Red Rocks & Rafting: Sedona and 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 water falls and ride a helicopter for awe-inspiring views!
Rating (4.94)
Program No. 2520RJ
6 days
Starts at
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6 days
5 nights
15 meals
5 B 5 L 5 D
Getting There
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Check-In, Program Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Sedona/Verde Valley
Andante Inn

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

Afternoon: Program Registration 4:30-5:15 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table in the hotel meeting room to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, other important information, and to confirm when and where the Orientation session will take place. 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 picks 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 during the week will be provided by a combination of passenger vans and/or motor coach travel. 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.

Sedona Jeep Adventure, Grand Canyon Geology, Desert Animals
Sedona/Verde Valley
Andante Inn

Activity note: Climbing in/out of 4x4 vehicles; assistance available as needed. Driving a total of 15 miles over a period of 2 hours with stops. Some bumpy sections of the ride, but not throughout the entire trip. Walking about ½ 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. Especially for kids: 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 picks 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 learn how to "read the rocks." 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: Nearby restaurant plated meal.

Evening: Especially for kids: At the hotel, we’ll enjoy a program led by a critter-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.

Red Rock Crossing on Oak Creek, Craft Projects, Kids Only
Sedona/Verde Valley
Andante Inn

Activity note: Walking of approximately 1.5 - 2 miles throughout the day; some paved and some 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 to Red Rock Crossing; about ½ hour with a scenic stop.

Breakfast: Nearby restaurant buffet.

Morning: Especially for kids: Participate in a craft project creating leather "medicine bags" in the hotel meeting room. After finishing up our craft project, we’ll then take a field trip with our Group Leader to Red Rock Crossing on beautiful Oak Creek. Setting out from the vans, we’ll take a nature hike and enjoy a picnic lunch along Oak Creek. As we conclude our hike, 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 Crescent Moon Ranch in Red Rock Crossing, we’ll have our pre-selected sandwich choices with chips, fruit and a cookie, at picnic tables amidst beautiful scenery.

Afternoon: We’ll return to motel from Red Rock Crossing in the late afternoon. Especially for kids: We’ll gather for a secret "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. In late afternoon we’ll have some time independently to begin packing for tomorrow's transfer, resting or swim time in the pool.

Dinner: Nearby restaurant plated meal.

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.

South Rim, Bright Angel Trail, Route 66, River Trip Prep
Peach Springs
Hualapai Lodge

Activity note: Driving approximately 250 miles to Grand Canyon National Park's South Rim; about 5 hours total in vehicles throughout day, with stops. Walking about 1 mile along Canyon rim; approximately 1 hour; at 7000' elevation on mostly paved trail with gradual up and down. Elective hike of about 1 mile roundtrip; approx. 1.5 hours; rocky, uneven trail with up to 150' elevation change.

Breakfast: Nearby restaurant buffet.

Morning: After checking out of motel, 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 Hwy 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 – geology, natural and human history. There will be time for both hikes – one 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 the trip 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. There is no alcohol sold on the reservation.

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

Grand Canyon River Raft, Waterfall Hike, Helicopter Ride
Peach Springs
Hualapai Lodge

Activity note: Driving about 20 miles to the bottom of the Canyon on an unpaved, rough road. Rafting for approx. 37 miles; field trip 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 1/2 mile total for the day; some slippery rocks, sand. Choice to climb using ropes and ladders to hidden waterfall. Getting in/out of helicopter; flight is about 6 minutes. Afternoon drive is approx. 100 miles; about 2.5 hours.

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. 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-passenger motorized pontoon rafts (approximately 25 feet long), each with a certified rafting experts. The Diamond Creek 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 flatten out, 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: Especially for kids: 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; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Share some of your favorite experiences from the program with new Road Scholar friends. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.

Program Concludes

Activity note: Return to Sedona is approximately 145 miles and 3.5 hours.

Breakfast: Lodge buffet.

Morning: We’ll gather one more time for a program wrap-up to share some of our favorite memories from our week together before traveling from Peach Springs to Sedona, arriving by 12:30 p.m. This concludes our program. 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!

Lunch: Sack lunch available for those who request it.

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