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Grand Canyon National Park With Your Grandchild: Colorado River Rafting and a Historic Train Ride

Program Number: 5831RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/3/2014 - 8/8/2014; 6/14/2015 - 6/19/2015; 6/21/2015 - 6/26/2015; 7/5/2015 - 7/10/2015; 7/26/2015 - 7/31/2015; 8/2/2015 - 8/7/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Flagstaff, Arizona
Price starting at: $949.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Intergenerational; National Parks; Natural History; Water Sports
Intergenerational
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Program intended for grandchildren from 9 - 12 years of age.

Create memories you’ll never forget — show your grandchild the Grand Canyon for the first time! Arrive on the South Rim via the historic Grand Canyon Railway with a train “robbery” en route. At this world wonder, hike a canyon trail, watch for California condors, and explore canyon geology. Plus, travel through the Navajo Reservation and visit secluded Walnut Canyon National Monument’s prehistoric cliff dwellings.




Highlights

• Raft the Colorado River beneath 800-foot towering sandstone cliffs, then explore Lee’s Ferry, the “Mushroom Rocks,” and the Navajo Bridge high above this mighty river.
• Participate in a Challenge Course with both low and high elements, such as a thrilling free fall to the “Giants Swing,” and build a survival shelter in ponderosa forest.
• Before a two-hour train ride to the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, enjoy a western shoot-out show, then on the train help the sheriff capture the bandits.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles a day. Ability to step in, out of raft. Elevatons of 7,000 feet.



Coordinated by Northern Arizona University.




Flagstaff

Nestled at the foot of the San Francisco Peaks in northern Arizona, Flagstaff is a perfect departure point for trips to the Glen and Grand canyons or Sunset Crater National Monument. At 7,000 feet in elevation, this cool mountain city is one of the highest in the nation.



Accommodations
Hotel close to campus with fitness center, outdoor pool and Wi-Fi in rooms.

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.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Flagstaff La Quinta Inn & Suites
  Flagstaff, AZ 5 nights
 Flagstaff La Quinta Inn & Suites
Type: Hotel
  Description: Four floors with 2 elevators, 128 rooms. Conveniently close to shopping. One quarter mile to Northern Arizona University. 2 miles to historic downtown Flagstaff. Wide range of cuisine available at nearby restaurants.
  Contact info: 2015 S Beulah Blvd
Flagstaff, AZ 86001 USA
phone: 928-556-8666
web: www.lq.com/lq/properties/propertyProfile.do?ident=LQ939&propId=939
  Room amenities: Free WIFI, dataport phones, premium cable channels, coffee maker, hair dryer, clock.
  Facility amenities: Seasonal outdoor pool and spa, fitness center. Deluxe continental breakfast. Guest coin operated laundry available. Free local calls. Participants requesting a refrigerator for medicine can have access to a locked refrigerator that is located in the hotel lobby area. Lobby microwave available to guests 24 hours. Safety deposit box at front desk available to all guests. Roll away beds for $10.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Seasonal Call local La Quinta for the rates available during your stay (928) 556-8666. NOTE: When they get the pre-recorded information they must hit the "6" option, to connect with group sales, which has the information about Road Scholar groups.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Seasonal Call local La Quinta for the rates available during your stay (928) 556-8666. NOTE: When they get the pre-recorded information they must hit the "6" option, to connect with group sales, which has the information about Road Scholar groups.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Hotel meeting room, 4:30-5:15 PM. You will be staying at Flagstaff La Quinta Inn & Suites that night.
  End of Program:
11:00 AM at Hotel You will be staying at Flagstaff La Quinta Inn & Suites the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. All participants will need to complete a liability release form in order to participate in the NAU Challenge course. Parents must complete forms for children attending the program. Colorado River Discovery requires assumption of risk agreement form to be signed prior to raft trip. Parents must complete forms for children attending the program. Parental Consent Form Intergenerational Rules and Regulations These forms should be mailed, faxed or scanned/emailed to NAU Road Scholar. Address/fax/email in Notes Section. National Park Pass, but only if you have one (not required).
  Parking availability:
Free parking at La Quinta for the duration of the program.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Flagstaff, AZ
  Nearest city or town:  Phoenix, AZ 150 mi S
  Nearest highway: I-17, I-40
  Nearest airport:  Commuter - 3 mi; Phoenix Intl Arpt 150 mi S
  From End of Program
  Location: Flagstaff, AZ
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Flagstaff, AZ to/from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport #5831

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Van Go Shuttle
phone: 866-448-2646
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Estimated $45, price does not include customary gratuity.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

2.5-3 hours (from Phoenix). 

