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Utah/Arizona

The Best of Utah's Grand Circle of Parks and Monuments

Program No. 2814RJ
Explore some of the most impressive geological formations in the world with experts as you discover Utah’s Grand Circle. Plus float down the Colorado River & learn about Navajo culture.
Length
11 days
Rating (4.82)
Activity Level
Starts at
3,099

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itinerary
Please Note:
The itinerary for this program is different on certain dates.
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
Activity Level: Keep the Pace (50)
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Mar 23 - Apr 2, 2023
Starting at
3,699
Apr 3 - Apr 13, 2023
Starting at
3,099
Apr 10 - Apr 20, 2023
Starting at
3,699
Apr 20 - Apr 30, 2023
Starting at
3,699
Apr 27 - May 7, 2023
Starting at
3,099
May 4 - May 14, 2023
Starting at
3,099
May 11 - May 21, 2023
Starting at
3,699
May 15 - May 25, 2023
Starting at
3,099
May 22 - Jun 1, 2023
Starting at
3,699
Aug 28 - Sep 7, 2023
Starting at
3,699
Sep 4 - Sep 14, 2023
Starting at
3,099
Sep 11 - Sep 21, 2023
Starting at
3,099
Sep 18 - Sep 28, 2023
Starting at
3,699
Sep 25 - Oct 5, 2023
Starting at
3,699
Sep 28 - Oct 8, 2023
Starting at
3,099
Oct 2 - Oct 12, 2023
Starting at
3,699
Oct 5 - Oct 15, 2023
Starting at
3,099
Oct 9 - Oct 19, 2023
Starting at
3,699
Oct 16 - Oct 26, 2023
Starting at
3,699
Oct 19 - Oct 29, 2023
Starting at
3,699
Mar 25 - Apr 4, 2024
Starting at
3,899
Mar 28 - Apr 7, 2024
Starting at
3,299
Apr 1 - Apr 11, 2024
Starting at
3,899
Apr 8 - Apr 18, 2024
Starting at
3,899
Apr 11 - Apr 21, 2024
Starting at
3,299
Apr 15 - Apr 25, 2024
Starting at
3,899
Apr 18 - Apr 28, 2024
Starting at
3,299
Apr 22 - May 2, 2024
Starting at
3,899
Apr 25 - May 5, 2024
Starting at
3,899
Apr 29 - May 9, 2024
Starting at
3,299
May 2 - May 12, 2024
Starting at
3,899
May 6 - May 16, 2024
Starting at
3,899
May 9 - May 19, 2024
Starting at
3,299
May 13 - May 23, 2024
Starting at
3,899
May 16 - May 26, 2024
Starting at
3,299
May 20 - May 30, 2024
Starting at
3,899
May 23 - Jun 2, 2024
Starting at
3,299
Aug 29 - Sep 8, 2024
Starting at
3,899
Sep 5 - Sep 15, 2024
Starting at
3,899
Sep 9 - Sep 19, 2024
Starting at
3,299
Sep 12 - Sep 22, 2024
Starting at
3,899
Sep 16 - Sep 26, 2024
Starting at
3,299
Sep 19 - Sep 29, 2024
Starting at
3,899
Sep 26 - Oct 6, 2024
Starting at
3,899
Sep 30 - Oct 10, 2024
Starting at
3,899
Oct 3 - Oct 13, 2024
Starting at
3,299
Oct 7 - Oct 17, 2024
Starting at
3,899
Oct 10 - Oct 20, 2024
Starting at
3,899
Oct 14 - Oct 24, 2024
Starting at
3,299
Oct 17 - Oct 27, 2024
Starting at
3,899
Activity Level: Keep the Pace (50)
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Mar 23 - Apr 2, 2023
Starting at
4,549
Apr 3 - Apr 13, 2023
Starting at
3,949
Apr 10 - Apr 20, 2023
Starting at
4,549
Apr 20 - Apr 30, 2023
Starting at
4,549
Apr 27 - May 7, 2023
Starting at
3,949
May 4 - May 14, 2023
Starting at
3,949
May 11 - May 21, 2023
Starting at
4,549
May 15 - May 25, 2023
Starting at
3,949
May 22 - Jun 1, 2023
Starting at
4,549
Aug 28 - Sep 7, 2023
Starting at
4,549
Sep 4 - Sep 14, 2023
Starting at
3,949
Sep 11 - Sep 21, 2023
Starting at
3,949
Sep 18 - Sep 28, 2023
Starting at
4,549
Sep 25 - Oct 5, 2023
Starting at
4,549
Sep 28 - Oct 8, 2023
Starting at
3,949
Oct 2 - Oct 12, 2023
Starting at
4,549
Oct 5 - Oct 15, 2023
Starting at
3,949
Oct 9 - Oct 19, 2023
Starting at
4,549
Oct 16 - Oct 26, 2023
Starting at
4,549
Oct 19 - Oct 29, 2023
Starting at
4,549
Mar 25 - Apr 4, 2024
Starting at
4,839
Mar 28 - Apr 7, 2024
Starting at
4,229
Apr 1 - Apr 11, 2024
Starting at
4,839
Apr 8 - Apr 18, 2024
Starting at
4,839
Apr 11 - Apr 21, 2024
Starting at
4,229
Apr 15 - Apr 25, 2024
Starting at
4,839
Apr 18 - Apr 28, 2024
Starting at
4,229
Apr 22 - May 2, 2024
Starting at
4,839
Apr 25 - May 5, 2024
Starting at
4,839
Apr 29 - May 9, 2024
Starting at
4,229
May 2 - May 12, 2024
Starting at
4,839
May 6 - May 16, 2024
Starting at
4,839
May 9 - May 19, 2024
Starting at
4,229
May 13 - May 23, 2024
Starting at
4,839
May 16 - May 26, 2024
Starting at
4,229
May 20 - May 30, 2024
Starting at
4,839
May 23 - Jun 2, 2024
Starting at
4,229
Aug 29 - Sep 8, 2024
Starting at
4,839
Sep 5 - Sep 15, 2024
Starting at
4,839
Sep 9 - Sep 19, 2024
Starting at
4,229
Sep 12 - Sep 22, 2024
Starting at
4,839
Sep 16 - Sep 26, 2024
Starting at
4,229
Sep 19 - Sep 29, 2024
Starting at
4,839
Sep 26 - Oct 6, 2024
Starting at
4,839
Sep 30 - Oct 10, 2024
Starting at
4,839
Oct 3 - Oct 13, 2024
Starting at
4,229
Oct 7 - Oct 17, 2024
Starting at
4,839
Oct 10 - Oct 20, 2024
Starting at
4,839
Oct 14 - Oct 24, 2024
Starting at
4,229
Oct 17 - Oct 27, 2024
Starting at
4,839
Activity Level: On Your Feet (7)
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Mar 30 - Apr 9, 2023
Starting at
3,699
Itinerary Note

