Experience the majesty of Arizona and Utah’s canyon country, exploring three legendary national parks—Bryce, Zion, and the Grand Canyon—and enjoying outdoor adventures in Sedona and Lake Powell.

Starting at: $4,595 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Panorama of Bryce Canyon National Park  The Grand Canyon and the Colorado River  Swirling rock formations of Upper Antelope Canyon  Zion National Park  Sedona landscape  Cathedral Rock, Sedona  Panorama of the Grand Canyon  Upper Antelope Canyon  Hoodoos of Bryce National Park  Overlook, Zion National Park  Along the water, Zion National Park  The massive sandstone cliffs of Zion National Park

Bryce, Zion, and the Grand Canyon

10-11 days from $4,595

Experience the majesty of Arizona and Utah’s canyon country, exploring three legendary national parks—Bryce, Zion, and the Grand Canyon—and enjoying outdoor adventures in Sedona and Lake Powell.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details


The Smithsonian is known worldwide for excellence in all that they do. This trip was no exception. I will choose them for my next natural history adventure. 

- Dan, H.


See All Journeys Dispatches ››


* Click on hotel name to visit hotel web-site.

Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort

Phoenix, Arizona, United States

The sprawling Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort provides a relaxing retreat with an endless array of amenities. The resort offers two restaurants and a pool bar, eight swimming pools with rock features and waterfalls, 18-hole championship golf course, lighted tennis courts, fitness center, full spa with a range of treatments, laundry service, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, separate living space, minibar, coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

Note: for 2023 departures, guests will spend 2 nights at this hotel.

Number of nights: 1

Grand Canyon Railway Hotel

Williams, Arizona, United States

Originally built in 1995, the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel was designed to resemble the historic Fray Marcus Hotel, one of the original hotels run by the Fred Harvey Company. The 298-room hotel is right next door to the train depot and just a block away from downtown Williams and historic Route 66. Parts of the original structure house the Grand Canyon Railway gift shop and company offices, while the historic depot is in use and open to the public. The current Grand Canyon Railway Hotel is located right across the lawn from the original hotel.  The hotel has both a restaurant and pub, business center, indoor pool, hot tub, and exercise room.

Number of nights: 1

Kachina Lodge

Grand Canyon, Arizona, United States

Situated directly on the canyon rim, the location cannot be any better to partake in the incredible views and ambiance that the Grand Canyon offers. The rooms are basic, but comfortable, and have either one king bed or two queen beds. Guest room amenities include full bath, refrigerator, coffeemaker, flat screen television with satellite TV, telephone, hairdryer and safe. There are no microwaves.

Number of nights: 1

Lake Powell Resort

Page, AZ, United States

Located at Wahweap Marina on the shores of Lake Powell, the resort is an ideal base for exploring the lake and its surroundings. The resort features comfortable lodging and suites, a slew of restaurants to choose from, two swimming pools and a sauna, and a fitness center. Activities on Lake Powell, from boat rides to fishing, can be arranged through the hotel.

Number of nights: 1

Best Western Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel

Bryce Canyon, Utah, United States

Rustic, spacious, and comfortable, this hotel is nestled just a 10 minute drive from the red rock cliffs of Bryce Canyon National Park.  It features spacious common areas, a restaurant, fitness center, pool, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, and laundry and dry cleaning services.  The dining room provides a lodge-like atmosphere complete with wooden beams stretching across the vaulted ceilings, and a brick fireplace in the center of the room.  Each of the 164 air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, coffee maker, microwave, in-room safe, minibar, and TV.

Number of nights: 2

Hampton Inn & Suites Springdale/Zion National Park

Springdale, Utah, United States

Hampton Inn & Suites Springdale/Zion National Park is set amidst the magnificent red rock cliffs of Zion National Park, adjacent to the Virgin River. Recently constructed in 2013, the hotel features modern décor and amenities. Conveniently located 1 mile from the entrance of Zion National Park (with free shuttle services), the hotel is also within close walking distance of downtown Springdale with quaint shops, cafes, dining and art galleries. Hotel amenities include complimentary WiFi internet access, fitness center, outdoor heated swimming pool, hot tub and fireplace, and a 24-hour business center. Each spacious guest room is equipped with satellite TV, telephone, mini fridge, iron/ironing board, and private bath with hairdryer.

