This was a great trip. I learned lots of new things, especially about the geology of this region. The scenery was unbelievable.
New to Road Scholar? Sign up
for our e-newsletter.
Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.
Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 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 the up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation: 5:30 p.m. 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. This is a Road Scholar On The Road (OTR) program. OTR programs are journeys that take participants to multiple study sites in a region with a number of overnight stays. Lectures, talks, discussions, field trips, and on-board commentary amplify the program theme. Some journeys involve great distances and may take hours, others are much shorter. Long or short, On The Road journeys are learning experiences that make the most of our time together. All field trips will be led by our Group Leader, a seasoned and experienced naturalist, unless specified otherwise. Transportation will be provided primarily via motorcoach, requiring ascending/descending a few steps when getting on/off. Periods in the 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 the hotel restaurant, we’ll have a tasty buffet meal with salad and dessert; vegetarian and gluten-free selections available with advance notice; coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.
Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving about 120 miles total, approximately 2.5 hours with stops for field trips. Walking approximately 2 miles total throughout the day; about 1/2 mile at a time; approximately 1.5 hours total; paved walkways at Montezuma Castle. Elevation in the Sedona area ranges between 4,000 and 4,500 feet.
Breakfast: In the hotel restaurant, we’ll have a buffet breakfast with milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.
Morning: Once checked out of the hotel, we’ll load luggage and board our vehicle for our journey north to Sedona. As we move from the Basin and Range region to the central highlands and transition zone of the Verde Valley, we’ll watch the plant communities change. En route, we’ll stop for a field trip with our Group Leader at the picturesque, wonderfully preserved, five-story, 700-year-old Anasazi pueblo ruins at Montezuma Castle National Monument. As we make our way around the site on foot, we will learn about the ruins and the people who built it. Returning to the vehicle after our field trip, we’ll continue our transfer to Sedona.
Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have plated meals and a cookie with coffee, tea, water.
Afternoon: Setting out again aboard our vehicle, we will explore some favorite spots in the Sedona area including a stop at the beautiful Bell Rock viewpoint with commentary provided by our knowledgeable Group Leader. We’ll then continue to the hotel for a late afternoon check-in.
Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll have plated meals with a choice of entrée plus a nonalcoholic beverage; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.
Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving about 120 miles, approximately 2.5 hours with stops for field trips. Walking about 1/2 mile to the canyon rim, approximately 1 hour; paved, level trail. Flagstaff and Grand Canyon South Rim elevation is roughly 7,000 feet.
Breakfast: At the hotel, we’ll have a breakfast buffet featuring choices such as an egg dish, breakfast meats, waffles, cereals, and fresh fruit, plus milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.
Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we’ll load up for the trip up one of Arizona's most scenic highways through the steep, rock-walled cliffs of Oak Creek Canyon to the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff. Upon arrival, a museum docent will lead us through some of the exhibits before allowing time for independent exploration. The Museum of Northern Arizona was founded by Harold Colton and Mary-Russell Ferrell Colton in 1928, and is the preeminent museum of the Colorado Plateau with an extensive collection of Native American artifacts.
Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a buffet meal with soft drinks, coffee, tea, and water included.
Afternoon: Continuing our scenic journey to the Grand Canyon, we’ll make our way through the San Francisco Peaks Volcanic Field. With a stop at Mather Point, named after the first director of the National Park Service, we’ll get our first view of the Grand Canyon on a short narrated walk with our Group Leader. We’ll then complete the transfer to our Grand Canyon lodge where we’ll have a late afternoon check-in.
Dinner: At a Grand Canyon lodge café, we’ll have a plated dinner with soft drinks, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: At leisure. On your own, you may wish to walk to the Canyon Rim for sunset (before or after dinner, depending on the season), take in a National Park Service evening ranger program (seasonal), or just relax at the Grand Canyon.
Activity note: Walking about 1 mile in Grand Canyon Village, approximately 1.5 hours; paved, slightly sloping pathway. Opportunities for activities based on personal interest during free time.
Breakfast: At the Grand Canyon Lodge Café, we’ll have a buffet meal with soft drinks, coffee, tea, water.
