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Arizona/Utah

On the Road: Absolute Southwest — A Canyonlands Adventure

Program No. 8718RJ
This one has it all – three iconic National Parks, two National Monuments, a raft trip on the Colorado, a Jeep trip in Monument Valley and quintessential S.W. landscapes throughout!
Length
12 days
Rating (4.95)
Activity Level
Starts at
2,999

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Protecting the Environment

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Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
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Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Mar 13 - Mar 24, 2023
Starting at
3,249
Mar 27 - Apr 7, 2023
Starting at
3,249
Apr 10 - Apr 21, 2023
Starting at
3,249
Apr 24 - May 5, 2023
Starting at
3,249
Sep 18 - Sep 29, 2023
Starting at
3,249
Oct 2 - Oct 13, 2023
Starting at
3,249
Oct 9 - Oct 20, 2023
Starting at
3,249
Oct 23 - Nov 3, 2023
Starting at
3,249
Oct 30 - Nov 10, 2023
Starting at
2,999
Feb 26 - Mar 8, 2024
Starting at
3,799
Mar 11 - Mar 22, 2024
Starting at
3,799
Apr 1 - Apr 12, 2024
Starting at
3,799
Apr 8 - Apr 19, 2024
Starting at
3,799
Apr 22 - May 3, 2024
Starting at
3,799
Sep 17 - Sep 28, 2024
Starting at
3,799
Sep 30 - Oct 11, 2024
Starting at
3,799
Oct 7 - Oct 18, 2024
Starting at
3,799
Oct 21 - Nov 1, 2024
Starting at
3,799
Oct 28 - Nov 8, 2024
Starting at
3,799
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Mar 13 - Mar 24, 2023
Starting at
4,249
Mar 27 - Apr 7, 2023
Starting at
4,249
Apr 10 - Apr 21, 2023
Starting at
4,249
Apr 24 - May 5, 2023
Starting at
4,249
Sep 18 - Sep 29, 2023
Starting at
4,249
Oct 2 - Oct 13, 2023
Starting at
4,249
Oct 9 - Oct 20, 2023
Starting at
4,249
Oct 23 - Nov 3, 2023
Starting at
4,249
Oct 30 - Nov 10, 2023
Starting at
3,869
Feb 26 - Mar 8, 2024
Starting at
4,899
Mar 11 - Mar 22, 2024
Starting at
4,899
Apr 1 - Apr 12, 2024
Starting at
4,899
Apr 8 - Apr 19, 2024
Starting at
4,899
Apr 22 - May 3, 2024
Starting at
4,899
Sep 17 - Sep 28, 2024
Starting at
4,899
Sep 30 - Oct 11, 2024
Starting at
4,899
Oct 7 - Oct 18, 2024
Starting at
4,899
Oct 21 - Nov 1, 2024
Starting at
4,899
Oct 28 - Nov 8, 2024
Starting at
4,899

At a Glance

Journey to Sedona, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks. Learn about the geologic upheavals, native cultures and settlers that give this region its character. Traverse storied landscapes on the Colorado Plateau, experience the Navajo Reservation and gaze up at canyon rims from the Colorado River.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to two miles daily over varied terrain. Elevations just over 8,000 feet. Participants may elect to opt out of longer walks.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Enjoy a Navajo-led 4x4 adventure in Monument Valley and a smooth-water raft float on the Colorado River.
  • Experience the famous Antelope Canyon, Sedona, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks.
  • Study the region’s geology, natural history, Native Americans, current issues and historical characters.

General Notes

This program starts in Phoenix, Ariz. and ends in Las Vegas, Nev. Transportation on this program is usually by full sized motorcoach, with about 40 participants.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Bryan Bates
Bryan Bates is an ex-officio member of the governing board for the International Society for Archaeoastronomy and Astronomy in Culture. Under a NASA grant, he created a course manual for archaeoastronomy and published research on a solar calendar at Wupatki and an equinox site near Stoneman Lake. He is involved in a research project on archaeoastronomy at Mesa Verde National Park and teaches archaeoastronomy, as well as biology, environmental science, natural history and chemistry.

