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2520
Arizona

Red Rocks & Rafting: Sedona & Grand Canyon With Your Grandchild

Alongside your grandchild, find adventure in Sedona’s Red Rocks and the Grand Canyon as you whitewater raft, explore hidden waterfalls and ride a helicopter for awe-inspiring views!
Rating (5)
Program No. 2520RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,699 / ADULT
1,199 / CHILD
Arizona

Red Rocks & Rafting: Sedona & Grand Canyon With Your Grandchild

Alongside your grandchild, find adventure in Sedona’s Red Rocks and the Grand Canyon as you whitewater raft, explore hidden waterfalls and ride a helicopter for awe-inspiring views!
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,699 / ADULT
1,199 / CHILD
Program No. 2520 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
Plan ahead.
What kind of weather can you expect? Take a look!
Age 9 - 12
ROOMING OPTION PRICING
The figures below indicate the rooming options available.
DATES
Jun 6 – Jun 11, 2021
Per Adult
1,699
Per Child
1,199
Select
Jun 6 - Jun 11, 2021
1,699
/ Adult
1,199
/ Child
1,699
/ Adult
1,199
/ Child
1,879
/ Adult
1,199
/ Child
Select Date
Jun 20 – Jun 25, 2021
Per Adult
1,699
Per Child
1,199
Select
Jun 20 - Jun 25, 2021
1,699
/ Adult
1,199
/ Child
1,699
/ Adult
1,199
/ Child
1,879
/ Adult
1,199
/ Child
Select Date
Jul 11 – Jul 16, 2021
Per Adult
1,699
Per Child
1,199
Select
Jul 11 - Jul 16, 2021
1,699
/ Adult
1,199
/ Child
1,699
/ Adult
1,199
/ Child
1,879
/ Adult
1,199
/ Child
Select Date

At a Glance

The Grand Canyon is so gigantic that if you gathered together every single person on the planet and put them inside it — they would only fill a fraction of it! It’s hard to imagine how big this natural wonder is until you see it with your own eyes. Share a week with your grandchild you'll never forget at the majestic Grand Canyon and amid the spectacular red rock cliffs of Sedona. Experience the Grand Canyon with a trip to the bottom of the canyon on a remote rode on the Hualapai Reservation. Take part in an exciting 37-mile whitewater adventure in motorized rafts on the Colorado River and a helicopter flight to the rim as a finale!
Activity Level
Outdoor: No Sweat
Walking up to one mile on varied terrain. Getting in/out of rafts. Some bumpiness in open-air jeep ride. Elevations up to 7,000 feet.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Experience the Grand Canyon’s beauty on a walk along the South Rim and a ride to the bottom of the canyon through the Hualapai Reservation.
  • Experience a 37-mile whitewater adventure in the Grand Canyon on a motorized raft.
  • Explore Sedona’s red rock country by jeep to see off-the-beaten-path sights, and get up close to local desert critters during a wildlife presentation!

General Notes

Program is for grandchildren ages 9-12. Children must be 9 years old for rafting/helicopter rides. Helicopters cannot fly in excessively hot and/or windy conditions for safety reasons. Although this happens very infrequently, it remains a possibility. In that event, the raft trip will be extended to a location where ground transportation can reach the group.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Ken Mikell
Ken Mikell is part of a music duo with his wife, Lynn. They play a wide range of traditional music, with particular attention to the Celtic roots of cowboy music. Using harp, guitar, recorder, fiddle and harmonica, they animate and illuminate the music that followed the trail west. From old time trail songs to the golden era of the radio and silver screen cowboy, they have an extensive knowledge of the history of Western music and enjoy sharing it with audiences.

