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National Parks of the Southwest

From $4,195
total price land only
Tour Days
11 days
Tour Membership
12-24 guests

Overview

It’s a land of scenes epic in scope, from the immense Grand Canyon and the winding Colorado to the sandstone spires of Bryce and the red-rock cliffs and chasms of Zion.  It’s the Southwest, which our small group celebrates at favorite national parks and preserves.  And, wrote author Wallace Stegner, it’s America’s “best idea.”

Tour Details

National Parks of the Southwest

From $4,195

total price land only

Tour Days
11 days

Tour Membership
12-24 guests

Tour Days
11 days

Tour Membership
12-24 guests

Overview

It’s a land of scenes epic in scope, from the immense Grand Canyon and the winding Colorado to the sandstone spires of Bryce and the red-rock cliffs and chasms of Zion.  It’s the Southwest, which our small group celebrates at favorite national parks and preserves.  And, wrote author Wallace Stegner, it’s America’s “best idea.”

Small Group Highlights

  • Spectacular Southwest scenery
  • Immersive experiences in three national parks
  • Open-air Jeep tour of Sedona’s red-rock landscape
  • World-renowned Grand Canyon
  • Lake Powell stay
  • Motorized rafting excursion on Colorado River
  • “Flowing” rock walls of Antelope Canyon
  • Hikes in national parks
  • Natural hoodoo rock formations of Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Zion National Park’s diverse landscapes and wildlife

Day-by-Day Itinerary

Please note: This trip involves considerable walking on uneven terrain in a natural environment.  You should be in good physical condition to enjoy the tour to the fullest. While not severe, elevations at some hotel locations (Grand Canyon at 6,800 ft. and Bryce Canyon at 8,000 ft.) could pose problems for guests with certain health conditions.  You should consult your personal physician if you have concerns.

B
= Breakfast Included
L
= Lunch Included
D
= Dinner Included
1
Depart for Phoenix, Arizona
D
D
Depart for Phoenix, Arizona

We depart today for Phoenix, Arizona.  As guests’ arrival times may vary, we have the day at leisure to explore Arizona’s capital city as we wish.  This afternoon we check in at our hotel, where we enjoy a welcome briefing and dinner together.

We depart today for Phoenix, Arizona.  As guests’ arrival times may vary, we have the day at leisure to explore Arizona’s capital city as we wish.  This afternoon we check in at our hotel, where we enjoy a welcome briefing and dinner together.

2
Phoenix
B
B
Phoenix

This morning we visit the acclaimed Desert Botanical Garden, the 140-acre tribute to the flora of the Sonoran desert.  With more than 4,000 species of plants, including almost 500 rare and endangered types, the Botanical Garden features nature paths and walking trails showcasing the beauty of the desert environment.  We continue on to Old Town Scottsdale, the city’s historic core, where we have free time to browse the shops and galleries and enjoy lunch on our own.  Then we return to our hotel, where the remainder of the day is at leisure to enjoy the outdoor pool and other amenities.  Dinner tonight is on our own.

This morning we visit the acclaimed Desert Botanical Garden, the 140-acre tribute to the flora of the Sonoran desert.  With more than 4,000 species of plants, including almost 500 rare and endangered types, the Botanical Garden features nature paths and walking trails showcasing the beauty of the desert environment.  We continue on to Old Town Scottsdale, the city’s historic core, where we have free time to browse the shops and galleries and enjoy lunch on our own.  Then we return to our hotel, where the remainder of the day is at leisure to enjoy the outdoor pool and other amenities.  Dinner tonight is on our own.

3
Phoenix/Sedona/Williams
B
D
B
D
Phoenix/Sedona/Williams

We leave Phoenix today bound for Williams, a short distance from the Grand Canyon.  First, though, we’re headed to Sedona, one of the most striking spots in the American Southwest.  Famed for its range of towering red sandstone formations, Sedona ranks as a popular destination for artists, filmmakers, photographers, mountain bikers, and hikers.  We have time for lunch on our own and to do some exploring before we encounter this dazzling landscape in style as we take a Pink Jeep tour for an educational off-road excursion.  Winding over dirt roads, we enjoy stunning panoramic views and learn about the region’s cultural and geological history on this guided tour to Honanki Heritage Site, a 700-year-old Sinaguan cliff dwelling.  Then we continue north to our hotel, a few blocks from Route 66. We dine together tonight.