Morning: For early risers, we’ll set out on an elective pre-dawn excursion during which we’ll transfer via motorcoach and walk to view the sunrise over the Grand Canyon. After breakfast, we will have a walking field trip in Grand Canyon Village where our Group Leader will tell us about the history of each location. Grand Canyon Village includes Verkamps Visitor Center, the El Tovar Hotel, Mary Colter's Hopi House, rock walls, and trails built by the Civilian Conservation Corp, the Bright Angel Lodge with its famous Geological Fireplace, and Kolb Studio.
Lunch: At a Grand Canyon Lodge café, we’ll have plated meals with soft drinks, milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.
Afternoon: We’ll then start the afternoon with another expert-led walk either along the Geologic Walk of Time or part of the way down the Bright Angel Trail, depending on the weather. The Trail of Time is an interpretive walking timeline trail that focuses on Grand Canyon vistas and rocks to encourage visitors to ponder, explore, and understand the magnitude of geologic time and the stories encoded by Grand Canyon rock layers and landscapes. The Bright Angel Trail was originally a game trail down a geologic fault line. It has been used, modified, and expanded by successive generations of prehistoric and historic Indians, explorers, miners, and now park visitors. The remainder of the afternoon is free. You might like to explore the Grand Canyon’s famous South Rim, ride the free Hermit’s Rest Route (Red Line Shuttle), take extended walks along the rim, attend ranger programs, or return for longer visits at any of the historic structures visited on the history walk.
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. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.
Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 180 miles total, approximately 3.5 hours with stops for field trips. Walking up to 1/2 mile total throughout the day; paved trails to the Watchtower.
Breakfast: Grand Canyon Lodge buffet.
Morning: Back aboard the vehicle, we’ll travel out to the East Rim of the Grand Canyon for a stop at the Desert View overlook, the location of the famous Mary Colter’s Watchtower and some of the best views of the Colorado River. We will have time to explore the watchtower with our naturalist available to answer any questions. Known for her many works for the Fred Harvey Company and the Santa Fe Railroad, Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter was a female architect in the early 20th century and helped blend Spanish Colonial and Mission Revival architecture with Native American motifs. The Watchtower is an interpretation of a prehistoric “tower kiva” with lavishly painted interior walls by Hopi artist Fred Kabotie. Next, we will have some time to explore the historic 1916 Cameron Trading Post independently. Set on the banks of the Little Colorado River, the Trading Post is a welcomed rest stop that features a beautiful hidden garden, an in-house Navajo rug weaver, and interesting stone architecture.
Lunch: At the historic Cameron Trading Post, we’ll have a plated lunch with soft drinks, coffee, tea, water.
Afternoon: Continuing on our journey, we’ll travel through the Navajo Reservation and the Painted Desert to Kayenta on the way to Goulding's Lodge. En route, we’ll make a stop at the Kayenta Burger King — the unlikely site of a famous Navajo Code Talker exhibit. Adjacent is a Navajo demonstration area and a museum you may wish to explore independently. We’ll then make our way to Goulding's Lodge.
Dinner: At the historic Goulding's Lodge and Trading Post Restaurant, we’ll order plated meals from a select menu while we enjoy sweeping views of red rock mesas and vistas out the restaurant window; soft drinks, lemonade, coffee, iced tea, water included (alcoholic beverages are not sold on the Navajo Reservation).
Evening: In the Earth Spirit Theater at Goulding’s, we’ll settle in to view a video on a topic of local interest.
Activity note: Getting in/out of a four-wheel drive vehicle; driving about 20 miles, approximately 6 hours; dusty, bumpy terrain. Walking up to 1 mile total throughout the day on multiple short walks. Elevation in Monument Valley is about 5,500 feet.
Breakfast: At Goulding's Trading Post, we’ll order plated meals from an extensive selection of breakfast items including eggs, French toast, pancakes, and more plus milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.
Morning: We will have some time for independent exploration of Goulding’s Trading Post and museum, which includes memorabilia from many John Ford and John Wayne westerns, as well as prehistoric artifacts and items from the early trading post days. Then we’ll board a four-wheel drive truck and head out on a full-day field trip to explore Mystery Valley and Monument Valley. Mystery Valley is home to a large collection of Ancestral Puebloan ruins and rock art, and we’ll spend the morning seeing the centuries-old home of the Ancient Ones. Our expert Navajo drivers will provide narration and insight to the natural and cultural features of the region as we get to experience this quintessential scenery of the American Southwest. Along the way, we’ll make stops to take in the views and stretch our legs.
