a beautiful pdf with itinerary ideas for people interested in:

  • Adventure
  • Native American Arts
  • Cultural Sites
  • Shopping
  • Options for a few hours
  • Options for one day
  • Options for multiple days

See the Gallup itineraries here.

Indian Country

The Farmington Convention and Visitors Bureau has provided this itinerary for the Indian Country in New Mexico. 

Day 1

From Albuquerque, travel north on Hwy 550 towards Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Be prepared to drive an additional 16 miles on dirt roads after turning at County Road 7900/7950. Chaco Canyon was once the dwelling place of Ancestral Puebloans and has been designated a World Heritage Site. Thirteen major ruins now dominate the canyon floor, many containing kivas believed to have religious significance. The surrounding network of arrow-straight roads was the production of relatively sophisticated engineering and has impressed even veteran archaeologists. These recent discoveries have generated a new scientific field of research – archaeoastronomy – and earned Chaco the nickname Stonehenge of the Southwest. No services or facilities are available so bring water, food and other necessities. From there continue north on Hwy 550 and then west on Hwy 64 to Farmington, the city the Navajo call Totah, “the meeting place of the waters”.

Day 2

Travel east on Hwy 516 to Aztec (14 miles) to tour Aztec Ruins National Monument, a Puebloan Ruin over 800 years old. It features the only fully reconstructed Great Kiva in the southwest. Travel back to Farmington and spend the afternoon shopping at several trading posts in the area which offer extensive Native American arts and crafts. That night enjoy a relaxing evening of Outdoor Summer Theater in a natural sandstone amphitheater. Performances run mid-June through the first weekend in August, Thursday – Sunday. An optional dinner is served before the show begins. Group rates are available. Call 800-448-1240 for more information.

Day 3

Travel 130 miles south on Hwy 491 to Gallup, featuring nightly Indian dances (end of May through first of September), Intertribal Indian Ceremonial, Native American arts and crafts, Navajo Code Talkers Museum and trading posts. Area attractions include: Zuni Pueblo, El Morro National Park, Hubbell’s Trading Post and Canyon de Chelley National Monument.

Day 4

Grants, 70 miles east on I-40, is a hub for attractions including the New Mexico Museum of Mining, El Malpais National Monument, Ice Caves and Bandera Crater, Acoma Pueblo – Sky City, La Ventana Arch and Crownpoint (home of the Crownpoint Rug Weavers Association’s monthly Navajo Rug Auction. The New Mexico Mining Museum is the only Uranium Mining Museum in the world. Acoma received the name “Sky City” by being perched atop a 70-acre sandstone mesa rising 367 feet above the valley floor. Acoma continues to be the oldest continuously inhabited community in the United States.

Day 5

Return to Albuquerque, 65 miles east, via I-40.

Indian Country Itineraries

The Farmington Convention and Visitors Bureau has provided these itinerary ideas for trips in Indian Country.

Indian Country Circle

This itinerary can be adjusted to take from four to eight days, depending on activities in each community.  The itinerary can begin in either direction from Farmington: Albuquerque west to Gallup and Grants, or Albuquerque north to Santa Fe. 

See the itinerary as a PDF.

Native American Culture Past & Present

This customizable itinerary can take you to Aztec Ruins National Monument, Salmon ruins and Heritage Park, Big Rock Trading Post, Hogback Trading Company, Fifth Generation Trading Company, Shiprock Trading Company, Museum of Navajo Art & Culture. 

See the itinerary as a PDF.

Pecos National Historical Park Itinerary Ideas

Half Day/ Auto Tour Itinerary

The Pecos National Historical Park is one of the smaller parks, so it can be explored fairly thoroughly in a short amount of time. Travelers should make sure to visit:

  • The E.E. Fogelson Visitor Center, where visitors can pick up brochures, current conditions, tickets for guided tours, and/or ask any questions. There is also a 10-minute movie about the park.
  • The park’s museum to see the exhibits and history of the area.
  • Civil War Battlefield Trail, 2.3 miles, gate access code available at visitor center.
    • Learn about the Battle of Glorieta Pass: the 3-day fight where the Union held control over the Santa Fe area, and the Confederates lost.
  • If time remains, visit the Forked Lightning Ranch House, this ticketed tour last 90 minutes, and stops along:
    • Kozlowski’s Santa Fe Trail stage stop
    • Glorieta Creek & Pecos River
    • The ranch house where park patrons actress Greer Garson and her husband E.E. Fogelson lived

Full Day Itinerary

Visitors wishing to spend a full day in the Pecos National Historic Park may complete the half day itinerary, and accommodate a few more park-offered guided tours.

  • The E.E. Fogelson Visitor Center, where visitors can pick up brochures, current conditions, tickets for guided tours, and/or ask any questions. There is also a 10-minute movie about the park.
  • The park’s museum to see the exhibits and history of the area.
  • Civil War Battlefield Trail, 2.3 miles, gate access code available at visitor center.
    • Learn about the Battle of Glorieta Pass: the 3-day fight where the Union held control over the Santa Fe area, and the Confederates lost.
  • If there on a Friday, the Arrowhead Ruin tour, the 90-minute tour takes visitors to an off-trail pueblo site, with a 1-mile hike, and history of the region’s rich history.
  • If there on a Saturday, the Civil War in the West tour, a two-hour van tour (tickets available at visitor center) that takes travelers along several sites pertaining to the Battle of Glorieta Pass.
  • If there on a Sunday, The Forked Lightning Ranch House, this tour (tickets available at visitor center) lasts 90 minutes, and stops along:
    • Kozlowski’s Santa Fe Trail stage stop
    • Glorieta Creek & Pecos River
    • The ranch house where park patrons actress Greer Garson and her husband E.E. Fogelson lived

Two Day Itinerary

If in the area for two days, consider completing the the full day itinerary on the first day, and on the second perhaps experience the world-class fly-fishing on the Pecos River – all fishing regulations and reservation information found here.

If your two-day stay overlaps a Friday/Saturday, or a Saturday/Sunday, make sure you take the opportunity to participate in both guided tours available to you.

Backcountry Itinerary

There are no official backcountry activities available in the park.

Suggested Itineraries for Farmington, NM

Farmington Area Itineraries provided by: Farmington Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Option #1

Day 1

Begin the day at Aztec Ruins National Monument (15 miles east of Farmington). This is a Puebloan Ruin over 800 years old, featuring the only fully restored Great Kiva in the southwest. A 700 yard, self-guided trail leads through the portion of the excavated ruins open to the public and through the Great Kiva itself. A visitors center and museum is also on site.

Return to Farmington and visit Farmington Museum & Visitors Center at Gateway Park. Experience a wide variety of exhibits relating to the diverse history of the area’s cultures, traveling exhibits and national and regional juried art shows.

Spend the afternoon enjoying historic downtown Farmington. Browse for American Indian arts and crafts at the many trading posts. Shop for antiques and peruse the contemporary art galleries.

Day 2

Travel 80 miles south to Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Chaco Canyon was once the dwelling place of the Ancestral Puebloan, sometimes referred to as Anasazi, and has been designated a World Heritage Site. Thirteen major ruins now dominate the canyon floor, many containing kivas believing to have religious significance.

Depart for Farmington to enjoy a relaxing evening of Outdoor Summer Theater in a natural sandstone amphitheater. Performances run mid-June through mid-August, Thursday – Saturday evenings.

Day 3

Visit B-Square Ranch. This is a 12,000 acre ranch, wildlife preserve and experimental farm. It offers two museums on the ranch, featuring mounted animals from around the world and a collection of antique farm machinery and electricity-generating equipment. Tours are free but do require a reservation.

Stroll along the River Corridor. This area contains nearly 5 miles of multipurpose trails along the Animas River. At one end of this area, Animas Park, is the Riverside Nature Center. Observe birds and animals from large windows overlooking areas where food and water attract wildlife. Exhibits feature the plants and animals of the riverside with emphasis on historic uses and ecosystems.

Option #2

Day 1

Begin the day at Aztec Ruins National Monument (15 miles east of Farmington). This is a Puebloan Ruin over 800 years old, featuring the only fully restored Great Kiva in the southwest. A 700 yard, self-guided trail leads through the portion of the excavated ruins open to the public and through the Great Kiva itself. A visitors center and museum is also on site.

Return to Farmington and visit Farmington Museum & Visitors Center at Gateway Park. Experience a wide variety of exhibits relating to the diverse history of the area’s cultures, traveling exhibits and national and regional juried art shows.

Spend the afternoon enjoying historic downtown Farmington. Browse for American Indian arts and crafts at the many trading posts. Shop for antiques and peruse the contemporary art galleries.

Day 2

Spend the day attending the Four Corners Storytelling Festival (Annual October event-call 800-448-1240 for exact dates) at Berg Park. National and local storytellers of all ages showcase their talents. This event is fun for anyone interested in cowboy poetry, ghost stories, folklore and cultural tales.
While at Berg Park, enjoy the River Corridor. This area contains nearly 5 miles of multipurpose trails along the Animas River.

Day 3

Travel 80 miles south to Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Chaco Canyon was once the dwelling place of the Ancestral Puebloan, sometimes referred to as Anasazi, and has been designated a World Heritage Site. Thirteen major ruins now dominate the canyon floor, many containing kivas believing to have religious significance.

Northwest NM Itinerary

Day 1:

Fly or drive into Albuquerque and visit historic Old Town, numerous museums,

attractions and Indian pueblos in the surrounding area.

Day 2:

Santa Fe, only an hour drive from Albuquerque, offers visitors the unique historic

Downtown Plaza, art galleries and museums.

Day 3:

An established artists’ colony for years, Taos is rich in art and culture, and also home to the Taos Pueblo Indians.

Day 4:

Travel west along scenic Highway 64 to the quaint mountain town of Chama and ride the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad through the Carson National Forest. Continue west 100 miles on Hwy 64 to Farmington.

Day 5:

Visit B-Square Ranch, a 12,000 acre ranch, wildlife preserve and experimental farm. Tours of two museums on the ranch, featuring wildlife and collections of antique farm machinery and electricity-generating equipment, are offered on the hour by appointment and are free of charge. Later that day take Hwy 516 to Aztec Ruins National Monument (14 miles), a Puebloan Ruin over 800 years old, featuring the only fully-restored Great Kiva in the southwest. Return to Farmington to enjoy a relaxing evening of Outdoor Summer Theater in a natural sandstone amphitheater (seasonal). An optional Southwestern style dinner is also served prior to the show.

Day 6:

Return to Albuquerque via Hwy 550 (180 miles).

Top


Utah

4 Corners Itinerary

Salt Lake City to Salt Lake City OR Denver — 6 days

Provided By Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas & Mesa Verde Far View Lodge

Day 1 & 2

Salt Lake City- to Moab, UT : 3.75 hrs drive. Spend the evening exploring Moab, spend the next day exploring Arches or Dead Horse point. Spend the night at Arches.

Day 3

Moab to Bullfrog,UT : 3. 5hrs drive. Make your drive from Moab to Bullfrog, with a detour through Canyonlands National Park. Spend the night at Defiance House Lodge, Bullfrog,UT.

The only lodge on the shores of Lake Powell at the north end of the lake. Enjoy dinner in the Anasazi Restaurant with stunning sunset view of Lake Powell and Bullfrog Cove.

Day 4

Bullfrog, UT to Mesa Verde National Park and Far View Lodge

Take one of the most scenic Ferry Rides in the US on the Burr Ferry to begin your day to Mesa Verde(this ferry is operated seasonally so call for information). Visit Monument Valley on drive to Mesa Verde. Enjoy your night at Far View Terrace- sitting on top of the mesa- on a clear day you can see all 4 “4 corners” states. Enjoy dinner in the award winning Metate Room Restaurant.

Day 5

Begin your day with a tour of Mesa Verde with a guided tour of the mesa top- tickets can be purchased at the Far View Lodge or Terrace.

Mesa Verde to Grand Junction, CO- 4.5 hrs- enjoy the drive from Mesa Verde to Grand Junction on the Million Dollar highway. Spend the night at the Grand Vista Hotel in Grand Junction, CO.

Enjoy the evening in downtown Grand Junction- baseball, shops, dining, or visit one of the local wineries.

Day 6

Grand Junction to Salt Lake City 4.5hrs OR Denver, CO – 4hrs.