We leave Phoenix today bound for Williams, a short distance from the Grand Canyon.  First, though, we’re headed to Sedona, one of the most striking spots in the American Southwest.  Famed for its range of towering red sandstone formations, Sedona ranks as a popular destination for artists, filmmakers, photographers, mountain bikers, and hikers.  We have time for lunch on our own and to do some exploring before we encounter this dazzling landscape in style as we take a Pink Jeep tour for an educational off-road excursion.  Winding over dirt roads, we enjoy stunning panoramic views and learn about the region’s cultural and geological history on this guided tour to Honanki Heritage Site, a 700-year-old Sinaguan cliff dwelling.  Then we continue north to our hotel, a few blocks from Route 66. We dine together tonight.

4
Williams/Grand Canyon
B
B
Williams/Grand Canyon

It’s a day to remember as we visit one of the country’s most famous natural landmarks: the Grand Canyon.  A wonder of the natural world, this UNESCO site stretches nearly 300 miles through and 10 miles across the Arizona desert.  We see awe-inspiring vistas: banded layers of rock rise to plateaus and bluffs thousands of feet overhead, while the mighty Colorado River rushes one mile below.  On our guided tour, we learn about the canyon’s geological history, and also about human history here: it dates back some 10,000 years and includes Native peoples, explorers, miners, entrepreneurs, conservationists, and of course, visitors, who today number some six million annually.  Then we have time for lunch on our own and an afternoon and evening at leisure to appreciate the magnitude and beauty of the six-million-year-old canyon as we wish.  After this bucket-list day, dinner tonight is on our own.

It’s a day to remember as we visit one of the country’s most famous natural landmarks: the Grand Canyon.  A wonder of the natural world, this UNESCO site stretches nearly 300 miles through and 10 miles across the Arizona desert.  We see awe-inspiring vistas: banded layers of rock rise to plateaus and bluffs thousands of feet overhead, while the mighty Colorado River rushes one mile below.  On our guided tour, we learn about the canyon’s geological history, and also about human history here: it dates back some 10,000 years and includes Native peoples, explorers, miners, entrepreneurs, conservationists, and of course, visitors, who today number some six million annually.  Then we have time for lunch on our own and an afternoon and evening at leisure to appreciate the magnitude and beauty of the six-million-year-old canyon as we wish.  After this bucket-list day, dinner tonight is on our own.

5
Grand Canyon/Page/Antelope Canyon/Lake Powell
B
D
B
D
Grand Canyon/Page/Antelope Canyon/Lake Powell

Today we travel to Page, Arizona, gateway to the imposing Glen Canyon Dam and its reservoir, Lake Powell.  After reaching Page early this afternoon, we have lunch on our own then visit the sinuous – and spectacular – Upper Antelope Canyon.  We travel onto Navajo land to reach this slot canyon, known to local tribes as “the place where water runs through rocks” – and one of the most photographed slot canyons in the world.  Our tour through this stunning passageway reveals red-orange walls of “flowing” rock rising to heights of nearly 120 feet – the narrow canyon’s hard edges smoothed away by eons of water and sand erosion.  We check in at our lakeside hotel this afternoon and then enjoy dinner together there tonight.

Today we travel to Page, Arizona, gateway to the imposing Glen Canyon Dam and its reservoir, Lake Powell.  After reaching Page early this afternoon, we have lunch on our own then visit the sinuous – and spectacular – Upper Antelope Canyon.  We travel onto Navajo land to reach this slot canyon, known to local tribes as “the place where water runs through rocks” – and one of the most photographed slot canyons in the world.  Our tour through this stunning passageway reveals red-orange walls of “flowing” rock rising to heights of nearly 120 feet – the narrow canyon’s hard edges smoothed away by eons of water and sand erosion.  We check in at our lakeside hotel this afternoon and then enjoy dinner together there tonight.

6
Page/Colorado River/Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
B
L
D
B
L
D
Page/Colorado River/Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Our long but incredibly scenic day of travel begins with a rousing motorized rafting excursion on the smooth waters of the Colorado River.  Controlled by a series of dams and reservoirs, the river provides hydroelectric power, irrigation, and municipal water supply to nearly 40 million people in the western U.S. Today we'll both motor and drift between soaring sandstone cliffs while on the lookout for ancient Native American petroglyphs on the canyon walls, as well as local wildlife.  We continue on to southern Utah and Bryce Canyon National Park, stopping for lunch along the way.  We dine together tonight.

