On the Road: Sedona's Red Rock Country and the Grand Canyon
Set out on a larger-than-life learning adventure to experience Sedona’s Red Rocks and the Grand Canyon, joining experts for an insider’s view on these two monumental sites!
Rating (4.93)
Program No. 1088RJ
7 days
Starts at
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7 days
6 nights
16 meals
5 B 5 L 6 D
Getting There
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Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Sedona, AZ
Andante Inn

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 4:30 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table in the conference room by the pool to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and to learn when and where the Orientation session will take place. If your arrival is delayed, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: At the restaurant adjacent to the hotel, we will have a plated meal an entrée that varies each night, plus a choice of coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Orientation: At 7:00 PM the Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. All field trips will be led by our Group Leader, a seasoned and experienced naturalist, unless specified otherwise. Transportation will be provided primarily via vans unless otherwise noted. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration offering opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable through personal independent exploration, engaging in available activities on your own, or simply relaxing and making new friends among fellow participants. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may be changed due to local conditions/circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

Geology, Sedona's Best Loved Sites, Western Ballads & Tales
Sedona, AZ
Andante Inn

Activity note: Minimal walking with while enjoying stops during our exploration of Sedona.

Breakfast: At the restaurant adjacent to the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers choices such as eggs, breakfast meats, French toast, hot and cold cereals, fresh fruit, juices, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: At the hotel, we will be joined by a Grand Canyon geologist and Professor Emeritus of Geology at Northern Arizona University for a presentation on the geologic story of Sedona and the surrounding area.

Lunch: At the restaurant adjacent to the hotel, we will have a plated meal with a choice of entrée, plus coffee, tea, or water.

Afternoon: Set out for a riding exploration of Sedona with our Group Leader, seeing some of the towns most beloved sites including a stop at the famous Chapel of the Holy Cross. During our exploration, learn about the history, geology, climate, flora, and fauna of the area. As we explore, we will have photo opportunities at some scenic vistas.

Dinner: Plated meal from restaurant adjacent to hotel.

Evening: At the hotel, we will be joined by local musicians who will perform their western ballads and tales. Our performers are frequent guests at Southwest cowboy poet festivals and have been delighting Road Scholar participants for more than a decade. Then prepare for check out and transfer in the morning.

Montezuma National Monument, Historic town of Jerome
Sedona, AZ
Andante Inn

Activity note: The drive to Montezuma Castle National Monument is approximately 30 miles and 45 minutes. Walking about 1 mile; flat, paved trails. While exploring Jerome, walking of less than 1/2 mile on city streets with inclines and declines.

Breakfast: Buffet from restaurant adjacent to hotel.

Morning: We’ll depart on a field trip to Montezuma Castle National Monument. This 5-story, 20-room cliff dwelling is 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 approximately 600 years ago by the Sinagua Indians. We'll then travel to the historic mining town of Jerome.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions for you to explore while you walk the streets of this quirky historic town.

Afternoon: Located on Cleopatra Hill, Jerome was once the largest copper mine in the United States. Today, it is a magnet for artists with many interesting tourist attractions to offer. Our first stop in Jerome will be a visit to Jerome State Historic Park. The Douglas Mansion was built in 1916 on a dramatic promontory and inside are maps, ore samples, historic photos and the story of the town's rise and fall and rebirth. On the second floor, the 3D model of the town with the tunnels beneath it merits the trip. The park shows a video of the history of Jerome continuously all day. Following the visit to the museum, we head over to the center of town where people can enjoy a lunch on their own and some free time to wonder the streets and explore the many shops and points of interest. Return to hotel in late afternoon.

Dinner: At a nearby Thai restaurant, we will have a plated meal served "family style" including soup, entrees, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverages.

Evening: At leisure to relax after a long day of exploration. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

Oak Creek Canyon, Grand Canyon South Rim
Grand Canyon - South Rim
Yavapai Lodge West

Activity note: Drive is about 115 miles, taking approximately 2.5 hours each way. Walking approximately 1 mile on mostly flat, paved or dirt paths.

Breakfast: Buffet from restaurant adjacent to hotel

Morning: We’ll leave the hotel and transfer to the Grand Canyon via scenic Oak Creek Canyon and Flagstaff. Marvel at the change of life zones and scenery as we move from the Sonora Desert Colorado Plateau. Travel past the San Francisco Peaks Volcanic Field and the site of Arizona’s highest point – Humphreys Peak – reaching an elevation of 12,633 feet. As we drive, our expert naturalist will introduce us to the regional geography and natural history. Having arrived at the South Rim, we’ll see Grand Canyon Village where many of the most impressive structures in the historic village were designed by Mary Jane Colter, a renowned architect and designer for the Fred Harvey Company and Santa Fe Railroad. We may even see an endangered California condor soaring overhead as you gaze into the Canyon's depths below.

Lunch: At the Grand Canyon, we will have a sack lunch including a sandwich, chips, and fruit.

