Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.
Afternoon: Hotel Check in after 3:00 PM. Rooms may be available earlier based upon demand, call hotel for request. Northern Arizona University Road Scholar program registration from 4:30 - 5:15 PM in the hotel meeting room. Meet your program coordinator and receive your program folder, name tag, the up to date schedule and other important information we will review during Orientation. Beginning at 5:30 PM in the hotel meeting room, your coordinator will provide an in-depth program orientation, review the schedule and lead group introductions. Come prepare for an adventurous week of learning and new friends! Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
Dinner: Walk to a nearby local restaurant for a choice of hot entrée and an endless salad bar featuring seasonal and local specialties, fresh produce and fruits, soups, appetizers, and cool desserts, plus coffee, tea, water. There is no alcohol served at this restaurant.
Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.
Activity note: Walking at elevations of 6,700 feet. Island Trail is approximately 1 mile round trip with an elevation change of 185 feet in a series of 240 steps. The Rim Trail is 3/4 mile is paved, level trail with easy access to a series of pueblo ruins and interpretive signs.
Breakfast: At the hotel, we will have a buffet including waffles, eggs, bagels, cereal, muffins, and fresh fruit, plus coffee, tea, juices, milk, water.
Morning: We will load our vans to begin our adventure and better acquaint ourselves with the native cultures and natural history of the Grand Canyon region we will engage in a docent lead exploration of the Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA). The museum was founded in 1928 to honor the natural and cultural heritage of northern Arizona and the beauty and diversity of the Colorado Plateau. At the end of our visit, we will have some time to explore independently.
Lunch: At a local restaurant, we will have a choice of entrees including soup, salads, pasta, burgers, and more, plus coffee, tea, soft drinks, lemonade, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Afternoon: Returning to the vans, we will ride 20 minutes to Walnut Canyon National Monument for a field trip to the Sinagua ruins, visitor center, and museum. At Walnut Canyon, our naturalist will provide the group with an overview of the monument’s features followed by a choice of two hikes. Descend into the canyon proper on the Island Trail to come face to face with ancient Pueblo cliff dwellings. For those who choose not to go into the canyon, enjoy a lovely walk along the rim with excellent views from where the Sinagua Ruins are accessible. Walnut Canyon is a spectacular scenic attraction in its own right and contains diverse plant and animal communities to be enjoyed from all vantage points. We will return to Flagstaff in the mid-afternoon with time to freshen up and relax before dinner.
Dinner: At a festive local Greek restaurant, enjoy a selection of entrees for all palates, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: At the hotel, we will have an introduction to the region’s geology with an emphasis on the Grand Canyon presented by a local expert. Gain a background on the forces that created this world wonder which will then make your next day’s field trip to the Grand Canyon even more meaningful.
Activity note: Travel distance is 105 miles to Grand Canyon via Cameron (2.5 hours drive time) with stops along the way. 80 miles (1.75 hours) Grand Canyon to Flagstaff return. Up to one mile walking on paved rim paths at 7,000 feet elevation in park.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: Depart for a full day field trip to Grand Canyon National Park. During our journey, we will be accompanied by a naturalist who will reveal the unique geologic, biologic, and historic features of the Grand Canyon. En route, visit the southwestern corner of the Navajo Reservation and Cameron, site of the Cameron Trading Post. We will enter Grand Canyon National Park at Desert View overlook where we can enjoy sweeping views of the Colorado River, the North Rim and Mary Jane Colter's Watchtower. The Watchtower is an interpretation of a prehistoric "tower kiva" with lavishly painted interior walls by Hopi artist Fred Kabotie. We will visit the Grand Canyon Village, where you may see historic buildings and numerous Native American influences. We may even see an endangered California condor soaring overhead as you gaze out at the Canyon. This is a big long day - worthy of one the worlds grandest natural wonders!
Lunch: Enjoy a prepared sack lunch in the field.
Afternoon: Your coordinator will plan and discuss afternoon activities depending on group interest and weather conditions. Return to Flagstaff in the mid-afternoon.
Dinner: At a local restaurant in Flagstaff, enjoy a meal with some southwestern flair popular with locals and visitors alike, plus coffee, tea, soft drinks, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: At leisure. Rest and relax at the hotel following a long day’s exploration.
Activity note: Drive is approximately 1 hour to Meteor Crater; drive 1/2 hour further to La Posada. Walk approximately 1 mile along the crater’s rim.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: Drive to Meteor Crater, the Earth’s best preserved meteorite impact site. With an experienced local expert, walk along the rim of the crater that has been used by both Hollywood and Nasa for training of the Apollo Astronauts. Along with fantastic crater views, there will be time to explore the adjacent museum with excellent displays on exhibits on discovery, exploration, and ongoing research. It is the most heavily studied impact crater, crucial to our modern understanding of the science of impact craters. Depart the crater for our drive to La Posada Hotel.
