2814
Utah/Arizona
The Best of Utah's Grand Circle of Parks and Monuments
Explore some of the most impressive geological formations in the world with experts as you discover Utah’s Grand Circle. Plus, sail Lake Powell and learn about Navajo culture.
Rating (5)
Program No. 2814RJ
Length
11 days
Starts at
1,885
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11 days
10 nights
27 meals
10 B 9 L 8 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
St. George, Utah
D
College Inn

Activity note: Please bring your National Park Pass if you have one and a refillable water bottle.

Dinner: 5:15 pm - Transfer to Dixie State University for a delicious banquet buffet dinner.

Evening: Following dinner have a brief welcome orientation and overview of our daily activities and itinerary.

DAY
2
Snow Canyon State Park & Area History
St. George, Utah
B,L,D
College Inn

Breakfast: 6:30 - 8:00 am - Continental breakfast buffet at the College Inn which includes hard boiled eggs, hot oatmeal, cereal, fruit, yogurt, pastries, toast, coffee, tea, milk & juice.

Morning: Depart for field trip to Snow Canyon State Park for a welcome walk and introduction to area geology. Walk with instructor on the nature trails among the red sandstone formations. At Snow Canyon State Park you can explore the natural beauty with scenery of red rock cliffs, rolling mounds of petrified sand dunes and lava (basalt) rock formations.

Lunch: Lunch at Trailblazer Cafe. Choose between food stations to include fresh salad bar, home cooking, pizza, asian grill, and BBQ grill.

Afternoon: Welcome to St. George with local expert. Learn about the area's human history and take tour to restored pioneer buildings.

Dinner: 5:30-6:30 pm - Enjoy a Grand Buffet at Chuck-A-Rama. Choose from a variety of fresh salads, homemade dinner rolls, barbecue ribs, baked or fried chicken, roast beef, sliced turkey breast, mashed potatoes & gravy, peas, green beans, corn, scones, assorted beverages. Save room for dessert, apple pie, cakes, cobbler, brownies, and soft serve ice cream or yogurt.

Evening: 7:30 pm - Hotel Classroom - Learn about the ecology, geology, flora & fauna of Zion & Bryce Canyon National Park.

DAY
3
Zion National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park
B,L,D
Ruby's Inn

Breakfast: 6:30 - 8:00 am - Continental breakfast buffet at the College Inn which includes hard boiled eggs, hot oatmeal, cereal, fruit, yogurt, pastries, toast, coffee, tea, milk & juice.

Morning: 8:15 am - Check-out and depart for Zion National Park. Our instructor and group leader go with you as you walk among the rock canyons and formations. Incredible scenery of red rock cliffs, riparian areas and more.

Lunch: Box lunch on the trail.

Afternoon: Continue walking and exploring Zion Canyon. Travel to the east side of Zion through the tunnels, view Checkerboard Mesa and continue to Bryce. (Travel time from Zion to Bryce is about 1 hour 15 minutes.) Arrive Bryce, get checked into hotel and relax a little before dinner.

Dinner: 6:00 - 7:00 pm - Buffet Dinner at Ruby's Cowboy Buffet & Steak Room including BBQ Beef & Pork Ribs, Baked Chicken, Asian Orange Chicken, Baked Pollock, Cornbread, Soup & Salad.

Evening: Free Time.

DAY
4
Hikes in Bryce, Grand Staircase, Anasazi State Park
Capitol Reef National Park
B,L,D
Red Sands Hotel

Breakfast: 7:00 - 8:00 am - Breakfast at Ruby's Cowboy Buffet which includes fresh fruit, yogurt, assorted baked goods, cereal, scrambled eggs, french toast, oatmeal, smoked bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, coffee, and assorted teas, juice and milk.

Morning: Get out and explore the unique formations Bryce is famous for! Hike among the hoodoos and formations along the Queens Garden and Navajo Loop Trail.

Lunch: Lunch at Wild West Retreat to include BBQ pork sandwich, Dutch Oven potatoes, Dutch Oven baked beans, Coleslaw, Lemonade, and Brownie Sundae for dessert.

Afternoon: Travel scenic Highway 12 through a portion of the Grand Staircase to Anasazi State Park where we will view native American Ruins and learn about the area human history. Continue on Hwy 12 to Torrey, Utah and check into the hotel. Hwy 12 offers incredible scenery and it has been said that this route contains the most interesting and greatest concentration of diverse geology in the world.

Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant.

Evening: Free Time

DAY
5
Capitol Reef National Park
Capitol Reef National Park
B,L,D
Red Sands Hotel

Breakfast: 7:00 - 8:00 am - Continental breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Depart and travel to Capitol Reef National Park for field trip and walks. A bold river flowing through a towering canyon, huge white domes topped by a brilliant blue sky, green beauty in a vast desert, seemingly mysterious formations carved by whimsical forces - all this is Capitol Reef! Enjoy discovering the unique beauty of this park.

Lunch: Box lunch on the trail.

Afternoon: Continue exploring the Park. More hikes/walks to see the natural beauty, petroglyphs, cultural and human history of the area.

Dinner: 6:00 - 7:00 pm - Dinner at the Rim Rock Restaurant. Choose between Utah Mountain Trout pan-seared in browned butter and topped with pine nuts, sage and regional herbs, or Rim Rock Chicken slow roasted with honey herb glaze, or Sergio Leone's Pesto Fettuccine with roma tomatoes, portobello mushrooms, and asparagus sautéed in pesto and white wine.

Evening: 7:30 pm - Area History Lecture.