8 – Day Utah National Park Tour

8 – Day Utah National Park Tour

Stops:

  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Temple Square, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Trolley Square Shopping Center, Salt Lake City, UT
  • CEU Prehistoric Museum, Price, UT
  • Moab, UT
  • Canyonlands National Park, UT
  • Arches National Park, UT
  • Blanding, UT
  • Edge of the Cedars Museum, UT
  • Dinosaur Museum, UT
  • Nations of the Four Corners Cultural Center, UT
  • Torrey, UT
  • Natural Bridges National Monument, UT
  • Hite Crossing, Lake Powell, UT
  • Capitol Reef National Park, UT
  • Scenic Byway 12, UT
  • Ruby’s Inn, UT
  • Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
  • Springdale, UT
  • Zion National Park, UT
  • Zion Canyon Giant Screen Theatre, UT
  • Zion National Park Lodge, UT

Members located in Salt Lake City, UT:

  • Lewis Brothers Stages, Inc.
  • Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Utah Division of Parks & Recreation
  • Utah Travel Council

Members located in Monticello, UT (En Route to Blanding):

  • San Juan County

Members located in Torrey/ Bicknell, UT:

  • Holiday Inn Express Capitol Reef- Torrey
  • Wonderland Inn- Torrey
  • Capitol Reef Country/ Wayne County Travel Council- Bicknell

Members located in Bryce, UT:

  • Best Western Ruby’s Inn
  • Foster’s Inc.

Members located in Panguitch, UT (En Route to Springdale):

  • ·Garfield County Travel Council
  • ·Panguitch City
  • ·World Host Management

Members located in Springdale, UT:

  • Best Western Zion Park Inn
  • Zion Canyon Giant Screen Theatre

Members located in Cedar City/ Brian Head, UT (Near Zion National Park):

  • Abbey Inn- Cedar City
  • Bryce/ Zion/ Grand Canyon N. Rim Lodges- Cedar City
  • Dixie National Forest- Cedar City
  • Holiday Inn- Cedar City
  • Iron County Tourism & Convention Bureau- Cedar City
  • Utah Shakespearean Festival- Cedar City
  • Cedar Breaks Lodge- Brian Head

Members located in St. George, UT (Near Zion National Park):

  • Best Western Abbey Inn & Suites
  • Best Western Coral Hills
  • Holiday Inn St. George
  • Washington County Travel Bureau
8-Day Itinerary from Ruby’s Inn

The people at Ruby’s Inn provided these itinerary ideas for the Bryce Canyon National Park area. Visit Ruby’s Inn for more details on how to have a great vacation at an affordable price. 

www.RubysInn.com

Bryce Canyon National Park
Best Western Ruby’s Inn is located two minutes from the entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park. There is a visitor center and museum in the park. Colorful rock formations, pines, and sweeping vistas are photographers’ favorites. Popular activities include hiking and sightseeing. Recommended hike start Sunset Point: Navajo and Queen’s Garden Trails, 3 miles (4.8 km), takes 2 to 3 hours, and climbs 521 feet (159 meters). This is a moderately strenuous walk. Bryce Canyon (Finish seeing the entire park). Best Western Ruby’s Inn is located one mile from the entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park.


Zion National Park
1.5 hr drive from Rubys Inn, allow at least a half-day to see Zion. Zion National Park is located 83 miles from Best Western Ruby’s Inn. Zion is noted for the towering rock monoliths and cliffs, the Virgin River, and Zion Canyon. It is also a photographer’s paradise. Hiking, sightseeing, and horseback rides are among the park’s activities. Hiking the Zion Narrows requires a permit. You may wish to hike the trails to Emerald Pools, Weeping Rock, and the “Narrows” that begins at the Temple of Sinewava. Be sure to stop at the turnout to shoot photos of the park’s most famous formation “The Great White Throne.” For more adventurous hikers, ask us for more information about “Angel’s Landing” and other backcountry adventures. If you’d like to make a loop out of your trip, you can exit out the west entrance of the park and then off the road at the town of Rockville and venture to the old Ghost Town of Grafton.  Here you’ll see an old schoolhouse and other buildings from the early settlers of this community.  It is also the location of a famous movie scene from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  From here you’ll follow the well-graded dirt road up the hill and around toward the community of Apple Valley.  You’ll pass the Smith’s Mesa and circle onto highway 59 and drive through Hildale on to Pipe Spring National Monument, a fort constructed for protection from the Indians along the Arizona Strip. A quick loop through Kanab and then its back to Ruby’s at the end of an unforgettable day.


Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon North Rim is a 3 hr drive from Rubys Inn. The quiet North Rim is located 160 miles south of Bryce along US 89 and US 89A, then Hwy 67. The drive is spectacular as you pass by Coral Pink Sand Dunes, just a short drive off Highway 89 (7 miles), with beautiful views of reddish-colored sand dunes that are well worth the detour. Continuing on you will pass through the quaint western town of Kanab, also known as “Little Hollywood” because of the many classic westerns that were filmed there. Leaving Kanab you will start your ascent up the Kaibab Plateau and through the dense forest of Ponderosa Pines. Keep an eye out for wild turkeys, mule deer, and other wildlife along the way. The north rim of the Grand Canyon is higher than the south rim allowing for spectacular vistas and incredible and unique photo opportunities. This is different than Zion National Park where you are looking up at formations, at the Grand Canyon you are on top looking down at it all. There is a visitor center and a museum at the park with maps and information available. Driving along the roads overlooking the canyon, hiking, and trail rides are among the many activities available. At many places on the rim, there are many trails that you can hike on. You may hike from point to point on the rim or even down into the canyon. Just remember that you are at a high elevation and that wherever you hike down, you’ll need to hike back up. Take a water bottle with you even for a short hike. You’ll need your camera and plenty of film or memory cards for your digital camera. The drive back from the North Rim is another scenery-rich ride complete with views of the Grand Staircase.


Capitol Reef
Capitol Reef is a 2 hr drive from Rubys Inn; allow a half-day in the park. Capitol Reef National Park features colorful cliffs, the Capitol Dome, and the small village of Fruita. The park’s entrance is near the junction of Hwy 12 and Hwy 24. There is a visitor center and museum. Hiking, scenic drives, and bicycling are popular activities. To get back to Rubys Inn, travel west on Hwy 24 to the town of Koosharem, proceed on Hwy 62 to Otter Creek, turn left on Hwy 22 passing through the small farming community of Antimony and continue on to Rubys Inn.


Cedar Breaks
Cedar Breaks is a 1-hour drive (47 miles) from Rubys Inn. Travel north on US-89 to Panguitch, turning left on to Hwy 143. Cedar Breaks is located on Hwy 143 past Panguitch Lake. Like a miniature Bryce Canyon, Cedar Breaks sits high on a forested plateau. During the summer months, hiking and mountain biking are very popular. The mountain bike trails of Cedar Breaks and the surrounding forest area are world famous. In winter, heavy snows force the closure of Hwy 148 and this area becomes a popular snowmobile and cross country ski destination. Snowboarding and skiing are also very common with Brian Head Ski Resort nearby. There is a visitor center with restroom facilities located at Cedar Breaks and picnic areas are open during summer months.


Glen Canyon
The Glen Canyon Dam is located along US 89 near the Utah/Arizona border. From Ruby’s Inn it is a 2 hour and 20 minute drive to the Glen Canyon Dam or 2 hours and 15 minutes to Bullfrog. To get to Bullfrog Marina drive east on Hwy 12 to Boulder, then south on the Burr Trail. Lake Powell extends 186 miles through Utah and into Arizona. Water sports, houseboats, and fishing are among the popular activities. Slot canyons and the moon-like landscape surrounding the lake make up the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Hiking and photography are popular. Ancient Indian ruins are located throughout the area. Boat rentals are available at the lake but should be reserved in advance. Allow at least a half day to see Lake Powell.


Grand Staircase
Located 30 minutes drive time from Bryce, this the 1.7 million acre mostly wilderness area was recently designated a national monument. There are ancient Indian ruins, desert canyons, fossils and unique rock formations. Much of the area is only accessible on foot. Grosvenor Arch, located south of Cannonville and Kodachrome Basin, is the nearest attraction to Bryce. It is accesssed via a dirt road that is impassible when wet. Another popular site, Lower Calf Creek Falls located on Hwy 12 near Boulder, is well worth the 2-1/2 mile hike to the cascading waterfall.

Kodachrome Basin, located 25 minutes from Rubys Inn, is an impressive array of massive sandstone chimneys that seem to ever be changing in color from gray and white to several shades of red and orange, depending on the day’s weather. Numerous rocks formations and coves offer solitude and a quiet, unique beauty only found in the desert . There is a Day use fee and you want to allow a half to full day including travel time. Be sure to allow a stop at Grosvenor Arch, located just nine miles south of Kodachrome Basin State Park.


Calf Creek / Anasazi State Park
Calf Creek Recreation Area is a 1-½ hour drive from Rubys Inn. Calf Creek Recreation Area lies between Escalante and Boulder on Scenic Byway 12. There is a $2 per vehicle day use fee. Calf Creek Falls is one of the West’s best kept secrets. This 2 and 3/4 mile (one way) interpretive trail begins from the Calf Creek campground This hike is moderately difficult on a developed sandy trail, which ends at 126-foot-high Calf Creek Falls.

Anasazi State Park in Boulder is a 15-minute drive east of Calf Creek. This ancient Indian village in the heart of Utah’s canyon country was one of the largest Anasazi communities west of the Colorado River. The site is believed to have been occupied from 1050 to 1200 A.D. The village remains largely unexcavated, but many artifacts have been unearthed and can be seen on display in the newly remodeled museum. There is a day use fee.

Arches National Park Itinerary Ideas

Half Day/Auto-Tour Itinerary

In 4 ½ hours, visitors can drive all the paved roads of Arches National Park, viewing many of the park’s arches and the beautiful vistas surrounding.

Visitors should be certain to drive to the Delicate Arch Viewpoint, to see the world’s most famous arch, visible a mile away. Additionally, drive to the Windows Section to view some of the park’s largest arches, North Window and Double Arch. On the way back down through the park, be sure to stop at Wolfe Ranch to glimpse a barren homestead that operated in the late 1800’s.

Explorers can get out of the vehicle at either North Window or Double Arch to stroll beneath the sites. Be sure to plan an extra half hour or so for each arch you stop to walk around.

Full Day Itinerary

In Addition to spending several hours driving through the park, stopping at viewpoints of many of the arches, travelers spending a full day at Arches National Park can plan on several smaller hikes or one larger hike that the park has to offer.

If travelers would like to see many of the parks formations up close, consider hiking:

  • Balanced Rock (20 minutes)
  • Double Arch (20 minutes and the park’s tallest arch)
  • Delicate Arch Viewpoint (10 or 30 minutes, depending on where you stop)
  • Sand Dune Arch (20 minutes), or
  • Skyline Arch (15 minutes).

Each of these hikes are ranked as “easy.”

If travelers would like to hike longer through the park’s fantastic formations to some of the arches, consider choosing one or two of these options:

  • Courthouse Wash Rock Art (40 minutes; easy)
  • Windows (45 minutes; easy)
  • Landscape Arch (50 minutes; easy)
  • Broken Arch Loop (60 minutes; easy)
  • Park Avenue (1.5 hours; moderate)
  • Tower Arch (2.5 hours; Strenuous)
  • Delicate Arch (2.5 hours; Strenuous)
  • Double O Arch (2.5 hours; Strenuous)

To get the maximum experience in just one day, fit hikers could consider checking out the viewpoints along the road when passing, hiking the park’s most famous attraction, Delicate Arch, and then concluding the day with the prehistoric rock art panel at Courthouse Wash Rock Art.

Two Day Itinerary

A two day experience at Arches is optimal to experience the park’s plentiful attractions. Travelers can opt to fill the first day with choices from the Full Day Itinerary, and add on any additional hikes or formations wanted during the second day.

Here is a suggested two day itinerary:

Day One:

  • Delicate Arch; 3 miles, 1.5 hours. The most iconic arch in the world, this strenuous hike is steep, with almost no shade, and steep drop offs near the end. Recommended to hike in the earlier hours to avoid the hottest part of the day.
  • Windows; 1 mile, 45 minutes. This hike delivers views of three big arches.    

Optional (based on time):

  • Double Arch; .5 miles, 20 minutes. This flat, even trail leads right to the bottom of the park’s tallest arch.

Day Two:

  • Landscape Arch; 1.6 miles, 50 minutes. This mostly flat trail leads to the longest arch in the park.
  • Devil’s Garden (Loop); 4.2 miles, 2.5 hours. This loop is continued on by passing Landscape Arch. It contains steep ledges, climbing, and very few trail markers in the Primitive area. *Not recommended with snow or rain.

