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Follow in the footsteps of the hunters, explorers, and pioneers of the great Southwest on this family adventure through some of America’s most iconic landscapes. From the soaring sculptures of Monument Valley to the staggering depths of the Grand Canyon North Rim to the sunbaked walls of Antelope Canyon and so much more, you’ll explore the awe-inspiring national treasures that make the American Southwest one-of-a-kind. Your excursion through the desert magnificence of Arizona and Utah is bracketed by a stay at a luxury resort in oasis-like Scottsdale, Arizona and a stay in a different kind of American monument — Las Vegas.
With an easy Saturday-to-Saturday arrival and improved pacing, Canyonlands of the America Southwest is perfect for traveling together with the entire family, including grandparents, parents, and children, too! Or, travel with your spouse or favorite travel partner, or embark on this adventure alone! Families will find a range of activities suited for grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and children alike, while solo travelers will find limited free Single Supplements on every departure. What’s more, with 2019 marking the Grand Canyon’s centennial, now is the perfect time to go grand and explore some of America’s most treasured vistas on this unforgettable small-group adventure.
Sunshine knows no bounds in Tucson, Arizona! Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Sonoran Desert, your family will find an enchanting mix of historic “Old West” roots, multicultural heritage, and contemporary culture. Spot spectacular saguaro, an iconic Southwest symbol, cross another National Park off your family bucket list with a visit to Saguaro National Park, explore the “White Dove of the Desert,” and more on this scenic extension.
Arrive in Scottsdale, by way of Phoenix
Arrive in Phoenix today to begin your tour of America’s canyon lands. You’ll be greeted by a Vantage representative, who will assist with the transfer to your luxury resort spa in Scottsdale. Enjoy the resort’s glorious natural setting and generous on-site amenities — or explore Scottsdale on your own — during an afternoon at leisure. This evening, join your Adventure Leader and fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception and dinner briefing at the hotel.
Explore mystic Sedona by trolley
Following a buffet breakfast at the hotel, set out for the stunning desert town of Sedona. Known as much for the striking red rock formations that surround it as for the vibrant arts and New Age community that thrives within it, Sedona is a true gem of the American Southwest. Cultural Discovery: Enjoy a guided trolley of the town's south side, including a stop at the famous Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village in the upscale Gallery District and a stop at the Chapel of the Holy Cross, before seeking out lunch on your own.
This afternoon, we continue towards Lake Powell, an incredibly scenic reservoir created by the damming of the Glen Canyon. Along the way, we’ll stop and visit the Cameron Trading Post, the perfect place to shop for souvenir, browse Native American art, and seek lunch on our own. We arrive at the Lake Powell Resort, in Page, where we'll enjoy an included dinner this evening — along with lovely lakeside views.
Marvel at the vistas of Monument Valley
A day of sightseeing in iconic Monument Valley awaits! An impressive red sand desert that stretches along the border between Utah and Arizona, Monument Valley is known for its soaring buttes of sandstone – some formations tower as high as 1,000 feet off the valley floor! Family Feature & Cultural Discovery: We’ll embark on a jeep tour of the valley to fully appreciate this natural wonder, spotting Artist’s Point, the Three Sisters, and other famous monuments along the way. Cultural Discovery: We’ll head next to Goulding’s Lodge, a famous locale for old Western movies, where we’ll enjoy lunch and have some time to explore the history displayed in the lodge’s Trading Post Museum. We’ll return to our hotel this evening, where dinner will be at your leisure.
Wander the walls of Antelope Canyon
Following breakfast and checkout, we’ll set out for Antelope Canyon, a slot canyon with orange sandstone walls rising over 120 feet. Family Feature & Cultural Discovery: We’ll explore these incredible formations first on foot, then on a safari drive with local Navajo experts, who will help us to understand the local history and geology behind this stunning natural beauty. We’ll return to the hotel for lunch before continuing towards the North Rim of the Grand Canyon this afternoon. During our travels, we’ll stop and take some photos from the Navajo Bridge, a historic structure that gracefully spans Marble Canyon. We’ll also visit Jacob Lake, where you can stretch your legs and watch for fluffy Kaibab squirrels and other playful local creatures. We’ll arrive at our lodge this evening, located just above the north rim of the Grand Canyon, in time to enjoy an included dinner.
