Some of our nation's most spectacular scenic National Parks are located in the state of Utah. In the fall, we will explore the best of them in the company of popular author and wilderness guide, Scott Thybony. Scott was the outstanding co-leader on our sold out Arizona-New Mexico tour in 2011. Sites will include Arches, Canyonlands, Capital Reef, Zion, and Bryce National Parks as well as Capital Reef and Cedar Breaks National Monuments and, if time permits, Kodachrome Basin State Park. A highlight of the trip will be a float trip down the Colorado River. Please join us for nature walks in red rock country when the summer crowds are gone and the aspen trees are turning brilliant shades of gold.
Sunday, September 27 Grand Junction, CO - Moab, UT (R,D)
Individual arrivals in Grand Junction, CO. We will arrange a two-hour shuttle (included in price of tour) to Red Cliffs Lodge, our base for three nights. We’ll kick off our Utah adventure with a western barbecue. Overnight Red Cliffs Lodge, Moab, UT
Monday, September 28 Moab – Arches National Park - Canyonlands (B,L,D)
Spend the morning in Arches National Park, home of the world’s largest concentration of natural sandstone arches. In addition to over 2000 arches, the park boasts a variety of other geological formations including colossal sandstone fins, pinnacles, spires, and massive balanced rocks.
This afternoon, we will explore Island in the Sky in Canyonlands National Park, a wilderness of countless canyons and fantastically formed buttes carved by the Colorado River.
Overnight Red Cliffs Lodge, Moab, UT
Tuesday, September 29 Moab - Dugout Ranch - Colorado River (B,L)
This morning, we will drive to Dugout Ranch—site of the Canyonlands Research Center. Staff here are working to find solutions for local ranchers who are dealing with diminished Colorado River water and the impacts of invasive species, overgrazing, and recreation usage. This afternoon, we will take a float trip down a gentle section of the Colorado River. Overnight Red Cliffs Lodge, Moab, UT
Wednesday, September 30 Monument Valley - Page AZ (B,L,D)
Today we leave Moab and drive south towards Monument Valley. En route we will see a myriad of petroglyphs at Newspaper Rock and at Sand Island. We will stop at Monument Valley for photos and enjoy lunch at the View Hotel before continuing to the shores of Lake Powell.
Overnight Marriott Courtyard, Page, AZ
Thursday, October 1 Antelope Canyon – Zion (B,L,D)
We will explore Antelope Canyon, the most photographed "slot canyon" in the American West. Years of water and sand erosion have carved out a narrow chasm in the sandstone with rounded edges, curves and fluted columns. Continue to Zion. Designated in 1919, it is Utah’s oldest national park. Overnight at the Best Western Zion Park, Springdale, UT
Friday, October 2 Zion National Park (B)
We will spend the day exploring Zion National Park. Characterized by high plateaus, striking rock towers and mesas, the park encompasses some of the most scenic canyon country in the nation. On one walk, we will discover the Zion Narrows, a spectacular gorge carved by the North Fork of the Virgin River. We will also follow the Emerald Pools Trail through a forest of oak, maple, and cottonwood trees, to a waterfall that features a hanging garden of ferns, moss, and monkey flowers. Overnight at the Best Western Zion Park, Springdale, UT
Saturday, October 3 Cedar Breaks – Bryce National Park (B,L,D)
Depart Zion for Bryce National Park. En route to Bryce, we will stop at Cedar Breaks National Monument. This small park -- with an amphitheater reminiscent of Bryce Canyon's Queen's Garden -- has a 5-mile road that offers access to Cedar Breaks' scenic overlooks and trailheads.
Overnight Ruby’s Inn, Bryce, UT
Sunday, October 4 Bryce National Park (B,L)
Erosional forces have carved the pink limestone rock of the Claron Formation into pinnacles, fins, spires, and whimsical mushroom-shaped rocks called "hoodoos." Popular trails include the colorful Queen's Garden Trail, named for a formation that resembles Britain's Queen Victoria.
Overnight Ruby’s Inn, Bryce, UT
Monday, October 5 Capitol Reef National Park - Moab (B,L,D)
Located in the heart of red rock country, Capitol Reef National Park is a geologic treasure trove of brilliantly-colored rock formations in the Waterpocket Fold, a geologic monocline that extends nearly 100 miles. On the site of a pioneer settlement named Fruita, we will see the remnants of cherry, peach, pear, and apple orchards planted in the 1880s. This hamlet and the surrounding canyon country served as a hideaway for Butch Cassidy’s outlaw gang. Proceed to Moab where we will toast our western adventure at this evening’s farewell dinner. Overnight Comfort Suites, Moab
Tuesday, October 6 Moab - Grand Junction, CO (B)
Individual departures. We will arrange for a 2-hour shuttle to transfer you to Grand Junction, CO for your return flight home.
THE UTAH PROGRAM INCLUDES:
* Services of an Wilderness Guide
(Scott Thybony is scheduled to lead this tour)
* Services of an Historian Guide
(Ed Bearss is scheduled to lead this tour)
* Services of a Tour Manager (Marty Gane is scheduled to manage this tour)
* 9 nights hotel accommodations
* transportation on a full-sized coach
* all admissions and excursions
* airport transfers from Grand Junction, CO to Moab, UT
* two wine/beer welcome receptions; daily breakfast; 7 lunches; 6 dinners
* all taxes, baggage handling and gratuities; pre-trip notes, reading list and map book
COST: 10 DAYS/9 NIGHTS
Double Occupancy: $3695 per person
Single Occupancy: $4540
(NOTE: ALL costs are based on a minimum of 20 participants)