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BEGINS IN: ST. GEORGE, UTAH

Staircase to the Past: Utah’s Grand Circle of Parks and Monuments and Picturesque Antelope Canyon

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National Parks

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Road Scholar
Program #2814RJ
11 Days | 10 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
Road Scholar has thousands of educational adventures to choose from. A good way to narrow down our list is to browse our collection of "Most Popular" programs.
See all of our Most Popular programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Phillip from Toledo, OH Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/06/14 - 10/16/14
Program 2814RJ was an outstanding learning experience thanks to group leader Darrell McMahon and his wife Paula. Darrell's comprehensive knowledge of geology, local plants and animals, ecology, archeology, and the recorded history of Utah was exceeded only by his innovative teaching methods. The program was also a comfortable experience, thanks largely to the precise handling of the motor coach by driver Paul Peterson. And it almost goes without saying that the scenery was spectacular.

Karen from Huntley, IL Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 10/06/14 - 10/16/14
Great overall experience of the national parks in Utah. The program leaders were fun and knowledgeable about the history, geology, and native culture which greatly enhanced the appreciation of the parks we visited. The scenery is spectacular and it was great to share it with a group of interesting people.

Peggy from Olympia, WA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/06/14 - 10/16/14
This program exceeded my expectations. I learned a lot about the geology of not only Utah, but also, the western US. Hadn't really thought about it before, but found it fascinating! Our group leaders were lots of fun, well informed and enthusiastic! The activities well explained and just right! This was on my 'bucket list' and I'm so happy that I did it!!

Patt from Toledo, OH Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/06/14 - 10/16/14
If you are a friendly and adventurous person, this is a trip for you.

Steven from La Mirada, CA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 05/26/14 - 06/05/14
Great way to see the vast number of National Parks and Monuments in Utah. Scenery is fantastic and the guide was very informative. Transportation was very clean and comfortable.

Morry from Charlotte, NC Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/15/14 - 05/25/14
We did the Utah parks and totally enjoyed the experience. Fantastic experience, great leaders. See the video we posted in May 2014 by Morry

Marsha from Tucson, AZ Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/15/14 - 05/25/14
This is a wonderful opportunity to visit beautiful sites. The program was superbly organized and was not over-taxing. Personally, I would have liked more hiking & the program seemed to indicate that we would be hiking about 2-3 miles per day which was not the case. Our Leader, Marcia Cooper, was outstanding. We had a great time & I would highly recommend this trip.

Joan from Fullerton, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/28/14 - 05/08/14
AWESOME! What else can I say? This was my first Road Scholar trip and it exceeded my expectations. Our instructor, Dennis, and co-ordinator Linda were very well organized, personable, and caring, doing their best to meet the needs of each person. We also had a fantastic bus driver , Fred, who was a valuable member of the team. Of course, there is the scenery to which no photo can do justice. You just have to see it in person to appreciate the grandeur of the area. Thank you for an unforgettable experience.

Marye from Bloomfield, CT Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/17/14 - 04/27/14
Wonderful overview of the rich, colorful geology of southern Utah in a fast paced journey with lots of bus and boat time through these wide open spaces. Enjoy breathtaking hikes at high altitudes to see many rocky wonders with a dash of history of the people who have lived there.

Kent from Richmond, BC Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/17/14 - 04/27/14
Spectacular . . . Amazing . . . Extraordinary . . . Magnificent . . . Phenomenal . . . a glorious tour exceptionally well organized from beginning to end! Thank you Paula, Darrell, Fred and fellow participants for making our adventure celebrating my 75th birthday so very special! Linda and Kent - Richmond, BC, Canada

Adriana from Midhurst, ON Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 04/17/14 - 04/27/14
An excellent program with super guides and a pleasant, safe driver. There was enough walking on this trip to keep me happy. The scenery was amazing. What a beautiful continent we live in. It is so varied in terms of ecosystems. We had a great group of 39 to travel with as well. Would highly recommend this program. Adriana from Ontario, Canada

Brian from Midhurst, ON Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 04/17/14 - 04/27/14
This programme provided me with insights into the geology of the area, satisfied a need to soak up the brilliant colours of Utah,allowed me to mix with others who love to see new territory, and boosted my immune system after a prolonged,weary winter in Canada. The dynamic team of Darrell, Paula, and Fred fueled my heart and prompts me to return to Utah and its beauty. Brian Fraser, Ontario, Canada

Christine from Clarence Center, NY Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 05/05/14 - 05/15/14
I strongly recommend this program for those who are physically active, and interested in geology. Our leaders, Marcia and Janice were terrific. Janice made geology interesting, and Marcia was remarkable in her organizational ability and encyclopedic knowledge of the area we traveled. Along with Kelly, our driver, they made a great team.