Lunch: In the Turquoise Room in the La Posada Hotel, enjoy a selection of items from a creative group menu featuring the finest and freshest ingredients, plus coffee, tea, soft drinks, water; other beverages available for purchase. The Turquoise Room is one of the Southwest’s unique restaurants, describing itself as Regional Contemporary Southwestern with an occasional tribute to the great days of the Fred Harvey Company.
Afternoon: Enjoy some time on your own to explore the historic and fascinating interior and environs of the La Posada Hotel. La Posada was one of the many sites where the Harvey Girls worked through the first half of the 20th century. These waitresses changed the perception of waitressing thanks to their excellent service and moral character in restaurants established throughout the Southwest by Fred Harvey while assisting the still-developing tourism industry. In the mid-afternoon, we will return to the hotel.
Dinner: At a local restaurant in Flagstaff.
Evening: Join our program coordinator for a preparation session for our river trip. We will discuss logistics, river conditions, and what to wear.
Activity note: Drive is 115 miles, approximately 2 hours.
Breakfast: At the restaurant adjacent to the hotel at your leisure, order from the menu with a choice of beverage.
Morning: Enjoy a morning presentation centered on the Native American cultures of the region. The Navajo, Hopi, Hualapai and Havasupai are but a few tribes that call the Grand Canyon home. A tribal member of one of the area tribes will share with the group their culture and heritage. Mid-morning we will check out of the hotel and load luggage into a trailer and depart for downtown Flagstaff. Once downtown, set out for a walking field trip through downtown Flagstaff that will bring to life the unique charms of this mountain town.
Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like in Flagstaff. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.
Afternoon: Depart Flagstaff for Grand Canyon Caverns. We will travel a historic stretch of the historic Route 66. Along the way, look for Burma Shave signs and enjoy the wide open view. Check in to the Caverns Inn - mid-afternoon. The Caverns Inn provides comfortable accommodations and access to a more remote and western end of the Grand Canyon.
Dinner: At the hotel restaurant approximately 1 mile from the rooms, which we will reach via program vans, we’ll enjoy a buffet dinner featuring a full salad bar and home-cooked entrees. Soft drinks, iced-tea, coffee, water included; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: Enjoy an evening presentation on a subject of local interest. Depending on availability of speakers - subjects may include Arizona ranching history, Hualapai Culture, Black Footed Ferret re-introduction or Colorado River History and issues to name a few.
Activity note: Drive is up to 3.5 hours there depending on stops made; approximately 3 hours back not including our dinner stop. Helicopter flight is about 10 minutes. Steep flight of stairs to embark the raft for our 20 mile smooth water trip to Lake Mead, taking about 2 hours. Dress for the appropriate season; fleece jackets and long pants are recommended for the fall for cooler, windy days; shorts and lightweight clothing for warmer summer days. Bring a brimmed hat, sunglasses, and shoes that can get wet.
Breakfast: At the motel restaurant, we will have a hot buffet featuring a variety of options, plus coffee, tea, water.
Morning: Prepare for a long – yet exhilarating and scenic – travel day. Set out for a full day’s adventure to Grand Canyon West, a Hualapai Nation entrance, for experiences and memories that will last a lifetime. Our day begins with a drive along Route 66 and Kingman with stops at points of interest along way. We will then continue along the Grand Wash Cliffs – the westernmost edge of the Colorado Plateau and a world class Joshua Tree forest – as we drive to the Grand Canyon West entrance where our rafting trip will begin. Once we arrive at the heliport, check-in and queue up for a weigh in. Helicopter staff will create a group seating manifest for loading.
Lunch: In the field before helicopter flight.
Afternoon: Board the helicopter for our short but awe inspiring helicopter flight into the Grand Canyon and down to the Colorado River. WIND ADVISORY: If weather conditions do not cooperate and it is too windy for the helicopters to safely fly, our program coordinator will provide an alternative activity in the area. Though an infrequent risk, we must always be prepared for the possibility. Before setting out on the river, we’ll have a bathroom break at the porta-johns and be fitted with safety jackets (personal flotation devices). On eight passenger motorized pontoon boats, we will raft from Grand Canyon West to Lake Mead with expert raft instructors. Passengers will sit on top of raft tubes on long metal sitting decks that are part of the boat frame. Water and drinks will be available at all times on the raft; bathroom breaks will be au natural along the shore upon request. At the end of our journey, we will “exit” the canyon through the Grand Wash Cliffs and take out at Pearce Ferry boat ramp. From the boat ramp, we will drive to our dinner restaurant in Kingman.
Dinner: In Kingman, enjoy a well deserved meal at a local Mexican restaurant featuring a buffet with a variety of Mexican dishes, chops, and salsa, plus coffee, tea, soda, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: Settle in for our ride to return to the Grand Canyon Caverns Motel in the late evening.
Activity note: Check-out by 11:00 a.m. Please book departing flights no earlier than 2:00 p.m.
Breakfast: Hot buffet.
Morning: On the last day of the program the Road Scholar van will transport (for free) participants back to the starting hotel in Flagstaff and/or the Arizona Shuttle terminal for transfers back to Phoenix. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!