Please DO NOT ORDER this tour. There is now a new version of this tour. It can be seen here.
We'll pick you up at your Las Vegas Strip hotel at about 6.45 a.m. and travel north up interstate 15, crossing into the desolate Arizona Strip, before heading up the Virgin River Gorge and into Utah. If you are not staying on the Strip, you will need to get to one of the Strip hotels. If you take a taxi or bus, we will reimburse you a maximum of $10 towards the cost, against your receipt.
The route is picturesque in parts, and we will stop briefly in the Gorge to take pictures. There will be a comfort stop at either the small southern Utah town of St. George, or the even smaller one of Hurricane. Springdale is just outside Zion, and we'll pause there briefly to pick up sack lunches, which we generally enjoy in Bryce.
Zion is Utah's most popular National Park, and its story is one of rock and water.
There is a special treat in store here, as you climb onto horses for a one hour ride up the Virgin River, to the Court Of the Patriarchs. Please do not be concerned if you have not ridden before. Experienced cowboys will show you what to do and lead you on the trail. Note that there is a weight limit of 220 pounds (about 100 kg). If you choose not to go horseback riding you can explore part of Zion on your own.
After riding. we'll take a leisurely drive through the park, stopping frequently to take photographs and enjoy the scenery. The road goes past the Great Arch of Zion, which is a natural photo stop.
Our route will take us up a series of steep switchbacks, and through an incredible tunnel that has been blasted into the rocks. The scenery on the other side of the tunnel is in contrast to that which you have already seen, with massive sand dunes that have solidified into rock over the centuries, and trees implanted into them at seemingly impossible angles.
You will exit the park the park at the less frequently used east entrance.
Many who have seen both Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon tell us that Bryce is far more spectacular. You will marvel at the weirdly shaped hoodoos, in an amazing array of colorful hues.
It's time to go ATV (all terrain vehicle) riding. After getting a few pointers from an experienced guide, you will hop onto your ATV, to go chasing over 14 miles (22 kilometres) of dirt road through the Dixie National Forest surrounding Bryce Canyon. Please note that you will get dusty!
Bryce is not really a canyon, but a large amphitheatre carved out of a variety of rock types. There are three main viewpoints overlooking Bryce, and we will go to all three: Sunset Point, Inspiration Point and Bryce Point.
It's time to leave Bryce, and travel to Page, on the shores of Lake Powell. On the way, we may stop for a short time in Kanab, on the Utah/Arizona border, where many western movies have been shot. You can purchase southwestern and native American souvenirs there, if you choose. From Kanab it is a scenic drive to Page, as you pass alongside the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.
We generally like to start the day off with an early morning hike to Horseshoe Bend. The trailhead is a short distance outside Page. This an easy walk to a spectacular bend in the Colorado River, viewed through the canyon walls below. Please bring a good pair of walking shoes with you.
Up next is an off road tour to Antelope Canyon, which is one of the most striking slot canyons known to man. A slot canyon is a narrow canyon sliced through a mesa by the forces of nature. Some canyons measure less than a yard across at the top, but drop a hundred feet or more from the rim to the bottom. Slots are cut and scoured by water and wind, with the striations of the sandstone becoming almost incandescent.
From within you will see a palette of colors transmuted by light filtering down from above and bouncing from wall to wall. Antelope Canyon can only be visited using the services of an authorized Navajo Nation guide, and we use Carolene Ekis' Antelope Canyon Tours.
From Page you'll travel to Monument Valley, over Navajo Nation land. Depending on the time of the year, some Indian souvenir stands may be open on the sides of the road, and we can stop so you can do some shopping for Navajo jewelry and souvenirs. On the way you will start to see some of the buttes and mesas for which the area is world famous.
Day 2 - Monument Valley - About 1 1/2 to two hours
It's time to take a 1 1/2 to two hour tour of Monument Valley, conducted by a Navajo guide. Visitors love to see the buttes, mesas and other sandstone formations that are so prevalent in the Monument Valley area. Monument Valley is actually not really a valley at all, but a relatively flat plain surrounded by red cliffs, with the buttes, as well as the remnants of ancient volcanoes, towering from the earth.
