This three day tour runs on Thursdays. The dates can be seen in the calendar at the top right of this page.
Pick ups take place from the Las Vegas Strip at about 6.15 a.m. If there are enough people in the downtown area, we will also pick up at one central downtown location. Should you have to take a taxi or bus to meet us, we will reimburse you a maximum of $10 against the receipt.
Like all of our tours this is a small group trip. The average number of people last year was only eight. Please remember that our guides are very knowledgeable about the areas you travel through, as well as the geology, traditions and customs of the local people. Feel free to ask any and all questions!
Leaving Las Vegas we will travel south, past Lake Mead and over Hoover Dam.
Hoover Dam is a man made marvel, and we will stop there to take photographs and admire the views. Please note that national security concerns may sometimes prevent us from going over the dam wall, and, if that is the case, we will need to take an alternate route.
Leaving Hoover Dam we travel through the desert, before arriving in the small Arizona town of Kingman, where we pick up the freeway towards the Grand Canyon. At Williams, Arizona, we head north for about 50 miles (80 kilometres), towards the South Rim.
A tiny town called Tusayan borders the Grand Canyon, and the small local airport is just to the south of Tusayan. We will stop there to allow those of you who want to take an optional helicopter tour to do so.
Day 1 - Grand Canyon airport - Flight time is 25 to 30 minutes
Although expensive, a helicopter is really the best way to see as much of the Grand Canyon as possible in a short period of time. The tour being offered is the North Canyon helicopter tour. You fly over the deepest and widest parts of the Grand Canyon, through the Dragon Corridor, and on to the North Rim, where you can view the geological differences between the two rims. On the way back to the South Rim you will take in breathtaking views of temples, shrines and other rock formations. The tour is about half an hour long, and it must be ordered ahead of time, preferably when you order the main tour itself.
If you choose not to do the helicopter tour your guide will take you into the Grand Canyon earlier.
At the Grand Canyon we will take you to several of the main viewpoints, including Mather Point and Bright Angel, as well as the Visitor Center. Your skilled guide will give you an overview of the layout of the South Rim, and then leave you on your own to explore for a while.
You can stroll around the canyon, take pictures, admire the views, buy souvenirs, or get something to eat.
The route we take out of the Grand Canyon travels along the seldom seen east part of the South Rim. On the way we will stop at the Desert Watchtower, a unique building designed by the legendary architect, Mary Colter, using rocks brought up from the bottom of the Canyon. The inside of the tower is full of artwork by Hopi (Indian) artists.
We will start dropping down from the South Rim, to the desert that is Navajo Nation land below. On the way we pass the Cameron Trading Post, one of the best purveyors of southwestern souvenirs and native American art and jewelry. If there is time we will stop here briefly.
Climbing up to a plateau once again, we start to approach Page, on the shores of Lake Powell. The first order of business is to check in at your hotel, which is the Quality Inn (www.qualityinnpage.com). After check in we invite you to join our guide for a hike to Horseshoe Bend.
Horseshoe Bend is a spectacular Colorado River overlook, viewed through the canyon walls far below, and the trailhead is a short distance outside town. Please bring a good pair of walking shoes with you.
The hike is a little less than half a mile or .65 of a kilometre. There is a fairly steep uphill section over loose sand to start the hike, and on the way back you have to go up the other side of the hill to return to the vehicle. We provide bottles of water so please grab one or two as it is almost always hot.
After the hike you are on your own for dinner, and the night is spent at the Quality Inn.
A free, hot breakfast buffet is available at your hotel this morning, after which you have the option of going on a flat water float trip. Please book this as early as possible, preferably at the same time as you book the tour itself.
If you do not take the float trip you can possibly go on a cruise on Lake Powell, an air tour of the Grand Canyon, Lake Powell or Monument Valley from the small airport, just stroll around town, or swim at the hotel's pool.
The Colorado River flows from Lake Powell out of Glen Canyon Dam, towards Lee's Ferry, the official starting point of raft trips through the Grand Canyon. Today you'll be taking a float trip down the river. The adventure begins with an unusual ride down the two mile long Glen Canyon Dam access tunnel. At river level, with the dam soaring almost 600 feet above you, you will board a comfortable, motorized pontoon raft for your journey downstream.
