Road Scholar : Home
The Best of Color Country National Parks: Zion, Bryce and Grand Canyon

Program Number: 11573RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/16/2014 - 9/23/2014; 5/12/2016 - 5/19/2016; 5/15/2016 - 5/22/2016; 5/22/2016 - 5/29/2016; 5/24/2016 - 5/31/2016; 5/29/2016 - 6/5/2016; 6/5/2016 - 6/12/2016; 6/7/2016 - 6/14/2016; 6/21/2016 - 6/28/2016; 8/9/2016 - 8/16/2016; 8/21/2016 - 8/28/2016; 9/4/2016 - 9/11/2016; 9/11/2016 - 9/18/2016; 9/20/2016 - 9/27/2016; 9/27/2016 - 10/4/2016; 10/2/2016 - 10/9/2016; 10/6/2016 - 10/13/2016; 10/9/2016 - 10/16/2016;
Duration: 7 nights
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Price starting at: $1,395.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: National Parks; On the Road; Natural History
Meals: 20; 7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 6 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

The Colorado Plateau has created monuments shaped by winter snows, rain and geological upheaval over a span of time eluding human comprehension. Even with an understanding of geology, the multi-hued amphitheaters and hoodoos of Bryce, the cathedral canyons of Zion and the lush North Rim of the Grand Canyon seem improbable — inspiring wonder and defying imagination. Venture into these breathtaking national parks to discover their evolution through geologic time and the natural history and human stories that also color this country.


• Hike in Zion National Park's main canyon as a naturalist provides trailside insights.
• Spend a day among hoodoos and other rock formations of Bryce Canyon National Park.
• Witness sunrise and sunset at the Grand Canyon’s North Rim and enjoy a meditative hike below the rim on the North Kaibab Trail.

Activity Particulars

Varies by date. May 22, 2016 │ Sept. 27, 2015: Moderate — Walking up to one mile on varied terrain. Elevations up to 8,000 feet. All other dates Active — Walking three miles daily at same elevation.

Date Specific Information

6-7-2016, 6-21-2016, 8-9-2016

Start date offers exclusive accommodations inside all three national parks. Enjoy the ability to experience the parks on your schedule during program down time. All three lodges are part of the historic Grand Circle loop tour, pioneered by the Union Pacific Railway and showcased in the PBS documentary "Great Lodges Of The National Parks."


Start date offers exclusive accommodations inside all three national parks. Enjoy the ability to experience the parks on your schedule during program down time. All three lodges are part of the historic Grand Circle loop tour, pioneered by the Union Pacific Railway and showcased in the PBS documentary "Great Lodges Of The National Parks."Stay in historic cabins in both Zion and Grand Canyon National Parks.


Start date offers exclusive accommodations inside all three national parks. Enjoy the ability to experience the parks on your schedule during program down time. All three lodges are part of the historic Grand Circle loop tour, pioneered by the Union Pacific Railway and showcased in the PBS documentary "Great Lodges Of The National Parks." Stay in historic cabins in both Zion and Grand Canyon National Parks.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Las Vegas, Nev., 1 night; coach to Zion National Park, Utah, 2 nights; coach to Bryce Canyon National Park, 2 nights; coach to North Rim Grand Canyon, Ariz., 2 nights; coach to Las Vegas, Nev.; departure.

Coordinated by ExploreWest.

Grand Canyon North Rim

Sitting atop the Kaibab Plateau 9,000 feet above sea level with lush green meadows surrounded by a mixed conifer forest sprinkled with aspen, the North Rim is an oasis in the desert. Although only ten miles as the crow flies from the South Rim, the North Rim offers solitude and awe-inspiring views.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon, famous for its unique geology, consists of a series of horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters carved from the eastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau in southern Utah. Erosion and rainwater have shaped the colorful limestone rock into bizarre shapes including slot canyons, windows, fins and spires called "hoodoos."

Las Vegas (Nevada)

Located in the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Between the world-class entertainment and gambling on “The Strip” and the region’s amazing natural resources including beautiful Red Rock Canyon it is clear why people love this desert community.

Zion National Park

True to its name, which means "refuge" or "sanctuary" in ancient Hebrew, Zion is an oasis at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin and Mojave Desert provinces, encompassing sandstone canyons and colorful, high plateaus.

Las Vegas: Hotel convenient for airport and Strip. Zion: Lodge in Zion gateway town. Bryce Canyon: Lodge on park boundary. Grand Canyon: Cabins near views of the North Rim.

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

Jennifer Beltz is a former interpretive park ranger at Phantom Ranch, located in Grand Canyon National Park. She has worked as a naturalist and national park ranger throughout the United States, was co-coordinator of a Road Scholar service program that built a health clinic in Brazil, and has worked on many intergenerational programs. Jennifer has lectured in the Department of Geography and Public Planning at Northern Arizona University and has led programs for Road Scholar since 1992.
Bruce Banker

Bruce Banker is a graduate of Northern Arizona University, where he studied natural sciences and geology. He lives in Flagstaff and has worked for the National Park Service as a naturalist on the north rim of the Grand Canyon, Chaco Canyon National Historic Park and Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Bruce also serves as an outdoor educator for the Grand Canyon Field Institute. Bruce has taken students to many of the far-flung corners of the Southwest and has a few good stories to share.
David Best