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

Profile Image of Margaret (Maggie) Mitchell
Margaret (Maggie) Mitchell View biography
Maggie Mitchell has spent years leading educational excursions throughout the Sedona area. Her passion lies with the study of Arizona's wild creatures, and she loves sharing her love of reptiles and spiders with students of all ages.
Profile Image of Mikaela Ray
Mikaela Ray View biography
Mikaela Ray was raised in the red rock country of Sedona, Ariz. and resides there today. She studied health sciences at Northern Arizona University, led her to volunteer for public health work in India and South America. Her fascination with cultural and natural history gradually led her to meld her professional experiences and passions together to create her dream career in adventure group leading and educating others about the Colorado Plateau. She is an avid mountain biker, backpacker, hiker Sedona community member.
Profile Image of Ken Mikell
Ken Mikell View biography
Ken Mikell is part of a music duo with his wife, Lynn. They play a wide range of traditional music, with particular attention to the Celtic roots of cowboy music. Using harp, guitar, recorder, fiddle and harmonica, they animate and illuminate the music that followed the trail west. From old time trail songs to the golden era of the radio and silver screen cowboy, they have an extensive knowledge of the history of Western music and enjoy sharing it with audiences.
Profile Image of Ashley Hardy
Ashley Hardy View biography
Inspired by natural landscapes, Ashley's passion for geology, botany, zoology and water science comes from her deep-rooted upbringing on a Mississippi farm. Ashley has been leading hiking, biking and jeep expeditions for over five years with the simple goal of helping people fall in love with these unique destinations. Ashley has worked with the Forest Service on numerous reforestation and seed projects, and loves to get her hands dirty. In her free time, you’ll find Ashley in Sedona, gardening, biking, practicing yoga, or making art.
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.
An Introduction to Grand Canyon Prehistory
by Coder, Christopher M.
People have inhabited Grand Canyon for the past twelve thousand years. Evidence of their lives exists throughout the canyon; but it is up to their ancestors and archaeologists to interpret those remains for us. This book provides a popular look at the architecture, art, and tools of prehistoric Puebloan peoples, as well as information about modern-day Native American tribes. With illustrations and color photographs.
An Introduction to Grand Canyon Ecology
by Houk, Rose
56pp
Living at the Edge: Explorers, Exploiters, and Settlers of the Grand Canyon Region
by Anderson, Michael F
A comprehensive look at the pioneer history of the Grand Canyon Region, from its earliest residents to the creation of the national park at the end of the pioneer era (circa 1920). Included are close to two hundred historic photographs, many never published before, and 12 custom maps of the region. 184pp
Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water
by Reisner, Marc
The story of the American West is the story of a relentless quest for a precious resource: water. It is a tale of rivers diverted and dammed, of political corruption and intrigue, of billion-dollar battles over water rights, of ecologic and economic disaster. In Cadillac Desert Marc Reisner writes of the earliest settlers, lured by the promise of paradise, and of the ruthless tactics employed by Los Angeles politicians and business interests to ensure the city's growth. He documents the bitter rivalry between two government giants, the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in the competition to transform the West. Based on more than a decade of research, Cadillac Desert is a stunning expose and a dramatic, intriguing history of the creation of an Eden--and Eden that may be only a mirage. 608pp
The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons
by Powell, John Wesley
Full text of Powell's 1,000-mile expedition down the fabled Colorado in 1869. Superb account of terrain, geology, vegetation, Indians, famine, mutiny, treacherous rapids, mighty canyons. 240 illustrations. 432pp
Field Guide to the Grand Canyon
by Whitney, Stephen R
This book describes and illustrates the area's plants and animals, and offers fascinating in-depth information on the natural history and geology of this dramatic region. 272pp
Half Broke Horses
by Walls, Jeannette
Jeannette Walls, author of The Glass Castle, wrote this true life novel which unfolds across Northern Arizona from the 1920s to the 1960s. Its heroine, Lily Casey Smith, (Ms. Wall's grandmother) battled the elements, prejudices, economic conditions and politics of remote frontier Arizona. Many of the locations described - Peach Springs, Seligman, Flagstaff, the Navajo Reservation, the Arizona Strip - are sites visited by NAU Road Scholar programs. Readers of this selection will feel the sense of heritage from this tale of life in our distant corner of America. Note: may not be appropriate for young readers.
Grand Canyon: Time Below the Rim
by Craig Childs and Gary Ladd
Prepared by the Book Division of Arizona Highways magazine, this book is written and photographed by 2 of the leading authorities on the subject matter. There's no place on earth like the Grand Canyon, and there's no book about the Canyon like this one. "Grand Canyon: Time Below the Rim" connects you with remote sections of the Canyon most people will never see: the waterfalls, the streams, the thousands of side canyons, the prehistoric rock formations, the rock art and other remains of an ancient civilization, and the entire course of the Colorado River through the Canyon.
Volcanoes of Northern Arizona - Sleeping Giants of the Grand Canyon Region
by Duffield, Wendell A
Just south of the Grand Canyon lies a range of volcanic mountain including Mt. Humphreys, the highest point in Arizona. These mountains encompassing Sunset Crater and the San Francisco Peaks, collectively make up the San Francisco Volcanic Field. This book provides, for the first time, a popular look at the fiery origin of these volcanic features. With magnificent aerial photographs, original geologic illustrations, and detailed road logs to many of the key features, this book is an indispensable tool for the traveler, the educator, and all that are interested in the remarkable landscape of northern Arizona. 68pp
Carving Grand Canyon: Evidence, Theories, and Mystery
by Ranney, Wayne
Ranney explains how rivers in general can physically carve canyons, looks chronologically at the numerous theories that have been presented by successive generations of geologists regarding the Grand Canyon's formation, and describes a plausible sequence of geologic events that could create such a landscape. Numerous color photographs, detailed illustrations, and maps are provided. Annotation ©2005 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR 160pp; 2nd edition 2012.
Secret Sedona: Sacred Moments in the Landscape
by Larry Lindahl
This book provides an overview of the terrain, ancestral Indian ruins and petroglyphs found in Sedona's wilderness areas. Extraordinary photography from one of the nations most photogenic areas. 80 pages.
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6 days
5 nights
15 meals
5 B 5 L 5 D
DAY
1
Check-In, Program Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Sedona/Verde Valley
D
Andante Inn