Please note, although the activity level is “On Your Feet” Antelope Canyon hike includes a 1 mile hike with portions of sandy (like beach sand) trail and 128 steps going both up and down. This trail is one way only, and there is a time limit to complete the trail.

Apr 17 - Apr 27, 2023
Starting at
3,099
Itinerary Note

Please note, although the activity level is “On Your Feet” Antelope Canyon hike includes a 1 mile hike with portions of sandy (like beach sand) trail and 128 steps going both up and down. This trail is one way only, and there is a time limit to complete the trail.

May 1 - May 11, 2023
Starting at
3,699
Itinerary Note

Please note, although the activity level is “On Your Feet” Antelope Canyon hike includes a 1 mile hike with portions of sandy (like beach sand) trail and 128 steps going both up and down. This trail is one way only, and there is a time limit to complete the trail.

May 8 - May 18, 2023
Starting at
3,699
Itinerary Note

Please note, although the activity level is “On Your Feet” Antelope Canyon hike includes a 1 mile hike with portions of sandy (like beach sand) trail and 128 steps going both up and down. This trail is one way only, and there is a time limit to complete the trail.

Sep 7 - Sep 17, 2023
Starting at
3,699
Oct 12 - Oct 22, 2023
Starting at
3,099
Sep 23 - Oct 3, 2024
Starting at
3,299
Activity Level: On Your Feet (7)
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Mar 30 - Apr 9, 2023
Starting at
4,549
Itinerary Note

Please note, although the activity level is “On Your Feet” Antelope Canyon hike includes a 1 mile hike with portions of sandy (like beach sand) trail and 128 steps going both up and down. This trail is one way only, and there is a time limit to complete the trail.

