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, Program Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
St. George, Utah
D
College Inn

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

Afternoon: Program Registration. Our Group Leader will be waiting in the College Inn lobby to register participants upon arrival. You will receive your room assignment, room key, and welcome packet containing your name-tag and up to date schedule that reflects any last minute changes. Orientation will take place after dinner. If your arrival is delayed, please ask for your packet when you arrive. The College Inn is about 6 blocks (1 mile) from the Dixie State University Campus. We’ll transfer via motorcoach to campus for dinner.

Dinner: In our private meeting room at Dixie State University, enjoy a delicious welcome banquet featuring a buffet, plus coffee, tea, water.

Evening: We’ll then return to the hotel for the rest of our evening programming. Orientation. The Group Leader will lead everyone in a welcome and introduction session. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. National Park Passes: “America the Beautiful” passes cover entrance fees at national parks and wildlife refuges for up to 4 adults. If you have one of these national park passes, please bring it with you to the program and on our field trips to help benefit the entire group. Transportation will be provided primarily by motorcoach unless otherwise specified. Be sure to bring a daypack, water bottle, sun protection, sturdy walking shoes and anything else you think you will need during our hikes in the desert. Durations of hikes vary depending on the group. This program has a Group Leader who will deal primarily with logistics, an Instructor who lead most field trips and lectures, and a bus driver who will accompany us throughout the program. Some days offer choices in the length of hikes and, in the event that participants wish to go on different hikes, each smaller group will be led by either the Group Leader, Instructor, or bus driver. Evenings at leisure offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable through personal independent exploration, engaging in available activities on your own, or simply relaxing and making new friends among fellow participants. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local conditions/circumstances. 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
Snow Canyon State Park & Area History
St. George, Utah
B,L,D
College Inn

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles on sandy, uneven, and rocky trails with a max elevation change of 100 ft.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers choices including hard boiled eggs, hot and cold cereals, fruit, yogurt, pastries, toast, coffee, tea, milk, juice and water.

Morning: We’ll begin our adventure with a field trip via motorcoach to Snow Canyon State Park where we will go on a welcome walk and receive an introduction to the area’s geology from our Instructor. Wandering along the nature trails, soak in the beauty of the scenery and notice the exquisite red sandstone formations, the red rock cliffs, rolling mounds of petrified sand dunes and lava (basalt) rock formations. We’ll then transfer to Dixie State University via motorcoach.

Lunch: Choose between different food stations including options like a fresh salad bar, home-style cooking, pizza, Asian grill, and BBQ with coffee, tea, water and soft drinks. Pre-packaged drinks and food items available for an additional charge.

Afternoon: After transferring to St. George, we’ll be treated to an informative field trip led by a local expert who will share the area's human history and show us around some restored pioneer buildings.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, enjoy a buffet with choices including a variety of fresh salads, homemade dinner rolls, barbecue meats, assorted entrees, vegetables and dessert. Soft drinks, coffee, tea, juice, milk, and water are included.

Evening: Upon arrival back at the hotel, we’ll learn from our Instructor about the ecology, geology, flora and fauna of Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
3
Zion National Park, Riverside Walk & Emerald Pools
Bryce Canyon National Park
B,L,D
Ruby's Inn

Activity note: Walking 2-4 miles depending on which hike is chosen with a maximum elevation change of 200 ft. Driving distance from St. George to Zion is 45 miles and will take about 1 hour. Zion to Bryce is approximately 85 miles, about 2 hours.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we’ll transfer to Zion National Park for a day amidst some of the most breathtaking canyon scenery in the United States. Our Instructor will join us offering commentary as we walk among the rock canyons and formations. Gaze up at the soaring red rock cliffs, traverse the riparian areas, and keep an eye out for any of the hundreds of species of animals that inhabit the park.

Lunch: On the trail, we’ll find a spot to rest and eat our boxed lunches.

Afternoon: We’ll continue our walking exploration through Zion Canyon. Once we board the motorcoach, we’ll travel to the east side of Zion National Park and through the 1.1 mile long Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel that was eventually completed in 1930, thereby linking Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon to Zion. Along the way, we will view Checkerboard Mesa and continue to Bryce Canyon National Park. Upon arrival in Bryce, Utah we’ll check into hotel and relax a little before dinner.