Optional (based on time):

  • Courthouse Wash Rock Art; 1 mile, 40 minutes. On Hwy 191 near the river, hike to a prehistoric rock art panel.

Backcountry Itinerary

The Fiery Furnace is the most popular backcountry experience in Arches National Park, but does require a permit. During some days, a ranger-led 1 mile hike is offered. Otherwise, permits can be purchased up to 7 days in advance, in person at the visitor center.

The Fiery Furnace hike is a strenuous, 3 hour – 2 mile round trip, hike that takes explorers through a maze of twisting fins, narrow slot canyons, and gorges. The hike offers views of various formations, including arches, overhangs, and passages.

It is recommended that hikers first tour in a ranger-led program first, before setting out in the Fiery Furnace alone or with other hikers not experienced with this particular hike. Even experienced hikers have gotten lost.

Hikers familiar with the Fiery Furnace enjoy roaming beyond the trail and crossing pack with the path to finish their experience. 

Bryce Canyon National Park Itinerary Ideas

Half Day/Auto Tour Itinerary

Highway 63 in Bryce Canyon National Park is approximately 25 miles from the Visitor Center to the most southern overlook points, Rainbow and Yovimpa Points. Consider Starting your tour driving through the entire length of the park first, and making your way back north, stopping at overlook destinations as you see fit.

From Rainbow and Yovimpa Points, heading north, you will come across:

  • Black Birch Canyon
  • Ponderosa Canyon
  • Agua Canyon
  • Natural Bridge
  • Farview Point & Piracy Point
  • Swamp Canyon

From here, you will be back into the Amphitheater Region of the park, and can stop at:

  • Inspiration Point, Bryce Point, and Paria View (no trailers), just east off the highway
  • Sunset Point and Sunrise Point, just east off the highway
    • Visitors can walk the short, easy trail between Sunset and Sunrise Point
  • Fairyland Point, just east off the highway, right before you exit the park

After finishing the Auto-tour and the overlook points, consider either of these options, depending on the time remaining:

  • Stop by the visitor center to watch the educational short film about the park and its natural evolution, as well as check out the bookshop, and displays
  • Drive north to the intersection with Hwy 12, turn east onto Hwy 12, and stop at the Mossy Cave overlook; this short .8 mile hike walks alongside a stream that leads to a mossy overhanging cliff and a small waterfall that flows May-October

Full Day Itinerary

Travelers with a full day to spend at the park should consider the Half Day/Auto Tour itinerary above, driving to the south end of the park first, with the first stop at Rainbow point, and driving north.

An excellent addition to this itinerary, and great place to get out and add a little exploring, is:

  • Rim Trail, 0-11 miles: The Rim Trail travels between Fairyland Point for 11 miles along the top of the canyon to Bryce Point (where the long, backcountry Under the Rim Trail descends down into the canyon for 23 miles)
    • the Rim Trail is intersected at several points, and hikers can choose how far and long they will hike on this trail. It is intersected at:
  • Sunrise Point
  • Sunset Point
  • Inspiration Point

Between Sunrise and Sunset Points, the trail is paved, mostly level and flat, comprises a short distance between the two points, and has outstanding views of the hoodoos in the canyon below. If hikers are unsure about their groups physical fitness, time, or even the weather, the short walk between these two points is probably worthwhile and manageable.

Two Day Itinerary

Explorers with most of two full days to spend at the park will be able to enjoy several great hikes and as many of the beautiful observation points as they wish.

A recommended itinerary for each day includes a longer hike and one or two shorter destinations, to not overdo the experience.

Day One

  • Fairyland Loop, 8 miles, strenuous: Hikers can begin this hike at either Fairyland Point or Sunrise Point and loop back to the start again, or hikers can begin at either point and hike until Tower Bridge formation, which is closer to the Sunrise Point overlook
  • Sunrise Point trail (on the Rim Trail) south (less than a mile) to Sunset Point
  • Drive beyond that point to Bryce Point and Paria View, to see the beautiful overlooks
  • (Optional, based on time) Navajo Trail, 1.3 miles, Moderate; this hike begins at Sunset Point and descends through a slot canyon into the Bryce Canyon Amphitheater

Day Two

  • Swamp Canyon Loop, 4.3 miles, strenuous; This is a lesser known and populated loop, just off the Under the Rim Trail
  • Riggs Spring Loop, 8.5 miles, strenuous; This high elevation hike begins at Rainbow Point and travels through forests at the edges of the hoodoos and hogbacks.
  • (Optional, based on time) Mossy Cave, .8 miles, easy; this easy short walk along the stream ends at a mossy waterfall, and would be a beautiful, easy way to end a hard day of hiking

Backcountry Itinerary

In Bryce Canyon National Park, Hwy 63 continues south, past the famous red rock hoodoos, to more open meadow areas. Here, visitors will find backcountry hiking that is customizable to the amount of time or distance preferred.

From Bryce Point, the Under the Rim Trail runs south 22.9 miles until Rainbow and Yovimpa Points. There are several trails that intersect the Under the Rim Trail that lead back to Hwy 63, as the highway runs parallel to the trail. Hikers have the option to begin the hike at any of these points and hike back, have a car waiting for them at another point, in order to drive back.

Here are the intersecting trails along the Under the Rim Trail and Hwy 63 and their distances:

  • Bryce Point Trailhead to Swamp Canyon Trailhead; 11.6 miles
  • Swamp Canyon Trailhead to Whiteman Trailhead; 3.6 miles
  • Whiteman Trailhead to Rainbow Point Trailhead; 7.9 miles

Additionally, at the end, the Under the Rim Trail, Rainbow point, and Yovimpa Points form a 8.6 mile loop, Riggs Spring Loop, that lead back to each other and the original trail.

If hikers wish to camp at any point along the trail, there are several designated camp sites, and it is permissible with permit.

Visit the map at www.nps.gov, to better understand the trails and backcountry options.

Canyonlands National Park Itinerary

Half Day/ Auto Tour Itinerary

Canyonlands National Park is divided into three districts, which do not connect directly to each other, and are accessible from different directions. Visitors with only a few hours or half a day to explore the park should drive north from Moab, UT on US 191, then drive east on UT 313 to the park’s main and most popular district, Island in the Sky.

Island in the Sky:

  • Once on UT 313, drive to the Island in the Sky Visitor Center. There visitors can access a park orientation video, exhibits, information, and water.
  • Continue driving south to the end of the park’s paved road, at Grand Point Overlook.
  • Drive North and take the west (left) fork to Green River Overlook.
  • If time permits, drive to either short hike, Whale Rock Trail (1-mile), or Mesa Arch Trail (.5-mile). Whale Rock is several miles north up the western fork, and Mesa Arch is back towards the Visitor Center, just past the fork in the road.

Full Day Itinerary

Visitors wanting to spend a day at Canyonlands National Park should still stay in the Island in the Sky district, due to time and opportunity to view some of the park’s most iconic scenery. Visitors can add to the Half Day Itinerary by including a few more short hikes and more Overlooks.

After stopping by the Visitor Center:

  • Stop by the first overlook, Shafer Canyon Overlook, located just past the Visitor Center.
  • Continue south until the short .5-mile nature trail for Mesa Arch, located just before the fork in the road.
  • After that short hike, turn onto the west fork and drive to Upheaval Dome Overlook, located at the most northerly point on the west fork.
  • Drive back south less than a mile to Whale Rock, another short 1-mile hike.
  • Continue back south on the west fork to the Green River Overlook.
  • Drive south past the fork towards Grand View Overlook, stopping shortly at any of the three other overlooks along the way.
  • At Grand View Overlook, consider taking the 2-mile trail that is an easy walk along the edge of the canyon to the end of the mesa.
  • Drive back north toward the Visitor Center or campground of your choice.

Two Day Itinerary

Spending two days at Canyonlands National Park means visitors will get to see more of the park, and have the option of visiting another district. The Island in the Sky district is the most accessible and popular, and it is highly recommended travelers start there. Visitors can Complete the Full Day Itinerary, listed above, during the first day of their visit, and then enter the Needles district the second day. The Maze District is not recommended for anyone spending less than 2-3 full days, as it is only accessible by 4WD vehicles from roads heading from the west, and only offers long backpacking trails.

The Needles District is accessed from UT 211, which intersects US 191 south of Moab, Ut, and offers several short trails and overlooks, as does Island in the Sky.

While in The Needles:

  • Stop by the Visitor Center near the entrance to the park, to see exhibits, acquire water, and gather any important, current park information.
  • Stop at Wooden Shoe Arch Overlook.
  • Drive west through the park to the Big Spring Canyon Overlook.
  • Consider taking the trail for Confluence Overlook:
    • Confluence Overlook is a strenuous 10-mile (round trip) hike that crosses plateau to cliffside and overlooks the confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers. The trail begins at Big Spring Canyon Overlook, travels for several miles and joins an unpaved 4WD road that leads mainly northwest to the overlook.
  • Drive back the way you came through the park and take the loop road (right before, just south of Wooden Shoe Arch Overlook) that leads to Cave Spring.
    • Off of the loop road there is an unpaved (2WD vehicle) road that will lead to Cave Spring.
    • Cave Spring is an easy, .6-mile looped trail that requires two ladder climbs to an old cowboy camp and prehistoric petroglyphs.
    • Drive back along the unpaved road to the loop road, and continue northeast until it meets the main park road again, heading toward the visitor center.
  • If you have time, on your way out of the park, just south of the visitor center, stop by the Roadside Ruin trail, an easy .3 mile (round trip) walk to an ancestral Puebloan grainary.

Backcountry Itinerary

Permits are required for all river-use and overnight trips in the backcountry, and often run out quickly during peak seasons (spring and autumn). Travelers should try to make reservations in advance. Note that pets are not allowed in the backcountry, even in cars.

Most of the backcountry hiking and backpacking is located in the Maze district, the most remote of the three districts in Canyonlands National Park, and includes some of the most remote hiking in the country. Hiking in the maze requires a 4WD vehicle, or if driving a 2WD vehicle, long hikes to overlooks and through canyons.

It is highly recommended, due to the length of most hikes, and the length of time it takes to reach the Maze, that visitors spend a minimum of 2-3 days, and plan on backpacking overnight. The hikes are strenuous and long, with very few trail markers (cairns), resources, or people for miles around. Travelers should make certain they know the area, carry enough water, and carry a 25-foot (or more) rope for tricky spots/lowering packs.

Here are options for hiking in this backcountry:

  • Recommended map.
  • Maze Overlook: East off UT 24, a 2WD unpaved road leads east to the Hans Flat Ranger Station. Park at the station if in a DWD vehicle. If 4WD, drive 2.5 miles southeast past the station (take the left, going north, fork) and park at North Point Road junction. Backpack 15 miles to the the Maze Overlook.
    • At Maze Overlook, hikers can camp, view the expansive view of the canyons, and see the iconic Chocolate Drops formation.
    • This hike requires some minor technical climbing, using a rope (mainly to lower packs), and crosses over steep slides and drop-offs.
  • Harvest Scene: In a 4WD vehicle, drive 2.5 miles past Hans Flat Ranger Station, and take a right (south) onto Gordon Flats Road. Drive 12.1 miles, then turn east down the Flint Trail switchbacks for 2.8 miles to Maze Overlook Road. Take a right and drive south through the Waterhole Flat for 3.5 miles to a 4-way junction with Doll House Road. Drive left (northeast) towards the Doll House and Land of Standing Rocks. Continue on this road for about 17 miles until you reach Chimney Rock Camp.
    • Park at the east end of camp and take the major trailhead (look for a string of rock cairn markers). Take the right trail that takes you on the loop in a counterclockwise direction.
    • Keep a topographic map on you at all times, and watch for cairns that mark the path, as side canyons can easily confuse hikers.
    • After about 3.5 miles, the trail can be confusing; the path takes a sharp turn left and makes a steep descent into the dry wash of a canyon. Then after about a mile in this canyon, you reach a junction of 4 canyons; take the canyon that is a sharp left. After .5 miles in this canyon, you will see Harvest Scene.
      • Harvest scene is one of the most famous rock art depictions in the world, lasting over 3,000 years.
      • Continue past Harvest Scene (heading south), down the unnamed canyon, a side canyon to Horse Canyon. Walk 3 miles up Petroglyph Fork, and climb to the canyon rim.
      • From the top of the ridge, it’s only about a mile back to Chimney Rock Camp.
Capitol Reef National Park Itinerary Ideas

Half Day/Auto Touring Itinerary

If you come in from Hwy 24, stop by the visitor center to learn about current park conditions, weather, and to check out the exhibits and park history.