 

Distance:

 

151 miles

   

Van Go times shuttles to coincide with program start/end time in Flagstaff. Best to arrive in Phoenix Sky Harbor airport by 10:30AM and book departures from PHX after 4PM. Call Van Go PRIOR to booking flights to aid in ease of travel transfers as Van Go offers just one shuttle departure time. Van Go picks up from all terminals at Phoenix airport and nearby airport hotels, and drops off at program hotel. Return shuttle departs immediately upon conclusion of program from Flagstaff La Quinta Hotel.

 

Flagstaff, AZ to/from Starting Destination

 

To Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation
Amtrak
phone: 800-872-7245
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Varies with starting / return destination
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

From Flagstaff train station to hotel: 5 minute taxi ride. 

 

Distance:

 

From Flagstaff train station to hotel 2 miles.

   

Westbound train arrives 8:51 PM and departs at 8:57 PM Eastbound train arrives at 4:36 AM and departs at 4:41 AM. Times subject to change. Check Amtrak for current schedules.

 

Flagstaff, AZ to/from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Arizona Shuttle
phone: 877-226-8060
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Approx. $45.00 one way ($41.00 Internet Reservation); $5.00 each way drop off/pickup at La Quinta
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Approx 3 hours 

 

Distance:

 

150 Miles

   

Call Arizona Shuttle for departure times PRIOR to booking flights. 9 shuttles daily from/to the Phoenix airport. Upon arrival into Phoenix airport, check in required at shuttle desk in baggage claim area of airport,15 minutes before shuttle departure. Flagstaff La Quinta Hotel drop off/pick up by advanced reservation ($5.00 extra charge per reservation BY MENTIONING ROAD SCHOLAR); otherwise the drop off/pick up is at Flagstaff Amtrak (Visitor Center). Advanced reservations required.

 
Driving Directions
  Flagstaff La Quinta From I-40 Take the I-40 to Flagstaff, AZ and exit at 195 north for Flagstaff and Grand Canyon. This puts you northbound on Milton Road. At the first stoplight, Forest Meadows, turn left. Continue west on Forest Meadows for a quarter block to the next light at Beulah Blvd. Turn right on Beulah and continue for a quarter block. La Quinta is on the left, 2015 S. Beulah.
  Flagstaff La Quinta from I-17 Travel north on 1-17 until it ends, becoming Milton Road in Flagstaff, AZ. Turn left at the first stop light on Forest Meadows. Continue for quarter block to the next light on Beulah Blvd. Turn right on Beulah and drive for a quarter block. La Quinta is on the left, 2015 S. Beulah.
Elevation Note: Flagstaff's elevation is 7,000 feet. Participants with heart/lung conditions, check with physician.

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: Program Registration/Orientation & Getting Acquainted
(Sunday, August 3)
   
 Afternoon: On site registration in hotel meeting room from 4:30-5:15 PM
 Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant with an extensive salad bar and entree choices.
 Evening: After dinner, meet your fellow participants, both young and young at heart, and learn about the full slate of fun and educational activities planned for the next five days in Flagstaff and northern Arizona.
   
Accommodations: Flagstaff La Quinta Inn & Suites
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Challenge Course/Outdoor Survival/ California Condors in Arizona
(Monday, August 4)

Note: Walking on mostly paved pathways at Bearizona. Some walking off road over uneven terrain -- no more than 1/4 mile -- for survival activity.



