Afternoon: Check-in: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 p.m. Program Registration: Anytime between 4:30 – 5:15 p.m., come over to the Road Scholar desk, located in a hotel meeting room, to register with the program staff and pick up your arrival packet containing your name tag, the up-to-date schedule, other important information we will review during Orientation, and to confirm the time and place of the session. If you arrive late, please pick up your packet at the front desk. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Evenings at leisure offer 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. Transportation during the week will be provided by a combination of passenger vans and motor coach travel. 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.
Dinner: Dinner at 5:30 PM will be plated and catered at the hotel. Beverages include water, tea, soft drinks or coffee; other beverages available for purchase at your own cost.
Evening: Orientation: We will gather in the hotel's private meeting room after dinner where the Group leader will greet you with a warm welcome and introduce everyone. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. We will have some time to get to know each other during introductions.
Activity note: Travel 2 hours to Sedona. Climbing in and out of jeep. Assistance available if needed. Some bumps while in the open air jeeps, but not throughout the entire trip. Seat belts are required. Some short walks away from the jeeps over packed dirt and rocky terrain as we look at attractions or views. Walking up to 1/2 mile on rocky, sandy or uneven terrain.(4500'). 2.5 hours to Grand Canyon National Park S. Rim. Walking short distances on pavement along the South Rim of Grand Canyon (7000').
Breakfast: Enjoy an extensive buffet breakfast at the hotel with many choices of hot and cold items. Coffee, teas and juices available.
Morning: After breakfast depart for Sedona. See how the Arizona landscape changes as we travel from the Sonoran desert with its famous saguaro cactus up in elevation to the Colorado Plateau region.Your group leader/naturalist will be able to point out the differences in plants and geography as you travel. Especially for kids: Then let the fun begin! 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 away from the jeeps as we visit viewpoints, historic attractions, or archaeological sights.
Lunch: Lunch at a Sedona restaurant. Choose from a menu of plated entrees with kid-friendly options available.Beverages include water, tea, soft drinks or coffee; other beverages available for purchase at your own cost.
Afternoon: After lunch you will travel through scenic Oak Creek Canyon on our way to the Grand Canyon. Travel past the San Francisco Peaks Volcanic Field in Flagstaff and the site of Arizona's highest point, Humphreys Peak, elev. 12,633 feet. Afternoon finds the group arriving at the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park and on to the brink of the world famous chasm. If you've never experienced it before, get ready for a thrill! Through activities together over the next few days, your guide will help you 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 you'll be standing there, 1000' higher, and looking back towards the South Rim. Hotel check in between 4:00 and 5:00 PM.
Dinner: Dinner at the Lodge's restaurant. Plated meal with many entree choices to choose from as well as a choice of bevarages. We will use coupons at the dining facility. Other beverages available for purchase at your own cost.
Evening: After dinner, walk or take the free park shuttle to the Shrine of Ages Auditorium or McKee Amphitheater (depending on the season) for a National Park Service ranger presentation. All topics relate to Grand Canyon themes, change nightly and are kid friendly.
Activity note: Walking along the rim on paved trail at 7000' elevation. Walk a short distance down the Bright Angel Trail on a wide, dirt trail with elevation change of no more than 500' in 1/2 mile. Total walking for the day is approximately 2 miles.
Breakfast: Plated breakfast at the lodge restaurant. Many options to choose from including scrambled eggs, pancakes, bacon, oatmeal, fresh fruit, yogurt, juice, and coffee.
Morning: After breakfast the group will depart for a walking tour of the historic Grand Canyon Village with your group leader/naturalist. Walk along the rim to learn about the formation of this world wonder and its "layer cake of stone". See famous village area landmarks including the Kolb Brothers Photo Studio and the buildings of Fred Harvey designer Mary Jane Colter - including the Bright Angel Lodge, Lookout Studio and the Hopi House. To the east, visit the El Tovar Hotel, one of the great lodges in the National Park system. A discussion on free time options and activities for the upcoming afternoon will be included. Especially for kids: A walk down part of the famous Bright Angel Trail will be offered before lunch for those wishing to participate in this short but steep hike.
Lunch: Enjoy a plated lunch at the Maswik cafe, a short walk from the historic village and near the Bright Angel trail-head and Hermit's Rest shuttle interchange.We will utilize meal vouchers providing ample choices for every palate.
Afternoon: After lunch, the afternoon is free to explore the South Rim and environs. Using the park pocket guide and map, participants can choose from a variety of activities and viewpoints.The historic Grand Canyon Village, Hermit's Rest West Rim shuttle, Yavapai Point, bike rentals, and rim walks are all popular activities. The free park shuttle allows anyone to access various points on the South Rim. Your group leader can assist with choosing from the options available.
Dinner: Enjoy a dinner on your own from among several restaurant choices in the Grand Canyon Village area allowing more time to experience the Canyon on your own terms and at your own pace. Your group leader will be able to offer suggestions.
Evening: Shuttle to Mather Point for a Grand Canyon sunset! Mather Point will offer late evening shadows and light in the canyon and sweeping rim views. Tonight, for those interested, attend a presentation by a Grand Canyon National Park ranger. It may be inside or outside and may be in the dark, so prepare by bringing a flashlight and a jacket.
Activity note: Travel to Grand Canyon's airport, a short distance outside the park, for a scenic flight over the Grand Canyon. Fly in a dual engine "Vistaliner" aircraft. The aircraft can comfortably carry 19 passengers. Travel the scenic East Rim 1/2 hour (about 20 miles) to Desert View. Climb the fabled Watchtower; walk up to 1 mile at Desert View. Travel 1.5 hours to Lee's Ferry. Walk a short distance through sand to the Colorado River in Grand Canyon.