Next, consider setting off one or two driving tours. The park offers many scenic roads in each of its three districts, the Scenic Drive District, Cathedral District, and Waterpocket District.

Any of these three drives are recommended:

Scenic Drive; located in the Scenic Drive District, next to the Visitor Center.

  • Scenic Drive is a 2WD paved road that begins at the park’s visitor center and continues for 7.9 miles. Dirt roads intersect this drive that lead to various washes and canyons, such as Grand Wash and Capitol Gorge. In good weather, these roads have been able to accommodate 2WD. After the drive, travelers must drive back on the same road.
  • $10/vehicle is charged for driving the Scenic Drive, at a self-pay station just south of the campground.

Cathedral Valley Loop or Hartnet Road/Cathedral Road Loop; located in the Cathedral District, in the northern part of the park.

  • This is a 4WD unpaved loop that may even require high-clearance to cross the fremont river at the start of Hartnet Road. Make sure you begin the loop starting with Hartnet Road, if you are unsure of your vehicle’s ability to cross safely.
  • Hartnet road begins 11.7 miles east of the park’s visitor center, off Hwy 24. It travels 27.8 miles to the junction, where you will take a sharp right, continue on this road to the next junction (5 miles), where you will continue straight on Cathedral Road. It provides views Lower South Desert Overlook, Upper South Desert Overlook, and Upper Cathedral Valley Overlook.
  • Cathedral Road intersects Hwy 24 18.5 east of the visitor center. It runs about 26 miles to the junction. Along the way, it provides views of Temple of the Sun and Temple of the Moon.
  • Travelers who wish not to cross the river, or are shorter on time, can choose to just travel Cathedral Road to the Temple of the Sun and Moon, and return on the same road.                                                                                                                                                                            

Burr Trail Road; located in the Waterpocket District in the south part of the park.

  • The Burr Trail Road extends from Boulder, UT (on Hwy 12, southwest of the main part of the park), through Capitol Reef National Park, and continues south with Notom-Bullfrog Road until Bullfrog Marina in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. From Boulder to the park, the road is paved, but inside the park and east of the park, the road is unpaved.
  • Inside the park, the road runs for just over 8 miles and includes a spectacular set of switchbacks (4WD vehicles).
  • Half-day travelers may have the time to drive from Boulder to the the switchbacks in the park, and back again.

Full Day Itinerary

Spending a full day in Capitol Reef National Park will ensure that you can add a little hiking to your tour of the park. Here is a recommended itinerary for one day in the park:

  • Drive the Scenic Drive road ($10 fee) for about 8 miles.
    • This paved road is picturesque and presents wonderful views of the park.
  • At the end of the Scenic Drive, hike the easy Capitol Gorge trail, 2 miles round-trip.
  • Return north on Scenic Drive, towards the visitor center, and turn east on Hwy 24.
  • In 1 or 2 miles, stop at the trailhead for Hickman Bridge. This trail is almost 2 miles round-trip, moderately easy, and provides views of the 133-foot natural bridge, and excellent canyon views.  
  • Next, continue east on Hwy 24
    • If you have 4WD: continue to Hartnet Road (on the left, north), an unpaved road about 11.7 miles past the visitor center. Only take this road if you have a 4WD vehicle that can cross the river. If so, you can continue this approximately 55 mile loop, called Cathedral Loop, with spectacular overlooks.
    • If you have 2WD (or are short on time): drive about 7 more miles past Hartnet Road to the next unpaved road on your left, Cathedral Road.
      • Drive this road for about 17 miles to the Temple of the Sun and Temple of the Moon overlooks, then return the same way.

Two Day Itinerary

During the first day in Capitol Reef, complete the itinerary listed above for a full day. Adding a second day will mean travelers can experience some more hiking and views of the park.

Consider choosing 2 strenuous hikes, 3 or 4 short, easy hikes, or a combination of any. All are located in the central part of the park, close to the visitor center.

  • Chimney Rock Loop: this 7.2 mile (round-trip), strenuous trail offers panoramas  of the iconic Waterpocket Fold cliffs, and brilliant sunsets.
  • Golden Throne: this 4 mile (round-trip), strenuous trail offers views of the iconic Golden Throne and of Capitol Gorge.
  • Cassidy Arch: this 3.4 (round-trip), strenuous trail leads up slickrock to the arch and provides great canyon views.
  • Cohab Canyon: this 3.4 (round-trip), moderate trail provides views of Fruita, hidden canyons, and panoramic scenes.
  • Sunset Point: this .8 mile (round-trip), easy trail provides brilliant sunsets and spanning views.
  • Grand Wash: this 4.4 mile (round-trip), easy trail runs along a deep, narrow canyon.
  • Goosenecks: this .2 mile (round-trip), easy trail offers incredible views of the canyons.

Backcountry Itinerary

Backcountry permits are required for all overnight stays in the backcountry. Additionally, campers are only allowed 3 nights in the same camp.

Here are three options for backcountry hiking, all located off the Notom-Bullfrog Road:

  • Cottonwood Wash: 3.4 miles of rugged slot canyon. Often comprises hikers climbing over stuck boulders in the canyon, through water, or possibly even swimming through the canyon.
  • Burro Wash: 3.3 miles of slot canyon, similar to Cottonwood Wash.
  • Sheets Gulch: 6.7 miles of canyon. Though longer than the other two hikes, this trail is easier to explore, as there are only a few drop-offs and shallower pools to wade through. A natural arch and petrified wood are some perks of this hike.
Golf the Grand Circle #2

Sample Itinerary #2 – Golf the Grand Circle

Gateway Cities: Salt Lake City, Utah; Phoenix, Arizona

Itinerary Highlights:

Bryce Canyon

Zion National Park

Glen Canyon Recreational Area

Antelope Canyon

Grand Canyon National Park

Lowell Observatory

Museum of Northern Arizona

Day One: Arrive in Salt Lake City, Utah

Thanksgiving Point Golf

Bountiful Ridge Golf Course

Homestead Golf Course

Valley View

Wingpointe Golf Course

Overnight Salt Lake City, Utah

Desert Pearl Inn

 Day Two: Salt Lake City, Utah – Bryce, Utah

Cherokee Springs Golf Course – 18 holes

Bryce Canyon

Overnight Bryce, Utah

Best Western Ruby’s Inn

Day Three: Bryce, Utah – Kanab, Utah

Coral Cliffs Golf Course – 18 holes

Zion National Park

Overnight Kanab or Springdale, Utah

Best Western Red Hills

Best Western Zion Park Inn

Day Four: Kanab, Utah – Page, Arizona

Glen Canyon Recreational Area

Lake Powell National Golf Course – 18 Holes

Antelope Canyon Tour

Overnight Page, Arizona

  • Lake Powell Resorts
  • Lake Powell Lodge
  • Lake Powell Days Inn & Suites
  • Quality Inn Page
  • Best Western Arizona Inn

Day Five: Page, Arizona – Grand Canyon, Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park

Lowell Observatory

Overnight Flagstaff, Arizona

Radisson Flagstaff

Little America

Embassy Suites

Hampton Inn & Suites

Day Six: Flagstaff, Arizona – Wickenburg, Arizona

Museum of Northern Arizona

Los Caballeros Golf Club – 18 holes

Overnight Wickenburg, Arizona

Best Western Rancho Grande

Day Seven: Wickenburg, Arizona – Phoenix, Arizona

Depart Phoenix

Overnight (optional)

Grand Canyonland Tour

GCA Members:

Grand Canyonland Tour

Stops:

  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Arches National Park, UT
  • Moab, UT
  • Canyonlands National Park, UT
  • Dead Horse Point State Park, UT
  • Capitol Reef area, UT
  • Capitol Reef National Park, UT
  • Scenic Highway 12, UT
  • Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
  • Zion National Park, UT
  • Springdale, UT
  • St. George, UT
  • Glen Canyon Dam, AZ
  • Page, AZ
  • Lake Powell, UT/ AZ
  • Rainbow Bridge National Monument, UT
  • Colorado River, UT
  • Cameron Trading Post, AZ
  • Grand Canyon South Rim, AZ
  • Las Vegas, NV

Members located in Salt Lake City, UT:

  • Lewis Brothers Stages, Inc.
  • Salt Lake City Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Utah Division of Parks & Recreation
  • Utah Travel Council

Members located in Moab, UT:

  • Aarchway Inn
  • Big Horn Lodge
  • Canyonlands by Night & Day
  • Fry Canyon Lodge
  • Gonzo Inn
  • Grand County Travel Council
  • Moab KOA
  • Moab Valley Inn
  • Moab’s Skyway
  • O.A.R.S.
  • Redstone Inn

Members located in Capitol Reef area (Torrey/ Bicknell, UT):

  • Best Western Capitol Reef- Torrey
  • Holiday Inn Express Capitol Reef- Torrey
  • Wonderland Inn- Torrey
  • Capitol Reef Country/ Wayne County Travel Council- Bicknell

Members located in Bryce, UT:

  • Best Western Ruby’s Inn
  • Foster’s Inc.

Members located in Panguitch, UT (Near Bryce Canyon National Park):

  • Garfield Travel Council

Members located in Cedar City/ Brian Head, UT (Near Zion National Park):

  • Abbey Inn- Cedar City
  • Bryce/ Zion/ Grand Canyon N. Rim Lodges- Cedar City
  • Dixie National Forest- Cedar City
  • Holiday Inn- Cedar City
  • Iron County Tourism & Convention Bureau- Cedar City
  • Utah Shakespearean Festival- Cedar City
  • Cedar Breaks Lodge- Brian Head

Members located in Springdale, UT:

  • Best Western Zion Park Inn
  • Zion Canyon Giant Screen Theatre

Members located in St. George, UT:

  • Best Western Abbey Inn & Suites
  • Best Western Coral Hills
  • Holiday Inn St. George
  • Washington County Travel Bureau

Members located in Kanab, UT (Near Bryce/ St. George/ Springdale, En Route to Page/ Lake Powell):

  • Best Western Red Hills
  • Frontier Movie Town
  • Utah’s Kane County, The Greatest Earth on Show

Members located in Page/ Lake Powell Region, AZ:

  • ARAMARK Lake Powell/ Wahweap Lodge & Marina
  • Lake Powell Days Inn & Suites
  • Page Lake Powell Chamber of Commerce
  • Ramada Inn Page Lake Powell

Members located in Cameron/ Gray Mountain/ Tuba City, AZ:

  • Cameron Trading Post- Cameron
  • Anasazi Inn- Gray Mountain
  • Greyhills Inn- Tuba City

Members located in Grand Canyon, AZ:

  • Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn
  • Canyon Star Restaurant & Saloon
  • Grand Canyon Airlines
  • Grand Canyon Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites
  • Grand Canyon National Park Lodges
  • Grand Hotel
  • Native American Experience
  • Roadway Inn Red Feather Lodge

Members located in Las Vegas, NV:

  • Scenic Airlines- North Las Vegas
Monument Valley Itinerary Ideas

Visitors in Monument Valley for only a few hours should begin their time with a trip to the Monument Valley Visitor Center inside the Tribal Park. Any permits can be obtained there, and current conditions and information is available.

Next, visitors can:

  • Auto-tour Valley Drive, a 17-mile dirt road (2WD capable) which begins at the visitor center and runs along the cliffs and mesas.
    • It offers great views of Totem Pole, the skinny spire that towers 450 ft off the ground.
    • There are 11 stops along the drive, and it typically takes about 2 hours to complete the loop.
  • Walk along the Wildcat Trail, the only official trail in the park, that can be accessed without a guide.
    • It is a 3.2-mile fairly flat loop that will take hikers 1 of 2 hours. It circles the west Mitten Butte and offers excellent views of the highly photographed Mittens and Merrick Buttes.
  • Visitors wishing to hike, may hire a guide to take them on more paths, jeep rides, etc.
  • Visitors may also spend time identifying the many named buttes and formations, as well as looking for wildlife.

Full Day Itinerary

Due to the Tribal Park only having one road/scenic drive and one official hiking trail, visitors wanting to spend significant time exploring the valley will have to purchase a permit to explore out of the borders of the park. There are some arches, cliff dwellings, and rock art to be seen, but visitors will have to tour with guides, or know the area beforehand to hike directly to them.

