loading spinner
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
2,399
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.
Length
8 days
Starts at
2,399
Length
8 days
Rating (4.97)
Starts at
2,399
Program No. 11573RJ

Your well-being is our #1 priority

To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

Enroll with Confidence

We want your Road Scholar learning adventure to be something to look forward to—not worry about. Learn more

Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
Plan ahead.
What kind of weather can you expect? Take a look!
itinerary
Please Note:
The itinerary for this program is different on certain dates.
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
Activity Level: Keep the Pace (18)
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Jun 5 - Jun 12, 2022
Starting at
2,399
Jun 7 - Jun 14, 2022
Starting at
2,699
Itinerary Note

Exclusive accommodations inside Zion and Bryce National Parks. This departure will spend two nights in Kanab in place of the Grand Canyon Lodge at the North Rim. Participants will still take a day trip to the North Rim and enjoy a bonus motorized raft ride on the Colorado River.

Jun 12 - Jun 19, 2022
Starting at
3,149
Itinerary Note

Exclusive accommodations inside Bryce and Grand Canyon National Parks.

Aug 21 - Aug 28, 2022
Starting at
3,149
Itinerary Note

Exclusive accommodations inside all three national parks.

Sep 6 - Sep 13, 2022
Starting at
2,399
Sep 11 - Sep 18, 2022
Starting at
2,799
Sep 20 - Sep 27, 2022
Starting at
2,399
Itinerary Note

This departure will spend two nights in Kanab in place of the Grand Canyon Lodge at the North Rim. Participants will still take a day trip to the North Rim and enjoy a bonus motorized raft ride on the Colorado River.

Oct 2 - Oct 9, 2022
Starting at
2,399
Oct 4 - Oct 11, 2022
Starting at
2,799
Oct 9 - Oct 16, 2022
Starting at
2,399
May 21 - May 28, 2023
Starting at
2,699
May 28 - Jun 4, 2023
Starting at
2,699
Jun 4 - Jun 11, 2023
Starting at
2,699
Jun 11 - Jun 18, 2023
Starting at
3,249
Aug 20 - Aug 27, 2023
Starting at
2,699
Sep 3 - Sep 10, 2023
Starting at
2,699
Sep 10 - Sep 17, 2023
Starting at
2,699
Sep 24 - Oct 1, 2023
Starting at
3,249
Activity Level: Keep the Pace (18)
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Jun 5 - Jun 12, 2022
Starting at
3,099
Jun 7 - Jun 14, 2022
Starting at
3,549
Itinerary Note

Exclusive accommodations inside Zion and Bryce National Parks. This departure will spend two nights in Kanab in place of the Grand Canyon Lodge at the North Rim. Participants will still take a day trip to the North Rim and enjoy a bonus motorized raft ride on the Colorado River.

Jun 12 - Jun 19, 2022
Starting at
3,999
Itinerary Note

Exclusive accommodations inside Bryce and Grand Canyon National Parks.

Aug 21 - Aug 28, 2022
Starting at
3,999
Itinerary Note

Exclusive accommodations inside all three national parks.

Sep 6 - Sep 13, 2022
Starting at
3,099
Sep 11 - Sep 18, 2022
Starting at
3,499
Sep 20 - Sep 27, 2022
Starting at
3,099
Itinerary Note

This departure will spend two nights in Kanab in place of the Grand Canyon Lodge at the North Rim. Participants will still take a day trip to the North Rim and enjoy a bonus motorized raft ride on the Colorado River.

Oct 2 - Oct 9, 2022
Starting at
3,099
Oct 4 - Oct 11, 2022
Starting at
3,499
Oct 9 - Oct 16, 2022
Starting at
3,099
May 21 - May 28, 2023
Starting at
3,429
May 28 - Jun 4, 2023
Starting at
3,429
Jun 4 - Jun 11, 2023
Starting at
3,429
Jun 11 - Jun 18, 2023
Starting at
3,989
Aug 20 - Aug 27, 2023
Starting at
3,429
Sep 3 - Sep 10, 2023
Starting at
3,429
Sep 10 - Sep 17, 2023
Starting at
3,429
Sep 24 - Oct 1, 2023
Starting at
3,989
Activity Level: On Your Feet (1)
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Sep 4 - Sep 11, 2022
Starting at
3,149
Itinerary Note

Exclusive accommodations inside all three national parks.

Activity Level: On Your Feet (1)
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Sep 4 - Sep 11, 2022
Starting at
3,999
Itinerary Note

Exclusive accommodations inside all three national parks.

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…

  • Enjoy a free day to explore Zion National Park on your own, taking in its natural beauty and impressive hiking trails at a pace that’s right for you.
  • Spend a day among hoodoos and other rock formations of Bryce Canyon National Park.
  • Marvel at the awe-inspiring expanse that awaits at “Bright Angel” while at the Grand Canyon's North Rim.

General Notes

Select dates are designated for small groups and are limited to 24 participants or less. Transportation on this program is usually by full sized motorcoach, with about 40 participants.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Bruce Banker
Bruce Banker is a graduate of Northern Arizona University, where he studied natural sciences and geology. He lives in Flagstaff and has worked for the National Park Service as a naturalist on the north rim of the Grand Canyon, Chaco Canyon National Historic Park and Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Bruce also serves as an outdoor educator for the Grand Canyon Field Institute. Bruce has taken students to many of the far-flung corners of the Southwest and has a few good stories to share.

