8726
Utah
Natural Wonders of Utah's Canyons: Bryce, Zion and Grand Canyon
Rock out in the Grand Canyon and Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks as you learn about the colorful rocks, ancient geology and fossilized dinosaur tracks of this stunning region.
Rating (5)
Program No. 8726RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
899
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6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5 B 4 L 5 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
St. George, Utah
D
College Inn

Activity note: College Inn check-in 3:00-5:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table 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.

Dinner: We will transfer by motorcoach to Dixie State University for a delicious buffet dinner; coffee, tea (iced/hot), water included.

Evening: Orientation. Returning to the College Inn, the Group Leader will greet everyone, lead introductions, review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures and answer questions. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
National Parks, Snow Canyon, Saint George, Birds of Prey
St. George, Utah
B,L,D
College Inn

Activity note: Driving distance is approximately 15 miles. Hiking up to 1 mile; flat unpaved trail and paved city sidewalks. Elevations range from 2,500 feet in the city to 4,500 feet at Snow Canyon.

Breakfast: At the College Inn, the breakfast buffet includes hard boiled eggs, oatmeal, cereal, fruit, yogurt, pastries, toast, milk, juice, coffee, tea and water.

Morning: We will gather in the College Inn meeting room for a presentation by our Instructor on the geology, ecology, flora and fauna of Southern Utah's parks. The presentation will highlight geologic forces of deposition, uplift and erosion that shape these landscapes: Zion's precipitous canyon walls and massive monoliths, Bryce's thousands of spires and hoodoos, and the spectacular chasm of the Grand Canyon. We will then board our motorcoach for a 15-minute ride to Snow Canyon State Park. As we walk with our Instructor on nature trails among red sandstone formations, we will have an introduction to local geology: red rock cliffs, rolling mounds of petrified sand dunes, and lava (basalt) rock formations.

Lunch: At a café on the campus of Dixie State University, choose from an expansive selection from the food court including a fresh salad bar, home cooking, pizza, Asian and Mexican grill, and BBQ; fountain drinks, coffee, iced tea, water included; pre-packaged meals and bottled drinks available for purchase.

Afternoon: We will transfer by motorcoach to the Dinosaur Discovery Museum, one of the top ten dinosaur track sites in the world. Uncovered in 2000, it’s considered one of the most important discoveries in Early Jurassic paleontological history. Thanks to the owner of the site who donated it for scientific study, paleontologists have been able to reconstruct the ecosystem of nearly 200 million years ago. We will return to the College Inn for a presentation by a local historian who will then narrate a motorcoach tour of restored pioneer buildings and homes in Saint George.

Dinner: At a local restaurant enjoy a variety of menu and beverage choices from the extensive buffet.

Evening: At the College Inn we’ll be joined by a federally licensed eagle falconer for a presentation, "Birds of Prey," and see a live falcon, hawk and golden eagle. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning. Please have luggage on the curb beside the motorcoach 15 minutes before departure time.

DAY
3
Zion National Park
Kanab
B,L,D
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Kanab

Activity note: We will travel approximately 42 miles by motorcoach to Zion National Park. Hiking 2-3 miles for the day; mostly paved trails, some uneven and slippery terrain. Lower Emerald Pools is a 1.2 mile round trip on groomed trail with 70 foot elevation change. Riverside trail is a 2 mile round trip on a paved trail, mostly flat. Elevation of the park is approximately 4,000 feet.

Breakfast: At the College Inn, the breakfast buffet includes hard boiled eggs, oatmeal, cereal, fruit, yogurt, pastries, toast, milk, juice, coffee, tea and water.

Morning: Setting out from the College Inn, we will travel by motorcoach about one hour to Zion National Park. We will take the park shuttle to the Temple of Sinawava, a natural amphitheater, which is the trailhead for the Riverside Walk. From here, we walk on a fairly level, paved trail that follows the course of the Virgin River deep into the heart of Zion Canyon, viewing spring lines that provide water for lush hanging gardens and the home of the endangered Zion snail. Your Instructor will provide information about the Virgin River and Zion Canyon’s geology and plant habitat along the way.

Lunch: Returning to Zion Lodge, we’ll have a box lunch on the lawn that includes a sandwich, chips, cookie and fruit.

