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Southwest Landscape Photography With an Arizona Highways Photographer!

Program Number: 1046RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/20/2013 - 10/25/2013; 11/9/2014 - 11/14/2014; 2/8/2015 - 2/13/2015; 2/22/2015 - 2/27/2015; 4/16/2015 - 4/21/2015; 10/22/2015 - 10/27/2015; 11/9/2015 - 11/14/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Price starting at: $996.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Photography Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 12; 5 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 4 Dinners    

Experience a rare opportunity to study with an Arizona Highways magazine photographer. Armed with your digital camera, share professional techniques through in-the-field, hands-on photo adventures and class critiques. Enjoy nature walks and other opportunities to capture memories of Arizona as you "develop" your skills and "shoot" it out with some of the best in the West.


• Shoot sunset in the Superstition Mountains and visit the Desert Botanical Garden to frame the natural habitat of wildlife, birds, wildflowers and exotic cacti.
• Feb programs, enjoy a desert foray with 2 nights in Tucson shooting at the San Xavier del Bac Mission, Saguaro National Park and Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum, and sites on the historic Presidio Trail.
• April - November programs: Shoot in Sedona and Grand Canyon National Park for iconic sunrise/sunset photo shoots and red rock splendor.

Activity Particulars

Walking and standing as far and as long as participant is comfortable. Photograph close to the bus or venture out.

Emphasis on digital photography. Traditional photographers welcome, but film processing not possible; only digital photos will be critiqued. Tri-pod recommended.

Date Specific Information


This program will travel to the Grand Canyon by way of Flagstaff and the Cameron Trading Post and will spend one night in Valle, Arizona near the Grand Canyon. The next day will be spent in Sedona and will include sunset shots before returning to Phoenix. Sunset shots at the Grand Canyon and MacDonald Ranch instead of the Superstition Mountain Range.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

11-9-2014, 4-16-2015, 10-22-2015, 11-9-2015

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

2-8-2015, 2-22-2015

Seasonal itinerary change: 3 nights in Phoenix, 2 nights in Tucson, and then back to Phoenix for program conclusion/drop offs by 10:30 AM.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Itinerary Summary

Independent Arrivals Phoenix, 3 nights; Coach to Sedona, 1 night; Coach to Grand Canyon South Rim, 1 night; Coach to Scottsdale/Phoenix Airport; departures.

Coordinated by Northern Arizona University.


Phoenix is a thriving metropolis surrounded by majestic mountains. Along with the visual beauty of the land, the city has a rich heritage of Native American and Hispanic cultures. Native American and western expansion influences are seen in the art and architecture of Phoenix, and an abundance of museums and art galleries showcase the culture.


An affluent city adjacent to Phoenix, Scottsdale enjoys an annual average of more than 330 days of sunshine, a factor that, along with the area’s wide-open desert landscape, makes the city a haven for golfers. Scottsdale’s vibrant nightlife and busy hotel scene are balanced out by its proximity to mountain areas popular with outdoor enthusiasts.

Phoenix: Midtown hotel with gardens, pool and fitness center; Tucson and Sedona: hotel settings with outdoor pools; Grand Canyon: National Park lodge at the South Rim. See date specific notes for seasonal variations in itinerary.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Richard Stephens

Rich has been director of Northern Arizona University’s highly popular Road Scholar programs since 2001. He previously spent many years in the field as a program coordinator and group leader, where he honed his skills and learned the importance of detailed, pre-trip planning. Before making his home in Arizona’s spectacular red-rock country, Rich spent 10 years in Yosemite National Park and the Santa Cruz mountains as an environmental educator.
Jeff Strang