DAY
6
Powell Museum, Dead Horse Point, Canyonlands National Park
Moab, Utah
B,L
River Canyon Lodge

Breakfast: 7:00 - 8:00 am - Continental breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: 8:15 am - Depart and travel through Capitol Reef. Arrive at the John Wesley Powell Museum in Green River. This is a wonderful museum that captures the spirit of this great and determined explorer. This is a fitting introduction as we approach the Colorado River area that he first mapped and explored in such an exciting and adventurous fashion. Imagine venturing into the unknown and traveling down the mighty Colorado River on boats unsure of what is around the next bend or if you are headed for great rapids or large waterfalls that would leave you plunging to your death. The names of places and the initial geologic mapping of the areas we travel were created by John Wesley Powell, his traveling companions and their explorations.

Lunch: Lunch at the Tamarisk Restaurant in Green River. Sample their delicious soup and salad bar, fresh fruit, roasted chicken, fish, and enchiladas, topped off with homemade lemon or apple cobbler.

Afternoon: Travel to Dead Horse Point State Park and Canyonlands National Park to view a variety of unusual rock formations along with deeply eroded canyons interspersed with sheer-sided mesas. You can see nearly 100 miles in any direction and the Colorado River below. Travel and check into the hotel in Moab.

Dinner: Dinner on your own.

Evening: Free time to relax or explore downtown Moab.

DAY
7
Arches National Park Geology Field Trip
Moab, Utah
B,L
River Canyon Lodge

Breakfast: 7:00 - 8:00 am - Continental breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: 8:15 am - Depart and travel to Arches National Park which contains more than 2,000 natural stone arches along with red rock canyons, spires, fins and balanced rocks!

Lunch: Box lunch on the trail.

Afternoon: Continue exploring as we hike Double Arch, Park Avenue, Delicate Arch Overlook and "The Windows" trails.

Dinner: Dinner on your own.

Evening: Free Time

DAY
8
Edge of the Cedars Museum, Monument Valley
Lake Powell - Page, AZ
B,L,D
Lake Powell Resort

Breakfast: 7:00 - 8:00 am - Continental breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: 8:15 am - Check out of hotel and travel to Blanding and Edge of the Cedars Museum. This is ranked one of the best museums in the Southwest. Enjoy a docent led presentation and some time to browse and learn on your own about the Native American history with artifacts, pottery and ruins.

Lunch: Lunch at Goulding’s Stagecoach Dining Room in Monument Valley which offers a spectacular, panoramic view of one of Mother Nature’s unique creations. Located at the site of many of the classic western movies, enjoy a meal overlooking the historic Goulding’s Trading Post and the same vista that John Wayne, John Ford and Henry Fonda made famous. The dining room is staffed by local Navajos (Dine’) so you'll have the chance to experience the grace and culture of this Southwestern Native American people while enjoying a choice of a traditional Navajo Taco with Navajo Fry Bread, Beef Stew, soup & salad bar, or Club Sandwich.

Afternoon: Enjoy the Monument Valley Visitor Center. The informational displays at the new Visitor Center allows park visitors to learn more about Navajo culture, tradition, language and history from the perspective of the Navajo people. The exhibit displays are a combination of pictorial information, interactive media and actual artifacts. Some of these displays include Navajo philosophy, the Treaty of 1868 "Long Walk” and a Navajo Code Talkers exhibit. Other exhibits will show the Navajo Nation Governmental structure, history of uranium mining and the legacy of films. Continue on to Lake Powell and check into hotel.

Dinner: Plated dinner at Lake Powell Resort.

Evening: Free Time

DAY
9
Cruise Lake Powell to Rainbow Bridge National Monument
Lake Powell - Page, AZ
B,L,D
Lake Powell Resort

Breakfast: 6:00 - 7:00 am - Breakfast Buffet at Lake Powell Resort which includes fresh fruit, yogurt, pancakes, french toast, eggs, bacon, sausage, hashbrowns, cereal, assorted pastries, coffee, tea, and juice.

Morning: 7:00 am - Anchors away, as we cruise to Rainbow Bridge National Monument, one of the Natural Wonders of the World! Cruise aboard a large boat with professional captain, an enclosed lower level with seating and large windows, bathrooms and an upper open air level with seating and areas to stand and enjoy the scenery.

Lunch: Box Lunch on board the boat.

Afternoon: Return from Lake Powell Cruise for some free time. 5:00 pm - Depart for a Navajo Village special presentation! This is a fascinating glimpse into the Navajo culture and traditions. Presented by Navajo Tribe members.

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.

Evening: Free time.

DAY
10
Antelope Slot Canyon
St. George, Utah
B,L,D
College Inn

Breakfast: 6:30 - 7:30 am - Breakfast Buffet at Lake Powell Resort which includes fresh fruit, yogurt, pancakes, french toast, eggs, bacon, sausage, hashbrowns, cereal, assorted pastries, coffee, tea, and juice.

Morning: 8:00 am - Check out and depart for Antelope Slot Canyon, the most photographed slot canyon in the Southwest US! Embark on a guided exploration of Upper Antelope Canyon. The Navajo name for Upper Antelope Canyon is Tse' bighanilini, which means "the place where water runs through rocks." Upper Antelope is at about 4,000 feet elevation and the canyon walls rise 120 feet above the streambed. Located within the LeChee Chapter of the Navajo Nation.

Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant.

Afternoon: Visit the Grandstaircase Escalante Visitors Center, then return to St. George, Utah.

Dinner: 5:30 - 6:30 pm - Enjoy a closing dinner at Dixie State University's banquet room.

Evening: Enjoy a recap of the scenic beauty you were able to see and experience this week!

DAY
11
Program Concludes
St. George, Utah
B

Breakfast: 6:30 - 8:00 am - Continental breakfast buffet at the College Inn which includes hard boiled eggs, hot oatmeal, cereal, fruit, yogurt, pastries, toast, coffee, tea, milk & juice.

Morning: Depart following breakfast.