Explore the stunning landscapes and rich history of the American Southwest during gentle hikes through four distinctly different parklands in Utah and Colorado.  

Starting at: $3,825 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Delicate Arch, Arches National Park  Vista of Arches National Park. Credit: Fadhillah Azman  Night sky over Delicate Arch.  Credit: Jason Harfield  The Colorado River in Canyonlands National Park  Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park  Monument Valley  Monument Valley  The cliff dwelling of Mesa Verde  The cliff dwelling of Mesa Verde

National Parks of the American Southwest

From Utah to Colorado

7 days from $3,825

Explore the stunning landscapes and rich history of the American Southwest during gentle hikes through four distinctly different parklands in Utah and Colorado.  

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

Explore the stunning landscapes and rich history of the American Southwest during gentle hikes through four distinctly different parklands in Utah and Colorado. 

Highlights Include:

  • Arches National Park (est. 1929): This small jewel of the national park system contains the world’s largest concentration of natural sandstone arches and other unusual rock formations. See over 20 arches during your walks, including the famous Delicate Arch. 
  • Canyonlands National Park (est. 1964): Hike through the renowned canyons carved out by the Colorado and Green Rivers. Some walks provide spectacular vistas while others follow trails into canyons, over slickrock, and through the bizarre rock world of the Needles District. 
  • Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park (est. 1964): Stand in awe at some of the most definitive images of the American West—red mesas and immense free-standing rock formations—which lie within the Navajo Nation. Learn about this wilderness and the history of the Navajo from your local Navajo guide. 
  • Mesa Verde National Park (est. 1906): Look into the lives of the ancestral Puebloan people who lived here for more than 700 years and visit some of the most notable archaeological sites. 

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.

Itinerary

Day 1 — Arrive in Durango, Colorado

Arrive in Durango by late afternoon in time for a welcome reception and dinner this night in your historic downtown Durango hotel.  

Day 2 — Durango to Arches National Park

After breakfast this morning, enjoy a full day to explore the wonders of Arches National Park. This small jewel of the national park system contains the world’s largest concentration of natural sandstone arches and other unusual rock formations. Today’s walks may include the Windows, Devil’s Garden, and the very long Landscape Arch. All in all, you will see over 20 arches, including the famous Delicate Arch. (B,L,D)

Day 3 — Canyonlands National Park

Today, visit Canyonlands National Park, an area that preserves innumerable canyons, plateaus, and buttes that have been carved out by the Colorado and Green Rivers and their tributaries. The landscape in the Island in the Sky District of the park is striking, where a sheer-walled mesa is surrounded by rugged canyons. Next, stop at Dead Horse Point, which offers a different perspective with sweeping views of Canyonlands National Park. (B,L,D) 

Day 4 — Canyonlands National Park and Newspaper Rock State Historic Monument

Begin the day at Newspaper Rock State Historical Monument, which features a flat rock with one of the largest known collections of petroglyphs. The rock art was carved by Native Americans during both prehistoric and historic periods spanning more than 2,000 years. No one can explain with certainty the reason for the concentration of petroglyphs, providing a good mystery to contemplate. 

Move on to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park and follow trails into canyons, over slickrock, and through the bizarre rock world that comprises this part of the park. Hikes may include Cave Springs and Elephant Hill. At hiking day’s end, travel to Bluff and settle into your new lodging. (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Monument Valley

This morning leave Bluff for Monument Valley, an area you may recognize from old John Wayne Westerns. The red mesas and free-standing rock formations, reaching up to 1,000 feet tall, are some of the most enduring and definitive images of the American West. The valley lies within the Navajo Nation, and the group will be joined by a local Navajo guide. Take a six-hour jeep tour, with frequent stops for sight-seeing, walking and enjoying an authentic Navajo lunch. You will delve deep into the wilderness and into the Navajo perspective of history as explained by your guide. A number of iconic formations are on the route of this photo safari, including the Mittens, Elephant Butte, Camel Butte, and the North Window.

After an authentic Navajo lunch, see Sand Springs, Yei Bi Chei, and the Totem Pole for more photo opportunities. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Mesa Verde National Park

This morning, cross the border back into Colorado and stop at the Four Corners Monument where Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico come together.  Continuing on, arrive at Mesa Verde National Park by mid-late morning.  This will be a terrific day, with plenty of time to explore and experience this unique national park.

Mesa Verde, which means “green table” in Spanish, offers a spectacular look into the lives of the ancestral Puebloan people who lived here for a period of over 700 years, from 600 A.D. to 1300 A.D. The park contains over 4,000 known archaeological sites, and you’ll see some of the most notable and best preserved Puebloan ruins in the United States. A local guide explains this exceptional trove of ancestral Puebloan history.

Arrive in Durango in time to check into your room and freshen up before the group gathers for a farewell dinner in the heart of this historic town. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Depart Durango

Gather your memories of the week, absorb the ambience of this beautiful place one more time, and head to the airport for your connections home. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)