Apr 17 - Apr 27, 2023
Starting at
3,949
Itinerary Note

Please note, although the activity level is “On Your Feet” Antelope Canyon hike includes a 1 mile hike with portions of sandy (like beach sand) trail and 128 steps going both up and down. This trail is one way only, and there is a time limit to complete the trail.

May 1 - May 11, 2023
Starting at
4,549
Itinerary Note

Please note, although the activity level is “On Your Feet” Antelope Canyon hike includes a 1 mile hike with portions of sandy (like beach sand) trail and 128 steps going both up and down. This trail is one way only, and there is a time limit to complete the trail.

May 8 - May 18, 2023
Starting at
4,549
Itinerary Note

Please note, although the activity level is “On Your Feet” Antelope Canyon hike includes a 1 mile hike with portions of sandy (like beach sand) trail and 128 steps going both up and down. This trail is one way only, and there is a time limit to complete the trail.

Sep 7 - Sep 17, 2023
Starting at
4,549
Oct 12 - Oct 22, 2023
Starting at
3,949
Sep 23 - Oct 3, 2024
Starting at
4,229

At a Glance

With expert instruction, explore the world’s greatest concentration of national parks and monuments, known as the “Grand Circle” — Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, as well as Dead Horse Point State Park, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Lake Powell Reservoir and Monument Valley. Learn about the amazing geology up close, and uncover the story of the indigenous human history through a visit with the Navajo. Experience a corner of the world with landscapes and cultures unlike any other!
Activity Level
Varies by date
Varies by date. ON YOUR FEET – Walking 1 mile daily over varied terrain. KEEP THE PACE – Walking at least 1-2 miles daily over varied terrain with options for various fitness levels. Elevations up to 8,200 feet.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Discover five national parks, three state parks and two national monuments, each exquisite and full of natural wonders.
  • Explore the breathtaking slot canyons and sandstone walls of Antelope Canyon or enjoy world-renowned vistas from the Grand Canyons North Rim during a short hike (varies by season).
  • Float down the Colorado River through towering canyons and Horseshoe Bend.

General Notes

Select dates are designated for small groups and are limited to 24 participants or less. Transportation on this program is by full sized motorcoach, with 48 seats on board.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Darrell McMahon
Darrell McMahon has worked in natural resource management for more than four decades and has extensive experience as a wildlife and habitat biologist, entomologist and botanist. Darrell has spent many years hiking thousands of miles through this wild landscape and has pinned his soul in the high plateaus and deep canyons of the desert southwest. Darrell has discovered many secret places in the desert southwest and loves to share these places and his knowledge with his best friends and Road Scholar participants.

