The Best of Sedona: Natural and 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.
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Program No. 1062RJ
6 days
Starts at
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 3 L 5 D
Getting There
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Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Sedona, AZ
Hilton Sedona Resort

Afternoon: Beginning at 5:30 PM is an orientation session to introduce participants and provide an in-depth program overview. Prepare for an adventurous week of learning and new friends!

Dinner: Dinner on site at the hotel. Entrees will vary nightly and always include a vegetarian and gluten-free option for those that enroll as such.

Geology, Sedona's Best Loved Sites, Desert Critters
Sedona, AZ
Hilton Sedona Resort

Activity note: Today there will be minimal walking required while enjoying stops during a tour of Sedona.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel restaurant. Daily options to include: fresh fruit; eggs; breakfast meats; potatoes; French Toast; hot and cold cereals; assorted fruit juices; coffee; etc.

Morning: Hear the geologic story of the Sedona area and the Grand Canyon through a presentation by Stan Beus, a noted Grand Canyon geologist, professor Emeritus of geology at Northern Arizona University and author of "Grand Canyon Geology."

Lunch: Lunch is served at the hotel restaurant. Daily plated options to choose from include: Southwest veggie wrap; Chicken Diablo Pasta, soup of the day and 1/2 club sandwich. Vegetarian and gluten free option for those that enroll as such.

Afternoon: This afternoon, embark on an exploration of Sedona, including a stop at the famous Chapel of the Holy Cross. During the afternoon's excursion you'll receive information on the history, geology, climate, flora and fauna of the area. Stop for photo opportunities at scenic vistas.

Dinner: For tonight's dinner we will walk the short distance over to the Golf Club and eat at their restaurant where we can enjoy magnificent views of the surrounding red rocks and beautiful layout of the golf course.

Evening: Enjoy a hands-on presentation about some of the Southwest's best-loved desert critters.

Full-Day Field Trip to Grand Canyon National Park
Sedona, AZ
Hilton Sedona Resort

Activity note: Today there will be required walking at the Grand Canyon of about 1 mile total, mostly on flat, paved or dirt trails. Longer walking/hiking opportunities available in the afternoon where participants have a little free time to explore rim trails or descend into the canyon along the Bright Angel Trail.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel restaurant. .

Morning: After an early breakfast, travel Hwy 89A, one of Arizona's most scenic byways, through Oak Creek Canyon, and up its famous switchbacks en route to the Grand Canyon's South Rim. Visit the southwestern corner of the Navajo Reservation and the Cameron Trading Post. Then enter Grand Canyon National Park at its east entrance where the Desert View Watchtower comes into view. This stunning stone structure was designed by Mary Jane Colter, a renowned architect and designer for the Fred Harvey Company and Santa Fe Railroad. The view of the Colorado River from here is unmatched anywhere else along the rim. A naturalist will accompany you on your journey, revealing the Grand Canyon's unique geologic, biologic and historic features while you have the opportunity to walk along the Canyon's rim. You'll see Grand Canyon Village, where you may tour historic buildings and see Native American arts/crafts and other souvenirs in village shops. Colter also designed of some the most impressive structures in the historic Grand Canyon Village including Hopi House, Bright Angel Lodge and Lookout Studio. You may even see an endangered California condor soaring overhead as you gaze into the Canyon's depths below.

Lunch: Sack lunch at Grand Canyon.

Afternoon: After a full afternoon exploring and learning about the Grand Canyon with some free time, you will board the motorcoach for the return trip to Sedona with a stop in Flagstaff for dinner. Don't forget to take one last look across to the Canyon's North Rim, 10 miles away as the raven flies, before settling into your seat and recapping the 1.8 billion year layer cake of earth's history you've just seen in person!

Dinner: Dinner in Flagstaff at a local restaurant.

Evening: Return to Sedona hotel in the late evening to enjoy some rest after your full day at the Grand Canyon.

Sedona Special Presentation, Western Ballads & Tales
Sedona, AZ
Hilton Sedona Resort

Activity note: A free afternoon gives participants the opportunity to explore Sedona on their own. Numerous hiking trail abound for those that want to stretch their legs.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel restaurant.

Morning: This morning hear a presentation on a topic of local interest. It may be an archaeologist providing information on the prehistoric peoples of the Sedona region, a local artist or historian, or information about Sedona's film history.

Lunch: Enjoy a lunch on your own in one of Sedona's many eateries.

Afternoon: Enjoy a free afternoon in Sedona to explore Sedona's spectacular red rock country on your own or visit the many art galleries and attractions. Visit Sedona's unique shops and impressive art galleries. Sedona is home to over 80 galleries and several annual arts festivals that attract hundreds of recognized exhibitors from throughout the entire Southwest. You may also opt to take a short hike.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Evening: Evening entertainment with Ken and Lynne Mikell's Western Ballads and Tales. Ken and Lynn are frequent performers at southwest cowboy poet festivals and have been delighting Road Scholar participants for over a decade.

Montezuma Castle & Verde Canyon Railroad
Sedona, AZ
Hilton Sedona Resort

Activity note: About one mile walking on flat, paved trails, while at Montezuma Castle National Monument.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel restaurant.

Morning: Depart on a field trip to Montezuma Castle National Monument (cliff dwellings). Montezuma Castle is a 5-story, 20-room cliff dwelling nestled in a limestone recess high above the flood plain of Beaver Creek in the Verde Valley. It is one of the best preserved cliff dwellings in North America, constructed 600 years ago by the Sinagua Indians.

Lunch: Lunch will be at "Vintages Grill" in the village of Rimrock.

Afternoon: Ride the Verde Canyon Railroad! The Verde Canyon Railroad is often referred to as the finest train ride in Arizona and acclaimed as Arizona’s longest-running nature show. The remote wilderness of the Verde Canyon, located west of Sedona and below Jerome, is renowned for its towering red rock pinnacles and clean, green waters. The train rolls past Indian ruins, through a 680-foot man-made tunnel, over old-fashioned trestles and under clear azure skies. This picturesque setting is further enhanced by the variety of indigenous flora and fauna and many migrating waterfowl. Over thirty bald and golden eagles winter in this riparian respite each year. The 40 mile trip travels very slowly (10-15 mph) and mostly near the canyon bottom. Passengers enjoy this four-hour scenic train ride in style aboard renovated passenger coaches and open-air viewing cars pulled by vintage locomotives. Participants have inside seats and access to outdoor observation cars.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Evening: Following dinner, recap the week's activities along with farewells to your new friends.

Program Concludes

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel restaurant.

Morning: Independent departures following breakfast.