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Hiking Grand and Marble Canyons: Off the Beaten Path

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Road Scholar
Program #6113RJ
7 Days | 6 Nights
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group 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.
Mary from Rohnert Park, CA Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 04/06/14 - 04/12/14
We were hoping for a physical challenge as well as a glimpse of a place unique and photogenic. Our expectations were vastly exceeded. Flying over this rugged and vivid stretch of Arizona evokes the question, "Is it possible to hike down there?" It is, and we did! We viewed the sky from chasms deep in the earth, and viewed the earth from high outcroppings made of sandstone the color and texture of finely ground gemstones. "Off the Beaten Track" lives up to it's name--the trails are not widely known or easily accessed. Our extraordinary guides were the energizers, enlightening, encouraging, and supporting us. They also kept us in stitches, while expertly preventing anyone from actually needing stitches.

Katherine from Honolulu, HI Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/06/14 - 04/12/14
This program allows access to a part of the Southwest that most would probably not see without knowledgeable guides, as we did. The information that was imparted during the trip was mind-boggling. It was all done in a fun and friendly fashion. The trip exceeded our expectations ! We would return again.

Ellen from Silver Spring, MD Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 04/06/14 - 04/12/14
This is an amazing hiking adventure. I had previously done the combined Marble Canyon/Grand Canyon trip and wanted to get back as a more experienced hiker and to spend the entire week at Marble Canyon. It exceeded my expectations for a challenge and enjoyment and Mike Young is still one of the best leaders ever!

Geraldine from Sarasota, FL Number of programs attended: 9
Date attended: 10/27/13 - 11/02/13
The Marble Canyon trip takes one to an area, not well known, but very beautiful. The Vermillion canyons and the start of the Colorado River rafting is inspiring, followed by the visit to the Grand Canyon which is a must see for all of us. This was my third visit to the canyons and it still took my breath away!!

Linda from Manson, WA Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 10/27/13 - 11/02/13
What an amazing program. If you love off the trail hiking -- this is the program for you. Beautiful views every direction. Challenging hikes but not over the top. Very knowledgeable, organized, friendly leaders who made you feel comfortable right from the beginning. This is my third hiking program with Road Scholar and each one has been fabulous!! Go hiking!!

David from Ann Arbor, MI Number of programs attended: 11
Date attended: 10/13/13 - 10/19/13
I have been on many RoadScholar hiking adventures, and the hiking experience in Marble Canyon has them all beat. Indeed, this was "off the beaten path" in that you would never find these day hikes on your own. Once the van turned off the road, the only hikers were from RoadScholar. The one caution: This experience is for hikers that want adventure; if you want to just hike long distances each day find another hiking experience. Another: Good hiking skills are required; this adventure is challenging. Our leader, Mike Young is outstanding in every way; I cannot say enough good things about him.

Eileen from Ann Arbor, MI Number of programs attended: 21
Date attended: 10/13/13 - 10/19/13
This is an excellent program that definitely lives up to its designation as "Challenging." While the hikes are not particularly long, each involves extra challenges -- steep uphills, lots of rock scrambling, rappelling down a rock face, unmarked trails, hiking uphill on a very sandy slope, and more. The dramatic canyon walls, views from on high, amazing rock formations -- the rewards make all the effort worthwhile. Mike and Charles were excellent guides and leaders, always encouraging us and being ready to give us help when the trail was particularly difficult. Mike clearly enjoys sharing his extensive knowledge of the plants, geology, and history of the area. For the week of our program, we were scheduled to spend the entire time in Marble Canyon. Although there were some changes due to the government shutdown and subsequent park closures, Mike substituted hikes that were equally outstanding. Fortunately the Glen Canyon area opened in time for us to enjoy our motorized raft trip through the canyon. The Marble Canyon Lodge was clean and comfortable, although below the standards of most places that we have stayed on RS trips. However, there simply aren't other accommodations in the area, and this location allowed us to reach our hikes after very short drives. The food at the lodge was generally OK, with excellent breakfast buffets and one outstanding barbecue dinner. Despite the fire in early summer than destroyed part of the complex, the staff did their best to meet our needs. If you have a sense of adventure and enjoy challenges in a beautiful setting, this trip is a great choice. Please email me at if you have questions about our experiences on the program. I have posted pictures from our trip at and you can read my blog entries at

