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Staircase to the Past: Utah’s Grand Circle of Parks and Monuments and the Grand Canyon’s North Rim

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Road Scholar
Program #8727RJ
11 Days | 10 Nights
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.
Bernie from Minnetonka, MN Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/08/14 - 09/18/14
This trip was awesome even if one has seen the National Parks in Utah/Arizona before. I consider myself a very well travelled individual and this trip ranks among the best! The group leader, geologist, as well as the bus driver were beyond compare. The beauty of the National Parks made me speechless and all I kept hearing myself say was "WOW!" A must see!

Warner from Plattsburgh, NY Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/08/14 - 09/18/14
Having traveled extensively for the past thirty years, I would rate this program as one of top ones I have attended. The leader, instructor and driver were outstanding in every way and the venues spectacular..

Deborah from San Mateo, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/08/14 - 09/18/14
This trip was all I hoped it to be- seeing, learning, experiencing, photographing the Colorado Plateau with a great group of people. Now I understand how the great rock formations came to be and what they are becoming. The local pioneer and Native American info was also meaningful. So glad to have taken this trip!

Larry from Malvern, OH Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/08/14 - 09/18/14
After 7 tours in Europe, this is our first tour in the USA. This one rates up there with the best. Very informative, and well organized. The tour director, coach driver, and geologist were excellent! Would highly recommend this tour.

Julia from Columbia, MD Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 06/02/14 - 06/12/14
This was the best trip ever! Road Scholars we met in California recommended it to us as their favorite and they were absolutely right. The choice of difficulty of walks and the daily geology pointers made it a great experience for a non-science person!

Suzanne from Towson, MD Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 06/02/14 - 06/12/14
It’s been over a week and I’m still telling everyone I see about what a fantastic time I had in Utah. The group leader and our “personal” geologist were outstanding...and the rocks were beyond my wildest expectations. I signed up to see the Grand Canyon, but our time there was too short. I didn’t realize that the other national parks were just as spectacular. We have a beautiful country! Go see it.

Furman from Woodruff, SC Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 06/02/14 - 06/12/14
Try it, You will love it.

Genevieve from Los Altos, CA Number of programs attended: 8
Date attended: 06/02/14 - 06/12/14
If you want to do more than just visit the National Parks of southern Utah, this is the program for you! An experienced and local geologist is with you throughout the tour explaining the formations as you see them. This is a lot to assimilate in 10 days, but you leave with an immense appreciation of the forces of nature and the variety of land forms produced.

Adam from Raleigh, NC Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 06/02/14 - 06/12/14
Just do it! Marcia and Kelly are excellent. Janice ROCKS!

Sharon from Columbia, MD Number of programs attended: 13
Date attended: 06/02/14 - 06/12/14
This was the TRIP of a LIFETIME...seeing Bryce, Zion, Arches, North rim of the Grand Canyon, driving through Monument Valley...the sights never ended! And we had the ABSOLUTELY BEST leader and geologist along with us. Each day was filled with interesting facts, stories about the towns we drove through, maps and videos to fill the drive time, walks that had options depending on how active you wanted to be, stops at Native American spots...just a FASCINATING introduction to Utah and its wonders. It was well organized and thought-out--I came home tired but VERY HAPPY!!!!!

Kenneth from Milwaukee, WI Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 06/02/14 - 06/12/14
This trip was just amazing, sights that I just dreamed about became an actualality. Looking at Bryce Cancon with tears welling up I realize I made the right choice.

Paul from McPherson, KS Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 10/03/13 - 10/13/13
For those of you that like to travel safely in your own country, and experince in detail one of the major attractions of the world, this is the trip for you.

Dorothy from Charleston, SC Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/23/13 - 10/03/13
This trip was absolutely amazing! The geological beauty was truly awe-inspiring, and Linda, Dennis, and Fred made the experience both educational and great fun. It was better than I could ever have imagined, and I am eager to take another Road Scholar trip!

Nellie from Pittsburgh, PA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/19/13 - 09/29/13
Nellie from Pittsburgh, Pa Number of programs attended: 1 Date attended:09/19-09/29/13 What a way to spend 10 days! The beauty of this state is amazing and the knowledge that Darrel and Paula McMahon have and shared with us made it an unforgettable trip. And let's not forget our fabulous driver Paul Peterson, he got us in and out of many interesting places! We will be back.

