A Sample Full 7-Day Scenic Tour of American Southwest Parks
sample tour itinerary from Las Vegas, nevada to Phoenix, arizona
All our itineraries are custom designed for your specific tour needs. This is just a sample itinerary.
This tour includes the following major points of interest, parks, and activities:
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Zion Canyon National Park
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Antelope Canyon Navajo Guided Tour
- Lake Powell
- Monument Valley Navajo Park and a Navajo back-country guided tour
- Navajo Indian Lands
- Painted Desert
- Grand Canyon National Park
- Sedona, Arizona
- Jerome ghost town, historically the largest copper mining camp in Arizona
- Indian Ruins
- Phoenix, Arizona and the Sonoran Desert
Day 1 ~ Relax in Las Vegas
Meet your tour guide and check into your hotel, starting at 3:00pm. Enjoy the glamorous Las Vegas Strip or relax at the comfortable Courtyard Inn and Suites to prepare for your tour.
Accommodations: Las Vegas, Nevada near the Las Vegas strip
Day 2 ~ Find Breathtaking Sanctuary in Zion National Park
As Utah's oldest and most visited national park, Zion’s topography is an exquisite spectacle of canyon–mesa country. Encompassing one of the most scenic cliff-and-canyon landscapes in the USA, Zion’s 229 square miles (593 km) are internationally known for their dramatic canyons, towering rock faces, overhanging cliffs, sparkling waterfalls, hanging valleys, high plateaus, rock formations, dripping springs, shaded pools, and particularly for the Virgin River Narrows – one of the premier hikes on the Colorado Plateau. The word Zion is ancient Hebrew meaning a place of refuge or sanctuary, and Zion National Park is just that – an exquisite respite from the surrounding world.
Accommodations:Just outside of Zion National Park, Utah
Day 3 ~ See the Color Kaleidoscope of Bryce Canyon National Park
Located in southwestern Utah, Bryce Canyon National Park is a geologic masterpiece considered by many to be the most colorful of all the National Parks. Sometimes referred to as a forest of stone, Bryce is unique due to its thousands of delicately carved spires, called hoodoos, which rise in brilliant color from the canyon floor. Centuries of wind, water, and geologic mayhem have etched what was once mere sedimentary rock into towering pinnacles and immense amphitheaters. These superb formations stretch for miles along the eastern edge of the 9,000 foot high (2,743 meters) Paunsaugunt Plateau. Evening and early morning light brings the brilliant hues of these formations to life, giving them a lustrous transparent glow.
Accommodations: Just outside of Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Day 4 ~ Varieties in Stone and Water at Lake Powell and Antelope Canyon
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area encloses one of nature's most inspirational settings, underscored by an epically ambitious human achievement, the colossal Glen Canyon Dam. Behind the dam, the waters of the Colorado River and its tributaries are backed up into the ravines and gorges of Glen Canyon, forming Lake Powell. With nearly 2,000 miles (3,218K) of stunning red-rock shoreline, Lake Powell is not only one of the largest man-made lakes in the USA, but also one of the most scenic. This contrasting assortment of captivating, water-filled canyons has become one of America's premier destinations for outdoor water sports.
Casual tourists often overlook Antelope Canyon because it is not a national or state park. However, Antelope Canyon is instantly recognizable as one of the most-photographed slot canyons in the American Southwest. Its narrow passages, intricately carved sandstone, gently undulating curves and hollows varying from 3 to 9 feet (1 to 3 meters) wide, and occasional shafts of radiating sunlight piercing through the soft colors and shadows are unsurpassed in breathtaking tranquility. You will take a Navajo-guided walking tour through parts of Antelope Canyon.
Accommodations: Lake Powell Resort – Page, Arizona
Day 5 ~ Mingle with Monuments of Nature
Monument Valley is instantly recognizable as the sweeping backdrop of the classic Southwest. A striking panorama of windswept desert punctuated by immense sandstone monoliths ascending some 1,000 feet (304 meters) above the earth, this desolate countryside evokes a timelessness that few others can. Monument Valley has been chosen for the setting of over 16 major motion pictures, including the unforgettable John Wayne films Stagecoach and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, as well as countless commercials, making it easily one of the most recognizable, beautiful, and legendary landscapes in the world.
Accommodations: near Monument Valley
Day 6 ~ The Compelling Grand Canyon
Worthy of its rank as one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon overwhelms the senses and captivates the imagination with its spectacular combination of incredible scale, dramatic views, awe-inspiring rock formations, and untamed beauty. Over a mile deep (1.6 Km) at its deepest point, 18 miles (29 Km) across at its widest, and 277 river miles (446 Km) long, the Grand Canyon is deemed to be one of the world’s most visually commanding landscapes, an immensely majestic gorge with temple-like bluffs; plummeting depths; fiery chestnut cliffs, towering plateaus; and vibrant, labyrinthine topography dappled with deserts, plains, forests, mesas, lava flows, cinder cones, streams, waterfalls, and one of America’s premier whitewater rivers.
Not only is the Grand Canyon a crowning gem in America’s national park system, but as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Canyon is considered to be of outstanding significance to the common heritage of the entire human race. John Wesley Powell, the one-armed Civil War veteran who took three months to explore the Grand Canyon by boat in 1869, described its stunning vastness as “the most sublime spectacle in nature,” saying of it that, “the glories and the beauties of form, color, and sound unite in the Grand Canyon - forms unrivaled even by the mountains, colors that vie with sunsets, and sounds that span the diapason from tempest to tinkling raindrop, from cataract to bubbling fountain.”
Enjoy an evening sunset over the Grand Canyon's South Rim.
Accommodations: Just outside Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Day 7, April 29 ~ Be Inspired In Red Rock Country
After a morning tour of various views along the Grand Canyon’s South Rim, you will reach the end of the Colorado Plateau and descend into scenic Sedona, Arizona.
Soaring above Flagstaff, you will see the picturesque San Francisco Peaks, the highest mountains in Arizona. Rising more than a mile above the surrounding Coconino National Forest, the San Francisco Peaks are a prominent feature of the southern Colorado Plateau. Thought by some geologists to be the remains of a large strata-volcano similar to Mt. St. Helens in Washington State, the Peaks rise in dramatic isolation to over 12,000 feet. They are often visible from more than one hundred miles away.
Designated by USA Weekend Magazine as "The Most Beautiful Place in America,” picturesque Sedona makes the rugged West comfortable and inviting. Situated at the mouth of magnificent Oak Creek Canyon, cooled by the enchanting flow of Oak Creek, and punctuated by dramatic monoliths in the surrounding red rock country, Sedona’s exuberant beauty is irresistible.
Accommodations: Sedona, Arizona
Day 8 ~ Castle Ruins and a Ghost Town
Clinging obstinately to the steeply inclined mountainside of nearby 5,200-foot (1,585 meters) Cleopatra Hill is legendary Jerome, historically the largest copper mining camp in Arizona. Once a notorious Wild West town and the fourth largest city in Arizona Territory, Jerome is now America’s largest ghost town, housing a mere 350 citizens in its intricately terraced municipality.
Between Sedona and Phoenix, you will visit the ageless ruins at Montezuma Castle, built under overhanging cliffs that are a hundred feet above the banks of the small Beaver Creek. Built by the Sinagua (“without water” in Spanish) people, this is a beautiful piece of architecture five stories high with over twenty rooms in the pueblo. Montezuma Castle is one of the best preserved Indian ruins in the Southwest.
Accommodations: Phoenix or Tempe, Arizona
Day 9 ~ Departure