Driving approx. 230 miles total; about 5 hours, with stops; approx. half morning/half afternoon. Climbing in/out of 4x4s; assistance provided as needed; bumpy roads; seat belts required. Some short walks over packed dirt and rocky terrain to attractions. Walking up to 2 miles total throughout the day; rocky, sandy, uneven terrain; elevation of 4,500 feet. Walking short distances and periods of standing; up to 2 hours on our feet; paved paths along the South Rim of Grand Canyon (7,000 feet).
At the hotel, we’ll enjoy an extensive breakfast with many choices of hot and cold items; coffee, tea, milk, juice, water available.
Once checked out of the hotel, we’ll transfer to Sedona and see how the Arizona landscape changes as we travel from the Sonoran desert, with its famous saguaro cactus, up to the high elevations of the Colorado Plateau region. Our Group Leader naturalist will point out the differences in plants and geography as we travel. Upon arrival in Sedona, we’ll climb into our 4x4 vehicles by drivers who are also well-versed in the geology, flora, fauna, and pre-historic details of the region, then head off on our open-air 4x4 adventure to an off-the-beaten-path location in the beautiful red rocks of Sedona. Expect some sections of road where there may be jostling in the vehicle as the driver navigates dirt roads, sandy washes, and/or slick rock. Vehicles are very comfortable, seat up to 7 people, and have grab bars to hold on to with every seat. There will be some short walks from our vehicles as we visit viewpoints, historic attractions, or archaeological sites.
At a Sedona restaurant, we’ll choose plated meals from a menu of entrees with kid-friendly selections available. Beverages include soft drinks, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
We’ll then travel through scenic Oak Creek Canyon on our way to the Grand Canyon. Travelling past the San Francisco Peaks Volcanic Field in Flagstaff and the site of Arizona's highest point, Humphreys Peak at an elevation of 12,633 feet, the afternoon will find us arriving at the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park and the brink of the world-famous chasm. After briefly viewing this world wonder, we’ll check in to the hotel. If you've never experienced it before, get ready for a thrill! Through activities together over the next few days, our expert leader will help us to understand this world wonder. Can you see the North Rim Lodge from the South Rim? See if you can find it! In a few days we’ll be standing there, 1,000 feet higher, and looking back towards the South Rim.
At the lodge cafeteria, we’ll use vouchers to select plated meals from a variety of entrée choices, as well as a choice of beverages. Coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase at your own cost.
Depending on sunset time, we’ll rendezvous either before or after dinner for a shuttle transfer to Mather Point for a Grand Canyon sunset! Mather Point will offer late evening shadows, light in the canyon, and sweeping rim views. Following the sunset, we’ll transfer to our lodging. The remainder of the evening will be at leisure.