Holly from Colorado Springs, CO Number of programs attended: 33
Date attended: 04/28/14 - 05/08/14
Fabulous program with one national park more beautiful than the other. All hiking levels were met. Guides are extremely knowledgeable and pleasant. The only time I remembered that we were a group of 40 was when I saw Linda's wonderful video. I highly recommend this program!

Judy from Rochester, NY Number of programs attended: 12
Date attended: 04/24/14 - 05/04/14
Amazing scenery, excellent and knowledgeable guide, organizer and bus driver were terrific. Some hikes were over uneven terrain, do-able, but East Coast people needed a few days to adjust to altitude. Recommend arriving a few days early to enjoy St George and adjust to thin air.

Lila from Surprise, AZ Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 04/24/14 - 05/04/14
Wonderful trip - but rather strenuous, especially in high altitudes. Jean, Rod and Dave were outstanding. Looking forward to another Road Scholar trip!

Elizabeth from New Smyrna Beach, FL Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/24/14 - 05/04/14
A 'sampling' of the Grand Circle of Utah. Some long bus rides with walking/hiking in between. Moderate activity level.

Louis from Davis, CA Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 04/07/14 - 04/17/14
The southern Utah and northern Arizona natl. parks are incredible. This trip gave me an excellent overview of the geology and cultural history of this area. The leaders on this trip were excellent in knowledge and organizational skills. Highly recommend this trip.

Sharon from Santa Rosa, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/07/14 - 04/17/14
This adventure is an exciting way to both learn some incredible geology...while looking at it right in front of you in the wilds of Utah! The sights are unparalleled, the teachers great, and the surprises many and delightful throughout this trip.

Frank from Albuquerque, NM Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 04/03/14 - 04/13/14
Great tour, hard to beat

Dennis from Bayard, NE Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 03/24/14 - 04/03/14
Great scenery, great personnel, great information, great experience. Dennis Katus

Vivian from Everett, WA Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 03/24/14 - 04/03/14
Utah, Staircase to the past program was great! Our travel team of Marcia team leader; Janice-Geologist, and Kelly the most careful coach driver were a highlight of the trip. Janice with her wealth of knowledge about the "fabulous rocks" taught us all so much that I am considering changing professions. Marcia with her smile every morning made every day bright and sunny even when it was snowing. Kelly with is attention to the road made me enjoy every rock and mountain. Thanks for one of the best trips

Judith from Naperville, IL Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 03/24/14 - 04/03/14
I loved everything about the Utah, Staircase to the past program... from the tour guide, Marcia; Geologist, Janice; and the careful bus driver, Kelly... to the canyons. They were all so different and beautiful. I had never been out west before and I can't believe we have something like this right here in the United States! It was great having everything planned from accommodations, meals, canyon trips, extra places of interest and classroom teachers. I would advise anyone going on this trip to be prepared with clothing that can can be layered. I would recommend a good pair of hiking boots and a small pack to carry your things through the canyon. A light pair of gloves during the spring and fall would be helpful. I was also grateful that some walking sticks were available for people to use. Thanks Road Scholar! We will be back!

Linda from Gainesville, VA Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 10/07/13 - 10/17/13
This is a great program. The area is wonderful and the guides are knowledgeable. We were liberal arts majors and ran out of superlatives and adjuctives.

Cynthia from West Palm Beach, FL Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/17/13 - 10/27/13
A dream trip for me. It far exceeded my expectations. Extraordinary!

Cheryl from Aston, PA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/17/13 - 10/27/13
This trip was fantastic! All details and planning were taken care of, we had excellent, knowledgeable guides throughout, including local experts, and we got to see so many stunning National Parks & monuments in less than two weeks. Some of the special events and local presentations were exceptional, including an on-site Navajo presentation and a truck ride to Antelope Canyon, which we were told is the most photographed canyon in the world. We highly recommend this Road Scholar trip.

Judy from New Paltz, NY Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/17/13 - 10/27/13
This trip was wonderful! Utah is beautiful and the staff's enthusiasm and knowledge of the area totally enhanced the experience. I would highly recommend this program.

Susan from Galway, NY Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 10/17/13 - 10/27/13
I could do this program again! Wonderful scenery, great hikes and my fellow scholars were a blast! I'll never forget all the geology I learned and our leader and bus driver took such good care of us. I miss the morning humor.

Elizabeth from Farmville, VA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/17/13 - 10/27/13
This is a fantastic trip: the scenery glorious, instruction excellent, companionship congenial.

Wayne from Keizer, OR Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 10/17/13 - 10/27/13
This area of the Southwest has to be experienced to be believed. There is no better way to experience the beauty of Utah's national parks than to travel there with Road Scholar. An unforgettable trip!

Neil from Wilmette, IL Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 10/14/13 - 10/24/13
This is an exceptional experience. The parks are beautiful and each different; the program put on by Road Scholar (education, logistics, activities) were first rate.