David Best grew up in North Carolina and received his degrees in mathematics and geology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He retired after 32 years from the Geology Department at Northern Arizona University, where he was both a professor and administrator. His passion was teaching undergraduates, particularly non-majors who took introductory general education courses. He also mentored graduate students in the area of geophysics. He is the author of a textbook on natural hazards and is writing a similar book for the general populace. David enjoys gourmet cooking, traveling, woodworking, and reading.
Stanley Beus

From his early days growing up on a dairy farm in Idaho, Dr. Stanley Beus quickly became fascinated with nature. He earned a doctorate in geology from UCLA before beginning a career as an exploration geologist and later became the first head of the geology department at Northern Arizona University. Dr. Beus has been both a field and class instructor for Road Scholar programs for more than 20 years and has enjoyed bringing geology to life for literally thousands of participants.
Joanna Joseph

Daughter of a Montana saddle maker, Joanna Joseph is an artist, musician and interpreter of human history. At the University of Montana, she studied art, drama and classical Greek. Joanna was also program supervisor at Glen Canyon Dam, developing an appreciation for the importance of water in the Southwest. A resident of Big Water, Utah, she has worked with Road Scholar since 1994.
Meals and Lodgings
   Alexis Park Resort
  Las Vegas, NV 1 night
   Best Western Zion Park Inn
  Zion National Park 2 nights
   Best Western Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel
  Bryce Canyon National Park 2 nights
   Grand Canyon Lodge
  North Rim, Grand Canyon 2 nights
 Alexis Park Resort
Type: Hotel
  Description: Welcome to the Alexis Park All Suite Resort, one of the most exciting resorts in Las Vegas. The Alexis Park All Suite Resort is the premiere all-suite, non-gaming resort in Las Vegas. Unrivaled in its Las Vegas Strip proximity (directly across the street from the Hard Rock Hotel) the Alexis Park All Suite Resort features all the hotel amenities along with casual boutique hotel services. From the moment you arrive at this oasis in the sun, you will experience all that makes Alexis Park All Suite Resort a special place to stay. Here, you’ll love strolling through the lush courtyard gardens surrounded by winding pathways that lead you to three sparkling pools. The Alexis Park All Suite Resort offers one-on-one personalized service, the privacy and convenience of a tropical oasis with immediate easy access to all that Las Vegas has to offer.
  Contact info: 375 East Harmon Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89169 USA
phone: 702-796-3300
  Room amenities: The Alexis Park All Suite Resort was the first non-gaming resort property in Las Vegas. With a long history of boutique experiences and guests, the hotel has been providing quality hotel service and hosting events in Las Vegas for several decades. Guests may stroll beautifully landscaped gardens to access a variety of relaxing and stylish choices in accommodations. Boasting 10 uniquely different floor plans and guest amenities to suit a variety of hotel stays, our guests can count on a comfortable and memorable Alexis Park Hotel experience. All of our Las Vegas hotel rooms are two room suites providing guests with spacious accommodations and privacy along with amenities for both Extended Stays and Last minute Getaways alike. All Hotel Suites at the Alexis Park Las Vegas include: Two Telephone Lines Wet Bar Refrigerator 32" Flat Screen with Pay Per View Movies WIFI available for $12.99 per 24 hour period, per device.
  Facility amenities: The Alexis Park All Suite Las Vegas Resort is your oasis in the sun. Here, you'll enjoy walking along the lush courtyard garden pathways that lead you to our three sparkling pools. The Alexis Park All Suite Resort offers one-on-one personalized service, tropical landscaped grounds and FUN....LOTS OF IT. Resort Amenities include: Free Computer, internet, printer in lobby; Wifi for a fee in rooms Three Sparkling Swimming Pools Exercise Room Alexis Gardens Restaurant Pegasus Bar & Lounge Room Service Meeting & Banquet Service Las Vegas Comedy Showroom Laundry and Dry Cleaning Service Available All Guests of Alexis Park have access to Room Service, Guest Services, Free Safe Deposit Boxes and Business Center Services Free Airport Shuttle: Leaves Hotel on the hour from 7 AM to 9 PM (except 10AM, 2PM, and 6PM on Fri, Sat and Sun), arrives at airport approximately 30 minutes later. Call Hotel once you have your luggage: 702-796-3300 or 1-800-582-2228.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: $90.00 for dbl, $65 for single Based on availability, participants can book 3 days prior to program start date and/or 3 days after program end date at contracted suite price of $90 per night double occupancy or $65 per night single occupancy.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Best Western Zion Park Inn
Type: Motel
  Description: Zion Park Inn has the towering red rock cliffs of Zion National Park as a backdrop and offers spectacular views from rooms and the restaurant windows. This premier lodging choice offers stunning scenery along with excellent amenities and comfortable rooms. The Zion Park Inn is the largest facility within Zion National Park area. The comfortable guest rooms have been designed to echo the natural elegance of Zion National Park. Natural furnishings complement the creature comforts and amenities you would expect in the heart of Zion National Park lodging. Guests can relax in the "Great Room" with its soaring ceiling and roaring fireplace, take a dip in the outdoor pool, or soak in the hot tub. Whatever you choose, you'll enjoy the charm and beauty of the meticulously landscaped grounds.
  Contact info: 1215 Zion Park Blvd
Springdale, UT 84767 USA
phone: 435-772-3200
  Room amenities: Desk work area, individual climate control, alarm clocks, feature data ports, televisions, pay-per-view movies, interactive games and music, coffee maker, hair dryer, refrigerator, voice messaging, and free high speed wireless access.
  Facility amenities: Convenient onsite amenities include full service Switchback Grille Restaurant with patio, deli, liquor store, and guest laundry facilities, heated outdoor pool and hot tub, basketball/volleyball court, badminton, putting green, gift shop, and elevator.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Best Western Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel features two four story towers accessing 164 luxurious guest rooms, interior corridors, a large lobby, business center, exercise facilities, guest laundry, complimentary breakfast buffet and nearby full service restaurant. The Bryce Canyon Grand also offers an enclosed courtyard offering guest privacy for the pool, whirlpool, and patio areas. We invite you to experience Bryce Canyon's newest and most luxurious accommodations and amenities with the best in western hospitality.
  Contact info: 30 North 100 East
Bryce Canyon, UT 84764 USA
phone: 435-834-5700
  Room amenities: •Luxurious Beds •Indoor Corridors •Microwave •Refrigerator •Complimentary In-room Coffee & Tea •Flat Panel TV •Free Wireless High-Speed Internet •Hair Dryer •Iron and Ironing Board •Movies on Demand •Guest Laundry •Fitness Center •100% Non-Smoking Rooms
  Facility amenities: The Best Western Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel proudly offers 164 spaciously appointed guest rooms each complete with cable satellite television, free wireless high-speed Internet, microwave and refrigerator. Guests will wake each morning to a complimentary full hot breakfast. This Bryce Canyon City hotel's additional amenities include an indoor heated swimming pool, 24 hour exercise facility and outdoor swimming pool; 100% smoke-free hotel; 24-hour front desk; Concierge; Laundromat; Business center( with Printer, Fax machine, computer, modem hookups, Photocopy machine); Air-conditioning; Elevator, wheelchair accessible; Ice/vending machines; Safe deposit box, at front desk; and Interior corridor.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Grand Canyon Lodge
Type: Lodge
  Description: The only lodging available on the North Rim, this old lodge of rough hewn logs and rocks is chiseled into the limestone of the rim itself, offering broad views of the Grand Canyon, Bright Angel Canyon, the South Rim, and the San Francisco Peaks nearly 100 miles south. Rooms are in nearby cabins on the same grounds, within walking distance of the lodge. These historic cabins are both rustic and romantic.
  Contact info: Grand Canyon NP
North Rim, AZ 86052 USA
phone: 928-638-2611
  Room amenities: Be prepared to step into the past in these quaint rustic historic cabins that have basic necessities including electricity, hot and cold running water, shower, ice bucket, hari dryer, heat, a telephone and screened windows that open up to let in fresh mountain air.
  Facility amenities: Grand Canyon Lodge Dining Room has magnificent views of the Grand Canyon through its huge picture windows. Lodge Dining Room serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, Deli in the Pines for fast service dining, espresso coffee bar with fresh baked goods, Rough Rider Saloon, gift shop, camper store, self serve guest laundry facilities. Immediate access to Rim views and hiking trails from the lodge.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Arrivals and check-in at the hotel after 3:00 PM. On site registration in the hotel meeting room from 4:30-5:15 PM. You will be staying at Alexis Park Resort that night.
  End of Program:
Las Vegas McCarran Airport, 1:30 PM; Followed by a stop at the starting hotel. You will be staying at Grand Canyon Lodge the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Parking available for the length of the program at the Las Vegas hotel.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Las Vegas, NV
  Nearest city or town:  In Las Vegas; Las Vegas Strip 1 mile W.
  Nearest highway: Interstate 15.
  Nearest airport:  McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Departures
Travel Details