Afternoon: Next, we will gather for a short walk to Lower Emerald Pools on a paved trail. The trail crosses a bridge over the Virgin River and is in full sun for a short time as it follows the bank of the Virgin River. The trail ascends about 80 feet through a mixed, lushly-forested side canyon to a small waterfall, hanging gardens, and green pools of water. Here water seeps out the porous sandstone and provides a year-round water supply feeding abundant vegetation. We will then return to the motorcoach for a short transfer to the Zion Human History Museum. The exhibits here display the diverse human history of the Zion National Park area, specifically showcasing American Indian culture and pioneer settlement. After viewing the National Park Service video about Zion National Park, take some time to explore independently. We'll then return to the motorcoach, continue to Kanab, Utah and check in to our hotel.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we will have a plated dinner including coffee, iced tea, soda and water. Other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: We will gather in the hotel meeting room for a presentation by our Instructor regarding tomorrow's field trip to Bryce Canyon National Park.

DAY
4
Bryce Canyon National Park
Kanab
B,L,D
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Kanab

Activity note: Driving approximately 76 miles to Bryce Canyon National Park, approximately 1.5 hours. Hiking up to 2 miles for the day; uneven, unpaved trails with steep inclines and declines of about 350 feet. Elevation is approximately 8,000 feet at the rim of Bryce Canyon.

Breakfast: In the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers an extensive variety of hot and cold options.

Morning: We will travel to Bryce Canyon National Park for a full-day field trip. One of America's smaller national parks covering only 56 square miles, Bryce is located at 8,000 feet in elevation and is one of the most scenic and exceptional natural wonders. Bryce is renowned for its unique geological features, carved by nature into hoodoos and pinnacles of an amazing palette of colors. Upon arrival, we will hike from Bryce Point to Sunset Point with your Instructor.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, enjoy a variety of menu and beverage choices from an extensive buffet including a salad bar, soup, a variety of meats, vegetables, potatoes, and dessert bar; sodas, milk, coffee, tea (iced/hot) included; other beverages are available for purchase.

Afternoon: We will continue exploring Bryce Canyon on a hiking field trip below the rim on the Navajo Loop trail from Sunset Point connecting to the Queen's Garden trail and ascending to Sunrise Point. This hike descends through the slot canyon of Wall Street, where 500- to 700-year-old Douglas Firs reach upward toward the sunlight at the top of the canyon, and reaches the Canyon floor at Queen's Garden. We’ll then return via motorcoach to Kanab.

Dinner: At a local restaurant featuring homemade, Western-style cooking, we’ll have a plated meal; beverage choices of sodas, coffee, tea (iced/hot) included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Enjoy Kanab at your leisure. Your Group Leader can offer recommendations for activities. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
5
Grand Canyon North Rim
St. George, Utah
B,L,D
College Inn

Activity note: Driving approximately 80 miles to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, approximately 1.5 hours. Hiking up to 3.5 miles for the day, including one-half mile roundtrip on a paved, wheelchair-accessible trail to Bright Angel Point and 1 to 3 miles on unpaved Transept Trail in a forested area. Elevation approximately 8,300 feet.

Breakfast: In the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers an extensive variety of hot and cold options.

Morning: Checkout and depart via motorcoach for Grand Canyon National Park's North Rim. Upon arrival we'll take a short hike to Bright Angel Point for panoramic views of Transept, Bright Angel and Roaring Springs Canyons as well as part of the inner Grand Canyon and the south rim 10 miles distant. The view confirms the tremendous uplift that has occurred, leaving the canyon’s North Rim 1,000 feet higher than the South Rim.

Lunch: In the historic Grand Canyon North Rim Lodge, we’ll have a buffet lunch; beverage choices of sodas, coffee, tea (iced/hot) included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Next, we will hike the Transept trail along the rim through a majestic Ponderosa Pine Forest with multiple Canyon overlooks. We will return via motorcoach to St. George and check back in to the College Inn with some time to freshen up and relax before dinner.

Dinner: In one of Dixie State University's banquet rooms, we will have our farewell dinner, a buffet with beverage choices of coffee and iced tea. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: We will return to the College Inn and prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
St. George, Utah
B

Activity note: College Inn check-out by 10 a.m. Please talk to the desk if you need to store luggage.

Breakfast: At the College Inn, the breakfast buffet includes hard boiled eggs, oatmeal, cereal, fruit, yogurt, pastries, toast, milk, juice, coffee, tea and water. This concludes our program.

Morning: 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 another rewarding program in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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