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

Afternoon: Program Registration 4:30 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table in the conference room by the pool 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.

Dinner: At the restaurant adjacent to the hotel, we’ll choose plated meals from a select menu with kid-friendly selections available as well. Beverages include soft drinks, tea, coffee, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Orientation. 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. Transportation will be provided primarily by passenger vans, unless otherwise noted. This is a Road Scholar intergenerational program. Grandparents are responsible for their grandchildren. If/when separate age group activities are conducted concurrently, program staff will supervise. Children are never to be left unsupervised. Periods in the daily 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. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the full day ahead.

DAY
2
Sedona Jeep Adventure, Grand Canyon Geology, Desert Animals
Sedona/Verde Valley
B,L,D
Andante Inn

Activity note: Climbing in/out of 4x4 vehicles; assistance available as needed. Driving approx. 15 miles roundtrip; about 2 hours, with stops; some bumpy sections of the ride. Walking about 1 mile throughout the day; some rocky, sandy or uneven terrain.

Breakfast: At the restaurant adjacent to the hotel, the breakfast buffet will feature an egg dish, breakfast meats and breads, hot and cold cereals, fruit, juice, milk, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: In the hotel meeting room, our Group Leader will teach us about the geography of this region and what makes Sedona and the Grand Canyon such special places in Arizona. Then let the fun begin! We’ll get picked up at the hotel in 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. We’ll then return to the hotel.

Lunch: At the restaurant adjacent to the hotel, we’ll choose plated meals from a select menu with kid-friendly selections available as well. Beverages include soft drinks, tea, coffee, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: In an interactive hands-on presentation at the hotel, we’ll learn about the region's layer cake geology and how to "read the rocks" as we all participate in building a 3-D model of the Grand Canyon. This presentation will be led by the educators and naturalists from the Willow Bend Environmental Education Center in Flagstaff and it will be a learning exercise that will help prepare us for our visit to one of the greatest geologic wonders of the world – the Grand Canyon.