   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast in the hotel including waffles, hot and cold cereals, coffee, juice and fruit.
 Morning: Shuttle to Northern Arizona University's Challenge Course on south campus for a morning of team building events. Our goal is to build a trusting and cohesive group of grandparents and grandchildren who just met each other the night before. We will start out with on the ground games, move to low and then to high element activities. This will include some of the elements of the static course with activities at heights 25-30 feet off the ground. This progression of activities will challenge the group with increasingly difficult tasks while encouraging cooperation, inspiring confidence and having fun, all within a supportive and safe environment. Grandparents as well as grandchildren are encouraged to participate, but all activities are 'challenge by choice'. (Requires only average strength and coordination). Then travel to Williams, AZ to Bearizona.
 Lunch: Sack lunch at Bearizona.
 Afternoon: At Bearizona, watch hawks, owls, falcons and other raptors in “free flight” demonstrations while learning about their natural history, conservation and important role in ecosystem health. Visit Fort Bearizona to see black bear cubs and other North American animals in a walk-through setting. Then travel through the Drive Thru Wildlife Park to see large North American mammals including bison, wolves, big horn sheep and black bears. Depart Bearizona for the surrounding ponderosa forest where we’ll learn some basic survival techniques and build an emergency shelter out of natural materials. Return to the hotel in late afternoon.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local Greek restaurant with a variety of entree choices for all ages and palates.
 Evening: The evening's kid-focused presentation will be about the efforts to reestablish the once nearly-extinct California Condor, America's largest bird, in northern Arizona. Presented by a wildlife biologist from the Arizona Department of Game and Fish. This topic is timely since condors have been known to frequent the area near Lee's Ferry and the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
   
Accommodations: Flagstaff La Quinta Inn & Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Navajo Reservation/Lee's Ferry & Navajo Bridge/Rafting on the Colorado River
(Tuesday, August 5)

Note: Participants need to be able to climb in and out of a motorized raft, with assistance, for smooth water float trip. Daytime temperatures can be very warm (90F) and the sun quite strong so it is important to stay hydrated and protect ones-self from the sun with a hat, sunscreen and/or long-sleeved shirt and long pants (quick drying). Optional: short 1/4 mile walk to view ancient rock art during smooth water raft trip.



   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast in the hotel including waffles, hot and cold cereals, coffee, juice and fruit.
 Morning: Depart for Cameron Trading Post on the Navajo Nation, and then to on to the town of Page. Visit the Carl Hayden Visitor Center perched high above Glen Canyon Dam. View the giant relief map in the lobby and see photos of the building of the dam in the 1950’s and 60’s. Looking out of the giant picture windows, see Lake Powell stretching into the distance. Lake Powell has more shoreline than the west coast of the United States! Then shift your gaze down and to the rafts moored just below the dam and know that soon you’ll be boarding one for an unforgettable float through Glen Canyon. After checking in with the guiding company, you will descend by bus through the tunnel down to the river and your waiting raft. As you float downstream, watching the walls of the Canyon rise above you, look for fly fishermen casting for rainbow trout. The water is so clear you may see them swimming below you.
 Lunch: Enjoy your lunch after boarding the boat for the raft trip.
 Afternoon: Enjoy your lunch as you gaze up at the high cliffs searching for golden eagles, California condors -- North America's largest flying bird, hawks and turkey vultures. Stop to see the amazing petroglyphs, perhaps 1000 years old, just a short distance from shore. You may catch sight of a chuckwalla lizard sunning itself nearby. Then dare your friends to jump into the 48 degree water of the Colorado River before reboarding the rafts for the spectacular trip around the Horseshoe Bend -- 1000' above -- and to Lee's Ferry. Remember, Lee’s Ferry is where the Grand Canyon officially begins. You may see river guides readying their rafts for their exciting trips through the Grand Canyon. Time permitting, stop at the wild looking mushroom rocks – just part of the fascinating geology near Lee’s Ferry. Please note: raft trip participation requires signature on a liability waiver.
 Dinner: Dinner at the historic Cameron Trading Post. One of your entree choices is an authentic Navajo Taco.
 Evening: Return to Flagstaff after dinner.
   