Discover the majesty of the Grand Canyon's North Rim
Today, you’ll experience one of our country’s — and the world’s — greatest natural wonders: the Grand Canyon. Family Feature: After breakfast, we set out for a morning of leisurely sightseeing along the North Rim of this spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site, learning about its layers of geological history as we explore its North Rim. The majority of Grand Canyon visitors walk the South Rim, so exploring the North Rim gives us a quieter, calmer experience, more reminiscent of what this national park must have been like years ago. Our first vantage point is Point Imperial; perched high above the region where the Grand Canyon takes on its characteristic wide, branched appearance, you’ll get a different view than most visitors typically see.
Unforgettable Moment: We’ll also admire views from Cape Royal, the southernmost viewpoint on the North Rim, where we’ll be rewarded with sweeping panoramas across the canyon. Get your cameras at the ready as you catch sight of Angels Window in the distance, a natural arch in the Kaibab limestone that frames the Colorado River in magnificent style. After returning to the hotel for checkout, we journey next to the southern Utah town of Kanab, known by locals as “Little Hollywood” for its past as a popular filming location for movie and TV Westerns. You’ll have time to explore and enjoy lunch on your own before continuing to our hotel in Bryce this evening. Along the drive, we’ll stop to snap a few photos of Bryce’s Red Canyon, known for its spectacular red sandstone spires. Dinner is at the hotel this evening.
Take a scenic spin through Bryce Canyon
Get an early start today, as another glorious canyon awaits you! Following breakfast at the hotel, we'll explore Southern Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park. Known for its distinctive hoodoo rock formations — also known as tent rocks or fairy chimneys — Bryce Canyon isn't a true canyon but a collection of naturally occurring amphitheaters along a plateau. And rather than being water-carved, the park's strange shapes are actually sculpted by thousands of years of wind erosion. Family Feature: Enjoy some leisurely sightseeing in this strangely beautiful setting before sitting down for an included Western-style lunch at Ebenezer's Barn & Grill. The rest of your afternoon is at leisure.
Wildlife viewing in Zion National Park, then on to glittery Las Vegas
This morning after breakfast, board your motorcoach for a scenic drive to another of Utah’s great canyons: Zion. Family Feature & Cultural Discovery: Arriving in Zion National Park late morning, we’ll first visit the Human History Museum at Zion for a little historic background before exploring the park itself. Up to a half-mile deep and a million years in the making, Zion Canyon is the brilliant result of the Virgin River’s path through red Navajo sandstone. And thanks to its uniquely diverse geography, the canyon is home to multiple life zones and great ecological variety — including countless bird species, mammals, reptiles, and plant life. After a morning of discovery on a guided tour via private tram, enjoy free time and lunch on your own in the Zion Village area.
Later this afternoon, we arrive in the legendary city of Las Vegas — a different kind of American landmark and the final destination of your southwestern adventure. With a wealth of entertainment options, sights, dining establishments, and of course casinos, to choose from, enjoy the balance of the day as you please. Cultural Discovery: Tonight, rejoin your fellow passengers at the MGM Excalibur Hotel & Casino for a fabulous Farewell Steak Dinner, the quintessential Vegas meal.
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel this morning, then transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Please Note: All sightseeing is subject to change due to road conditions, repairs, and weather conditions. Seasonality may affect the frequency and availability of ranger activities within the National Parks.Please Note: In the National Parks, and in some of the more remote areas, you will stay in lodges that are basic but comfortable. Although not rated by the Hotel & Travel Index, they have been personally inspected by Vantage staff. On some departures, your hotel accommodations may be substituted with similar accommodations. *All park and hotel accommodations are non-smoking.