Dinner: Plated meal from restaurant adjacent to hotel.

Evening: At the hotel, we’ll enjoy a program led by an educator focused on desert critters such as spiders, live snakes, and scorpions. We’ll have the opportunity to see, touch and have our pictures taken with our desert friends and learn about the ways they adapt and thrive in this harsh environment.

DAY
3
Kids Craft, Red Rock Crossing on Oak Creek, Kids Only
Sedona/Verde Valley
B,L,D
Andante Inn

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day; some paved, unpaved, sandy and rocky trails to creek-side location for swimming. Creek bottom uneven with a mix of slippery rocks, pebbles and sand. Be sure to bring swimwear and shoes you can wear in the water – no flip flops. Driving approximately 5 miles one way to Red Rock Crossing; about 1/2 hour with a scenic stop.

Breakfast: Buffet from restaurant adjacent to hotel.

Morning: In the morning, we’ll hit the trail for our nature hike to Oak Creek. At Red Rock Crossing we’ll have the chance to wade or swim in the water with Cathedral Rock as a backdrop. Participants who choose not to walk/hike at the pace of the children will be able to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of this world famous scene.

Lunch: At the restaurant adjacent to the hotel, we’ll choose plated meals from a select menu with kid-friendly selections available as well. Beverages include soft drinks, tea, coffee, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: In early afternoon, we'll gathering in the hotel meeting room for our craft project led by our Group Leader. We'll be creating our own hand-woven "coasters" in the style of traditional Navajo rugs woven by Native American peoples to represent personal or spiritual significance. Afterwards, we’ll gather for a secret hands-on, "Kids Only" activity led by our Group Leaders! Shhhhh! While the kids are engaged, the adults may wish to take a breather, a dip in the pool or engage in purely adult conversation for a short time. Late in the afternoon we’ll have some time independently to begin packing for tomorrow's transfer, resting or swim time in the pool.

Dinner: Plated meal from restaurant adjacent to hotel.

Evening: Afterwards, we’ll enjoy an evening of regional cowboy and folk music, songs, stories, dancing and fun with local entertainers. Enjoy this interactive evening and delight with all age groups. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
4
South Rim, Bright Angel Trail, Route 66, River Trip Prep
Peach Springs
B,L,D
Hualapai Lodge

Activity note: Driving approx. 250 miles throughout the day to Grand Canyon National Park's South Rim and Peach Springs; about 5 hours total, with stops. Walking approx. 1 mile along Canyon rim; about 1 hour; roughly 7,000 foot elevation; mostly paved trail with gradual up and down. Elective hike of about 1 mile roundtrip; less than 1 hour; rocky, uneven trail; up to 150 foot elevation change.

Breakfast: Buffet from restaurant adjacent to hotel.

Morning: After checking out of the inn, we’ll travel to Grand Canyon National Park. En route, we’ll learn from our Group Leader about famous Oak Creek Canyon as we travel Highway 89A, one of Arizona's most scenic highways up the hairpin switchbacks in view of the San Francisco Peaks to the Grand Canyon's South Rim. Once at Grand Canyon National Park, we’ll enjoy sweeping views of the Canyon with glimpses of the Colorado River below and the North Rim across the Canyon. Our Group Leader naturalist will point out significant canyon features and introduce us to the canyon's story focusing on natural and human history as well as geology. There will be time for a walk along the rim and, for those who desire, a short hike into the canyon on the famed Bright Angel Trail.

Lunch: On the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, we’ll have our sack lunches with pre-selected sandwich choices, chips, fruit and cookie.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll visit historic Grand Canyon Village and enjoy some time for independent exploration. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Don't forget to ask the Group Leader about the fountain in the Bright Angel Lodge where you can get ice cream! In late afternoon, we’ll set out from the South Rim for transfer along part of Old Route 66 to Peach Springs on the Hualapai Indian Reservation.