To Alexis Park Resort, Las Vegas, NV


From Airport




Hotel Shuttle
phone: 702-796-3300


Per Person/One Way:


Prices are subject to change.




2.5 miles


Complimentary shuttle leaves hotel every hour on the hour from 7 AM to 9 PM (except 10 AM, 2 PM, and 6 PM on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday). Call Hotel when you retrieve you luggage. Other Commercial services run 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week.


To Alexis Park Resort, Las Vegas, NV


From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Multiple Commercial Van/ Shuttle services available


Per Person/One Way:


Approx $7 per person
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


10-15 minutes 




2.5 miles


Airline Shuttle Corp Strip Hotels: $7 ($13 rt) 24 hours, 7 days a week 888.554.1156/702.444.1234 Bell Trans Strip hotels: $7 ($13 rt) 24 hours, 7 days a week 800.274.RIDE (7433) 1.702.385.LIMO (5466) Executive las Vegas Strip hotels: $6 ($12 rt) 24 hours, 7 days a week 702.646.4661 Showtime Strip hotels: $7 ($13 rt) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 702.895.9976


Las Vegas, NV


To Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
DSU Road Scholar Bus
phone: 800-545-4653


Per Person/One Way:


Prices are subject to change.


Our Road Scholar Bus will deliver you to the airport or arrival hotel on the final day.