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

Profile Image of Bruce Banker
Bruce Banker View biography
Bruce Banker is a graduate of Northern Arizona University, where he studied natural sciences and geology. He lives in Flagstaff and has worked for the National Park Service as a naturalist on the north rim of the Grand Canyon, Chaco Canyon National Historic Park and Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Bruce also serves as an outdoor educator for the Grand Canyon Field Institute. Bruce has taken students to many of the far-flung corners of the Southwest and has a few good stories to share.
Profile Image of David Best
David M. Best View biography
David Best grew up in North Carolina and received his degrees in mathematics and geology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He retired after 32 years from the Geology Department at Northern Arizona University, where he was both a professor and administrator. His passion was teaching undergraduates, particularly non-majors who took introductory general education courses. He also mentored graduate students in the area of geophysics. He is the author of a textbook on natural hazards and is writing a similar book for the general populace. David enjoys gourmet cooking, traveling, woodworking, and reading.
Profile Image of Rose Houk
Rose is a freelance writer and editor specializing in natural history, history and archaeology. She first came to Arizona in 1979 to work as a ranger-naturalist at Grand Canyon National Park, where she also served as publications assistant for the Grand Canyon Association. Rose is the author of “The Guide to Southwest National Parks” and many other handbooks on the Southwest. She is an expert educator for Road Scholar and various other organizations and travels extensively across the West from her home in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Profile Image of Phil Moore
Phil Moore View biography
Phil Moore is currently an adjunct professor of Geology at Dixie State University. He has been involved with the Southern Utah University Geology Field Camp for several years. Phil taught Earth science for public schools in Hurricane, Utah for 28 years, he is also a semi-professional musician along with his wife Lori, who is also a Road Scholar Group Leader.
Profile Image of Maggie Francke
Maggie Francke View biography
Maggie Francke has worked 43 years as a nurse during which time she also raised a family. The first half of her career was spent working in various hospital departments. The last half she worked in home health and hospice, and mainly hospice the last 10 years. Now her days are so filled, she wonders how she ever had the time to work so much. She spends her time hiking, biking, gardening and going to yoga five times per week.
Profile Image of Eldon Griffin
Eldon Griffin View biography
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.
Profile Image of Diane Griffin
Diane Griffin View biography
Diane Griffin’s unique talent is caring for and assisting others. She has been working in the travel industry for the last 12 years, and currently assists premium for Delta Airlines. She has also worked for JetBlue Airways and Utah Transit Authority, as well as in a surgical center assisting patients. A native Californian, Diane has lived in Utah for most of her life and enjoys hiking in southern Utah's red rock country. She has been a Group Leader for Dixie State University's Road Scholar since 2009.
Profile Image of Diana Hawks
Diana Hawks View biography
Diana Hawks was fortunate to be able to work in a career she loved, as an archaeologist in both the southwestern United States and Mesoamerica. She completed a bachelor’s and a master’s in archaeology at Brigham Young and PhD courses in anthropology and law. She has worked most extensively as an archaeologist in southern Utah and northern Arizona specializing in ceramic analysis of Ancestral Puebloan cultures. She enjoys teaching and working with the public on archaeological projects, especially archaeological inventories and rock art recording.
Profile Image of Bryan Bates
Bryan Bates View biography
Bryan is an ex officio member of the Governing Board for the International Society for Archaeoastronomy and Astronomy in Culture. Under a NASA grant, he created a course manual for archaeoastronomy and published research on a solar calendar at Wupatki and an equinox site near Stoneman Lake. He is involved in a research project on archaeoastronomy at Mesa Verde National Park and teaches archaeoastronomy as well as biology, environmental science, natural history and chemistry.
Profile Image of Thomas Combrink
Thomas Combrink View biography
Thomas Combrink was born in South Africa and, as a child, lived in Zambia and Zimbabwe where his father was a British government land surveyor. In the bush with his parents, he gained an appreciation and love for the natural world. Thomas earned degrees from Texas A&M (Park & Recreation Resource Management) and Michigan State University (Agricultural Economics). He retired from Northern Arizona University with research in applied economics and tourism. Living in Flagstaff for 32 years, he has explored much of the Colorado Plateau.
Profile Image of Stewart Lasseter
Stewart Lasseter View biography
Stewart Lasseter completed studies in geo-science, natural history and Spanish at the University of Arizona. He then studied as the protégé of a Native American healer, learning from her practices of wholeness, kinesiology, mind-body medicine, and dyslexia correction. He has years of experience bringing groups in touch with the natural world and has completed post-graduate studies in health sciences at Prescott College.
Profile Image of Christopher Eaves
Christopher Eaves View biography
Christopher Eaves has called the Southwest home for the past two decades, exploring the wild lands and rivers of the region. After teaching middle school math and science for 15 years, he joined Road Scholar to continue his ongoing passion for promoting learning. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Western University of Colorado and a master’s in Education from Northern Arizona University. Chris's hobbies include mountain biking, hiking, and traveling the globe with his spouse and children.
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.
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
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
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
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
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





Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.