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

Profile Image of Darrell McMahon
Darrell McMahon View biography
Darrell McMahon has worked in natural resource management for more than four decades and has extensive experience as a wildlife and habitat biologist, entomologist and botanist. Darrell has spent many years hiking thousands of miles through this wild landscape and has pinned his soul in the high plateaus and deep canyons of the desert southwest. Darrell has discovered many secret places in the desert southwest and loves to share these places and his knowledge with his best friends and Road Scholar participants.
Profile Image of Janice Hayden
Janice Hayden View biography
Geology is Janice Hayden’s first love. After working as an oil and gas exploration geologist, she moved to St. George, Utah to work as a field geologist for the Utah Geological Survey. For 20 years, Janice mapped eighteen 7 ½-minute quadrangles of SW Utah that delineate geological formations, structures, soils, water resources, mineral deposits and geologic hazards. She is now full time faculty at Dixie State University and frequently leads local geology field trips, as well as field trips to Utah's national parks.
Profile Image of Eldon Griffin
Eldon Griffin View biography
An avid hiker and photographer, Eldon Griffin is a naturalist who has taught continuing-education courses in geology, computers and photography. Growing up in the Southwest, he spent his days exploring the backcountry, finding fossils and dinosaur tracks. Eldon works as a freelance producer, videographer, photographer, writer, editor, instructor and consultant for various clients. Eldon’s photographs have been featured in numerous travel publications. He was a videographer for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Eldon loves to share his knowledge on the unique geology.
Profile Image of Paula McMahon
Paula McMahon View biography
Paula McMahon has spent a lifetime camping, hiking, backpacking and canoeing in the mountains and deserts of the American West. She feels honored to share her love and passion for these special places with participants on Road Scholar programs, which she has been doing for almost a decade. Paula has also worked for 18 years as an educational paraprofessional with autistic and deaf children and is a sign language (ASL) interpreter.
Profile Image of Sally Haggerty
Sally Haggerty View biography
Sally Haggerty graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in biology and received her master’s degree from Marygrove University in Detroit, Mich. She spent 22 years teaching in Oceanside Unified School District both on Camp Pendleton Marine Corp Base and at Martin Luther King Middle School. She now spends her time pursuing her passions of hiking the national parks of Utah, sailing the tall ships in San Diego and being with her amazing family.
Profile Image of Diane Griffin
Diane Griffin View biography
Diane Griffin’s unique talent is caring for and assisting others. She has been working in the travel industry for the last 12 years, and currently assists premium for Delta Airlines. She has also worked for JetBlue Airways and Utah Transit Authority, as well as in a surgical center assisting patients. A native Californian, Diane has lived in Utah for most of her life and enjoys hiking in southern Utah's red rock country. She has been a Group Leader for Dixie State University's Road Scholar since 2009.
Profile Image of Denise Otott
Denise Otott View biography
Denise Otott is a native born Californian and was thrilled to have an opportunity to travel the past twelve years with her husband, George. Their travels took them to the Middle East, North Africa and Europe, where Denise enjoyed learning about the people, different cultures and geography in each destination. As a Group Leader with Road Scholar, Denise will share her love of learning and travel as well as the interesting history and beauty of her newly adopted home, Utah.
Profile Image of George Otott
George Otott View biography
After earning a B.S. Degree in Geology, George Otott worked for Occidental Petroleum Corporation for 35 years. A native Californian, he pursued his career mostly in Southern California during which time he applied his passion for history toward an M.A. Degree. His later career took him to the Middle East, North Africa and Europe, during which time he expanded his knowledge of geology, history, and people. He and his wife Denise now call Utah their home.
Profile Image of Maggie Francke
Maggie Francke View biography
Maggie Francke has worked 43 years as a nurse during which time she also raised a family. The first half of her career was spent working in various hospital departments. The last half she worked in home health and hospice, and mainly hospice the last 10 years. Now her days are so filled, she wonders how she ever had the time to work so much. She spends her time hiking, biking, gardening and going to yoga five times per week.
Profile Image of Lori Moore
Lori Moore View biography
Lori Moore's enjoyment of working with people brings her to the Road Scholar family with an impressive career in customer service and retail management. For 20-plus years she was the lead vocalist in a 5 piece band performing throughout the western states with her husband Phil Moore, who is also a Road Scholar Group Leader. She graduated with a Bachelors in Psychology from Southern Utah University in 2014. Lori lives in Hurricane, Utah and never tires of the national parks’ amazing beauty.
Profile Image of Phil Moore
Phil Moore View biography