Jeff Strang's knowledge of the environment stems from over 35 years of hiking, paddling, and photography in the outdoors, his extensive experience as a naturalist, as well as from his education at the University of Oregon and Lewis and Clark Law School. In 1987, Jeff filed a precedent-setting lawsuit against Oregon polluters under the Clean Water Act. Jeff has been leading Road Scholar programs since 2002. In his free time, Jeff enjoys biking to work, hiking, kayaking, outdoor photography and studying geology.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hilton Garden Phoenix Airport North
  Phoenix 2 nights
   Grand Canyon Inn
  South Rim of the Grand Canyon 1 night
   Hilton Garden Phoenix Airport North
  Phoenix 2 nights
 Hilton Garden Phoenix Airport North
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Discover contemporary conveniences for Phoenix and beyond at Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix Airport North hotel. Set minutes from Phoenix Sky Harbor International (PHX) Airport, this Phoenix hotel is convenient to freeways and the Phoenix light rail system, making an ideal base for downtown Phoenix, and surrounding attractions. Complimentary 24-hour Phoenix Sky Harbor International (PHX) Airport shuttle Heated outdoor Pool and Spa Modern cardio and weight equipment Free Business center computers Full size refrigerator in every room Complimentary WiFi access Accessible rooms feature roll-in showers Self Parking/FREE Parking
  Contact info: 3838 E. Van Buren St.
Phoenix, AZ 85008 USA
phone: 602-306-2323
  Room amenities: Make yourself at home in a Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix Airport North guest room. A microwave, full-size refrigerator and complimentary cable on the HDTV provide the comforts of home, while a Herman Miller ergonomic chair furnishes a touch of elegance. Stay connected at the oversized desk, or from the comfort of a Garden Sleep System® adjustable bed, with complimentary WiFi access. Spacious suites have pullout sofa-sleepers in the parlor to make great family rooms. Accessible rooms feature roll-in showers for ease of movement.
  Facility amenities: Complimentary 24-hour Phoenix Sky Harbor International (PHX) Airport shuttle 24-hour Business Center and complimentary WiFi access throughout the hotel Cooked-to-order breakfast at The Great American Grill®, open 6am – 10pm Fitness center and outdoor swimming pool
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: 169.00 + Tax Request AAA or AARP Rate Let front desk know program number and week enrolled.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: 169.00 + Tax Request AAA or AARP Rate Let front desk know program number and week enrolled.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

 Grand Canyon Inn
Type: Inn
  Description: ♦ Heated swimming pool ♦ Handicap accessible rooms
  Contact info: 317 South State Rd
Valle, AZ 86046 USA
phone: 928-635-9203
  Room amenities: The Grand Canyon Inn is the perfect place to stay, dine, and shop during your Grand Canyon vacation. We offer 101 rooms in our motel complex. Almost all of our rooms have two queen-sized beds. The rooms are decorated in attractive Southwestern themes and offer many amenities such as in-room coffee service, hair dryers, and irons. All rooms are pet-free, have 32" flat-screen televisions, DirecTV digital satellite TV service, and direct dial phones. WiFi service is complimentary, and available in most rooms (please inquire). Individually-controlled heat and air conditioning is provided in all rooms for your comfort regardless of the time of year of your visit.
  Facility amenities: In the late 1970s the family built the current Grand Canyon Inn in Valle, Arizona, and in 1977 built the first phase of the Grand Canyon Inn and restaurant as it exists today. In 1981 the motel expanded across the street with the A & B wing with 33 rooms. Expansions continued with two new wings and 40 more rooms as well as a swimming pool added in the mid-1990s. Today the Grand Canyon Inn has 101 rooms.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Road Scholar Registration in the Main lobby at 4:30pm. Dinner begins at 6:00pm followed by orientation. Hotel check-in anytime after 3:00pm. You will be staying at Hilton Garden Phoenix Airport North that night.
  End of Program:
Check out after Wrap-Up (by 11:00am). You will be staying at Hilton Garden Phoenix Airport North the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Bring your Senior National Park Pass to this program. Please enter the senior pass number into the Road Scholar Participant Information Report (PIR) online. If you want to purchase this lifetime senior pass for US citizens who are 62 and over, it is available at any National Park office or online for $10.
  Parking availability:
To Start of Program
  Location:  Phoenix
  Nearest city or town:  Phoenix
  Nearest highway: I-17 and I-10
  Nearest airport:  Sky Harbor Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Phoenix
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details

Sky Harbor Airport


From Airport




Hotel Shuttle
Hilton Garden Inn
phone: 602-306-2323
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Free - Suggested gratuity
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