Ann from Silver Spring, MD Number of programs attended: 13
Date attended: 09/29/13 - 10/05/13
Guides great as was the hiking group. Due to the govt. shutdown couldn't get to the Grand Canyon and other places....guides did a good job of finding alternative hikes. However, The Marble Canyon Lodge and food was way below par.

Barbara from Hayward, CA Number of programs attended: 13
Date attended: 09/29/13 - 10/05/13
It is hard to write a review for a program that was halved by the shutdown of our Federal Government! The Marble Canyon experiences - expanded due to the loss of Grand Canyon - were simply marvelous. There is so very much life in this environment that can seem to lacking in life. Our leaders did a great job of lining up adventurous hikes and called our attention to plant life and critters that we encountered on the way. Geology, too. Lots of geology in them thar rocks! The members of the Marble Canyon community were very welcoming, friendly and helpful, too.

Kathy from North Saanich, BC Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 10/14/12 - 10/20/12
The off-trail hikes in Marble Canyon were so varied and interesting, I would have preferred to remain there for an additional 2 days rather than proceed to the Grand Canyon...which felt like Disneyland in contrast to the pristine wildness we had just enjoyed.

Nancy from Manchester, CT Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 10/14/12 - 10/20/12
This program was excellent! It offers a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the amazing beauty of the desert and to expand your hiking skills in a desert environment. Top-notch!

Thomas from Manchester, CT Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 10/14/12 - 10/20/12
HIking Marble Canyon and Grand Canyon is an experience that shouldn't be missed! As the title of the program states, it is an incredible experience with over the top hiking. The leaders of the hike are very knowledgeable in many fields that make this a wonderfully satisfying learning experience.

Mike from Neosho, MO Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/15/12 - 04/21/12
This is an outstanding field trip into areas seldom seen by the general public. Mike Young and Jerry Snow and Charles were outstanding in their knowledge of the geography and biology of the area. I would caution anyone interested in this to be in good physical condition and expect hikes of 5+ miles on sand and over frequent obstacles. It not simple hiking along a manicured trail, but the rewards are great for those in shape to enjoy it.

Judy from Neosho, MO Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/15/12 - 04/21/12
The days of hiking in Marble Canyon were fantastic. If you love going off trail; scrambling over rocks and up ledges; going along the edge of a cliff; all while learning bout the flora and fauna of the area, I would definitely recommend this trip. The beauty in the canyons is indescribable.

Chris from Lake Forest Park, WA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/15/12 - 04/21/12
This was my first Road Scholar trip and it was all I expected and much more. Mike, our fearless leader, showed us many aspects of the desert and provided us with expert instruction on how to maneuver through the canyons. The program is very strenuous and if you don't enjoy walking along steep cliffs or squeezing through tight canyons then this is not for you. I had a great time and can't wait for my next hiking trip with Road Scholar.

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"Reflections in the Colorado River" Uploaded By: Eileen
"Reflections in the Colorado River" Uploaded By: Eileen

"Climbing Cathedral Rock at Lee's Ferry" Uploaded By: Eileen

"Amazing canyon scenery" Uploaded By: Eileen

"Rappelling in Waterholes Slot Canyon" Uploaded By: James Attended: 04/17/11 - 04/23/11

"Paria River from cliff opening" Uploaded By: James Attended: 04/17/11 - 04/23/11

"Hiking in Marble Canyon" Uploaded By: Sandy Attended: 11/01/09 - 11/07/09
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"Hiking Grand Canyon: An Incredible Experience" Uploaded By: Linda Attended: 10/31/10 - 11/06/10

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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
6 nights of accommodations
17 meals: 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners
2 Expert-led lectures
5 Field trips


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