Afternoon: We'll then stop at a few more amazing view points, have the opportunity to walk along the rim, and visit Grand Canyon Village all led by our Group Leader. Keep your eyes out for the endangered California condor soaring overhead as you gaze into the Canyon's depths below. Next, we’ll transfer to our lodge on the south rim and check-in.

Dinner: At the lodge café, we’ll choose from entrees, sides and desserts and non-alcoholic beverages; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy a relaxing evening at the lodge or ride the park’s shuttle to a view point for a Grand Canyon sunset. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

Grand Canyon’s South Rim, Route 66 Nostalgia
Peach Springs, AZ
Hualapai Lodge

Activity note: Rise for an early morning before breakfast to witness a spectacular Grand Canyon sunrise. We’ll ride the park’s shuttle to a viewpoint that will allow for the best view. Drive is about 135 miles; approximately 4 hours.

Breakfast: At the historic El Tovar Hotel, the most famous of Grand Canyon eateries, we will have a plated meal looking out onto the Canyon rim. Your Group Leader will provide you a meal coupon so you can enjoy breakfast at your leisure. The coupon allows you to order off the menu, which features traditional entrees, integrating both international and local Southwest influences, plus a choice of coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Morning: We will then rendezvous at the hotel to check out and continue our Grand Canyon learning adventure with a period of Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. You may wish to ride the free National Park Service shuttle along the West Rim Drive to Hermit's Rest which offers access to numerous fantastic viewpoints (Hopi, Mohave, and Maricopa points to name a few) overlooking the canyon and the Colorado River. You might also like to go for rim walks, attend Ranger programs, see what’s in the Visitor Center, or just find a quiet spot to contemplate and gaze out at the Grand Canyon, taking in all of its grandeur.

Lunch: At the lodge café, choose from a variety of entrees including soup, salad, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverages.

Afternoon: Then, we’ll board the vans and transfer from Grand Canyon National Park along a historic stretch of the famous Route 66 to Peach Springs in the Hualapai Nation. En route, we’ll keep a look out for Burma Shave signs, enjoy the wide open view, and stop at a classic location of Route 66 nostalgia, Seligman, with its focus on American road touring in the 1950s. In the mid-afternoon, we will arrive at our accommodation, a modern tribal lodge offering comfortable accommodations and access to a more remote and wild western end of the Grand Canyon.

Dinner: At the lodge, we will have a buffet featuring a different entrée each night, plus coffee, tea and water. Alcoholic beverages are not available on the Hualapai Reservation.

Evening: At the hotel, we will hear a presentation given by a local expert that will expand our knowledge on the area that may cover a diverse array of topics from Hualapai culture, Black Footed Ferret reintroduction, or Arizona Cowboy history.

Peach Springs Canyon, Bottom of Grand Canyon
Peach Springs, AZ
Hualapai Lodge

Activity note: Drive is about 20 miles; approximately 1 hour; bumpy gravel road. Walking about 1 mile; approx. ½ hour on sandy, rocky canyon bottom.

Breakfast: At the lodge, we will have a hot buffet featuring a variety of options, plus coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We’ll transfer from the hotel to Peach Springs Canyon via vans on the sometimes bumpy Diamond Creek Road to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River. Along our journey, we will stop at various points of interest while the walls rise higher and higher as we come closer to the Colorado River. We’ll pass through hundreds of millions of years of geologic history that has culminated in the arrival to the 1.8 billion year old rock that makes up the Granite Gorge. Among our highlights will be a walk along Diamond Creek down to the Colorado River.

Lunch: Along the shore of the Colorado River on the bottom of the Grand Canyon we will have a picnic lunch.

Afternoon: Our field trip at the bottom of the Grand Canyon will continue with a viewing of the Diamond Creek Rapids as we look for desert bighorn sheep and watch for river runners along the shores of the Colorado River. Our Group Leader will share some of the interesting history, facts and management issues regarding the Colorado River with us as we relax on the beach. We’ll return in late afternoon to the lodge.

Dinner: At the lodge, we’ll enjoy a tasty buffet meal for our farewell dinner in the company of our fellow participants.

Evening: With our Group Leader, we will have a program wrap-up and reflect on our experiences. Share your favorite memories from the program with new Road Scholar friends. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.

Program Concludes

Activity note: Lodge check-out by 11:00 a.m. Arrival in Sedona by 11:15 am or in Phoenix by 12:00 Noon. Please see travel details for shuttle service information.

Breakfast: Lodge buffet.

Morning: Program ends after breakfast. Road Scholar van will return to Sedona and the starting hotel for no charge. Sedona arrival by 11:15 AM for connection with commercial shuttle to Phoenix airport departing on their schedule. Travel time to Phoenix approximately 2.5 hours; airport arrival appx 2:00- 2:30 PM. Van Go (commercial) Shuttle departs Peach Springs after breakfast for express return to Phoenix Sky Harbor - arrives at Phoenix airport by noon. 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!

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