Lunch: Amid the spectacular scenery of Mystery Valley, we’ll have sack lunches.
Afternoon: Continuing our field trip through Monument Valley, we will explore many of the famous monuments including views of the Mittens and John Ford Point, plus a visit to the Monument’s restricted area with our expert drivers to see ancient petroglyphs and unparalleled scenery.
Dinner: Goulding’s Lodge plated meal.
Evening: Gathering in the Earth Spirit Theater at Goulding’s, we’ll settle in to view a video on a topic of local interest. The remainder of the evening will be at leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.
Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 150 miles total, approximately 2.5 hours with stops for field trips. Walking approximately 2 miles total, about 1.5 miles roundtrip to Betatakin Overlook; paved paths; elevation change of roughly 200 feet. About 1/2 mile in Antelope Canyon; mostly level terrain, loose sandy footing. Elevation at Navajo National Monument is roughly 7,000 feet; Page is about 4,300 feet.
Breakfast: Goulding's Trading Post plated meal.
Morning: We will set out for a field trip to Navajo National Monument. This National Park Service Monument contains some of the Southwest's best preserved ruins of the "Ancestral Puebloans," or Anasazi culture. An orientation to the Navajo National Monument given by our Group Leader will begin at the Visitor Center that features a small museum with exhibits of prehistoric pottery and other artifacts that attempt to piece together what life was like for the early peoples. An excellent 25-minute video on the Ancient Ones will also be shown on request. Next, we’ll walk to the nearby overlook for a view across the canyon of the Betatakin Ruins, one of the best-preserved ruins, which has original walls and an intact roof. The easy, paved Sandal Trail we’ll be walking on begins behind the Visitor Center and winds through a piñon-juniper woodland to Betatakin Point Overlook. Signs along the way identify native plants and describe how Native Americans used them as our Group Leader discusses the area’s ecology and human history. Back at the motorcoach, we’ll continue on our way to Page and Lake Powell.
Lunch: At a local Mexican restaurant in Page, we’ll have plated meals with soft drinks, milk, coffee, tea, water.
Afternoon: Arriving at the Visitor Center at Glen Canyon Dam and the head of the 275 mile-long Lake Powell, we’ll explore the displays and take in the views. Completed in 1963, this engineering marvel was one of the Bureau of Reclamation's crowning achievements. Controversy has never been far behind its completion as the effects of its operation have been determined to have had adverse effects on the downstream Grand Canyon environment and the flooding of the spectacular Glen Canyon upstream. Just outside of Page, Arizona, is Antelope Canyon. This iconic slot canyon is popular with both photographers and other sightseers. The Navajo call Upper Antelope Canyon “Tsé bighánílíní” — the place where water runs through rocks. The short walk through this slot canyon is on level and loose sand. We’ll then move on and check into our hotel.
Dinner: In the hotel banquet room, we’ll have a tasty meal with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: Gathering in the hotel meeting room, we’ll be joined by a local expert for a presentation on a topic of local interest. Past favorites have included talks on the wildlife of Glen Canyon, geology of Glen Canyon, and floating hogans.
Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 50 miles roundtrip, approximately 1 hour with stops for field trips. Walking about 1.5 miles, approximately 1.5 hours; loose sand, about 200 feet in elevation gain/loss to Horseshoe Bend Overlook. Getting on/off a boat; rise is approximately 15 miles; flatwater, motor-assisted float trip through the last free flowing section of Glen Canyon.
Breakfast: In the hotel restaurant, the breakfast buffet offers a variety of hot and cold items plus milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.
Morning: We will start our morning with a field trip to the Horseshoe Bend Overlook Trailhead. This 1.5 mile roundtrip hike goes up and over a small hill to the edge of a thousand-foot cliff looking down on a meander of the Colorado River in a section of Glen Canyon that we will float later. Then it’s on to our Glen Canyon float trip. After a safety briefing at the company’s office and passing the security checkpoint, we’ll descend through the tunnel used to construct the dam to the base of Glen Canyon dam. Upon arrival, we’ll board our motorized rafts. Our experienced boatmen will lead discussions on the geology, wildlife, and human history of the area. Halfway down the stretch of river, we’ll stop to view an iconic set of ancient petroglyphs with a chance to stretch our legs, and have a rest stop.