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

Profile Image of Bryan Bates
Bryan Bates View biography
Bryan Bates is an ex-officio member of the governing board for the International Society for Archaeoastronomy and Astronomy in Culture. Under a NASA grant, he created a course manual for archaeoastronomy and published research on a solar calendar at Wupatki and an equinox site near Stoneman Lake. He is involved in a research project on archaeoastronomy at Mesa Verde National Park and teaches archaeoastronomy, as well as biology, environmental science, natural history and chemistry.
Profile Image of Don Lago
Don Lago has been exploring the Grand Canyon for 30 years, kayaking it six times and backpacking it about 75 times. He has done years of backcountry research for Grand Canyon National Park. He is the author of two Grand Canyon history books from university presses.
Profile Image of Dave Hall
Dave Hall worked in the environmental geology field for 25 years as a geologist for the New Jersey Geological Survey. He taught geology and general science for 13 years as an adjunct and assistant professor at the College of New Jersey, and has worked as an associate naturalist at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Dave has been retired for the last several years and currently resides in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Profile Image of Joanna Joseph
Joanna Joseph View biography
Daughter of a Montana saddle maker, Joanna Joseph is an artist, musician and interpreter of human history. At the University of Montana, she studied art, drama and classical Greek. Joanna was also program supervisor at Glen Canyon Dam, developing an appreciation for the importance of water in the Southwest. A resident of Big Water, Utah, she has worked with Road Scholar since 1994.
Profile Image of David Best
David M. Best View biography
David Best grew up in North Carolina and received his degrees in mathematics and geology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He retired after 32 years from the Geology Department at Northern Arizona University, where he was both a professor and administrator. His passion was teaching undergraduates, particularly non-majors who took introductory general education courses. He is the author of a textbook on natural hazards and is writing a similar book for the general populace. David enjoys cooking, traveling, woodworking, and reading.
Profile Image of Pat Talbott
Pat Talbott View biography
Pat Talbott, a resident of the Lake Powell region since 1997, realized a lifelong dream when she became an Interpretive Park Ranger at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. As a ranger, she conducted wildlife presentations at the Wahweap Campground Amphitheater and volunteered in a project documenting the authenticity of a historical 1776 inscription in a remote side canyon. Pat is an avid watercolorist, photographer, and wildlife watcher, and shares her experiences in a monthly newspaper column.
Profile Image of Barbara Bates
Barbara Bates View biography
Barbara Bates left the bustle of city life in California to move to Flagstaff, Arizona. In 1992, after only ten days, she married her San Juan River boatman. Working as a CPA and business analyst, she still had time to travel around the Southwest, listening and learning about ancient cultures and archeoastronomy. Barbara is an amateur travel photographer creating photobooks of her travels. She has a passion for education, and what better way to share that than with on a Road Scholar learning adventure.
Profile Image of Christopher Eaves
Christopher Eaves View biography
Christopher Eaves has called the Southwest home for the past two decades, exploring the wild lands and rivers of the region. After teaching middle school math and science for 15 years, he joined Road Scholar to continue his ongoing passion for promoting learning. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Western University of Colorado and a master’s in Education from Northern Arizona University. Chris's hobbies include mountain biking, hiking, and traveling the globe with his spouse and children.
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.
Native Roads : The Complete Motoring Guide to the Navajo and Hopi Nations
by Kosik, Frank
Using the mile markers of the US, Arizona, and Navajo highways and routes running through the Navajo and Hopi nations as her organizing principle, the author offers a travel guide to the sites found in the area. Natural, historical, and cultural points of interest are covered, along with some information on lodging and services. 280 pp
The Southwest
by Lavender, David
A historical and cultural overview, including discussions of present-day racial, conservation, and economic problems. Easy reading, fascinating history. 364pp
Warriors: Navajo Code Talkers
by Kawano, Kenji
The American offensive in the Pacific during World War II [was] hampered by the Japanese ability to crack the most secret U.S. Codes. Navajo was virtually unknown outside the reservations, ... and [their] code proved uncrackable. Kenji Kawano's striking photographs capture the quiet dignity of the surviving veterans as they recall their actions --Los Angeles Times 128 pp
Living at the Edge: Explorers, Exploiters, and Settlers of the Grand Canyon Region
by Anderson, Michael F
A comprehensive look at the pioneer history of the Grand Canyon Region, from its earliest residents to the creation of the national park at the end of the pioneer era (circa 1920). Included are close to two hundred historic photographs, many never published before, and 12 custom maps of the region. 184pp
Ancient Landscapes of the Colorado Plateau
by Ron Blakey, Wayne Ranney
The Colorado Plateau is one of the world's great showplaces of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rock. The plateau's rocky landscapes are home to the greatest concentration of national parks and monuments in the world. Ancient Landscapes of the Colorado Plateau highlights the plateau's magnificent present through unique views of its fascinating past. It is a groundbreaking book featuring the geology of the American Southwest in a way you've never seen it before. This landmark book features more than 70 state-of-the-art paleogeographic maps of the region and of the world, developed over many years of geologic research. More than 100 full-color photographs, diagrams, and illustrations, this is a detailed guide of where to go to see the spectacular rocks of the region.
Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West
by Stegner, Wallace
Here Wallace Stegner, a Pulitzer Prize-winner, gives us a thrilling account of Powell's struggle against western geography and Washington politics. We witness the successes and frustrations of Powell's distinguished career, and appreciate his unparalleled understanding of the West. "Stegner's most exciting work." (San Francisco Chronicle) 496pp
Life in Stone: Fossils of the Colorado Plateau
by Sadler, Christa
Like pages in a book, the layers of sedimentary rock that are exposed on the Colorado Plateau tell us much about the diversity of environments that have come and gone over a period of hundreds of millions of years. This region is recognized as one of the finest earth-science laboratories in the world. Analysis of the fossil record and new discoveries across the plateau are answering questions, solving mysteries, and making connections that help us understand the history of life worldwide. "Life In Stone" tells the story of past environments and current discoveries with numerous illustrations and lively text written for a general audience. 72pp
Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water
by Reisner, Marc
The story of the American West is the story of a relentless quest for a precious resource: water. It is a tale of rivers diverted and dammed, of political corruption and intrigue, of billion-dollar battles over water rights, of ecologic and economic disaster. In Cadillac Desert Marc Reisner writes of the earliest settlers, lured by the promise of paradise, and of the ruthless tactics employed by Los Angeles politicians and business interests to ensure the city's growth. He documents the bitter rivalry between two government giants, the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in the competition to transform the West. Based on more than a decade of research, Cadillac Desert is a stunning expose and a dramatic, intriguing history of the creation of an Eden--and Eden that may be only a mirage. 608pp





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