11573
Utah/Arizona/Nevada

Best of Color Country National Parks: Zion, Bryce & Grand Canyon

Discover the colorful and ancient landscapes of three iconic national parks as you explore geological monuments, visit historic lodges and marvel at scenic wonders with a naturalist.
Program No. 11573RJ
Length
8 days
Starts at
2,249

At a Glance

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.
Activity Level
Varies by date
Varies by date. Elevations up to 9,115 feet. On Your Feet dates: Walking up to one mile on varied terrain at a slower pace. Keep the Pace dates: Walking up to three miles daily on varied terrain.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Experience Zion National Park’s stunning natural beauty with local experts and hike some of its numerous trails.
  • 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 along the rim of the Grand Canyon.

General Notes

Transportation on this program is usually by full sized motorcoach, with about 40 participants.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Eldon Griffin
An avid hiker and photographer, Eldon Griffin is a naturalist who has taught continuing-education courses in geology, computers and photography. Growing up in the Southwest, he spent his days exploring the backcountry, finding fossils and dinosaur tracks. Eldon works as a freelance producer, videographer, photographer, writer, editor, instructor and consultant for various clients. Eldon’s photographs have been featured in numerous travel publications. He was a videographer for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Eldon loves to share his knowledge on the unique geology.

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

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Phil Moore
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Bruce Banker
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David M. Best
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Bryan Bates
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Diane Griffin
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Eldon Griffin
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Jeff Strang
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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.
Book About History
by See List Below
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
by See List Below
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
by See List Below
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
Geology
by See List Below
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)
by See List Below
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 www.zionpark.org) 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
General Reference
by See List Below
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





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