Grand Canyon: River Rafting and a Historic Train Ride With Your Grandchild
Share the journey of a lifetime with your grandchild as you visit the Grand Canyon via train, raft the Colorado River and see ancient Indian cliff dwellings at a National Monument.
Rating (5)
Program No. 5831RJ
6 days
Starts at
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6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5 B 4 L 5 D
Getting There
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Program Registration, Orientation & Getting Acquainted
Phoenix & The Valley of the Sun
Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix Airport North

Afternoon: Check-in: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 p.m. Program Registration: Anytime between 4:30 – 5:15 p.m., come over to the Road Scholar desk, located in a hotel meeting room, to register with the program staff and pick up your arrival packet containing your name tag, the up-to-date schedule, other important information we will review during Orientation, and to confirm the time and place of the session. If you arrive late, please pick up your packet at the front desk. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. 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. Transportation during the week will be provided by a combination of passenger vans and motor coach travel. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may be changed due to local conditions/circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: Dinner at 5:30 PM will be plated and catered at the hotel. Beverages include water, tea, soft drinks or coffee; other beverages available for purchase at your own cost.

Evening: Orientation: We will gather in the hotel's private meeting room after dinner where the Group leader will greet you with a warm welcome and introduce everyone. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. We will have some time to get to know each other during introductions.

AZ Geography, NAU Challenge Course & Amazing Arizona Animals
Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff La Quinta Inn & Suites

Activity note: Travel 2.5 hours to Flagstaff. University challenge course is on paved and unpaved terrain with a 'challenge by choice' philosophy. Walking 1/2-1 mile throughout the day.

Breakfast: Enjoy an extensive buffet breakfast at the hotel with many choices of hot and cold items. Coffee, teas and juices available.

Morning: Depart from Phoenix after breakfast to make our way to the higher elevation of Flagstaff and cooler summer temperatures. Learn about the fascinating and varied geography between Phoenix and Flagstaff en route.

Lunch: Buffet lunch with an extensive salad bar at a local restaurant. Coffee, tea and soft drinks available.

Afternoon: Travel to Northern Arizona University's Challenge Course on south campus for team building events led by certified leaders who are college students at NAU. Our goal is to build a trusting and cohesive group of grandparents and grandchildren who just met each other the night before. We will start out with on the ground games, move to low and then to high element activities. This will include some of the elements of the static course with activities at heights 25-30 feet off the ground. This progression of activities will challenge the group with increasingly difficult tasks while encouraging cooperation, inspiring confidence and having fun, all within a supportive and safe environment. Grandparents as well as grandchildren are encouraged to participate, but all activities are 'challenge by choice'. (Requires only average strength and coordination). Check into the hotel in late afternoon.

Dinner: Dinner at a local Greek restaurant with a variety of entree choices for all ages and palates.

Evening: The evening's kid-focused presentation will cover some aspect of Arizona wildlife. We will learn about some of the critters living in the Grand Canyon region and look at their adaptations to this high desert environment.

Navajo Reservation, Raft the Colorado, and Lee's Ferry
Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff La Quinta Inn & Suites

Activity note: Travel 2.5 hours to Page, AZ. Board raft company bus for transport to base of dam. Participants need to be able to climb in and out of a motorized raft, with assistance, for float trip. Daytime temperatures can be very warm (90F) and the sun quite strong so stay hydrated, wear a hat, sunscreen and/or long-sleeved shirt and pants (quick drying). Short 1/4 mile RT walk to view ancient rock art during smooth water raft trip. Return 2.5 hours to Flagstaff from Lee's Ferry following raft trip.

Breakfast: Continental breakfast in the hotel including waffles, hot and cold cereals, coffee, juice and fruit.

Morning: Depart for Cameron Trading Post on the Navajo Nation, and then to on to the town of Page. Visit the Carl Hayden Visitor Center perched high above Glen Canyon Dam. View the giant relief map in the lobby and see photos of the building of the dam in the 1950’s and 60’s. Looking out of the giant picture windows, see Lake Powell stretching into the distance. Lake Powell has more shoreline than the west coast of the United States! Then shift your gaze down and to the rafts moored just below the dam and know that soon you’ll be boarding one for an unforgettable float through Glen Canyon. After checking in with the guiding company, you will descend by bus through the tunnel down to the river and your waiting raft. As you float downstream, watching the walls of the Canyon rise above you, look for fly fishermen casting for rainbow trout. The water is so clear you may see them swimming below you.

Lunch: Enjoy a sack lunch with cold cuts, fruit, cookie and chips while you are on the raft.