Lunch: On the river, we’ll have sack lunches.
Afternoon: The river portion of our trip will end at historic Lee’s Ferry, gateway to the Grand Canyon, where we will get off the boat, board our vehicle, and ride back to Page.
Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll have a catered dinner with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: We’ll be joined in the hotel meeting room by a local expert for a presentation on a topic of local interest. The remainder of the evening is at leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.
Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving about 150 miles, approximately 2.5 hours. Walking about 1.5 miles along the rim at Bryce Canyon, approximately 2 hours; paved and unpaved surfaces. Time permitting, walk below the rim on unpaved trails. Rim elevation is roughly 8,000 feet.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: We will check out of the hotel and drive through the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument with a stop at its Big Water Visitor Center to see the exhibits on recent dinosaur discoveries in the area. The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, at 1.7 million acres, dominates any map of southern Utah. It is the first monument to be administered by the Bureau of Land Management rather than the National Park Service. As presented by our Group Leader, we’ll learn why this National Monument is threatened and why it is a national treasure. Afterwards, we’ll travel up scenic Highway 89 towards Bryce Canyon National Park.
Lunch: At Ruby’s Cowboy Buffet & Steak Room, we’ll have a wide variety of choices at the lunch buffet with soft drinks, lemonade, milk, coffee, tea, water included.
Afternoon: Arriving in Bryce Canyon National Park, we’ll learn that despite its name, Bryce is not a canyon but a series of amphitheaters along the edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Its otherworldly hoodoos are carved from Claron lakebed sediments by frost weathering and stream erosion. Walking out to viewpoints such as Fairyland Point, Inspiration Point Bryce Point, and Sunset Point, we’ll take in the views of the spectacular Hoodoos. Depending on conditions, we’ll walk along the rim and visit the Bryce Canyon National Park Visitor Center.
Dinner: At Ruby’s Cowboy Buffet and Steak Room, we’ll have a delicious buffet dinner with a wide variety of choices plus soft drinks, lemonade, milk, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.
Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving about 85 miles, approximately 2 hours. Walking about 1.5 mile roundtrip, approximately 1.5 hours; mostly paved, slight uphill walk to Lower Emerald Pool.
Breakfast: In the hotel restaurant, the breakfast buffet offers a variety of hot and cold items plus milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.
Morning: After loading up the bus, we’ll leave Bryce for the scenic drive to Zion National Park. Along the way we’ll drive through stunning Red Canyon — once a haunt for Butch Cassidy and his gang — as we journey to the slickrock country on the eastern edge of Zion National Park. Continuing with a stop at Checkerboard Mesa, we’ll then drive through the Zion Tunnels and down the switchbacks into Zion Canyon carved by the North Fork of the Virgin River. Spectacular Checkerboard Mesa is a massive petrified sand dune with horizontal layers laid down in the Jurassic Period and vertical cracks formed during weather over millions of years. While here with our Group Leader, we’ll discuss the reason it is called Checkerboard Mesa, talk about the plants growing at this elevation, and learn how things differ from the lower elevations in the park. The Zion Tunnels were built during the 1920s through solid sandstone walls with views through the "galleries" out to the Pine Creek Valley.
Lunch: At the Majestic View Lodge just outside of Zion National Park, we’ll choose what we like from the tasty lunch buffet with coffee, tea, lemonade, milk, water included. Enjoy spectacular views of the magnificent surroundings.
Afternoon: Moving on, we’ll travel to the Visitor Center at Zion National Park where we’ll see a large-scale 3-D map of the park for an overview what we'll be exploring. We’ll then set out on a walk with our Group Leader to the Lower Emerald Pools in Zion National Park.
Dinner: At the Majestic View Lodge, we’ll have plated meals with soft drinks, coffee, tea, milk, water included; other beverages available for purchase. Enjoy the majestic view from its huge picture windows.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Getting on/off a shuttle bus; driving about 20 miles total, approximately 90 minutes over the course of the day. Walking up to 4 miles total; pre-breakfast hike about 1 mile each way, approximately 1 hour; mostly paved; elevation decrease 50 feet. Weeping Rock hike about 1/2 mile roundtrip, approximately 1 hour; steep trail up/down 100 feet in elevation. Walking about 2 miles roundtrip on Riverside Trail, approximately 2 hours; mostly paved, rolling sidewalk. 4,000 feet elevation.
Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet includes an egg dish, breakfast meats and potatoes, cereals, and fresh fruit, plus milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.
Morning: On an elective pre-breakfast nature walk, we’ll set out with our Group Leader along the mostly paved Pa’Rus Trail for spectacular early morning views of the West Temple, Temples of the Virgin, Crawford Arch, and Bridge Mountain. We will walk at a slow pace with plenty of opportunities to discuss the geology and natural history we observe along the way. After breakfast, we’ll head to the Zion Human History Museum via motorcoach to watch a short video introducing Zion National Park. While here, we’ll explore the other exhibits independently.
Lunch: At the Grotto Picnic Area, we’ll have sack lunches.
Afternoon: Next, we’ll head to Weeping Rock via park shuttle where we will walk up a short but steep trail and learn through personal experience and our Group Leader about what makes this dripping garden special. The paved trail ends at a rock alcove with dripping springs and trailside exhibits. We’ll then take the park shuttle to the temple of Sinewava, the Riverside Trail, and beginning of the Zion Narrows — a spectacular gorge in the upper reaches of Zion Canyon. Totaling 16 miles in length, it gets up to 2,000 feet deep, and is at times only 20 to 30 feet wide.
Dinner: Majestic View Lodge plated meals. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.
Evening: We’ll gather for a program wrap-up session to reflect on our adventures together. The remainder of the evening will be at leisure. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.
Activity note: Hotel check-out 8:00 a.m. Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 170 miles, approximately 3 hours. Expected arrival and drop-offs at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport (LAS) by approximately 11:00 a.m.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: Once checked out of the hotel, we’ll load our luggage and begin our transfer to Las Vegas, traveling through the Virgin River Gorge carved by the mighty Virgin River through the Virgin River Anticline. As we drive, we’ll pass by Joshua Trees, the signature species of the Mojave Desert. We expect to arrive at McCarran International Airport by approximately 11:00 a.m. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!
This was a great trip. I learned lots of new things, especially about the geology of this region. The scenery was unbelievable.
Absolute Southwest is a great way to experience several National Parks, with completely different landscapes, without having to worry about maps, gas station availability, places to stop for good meals and clean comfortable hotels. Also, short or no lines to enter the parks and fun excursions already booked. Since the parks cover such a large area, we wouldn't have known where to start, but the group leaders know how to maximize each park visit. Very enjoyable!
Spectacular in every way!
Absolute Southwest - A Canyonland Adventure for 11 nights was the best Roads Scholar tour we have ever done Would highly recommend it to all ! It totally fulfilled our bucket list dream !! John and Peggy Delano - Rockport , Maine
Our Road Scholar adventure to the Southwest far exceeded our expectations. We saw sites we would not have seen on our own and were impressed with the leaders and the private guides that were explored throughout the trip.
After researching other tours to the National Parks, I selected Road Scholar. Everything was taken care of and all we had to do was enjoy the adventure. I look forward to taking more trips with Road Scholar and gaining more knowledge about our country and our world!
This trip exceeded my expectations. Dave is so passionate about geology, Karen was a skilled driver and provided wonderful cultural commentary. Our large and diverse group was a delight. Well done Road Scholar- once again!
If you're interested in learning as well as traveling, Road Scholar may be just the ticket for you! My husband and I just completed our very first trip called Absolute Southwest-Canyonlands which started in Phoenix and covered much of Colorado Plateau, including Sedona, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon, floating down the Colorado River, seeing Bryce Canyon National Park and experiencing Zion National Park. Every day was another big adventure which kept us hopping and yet enjoying the fun while learning so much about that area. We met so many great new people, and I just shared many of my hundreds of photos taken on our trip with them through Shutterfly. We would love to take another Road Scholar trip...as long as we can just decide on which one!
All aspects of the trip were just great except two. The bus breaking down twice was very disturbing. One of the times was on the highway in a pine forest, soon before a rest stop. Those who needed the rest stop has to go into the pine forest to get relief. Matt set up a procedure that make it less embarrassing to folks in need. A bus break down can happen but when it happened twice in two days is not forgivable. We all appreciate the compensation you gave us. As I mentioned before someone should be observant of the special needs of some people even though those in need didn't complain, they were good troupers.