Dinner: At Ruby's Cowboy Buffet & Steak Room, we’ll enjoy a buffet dinner with choices including a variety of classic western meat dishes, fish, vegetables, cornbread, soup and salads with coffee, tea, soft drinks, water; other beverages available for purchase.

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

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

Activity note: Walking up to 2-3 miles in Bryce Canyon on groomed dirt trails with some loose rocks. The drive from Bryce, Utah to Torrey, Utah is approximately 112 miles and takes about 2.5 hours.

Breakfast: At Ruby's Cowboy Buffet, choose from dishes including fresh fruit, yogurt, assorted baked goods, hot and cold cereals, an egg dish, breakfast meats, potatoes, coffee, assorted teas, juice, milk and water.

Morning: After transferring to Bryce Canyon, we’ll get out and explore the unique formations with our Instructor. Hike among the iconic hoodoos, “tall skinny spires of rock that protrude from the bottom of arid basins,” as described by the National Park Service, and other formations along the Navajo Loop Trails.

Lunch: At Wild West Retreat, we’ll enjoy a tasty plated meal consisting of favorite local dishes and dessert with soft drinks, ice tea, lemonade and water.

Afternoon: We’ll then depart for a scenic drive along the famed Highway 12 through a portion of the Grand Staircase to Anasazi State Park where we will view native American Ruins and learn from our Instructor about the area’s history of human settlement. We’ll continue along Hwy 12 to Torrey, Utah where we will check into the hotel. Hwy 12 offers incredibly surreal scenery and it has been said that this route contains the most interesting and greatest concentration of diverse geology in the world with smooth and visibly highlighted sedimentary layers on rock faces.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll enjoy a plated meal with dessert and coffee, tea, soft drinks, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

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

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles on unpaved trail.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Our day will begin by traveling to Capitol Reef National Park for a walking field trip led by our Instructor. In the words of Virgil J. and Helen Olsen, “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: We’ll continue exploring the Capitol Reef with more hikes and walks to see the natural beauty and petroglyphs. After returning to our hotel we’ll be treated to a lecture given by a local expert on the cultural and human history of the area. We’ll then transfer via motorcoach to the restaurant for dinner.

Dinner: At Rim Rock Restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal with dessert and the usual drinks; other beverages available for purchase.

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

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

Activity note: Walking up to 1 mile total at Dead Horse Point & Canyonlands. The drive from Torrey, Utah to Moab, Utah is approximately 155 miles, about 3 hours.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll check out of the hotel and travel through Capitol Reef to arrive at the John Wesley Powell Museum in Green River for a field trip of independent exploration. This is a wonderful museum that captures the spirit of this great and determined explorer. It’s also a fitting introduction as we approach the Colorado River area because he first mapped and explored the area. The names of places and the initial geologic mappings of the areas we will travel were created by John Wesley Powell, his traveling companions and their explorations.

Lunch: At the Tamarisk Restaurant in Green River, we’ll have a buffet with soups, salads, fruit, dessert, soft drinks, lemonade, coffee, tea, water.

Afternoon: Continuing our transfer, we’ll 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. Upon reaching Dead Horse Point at the end of our hike led by our Instructor we’ll be able to see nearly 100 miles in any direction and the mighty Colorado River below. Once ready, we’ll travel onward to check into the 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: At leisure. You may wish to explore Moab and see what activities the town’s nightlife has to offer or just relax at the hotel.

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

Activity note: Walking 2-3 miles on groomed trails with some elevation change.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Traveling from the hotel, we’ll go to Arches National Park, which contains more than 2,000 natural stone arches along with red rock canyons, spires, fins and balanced rocks! While here, we’ll walk along the Double Arch, Landscape Arch and “The Windows” trails.

Lunch: Box lunch on the trail.

Afternoon: We’ll continue exploring on foot as we visit Delicate Arch Overlook and the Visitor Center. Millions of years in the making, Delicate Arch is the most iconic arches in Utah and possibly the most beautiful arch in the world. Continuing onward to the Visitor Center, we will have some time to peruse the exhibits on our own before boarding the motorcoach and returning to the hotel.

