6132
Utah
Hiking Arches and Canyonlands National Parks
Join natural history experts in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks to discover ancient petroglyphs, geological monuments and the colorful beauty of two national treasures.
Rating (4.83)
Program No. 6132RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,299
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 4 L 4 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Moab, UT
D
River Canyon Lodge

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 5:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration, 5:00 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. 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. Each morning we will have a full-order plated breakfast off the menu at a favorite local diner in Moab. A local market will prepare our fresh box lunches each day so that we can enjoy them in the scenic outdoors. Lunch will include a choice of sandwich, fruit, chips, dessert, and water. We will travel throughout the day by van and be joined on all hikes by our resident experts. During an evening of the program, we feature a local guest lecturer to talk about a different educational and exciting topic. We will announce the details at the beginning of your program. 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.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we will enjoy a plated meal, with choices from a menu, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: After dinner, we will wrap up our orientation back at the hotel. We’ll get some rest afterwards—we have lots of exciting hikes this week!

DAY
2
Arches National Park
Moab, UT
B,L,D
River Canyon Lodge

Activity note: Getting on/off vans. Hiking around 6 miles. Elevation gains for the day 500 feet.

Breakfast: Plated diner breakfast.

Morning: We will board our vans and depart for Arches National Park this morning on a beautiful and dramatic drive through the entrance of Arches National Park. From here, we’ll start our week off with a one-way hike down the Park Avenue trail. This is a great opportunity to enjoy the beautiful rock formations, as well as assess our equipment, clothing layers, physical needs, etc. Next we will drive by van to Devil’s Garden for a beautiful hike to Landscape Arch, the longest arch in the park. From there we will choose to hike to other nearby arches with breathtaking views as we return to the trailhead.

Lunch: Fresh boxed lunch in the park.

Afternoon: After lunch we will enjoy another one-way hike to Tapestry, Broken, and Sand Dune Arches. We'll take time to talk about how life has adapted to live in this dry, often hot, high-desert climate. We will see first-hand these impressive plants and animals that call this area home. After this hike, we'll drive by van along the Colorado River to see Petroglyph Panels that take us back thousands of years. We will talk about the importance of this art, along with why we find it where we do.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we will enjoy a plated meal, with choices from a menu, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Island in the Sky District-Canyonlands National Park
Moab, UT
B,L
River Canyon Lodge

Activity note: Getting on/off vans. Hiking around 6 miles. Elevation gains for the day 600 feet.

Breakfast: Plated diner breakfast.

Morning: This morning we take a scenic drive by van to the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park. After a stop at the visitor center, we’ll drive to the Upheaval Dome Overlook trailhead. We will learn about the two well-known theories as to the origin of the upheaval and discuss which we think caused the unique formation! Next, we drive to the Wilhite trailhead for the canyon rim hike. We'll have the special opportunity to see first hand the living soil of the desert and learn of its importance. The end of the hike will provide us with an awe-inspiring panoramic view.

Lunch: Fresh boxed lunch in the park.

Afternoon: After lunch, we hike on the White Rim Overlook Trail, where we will be treated to an expansive view of the Colorado River Canyon, all the way across to the Needle's District, where we will hike tomorrow. We'll take a few minutes to soak in the view, and also talk about how erosion is still shaping this landscape. A trip to Island in the Sky would not be complete without a short hike to the amazingly photogenic Mesa Arch, where we’ll stop before we head back to 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: In the hotel meeting room, we will enjoy a lecture from a local expert.

DAY
4
Needles District-Canyonlands National Park
Moab, UT
B,L,D
River Canyon Lodge

Activity note: Getting on/off vans. Hiking around 6 miles. Elevation gains for the day 400 feet.

Breakfast: Plated diner breakfast.

Morning: We travel this morning in vans to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park, which forms the southeast corner of the park and was named for the colorful spires of Cedar Mesa Sandstone that dominate the area. We will stop at the visitor center for a break and a video on the area. Our hike is on the Slickrock Foot Trail, high on slickrock benches and mesa tops, providing sweeping, panoramic views of the Needles District.

Lunch: Fresh boxed lunch in the park.

Afternoon: After lunch, we will drive to Cave Springs Trailhead and hike the loop trail past an old preserve to the cowboy campsite. We continue along the trail climbing the ladder and hike on the top of the “slick rock,” learning from our experts the local and geologic meaning of the term. Do you know the difference between a pictograph and a petroglyph? We will stop at Newspaper Rock on the drive back to Moab to view one of the best examples of petroglyphs in the area.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we will enjoy a plated meal, with choices from a menu, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Colorado River Canyon, Delicate Arch-Arches National Park
Moab, UT
B,L,D
River Canyon Lodge

Activity note: Getting on/off vans. Hiking around 8 miles. Elevation gains for the day 900 feet.

Breakfast: Plated diner breakfast.

Morning: Today we will drive to the Fisher Towers in the Colorado Riverway, and explore the breathtaking beauty of the area around these pinnacles. While hiking the challenging rocky trail for 2.5 hours, let’s keep an ear out for wildlife all around, as we observe the resilient flora of the desert.

Lunch: Fresh boxed lunch in the park.

Afternoon: Our last hike of the program is to Delicate Arch, towering sixty-five feet over us. Delicate Arch has become the official symbol of Utah—have you noticed it on some Utah vehicle license plates? We’ll return by van to Moab stopping at scenic overlooks in the Park and the Visitor Center to enjoy the film, exhibits, and bookstore.

Dinner: Tonight we have a special closing dinner at a local grill in Moab with an incredible view of the surrounding region. We will enjoy a plated meal, with choices from a menu, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. We’ll say farewell to new friends and prepare for departure in the morning.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
Moab, UT
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Plated diner breakfast. 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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