Best of Sedona: Natural & Cultural Landscapes in Red Rock Country

Immerse yourself in the story of Sedona as you join local experts to learn about and explore ancient cliff dwellings, iconic Red Rocks, a heritage railway and the majestic Grand Canyon.
Rating (4.95)
Program No. 1062RJ
6 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Discover why Sedona and the Grand Canyon are the two most awe-inspiring sites in Arizona. Go beyond the geology to uncover the natural and human histories of these color-splashed landscapes. Enjoy an exploration of Sedona’s best-loved sights and red-rock vistas. Ride the rails along the wild and scenic Verde River and beside its verdant canyon as you scan for wildlife. Journey via the towering beauty of Oak Creek Canyon to Grand Canyon National Park to explore this iconic and quintessential American treasure with time to walk along the rim while soaking in its grandeur.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walking up to 1/2 mile with longer optional hikes. Elevations up to 7,000 feet.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • See ancient cliff dwellings while uncovering the past of the Sinagua people at Montezuma Castle National Monument.
  • In Sedona, visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross and Airport Mesa with its magnificent 360-degree views.
  • Spend a full day at Grand Canyon National Park's South Rim, complete with interpretive walks accompanied by a local expert.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Stanley S. Beus
From his early days growing up on a dairy farm in Idaho, Dr. Stanley Beus quickly became fascinated with nature. He earned a Ph.D. 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 over 20 years, and has enjoyed bringing geology to life for literally thousands of participants.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Ken Mikell
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Ashley Hardy
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Stanley S. Beus
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Ken Zoll
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Margaret (Maggie) Mitchell
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Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Sedona (Images of America Series)
by Heidinger, Lisa Schnebly
Little more than a century ago, when only a handful of families lived in what is now Sedona, in Oak Creek Canyon, none would have dreamed it would become such a popular destination. The matchless combination of bright blue skies and red rocks has inspired artists of every medium to attempt to capture the mystic formations. Fortunately some began almost before the town was named after the wife of early settler T. C. Schnebly, who organized the first post office, at the beginning of the 20th century. From early apple growers to artists, what has united the diverse residents of Sedona over time is the conviction that they have found one of the earth's great treasures. 128pp.
Ancient Peoples of the American Southwest
by Steve Plog
The American Southwest is home to some of the most remarkable monuments of America's prehistoric past, such as Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde. Stephen Plog, who has spent decades working in the region, provides the most readable and up-to-date account of the predecessors of the modern Hopi and Pueblo Indian cultures in this well-received account. Chaco Canyon became the center of a thriving Anasazi cultural tradition. It was the hub of a trading network extending over hundreds of miles, whose arteries were a series of extraordinary roads that are still being discovered and mapped. Interweaving the latest archaeological evidence with early first-person accounts, Professor Plog explains the rise and mysterious fall of Southwestern cultures. 224pp.
Grand Canyon Geology
by Beus, Stanley
This second edition of the leading book on Grand Canyon geology contains the most recent discoveries and interpretations of the origin and history of the canyon. It includes two entirely new chapters: one on debris flow in the Canyon and one on the impact of water flow releases from the Glen Canyon Dam. All chapters have been updated where necessary and all photographs have been replaced or re-screened for better resolution. Written by acknowledged experts in stratigraphy, paleontology, structural geology, geomorphology, volcanism and seismology, this book offers a wealth of information for geologists and general readers interested in acquiring an understanding of the geological history of this great natural wonder. 423pp
Arizona: A Cavalcade of History
by Trimble, Marshall
During America's first 100 years as a nation, pioneers moved ever-westward to new frontiers. When it became too crowded or the soil was mined out, they moved on to virgin land. Those days are gone forever. We have to learn to live with the problems we create. The knowledge gained from studying the mistakes of the past can help provide a better future. Will Rogers said it best: "The Indians never got lost because they were always looking back to see where they'd been." 368pp
Half Broke Horses
by Walls, Jeannette
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.
Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West
by Stegner, Wallace
Here Wallace Stegner, a Pulitzer Prize-winner, gives us a thrilling account of Powell's struggle against western geography and Washington politics. We witness the successes and frustrations of Powell's distinguished career, and appreciate his unparalleled understanding of the West. "Stegner's most exciting work." (San Francisco Chronicle) 496pp

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