Painted Canyons of the West
Colorado National Monument, Moab, Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah’s Scenic Byways 12 & 24, Capitol Reef National Park, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Las Vegas
May 24, 2020 to June 1, 2020
9 Days – 11 Meals
Itinerary at a Glance
Day 1: May 24, 2020: Denver, Colorado – Tour Begins
If the Colorado River is a necklace, Utah’s five national parks are its jewels that sparkle with some of the most captivating scenery in the western United States. But first, you’ll start in the mile-high city of Denver and meet your fellow travelers at a welcome reception.
DAY 2: May 25, 2020: Denver – Grand Junction
The wild and unscarred Rocky Mountains are your traveling companions on the drive to Grand Junction. Look out at the romantic scenery as you drive past Glenwood Canyon, a product of the Colorado River carved more than 3 million years ago. Dine together as guests of our friends, the West family, and enjoy a wine tasting in the midst of Colorado wine country.
DAY 3: May 26, 2020: Grand Junction – Colorado National Monument – Moab, Utah
Set out to explore the Colorado National Monument this morning along the Rim Rock Drive. On what’s referred to by the locals as the “River Road,” the Upper Colorado Byway delivers you to Utah. As the iconic Fisher Towers loom over breathtaking mesas, make your way to the Red Cliffs Lodge, nestled along the banks of the Colorado River. Relax tonight at a cowboy BBQ where grilled steak is at the top of the menu.
DAY 4: May 27, 2020: Moab – Arches – Canyonlands – Dead Horse Point – Moab
Your journey through the otherworldly oases of two national parks begins today. Explore and discover the geological nuances of the world’s largest concentration of natural sandstone arches on a hike* at Arches National Park. At the heart of the Colorado Plateau, Canyonlands National Park is a sublime and solitary wilderness of rock; a color wheel of canyons, mesas, buttes, and arches that work together to create Utah’s largest national park. Close by, in the Island in the Sky District, the canyons of the Green and Colorado rivers are dreamily showcased. Your journey through these national parks ends today atop the sheer sandstone cliffs of Dead Horse Point State Park. Legend says the point was used as a corral for wild mustangs that roamed the mesa top.
DAY 5: May 28, 2020: Moab – Capitol Reef National Park – Bryce
Travel through the dramatic Utah desert on Utah’s Scenic Byway 24 to Capitol Reef National Park. Named in part for the Navajo Sandstone’s resemblance to the U.S. Capitol building, to stand inside its desert landscape is to find it virtually impossible to tell where the earth stops and the sky begins. Marvel at the Castle, an iconic feature in the park. Over Boulder Mountain on Scenic Byway 12, known as the Million Dollar Road, views of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument are anything but scarce. The mountain is North America’s highest timbered plateau. Spend the night in Bryce tonight, at the gateway to Bryce Canyon National Park.
DAY 6: May 29, 2020: Bryce Canyon National Park – Springdale
Fairy chimneys and goblins: the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Park are famous. These red and orange hued rock formations – products of thousands of years of wind and water exposure – dominate the park’s landscape. Perhaps you’ll choose to take a hike* this morning. Consider circuiting the Navajo Loop or Queens Garden trails. Just outside of Zion National Park, Springdale offers views from its main street that are almost equally as grand as the ones inside the park.
DAY 7: May 30, 2020: Springdale – Zion National Park – Springdale
There are few places on earth that match the beauty of the red and white sandstone cliffs of Zion. In this ethereal paradise, spend the entire day exploring. On Zion’s open-air tram, wind along the Virgin River through the 2,400 foot deep, half-mile wide Zion Canyon. This afternoon, it’s your choice! You may choose to hike* independently -OR- visit Zion’s Human History Museum. Tonight, enjoy the company of your travel companions at a farewell dinner.
DAY 8: May 31, 2020: Springdale – Las Vegas, Nevada
Nature’s spectacle is replaced by a spectacle of lights – a neon culture where everything is glamorous. Viva Las Vegas!
DAY 9: Jun 01, 2020: Las Vegas – Tour Ends – Memories of an unforgettable journey accompany you on your voyage home today.
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