15 Min. 




6 Miles

Driving Directions
  From the Airport to Hilton Garden Airport North Take East Airport exit to 44th Street north to Van Buren. Left on Van Buren to hotel.
  Sedona to Hilton Garden Airport North Head south on Arizona 89A S toward Forest Rd, 0.3 mi. At the traffic circle, take the 3rd exit onto AZ-179 S, 0.4. Pass through nine traffic circles, continue straight to stay on AZ-179 S. Turn right to merge onto I-17 S toward Phoenix, 97.6 mi. Take exit 200A for I-10 W/Interstate 10 E toward Los Angeles/Tucson, 0.2 mi. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for I-10 E/Tucson and merge onto I-10 E, 3.9 mi. Take exit 147A to merge onto AZ-202 Loop E, 2.6 mi. Take exit 2 for 40th St toward 44th St, 0.3 mi. Turn right onto N 40th St, 0.5 mi. Take the 3rd right onto E Van Buren St.
  Tuscon to Hilton Garden Airport North Head west on E Broadway Blvd toward S Country Club Rd, 2.3 miles. Continue straight onto S Toole Ave, 0.5 mi. Continue onto W Franklin St, 0.1 mi. Continue onto N Church Ave, 0.1 mi. Continue onto W 6th St, 0.2 mi. Continue onto W St Marys Rd, 0.3 mi. Turn right onto N Freeway St, 0.5 mi. Take the ramp on the left onto I-10 W, 96.1 mi. Continue onto Interstate 10 W, 0.5 mi. Continue onto I-10 W, 7.1 mi. Take exit 153A to merge onto AZ-143 N toward Sky Harbor, 2.7 mi. Take the Washington St exit, 0.3 mi. Slight right at E Washington St (signs for Washington Street), 92 ft. Take the 1st left onto E Washington St, 0.3 mi. Take the 2nd right onto N 44th St, 0.2 mi. Turn left at the 3rd cross street onto E Van Buren St.
Elevation Note: Overnight trip to the Grand Canyon and Sedona will be from 3000 - 7000 feet.