Dinner: At the lodge, we’ll enjoy a buffet dinner with coffee, tea, water. Alcoholic beverages on the reservation are prohibited by law.

Evening: We’ll then gather with our Group Leaders in the hotel meeting room for an orientation on the next day's rafting adventure on the Colorado River.

DAY
5
Grand Canyon River Raft, Waterfall Hike, Helicopter Ride
Peach Springs
B,L,D
Hualapai Lodge

Activity note: Drive approx. 135 miles total. Morning about 20 miles, 1.5 hours; unpaved, rough road. Afternoon approx. 115 miles, 2.5 hours, with stop. Rafting approx. 37 miles; 5-6 hours total. Climbing in/out of rafts, assistance provided as needed. River temperature about 50 degrees F – air can be 100+ degrees F. Hiking about 1 mile total for the day; some slick rocks, sand. Elective climb using ropes & ladders to hidden waterfall. Getting in/out of helicopter; some steep steps; flight is about 6 minutes.

Breakfast: In the lodge dining room, the breakfast buffet will feature an assortment of hot and cold options, plus juice, coffee, tea, milk, water included.

Morning: We’ll meet our transportation at the hotel and travel to our drop-in point on the Colorado River at the bottom of spectacular Diamond Creek Road. Upon arrival at our destination, we will go through a safety orientation with our river leaders and get fitted with life jackets before embarking on our river rafting trip. We will divide up into multiple groups to fit on 8- to 10-passenger motorized pontoon rafts (approximately 25 feet long), each with a certified rafting expert. The river trip down the Colorado River is about 37 miles in length. During the first 16 miles we will encounter about 10 whitewater rapids, some rather large (5, 6 and 7’s on a 1 to 10 scale), so we will get wet. The air temperature in summer at the bottom of the canyon will likely be around 100 degrees so the splashing is a welcome relief and will keep us cool. We’ll pull the rafts over at a couple of attractions including the beautiful Travertine Falls and a lunch spot. While stopped, our rafting experts will lead some short walks to stretch our legs and explore the area. After 16 miles the rapids disappear, but the scenery remains "grand" in all regards. Hualapai tribal members will operate rafts and, along with our staff, provide information about the canyon along the way.

Lunch: Along the river, we’ll have sack lunches provided by the river company including a sandwich, chips, and cookie, plus a soft drink, juice or water.

Afternoon: Continuing downriver, we’ll reach Quartermaster Landing where we will get off our rafts and climb up to the landing pad in order to board the helicopter that will fly us out of the canyon on a quick but spectacular ride. Have your cameras ready! The helicopter will drop us off at Quartermaster Point where we will board our transportation and transfer back to the lodge in Peach Springs. On our way we’ll travel through a landscape of Joshua Trees and creosote bush as we cross the beautiful basin and range landscape of the Mohave Desert. Note: Helicopters cannot fly in excessively hot and/or windy conditions for safety reasons. Although this happens very infrequently, it remains a possibility. In that event, the raft trip will be extended to a location where ground transportation can reach the group.

Dinner: In the dining room at the lodge in Peach Springs, we’ll enjoy a hearty buffet farewell dinner with tea, coffee, water.

Evening: We’ll then gather for a program wrap-up to share some of our favorite memories from our program together with new Road Scholar friends. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.

DAY
6
Program Concludes, Independent Departures
Departures
B,L

Activity note: Inn check-out and departure by 8:00 a.m. Driving approximately 145 miles back to Sedona; about 3.5 hours. Arrival in Sedona expected by approx. 11:00 a.m. See your program’s travel details regarding transfers.

Breakfast: Lodge buffet.

Morning: Once checked out of the lodge, we’ll load our vehicles and transfer back to the starting hotel in Sedona.

Lunch: Upon arrival in Sedona, sack lunches will be provided for those who would like one. This concludes our program.

Afternoon: 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 rewarding programs 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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