Driving Directions
  The Alexis Park All Suite Resort is easy to find: From Southern California - Take Interstate 15 from the California State border into Las Vegas and exit onto E. Tropicana, turn left on Koval and right onto E. Harmon Avenue. The Alexis Park All Suite Resort will be on the right side. From Southern Utah (St. George) - Take Interstate 15 South into Las Vegas and exit onto E. Flamingo Road, turn right on Koval and proceed to E. Harmon Avenue. Turn left onto E. Harmon Avenue and the Alexis Park All Suite Resort will be on the right side. From Northern Nevada (Tonapah) - Take Highway 95 South into Las Vegas and proceed to Interstate 15 South to Exit 39 on E. Flamingo Road. Right onto Koval and proceed to E. Harmon Avenue, turn left onto E. Harmon Avenue and the Alexis Park All Suite Resort will be on the right side. From Northern Arizona (Kingman via Boulder City, NV) - Take Highway 93 North through Boulder City, NV and into Las Vegas. Take Highway 215 West to Highway 15 North. Exit E. Tropicana and turn left onto Koval and proceed to E. Harmon Avenue. Turn right on E. Harmon Avenue and Alexis Park All Suite Resort will be on right side. From Las Vegas Airport - Exit Airport traveling north on Paradise Road. Travel one mile on Paradise and turn left on E. Harmon Avenue Alexis Park All Suite Resort will be on left side.
Elevation Note: >8300 ft in places. Those with heart/lung conditions should consult physician before attending.

Equipment Requirements: Walking shoes or hiking boots with good traction, hiking pole, water bottle, rain gear, sunhat, sunscreen, sunglasses, flashlight, old tennis shoes or river sandals for those who hike up the stream. National Park Pass or Golden Age Pass (if you have one), for entrance into the National Parks.
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/Orientation & Introductions
(Tuesday, September 16)
 Afternoon: Arrivals and check-in at the hotel after 3 PM. On site registration in the hotel meeting room from 4:30 - 5:15 PM.
 Dinner: Dinner catered by the Alexis Garden Restaurant, including entree, salad, vegetables, and a beverage.
 Evening: After dinner, your Dixie State University coordinator will lead an introduction and orientation session. With your fellow participants, you will review the week's itinerary, travel arrangements, sightseeing tips, etc., and there will be a question and answer session afterward. Everyone will leave knowing what to expect!
Accommodations: Alexis Park Resort
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Basin & Range/Zion National Park
(Wednesday, September 17)

Note: 1.2 mile round trip/69 vertical foot walk in Zion Nation Park.

 Breakfast: Alexis Park Breakfast Buffet which includes fresh fruit, yogurt, assorted baked goods, cereal, scrambled eggs, french toast, oatmeal, smoked bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, coffee, and assorted teas, juice and milk.
 Morning: Bring your luggage out to the coach and board the coach for the AM departure. Travel with your Dixie State University Naturalist/Guide who is knowledgeable and experienced in the region. While the Geology of these three Parks are important and the most obvious topics, your Naturalist/Guide will enhance your travel time with insight into the Geology, Plants and Animals, Human History and Pre-History of the of the area. Travel through the Basin and Range Province and the upper Mohave Desert, and the Virgin River Gorge, to the volcanic edge of the Colorado Plateau. En route hear a lecture on basic geology and discuss how it relates to the Color Country we are traveling through and to.
 Lunch: Lunch in Springdale, Utah
 Afternoon: Board the coach and travel to the Zion National Park entrance and the Visitor Center. The center has a large scale relief map of the park, where you can overview what you will be seeing the next day and a half. You'll enjoy a pass through the bookstore at the center as well. Afterwards, Enjoy a short walk to the Lower Emerald Pool (1.2 miles RT/69 ft. elevation change on paved but sometimes uneven or muddy sidewalk).
 Dinner: Dinner at Switchback Grille with a choice of Honey Pecan Utah Mountain Trout or Spit-Roasted Chicken with assorted side dishes of potatoes, rice, and vegetables.
 Evening: After dinner there will be a presentation on local natural history or orientation to/overview of Zion National Park.
Accommodations: Best Western Zion Park Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Nature Walk/Zion Human History Museum/Weeping Rock/Temple of Sinawava
(Thursday, September 18)