Dinner: On your own to explore the local fare.

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

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

Activity note: Walking a maximum of 1 mile in museums and visitor centers. The drive from Moab, Utah to Lake Powell Resort is approximately 280 miles, about 4.5 hours.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we’ll travel to Blanding and the Edge of the Cedars Museum. Ranked one of the best museums in the Southwest, we’ll enjoy a docent-led presentation and some time to browse and learn on our own about the Native American history with artifacts, pottery and ruins.

Lunch: At Goulding’s Stagecoach Dining Room in Monument Valley, which offers a spectacular, panoramic view of one of Mother Nature’s unique creations, we’ll enjoy the atmosphere over a delicious plated meal with soft drinks, lemonade, coffee, tea and water. Located at the site of many of the classic western movies, we’ll look over 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 we will be fortunate enough to experience the graceful culture of these Southwestern Native American people while enjoying a choice of some traditional favorites.

Afternoon: Carrying on, we’ll stop for a field trip to the new Monument Valley Visitor Center where the informational displays allow 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, the history of uranium mining and the legacy of ¬films. Take some time for independent exploration to delve into and absorb some of the striking cultural history displayed by these exhibits. We’ll then continue on to Lake Powell and check into hotel.

Dinner: At Lake Powell Resort, we’ll enjoy a choice from a select menu of plated entrees with dessert, coffee, tea, soft drinks, lemonade and water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

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

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles on unpaved trails at Rainbow Bridge with a 100 ft. change in elevation. Getting on/off a boat; the study cruise is about 2.5 hours each way with indoor/outdoor seating and restrooms on board.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet includes choices such as fresh fruit, yogurt, breakfast breads and meats, eggs, potatoes, hot and cold cereals, assorted pastries, coffee, tea, juice and water.

Morning: After a short walk from hotel lobby to the boat ramp, it’s “Anchors away!” as we cruise to Rainbow Bridge National Monument, one of the Natural Wonders of the World. Have a look at the lovely scenery from Lake Powell as we enjoy our study cruise aboard a large boat with a professional captain and recorded commentary playing on provided headsets.

Lunch: Aboard the boat, we’ll have our boxed lunches.

Afternoon: We’ll disembark from the boat and enjoy a little bit of free time before transferring to a Navajo Village for a special presentation! This will be a fascinating glimpse into the Navajo culture and traditions presented by Navajo Tribe members.

Dinner: At local restaurant we’ll enjoy a choice from a select menu of plated entrees with, coffee, tea, soft drinks, lemonade and water; other beverages available for purchase.

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

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

Activity note: Walking up to 1 mile at Antelope Canyon on sandy trails. The drive from Page, AZ to St George, Utah is approximately 150 miles, about 3 hours.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After check-out we’ll depart for Antelope Slot Canyon, the most photographed slot canyon in the Southwest US! Embark on an expert-led walking exploration of Upper Antelope Canyon. The Navajo name for Upper Antelope Canyon is Tse' bighanilini, which means "the place where water runs through rocks." Located within the LeChee Chapter of the Navajo Nation, Upper Antelope is at about 4,000 feet elevation and the awe-inspiring canyon walls rise 120 feet above the streambed in phantasmagorical forms. Experience the dreamland between the rocks and discover why this canyon has such a dreamy reputation.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a choice of plated entrees from a select menu with soft drinks, ice tea, lemonade and water.

Afternoon: After lunch, we’ll return to St. George, Utah and check into the hotel.

Dinner: In Dixie State University's banquet room, we’ll enjoy a lovely farewell buffet dinner with coffee, tea, ice tea and water.

Evening: At the hotel, we’ll gather to enjoy a recap of the scenic beauty we were able to experience throughout the program and share our favorite memories with new Road Scholar friends! Be sure to prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
11
Program Concludes
St. George, Utah
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 10:00 a.m.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers choices including hard boiled eggs, hot and cold cereals, fruit, yogurt, pastries, toast, coffee, tea, milk, juice and water. This concludes our program.

Morning: 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!






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