Victoria from Burien, WA Number of programs attended: 7
Date attended: 10/14/13 - 10/24/13
Rocky 'wastlands' became interesting and beautiful on this multipark Colarado Plateau trip. Good variety of physical activity offered.

Louis from Birmingham, AL Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 10/14/13 - 10/24/13
Our adjectives can't adequately describe the beauty and wonder of southern Utah; you have to see and experience it through a well conducted trip as i just completed with Road Scholar.

Denver from Grand Haven, MI Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/07/13 - 10/17/13
On top of the natural beauty of Utah, this program was like a crash college course in the geology of the region. Rod Griffin was a highly entertaining and effective instructor in geology with a little meteorology, paleontology, cultural history, and political science thrown in. Rod soon became a friend and go to answer man. His wife, Jean, kept the whole trip and itinerary running smooth under the difficult situation of the closure of the National Parks and change of itinerary for the first few days of the trip. Her sense of humor helped always to keep things in perspective. and Road Scholar provided wonderful alternative ventures to replace those few venues we missed. If there was a problem at all, it was the "beauty overload" my wife and I experienced shortly after the beginning, but the program sustained the awe and wonder for the entire length of the trip. It helped that Rod, Jean, our bus driver, Fred; and ALL of the participants happened to be the friendliest bunch of people I have ever had the pleasure to travel with. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and would highly recommend this trip to everyone. Through out the trip there was much repetition of some of the basic material but that was a good thing as I believe I will retain more of the information. I truly felt like I have finished an introductory class in the geology of the Western United States. Rod's easy, friendly style was easy to enjoy for the entire trip. the additional lecturers as well as the boat Captain on Lake Powell, the plane Pilot, and the Navajo interpreter, all maintained the great entertaining and educational standards that Rod set.

William from Bastrop, TX Number of programs attended: 8
Date attended: 10/07/13 - 10/17/13
I would like to "second" and "third" the preceding reviews. I was unsure of what to expect what with the Federal shut-down, but I was not disappointed. Rod & Jean (& Fred) did an exemplary job, and, thanks to the intervention of the Utah state government, we only missed one park on the list. We might even consider doing it again!

Frances from Shamong, NJ Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/07/13 - 10/17/13
The program was very interesting and educational. I learned a lot from Rod Griffin and his wife Jean was superb as a coordinator. Nice job!

Anne from Westerville, OH Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/07/13 - 10/17/13
Despite the fact that the federal government decided to close our national parks during my scheduled tour of the national and state parks in Utah, our tour director, geology expert and bus driver made this trip unforgettable. I appreciate the extra work they had to do to allow me to see the natural beauty if this spectacular area.

Ralph from Columbus, OH Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 04/29/13 - 05/09/13
This was a fantastic tour. 39 of the "Best new friends" your could ask for. Our tour leader, Linda and her husband/geologist, Dennis always kept us informed, educated, and entertained. I would consider going on this one again!

Helen from High Point, NC Number of programs attended: 8
Date attended: 04/08/13 - 04/18/13
If you are 70 or older think carefully before going as it is higher elevation, VERY dry and windy when I was there and not easy to moderate activity.

Linda from Pittsburgh, PA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/16/13 - 05/26/13
I had a great time seeing the National Parks, enjoying St.George and its history, meeting all the wonderful trip mates, and having Linda, Dennis, and Fred a short,but important part of my life made the trip pleasurable at the time and now in my memory.

Nancy from St Louis Park, MN Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 05/27/13 - 06/06/13
Great trip. The parks were awesome - so beautiful. Would recommend this trip. Marc and Chrystal were very good at geology and planning. We learned a lot.

Joann from Great Falls, MT Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/27/13 - 06/06/13
This was my first Road Scholar experience, and I see many more in my future. Marc and Chrystal were excellent leaders. Spectacular scenery, interesting participants, and great geology lessons.

John from Lady Lake, FL Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 05/27/13 - 06/06/13
What a beautiful part of the country. I learned a lot and would recommend this program to my friends

Carol from La Jolla, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/16/13 - 05/26/13
While seeing the grand vistas of many of this country's more spectacular National Parks is at the heart of this program, the real value comes from the opporunity to view these sites under the guidance of one of the country's senior geologists whose mature expertise and personal familiarity of the sites is presented with warmth and humor and and an obvious love of his subjet material.

Phyllis from Kamuela, HI Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 05/06/13 - 05/16/13
The Utah National Parks and State Parks were even more beautiful than we expected. The knowledge and humor of Janice, our geologist, and Marcia our fearless leader plus Kelly's (AKA Jim) fantastic bus driving made this Road Scholar trip amazing and full of "WOWS!" You really should take this trip.