Note: 3 walks today: 1 mile/ early morning nature walk;0.5 mile/100 vertical foot walk; 2.2 mile/57 vertical foot walk.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at Switchback Grille's Canyon Buffet which includes fresh fruit, yogurt, fresh baked goods, bagels, cereal,waffles, eggs, omeletes, french toast, pancakes, smoked bacon, jumbo sausage, breakfast potatoes, Starbuck's coffee, and assorted teas, juice and milk.
 Morning: There is an optional pre-breakfast sunrise nature walk on the PaRus Trail, with an emphasis on the natural environment we see along the trail. The PaRus trail is lovely in the early morning - it is quiet and mostly paved (with one short uneven gravel section) along the banks of the N. Fork of the Virgin River, with good views of the Streaked Wall, the Beehives, the Watchman, Bridge Arch and Bridge Mountain. Along the Trail we can see and discuss native plants and their uses. It is slightly over 1 mile, with 50 ft. elevation loss. Following breakfast, travel to the Zion Human History Museum with its 22 minute multi-media presentation on Zion. From here, there are great views of the Towers of the Virgin and the Altar of Sacrifice. After the museum stop, shuttle on to lunch.
 Lunch: Sack lunch inside the Park from the Switchback restaurant. Choice of Ham, Roast Beef or Turkey on a Demi Loaf, Potato Chips. Fresh Fruit (Apple or Orange), Cookie or Brownie.
 Afternoon: After lunch, shuttle to Weeping Rock. There is a short, steep trail here - about half a mile round trip, and about 100 feet of elevation change. En route, along the steep canyon walls are natural hanging gardens. View the Weeping Rock seep, and return to the shuttle to travel higher into the canyon. You'll ride up to the Temple of Sinawava stop, where you begin the one mile long (each way) paved approach to the Narrows. For those who would like, you can put on your old sneakers or river sandals, grab your hiking stick and make your way into the river here to photograph the towering, vertical rock sides of the canyon. Then walk back down and shuttle back to Zion Park Inn.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own and an opportunity to explore Springdale. We will supply you with a list of numerous restaurants to choose from.
 Evening: Free evening to explore Springdale or choose to rest up after our first few busy days.
Accommodations: Best Western Zion Park Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Switchbacks, Checkerboard Mesa, Inspiration Point at Bryce Canyon
(Friday, September 19)

Note: 0.9 mile walk down 100 feet along the Bryce Canyon Rim, unpaved and somewhat rocky trail.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at Switchback Grille's Canyon Buffet which includes fresh fruit, yogurt, fresh baked goods, bagels, cereal,waffles, eggs, omeletes, french toast, pancakes, smoked bacon, jumbo sausage, breakfast potatoes, Starbuck's coffee, and assorted teas, juice and milk.
 Morning: Board the motor coach for the northbound trip to Bryce Canyon. You'll travel through the Zion Switchbacks and Tunnels, with their "Galleries" (windows) looking onto some of Zion's most vertical rock faces. Stop at Checkerboard Mesa, and hear why it has horizontal layers and vertical cracks. We then turn north on US 89, heading up Long Valley, rich in early Mormon history to Bryce Canyon National Park.
 Lunch: Have lunch at Ruby's, near the entrance to Bryce Canyon. Ruby's puts on a great buffet.
 Afternoon: Board the motor coach, travel into Bryce Canyon National Park and head for Inspiration Point. The unpaved trail there takes you in .9 mile 100 ft. down through bristlecone pines and all along the way you'll have great views of the pinnacle rock hoodoos with their diagonal scour markings. You'll love the contrast between the exposed rock hoodoos and the spruce, fir and bristlecone pine surroundings. Inspiration Point is post-card photogenic.
 Dinner: Buffet Dinner at Ruby's Cowboy Buffet & Steak Room including BBQ Beef & Pork Ribs, Baked Chicken, Asian Orange Chicken, Baked Pollock, Cornbread, Soup & Salad.
 Evening: Optional evening National Park Ranger presentation, or walk out to the rim and watch the Hoodoos change color as the sun sets behind you.
Accommodations: Best Western Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Sunrise at Bryce Point, Queen's Garden Trail, Rainbow Pt, Yovimpa Pt, Bryce Canyon NP Visitor Center
(Saturday, September 20)

Note: 1/4 mile RT sunrise walk to Bryce Point, 1.8 mile RT Queen's Garden Walk, 1/2 mile RT walk to Yovimpa Point

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel including a full assortment of hot and cold items including eggs, assorted breakfast meats, seasoned potatoes, freshly baked biscuits and country gravy, french toast casserole, pastries, fruits, and yogurt.
 Morning: Before breakfast is the optional trip to Bryce Point. Early risers will be rewarded for their discipline when they ride our motor coach out to Bryce Point well before sunrise. Here we can watch both the brightening eastern horizon and the hoodoos change below you in Bryce Amphitheater. In the horizontal light of dawn, the colors there are wonderfully rich. After breakfast enjoy the walk to Sunrise Point. There, you'll see the famous Twinkle Toes tree, and learn about the forces of erosion. For those who want to make the hike, there is the .9 mile trail one way down 320 feet amongst the hoodoos and see Queen Victoria surveying the Queen's Garden. Participants are also welcome to hike just part of the trail. For those who prefer a more relaxed experience, there are excellent views of the garden from the rim walk. Then we'll take our motor coach on the spectacularly scenic drive to Rainbow Point.
 Lunch: Sack Lunch enjoying the view at Rainbow Point at the Park's southern end at 9115 feet above sea level.
 Afternoon: After lunch, there are photo opportunities at Rainbow Point. Then you'll walk .25 mile one way through a high woods (9115 ft) of many types of conifers to Yovimpa Point, with its expansive views of the Grand Staircase and Navajo Mountain to the east and the Kaibab Plateau to the south. After returning from Yovimpa Point, you'll board the motor coach and ride to the Bryce Canyon NP Visitor Center, and the return to the hotel.
 Dinner: Enjoy an unforgettable evening of old fashioned western fun, music and great cowboy food at Bryce Canyon's Ebenezers Barn & Grill.
 Evening: Free Evening.
Accommodations: Best Western Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Grand Canyon North Rim and Bright Angel Point
(Sunday, September 21)