Visitors can:

  • Stop by the Monument Valley Visitor Center, obtain any information or permits needed.
  • Drive the 17-mile Valley Drive loop, with 11 observation stops
  • Identify each of the named monuments in the valley, using a brochure:
    • East and West Mittens
    • Merrick Butte and Mitchell Mesa
    • Elephant Butte
    • The Three Sisters
    • Camel Butte
    • The Hub
    • Rain God Mesa
    • Bird Spring and Sand Springs
    • Totem Pole
    • The Yei Bi Chei
    • Artist’s Point
    • Spearhead Mesa
    • North Window
    • The Thumb
  • Hike the only official trail, Wildcat trail
    • It is a 3.2-mile fairly flat loop that will take hikers 1 of 2 hours. It circles the west Mitten Butte and offers excellent views of the highly photographed Mittens and Merrick Buttes.
  • Head toward the San Juan River area of the park, popular for hiking with permits, and explore the vast space and beautiful scenery.

Two Day Itinerary

Visitors may complete the full day itinerary, and though there is plenty to see and do for two full days in Monument Valley, it is recommended that it be done with a hired guide. The full day itinerary lists basically all visitors can do on their own, without a guide. Otherwise, visitors can explore more on their own outside the park, visit the open air market near the intersection with US 163, or head towards the Four Corners Monument area, or other nearby attractions.

Backcountry Itinerary

Backcountry hiking must be done with permit, outside the borders of the park, or with a hired guide.

National Park Itinerary In and Out of Salt Lake City

National Park Itinerary

In and Out of Salt Lake City

Day One

Arrive Salt Lake City

Day Two

Take the day to tour Salt Lake City and then overnight Salt Lake City

Day Three

Depart Salt Lake City and arrive Capitol Reef National Park

Overnight in Torrey, Utah

Day Four

Depart Torrey arrive Bryce Canyon National Park and Cedar Breaks National Monument via Scenic Byway 12.  Kanab, Utah will mark your overnight accommodations.

Day Five

Depart Kanab arrive Grand Canyon National Park and stay overnight Page, Arizona.

Day Six

Depart Page spend day on Lake Powell

Day Seven

Depart Lake Powell arrive Mesa Verde National Park via Scenic Byway 163 and 160. Stay overnight at Mesa Verde National Park.

Day Eight

Depart Mesa Verde National Park via Silverton, Colorado arrive Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park spend the evening in Montrose, Colorado.

Day Nine

Depart Montrose arrive Grand Junction, Colorado and tour the Colorado National Monument. Spend the night in Grand Junction.

Day Ten

Depart Grand Junction and head back to Utah where you will arrive at Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. Spend the night Moab.

Day Eleven

This day has remained open to allow for flexibility in the itinerary.

Day Twelve

Depart Salt Lake City

SouthWest Adventure Tours 12 Day Hiking Tour

382 E 650 S Circle
Cedar City, UT 84720
Office: 435-590-5864
Fax: 206-350-9872

jason@southwestadventreutours.com
www.southwestadventuretours.com

Day 1 – Pick up at Las Vegas Airport and travel to Zion National Park. (3.5 hours) Lodging at Majestic View Lodge or similar.

Day 2 – Hiking in Zion National Park. Trails include the following:

  • Virgin River Narrows. Explore one of the most famous slot canyons in the world. We travel from the start of the trail at the Temple of Sinewava up into the Narrows. We will proceed as far as you would like into this wonderful slot canyon. We recommend you hike at least to the Orderville Gulch confluence (3 miles). 60% of the time will be spent in the water, 40% will be spent walking on the banks of the river.
  • Emerald Pools. This hike offers those not interested in hiking the river an opportunity to walk on an paved trail with beautiful vistas of Zion Canyon, waterfalls, wildlife, and plant. There are 3 pools to hike to, lower, middle, and upper. It is a 4 mile loop to do all 3 + walk through the Grotto, but well worth the time.
  • Weeping Wall. This hike is a wonderful chance to see the largest seep spring in Zion National Park and see the amazing hanging gardens that grow from it. There are also beautiful traverteen formations that have been created by the spring that cover the hillside. .5 miles round trip.
  • East Canyon Overlook. This is a great moderate hike that offers an individual the opportunity to enjoy the vistas of Zion National Park from above. You will hike a 2 mile round trip trail from the East tunnel entrance to the overlook 2500 ft above the canyon floor.

Day 3 – Hiking in Zion National Park. Trails include the following:

  • Angels Landing. This trail is one of the most famous in Zion. Not for the faint of heart, it ascends the canyon wall to Scouts Lookout. From there you will follow the crest of the rock formation to the top of Angels Landing. At the top of the landing, you will enjoy a beautiful view of Zion Canyon to the north and south. 5.5 miles round trip.
  • Canyon Overlook. This hike we will begin from outside the park. We will hike through Echo Canyon and climb a moderate elevation to the overlook. This hike will allow you to look down into Zion canyon from over 3000 ft above the canyon floor. You will look down onto Angels Landing, be even with the Great White Throne, and experience the majesty and grandeur of the canyon itself. 5-6 miles round trip
  • Cable Mountain. This is an opportunity to experience the thrill that the original settlers enjoyed and they lowered lumber/trees from the high plateau into the valley floor via cables. We will hike up to the cable works still standing on the canyon rim and look down into the valley below. 5 miles round trip.
  • Temple of Sinewava River Walk. This is a hike along the Virgin River at the entrance of the narrows. 2 miles round trip will little elevation gain and loss, this hike will give you a small sample of hiking in the narrows, without having to walk through all the water to do it. You will also enjoy many unique micro-ecosystems that exist along the canyon walls as you traverse the area.

Day 4 – Travel to Bryce Canyon National Park (2 hours) Lodging for the night at Ruby’s Inn, Bryce Canyon Pines Resort or similar.

  • Depart Zion after a lazy morning and travel to Bryce Canyon National Park. Possible early check in. Afterwards enter into the park.
  • Bryce Point to Sunrise/Fairyland Point Hike. The rim walk hike offers each individual the opportunity to travel around the majestic and scenic rim of the Bryce Amphitheater. It offers beautiful vistas of the surrounding valleys and the Aquarius Plateau along with the opportunity to explore the unique scenery inside the amphitheater itself. This hike will be from 3-6 miles in length and offer each individual the chance to go at their pace and enjoy themselves.

Day 5 – Hiking in Bryce Canyon National Park

  • Today, we will enjoy the chance to watch the sunrise at the Amphitheater. We will do a morning hike, Queens Garden Navajo Loop. Afterwards, we will offer other trails in the park. Descriptions below:
  • Queens Garden Navajo Loop trail. This 3 mile round trip loop offers each individual a great opportunity to explore below the rim and walk among the hoodoos and other formations that make Bryce Canyon famous. This trail descends and ascends 600 ft in elevation. While not strenuous, it will offer a challenge for all who traverse it. You will not regret making the journey.
  • Tower Bridge Trail. The 3 mile hike offers the opportunity to see bristlecone pine trees, one of the oldest trees on earth, the china wall, and a wonderful arch/bridge along the way. Well worth the hike. For those interested, we can extend this into a 8 mile Fairyland Loop hike.
  • Mossy Cave/Waterfall hike. This is an easy 1 mile round trip hike to a mossy cave/alcove nestled below the rim. It also offers a great opportunity in the afternoon to take a dip in the east fork of the Sevier river as it cascades down the canyon.
  • Bristlecone Loop Trail. This trail, at Rainbow and Yovimpa Points offers great views of the Southeast section of Bryce Canyon. On a clear day you can see Lake Powell and Page, AZ in the distance. This trail takes you along the rim to a 1700 year old bristlecone tree and others that are scattered along the rim.

Day 6 – Hiking in Bryce Canyon National Park. We will spend the morning finishing exploring the area before departing after lunch to Page, AZ. (3.5 hours). We will hike a few spots in Page. Lodging in Page Courtyard Marriott or similar

  • Horseshoe Bend. This is a hike everyone should make as they travel through the area. 2 miles round trip, this hike offers you the opportunity to witness the Colorado River 1300 ft below you and see the beautiful 270 degree bend it has carved around the sandstone cliffs. Best seen right before sunset.
  • Antelope Canyon, lower or upper. This may seem like a short hike, but the .5 to 1 mile hike is well worth the visit. You will walk through one of the most famous and picturesque slot canyons in the world. It is a must see for anyone that visits this area. We recommend lower antelope canyon for anyone that can handle a few stairs. Upper antelope canyon are for those that want just a flat trail to walk on. Both are amazing.

Day 7 – Travel to Monument Valley (3.5 hours). Lodging at Kayenta Monument Valley Inn or similar.

  • Monument Valley is an amazing place to explore and enjoy. Today we will take a private back country tour with Navajo Guides. We will enter areas of the Valley you cannot travel to without a Navajo Guide. This 4-6 hour tour will allow you to hike, sightsee, and enjoy one of the most photographed valleys in America.

Day 8 – Travel to Grand Canyon (4.5 hours). Lodging in Maswick or Yavapi Lodge or similar. These are both inside the park, within a .5 mile walk from the rim.

  • As we enter the park, we will visit the main viewpoints along the way. We will arrive at our hotel and let each of you enjoy the rest of the evening walking along the rim or preparing for the great hikes tomorrow.

Day 9 – Hiking in Grand Canyon National Park. We will offer the following options for the group:

  • Grand Canyon Bright Angel Trail/South Kiabab Trail to Phantom Ranch overnight hike. This will be your opportunity to descend below the rim and explore the vastness and depth of the Grand Canyon. You will hike 7-9 miles below the Rim to Phantom Ranch where you will lodge for the night in their bunk houses. You will only need to carry lunch, water, snacks, and a change of clothes on this hike. We can have these brought down for us on a mule if you do not want to pack them yourselves. Lodging, dinner, and breakfast will be provided at Phantom Ranch. You will ascend back up the trail to the rim on the following day.
  • Rim walk. The Grand Canyon has over 30 miles of trails along the rim of the canyon, stretching from Hermits Rest to Desert View. We will hike along the rim, enjoying the vistas, flora, and fauna that is found in this region. We recommend the rimwalk from Bright Angel Lodge to South Kiabab Trailhead. The shuttle bus will return you to the start of the hike or anywhere else you want to go in the park.

Day 10 – Hiking in Grand Canyon National Park

  • Below the rim hike. For those interested, we can descend below the rim for a short hike to some of the wonderful areas and get the experience of traversing the canyon. 3-5 miles round trip.
  • Rim walk, Hermits rest. This area of the park offers individuals the option to explore a less commercialized section of the park. Walk along the rim, or descend below the rim and enjoy your day.
  • For those that descended below the rim, we will ascend the 7-9 miles up out of the canyon today.

As an option, we can travel to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon instead of the south rim of the canyon. This is less commercialized and only has a small portion of the visitors that the south rim has. We can offer great hiking and wildlife viewing options on the north rim, but the guests will enjoy a more private experience at the canyon.

Day 11 – Travel to Las Vegas with stops at Lake Meade and Hoover Dam – overnight Las Vegas (6-7 hours)

  • Today, we will travel from the Grand Canyon to Las Vegas. Along the way we will make a stop at Hoover Dam. We will walk along the dam, and for those interested tour the Dam itself. We will then finish our drive to Las Vegas.

Day 12 – Evening transfer to the airport.

Southwest Adventure Tours 12 day tour

382 E 650 S Circle
Cedar City, UT 84720
Office: 435-590-5864
Fax: 206-350-9872

jason@southwestadventreutours.com
www.southwestadventuretours.com

Day 1: Arrive in Las Vegas and depart for Zion National Park. Depending on time, explore the park before returning to lodging for the night in Springdale, UT

Day 2: Here is a list of options for exploring Zion. Angels Landing, Canyon Overlook, Hidden Canyon, Emerald Pools, The Narrows (Full Day into the canyon!), East Canyon Overlook, possibly Subway. Lodging in Springdale, UT

Day 3: Experience more of Zion National Park with more hikes within the canyon and also visits to Kolob Fingers and hikes to Red Cliffs, Kannaraville Falls, and other slot canyons in the area. Also a visit to Kolob Terrace overlooking Zion Canyon. We could hike up into the Subway from the bottom (3 Miles) if you are not interested in the full 9 mile hike. You visit the best part without most of the work. Return to Springdale for one more night.

Day 4: Depart Zion and travel toward Page, AZ. On the way to Page, we will take a trip into Vermillion Cliff/Grand Staircase area for some hiking/sightseeing. If permits can be obtained, we will hike into “The Wave” or “South Coyote Buttes”. We can also visit White Pockets, Wire Pass, and other areas in the Grand Staircase area that are geologically unique, beautiful, and remote (Not visited very often). After a full day of exploring the area, we continue to Page for the night.

