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Embark on the ultimate American experience alongside your family, and revel in the perfect balance of grand scenery and authentic Americana, too! We’ve combined the awe-inspiring canyons and parks of Canyonlands of the American Southwest with the monuments and in-depth Yellowstone tour of Wild West Adventure: Yellowstone, Grand Teton, & U.S. Monuments for one unforgettable North American adventure. Your family will follow in the footsteps of those intrepid pioneers as you trek stunning canyonlands, explore numerous U.S. National Parks, embark on a spectacular float trip along the Shoshone River, and even attend the longest-running professional rodeo in Cody, Wyoming — the rodeo capital of the world!
With an easy Saturday-to-Saturday itinerary, America’s Majestic National Parks, Canyonlands & Monuments is perfect for families, traveling with a spouse or favorite travel partner, and even traveling alone! We've curated these sightseeing adventures and excursions to inspire your grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and children for years to come. What’s more, solo travelers will find limited free Single Supplements on every departure. Join us on this action-packed itinerary sure to bring the courageous spirit of the Old West to life for travelers of all ages.
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 cactus, 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!
Depart home for Scottsdale, by way of Phoenix
Arrive in Scottsdale today to begin your family adventure through the American West and its canyonlands. You’ll be greeted by a Vantage representative, who will assist with the transfer to your hotel. Enjoy the hotel’s glorious natural setting and generous on-site amenities — or explore Scottsdale on your own — during an afternoon at leisure. Kids and adults alike will love the on-site pool! This evening, join your Adventure Leader and fellow families 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, continue towards Lake Powell, a scenic reservoir created by the damming of the Glen Canyon. Along the way, stop and visit the Cameron Trading Post, the perfect place to shop for souvenirs and browse Native America art. We arrive at the Lake Powell Resort, in Page, just in time to enjoy an included dinner — 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 and Cultural Discovery: Round up the family for 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: Head next to Goulding’s Lodge, a famous locale for old Western movies, for lunch and some free time to explore the history displayed in the lodge’s Trading Post Museum. Return to the hotel this evening, where dinner will be at your leisure.
Wander the walls of Antelope Canyon
Following breakfast and checkout, set out for Antelope Canyon, a slot canyon with orange sandstone walls rising over 120 feet. Family Feature and Cultural Discovery: 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 fun family photos from the Navajo Bridge, a historic structure spanning Marble Canyon — just don't look down! 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
Today, your family will experience one of our country’s — and the world’s — greatest natural wonders: the Grand Canyon. Family Feature: After breakfast, 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 you explore. The majority of Grand Canyon visitors walk the South Rim, so exploring the North Rim gives you 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: You'll also admire views from Cape Royal, the southernmost viewpoint on the North Rim, where you'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, 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 the 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, take a scenic ride to 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. Enjoy some leisurely sightseeing in this strangely beautiful setting before sitting down for an included Western-style lunch at a local restaurant. 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 deluxe motorcoach for a scenic drive to another of Utah’s great canyons: Zion. Family Feature and Cultural Discovery: Arriving in Zion National Park mid-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, enjoy free time and lunch on your own in the Zion Village area.
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. If you have a performance or restaurant in mind, don't forget to secure your tickets or reservation ahead of time with our complimentary Concierge service! Cultural Discovery: Tonight, rejoin your fellow passengers for a fabulous Farewell Steak Dinner, the quintessential Vegas meal.
Fly to Jackson, Wyoming, and settle in with a local show
Today we’ll transfer to the airport for a flight to Jackson, Wyoming. After we check into our hotel, we’ll enjoy an afternoon at leisure, followed by a Welcome Briefing at our hotel. Tonight, we’ll walk to a local playhouse for a Welcome Dinner and show. Rest up for the adventures that lay ahead!
Cruise Jenny Lake before hearing tales of the Old West
This morning finds us on the banks of Jenny Lake. Unforgettable Moment: Named after the Shoshone wife of the trapper that gave his name to nearby Leigh Lake, Jenny Lake sits at the base of Cascade Canyon in Grand Teton National Park. We’ll embark on a cruise tour of this lake, learning about the geology of the area and admiring the surrounding flora and fauna as we go. Remember to bring your camera; the opportunities for nature photography are second to none here! After enjoying an included lunch, we’ll head back to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure. Family Feature & Cultural Discovery: This evening, kids and grandkids will delight in a fascinating talk given by Ken Thomasma, Old West expert and author, regarding Sacajawea and her journey with Lewis & Clark.