Note: 1/2 mile walk down 150 feet to Bright Angel Point

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel including a full assortment of hot and cold items including eggs, assorted breakfast meats, seasoned potatoes, freshly baked biscuits and country gravy, french toast casserole, pastries, fruits, and yogurt.
 Morning: Board the motor coach for the southbound trip to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Travel on down several steps of the Grand Staircase to Kanab, UT where we'll visit the Grandstaircase Escalante Visitors Center. Then on into Arizona (Change to Mountain Standard Time) where the road climbs up the Kaibab Plateau. You'll stop at the LeFevre overlook where there is a larger than panoramic view of the Grand Staircase. Here you can look north and see the southern end of Bryce Canyon National Park atop the Staircase, and the tops of the Towers of Zion National Park. After nearing 8,000 ft elevation, you'll arrive at Jacob Lake for lunch at the Jacob Lake Inn.
 Lunch: The Jacob Lake Inn, a pine-surrounded log structure with a fireplace and a wonderfully homey feel, will serve some of its home-cooked fare. Be sure to leave room for the baked-right-there cookies, on sale near the door as you leave.
 Afternoon: After lunch you'll continue southbound across the upper reaches of Kaibab Plateau, through forests of pines, spruce, fir and quaking aspen. Learn why fire is important to the health of Ponderosa Pine forests and what happens when you suppress fires for 100 years. These are incredible woods which, with their huge meadows, give more of a feel of Montana than Arizona. Along the way you may see the unique Kaibab squirrels, wild turkeys and deer. When you arrive at Grand Canyon National Park, you have the option to walk out to Bright Angel Point. The half mile roundtrip out the spine of the ridge to the point is paved and is a little steep in places, but worth it. From the point you'll be treated to impressive colorful views stretching well down into Roaring Springs and Bright Angel Canyons. After our walk, we then check in at the Grand Canyon Lodge for our stay in the rustic cabins near the main lodge building and the canyon views on the back porch of the Grand Canyon Lodge.
 Dinner: Grand Canyon Cookout. Enjoy fun entertainment while satisfying your evening appetite with our "Chuck Wagon" style dinner. Slow cooked beef brisket, roasted chicken, and freshly baked biscuits are just a few of the many items waiting for you.
 Evening: After dinner you have the option of taking in the presentation by the NPS ranger, or go for a walk out to one of several view points overlooking the canyon to watch the stars rotate over your head.
Accommodations: Grand Canyon Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: North Rim /Nature Walk/Point Imperial/N.Kaibab Trail Hike
(Monday, September 22)