Hyman from San Jose, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/06/13 - 05/16/13
Janice, our enthusiastic geologist, made the rock formations come to life. Marcia, our group leader, made the explorers and early settlers come to life. Ask for this dynamic duo if you wish to be amazed by the wonderful parks of southern Utah. What an outstanding experience for my first time as a Road Scholar participant! ---Hyman, San Jose, CA

Charles from Poulsbo, WA Number of programs attended: 8
Date attended: 04/29/13 - 05/09/13
Truly an awesome experience, seeing the diversity of nature in such a small area of the country.

James from Ludington, MI Number of programs attended: 7
Date attended: 04/08/13 - 04/18/13
Go on this tour to learn the newest thinking on what those beautiful rocks in SW Utah are telling us about what happened to them over the last 250 million years.

Adriane from Scotia, NY Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 04/18/13 - 04/28/13
The scenery in Utah and Arizona cannot be beat. It would be hard for a person not quite physically active to be able to take part in this trip as it is now structured, but i enjoy the hiking and ability to see more than just a short walk would enable. There were enough pit stops available, too.

Hendrik from Toronto, ON Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/18/13 - 04/28/13
I have traveled in close to 30 countries and have nowhere else experienced the natural beauty that overwhelmed me traveling on the Colorado Plateau with Road Scholar. I have traveled on 5 continents and have never experienced a concentration of so many varieties of awesomely glorious land forms as we encountered traveling Staircase to the Past. I have sometimes had my finger glued to my camera's shutter, though never for so long and with such astounding results as when visiting the geologically miraculous sites found in the parks and monuments of southern Utah. This, indeed, is a trip of a life time.--Hendrik Hart, Toronto, Canada.

Avis from Kensington, CT Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 04/04/13 - 04/14/13
If you enjoy exploring national parks, I highly recommend this program. Our guide, geologist and bus driver were all superb! Avis, CT

Jennifer from Courtenay, BC Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 03/25/13 - 04/04/13
I will definitely go on another Road Scholar Program. Fantastic value for your money. So many wonderful educators!

Linda from Fort Collins, CO Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 03/25/13 - 04/04/13
The countryside was truly beautiful and the learning was outstanding with great leadership and instruction. The transportation and housing were each good in every aspect.

Brenda from Virginia Beach, VA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/18/12 - 10/28/12
Staircase to the Past was a life highlight and I would recommend this program to anyone interested in touring our amazing National Parks around the Colorado Plateau. The folks taking this trip were interested in learning more about the unique geology of the region--spectacular views, nature and history...Brenda Barrett October 2012 trip

Charles from Baraboo, WI Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 10/15/12 - 10/25/12
As a result of the trip to Utah and all the beautiful parks we visited we will be going on added trips in the future. It was wonderful. Crystal, Marc and Ron sure were great hosts. Helen and I really had a great time Chuck and Helen Grosinske Baraboo, WI

Ted from Libertyville, IL Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 10/15/12 - 10/25/12
This trip was so great we were going to change our names to the Rogue Scholars, commandeer the bus, Dave, Marc, and Crystal and just keep going....

Janene from Libertyville, IL Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 10/15/12 - 10/25/12
Fantastic trip with wonderful guides. An amazing value.

Richard from St Charles, IL Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 10/08/12 - 10/18/12
A lot of sights to see and enjoy and this program and its leaders do a great job of presenting them.

Erminia from Barnegat, NJ Number of programs attended: 11
Date attended: 10/15/12 - 10/25/12
I highly recommend this trip - the sites are amazing and not too difficult to hike.

Joan from Shippensburg, PA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/15/12 - 10/25/12
It was an exceptional experience with wonderful, knowledgeable and fun-loving leaders! I'd highly recommend it! ...Joan S.

Helen from Shoreline, WA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/15/12 - 10/25/12
I have wanted to take this trip for years, as it is on my bucket list. But I had no idea how great it would be. The guides, Marc, Chrystal, and driver Dave, were professional, and welcoming. The scenary took your breath away. And the best part was the new lifelong friends I made on this trip. We didn't want the trip to end.

Marion from Bogota, cundinamarca, Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 10/18/12 - 10/28/12
An amazing programme. Scenery breathtaking.

WOW factor !!

I live in Colombia and am hoping some of the participants come to visit in Bogota !!

James from Pearson, WI Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 10/08/12 - 10/18/12
Road Scholars did a magnificent job with this program. Program #2814 was a terrific combination of education, entertainment and some of the most spectacular sights in the world.


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"A Group Photo in front of Canyonland Arch - 17 May 2014" Uploaded By: Larry
"A Group Photo in front of Canyonland Arch - 17 May 2014" Uploaded By: Larry

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"Octoberr 10, 2013 - Snow" Uploaded By: Linda

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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
10 nights of accommodations
27 meals: 10 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 8 dinners
4 Expert-led lectures
16 Field trips

Ratings

4.9
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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