Accommodations: Flagstaff La Quinta Inn & Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Kids Only Activity/Hands On Exploration of Grand Canyon Geology!/Free Afternoon
(Wednesday, August 6)
   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast in the hotel including waffles, hot and cold cereals, coffee, juice and fruit.
 Morning: After breakfast is a 'Kids Only' activity. Then, ever wonder how the Grand Canyon was created? Everyone will participate in a hands-on presentation on the mighty earth forces over millions and billions of years that created the Grand Canyon. Which rock layer will you be?!
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant with many choices from an extensive salad and taco bar.
 Afternoon: After lunch, enjoy a free afternoon to explore historic Flagstaff and regional attractions on your own or with new friends or enjoy a dip in the hotel's pool. Because of the numerous opportunities for individual exploration you may wish to combine the afternoon and evening free times and go to Sedona, Meteor Crater, Montezuma Castle, Lowell Observatory, or other points of interest.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local Mexican restaurant.
 Evening: Enjoy a free evening.
   
Accommodations: Flagstaff La Quinta Inn & Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: All Aboard the Grand Canyon Railway!/Grand Canyon National Park and Bright Angel Trail/Pizza Party!
(Thursday, August 7)

Note: Walking up to 2 miles on paved pathways on S. Rim of Grand Canyon. Optional hike into Canyon is 2/3 mile round trip on steep, unpaved Bright Angel Trail.



   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast in the hotel including waffles, hot and cold cereals, coffee, juice and fruit.
 Morning: Board transportation to the Williams train depot, 35 miles west of Flagstaff. Following the Wild West show and shoot out, board the train for the 60 mile trip through forests and high desert ranch land to the south rim of the Grand Canyon. Look for prairie dogs near Williams then watch for mule deer in the ponderosa forest and pronghorn antelope and free range cattle in the open range lands.
 Lunch: Box lunch to enjoy on the train as you travel through an iconic Arizona ranch landscape with mountains in the distance.
 Afternoon: After box lunch on the train, tour Grand Canyon Village and the view points of the Grand Canyon from the S. Rim. Optional hike down the famous Bright Angel Trail. Enjoy a little bit of free time to explore the Canyon on your own or find the fountain for ice cream at the Bright Angel Lodge. Board train to return to the Williams train station -- that is, unless the train robbers get you on the way back!
 Dinner: Come back to Flagstaff and enjoy a festive pizza party for our final dinner.
 Evening: Enjoy the last evening together with your new friends before packing up. Everyone into the pool!
   
Accommodations: Flagstaff La Quinta Inn & Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Walnut Canyon National Monument Ancient Cliff Dwellings/Program Wrap Up & Farewells
(Friday, August 8)

Note: Island Trail descends 185 feet into Walnut Canyon and is .9 miles round trip. There is a paved rim trail for those unable to descend into the Canyon.



   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast in the hotel including waffles, hot and cold cereals, coffee, juice and fruit.
 Morning: This morning, travel to Walnut Canyon National Monument, to view the 700 year old Anasazi pueblo ruins there. Walk down into the canyon on the Island Trail to visit and, in some cases, step inside these ancient structures. Walk in the footsteps of these early area inhabitants, see how they lived, where they got their food, how they built their homes, while enjoying the spectacular scenery and geology of Walnut Canyon. Hear of the connection that the Hopi people have to this beautiful canyon. Visit the Monument's museum and bookstore. Program review and farewells near the canyon's rim. Program ends with the return to the hotel in time for the 11:00 AM checkout.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Flagstaff, AZ Flagstaff, AZ
Points of Interest w/in 2 hours of Flagstaff: Walnut Canyon NM, Wupatki NM, Sunset Crater NM, Museum of Northern Arizona, Downtown Flagstaff & old Route 66, Lowell Observatory, Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona Red Rocks and the Secret Mountain Wilderness, Montezuma’s Castle NM, Tuzigoot NM, Jerome, AZ Ghost Town, San Francisco Peaks and the Kachina Wilderness, Hopi & Navajo Reservations, La Posada Hotel / Restaurant at Winslow, AZ, Grand Canyon Railroad @ Williams, AZ and the Grand Canyon National Park. For additional information, visit www.flagstaffarizona.org
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.