Breakfast: Breakfast at the lodge restaurant.
Morning: Check out of the lodge after breakfast and begin an epic day. Start with a short drive to the Grand canyon airport to weigh in and then board a 19-passenger fixed wing plane for a thrilling flight over the Grand Canyon. For more information regarding the Vistaliner and a complete listing of the aircraft's safety features and amenities, see Grand Canyon Airlines equipment page at: www.grandcanyonairlines.com/equipment/vistaliner The size of the canyon is immense and while hiking into the canyon and standing on its rim gives great perspective, the overflight will amaze you. After the flight, we load the vehicles and continue our journey along the Grand Canyon's "East Rim". Marvel at the amazing Canyon views at Desert View. Desert View has the best vistas of the Colorado River and is the location of the famous Watchtower designed by Mary Jane Colter. Climb the Watchtower on your own -- can you find the petroglyphs built into the tower? -- and enjoy a picnic lunch in its shadows before you leave the national park and enter the Navajo Nation.
Lunch: Picnic lunch at Desert View. Enjoy a pre-selected cold cut sandwich choice, chips, fruit and cookie.
Afternoon: After lunch we exit the park and enter the western edge of the Navajo Reservation and travel through the Painted Desert. We will cross the Colorado River at Marble Canyon and visit historic Lee's Ferry on the banks of the Colorado River. Especially for kids: Enjoy one of the most unique beaches in the world at Lee's Ferry Beach where, on the opposite side of the river, a vertical cliff of Grand Canyon rock 500' high rises up to stun the senses. Explore a few of the other-worldly mushroom rocks -- hmm? how did they form this way? -- in the area and check into the Marble Canyon Lodge in late afternoon.
Dinner: Plated dinner at the Marble Canyon Lodge restaurant. Beverages include water, tea, soft drinks or coffee; other beverages available for purchase at your own cost.
Evening: Especially for kids: We’ll gather at the lodge for a secret "Kids Only" activity led by our Group Leaders! Shhhhh!
Activity note: Travel onto the Kaibab Plateau, reaching the North Rim of Grand Canyon after a 1.5 hour drive. 1/4 mile walk out to Pt. Imperial viewpoint and down some stairs at 8800'. Nature walk on both paved and unpaved trail in area of N. Rim Lodge is up to 1 mile round trip.
Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the Lodge, including fresh fruit, hot and cold items, breakfast meats, an omelette station, granola, yogurt, breakfast pastries, coffee and juice.
Morning: In the morning we depart Marble Canyon after breakfast and travel to the North Rim to maximize our time at this incomparable destination. Continue along the base of the Vermilion Cliffs and rise onto the cool, verdant Kaibab Plateau, with its spruce, fir and aspen forest. Our first stop will be Point Imperial, the highest viewpoint in the park at 8803 feet. Is this the highest you've ever been before? You group leader/naturalist will point out Grand Canyon and regional landmarks (some up to 100 miles away). Discussions may include regional geography, canyon trails, California condors, the controversial 'beefalo' and fire ecology. Picnic lunch on site.
Lunch: Sack lunch includes a deli-style sandwich, chips, fresh fruit and cookie.
Afternoon: After lunch enjoy some activities in the Pt. Imperial vicinity. Then journey to the N. Rim Lodge area where we'll walk out to Bright Angel Pt. and take a short nature walk before we check into the lodge. For those that prefer not to do the hike, other options will be available such as enjoying some free time on the North Rim or taking in a park ranger program. Check in at the North Rim Lodge in the late afternoon.
Dinner: Plated dinner from a select menu in the majestic dining room of the North Rim Lodge, with magnificent views through huge picture windows. Kid-friendly choices will be available.Non-alcoholic beverage included. Other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: After dinner enjoy a National Park Service ranger presentation in the lodge auditorium or watch sunset over the Grand Canyon. Don't forget to visit some of the amazing viewpoints below the lodge where the Canyon's panorama is on all sides and waaaaay below as well. Tonight's evening program will cover a topic of interest for all ages.You may get a chance to see more stars and planets after the program from the lodge deck after darkness falls. Be sure to have a flashlight as the night skies at Grand Canyon are very dark.
Activity note: Transfer to Phoenix approximately 6 hours of travel on the motor coach with scenic stops and lunch on the Navajo Reservation.
Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the Lodge.
Morning: After breakfast, depart Grand Canyon and re-trace our steps towards Phoenix with a stop at the historic Navajo Bridge. During our stop at the Navajo Bridge, walk across it and marvel at the 500' chasm below and the waters of the Colorado River. Look for California condors sunning themselves or perching under the new adjacent bridge. You may spot fishermen down below, giving you a real sense of the immensity of the Canyon, even here. Continue to the historic 1916 Cameron Trading Post. Native American arts and crafts galore are on display at the historic Cameron Trading Post.
Lunch: Plated lunch at Cameron Trading Post. In addition to standard lunch menu selections we will offer up their famous "Navajo Taco" - a light, crispy fry bread loaded with traditional taco toppings. It's a memorable experience! Coffee, iced tea, and soft drinks are included.
Afternoon: After lunch in Cameron, travel to Flagstaff, through the Verde Valley, Cordes Junction and on to our Phoenix hotel.
Dinner: Plated dinner at the hotel.
Evening: Dinner will be followed by a program wrap-up session with your group leaders, including reflections and farewells to new friends of all ages from across the country. It will be a great time to share our memories of the week spent together exploring the Grand Canyon region.
Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
Morning: Independent departures, Hotel provides free shuttles to Phoenix Sky Harbor airport. 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!