Afternoon: Enjoy your lunch as you gaze up at the high cliffs searching for golden eagles, California condors -- North America's largest flying bird -- hawks and turkey vultures. Stop to see the amazing petroglyphs, perhaps 1000 years old, just a short distance from shore. You may catch sight of a chuckwalla lizard sunning itself nearby. Then dare your friends to jump into the 48 degree water of the Colorado River before reboarding the rafts for the spectacular trip around Horseshoe Bend and to Lee's Ferry. Lee’s Ferry is where the Grand Canyon officially begins. You may see river guides readying their rafts for their exciting trips through the Grand Canyon and its many rapids. Time permitting, stop at the wild looking mushroom rocks – just part of the fascinating geology near Lee’s Ferry. Please note: raft trip participation requires signature on a liability waiver.

Dinner: Plated dinner at the historic Cameron Trading Post. One of your entree choices is an authentic Navajo Taco -- tasty fry bread with all of the traditional taco fixings on top. Kid-friendly entrees available.

Evening: Return to Flagstaff after dinner.

Hands-On Grand Canyon Geology, Walnut Canyon National Mon.
Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff La Quinta Inn & Suites

Activity note: Twenty minute drive to Walnut Canyon NM. Paved Island Trail descends 185 feet into Walnut Canyon and is .9 miles round trip. There is a level and paved rim trail for those unable to descend into the Canyon. Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day.

Breakfast: Continental breakfast in the hotel including waffles, hot and cold cereals, coffee, juice and fruit.

Morning: After breakfast is a 'Kids Only' activity. Then, ever wonder how the Grand Canyon was created? Everyone participates in a hands-on presentation on the mighty earth forces over millions and even billions of years that created the Grand Canyon. Which rock layer will you be and how did you form?!

Lunch: Plated lunch at a local restaurant. Coffee, tea and soft drinks. Other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Following lunch, travel to Walnut Canyon National Monument, to view its 900 year old Anasazi pueblo ruins. Descend the canyon's 240 stairs (185') to the Island Trail to visit and, in some cases, step inside these ancient structures. Walk in the footsteps of these early area inhabitants, see how they lived, where they got their food, and how they built their homes while enjoying the spectacular scenery and geology of Walnut Canyon. Hear of the connection that the Hopi people have to this beautiful canyon. Visit the Monument's museum and bookstore.

Dinner: Plated dinner at a local restaurant from a select menu. Other beverages available for purchase at your own cost.

Evening: Enjoy an evening at leisure to jump in the pool and have fun with your new friends.

Grand Canyon Railway, Grand Canyon National Park and Pizza!
Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff La Quinta Inn & Suites

Activity note: Travel 30 minutes to the Grand Canyon Railway. Rail journey is 2.25 hours to S. Rim. Board train; assistance available. Walking up to 2 miles on paved pathways on S. Rim of Grand Canyon. Optional hike into Canyon is 2/3 mile round trip on steep, unpaved Bright Angel Trail. Return rail journey, 2.25 hours; return to Flagstaff from Williams 30 minutes.

Breakfast: Continental breakfast in the hotel including waffles, hot and cold cereals, coffee, juice and fruit.

Morning: Board transportation to the Grand Canyon Railway Depot in downtown Williams, just a short drive from Flagstaff. Following the Wild West show and shoot out, board the train for the 60 mile trip through forests and high desert ranch land to the south rim of the Grand Canyon. Look for prairie dogs near Williams then watch for mule deer in the ponderosa forest and pronghorn antelope and free range cattle in the open range lands.

Lunch: Enjoy your pre-selected cold cut sandwich, chips, fruit and cookie on the train as you travel through an iconic Arizona ranch landscape with mountains in the distance.

Afternoon: Upon arrival, we'll walk to the rim together, many of us seeing this world wonder for the very first time! Then stroll throughout Grand Canyon Village and its many viewpoints of the canyon from the S. Rim. Optional hike down the famous Bright Angel Trail. Enjoy a little bit of free time to explore the Canyon rim on your own or find the fountain for ice cream at the Bright Angel Lodge. Board the train for the return trip to the Williams train station -- that is, unless the train robbers get you on the way back!

Dinner: Return to Flagstaff and a festive pizza party with salad and dessert at the hotel for our final dinner together. Water, lemonade and iced tea.

Evening: Following dinner, participate in a program wrap up then enjoy the last evening in Flagstaff with your new friends before packing up for the return to Phoenix in the morning.

Depart for Phoenix & Farewells

Activity note: 2.5 hours to Phoenix Sky Harbor airport for departures.

Breakfast: Continental breakfast in the hotel including waffles, hot and cold cereals, coffee, juice and fruit.

Morning: Depart after breakfast for Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and independent departures. Return to Phoenix by 11:30 AM with drops at each terminal. Make sure to schedule airline departures with ample time to check bags and clear security -- not earlier than 2:00 PM. 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!