Jeanice from Nashville, TN Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 09/19/13 - 09/29/13
We loved every minute of this spectacular trip! Our wonderful experts, Paula and Darrell McMahon shared their knowledge, reverence, and love of their state with us making our tour educational as well as continually awe-inspiring. It's an absolutely wonderful way to spend ten days.

Claude from Big Canoe, GA Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 09/23/13 - 10/03/13
The trip was perfect in eveery way-Linda and Dennis exceptional, the scenery breathtakiing, etc. WE LOVED IT

Rita from Saratoga Springs, NY Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/23/13 - 10/03/13
Great program - well planned out and executed. I've already been asked to present a slide video I've created to a group of retirees.

Doug from Stouffville, ON Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 09/23/13 - 10/03/13
A wonderful 10 day trip to one of the most spiritual places in the US. Linda and Dennis provided a highly educational and entertaining experience that is so far the highlight of my retirement. Great food and accommodation, with a wide variety of diverse activities, I highly recommend this trip.

Marjorie from Lynchburg, VA Number of programs attended: 15
Date attended: 09/09/13 - 09/19/13
Amazing landscape made more enjoyable by the geologist's explanations.

Rosemary from Chesterfield, MO Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 09/19/13 - 09/29/13
Indescribable sights and beauty. An experience beyond my expectations. Photos are reminders of the experience, but canot capture the wonder of it. The inclusion of a visit with a Navaho family, and learning first-hand about their culture, was a special treat for me. There were several especially "special" moments. Overall, an experience hard to convey...grateful I had the opportunity to see it for myself.

Leonard from Encino, CA Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 09/23/13 - 10/03/13
outstanding sights and well worth seeing. most outstanding sights in this country. high elevation may be a problem to some people. must be able to walk a mile or more and climb steps etc. to get full benefit of program each day.

Richard from Huntington, WV Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 09/19/13 - 09/29/13
If rocks are your thing, this is the program for you! History and humanity join hands here. Utah is where the Earth , Humanity and Forever meet. Thanks, our dreams were fulfilled...and then some.

Jannine from Mohnton, PA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/09/13 - 09/19/13
What a thrilling experience to stand in the depths of a canyon, see the multiple the layers of rock that date back millions of years, and have their origins explained by a geologist who knows his field!

Susan from Bellevue, WA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/02/13 - 09/12/13
A fantastic experience that I will long remember. I saw so much more than I would have on my own; and learned things about the places we went that I would not have learned had I done this visit to the Nat'l Parks of Utah on my own.

Linda from Frederick, MD Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 06/03/13 - 06/13/13
Marsha, Janice and Kelly were what made this trip the most wonderful experience I could have imagined. I had been to several of these parks before but never in the company of such fine companions. I'll be back for another adventure with Roads Scholar.

Roberta from Salem, MA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 06/03/13 - 06/13/13
Program #8727 (Staircase to the Past: Utah's Grand Circle of Parks and Monuments....) was Grand in every way: the views; the group leader, bus driver and geology guide; the group of travelers; the accommodations. I highly recommend it.

Ildi from Littlefield, AZ Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 06/03/13 - 06/13/13
I highly recommend this trip to every one. This tour not just fun but also very educational. I enjoyed every minute of it. And I love to joy them again in the future.

Elaine from Portland, OR Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/20/12 - 09/30/12
I highly recommend this program for anyone who is interested in the beauties of our national parks. The presentation of the geological and historical information enhanced the visits, and the leaders, Dennis (geologist) and Linda (organizer) Williams, were terrific. Dave, our driver, was careful and so helpful in making sure I didn't trip getting off the bus! The accommodations and meals were good, and all the beds comfortable. The Colorado Plateau is a stunningly beautiful and interesting area, and this vacation was one of the best I've had. Elaine, Portland, OR

Maureen from Menominee, MI Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/01/12 - 10/11/12
The Staircase to the past trip was wonderful. Rod and Jean Griffin did a great job sharing the National Parks and all their wonders with all of us. We met some great people on the trip. Our bus driver did a tremendous job navigating the switchbacks and mountains...kudos to David Boyce. This was our first trip and we sure hope to do more of them. Maureen

Roz from Tarzana, CA Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 10/01/12 - 10/11/12
This was our first Road Scholar trip. It exceeded our expectations by tons. The 1300 mile circle is a pleasure every minute. Our group was great and the leaders must be traveled with, Jean and Rod.