For fans of old western movies, Monument Valley is the epicenter of the west, with many great cowboys and Indians films having been shot in the area. The familiar rock shapes can be seen from many miles away, with the really great scenery to be seen on the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, which straddles the Utah/Arizona border.
Amongst the sites that your tour will take in are Anasazi ruins, petroglyphs, movie locations, 1000 foot monoliths, rug weaving and Indian hogans. The famous monuments are visited as well as many rock windows and arches of unique shapes.
Travel to Tuba City, a small spot on the map, on the Navajo Reservation, where we will spend the night. Apart from eating dinner, there is not a lot to do in Tuba City! Pictures of the motel we use can be seen here.
There is an amazing trading store at Cameron, one of the best in the southwest. Amongst other things, it houses a collection of Native American Indian jewelry, Pueblo pottery, Indian baskets, Hopi Kachinas, and Navajo rugs. We will stop here so you can do some shopping.
The road to the Grand Canyon takes us through the east entrance, a side of the park that is much less used than the south entrance. This will enable you to get a look at the Desert View Watchtower, built in 1932 by legendary architect Mary Colter. Amongst the highpoints of the building are the Hopi Indian artwork inside.
From the east entrance we'll take a leisurely drive along the rim of the Canyon. There are far fewer visitors at this part of the Canyon, and you will be able to enjoy the never ending vistas in relative peace and quiet!
We'll stop at various of the viewpoints, on our way to Bright Angel Lodge, where you will have the opportunity to admire the view, do some more shopping, and grab a bite to eat.
New this year is a helicopter ride at the South Rim. The flight takes you over the deepest part of the Grand Canyon, through the Dragon Corridor, and then continues to the North Rim, where you can view the incredible geographical differences between the North and South Rims.
During your return to the South Rim you will enjoy breathtaking views of temples, shrines and other rock formations, while flying above the widest part of the Colorado River.
This tour is subject to a $1.00 per person fuel surcharge.
The entry fees to all parks are included.
The off road tours at Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon are included.
Two nights' accommodation is included. Examples of the different motels we use can be seen here.
During the early and late parts of the season road closures in the area may result in different routes being taken, and certain stops and or activities may be deleted.
Prices are based on double occupancy. A single surcharge of $82 is applicable, or we can try and match singles. If you want to have three or four to a room, you will get a lower price.
The price includes the services of a guide/driver and transportation.
The vehicle to be used is a mini bus or an executive van, which is a van with individual, high back, reclining seats.
One sack lunch and a continental breakfast are the only meals included.
The tour itinerary may change at our discretion without notice. Factors that may cause a change include, but are not limited to, the weather, vendors and road conditions.
A minimum of two people may be required for a tour to depart. You may also need to book several weeks out to ensure availability.
This tour only picks up and drops off on the Strip. If you are staying elsewhere please keep your taxi or bus receipt. We will reimburse you a maximum of $10 towards the cost of your taxi or bus.
This tour runs every Monday and Thursday during the winter months.
Portions of this tour may be subcontracted to other reputable vendors. This will in no way affect your comfort or safety.
Please check with us to ensure this tour is still available prior to making lodging or air bookings.
Be careful about making any show or air bookings for the date this tour returns. We are not responsible for delays getting back into Vegas.
Please be aware that during the height of the winter, snow and winter driving conditions may cause this tour to be cancelled, or changed, with little notice!
Payment Details: While we would rather you not make a booking until you are sure you want to go, you are welcome to cancel the booking any time up until 31 days prior to the start of the tour, and you will get a full refund. After that time, we will not accept a cancellation and you will have to pay for the tour in full. Trip insurance is available. Half the cost of the tour will be charged to your card any time from 31 days prior to the start of the tour, and the balance will be charged any time from 7 days prior to the start of the tour.