For the next fifteen miles, you will experience one of the most dramatic stretches of river in the western United States. Your experienced guide will tell the story of the area’s soaring sandstone cliffs, crystal blue-green waters, abundant wildlife, exploration by Major John Wesley Powell (after whom Lake Powell is named) and others, and the river's modern role in the Southwest’s water and power delivery system.
A stop to view an impressive set of ancient petroglyphs will offer you a chance to stretch your legs while bearing witness to the area’s former inhabitance by ancient native cultures. If you choose, you may also refresh yourself by wading in the cold, clear river.
The river portion of your trip ends at historic Lees Ferry, gateway to the Grand Canyon, from where you will return to Page.
Up next is a 1 1/2 to 2 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 likely take in are Anasazi ruins, petroglyphs, movie locations, 1000 foot monoliths, rug weaving and Indian hogans. The famous monuments are visited.
Day 3 - Canyonlands off road tour ... - 3 1/2 to 4 hours
You have an option of taking a jeep tour into Canyonlands National Park. Please note that you can do the jeep trip or go white water rafting, but you cannot do both.
On the jeep tour a city street becomes a country lane, then a gravel road, and finally a four-wheel drive route through Canyonlands and into the desert. To the east, thousand foot cliffs reach for the sky; to the west, the Colorado carves a canyon nearly as deep.
Three hundred million years of Earth's history is written in the multicolored, infinitely varied rock layers, and your guide can interpret the events they record. Bring twice as much memory or film as you would expect to use; the scenery on this trip consumes it at quite a rate.
Day 3 - Or Colorado River white water rafting. - 3 1/2 to 4 hours
There is some great white water rafting on the Colorado River that flows through Moab. The rapids are generally at their highest in the spring, when the snow melt accumulates in the river. This is another trip that has great photographs. The rafting company even provides containers for your cameras, as well as Coast Guard approved life vests.
Please note that you cannot do both the white water rafting and the off road jeep tour.
Most of the afternoon is spent at Arches, a park that has the wow factor. You will be amazed at the assortment of arches, fins and spires inside the park. In fact, most of the world's natural arches are to be found here.
Depending on the make up of the group, we will do one of two hikes. The first possibility is going down Park Avenue, with towering fins and slabs of rock everywhere you look. This is an easy, predominantly downhill walk, that should take 30 to 45 minutes.
The other option is hiking up to the top of Delicate Arch. This is a difficult, mainly uphill hike, of about two hours round trip. It can be even more energy sapping if it is hot, as it generally is there. Having said that, Delicate Arch, which is Utah state's symbol, is a magnificent, once in a lifetime sight, and well worth the hike. Your guide will decide which of the two to do after assessing the group. Everyone has to be able to do Delicate Arch or the whole group will settle for the Park Avenue walk. If that is the case you will still be given the opportunity of walking up to an overlook of Delicate Arch.
This tour is subject to a $1.00 per person fuel surcharge.
The entry fees to all parks are included.
The vehicles we use are mini buses or executive vans, which are vans with individual, high back, reclining seats.
The off road tours at Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon are included.
Two nights' accommodation is included. The first is at the Page Quality Inn (www.qualityinnpage.com) at Lake Powell, and the second at the River Canyon Lodge (http://www.rivercanyonlodge.com/)in Moab.
Prices are based on double occupancy. A single surcharge of $88 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 continental breakfast at Page is the only meal 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.
Portions of this tour may be subcontracted to other reputable vendors. This will in no way affect your comfort or safety.
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.
The tour runs on Thursdays. The dates can be seen in the calendar at the top right of this page.
This tour picks up on the Strip. If there are sufficient people staying downtown, we will pick up at a central downtown location as well. 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.
We only drop off in the downtown Salt Lake area.
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 Salt Lake.
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 45 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 45 days prior to the start of the tour, and the balance will be charged any time from 10 days prior to the start of the tour.