Phil Moore is currently an adjunct professor of Geology at Dixie State University. He has been involved with the Southern Utah University Geology Field Camp for several years. Phil taught Earth science for public schools in Hurricane, Utah for 28 years, he is also a semi-professional musician along with his wife Lori, who is also a Road Scholar Group Leader.
Profile Image of Donna Shouse
Donna Shouse View biography
Donna Shouse is a skilled customer service representative and a ‘Jill of many trades.’ She has traveled the friendly skies as a flight attendant, helped teach in a one-room schoolhouse in Alaska, and assisted the local Utah school district as a coach with Health and PE activities for elementary school age children.She enjoys exploring, camping, hiking and backpacking in the National Parks of Southern Utah and sharing her experiences with others.
Profile Image of Diana Hawks
Diana Hawks View biography
Diana Hawks was fortunate to be able to work in a career she loved, as an archaeologist in both the southwestern United States and Mesoamerica. She completed a bachelor’s and a master’s in archaeology at Brigham Young and PhD courses in anthropology and law. She has worked most extensively as an archaeologist in southern Utah and northern Arizona specializing in ceramic analysis of Ancestral Puebloan cultures. She enjoys teaching and working with the public on archaeological projects, especially archaeological inventories and rock art recording.
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.
Geology
by See list below
Geology – a Golden Guide, by Frank H.T. Rhodes, 1991, St. Martin’s Press, N.Y. Geology of Utah’s Parks and Monuments, Sprinkel et. al. Utah Geological Association, 2000. Contains geology papers on 25 parks and monuments of Utah (644 pages). Written for a geologist. Utah‘s Spectacular Geology, Lehi Hintze, 2005 The geologic story of Utah’s landscapes and how they came to be. A Traveler's Guide to the Geology of the Colorado Plateau, Don Baars, 2002. A comprehensive guide to the Colorado Plateau. The Practical Geologist, Dougal Dixon, Raymond Bernor, 1992 This book is a great introductory guide to the basics of geology. Great diagrams, pictures and is well written. Geology Underfoot in Southern Utah, R. Orndorff, R. Wieder, D. Futey, 2006 A hands on book about getting out among the rocks. Explores 33 sites in Southern Utah. Tells of ancient eruptions, deserts, seas, swamps and movements of massive rock units over eons. Beyond the Visible Landscape, W. Kenneth Hamblin, 2004. A unique book that consists of a series of panoramic photographs taken from the air. Focuses on the fundamental features of the landscape. Contains excellent diagrams & descriptions of the geology in the photographs.
Geology (specific)
by See list below
Ron Kay’s Guide to Zion National Park, Ron Kay, 1995 A complete guide of Zion National Park by one of Road Scholar’s own instructors. Shadows of Time: The Geology of Bryce Canyon National Park, Frank Decourten, 1994 A book with breathtaking photographs, well written on the geology of Bryce Canyon N. P. and surrounding high plateaus. Water, Rock, & Time: The Geologic Story of Zion National Park, Robert Eves, 2005. This book is so nice you may want to leave it on the coffee table. Zion National Park: Towers of Stone; by J.L. Crawford; Zion Natural History Association, Springdale, Utah, Fourth Edition 2002. Carving Grand Canyon, Wayne Ranney. 2005. A synopsis of ideas and theories that geologists have developed over time about the carving of the Grand Canyon. This story is told in an engaging style that non-scientists will find inviting. Canyonlands Country, Donald Baars, 1993. Geology of Canyonlands and Arches National Parks.
Wildflowers Of The Desert Southwest
by Meg Quinn
Field guide to 80 of the most common flowers of the Chihuahuan, Mojave and Sonoran deserts.
General Reference
by See list below
A Naturalists Guide to the Canyon Country, David B. Williams. 2000. A wonderful Falcon Guide that uses fine artwork and pictures to introduce the geology, flora, fauna and history of the Canyon Country. Four Corners: History, Land and People of the Desert Southwest, Kenneth A. Brown, 1996. Great information about the region. Desert Solitaire, Edward Abbey. 1968. A season in the wilderness is a celebration of the beauty of living in a harsh and hostile land. Edward Abbey was a seasonal Park ranger in Arches National Monument. Cadillac Desert, Marc Reisner. 1986. The story of the American West is the story of a relentless quest for a precious resource: water. The definitive work on the West’s water crisis.
Books about History
by See list below
Heart of the Desert Wild, Greer Chesher, 2000. Award winning book about the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument (GSENM). It covers a variety of topics from geology to history. The photography and design of this book are outstanding and remains the definitive book on the GSENM. A Roadside History of Utah, Cynthia L. Bennett. 1999. Compelling stories of Utah’s exceptional people. Utah’s History, Richard D. Poll. 1989. A more in-depth and statewide focus on history. Hole-in-the-Rock, David E. Miller, 1995. If you want to learn more about one of the epic pioneer journeys in American History this is the book. It is area related and is a good read for those interested in history. Highway 12, Christian Probasco. 2005. Popular with travelers along Highway 12. It features a unique look at the history, people and their perspectives on this very special corridor. Outlaw Tales of Utah, Michael Rutter, 2002. True stores of Utah’s most famous robbers, rustlers and bandits.





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