Day 5: Kayaking. Full day tour of Lake Powell. We will visit slot canyons and other remote areas on the lake before this day is done. Lodging in Page, AZ

Day 6: Secret Canyon Tour. We will take this tour in the morning along with the added 4th canyon tour that is available. You will experience the beauty of Antelope Canyon with a small private tour of these two slot canyons along with a hummer ride! Afterwards we will depart south toward the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. We will hit the favorite viewpoints on the way in. For those interested, we can spend the afternoon/evening hiking down into the canyon on Bright Angel Trail or Kiabab Trail. Also a visit to Hermits Rest is in order. Lodging for the night at Grand Canyon.

  • An alternative here is that you could take a mule ride into the canyon and lodge at Phantom Ranch for the night in their cabins. They provide a wonderful dinner and breakfast along with comfortable lodging. This is a great way to see the canyon from top to bottom without hiking the whole thing.

Day 7: After further exploring the canyon and a sunrise walk along the Rim (Very beautiful and offers a great experience for all. You will overlook the Bright Angel Trail and look down into the canyon to the bridge crossing the Colorado River at Phantom Ranch. Usually you can see the mule trains preparing for their early departure up the canyon and hikers departing from Phantom Ranch. We will then depart for Sedona. Along the way we will take the scenic route into Flagstaff through the San Francisco Peaks. We will pass very near to Humphrey’s Peak, the highest in the range. Visits will be made to Wupatki National Monument and Sunset Crater National Monument. These are both near or in the Painted desert and worth the visit. Afterwards, we will descend into Sedona through Oak Creek Canyon. Lodging for the night in Sedona.

Day 8: Touring Sedona and the area around it. Oak Creek Canyon, Slide Rock, The Vortex, Chapel of the Holy Cross, and other areas. A historic tour of Sedona is also a great way to spend the afternoon. A visit to the arts village and other areas are a great way to round out the day. Lodging in Sedona.

Day 9: Today we will explore the Mogollon Rim. This area has many hikes and walks through scenic and historic areas. Anazazi/Ancesteral Pueblo ruins and petroglyphs are all accessible and scattered throughout the area. We can also visit some of the less famous canyons that area scattered throughout the area. If you are interested, we can provide you with a jeep tour or ATV ride through the area. Lodging in Sedona.

Day 10: Free Day.

Day 11: Free Day. Depart late afternoon for the 5 hour drive to Las Vegas. (If you want an alternative, you could fly out of Phoenix, AZ. It is a 2-3 hour drive from Sedona.) Lodging in Las Vegas

Day 12: Vegas! Return flight home.

Southwest Adventure Tours 3 Park in 4 Day Tour

382 E 650 S Circle
Cedar City, UT 84720
Office: 435-590-5864
Fax: 206-350-9872

jason@southwestadventreutours.com 
www.southwestadventuretours.com

Day 1: Pick up in SLC. Transfer to Moab. Drive into Canyonlands for the afternoon. Visit Mesa Arch, Buck Canyon, Grand Viewpoint. You will have the opportunity to take in the grand vistas and beautiful canyons, monoliths, spires, mesas, and buttes that are scattered throughout this region. We will enjoy views of the Colorado and Green Rivers as they continue to carve out the base of the canyon. We continue our drive to Moab in the late afternoon for a relaxing evening.

Day 2: Travel to Monument Valley. On the way, stop at the Sand Island Petroglyph site. Also visit the Goosenecks of the San Juan River. Continue past Mexican Hat into Monument Valley. Enjoy lunch at the View restaurant overlooking the Valley, then travel into the valley for a 2-3 hour tour with stops at all the great viewpoints made famous throughout the years by hundreds and thousands of movies, TV shows, commercials, and other advertisements. We will return to Moab late in the afternoon for another relaxing evening in town.

Day 3: Today we will explore Arches National Park. For those interested, we can hike up to Delicate Arch, enjoy counting the many arches that are scattered throughout the windows section, and then explore Devils Garden and a chance to see the largest arch in the world, Landscape Arch. We will enjoy an afternoon of free time in Moab before gathering for a sunset hummer tour overlooking Moab.

Day 4: This morning, we will enjoy an early morning walk to Morning Glory Bridge or Corona Arch before returning to Salt Lake City. We will arrive in the early afternoon.

Tour Includes:

– Tour Guide

– Transportation

– Park Entrance Fees

– Water/Snacks

– Lodging in 2.5 star hotels

– 3 Breakfasts

– 2 Lunches

– Sunset Hummer Ride

SouthWest Adventure Tours 4 Parks in 4 Days Tour

382 E 650 S Circle
Cedar City, UT 84720
Office: 435-590-5864
Fax: 206-350-9872

jason@southwestadventreutours.com
www.southwestadventuretours.com

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Zion National Park
  • Grand Canyon National Park North Rim
  • Captiol Reef National Park
  • Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Knowledgable Guide
  • Comfortable Transportation
  • 3 Breakfasts
  • 3 Lunches
  • IMAX Movie
  • Lodging in 2.5 – 3 star hotels
  • Available May 15th to November 26th

TOUR ITINERARY:

Day 1: This morning we will pick you up at your hotel and depart for Zion National Park.  This unique park will give you the opportunity to traverse a canyon over 3,000 ft deep.  As we enter this canyon you will be amazed at the diversity that exists within this National Park.  Along with the red and white monoliths that tower around you, there are many unique plants and animals that we will interact with while inside the park.  As we explore Zion you will have the opportunity to visit the Temple of Sinewava, East Canyon Overlook, Weeping Wall, Angels Landing, Emerald Pools, and many of the other areas within the park.  In the late afternoon, we will enjoy the IMAX movie, “Treasure of the Gods”.  Afterwards, we will enjoy a wonderful dinner and lodging in nearby Springdale, UT.

Day 2: After a relaxing night and a wonderful breakfast, we will depart Zion Canyon and climb over 2,000 ft up the east canyon and through the Zion Canyon Tunnel.  As we travel to the east entrance of the park, we will experience the beautiful red and white rock layers, ponderosa pine trees, and slot canyons.  We will then travel down Highway 89 to Grand Canyon National Park.  On the way we will pass through Little Hollywood, Kanab Utah, and then to one of my favorite overlooks of the Grand Staircase.  We will be able to see Bryce Canyon and the Aquarius Plateau, Zion National Park, and the Orderville Cliffs.

After a break at Jacob’s Lake, we continue our drive through one of the largest Ponderosa Pine groves in the US.  As we enter into Grand Canyon National Park, we travel to Point Imperial, Cape Royal, and then back to the North Rim Lodge and Bright Angel Point.  This park is remote and less visited than the South Rim.  We will enjoy the canyon with little interruption from other visitors.  One of our favorite afternoon activities is sitting on the deck overlooking the Grand Canyon. Once we finish, we will travel back up Highway 89 to the gates of Bryce Canyon National Park where we will lodge for the night.

Day 3: After a hearty breakfast, we travel Highway 12 (Car and Driver Magazine calls Highway 12 the most beautiful highway in America).  From slot canyons to 11,000 ft mountain peaks, your drive across highway 12 will be one you won’t soon forget.  Afterwards, we will enter Capitol Reef National Park, Utah’s most remote and least visited national park of the five national parks in Utah. We will enjoy the unusual and beautiful Water Pocket Fold, some very interesting Fremont Indian petroglyphs and formations that reminded the early settlers of the Capitol dome in Washington, DC.  For those who are feeling a little more adventuresome, you can hike to Hickman Bridge.  Once we are finished, we will return across Highway 12 back to BryceCanyon where we will spend a second night.

Day 4: For those who want to get up early, the sunrise at Bryce is spectacular. After enjoying the sunrise, we have an excellent breakfast buffet. Bryce is in the top ten most popular national parks in the U.S. and one of the most beautiful. Spectacular rose and white colored “hoodoos” of different shapes and sizes provide a very moving experience to all who view their splendor.  We have the options of touring the key viewpoints throughout the park or if you are physically capable we can descend below the rim and walk among the “hoodoos”. There are multiple hikes of varying difficulty that will offer you a unique experience not found at the top of the rim. After a late lunch, we will begin our drive back to Las Vegas. Depending on time constraints we can stop at Kolob, (a part of ZionNational Park). We will arrive back into Las Vegas at approximately 6:00 PM.

Inclusions:

  • 3 nights stay in 2.5 to 3 star lodging
  • Tour Guide
  • Transportation
  • 3 breakfasts
  • 3 lunches
  • IMAX Movie
  • Park Entrance Fees
  • Taxes, Fees, and Gratuity excluding tour guide tips
Southwest Adventure Tours 5 Day Moab Adventure

382 E 650 S Circle
Cedar City, UT 84720
Office: 435-590-5864
Fax: 206-350-9872

jason@southwestadventreutours.com
www.southwestadventuretours.com

Day 1: Pickup in Salt Lake City. Transfer to Moab. Check into Hotel. We will then venture into Arches National Park. We will hike down Park Avenue, visit Balanced Rock, Garden of Eden, Cove of Caves, and finally a hike in the Windows Section of Arches. This will include a hike to Double Arch, North/South Window, and countless others that are scattered throughout this area.

Day 2: Today we explore Arches with a morning hike up to Delicate Arch for Sunrise for those interested. Afterwards, we will visit Landscape Arch and devils garden for some extensive hiking, possibly to Dark Angel, Double O Arch, Private Arch, etc. Afternoon hiking through Park Avenue. Optional tour of Fiery Furnace, if permits are obtainable). Lunch on the trail.

Return late afternoon. Evening off to enjoy the town

Day 3: Today we explore the Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands including a hike to Mesa Arch (This one of the most photographed arches in canyonlands, Grand Viewpoint hike, Upheaval Dome/Sycline loop, Aztec Trail, and others. Lunch on the trail. We can also go below the rim and visit Corona and Bowtie Arch below the white rim. When we are done, we will return to Moab for another relaxing evening on the town.

Day 4: Today Each individual will have a choice of one of the following activities:

  • Canyoneering/Rock Climbing
  • ATV/Jeep/Hummer Ride
  • Rafting Trip
  • Mountain Bike Ride

You will enjoy your last evening in Moab again. For those interested we will travel back to Canyonlands for a wonderful view of the canyons as the sun sets from Dead Horse Point.

Day 5: Lazy morning before returning to Salt Lake City. Arrive around 3pm.

Tour Includes:

– Tour Guide

– Transportation

– Park Entrance Fees

– Water/Snacks

– Lodging in 2.5 star hotels

– 4 Breakfasts

– 2 Lunches

– One activity listed above in day 4

Southwest Adventure Tours 9 Day Grand Circle Experience

382 E 650 S Circle
Cedar City, UT 84720
Office: 435-590-5864
Fax: 206-350-9872

jason@southwestadventreutours.com

www.southwestadventuretours.com

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

7 National Parks

4 National Monuments & Rec Areas

2 Indian Reservations

Antelope Canyon

Smoothwater Float Trip

Navajo Heritage Center

Monument Valley Backcountry Tour

Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Train Ride

Ancestral Puebloan or Anazazi Cliff Dwelling Tour

TOUR ITINERARY:

DAY ONE: ZION NATIONAL PARK

Your Grand Circle Adventure starts as we pick you up at your hotel and depart for Zion National Park. Zion National Park is one of nature’s greatest wonders. Gigantic red and white rock monoliths tower around you like a skyscraper city of stone, concealing pockets of abundant flora and fauna. See the Great White Throne, Angel’s Landing, the Court of the Patriarchs, and the Narrows where the Virgin River has carved out a narrow canyon with 2,000 foot cliffs on each side. For the more adventuresome crowd, hiking up the Narrows is a great way to experience Zion. For others, visits to the Weeping Wall, Emerald Pools, and the East Canyon Overlook are excellent choices.

For those interested, you can enjoy the giant screen production “Treasure of the Gods”. When we are finished for the day we will retire to one of Springdale’s finest hotels for a welcome dinner and a relaxing evening watching the sunset paint the canyon with its last rays of light.

DAY TWO: GRAND CANYON

After breakfast, we drive from the depths of the canyon up the switchbacks and climb 3,000 feet in just three miles to the Zion Tunnel. Once through this mile-long tunnel, we emerge into a fascinating world of rock and sand formations that extend on each side of us. This From there, we depart for the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. This drive is truly amazing. We descend and ascend through 5 different rock formations between Zion and the Entrance to the Grand Canyon. This is a portion of the Grand Staircase. We will stop at a viewpoint along the way.