Steve from Hudson, MA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/20/12 - 09/30/12
The trip lived up to our expectations (if not exceeded them) in every way. The food was occasionally so-so, but at the pricing of the trip was well within our expectations. Lodgings were quite good. But what made the trip so fantastic, in addition to non-stop spectacular scenery, was the learning experience provided by Dennis Williams and his unbounded enthusiasm for the topics (geology, local culture); the coordination of the trip by Linda Williams who combined humor with a "cat herding" talent that kept things moving at a proper pace and the excellent driving of Dave Cannon who made us feel safe and secure on the bus as we traveled through sometime tricky terrain. And, did I mention the stunning scenery…?

Janice from DeLand, FL Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 09/24/12 - 10/04/12
This trip was outstanding! The parks were more beautiful than I imagined. The added perk was our instructors, Darrell and Paula McMahon and the gracious bus driver, Ric. Without their expert lectures and information provided by the instructors, the trip would not have been so memorable and enjoyable. Road Scholars make any trip well worth your time; you will never forget the wonderful experience. This was my best yet!

Jan from Carlsbad, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/10/12 - 09/20/12
This is a wonderful trip! I think many people don't realize how unique Southern Utah is and the best way to see this vast area is with Road Scholars!

Leah from Bethesda, MD Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 10/01/12 - 10/11/12
I have always wanted to see these parks. The actual experience exceeded my highest expectations. We also visited parks and places of which I had no previous knowledge, and which I enjoyed immensely. Our leaders and driver were wonderful, very helpful, informative and pleasant.

Anna from Hudson, MA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/20/12 - 09/30/12
Fantastic and unforgettable experience. Everything was taken care of and all we had to do was enjoy it all. The hikes were the perfect length and the scenery was awesome.

Lee from Green Bay, WI Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/24/12 - 10/04/12
This was first Road Scholar trip. It was a fantastic experience Our leaders Daryl and Paula were outstanding. Every part of the trip was great. Our driver Rick did a fantastic job. We felt we received a very good value. The scenery was awesome. Lee and Louise Hansen Green Bay Wis

John from Catonsville, MD Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 09/24/12 - 10/04/12
The tour was well-organized, covering all the major parks in Utah plus the Grand Canyon. Bus routes, hotels, meal arrangements were all amazingly well-planned for a group of 33. The husband and wife leader team, Darrell and Paula McMahon, was superb: humorous, thorough in outlining present understandings of how the geologic wonders were formed, helpful in accommodating personal needs, answering questions night and day, handling meal and lodging tickets and admissions. loading and unloading luggage from the bus. The bus driver, Rick, was introduced as a genuine member of the leadership team and felt comfortable eating with the rest of the travel group in resrtaurants. They made good use of models, films on and off the bus,guest lecturers and performers, and programs available at museums. There was a steady flow of questions and answers as we covered more than 1200 (?) miles in the 10 days of the tour.

Rodney from Grosse Pointe Woods, MI Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/17/12 - 09/27/12
Program was excellent. Scenery was great, and everything went very smoothly (thanks to Dan, Pat and David). This was our first Road Sclolar trip, and we will go again. Traveling on the bus made viewing much better than in a car, especially for the driver.

Maija from Manchester, NJ Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/17/12 - 09/27/12
This was my 1st Road Scholar trip and it far exceeded my expectations. I'm very happy with the trip. Covering so much ground in 10 days takes a good coordinator and Pat is such, along with Dan, our geologist. They both made the trip a memorable one and I cannot forget our driver, David, who was excellent maneuvering those curvy, winding roads. The beauty and grandeur of the parks speak for themselves - just awesome to see!

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"Snow Canyon State Park" Uploaded By: Jeanice
"Snow Canyon State Park" Uploaded By: Jeanice

"Rainbow Bridge" Uploaded By: Jeanice

"Darrell's crow lecture complete with costume" Uploaded By: Jeanice

"Zion View" Uploaded By: Elaine

"Zion Canyon River" Uploaded By: Elaine

"Zion from the south" Uploaded By: Elaine

"Grand Canyon 2" Uploaded By: Elaine

"Grand Canyon" Uploaded By: Elaine

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"Dead Horse Point Oxbow" Uploaded By: Elaine

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"Bryce Point" Uploaded By: Elaine

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You won't find a better value.

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


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