Our long but incredibly scenic day of travel begins with a rousing motorized rafting excursion on the smooth waters of the Colorado River.  Controlled by a series of dams and reservoirs, the river provides hydroelectric power, irrigation, and municipal water supply to nearly 40 million people in the western U.S. Today we'll both motor and drift between soaring sandstone cliffs while on the lookout for ancient Native American petroglyphs on the canyon walls, as well as local wildlife.  We continue on to southern Utah and Bryce Canyon National Park, stopping for lunch along the way.  We dine together tonight.

7
Bryce Canyon National Park
B
D
B
D
Bryce Canyon National Park

Despite its name, Bryce isn’t truly a canyon at all, but a series of natural cliffs and amphitheaters carved into the region’s plateaus.  The result: a stunning array of hoodoos, natural stone pillars and spires reminiscent of a child’s drip sandcastle.  Thousands of these delicate structures stand side by side along the canyon’s ridgelines, lending a dramatic atmosphere to this remote location.  In the park’s visitor center, we see a film about the unusual geology here then have the day free to explore at our own pace.  Our full day of natural splendor concludes with dinner together tonight.

Despite its name, Bryce isn’t truly a canyon at all, but a series of natural cliffs and amphitheaters carved into the region’s plateaus.  The result: a stunning array of hoodoos, natural stone pillars and spires reminiscent of a child’s drip sandcastle.  Thousands of these delicate structures stand side by side along the canyon’s ridgelines, lending a dramatic atmosphere to this remote location.  In the park’s visitor center, we see a film about the unusual geology here then have the day free to explore at our own pace.  Our full day of natural splendor concludes with dinner together tonight.

8
Bryce Canyon National Park/Zion National Park
B
D
B
D
Bryce Canyon National Park/Zion National Park

We depart this morning for Zion National Park, another celebrated Utah destination.  Upon arrival at midday, we have lunch on our own and then begin our visit at Zion’s nearby visitor center, where we learn about this inimitable region that encompasses four separate biomes: desert, riparian (or riverbank), woodland, and coniferous forest.  Zion itself is so named for the 15-mile-long, 2,500-foot-deep Zion Canyon cutting through the park’s western half.  We get our first taste of Zion’s wonders this afternoon and then enjoy dinner together this evening.

We depart this morning for Zion National Park, another celebrated Utah destination.  Upon arrival at midday, we have lunch on our own and then begin our visit at Zion’s nearby visitor center, where we learn about this inimitable region that encompasses four separate biomes: desert, riparian (or riverbank), woodland, and coniferous forest.  Zion itself is so named for the 15-mile-long, 2,500-foot-deep Zion Canyon cutting through the park’s western half.  We get our first taste of Zion’s wonders this afternoon and then enjoy dinner together this evening.

9
Zion National Park
B
B
Zion National Park

We spend the day amid the wondrous natural world of Zion National Park.  Despite its modest size, Zion counts as one of the most diverse national parks in the United States.  Deserts and forests, rivers and canyons, buttes and natural arches all greet us here, along with numerous plant and animal species.  As with most of the Southwest, the area is dominated by red-rock bluffs that show eons of sediment buildup; indeed, the rock formations here represent about 150 million years of geological history.  We take a hike here then have ample free time for exploration and lunch and dinner on our own.

We spend the day amid the wondrous natural world of Zion National Park.  Despite its modest size, Zion counts as one of the most diverse national parks in the United States.  Deserts and forests, rivers and canyons, buttes and natural arches all greet us here, along with numerous plant and animal species.  As with most of the Southwest, the area is dominated by red-rock bluffs that show eons of sediment buildup; indeed, the rock formations here represent about 150 million years of geological history.  We take a hike here then have ample free time for exploration and lunch and dinner on our own.

10
Zion National Park/St. George/Las Vegas, Nevada
B
D
B
D
Zion National Park/St. George/Las Vegas, Nevada

En route to Las Vegas today, we stop in St. George, Utah, site of the winter home of Mormon leader Brigham Young and where the Mojave Desert, Colorado Plateau, and Great Basin converge in a stunning setting.  We have time to explore and have lunch on our own before we continue on to Las Vegas, arriving late this afternoon.  Tonight, we celebrate our Southwestern sojourn at a farewell dinner.

