2272
Utah
Hiking in Utah’s Splendor: Great Parks and Monuments
Come hike the great parks and monuments of Utah, where you’ll discover unique geology, ancient petroglyphs, dramatic falls and eons of exposed nature.
Program No. 2272RJ
Length
8 days
Starts at
1,299
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8 days
7 nights
20 meals
7 B 6 L 7 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
St. George, Utah
D
College Inn

Activity note: Please remember to bring your National Park Pass and hiking poles if you have them.

Dinner: In our private meeting room at Dixie State University, enjoy a delicious welcome banquet featuring a buffet, plus coffee, tea, water.

Evening: We’ll then return to the hotel for the rest of our evening programming. Orientation. The Group Leader will lead everyone in a welcome and introduction session. 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. Transportation will be provided primarily by motorcoach unless otherwise specified. Be sure to bring a daypack, water bottle, sun protection, sturdy walking shoes and anything else you think you will need during our hikes in the desert. Durations of hikes vary depending on the group. 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. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change 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 t

DAY
2
Zion National Park
St. George, Utah
B,L,D
College Inn

Activity note: Scout Lookout Hike is a moderately strenuous 4 mile round trip with 1,100 ft of elevation change. Riverside Walk is an easy 2 mile round trip on a fairly level paved trail ending at the entrance to the Zion Canyon Narrows. Total day hike miles will be 4-6 miles. Elevation of Zion is approximately 4000 feet. Driving distance from St. George to Zion is 45 miles and will take about 1 hour.

Breakfast: Continental breakfast buffet at the College Inn includes hard boiled eggs, oatmeal, cereal, fruit, yogurt, pastries, toast, coffee, tea, milk and juice.

Morning: Travel to Zion National Park. We'll begin our hike to Scout Lookout at the West Rim trail-head from the Grotto. A footbridge over the Virgin River and a right turn heading upstream lead you along the northwestern shore on a relatively level path. About a half-mile, the trail begins a series of paved switchbacks. The views keep getting better with every turn as Zion's main canyon opens up below you. This section of trail has steep drop-offs, but is wide, which is helpful for those with a fear of heights. Shaded relief is found when the trail turns up into the aptly named, Refrigerator Canyon. Impressive rock walls tower with overhangs that are picture worthy. After a gradual grade, the trail turns and you face the famous Walters Wiggles feature of tight switchbacks up towards Scout Lookout.

Lunch: Box lunch on the trail consists of a sandwich, chips, fruit and a cookie.

Afternoon: Continue exploring Zion as we hike the River Walk trail. This paved trail begins at the farthest end of Zion Canyon, in a natural amphitheater called the Temple of Sinawava. The trail ends where Navajo Sandstone walls close in and water is forced into the narrow walls of the world-renowned Zion Narrows. Return to St. George.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, enjoy a buffet with choices including a variety of fresh salads, homemade dinner rolls, barbecue meats, assorted entrees, vegetables and dessert. Soft drinks, coffee, tea, juice, milk and water are included.

Evening: We will return to the College Inn where your instructor will present a lecture on the geology, ecology, flora and fauna of Southern Utah. We’ll gain a greater understanding of the incredible formations we will explore during the week.

DAY
3
Grand Canyon National Park North Rim
Kanab, UT
B,L,D
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Kanab

Activity note: Bright Angel Point trail is a short one-half mile round trip walk on a paved trail. Transept Trail is a 3 mile round trip along the rim. Total day hike miles will be 3.5 miles.

Breakfast: Continental breakfast buffet at the College Inn includes hard boiled eggs, hot oatmeal, cereal, fruit, yogurt, pastries, toast, coffee, tea, milk and juice.

Morning: We'll depart via motorcoach for Grand Canyon National Park, North Rim. Upon arrival we'll take a one-half mile round trip hike on a steep paved trail to Bright Angel Point, a promontory at an elevation of 8,148 feet that offers panoramic views of Roaring Springs, Bright Angel and Transept Canyons, as well as the inner gorge of the Grand Canyon.

Lunch: Box lunch on the trail includes a sandwich, chips, fruit and cookie.

Afternoon: Continue exploring the Canyon by hiking the 1.5 mile unpaved Transept Trail along the rim with several stops to enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding canyon.

Dinner: Returning to Kanab via motorcoach we'll stop at a local restaurant for a plated meal of local favorites. Coffee, iced tea, soda and water are included.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park
B,L,D
Ruby's Inn

Activity note: Rim trail from Bryce Point to Sunset Point is a 2 mile one way trip on groomed trail with a 300 ft elevation drop. Navajo Loop and Queens Garden Trail is a 3.5 mile hike with an elevation change of 520 feet. Total day hike miles will be 3.5 - 5.5 miles. Driving distance from Kanab to Bryce Canyon is 90 miles and takes 1 1/2 hours.

Breakfast: Hotel breakfast buffet includes scrambled eggs, omelets, bacon, sausage, biscuits, cinnamon rolls, fresh fruits, yogurt, cereals, pancakes, juices, milk, tea and coffee.

Morning: Depart for Bryce Canyon National Park. One of America's most scenic destinations and smaller national parks, covering only 56 square miles, Bryce is renowned for its unique geological features, carved by nature into hoodoos and pinnacles of an amazing palette of colors. Upon arrival we'll hike along the rim from Bryce Point to Sunset Point.