Suggested Reading List


An Introduction to Grand Canyon Prehistory


Author: Coder, Christopher M.


Description: People have inhabited Grand Canyon for the past twelve thousand years. Evidence of their lives exists throughout the canyon; but it is up to their ancestors and archaeologists to interpret those remains for us. This book provides a popular look at the architecture, art, and tools of prehistoric Puebloan peoples, as well as information about modern-day Native American tribes. With illustrations and color photographs.



An Introduction to Grand Canyon Ecology


Author: Houk, Rose


Description: 56pp



Carving Grand Canyon: Evidence, Theories, and Mystery


Author: Ranney, Wayne


Description: Ranney explains how rivers in general can physically carve canyons, looks chronologically at the numerous theories that have been presented by successive generations of geologists regarding the Grand Canyon's formation, and describes a plausible sequence of geologic events that could create such a landscape. Numerous color photographs, detailed illustrations, and maps are provided. Annotation ©2005 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR 160pp; 2nd edition 2012.



Field Guide to the Grand Canyon


Author: Whitney, Stephen R


Description: This book describes and illustrates the area's plants and animals, and offers fascinating in-depth information on the natural history and geology of this dramatic region. 272pp



Half Broke Horses


Author: Walls, Jeannette


Description: Jeannette Walls, author of The Glass Castle, wrote this true life novel which unfolds across Northern Arizona from the 1920s to the 1960s. Its heroine, Lily Casey Smith, (Ms. Wall's grandmother) battled the elements, prejudices, economic conditions and politics of remote frontier Arizona. Many of the locations described - Peach Springs, Seligman, Flagstaff, the Navajo Reservation, the Arizona Strip - are sites visited by NAU Road Scholar programs. Readers of this selection will feel the sense of heritage from this tale of life in our distant corner of America.



Living at the Edge: Explorers, Exploiters, and Settlers of the Grand Canyon Region


Author: Anderson, Michael F


Description: A comprehensive look at the pioneer history of the Grand Canyon Region, from its earliest residents to the creation of the national park at the end of the pioneer era (circa 1920). Included are close to two hundred historic photographs, many never published before, and 12 custom maps of the region. 184pp



Native Roads : The Complete Motoring Guide to the Navajo and Hopi Nations


Author: Kosik, Frank


Description: Using the mile markers of the US, Arizona, and Navajo highways and routes running through the Navajo and Hopi nations as her organizing principle, the author offers a travel guide to the sites found in the area. Natural, historical, and cultural points of interest are covered, along with some information on lodging and services. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR 304pp



Roadside Geology of Arizona


Author: Chronic, Halka


Description: The 18th printing of this book in the Roadside Geology Series offers a mini-course in geology, focusing on what can be seen from Arizona highways. Although written especially for those with little or no geologic training, there's plenty here for the professional geologist as well--a great introduction to Arizona and its past. Geologic terms are defined where first used and again in the glossary. Inside the front cover is a legend to geological symbols and abbreviations commonly used by geologists. 321pp



The Man Who Walked Through Time: The Story of the First Trip Afoot Through the Grand Canyon


Author: Fletcher, Colin


Description: The remarkable classic of nature writing by the first man ever to have walked the entire length of the Grand Canyon. 256pp



Volcanoes of Northern Arizona - Sleeping Giants of the Grand Canyon Region


Author: Duffield, Wendell A


Description: Just south of the Grand Canyon lies a range of volcanic mountain including Mt. Humphreys, the highest point in Arizona. These mountains encompassing Sunset Crater and the San Francisco Peaks, collectively make up the San Francisco Volcanic Field. This book provides, for the first time, a popular look at the fiery origin of these volcanic features. With magnificent aerial photographs, original geologic illustrations, and detailed road logs to many of the key features, this book is an indispensable tool for the traveler, the educator, and all that are interested in the remarkable landscape of northern Arizona. 68pp





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