En route to Las Vegas today, we stop in St. George, Utah, site of the winter home of Mormon leader Brigham Young and where the Mojave Desert, Colorado Plateau, and Great Basin converge in a stunning setting.  We have time to explore and have lunch on our own before we continue on to Las Vegas, arriving late this afternoon.  Tonight, we celebrate our Southwestern sojourn at a farewell dinner.

11
Depart Las Vegas
B
B
Depart Las Vegas

This morning we transfer to the Las Vegas airport for our flights home

This morning we transfer to the Las Vegas airport for our flights home

Tour Price Includes

  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities (or may be purchased as land only)
  • 10 nights’ accommodations in Deluxe, Superior First Class, and First Class hotels
  • 18 meals: 10 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 7 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for dining room servers, hotel porters, rafting guides, and all drivers
  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after 3 tours; $300 after 10 tours)

Average Daily High by Month (°F )

  Mar Apr May Sep Oct Nov
Grand Canyon 54 61 72 76 65 54
Page (Lake Powell) 64 70 80 85 71 54
Springdale (Zion) 65 73 83 88 75 62

Average Temperature (°F )

  Mar Apr May Sep Oct Nov
Grand Canyon 54 61 72 76 65 54
Page (Lake Powell) 64 70 80 85 71 54
Springdale (Zion) 65 73 83 88 75 62

Dates & Prices

Please wait while we retrieve this information.

Tour Directors

Cheryl Kobayashi

“Our tour director Cheryl Kobayashi was phenomenal. 100% professional, courteous, engaged, knowledgeable, and kind."

Susan Zabatta
Kingston, New York

Linda Rome

“Linda Rome was always friendly [and] wearing a smile.”

Lorraine Knight
Rapid City, MI

Joseph Turco

“Jay Turco as a tour guide was very knowledgeable and attentive to all travelers. I rate him a 10.”

Alexander Green III
Leesburg, VA

Brady Maughan

“Brady is a great tour director. He loves the great outdoors and is very knowledgeable. He made every effort to address the various levels of activity and interests of the group.”

Ronald & JoAnne Roberts
Batavia, OH

Donna Hackler

“Donna was excellent – personal and professional.”

Fred & Diane Ernst
Rivervale, NJ

Steve Walker

“Steve was knowledgeable, courteous, helpful – I can’t imagine a better tour director!”

Keith & Sandra Rogers
Cary, NC

Tour Directors

Joseph Turco

“Jay Turco as a tour guide was very knowledgeable and attentive to all travelers. I rate him a 10.”

Alexander Green III
Leesburg, VA

Brady Maughan

“Brady is a great tour director. He loves the great outdoors and is very knowledgeable. He made every effort to address the various levels of activity and interests of the group.”

Ronald & JoAnne Roberts
Batavia, OH

Donna Hackler

“Donna was excellent – personal and professional.”

Fred & Diane Ernst
Rivervale, NJ

Cheryl Kobayashi

“Our tour director Cheryl Kobayashi was phenomenal. 100% professional, courteous, engaged, knowledgeable, and kind."

Susan Zabatta
Kingston, New York

Steve Walker

“Steve was knowledgeable, courteous, helpful – I can’t imagine a better tour director!”

Keith & Sandra Rogers
Cary, NC

Linda Rome

“Linda Rome was always friendly [and] wearing a smile.”

Lorraine Knight
Rapid City, MI

Destination Insights

Exploring...

Recommended Books & Films

Exploring...

Guest Photos & Testimonials

Bucket list trip. We had only been to Phoenix and Vegas and we found new things in each…I kept thinking it can’t get better, but each site was better than the last!
Marceline Newman
San Antonio, TX
Great tour, great group (which has always been true with Odysseys tours), and excellent accommodations.
John & Helen Copley
Fredericksburg, VA
[All] of the planned activities were enjoyable. I also enjoyed the activities our tour director suggested we do as part of our free time. And my fellow tour mates were all so friendly and fun.
Lori Takeuchi
Oakland, CA
Bucket list trip. We had only been to Phoenix and Vegas and we found new things in each…I kept thinking it can’t get better, but each site was better than the last!
Marceline Newman
San Antonio, TX
Great tour, great group (which has always been true with Odysseys tours), and excellent accommodations.
John & Helen Copley
Fredericksburg, VA
[All] of the planned activities were enjoyable. I also enjoyed the activities our tour director suggested we do as part of our free time. And my fellow tour mates were all so friendly and fun.
Lori Takeuchi
Oakland, CA
Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET

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