As we enter the park you will notice some unique differences between the North Rim and the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. It is a thousand feet higher than the more popular South Rim, is less crowded and, for many of us, more beautiful. The Grand Canyon has always been known as one of the eight wonders of the world. On our journey through this wonder we will visit Point Imperial, Cape Royal, and finally the North Rim Lodge and Visitors Center. A delicious picnic lunch is served at one of the sites overlooking the Canyon. One of our favorite things to do in the afternoon is to sit back on one of the rocking chairs in the Lodge’s indoor and outdoor sun porches and take in the grandeur of all that surrounds us.

Late in the afternoon we will depart the North Rim and travel through and equally beautiful place, the Vermillion Cliffs. We traverse along the base of these cliffs until we reach the Navajo Bridge and begin our ascent up to Page, AZ where we will enjoy a relaxing dinner and lodge for the night.

DAY THREE: LAKE POWELL AND PAGE, ARIZONA

This morning we will be provided with another unique experience as we descend to the base of Glen Canyon Dam and begin a 14 mile smooth water float trip down the Colorado River. We will enjoy this 700 ft to 1500 ft deep sandstone canyon the Colorado River has carved over a few million years. There will be a brief stop half way through the trip to view some petroglyphs. For those not interested in the float trip, we can provide you with a 2 hour boat tour of Lake Powell called “Canyon Adventure”. Once you arrive back into Page and have eaten lunch, you have the afternoon to relax.

Later in the evening we will go the Navajo Village Heritage Center and enjoy dinner and an evening performance Here, Navajos tell us of their culture and history, sing and dance in their native regalia, and demonstrate how they make their beautiful rugs and jewelry. We will lodge again for the night in Page.

DAY FOUR: ANTELOPE SLOT CANYON AND MONUMENT VALLEY

After breakfast and an easy morning packing up we will travel the short distance to Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon for a guided tour by local Navajos. Truly, this is one of the most beautiful and easily accessible slot canyons in all of America. You will not soon forget the power of water in carving these sandstone rocks into the unique formations you will find within these canyons. After the tour is complete, we drive to Kayenta, Arizona for a late lunch before entering Monument Valley.

Once we arrive, Navajo guides will escort us into this beautiful and historic valley in the backs of their pickups. (The road is bumpy and there is some jostling around, so those with bad backs or other physical restrictions, please let us know if you participate in this activity.) The guides will show us many of the more famous landmarks as well as where John Ford and John Wayne made many of their well-known movies like “Stage Coach” and “She wore a yellow ribbon”. They also take us into the seldom-visited backcountry for a look at some fantastic rock formations such as the Sun’s Eye and the Big Hogan. Afterwards, we will return back to the visitors center for a delicious dinner overlooking the valley in the View Restaurant. When we have enjoyed a scrumptious meal and the beautiful view, we will continue on to our lodging for the night in Bluff, UT.

DAY FIVE: FOUR CORNERS AND MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK

After breakfast at one of the local coffee shops, (you will love the food), we continue our drive through the Navajo Indian Reservation, stopping briefly at the famous “Four Corners” landmark. Here, four states (Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico) come together in one place (no similar situation exists anywhere else in the USA). At this site, one can literally put her hands and feet in four different states at once. Local vendors selling many kinds of native handicrafts and jewelry are located nearby. In the distance we will be able to see Shiprock, one of the many unique monoliths found on the Navajo Reservation.

As we head into Colorado, we pass through the Ute Indian Reservation and soon find ourselves in Mesa Verde National Park. We will visit For those who are physically able, we tour Cliff House, Balcony House, or Long House. These ruins are some of the best examples of these famous cliff houses within the park. Afterwards, we will drive along the mesa top and stop at some of the many dwelling sites and viewpoints located there. We also stop at the Spruce Treehouse Museum, which has a wonderful array of ancient crafts, pottery, etc. of the Anasazi. Late in the afternoon, we will enter the San Juan Mountains as we make our way to Durango, Colorado. This frontier town has plenty to offer everyone. After checking into our hotel, you are free to enjoy the many restaurants and shops located nearby.

DAY SIX: THE DURANGO AND SILVERTON RAILROAD & MILLION DOLLAR HIGHWAY.

After breakfast, you will enjoy the unique experience of riding the famous Durango and Silverton Railroad to Silverton, Colorado. Built in 1981 to carry gold, silver, freight, and passengers, this old-time steam engine and railroad experience offers a fun and scenic view of the majestic San Juan Mountains and the Animas River Valley as is descends through the canyon. This is a route and experience you can only get with the train. Once the train arrives in Silverton, we generally have lunch at the “Shady Lady” restaurant, one of many former bordello’s located in that part of town. We will have some time to explore this famous town before departing.

After Silverton, we continue our days adventure by driving over one of the most beautiful mountain highways in America, the “Million Dollar Highway”. You will love the stunning views that are offered and become very aware of the scary drop-offs located near the road. This highway is always in the top ten roads to see in the USA. As we descend from Red Mountain Pass, we will enter what some call “Little Switzerland” as there are a number of 14,000’ plus mountains in the area and at the base of the mountain pass is the quaint hamlet of Ouray. This quaint old mining town is where we will stretch our legs, get some ice cream and do a little shopping before we begin our final leg of the drive to Moab. As we drive to Moab we will pass through the famous San Miguel River Gorge and also Paradox Valley. Once we arrive in Moab, we will check into our hotel for the evening. You then can stretch your legs and enjoy the night life available in Moab.

DAY SEVEN: ARCHES NATIONAL PARK AND DEAD HORSE POINT

This morning we will enter into Arches National Park. For those physically able, we will hike up to Delicate Arch the most famous of all arches in the park. For others, we will walk to the Delicate Arch Viewpoint. Afterwards we will go to Landscape Arch and the windows section. We will visit Devils Garden and Courthouse Towers viewpoints. Arches holds over 2,000 arches. We hopefully will be able to see 50 of them with you. Once we are finished we will return to Moab for lunch and a relaxing afternoon. You can take a jeep/hummer/atv ride, float down a portion of the Colorado River, or just relax and take a nap at the hotel. We will enjoy an early dinner at one of the local breweries and then travel up into Canyonlands National Park for a beautiful sunset overlooking the park. We will return to Moab to lodge again for the night

DAY EIGHT: CAPITAL REEF NATIONAL PARK, FAMOUS HIGHWAY 12 AND BRYCE NATIONAL PARK

After a lazy morning, we will embark on another beautiful drive through Central Utah. We will pass the Green River then traverse the San Rafael Swell on our way to Capital Reef National Park. As we enter the gorge cut by the Fremont River, we will see stunning sandstone formations such as the Capital Dome and the Waterfold Pocket. We have the time for a brief hike to Hickman Bridge before stopping at the petroglyphs, orchards, old school house, and the visitors center.

As we depart Capital Reef we will begin our traverse of Highway 12, recently named an “All American Highway”. We will enjoy grand vistas of the canyons of Utah as we travel up to 9,600 ft on Boulder Mountain and back down to 5,000 ft in Boulder Utah where we will enjoy a late lunch at one of the local cafes. We will then continue across the Grand Staircase Escalante Monument and overlook Calf Creek and its majestic canyon. We will then enter into Bryce Canyon National Park. Depending on how we are feeling at this time, we can visit some of the beautiful vistas, hike to Mossy Cave and the little waterfall near it, or relax for the evening at our lodging for the night. There is a rodeo in the summer months. We will have a farewell dinner at the Bryce Canyon Lodge dinning room. Their executive chef is one of my favorites.

DAY NINE: BRYCE, KOLOB, LAS VEGAS

One of my favorite experiences to share is an early morning walk from sunrise to sunset points in Bryce Canyon. The early morning sun lights up the pink cliffs and hoodoos and offers a stunning visual experience. in my opinion, these unique limestone formations almost glow as the sun hits them at the first light of day. There is a 2 hour walk through Queens Garden and the Navajo Loop for those physically capable. For those interested in a more leasury stroll, we take a short walk from point to point along the rim. Afterward we return to the Bryce Canyon Lodge for a delicious breakfast. We return to the hotel and pack up for our final leg of our journey.

Once we depart Bryce Canyon, we traverse across Highway 14 and its beautiful apen groves, lava fields and beautiful views looking down onto Zion National Park. We will make sort stop at the best viewpoint in the Kolob Fingers section of Zion National Park. Afterwards, we will enjoy a wonderful lunch at one of the best local restaurants in St George. There are a few shops to visit and then we depart for Las Vegas, generally arriving between 3:00 and 4:00 pm Pacific Time.

Southwest Adventure Tours Winter/Spring Grand Circle Experience

382 E 650 S Circle
Cedar City, UT 84720
Office: 435-590-5864
Fax: 206-350-9872

jason@southwestadventreutours.com
www.southwestadventuretours.com

Tour Information and Itinerary

DAY ONE: Las Vegas and Zion National Park

We meet you in Las Vegas at the Flamingo Hotel for an 8:00 AM departure and then begin your Grand Circle National Park Adventure and go directly to Zion National Park, a short three-hour drive away.

Zion National Park is one of nature’s greatest wonders. Gigantic red and white rock monoliths tower around you like a skyscraper city of stone, concealing pockets of abundant flora and fauna. See the Great White Throne, Angel’s Landing, the Court of the Patriarchs, and the Narrows where the Virgin River has carved out a narrow canyon with 2,000 foot cliffs on each side.

In the late afternoon, we view the giant screen production “Treasure of the Gods “. After checking into our motel (one of Springdale’s finest), there is a welcome and get-acquainted dinner for all to attend.

Dinner Included

DAY TWO: Colorado River and Page, AZ

After breakfast, we drive from the depths of Zion Canyon up the switchbacks and climb 3,000 feet in just three miles to the Zion Tunnel. Once through this mile-long tunnel, we emerge into a fascinating world of rock and sand formations that extend on each side of us. Once we emerge from the park, we will travel to Page, AZ.

Once we arrive, we will take a smooth water float trip down the Colorado River, beginning at the Glen Canyon Dam and ending at Lee’s Ferry. We will enjoy the majesty and grandeur of the red rock canyon ranging from 700 to 1700 ft deep.

Once we are finished we will check into our hotel and then go to the Navajo Indian Village for an performance and dinner. Here, Navajos tell us of their culture and history, sing and dance in their native regalia, and demonstrate how they make their beautiful rugs and jewelry. They also give us a sampling of Navajo food for dinner. We return to our motel for the evening.

Breakfast and Dinner Included

DAY THREE: Antelope Canyon and South Rim Grand Canyon

After breakfast, we will enjoy a tour of nearby Antelope Canyon for a guided tour by local Navajos. Truly, this is one of the most beautiful slot canyons in all of America and an experience that our guests will be discussing for a very long time.

Afterward, we will take a journey down river to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Words cannot describe and pictures cannot capture the awesome spectacle of this majestic site. The Grand Canyon has always been known as one of the eight wonders of the world and we can’t agree more. We visit the most spectacular sites, pausing to get out, walk along the rim and enjoy the beauty of the place. We will spend the night inside the park.

Breakfast Included

DAY FOUR: Grand Canyon and Monument Valley

After breakfast and a last minute look at the Grand Canyon is complete, we drive to Kayenta, Arizona, and then enter Monument Valley. Once we arrive, Navajo guides will escort us into this beautiful and historic valley in the backs of their pickups. (The road is bumpy and there is some jostling around, so those with bad backs or other physical restrictions, please let us know if you participate in this activity.)

The guides will show us many of the more famous landmarks as well as where John Ford and John Wayne made many of their well-known movies like “Stage Coach” and “She Wore A Yellow Ribbon”. They also take us into the seldom-visited backcountry for a look at some fantastic rock formations. We will enjoy dinner overlooking the valley at the View restaurant then continue on to Bluff, Utah where we will lodge for the night.

Breakfast and Dinner Included

DAY FIVE: Four Corners and Mesa Verde National Park

After breakfast, we continue our drive through the Navajo Indian Reservation, stopping briefly at the famous “Four Corners” landmark. Here, four states (Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico) come together in one place (no similar situation exists anywhere else in the USA). At this site, one can literally put her hands and feet in four different states at once. Local vendors selling many kinds of native handicrafts and jewelry are located nearby.

As we head into Colorado, we pass through the Ute Indian Reservation and soon find ourselves in Mesa Verde National Park the world famous Anasazi “Cliff dwellings”. For those who are physically able, we tour Cliff House. This is one of the largest and best ruins in the park. We take a driving tour and see several of the best preserved ruins. We offer an optional walk down to the Spruce Tree House and physically explore the ruins there, as well as enter into a kiva once used by the Anazasi.