If you haven't visited the Southwest, this is your best opportunity. Seeing such natural wonders, including the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Antelope Valley, Monument Valley and Zion National Park in the company of congenial fellow travelers and a most engaging and knowledgeable tour leader is a dream come true!
This is a great program & includes a wide variety of interesting experiences that are available because of the locations visited. One of the best RS trips I've taken. The two weeks flew by!
This was my first trip, but I’m going to check with Road Scholar first before I book any future tours. Loved everything about this trip!
This program has a medium level of activity. If you have never been to these parks, this is a great trip. The grandeur of the west is not to be missed!
Good, user-friendly website.
A great way to see so many of our national treasures with interested and interesting companions
Wonderful trip. Hiking the Grand Canyon, Zion trails and seeing Monument Valley was superb. Great group leaders. Loved this trip. March 2018 Chris S
This is a 5+ Star Rated Program! This trip went beyond my highest expectations. In addition to the amazing sights we saw and the fabulous experiences we shared, It was an incredible learning experience. Our group leader, Don Lago, was amazing. His knowledge of the region, it's history, geology, and culture of the people was infused with his apparent love for the southwest and it's Canyonlands. Throughout our travels he imparted his knowledge to us and my inquisitive fellow travelers kept the discussion going. We were also fortunate to have Joanna Josephs join Don in his leadership role for the latter part of the journey. Joanna is a delightful person who sings, plays guitar and also has a vast knowledge of the area to include a good knowledge of the plant life in the region. She was a joy to have onboard! Our bus driver, Mike, was the icing on the cake. Not only was he personable, but he was incredibly accommodating. I highly, highly recommend this trip. It does indeed "have it all".
Wonderful experience--we saw some of the greatest sights our country has to offer in a period of 11 days. Highly recommended!
My wife and I just completed the Canyonlands Adventure program and we cannot recommend it highly enough! If you are fortunate to have Don Lago and Joanna Joseph as leaders you will be blessed indeed! The beauty and variety of the locales and events were beyond our wildest expectations. You MUST experience it...despite hundreds of pictures being there is the only way!
An amazing journey into the people, culture, grandeur, and majesty of the Southwest. I learned so much in 12 days with equally inquisitive participants with a guide who was second to none.
This tour was well organized, the sites were phenomenal and the experience was well worth the tuition.
They can look at my evaluation if they desire. Excellent program. We will definitely use them again. Program exceeded our expectations. Wonderful 12 days.
I found this trip to be quite incredibel. One of the reason the trip was incredible was due to our trip leaders, Jeff Strang and Jennifer Beltz. Their depth of knowledge, love of the geology, and history of the southwest was obvious. They made the learning experience powerful. They, explained things in terms that I could understand. From the grandeur of the Grand Canyon, floating down the Colorado River in Glen Canyon, the majestic cliffs of Bryce and Zion and Navajo National Monument Valley. Antelope Canyon was amazing. Thank you Road Scholar for making this a perfect vacation experience.
National parks are indeed a national treasure! Visitors during the shoulder season in late March benefit from fewer crowds at Grand Canyon, Bryce, and Zion Nat'l Parks. Road Scholar's staff with their background and experience make the trip memorable and worthwhile.
Very good value for the money. A number of world famous sites in one trip, good accommodations and meals. Winter trip is good, no crowds. But Roads Scholar failed to check that all places to visit, shuttles, etc. would be open when we were there. Disappointing, but overall trip very good.
Beautiful sites to visit, we got very lucky on the weather which was perfect. The weather at this time of year is a little bit risky but we got lucky. Benefits included fewer crowds and upgraded accommodations, although being early in the year meant that a few attractions were closed or under construction.
