23915
Utah

Arches & Canyonlands National Parks for Experienced Hikers

Study the unique geology of two of the most fascinating national parks during challenging hikes that explore sandstone arches, deep canyons and towering rock pinnacles with experts.
Program No. 23915RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,499
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 4 L 4 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Moab, UT
D
River Canyon Lodge

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration, 3:00 p.m. After you check in and have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table in the lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing the up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Remember to bring your name-tag. Orientation. 5:00 pm The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. A local market will prepare our fresh box lunches each day so that we can enjoy them in the scenic outdoors. Lunch will include your choice of sandwich, fruit, chips, dessert, and water. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we will enjoy a plated meal, with choices from a menu, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: After returning to the hotel, we will wrap up our orientation. The rest of the evening is at leisure.

DAY
2
Dead Horse State Park, Corona Arch
Moab, UT
B,L,D
River Canyon Lodge

Activity note: Getting on/off vans. Total driving time 2 hours with stops, about 80 miles. Hiking around 8 miles depending upon trails chosen. Elevation gains 600 feet.

Breakfast: Each morning we have the luxury of walking (or taking the van) down the street to the Moab Diner for breakfast, a Moab favorite. We will enjoy a plated meal, with choices from a menu, plus coffee, tea, water, juices.

Morning: We will board our vans and depart the hotel for a beautiful drive to Dead Horse State Park, stopping at the visitor center. From here, we will begin our hike of the Rim Trail, a 4-mile trek through rolling terrain with stunning views of the iconic Colorado River valley.

Lunch: Fresh boxed lunch.

Afternoon: We will then hike to one of the largest arches in the area, Corona Arch, a natural sandstone arch. We’ll talk about how and where arches form, and why they are so prevalent in this region. We'll make a stop on our drive back to view ancient rock art on Wall Street. We’ll learn about petroglyphs, pictographs, the differences between the two, and the people that created them. We will return to our hotel in Moab.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we will enjoy a plated meal, with choices from a menu, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: After a very full day of hiking and exciting educational adventures, the evening is at leisure. We may explore the shops of Moab, rest, or enjoy the nice swimming pool and hot tub at our hotel.

DAY
3
Canyonlands National Park, Needles District
Moab, UT
B,L
River Canyon Lodge

Activity note: Getting on/off vans. Total driving 4 hours with stops, about 100 miles. Hiking around 10 miles depending upon trails chosen. Elevation gains for the day 700 feet.

Breakfast: Plated diner meal.

Morning: We will travel by van to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park to hike in Chesler Park. The Needles District forms the southeast corner of Canyonlands and was named for the colorful spires of Cedar Mesa Sandstone that dominate the area. Chesler Park is a beautiful flatland surrounded by these red sandstone “needles.” Gaining access to this area by foot is an all-day commitment, so we will pack our sack lunches and carry them in along with plenty of water for this 10-mile hike.

Lunch: Fresh boxed lunch.

Afternoon: Our all-day hike will continue in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. After a long day, we will return to our hotel in Moab.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: We will feature a local guest lecturer this evening in the hotel meeting room to talk about a different educational and exciting topic. We will announce the details at the beginning of the program.

DAY
4
La Sal Mountain Alpine Hike
Moab, UT
B,L,D
River Canyon Lodge

Activity note: Getting on/off vans. Total driving 2 hours, about 60 miles. Hiking around 6 miles depending upon trails chosen. Elevation gains for the day 1,700 feet.

Breakfast: Plated diner meal.

Morning: We will head out by van for a scenic drive up into the La Sal Mountains. Today we will trade in the canyons and spires of the Arches and Canyonlands region for a hike among the Douglas fir and pinion pine forests of the Manti La Sal Mountains east of Moab. Fans of environmentalist author Edward Abbey will remember this area as one of Abbey’s favorite escapes from the desert heat that grips Moab during July and August. While the heat won’t bother us today, the relatively lush flora along today’s route provides a nice contrast to the rugged beauty of the past several days.

Lunch: Fresh boxed lunch.

Afternoon: We’ll continue our all-day hike in the La Sal Mountains, returning to our hotel in Moab.

Dinner: Restaurant plated meal.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Colorado River Canyon, Arches National Park
Moab, UT
B,L,D
River Canyon Lodge

Activity note: Getting on/off vans. Total driving about 3 hours, about 40 miles. Hiking around 7 miles depending upon trails chosen. Elevation gains for the day 900 feet.

Breakfast: Plated diner meal.

Morning: We will head out by van for the Fisher Towers, one of the most outstanding scenic features of Utah's Colorado Riverway. These rock pinnacles soar above a maze of red- and purple-hued canyons.

Lunch: Fresh boxed lunch.

Afternoon: Our vans will next travel to Arches National Park. After a stop at the visitor center, we will take a beautiful and dramatic drive through Arches National Park to the trailhead to Delicate Arch, our last hike of the program. Have you noticed it on some Utah vehicle license plates? Delicate Arch has become the unofficial symbol of Utah. Towering eighty feet over hikers, it is a highlight of Arches National Park. After heading back to the vans, we will return to our hotel in Moab.

Dinner: Tonight we will have a special closing dinner with a "million-dollar view" at the Sunset Grill. The Sunset Grill is in the former home of “uranium king” Charlie Steen. We will enjoy a plated meal, with pre-ordered choices from a menu, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
Moab, UT
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Plated diner meal. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on another rewarding program in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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