We also stop at the museum, which has a wonderful array of ancient crafts, pottery, etc. of the Anasazi. Later that afternoon, we make our way to Durango, Colorado. After checking into our hotel, you are free to enjoy the many restaurants and shops located nearby.

Breakfast Included

DAY SIX: Durango Silverton Railroad and the Rocky Mountains.

After a late breakfast and a lazy morning, we take the Durango and Silverton Railroad to Cascade Canyon and back to Durango. Built in 1981 to carry gold and passengers, this old-time steam engine and railroad experience offers a fun and scenic view of the San Juan Mountains, the Animas River, and is a tremendously enjoyable experience.

Once we are finished with the train ride, we will depart Durango and backtrack to Cortez. Once there, we will then begin our drive to Moab, Utah. The hotel is in an excellent location in the middle of downtown Moab, next to a number of restaurants and shops. Dinner is on your own.

Breakfast Included

DAY SEVEN: Moab, Arches, and Dead Horse Point

After breakfast, we will enter Arches National Park, one of Utah’s most famous parks with over two thousand natural arches and windows. We visit various key rock formations and arches throughout the park. Afterwards we will drive out to Dead Horse Point for a spectacular overlook of the Colorado River. This is one of our favorite views of the southwest. We will return to Moab for lunch.

After lunch, you have the afternoon to rest, relax, and enjoy Moab. You can rent an atv, side by side, jeep and do some off road driving, go mountain biking, do some rappelling/rock climbing, go shopping downtown, or just relax and take a nap.

Later that evening, we get ready for some great food and entertainment as we reassemble the group for a wonderful meal at one of the local micro breweries.

Breakfast and Dinner Included

DAY EIGHT: Capital Reef National Park, Famous Highway 12, Bryce Canyon National Park

In the morning, we make our way to Capital Reef National Park, stopping briefly to see the Fremont Indian petroglyphs and then the Visitors’ Center. We soon start our drive over the famous Highway 12, recently named an “All American Highway” as one of the most scenic highways in America.

Lunch will be in Boulder, Utah, one of the most remote and picturesque towns in the USA. You will love the outstanding homemade fries and Cajun Pecan Blueberry pie. We arrive at Bryce National Park in mid to late afternoon.

We will visit several of the key sites and then check into the famous Ruby’s Inn for the evening. There is a restaurant and coffee shop located in the complex. Ruby’s offers an excellent shopping opportunity for all kinds of Southwest treasures, books, or clothing.

Breakfast and Lunch Included

DAY NINE: BRYCE, KOLOB AND RETURN TO LAS VEGAS

For those who want to get up early and see the sunrise at Bryce, you are in for a real treat. The early morning sun lights up the pink cliffs and hoodoos and offers a stunning visual experience. For those physically capable, we take a two hour walk down inside the beautiful hoodoos from Sunrise to Sunset Point. Anyone else who doesn’t take the hike can walk along the rim from one point to the other. Some say this is the most beautiful walk they have ever taken.

From there, we start making our way towards Las Vegas. We take the scenic Cedar Mountain route which offers a great view of Zion National Park from a distance, as well as several high alpine meadows; we stop briefly at Kolob, a seldom visited part of Zion that many locals consider some of the best scenery around; a brief lunch stop; a last minute shopping opportunity at a local wholesale jewelry store offering some incredible buys on Native American jewelry, pottery and artifacts. From there we go on to Las Vegas generally arriving between 4:00 and 5:00 pm.

Breakfast Included

Southwest Utah 3 Day Itinerary

This itinerary was provided by Scenic Southern Utah and includes Zion National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument and nearby areas.

Visit the Scenic Southern Utah website for more vacationing ideas www.ScenicSouthernUtah.com

Trail of the Ancients Itinerary

Suggested Tour Itinerary #5

Salt Lake City, UT to Phoenix, AZ

Trail of the Ancients

(15 Days/14Nights)

The Ancestral Puebloans inhabited the Colorado Plateau for hundreds of years, yet questions remain: who they were, how they lived, and what they believed.  This route is heavily laden with clues: cliff dwellings, rock art, and pottery shards.  Chaco Culture National Historic Park, Mesa Verde National Park, Hovenweep, Aztec, Canyon DeChelly, Navajo, and Canyon of the Ancients National Monuments are centerpieces to their world.  These and other clusters of Anasazi remains, Edge of the Cedars State Park & Museum and the Anasazi Heritage Center offer a glimpse into their beliefs and culture.  A world of opportunity, discovery, and adventure awaits you on the Four Corners’ Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway.

Day One

Salt Lake City, UT

Arrive Salt Lake City International Airport

Boat Tour of Great Salt Lake

Temple Square

Overnight:  Salt Lake City, UT

Day Two

Salt Lake City to Moab, UT:

College of Eastern Utah Museum

Sego Canyon

Colorado Riverway Scenic Byway

Overnight: Moab, UT

Day Three

Moab, UT:

Island in the Sky District, Canyonlands National Park

Deadhorse State Park

Arches National Park

Overnight:  Moab, UT

Day Four

Moab to Monticello, UT:

Looking Glass Rock

Canyon Rims Recreation Area

Newspaper Rock

Needles District, Canyonlands National Park

Overnight:  Monticello, UT

Day Five

Monticello to Blanding, UT:

Edge of the Cedars State Park & Museum

4 Ruin Tour:  Westwater, Butler Wash, Arch Canyon, & Mule Canyon Ruins

Natural Bridges National Monument

Goosenecks State Park

Valley of the Gods

Overnight:  Blanding, UT

Day Six

Blanding to Bluff, UT:

Sand Island Recreation Area Petroglyphs

San Juan River Trip:

Butler Wash Petroglyph Panel

River House Ruin

Overnight:  Bluff, UT

Day Seven

Bluff to Cortez, CO:

Hovenweep National Monument

Canyons of the Ancients National Monument

Anasazi Heritage Center

Overnight:  Cortez, CO

Day Eight

Cortez, CO:

Mesa Verde National Park

Overnight:  Cortez, CO

Day Nine

Cortez to Farmington, NM:

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (Roundtrip)

Aztec Ruins National Monument

Overnight:  Farmington, NM

Day Ten

Farmington, NM:

Chaco Culture National Historic Park

Overnight: Farmington, NM

Day Eleven

Farmington to Chinle, AZ:

Ute Mountain Tribal Park

Four Corners Monument

Canyon DeChelly National Monument

Overnight: Chinle, AZ

Day Twelve

Chinle to Monument Valley, UT

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park

Overnight: Monument Valley, UT

Day Thirteen

Monument Valley to Grand Canyon, AZ

Navajo National Monument

Grand Canyon National Park

Overnight: Monument Valley, UT

Day Fourteen

Grand Canyon to Phoenix, AZ:

Sedona/Oak Creek Canyon

Tuzigoot National Monument

Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park

Overnight: Monument Valley, UT

Day Fifteen

Phoenix, AZ:

Depart for home

Highlights Include (20 internationally recognized attractions/activities):

•            Arches National Park

•            Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

•            Deadhorse State Park

•            Aztec National Monument

•            Canyonlands National Park

•            Chaco Culture National Historic Park

•            Edge of the Cedars State Park

•            Canyon DeChelly National Monument

•            Natural Bridges National Monument

•            Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park

•            Goosenecks State Park

•            Navajo National Monument

•            San Juan River Trip

•            Grand Canyon National Park

•            Hovenweep National Monument

•            Sedona/Oak Creek Canyon

•            Canyon of the Ancients National Monument

•            Tuzigoot National Monument

•            Mesa Verde National Park

•          Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park

Zion National Park Itinerary Ideas

Half Day/ Auto-Tour Itinerary

Visitors spending half a day should focus on the Zion Canyon area, where the shuttles and most iconic park settings are:

  • Start at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center, located at the entrance to Zion Canyon, South end of the park
    • Watch films, ask questions, obtain brochures, etc.
  • Take a shuttle bus (available every 5-15 minutes, depending on the day) up the canyon.
  • The busses stop at these locations, visitors can get off and look/explore/rest at any of these stops, or take these suggested easy trails:
    • Court of the Patriarchs
    • Emerald Pools/ Zion Lodge
      • Consider this 1.2 mile hike to the Lower Emerald Pool and waterfalls.
    • The Grotto
    • Weeping Rock
      • Hike the short but steep Weeping Rock Trail – .4 mile, leads to the rock wall covered in dripping springs and hanging garden.
    • Big Bend
    • Temple of Sinawava
      • Get out and walk the Riverside Walk Trail – 2.2 miles round trip, follows the Virgin River in a narrow canyon, beautiful scenery.
  • Take the shuttle back down the canyon and end the tour by visiting the Zion Human History Museum, if time permits.

Full Day Itinerary

Visitors spending a whole day in the park can add several more hikes to the time spent in Zion Canyon:

  • Start at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center, located at the entrance to Zion Canyon, South end of the park
    • Watch films, ask questions, obtain brochures, etc.
  • Take a shuttle bus (available every 5-15 minutes, depending on the day) up the canyon.
  • The busses stop at these locations, visitors can get off and look/explore/rest at any of these stops, or take these suggested easy trails:
    • Court of the Patriarchs
    • Emerald Pools/ Zion Lodge
      • Consider this 1.2 mile hike to the Lower Emerald Pool and waterfalls.
    • The Grotto
      • If able, hike the strenuous and iconic hike, Angels Landing (5.8 miles), which follows a steep ridgback to the top of a cliff – not for young children or those with a fear of heights.
    • Weeping Rock
      • Hike the short but steep Weeping Rock Trail – .4 mile, leads to the rock wall covered in dripping springs and hanging garden.
    • Big Bend
    • Temple of Sinawava
      • Get out and walk the Riverside Walk Trail – 2.2 miles round trip, follows the Virgin River in a narrow canyon, beautiful scenery.
      • If you have time and energy left, wade into the river at the end of the Riverside Walk, along the Narrows river trail – as much as you want or have time for.
  • Take the shuttle back down the canyon and end the tour by visiting the Zion Human History Museum, if time permits.

Two Day Itinerary

Day One:

  • Park Near the Visitor Center close to a shuttle.
  • Take a shuttle bus (available every 5-15 minutes, depending on the day) up the canyon.
  • Exit the bus at these locations:
    • The Grotto
      • If able, hike the strenuous and iconic hike, Angels Landing (5.8 miles, 4 hours), which follows a steep ridgback to the top of a cliff – not for young children or those with a fear of heights.
    • Temple of Sinawava
      • Get out and walk the Riverside Walk Trail – 2.2 miles round trip, follows the Virgin River in a narrow canyon, beautiful scenery.
      • If you have time and energy left, wade into the river at the end of the Riverside Walk, along the Narrows river trail – as much as you want or have time for.
  • Take the shuttle back down the canyon and end the tour by visiting the Zion Human History Museum, if time permits.

Day Two

  • Take the shuttle and exit at these locations and hikes, if able:
  • Emerald Pools/ Zion Lodge
    • Consider this 1.2 mile hike to the Lower Emerald Pool and waterfalls.
  • Weeping Rock
    • Hike the short but steep Weeping Rock Trail – .4 mile, leads to the rock wall covered in dripping springs and hanging garden.
  • Head back down the canyon, and drive your car east of the Canyon Junction, on the Zion-Mt. Carmel Hwy.
    • Park at the Canyon Overlook Trail, just past the 1-mile tunnel.
      • Canyon Overlook Trail – 1 mile round trip, viewpoint of Pine Creek Canyon and lower Zion Canyon.
  • Just east past the Canyon Overlook Trail, drive over to Checkerboard Mesa.
    • Visitors can park next to the mesas, and hike, climb, and explore climbing on the sides of these mesas – white sandstone mounds covered in checkers-shaped slabs of stone.
  • On the return to the entrance of Zion Canyon, stop by the Zion Human History Museum, if time permits.

Backcountry Itinerary

Permits are necessary for all overnight stays in the Zion Wilderness, though day hikes do not require permits, except for the Narrows day hike.

Permits can be obtained until 5:00 p.m. the day before your trip, at the visitor center, however availability is unreliable and it is best to reserve online 3 months in advance.

Popular backcountry experiences are:

  • The Subway – this 9-9.5 round trip is a strenuous, technical hike off Kolob Terrace Road up North Creek involves climbing up or down (depending on if you start up or down the canyon) steep waterfalls, climbing over boulders, and wading/swimming in the cold river.
  • Kanara Creek – this 3.5 mile round trip is a moderately difficult hike up ladders and ropes and through a river. It is located just east of the town of Kanaraville, just south of Cedar City and outside the Kolob Canyons area of the park.

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