I found this trip to be quite incredible. One of the reason the trip was incredible was due to our trip leader, Dave Hall. His depth of knowledge on geology, particularly the Southwest, was obvious. But he made the learning experience powerful in that he could judge his audience in regard to our level of knowledge. Thus, he explained things in terms that all of us could understand. His love for this part of our country was clear. But what was really a winner was that he was funny and personable. He also worked very well with our bus driver, George, who was not just a bus driver. He was always on top of all needed details. What was also special was that he was always personable and a great guitar player and singer which we heard one night. 3/4ths the way through our trip, Joanna Joseph joined the trip who was similar to Dave- knowledgeable and personable as well as a great folk singer. The trip worked well because all three worked well together. I also loved the fact that when we were in Monument Valley and going down the Colorado river near Glen Canyon that we had Navajo guides. Their love of the land and willingness to share personal cultural and spiritual stories made the trip so special. I truly gained a much better sense of the Navajo culture than i had before. I thought the hotels were all good especially the one we stayed in when we were in Sedona and Zion National Park. The others were more than adequate. That was true of the food as well. One thing that I would recommend is that less printed marketing materials are sent out. Many of us are also environmentalists and getting this level of marketing seems wasteful. I think you should give people the option to receive marketing material electronically. The scale of the marketing is the one thing that seems inconsistant with Road Scholars non-for-profit status. But overall, i plan on doing more Road Scholar tours and have recommended this particular one to several friends.
I'd rate this trip an 11 out of 10!
Great Trip! Got a lot of bang for the buck, very informative and scenic
This trip provided the perfect opportunity to share an experience with like minded people who appreciate Nature and this country's beautiful Southwest. We had visited the places we visited on this trip on our own but this time we shared it with others and acquired knowledge and information from our group leader and others we never would have acquired on our own
This was a fantastic trip and a great value. Matt, Joanna and Alex (our driver) were all excellent. I would recommend this trip to all of my friends and I can’t wait to book another journey with Road Scholar.
This trip is accurately listed as a best value! If you haven't seen these sites, I don't know of a better way to do it unless walking a mile or so on an excursion has become an impossible achievement. The sights are truly amazing even if you have to do it at a slower pace as I did. The staff was very accommodating to encourage participation.
The Southwest Canyonlands experience was a wonderful way to see some of our country's best features! Overall great experience.
This was the trip of a lifetime, every day was better than the day before, yet every day was the best day! Landscape, history, culture, geology, accommodations, transportation (Mike), leadership (Jeff), friendships made, all exceptional. I'll definitely be doing another RS program.
The trip was wonderful. It exceeded my expectations. I will do another soon.
This Canyonland trip exceeded my expectations I will definitely recommend it to my friends.
The Absolute Southwest A Canyonlands Adventure tour, that we recently went on, is definitely one of the best trips we have ever experienced. We could never have packed in so many wonderful attractions for the price we paid, if we had to plan the trip ourselves. Sing Chung
Just returned from the Absolute Southwest-A Canyonlands Adventure. It was a wonderful program packed with awesome places to visit, and a wealth of information about the beautiful Southwest part of this country. I would highly recommend this program to anyone.
This was my third Road Scholar program, and the best yet! Can't beat the itinerary: the grandeur and beauty of the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Sedona, and Antelope Canyon, plus extras like an all-day jeep exploration of Monument Valley and lesser-known but even more interesting Mystery Valley, and a peaceful raft ride through spectacular Glen Canyon. Any single day would have made this a worthwhile trip; to have day after day of incredible experiences was amazing. Group leader Jeff Strang from Northern Arizona University was exceptional: knowledgeable and personable, he made sure we learned a lot but we had fun doing it, and as usual, we enjoyed the company of our fellow Road Scholars. Trip of a lifetime that exceeded my high expectations!
What an adventure! A busload of folks equipped with curiosity, eagerness and gumption, we made our way from Phoenix north, through sites of astounding geology and ancient human habitation. Matt, our learned geologist guide, and Alex, our skilled and kind driver, kept us informed and comfortable. We did have some challenges! Weather, for one. A downpour while rafting on the Colorado River. A thunder storm, power outage and snow in Grand Canyon. Then a bus breakdown near Bryce. All handled with the common sense of experience. and a large dose of patience and good humor. My photos memorialize the sites, but the camaraderie will make me smile for years to come. A splendid trip. Road Scholar does it again!
Finally got to see all these magnificent sights in the Southwest USA, and learned quite a bit about them as a bonus!
A wonderful experience visiting some of the most memorable and magical locations in the natural world.
This was a wonderful, informative trip with astoundingly beautiful scenery.