Lunch: Box lunch on the trail includes a sandwich, chips, fruit and cookie.

Afternoon: Continue exploring in Bryce as we hike below the rim on the Navajo Loop trail that descends from Sunset Point through the slot canyon of Wall Street, where 500 to 700-year-old Douglas Firs reach toward the sunlight at the top of the canyon. The Navajo Loop is a popular trail in the park, and is often combined with the Queen's Garden Trail to form a longer loop that emerges on the rim at Sunrise Point.

Dinner: At Ruby's Cowboy Buffet & Steak Room, we’ll enjoy a buffet dinner with choices including a variety of classic western meat dishes, fish, vegetables, cornbread, soup and salads with coffee, tea, soft drinks and water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
Capitol Reef National Park
B,L,D
Broken Spur Inn

Activity note: Driving distance from Bryce to Capitol Reef National Park is 112 miles and takes about 2 hours. Calf Creek Falls a 6 mile round trip hike. Elevation change on the trail is minimal, but the trail is sandy and is mostly in direct sun.

Breakfast: Breakfast at Ruby's Cowboy Buffet includes fresh fruit, yogurt, baked goods, cereal, scrambled eggs, french toast, oatmeal, bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, coffee, and assorted teas, juice and milk.

Morning: Check out and depart via motorcoach along scenic Highway 12 to Calf Creek Falls. The lower falls of Calf Creek were for many years one of the hidden attractions of southern Utah but since the creation of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument they have become quite well known. At the falls, the creek emerges from a V-shaped channel at the end of upper Calf Creek Canyon and cascades 126 ft over a near-vertical cliff of Navajo sandstone into a large pool.

Lunch: Box lunch on the trail includes a sandwich, chips, fruit and cookie.

Afternoon: We’ll continue our scenic drive Highway 12, through a portion of the Grand Staircase to Anasazi State Park where we will view Ancestral Puebloan ruins and learn about the area’s history of human settlement.

Dinner: At Pioneer Kitchen restaurant, we’ll enjoy a plated meal with dessert and coffee, tea, soft drinks, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Capitol Reef National Park
Capitol Reef National Park
B,L,D
Broken Spur Inn

Activity note: Chimney Rock Trail is a 7 mile round trip with elevation change of 810 feet. We generally don't complete the full loop. Grand wash is a level 2.5 mile one way hike. Total day hike miles will be 6-9 miles.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel includes fresh fruit, yogurt, baked goods, cereal, scrambled eggs, french toast, oatmeal, bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, coffee, and assorted teas, juice and milk.

Morning: Depart via motorcoach for Capitol Reef National Park and hike the Chimney Rock Trail. Chimney Rock is an impressive pinnacle of Moenkopi mudstone and sandstone. The trail begins with a short but strenuous switchback that leads to the top of the mesa and then becomes an easier loop hike around the top. The loop hike offers outstanding views of Chimney Rock and the surrounding countryside.

Lunch: We'll return via motorcoach to a park near the Capitol Reef Visitors Center for a box lunch that includes a sandwich, chips, fruit and cookie.

Afternoon: Hike Grand Wash and view towering cliffs of sandstone as you walk through the upper portion of the Waterpocket Fold. The wash connects the Scenic Road as it heads south past Cassidy Arch, to Highway 24 just east of Spring Canyon. The wash is level throughout the entire route, though it is full of streambed sediment. We'll then make a brief stop at "Petroglyph Panel." Most are attributed to the Fremont Culture, which existed in this area of Utah from approximately AD 600 – 1300. The Fremont people were contemporaries of the Ancestral Puebloans (Anasazi) of the Four Corners area.

Dinner: Dinner at the Rim Rock Restaurant. Choices include baked chicken, Mahi Mahi or vegetarian pesto pasta

Evening: Evening presentation.

DAY
7
Kolob Canyon, West Zion National Park
St. George, Utah
B,L,D
College Inn

Activity note: Bristlecone Pine trail is a short, level .6 miles round trip. Timber Creek Overlook trail is a 1 mile round trip with a 150 foot gradual ascent to the overlook. Total day hike miles will be 2 miles.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Checkout and depart. We'll travel south through Dixie National Forest with a stop at Bristlecone Pine Trail. This hike meanders through meadows of wildflowers and aspens, ending in front of a grove of spectacular bristlecone pines. We'll also get a breathtaking overlook view of Zion National Park in the distance.

Lunch: Box lunch at a park in Cedar City includes a sandwich, chips, fruit and cookie.

Afternoon: Continue to Kolob Canyon in the western part of Zion National Park. Here we will hike Timber Creek Overlook Trail. This trail is a short hike to a rocky outcrop with panoramic views over the Kolob Canyons area, Pine Valley Mountain range, Timber Creek drainage, and Red Butte. The trail climbs an exposed ridge and heads south to a small peak. On clear days views range from the Kaibab Plateau to the Grand Canyon's North Rim.

Dinner: Closing dinner buffet at a St. George restaurant. Coffee, iced tea, soda and water are included.

Evening: At leisure. Share your favorite memories with new Road Scholar friends! Be sure to prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
8
Program Concludes
St. George, Utah
B

Breakfast: Continental breakfast buffet at the College Inn which includes hard boiled eggs, oatmeal, cereal, fruit, yogurt, pastries, toast, coffee, tea, milk and juice.

Morning: Program ends following breakfast.






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