Equipment Requirements: 1. Bring your own camera. 35 mm SLR or digital SLR recommended but not required. Wide angle (20-35 mm) lense, macro lens or close-up filter useful. Short to medium (80-200 mm) telephoto lense also useful. Tripod and cable release are invaluable. Program emphasis is on all phases of digital photography, but film and SLR users are also welcome to attend program and receive instruction from Arizona Highways Photographer. However, we will not be able to process SLR or print film for critique during the week; only digital photos will be critiqued during week. 2. Bring flash drive for critiquing photos.4. Bring warm clothing (layering and a coat) and close-toed shoes.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Check-In and Program Registration/Orientation
(Sunday, October 20)
 Afternoon: Please arrive at the hotel by 4:30pm. Check into your room at the front desk and at 5:00 pm register with Road Scholar staff in the Main lobby. You will then have until 6:00 PM to settle into your room.
 Dinner: Dinner is at the hotel at 6:00 p.m. Please arrive at the time indicated on your itinerary.
 Evening: After dinner we will have orientation. This will provide you with information about the hotel, program itinerary, instructors, venues and on site staff. This is also a good opportunity to ask questions!
Accommodations: Hilton Garden Phoenix Airport North
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Photography Class//MacDonald Ranch Photos/ Cookout
(Monday, October 21)
 Breakfast: Buffet served daily 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.
 Morning: Anyone with one of today's cameras can take a picture; not everyone can be called a photographer. Many of today's cameras are so "smart" that a person can literally point and shoot with the results being very acceptable more often than not. The question regarding equipment is, do you run it or does it run you? Which route to take? Your path or the beaten path? Discover your own unique path to stunning photography under the guided tutelage of an Arizona Highways Photographer. Unlock the secrets of professional photographers and learn to capture the "soul" of a place as opposed to merely its physical appearance. View the world with the eye of a photographer and uncover the beauty and picturesque moments and scenes surrounding you during this photography class.
 Lunch: Lunch will be a a buffet meal at the hotel.
 Afternoon: 1:00 pm to 3 pm. Critique I Class - email photo prior to program start to or bring it on a flash drive to critique in this class.
 Afternoon: Field trip to 1300 acre Mac Donalds 's Ranch in the lush Sonoran Desert for Sunset Photo shoot. Experience the magic of the desert in the true spirit of the west. Enjoy endless saguaros and fascinating wildlife.
 Dinner: Enjoy a cowboy cookout in a rustic old-west setting.
 Evening: Return to hotel upon conclusion of photo shoot and cowboy cookout.
Accommodations: Hilton Garden Phoenix Airport North
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Phoenix to Flagstaff to Cameron trading Post to/Grand Canyon
(Tuesday, October 22)
 Depart From: Check out of Hilton Garden Inn. Put luggage on Bus for Grand Canyon
 Breakfast: Come down to breakfast at 6:00 depart for historic Cameron Trading Post by 7:15 am. Be sure checked out of your room.
 Morning: Board bus for the Grand Canyon. Enjoy photo opportunities on the way up as you travel through the scenic high country of Arizona. 10:45 stop for a break in Flagstaff.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch and shopping at the Cameron Trading Post near the east entrance of the Grand Canyon.
 Afternoon: Enjoy photo opportunities as you make your way from the east entrance of the Grand Canyon to Sunset Photos from 5:30 -6:00 p.m.
 Dinner: 6:30 p.m. Enjoy dinner at Bright Angel Lodge after sunset shoots.
 Evening: Board bus for Grand Canyon Inn at Valle, AZ. Check into the hotel around 8:00pm
Accommodations: Grand Canyon Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Grand Canyon/Sedona
(Wednesday, October 23)
 Breakfast: 6:30 - 8:30 a.m. Cooked to order from the menu. Your own selection. Be sure to load suitcases by 9:00 a.m.
 Morning: Board the bus at 9:00 to depart for Oak Creek Canyon overlook photo shoots. Depart for Slide Rock at 10:45 a.m. for photo shoot.
 Morning: Enjoy a field trip to Sedona Red Rock Country. Located in Arizona's high desert under the towering southwestern rim of the vast Colorado Plateau, the city of Sedona is blessed with four mild seasons marked by abundant sunshine and clean air. The rust-red color of the landscape, the burble of Oak Creek and the red mountains are an exquisite assault on the 5 senses. There is little wonder why the awe-inspiring views surrounding Sedona stir reverent feelings in its visitors. As the sun tracks across Sedona's turquoise-blue skies, the ageless mountains, spires, boulders, trees and occasional intermittent waterfalls that surround Sedona will display more colors than any ambitious rainbow, and provide endless opportunities for magnificent photos.
 Lunch: Enjoy a sack lunch at Slide Rock State Park.
 Afternoon: Enjoy scenic areas such as Slide Rock, Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, and other beautiful locations in Sedona. Sunset Shots at 5:30p.m to 6:00p.m. at Red Rock Crossing.
 Dinner: Enjoy dinner on your own in Sedona on Main Street.
 Evening: Board bus for Phoenix. After arriving check back into the Hilton Garden Inn North in Phoenix.
Accommodations: Hilton Garden Phoenix Airport North
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Desert Botanical Gardens and Photo Critique
(Thursday, October 24)
 Breakfast: Buffet served from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.
 Morning: 9:00 a.m. board bus for photo shoot at the Desert Botanical Gardens. One of only 44 botanical gardens accredited by the American Association of Museums, this one-of-a-kind museum showcases 50 acres of beautiful outdoor exhibits. Home to 139 rare, threatened and endangered plant species from around the world, the Garden offers interesting and inspiring experiences to more than 250,000 visitors each year. The stunning exhibits provide endless photo opportunities.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own at the Desert Botanical Gardens.
 Afternoon: 2:00 - 6:00 p.m. Critique your photos with an Arizona Highway's photographer.
 Dinner: Dinner at 6:15 p.m. at the hotel.
Accommodations: Hilton Garden Phoenix Airport North
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Photo Workshop Critique/ Check out
(Friday, October 25)
 Breakfast: Buffet from 6:00 a.m. to 9 a.m.
 Morning: Photo workshop and review from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Checkout by 11:00 a.m. Have a safe trip home!
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

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As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.

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