Note: 1 mile nature walk in morning. 1.4 mile RT/ 500 Vertical Foot hike down N. Kaibab Trail.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet including a full assortment of hot and cold items including eggs, assorted breakfast meats, seasoned potatoes, freshly baked biscuits and country gravy, french toast casserole, pastries, fruits, and yogurt.
 Morning: Start your morning with a nature walk along and near the rim. Then board the motor coach and ride out to Point Imperial, the highest point on the North Rim at 8,803 feet. From the vista point here you can see the winding, narrow slash of Marble Canyon just upstream of where it breaks out into the wider Grand Canyon. The rocks of the Canyon walls are especially colorful here, offering both black and red stripes of the ancient rock.
 Lunch: Sack lunch with the eastern Grand Canyon as a backdrop.
 Afternoon: Board the motor coach and travel back through the N. Kaibab forest to the Grand Canyon Lodge, arriving around 2:00 PM. Here your afternoon provides you with several options. You may want to hike down the N. Kaibab trail, which drops 600 feet in 3/4 of a mile. If you're feeling less athletic but still would enjoy a good hike, try the Transept Trail from the Lodge to the ancestral puebloan ruin. Or catch an afternoon Ranger Program, or take the afternoon to relax at the coffee bar, the bookstore or saloon, or sit out on the Lodge patio and drink in the views.
 Dinner: Dining in the historic Grand Canyon Lodge is truly a memorable experience. Regional as well as 1930's themed foods are featured throughout the menus. We take pride in utilizing only the freshest and healthiest ingredients. The "all natural" beef and poultry products are free of any antibodies or hormones. Salmon is wild Alaska caught. Additionally, we offer organic products such as salad greens and pastas.
 Evening: Optional National Park Ranger presentation.
Accommodations: Grand Canyon Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Departures Las Vegas McCarran Airport
(Tuesday, September 23)
 Breakfast: Early breakfast at North Rim prior to departures.
 Morning: Load into the motor coach to depart from North Rim by 7:30 AM sharp. Return to Las Vegas McCarran International Airport via St. George, UT and Mesquite, NV, to arrive at the airport by 1:30 PM and the starting hotel shortly thereafter.
 Lunch: Lunch on way to airport.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
  Las Vegas, NV
This is a great resource for accurate information about Las Vegas. You will find details about activities and a calendar of events. There are so many options and variety of things to do in Las Vegas that we could not list all of the items here under free time so please use this website for additional information. For additional information, visit
  Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
If you have time to sightsee, this is an extraordinary place to go! A 13,573 square foot, indoor, glass-domed garden abounding in fragrance just beyond Bellagio's lobby. Exotic plants and flowers highlight every season and holiday. Do not miss the evening outdoor Bellagio Fountains and light show all set to music. Be sure to stroll into the lobby to see the stunning display of hanging blown glass flowers! For additional information, visit
  Zion National Park General Information
This web site offers a good resource for information. For additional information, visit
  Zion Canyon IMAX
Zion Canyon IMAX Open 7 days a week 11am-8pm (summer hours) Call for winter hours. Hollywood films are up to 9 times the size of the regular screen! View the IMAX film 'Zion Canyon Treasure of the Gods'. The theatre's giant IMAX screen is the largest IMAX theater in Utah and one of the largest in the world measuring 60 feet high and 82 feet across. Sound is delivered through an eight track digital Surround Sound system capable of 22,000 watts. The giant IMAX screen is a great addition to the adventure of Zion National Park. Treasure of the God's Movie offers aerial and ground views of Zion and surrounding areas and sights difficult to see on your own and captures Zion legends in a dramatic way. Experience the myth, magic, and drama of Zion Canyon, with scenes from southwest National Parks and Native American Lands. The Zion Canyon Giant Screen Theatre offers one of the most spectacular film experiences available anywhere. Zion Canyon Treasure of the Gods is a 40-minute film that stretches across time and seasons, exploring the hidden depths and legends of Zion Canyon. Shown throughout the day on a screen six-stories high. Also showing Hollywood Favorites at 8:00 pm. Tickets are available at the theatre complex near the entrance to the park. Call (435) 772-2400 or (888) 256-FILM for more information For additional information, visit
  Bryce Canyon National Park Shopping
Ruby's Inn General Store Open daily from 7:00am to 10:30pm You can also visit Bryce Photo Shop, and The Old Bryce Town Shops where you walk the wooden sidewalks and enjoy feeling as though you have traveled back in time to a western towns shops. Includes the Canyon Rock Shop featuring rocks, fossils, and petrified wood. For additional information, visit
  Visitor Center
The Visitor Center offers information, exhibits, and a 22-minute award-winning film which plays on the hour and half-hour. Publications and maps are available for purchase through our Bryce Canyon Natural History Association. We generally go to the visitor center as part of your Road Scholar program. You may want to spend additional time here. Transportation on the Bryce Shuttle is available May 15-Sept 30. For additional information, visit
  North Rim, Grand Canyon General Overview of Grand Canyon North Rim Free Time Options
There are many ways to explore the canyon like drive the roads, hike the trails, or float the currents of the turbulent Colorado River. Sit and watch the changing play of light and shadows. Wander along a trail and feel the sunshine and wind on your face. Attend a ranger program. Follow the antics of ravens soaring above the rim. Listen for the roar of the rapids far below. Savor a sunrise or sunset. (At the end of it all the experience seems to humble and provoke a comparison to our short existence.) With this program we will stay in the Historic North Rim Cabins located on the rim. You will have easy access to walk to incredible view points, explore the Visitor Center, gift shops and soak in all of the sights and sounds of this "Grand" place! For additional information, visit
  Hike on your own
We provide guided exploration with this program. Our instructor and group leader walk with you to various view points. You have the option to explore on your own. Be sure to let the group leader know. Here's a few hikes and info. No additl' permits or fees are required for day hikes. A good rule is to decide how many hours you wish to hike. When 1/3 of the time has passed, turn around and begin to hike back. Assuming you are physically fit and have adequate food and water, the following hikes are reasonable for most people. Transept Trail: 3.0 mi. / 4.8 km round-trip; 1.5 hours approx round-trip hiking time. Follows the canyon rim from Grand Canyon Lodge to the North Rim Campground. Uncle Jim Trail: 5.0 mi. / 8.0 km round-trip; 3 hours approx round-trip hiking time. Winds through the forest to a point overlooking the canyon and the North Kaibab Trail switchbacks. Begins at the North Kaibab Trail parking lot. This trail is also used by mules. North Kaibab Trail: Distance and hiking times vary. This is the only maintained trail into the canyon from the North Rim. Even a short hike to Coconino Overlook (1.5 miles round-trip) or Supai Tunnel (4 miles round-trip) can give you an appreciation for the canyon's rich natural beauty and immense size. A hike to Roaring Springs and back is extremely strenuous and takes a full day (7-8 hours) - begin your hike before 7 a.m. Roaring Springs lies 3050 feet /930 m below the canyon rim and is 9.4 miles/15 km round-trip. A day hike beyond Roaring Springs is not recommended. Widforss Trail: 10 mi. / 16 km round-trip; 6 hours appr round-trip hiking time. Blends forest and canyon scenery. Even a short walk can be very satisfying. Take the dirt road 1/4 mile/0.4 km south of Cape Royal Road for 1 mile/1.6 km to the Widforss Trail parking area. Ken Patrick Trail: 10 mi. / 16 km one-way; 6 hours approx one-way hiking time. Winds through the forest and along the rim from Point Imperial to the North Kaibab Trail parking area. For additional information, visit
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

Book About History

Author: See List Below

Description: Heart of the Desert Wild, Greer Chesser. 2000. Award winning book about the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument (GSENM). It covers a variety of topics from geology to history. The photography and design of this book are outstanding and remains the definitive book on the GSENM. Softbound. $24.95 A Roadside History of Utah, Cynthia L. Bennett. 1999. Compelling stories of Utah’s exceptional people. $18.00 Utah’s History, Richard D. Poll. 1989. A more in-depth and statewide focus on history. Soft bound text heavy. Hole-in-the-Rock, David E. Miller. 1966. If you want to learn more about one of the epic pioneer journeys in American History this is the book. It is area related and is a good read for those interested in history. $16.00 Highway 12, Christian Probasco. 2005. Popular with travelers along Highway 12. It features a unique look at the history, people and their perspectives on this very special corridor. Softbound $16.95. Outlaw Tales of Utah, Michael Rutter. True stores of Utah’s most famous robbers, rustlers and bandits. $10.95