This trip was an AMAZING opportunity to see Southwestern area of the US. It far exceeded my expectations!!! The expertise/knowledge shared, number and beauty of sights seen, and the opportunity to interact with and learn from Native Americans was a blessing that I will always cherish!!! Many thanks to Northern Arizona University for partnering with Road Scholar to provide this unforgettable experience!!!!
The Canyonlands area is unique to the USA and should be on the agenda of anyone visiting the USA. The progamme not only shows the fabulous geography of this area, but also the social history, and present status, of the original, pre-European, inhabitants. Note that during "March Break" the parks will be crowded. If possible, you may want to take the tour during September or Ocotober.
If the Grand Canyon is on your "bucket list", I strongly recommend this program!
A great experience with lots of variety, including a raft trip on the Colorado and Navajo-led jeep tours through the reservation canyons. A highlight of the trip was staying at Gouldings Ledge in Monument Valley.
Programme delivered as advertised. Grand Canyon and others were very busy due to March Break. Might be better to take the programme in September or October.
The group leader, Jeff, was friendly, helpful, approachable and knowledgeable.
This program exceeded our expections! We really wanted to return to the Grand Canyon but mainly see Bryce and Zion National Parks. Well, we were in for a surprise at how much we enjoyed Monument Valley and the Page area. Everyday was something new, beautiful, and exciting. Our stay at Gouldings was especially nice. Jeff Strang, our leader, really made the trip. He was very knowledgeable, organized and had a great sense of humor. The hikes were great and not too difficult. We were blessed with perfect weather every day! I would recommend this trip to anyone who enjoyed and appreciates the outdoors.
This was a great program. As a geology student, I had to memorize the stratigraphy of the Grand Canyon 50 years ago. Getting to see it finally was a bucket list experience. I only regret that my poor knees did not allow a hike down to the bottom.
This program was just perfect, very educational and enjoyable. A great value and excellent way to see the Canyonlands area of the southwest and to learn about its geology, history and indigenous occupants.
This program provides a sampling of some of the most extraordinary and beautiful landscapes our country has to offer. It was natural beauty on steroids!
The south west Canyon trip exceeded all exceptions. We saw breath taking beautiful mountains, had great educational sessions on geology, native tribes, plants, and animals. Our guide shared stories of local history and events of the area. We will be going on more Road Scholar trips.
We just completed On The Road: Absolute Southwest- A Canyonlands Adventure (#8718OB). It was a fabulous trip with an incredible, knowledgeable and well organized leader. We saw some incredible scenery and learned so much about the history and geology of the area. I would recommend this trip to everyone.
We loved this trip! Road Scholar far exceeded our expectations. The program was thoughtfully planned with a good balance of activities and "down" time. Our guide, Matt Turner, enriched the experience with his depth of knowledge, sense of humor and superb organizational skills! We look forward to our next Road Scholar tour!
Covers a lot of ground, but comfortably, in an organized fashion.
Program exceeded my expectations. Road Scholar was recommended to me by relatives and I would highly recommend the Canyonlands Tour. Things I liked: variety of experiences, educational value, participants were always on time and interested in the subject presented. It was as if we had a common goal which we did essentially. Knowledge of tour guides. I would never have had the experiences on my own and in the time frame and for the price that RS provided.
Looking for a trip of a lifetime?? This is it!! A perfect combination of sightseeing, history, geology, amazing side trips and hidden gems! All perfectly planned for you so that you can relax and enjoy!!
This trip was phenomenal and exceeding my already high expectations from reading the itinerary. Highly recommended!
This trip provided a wonderful introduction to this fascinating part of the US. Even those in the group who had visited here before found something new. I hope I will have the opportunity to experience this area in greater depth on the future Road Scholar trips.
The Canyonlands adventure is an incredible value for the money. If you've ever wanted to see the Grand Canyon, Bryce, and Zion with well-qualified and engaging tour guides, this is for you.
I recently returned from a Road Scholar trip to the Southwest (an 11 day trip through Canyonland) and it was a tremendous experience. Everything about the program is top-notched; its tour guide(s) bus line and driver, hotels, and incredible destinations. It was educational, inspiring, and ultimately a life-changing experience for me. I loved every minute of it!
This trip is a great overview of the American Southwest. Amazing scenery, unique rock formations, interesting historical sites, and beautiful wilderness areas.