Exploring the wilds of Yellowstone, with a visit to Old Faithful
This morning’s drive from the valley of Jackson Hole to the high plateau of Yellowstone is filled with magnificent views of the soaring Teton Range. Cultural Discovery: Along the way, we’ll stop for a visit at the Colter Bay Indian Arts Museum, which houses a collection of rare Native America artifacts. We’ll begin our explorations of Yellowstone National Park from the south gate. The world’s first national park, Yellowstone is a wilderness of craggy peaks, alpine lakes, stunning canyons, and a huge variety of wildlife. Family Feature: Our main sightseeing stop in the park is a grand one: Old Faithful. With its roaring plume of steam and boiling water, this natural highlight never fails to inspire awe in kids and adults alike. Later, we arrive at one of Yellowstone’s more unusual features: the Fountain Paint Pot. Named for the reds, yellows, and browns swirled in the mud, these varying shades are the result of iron oxidation in the ground. The dancing bubbles, rainbow colors, and shimmering wafts of steam of this curious hot spring make for some unique views. We arrive in the town of West Yellowstone just as the sky darkens for an evening of leisure.
The splendor (and legends) of the Wild West
We make our way along the Gibbons River this morning, passing cascading Gibbons Falls as we go. We reach Canyon Village in time to enjoy lunch and some free time to explore; perhaps you’ll pay a visit to Canyon Visitor Center, full of interactive exhibits that highlight the regional nature. Continuing along Yellowstone River this afternoon, we’ll stop to marvel at Yellowstone’s Lower Falls before continuing through Hayden Valley, an area rich with wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for bison, grizzly bears, and other animals as you go! A passage through the scenic Sylvan Pass delivers us to Cody this evening, a charming Western town named after William Fredrick Cody (better known to the American West as Buffalo Bill!) Cultural Discovery: Just before we reach the town, we’ll stop and visit Pahaska Tepee, Buffalo Bill’s hunting lodge, where we’ll get an inside look at the life of this famous marksman.
Family Feature and Cultural Discoveries: Tonight, channel your inner cowboy as you enjoy a “chuckwagon” style dinner before watch bull riding, barrel racing, and other activities at Cody’s nightly action-packed rodeo, the perfect adventure to share with your spouse, friends, and family! Kids can even join a friendly cowboy competition and compete for prizes!
Please note: The rodeo is only available June – September.
A rafting adventure before a scenic drive
Family Feature: This morning finds us on the banks of the Shoshone River, where we’ll board rubber boats for a float adventure! Cultural Discovery: Our guide will point out Native America Pictographs carved into the red rock canyons and show you how to spot wildlife as he teaches us about the natural history of the area. Back on dry land, we’ll head next to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, an impressive collection of five museums, for some fascinating insight to the region before heading back to the hotel for an included lunch. This afternoon we depart for Sheridan, Wyoming, stopping along the way to admire such sights s the Tongue River Valley, a scenic spot overlooking the mountains. After checking into our hotel this evening, enjoy an included dinner.
The mysteries of Deadwood and the traditions of the Lakota
Following breakfast, we set off for the historic town of Deadwood. Known as the wildest town in the West, this town is the final resting place of several notable legends, including Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. You’ll have some time to enjoy lunch and explore on your own before continuing to Tatanka: Story of the Bison. Cultural Discovery: Located north of Deadwood, Tatanka greets us with a behemoth bronze sculpture of the noble bison that once roamed these plains in vast numbers. Meaning “big beast” in the Lakota language, Tatanka tells the story of these bison and the Lakota people who relied on them for food, clothing, and shelter. While it’s estimated that more than 60 million bison once called this region home, you’ll learn how they were decimated, bringing the number of present-day bison down to around 400,000. This evening, we’ll reach Rapid City, where the remainder of your evening is at leisure.
A presidential day of discoveries
Practice your presidential wave with a walking tour of the City of Presidents this morning. Make your way down the streets of Rapid City’s historic downtown area, and you’ll find a series of life-size bronze statues depicting of our nation’s past presidents scattered along the sidewalks. Unforgettable Moment and Family Feature: Our next stop is a must-see for American history lovers: spectacular Mount Rushmore. Sculpted to honor America’s most prominent presidents, solo travelers and family groups alike will get a rush from observing this famous monument in person. You’ll have time to enjoy lunch on your own before we set off for our next monument, Crazy Horse. Dedicated to honoring the rich Native American culture of this area, Crazy Horse is the world’s largest mountain carving. Returning to our hotel this evening, you’ll have some time to relax and mull over the day’s discoveries. Cultural Discovery: Our Farewell Dinner tonight comes with a fascinating Lakota performance; a farewell prayer song and traditional dance marks the perfect end to our adventures.
Fly home from Rapid City, South Dakota
Enjoy an included breakfast at the inn this morning before transferring to the Rapid City 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.