Books About Native Americans

Author: See List Below

Description: Sacred Images: A Vision of Native American Rock Art, by Leslie Kelen & David Sucec 1996. Publication that features rock art and ruins of the native cultures of the southwest. $18.00 Those Who Came Before, Robert and Florence Lister. 1993. Southwestern archeology in the National Parks. $17.00

Books About Southwest Flora

Author: See List Below

Description: Wildflowers of Southwestern Utah, Hayle Buchanan. 1992. Text covers flowers, shrubs and trees in their various life zones from Zion, Bryce and Cedar Breaks. $7.95 Canyon Country Wildflowers, Damian Fagan. 1998. A field guide to common wildflowers, shrubs and trees. $19.95 Sagebrush Country a Wildflower Sanctuary, Ronald Taylor. 1992. A field guide to common wildflowers, grasses and shrubs of the Great Basin. $14.00 Great Basin Wildflowers, Laird R. Blackwell. 2006. A guide to common wildflowers of the High Deserts of Nevada, Utah and Oregon. $22.95 Wild Plants and Native Peoples of the Four Corners, William Dunmire & Gail Tierney. 1997. A valuable book for anyone interested in plants, people, and cultures of the Colorado Plateau. $22.50 Wildflowers of the Mountain Southwest, . Meg Quinn 2000. A field guide to common upland wildflowers. $12.95 Wildflowers of the Desert Southwest, Meg Quinn. 2000. A field guide to common desert wildflowers. $9.95

General Reference

Author: See List Below

Description: A Naturalists Guide to the Canyon Country, David B. Williams. 2000. A wonderful Falcon Guide that uses fine artwork and pictures to introduce the geology, flora, fauna and history of the Canyon Country. $22.95. Four Corners: History, Land and People of the Desert Southwest, Kenneth A. Brown. Great information about the region. $26.00 Desert Solitaire, Edward Abbey. 1968. A season in the wilderness is a celebration of the beauty of living in a harsh and hostile land. Edward Abbey was a seasonal Park ranger in Arches National Monument. $10.75 Cadillac Desert, Marc Reisner. 1986. The story of the American West is the story of a relentless quest for a precious resource: water. The definitive work on the West’s water crisis. $17.00


Author: See List Below

Description: Geology – a Golden Guide, by Frank H.T. Rhodes, 1991, St. Martin’s Press, N.Y., ISBN 1-58238-143-7. $6.95 Geology of Utah’s Parks and Monuments, Sprinkel et. al. Utah Geological Association , 2000. Contains geology papers on 25 parks and monuments of Utah (644 pages). Written for a geologist. Softbound $34.99 Utah‘s Spectacular Geology, Lehi Hintze, 2005 The geologic story of Utah’s landscapes and how they came to be. $29.95 The Colorado Plateau, Don Baars A comprehensive guide to the Colorado Plateau. $19.95 The Practical Geologist, Dougal Dixon, Raymond Bernor, 1992 This book is a great introductory guide to the basics of geology. Great diagrams, pictures and is well written. $16.00 Geology Underfoot in Southern Utah, R. Orndorff, R. Wieder, D. Futey, 2006 A hands on book about getting out among the rocks. Explores 33 sites in Southern Utah. Tells of ancient eruptions, deserts, seas, swamps and movements of massive rock units over eons. $18.00 Beyond the Visible Landscape, W. Kenneth Hamblin, 2004. A unique book that consists of a series of panoramic photographs taken from the air. Focuses on the fundamental features of the landscape. Contains excellent diagrams & descriptions of the geology in the photographs. Hardbound $65.00

Geology (Specific)

Author: See List Below

Description: Ron Kay’s Guide to Zion National Park, Ron Kay, 1995 A complete guide of Zion National Park by one of Road Scholar’s own instructors. $14.95 Shadows of Time: The Geology of Bryce Canyon National Park, Frank Decourten, 1994 A book with breathtaking photographs, well written on the geology of Bryce Canyon N. P. and surrounding high plateaus. $9.95 Water, Rock, & Time: The Geologic Story of Zion National Park, Robert Eves, 2005 This book is Zion’s newest masterpiece. It is well written. It is so nice you may want to leave it on the coffee table. $19.95 Zion National Park – Towers of Stone; by J.L. Crawford; Zion Natural History Association, Springdale, Utah, Fourth Edition 2002. ISBN 0-915630-00-1 $9.50 (Available online at Carving Grand Canyon, Wayne Ranney. 2005. A synopsis of ideas and theories that geologists have developed over time about the carving of the Grand Canyon. This story is told in an engaging style that non-scientists will find inviting. $14.95 Canyonlands Country, Donald Baars, 1993. Geology of Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. $15.95

You can't find a better value than Road Scholar.

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.

Specifically, this program includes:

Plus these special experiences...

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:

© Road Scholar 2016 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768