Number of nights: 2

Westin Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

The Westin Las Vegas enjoys an ideal location: just a block from the Las Vegas Strip in the heart of downtown. While many of the country’s finest casinos and restaurants sit just a short walk away from the hotel, the Westin is one of the only non-gaming hotels in Las Vegas. It offers a tranquil retreat from the city and features a restaurant and bar, fitness center, heated rooftop swimming pool, spa, gift shop, laundry and dry cleaning service (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, tea- and coffee-making facilities, minibar, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 1

Activity Level

Activity Level 3:  Moderate / Active

Expectations: This Classic Land Journey includes long touring days, many full-day excursions, and a full and active itinerary with a faster pace and longer distances. Some days may have activities with higher intensity and more active choices/options. Excursions require standing and walking for extended periods of time over more difficult terrain (slippery walking/hiking trails, sand, city hills, stairs without handrails), and walking to city centers where coaches are prohibited. The itinerary features hiking, use of local transportation including boats, rafts, and motorcoaches. Some days may require early morning departures and later evening returns. Travelers may be in remote and/or rugged regions, and may be touring at higher altitudes with steep ascents/descents. There is leisure time scheduled throughout the trip. Certain excursions feature more active options (such as moderate hiking, swimming, canoeing, bicycling, rafting, or kayaking), though another choice may be offered for an alternate skill level. Walking/hiking tours may feature up to three-mile walks/hikes.  

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit, lead active lives, are comfortable participating in long days of activities, and expect some physical exertion. 



The Smithsonian is known worldwide for excellence in all that they do. This trip was no exception. I will choose them for my next natural history adventure. 

- Dan, H.
Reading List

Highly Recommended

Grand Canyon: The Complete Guide: Grand Canyon National Park (Color Travel Guide)
By: Kaiser, James
The Sonoran Desert: A Literary Field Guide
By: Eric Magrane, Christopher Cokinos, Paul Mirocha
A land of austerity and bounty, the Sonoran Desert is a place that captures imaginations and hearts. It is a place where barbs snag, thorns prick, and claws scratch. A place where lizards scramble and pause, hawks hunt like wolves, and bobcats skulk in creosote. Both literary anthology and hands-on field guide, The Sonoran Desert is a groundbreaking book that melds art and science. It captures the stunning biodiversity of the world’s most verdant desert through words and images. More than fifty poets and writers—including Christopher Cokinos, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Ken Lamberton, Eric Magrane, Jane Miller, Gary Paul Nabhan, Alberto Ríos, Ofelia Zepeda, and many others—have composed responses to key species of this striking desert. Each creative contribution is joined by an illustration by award-winning artist Paul Mirocha and scientific information about the creature or plant authored by the book’s editors. From the saguaro to the mountain lion, from the black-tailed jackrabbit to the mesquite, the species represented here have evoked compelling and creative responses from each contributor. Just as writers such as Edward Abbey and Ellen Meloy have memorialized the desert, this collection is sure to become a new classic, offering up the next generation of voices of this special and beautiful place, the Sonoran Desert.  
The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons (Penguin Classics)
By: John Wesley Powell
One of the great works of American exploration literature, this account of a scientific expedition forced to survive famine, attacks, mutiny, and some of the most dangerous rapids known to man remains as fresh and exciting today as it was in 1874.The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons, recently ranked number four on Adventure magazine’s list of top 100 classics, is legendary pioneer John Wesley Powell’s first-person account of his crew’s unprecedented odyssey along the Green and Colorado Rivers and through the Grand Canyon. A bold foray into the heart of the American West’s final frontier, the expedition was achieved without benefit of modern river-running equipment, supplies, or a firm sense of the region’s perilous topography and the attitudes of the native inhabitants towards whites.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
A Naturalist's Guide to Canyon Country (Naturalist's Guide Series)
By: Williams, David
Moon Zion & Bryce: With Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Grand Staircase-Escalante & Moab: Hiking, Biking, Scenic Drives (Travel Guide)
By: McRae, W. C., Jewell, Judy

Also Recommeded

Canyon Wilderness of the Southwest
By: Jon Ortner
An unprecedented collection of photographs celebrating one of America’s great treasures, now available in a midsize format. Straddling the borders of Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico is a magnificent wilderness known as the Colorado Plateau. Encompassing more than 130,000 square miles, this spectacular tableland of rock, canyon, and desert covers the greatest concentration of national parks—ten, including Bryce Canyon, Zion, Arches, Canyonlands, and Grand Canyon—national monuments, state parks, wilderness areas, Bureau of Land Management holdings, and Native American tribal lands in America. Canyon Wilderness of the Southwest presents more than 200 photographs accompanied by quotations from authors, travelers, and nature enthusiasts. Featuring the most extraordinary collection of multicolored landforms found anywhere on earth, this remarkable assemblage of geologic diversity and spectacular beauty attracts more than ten million visitors annually. Jon Ortner’s photographs reflect the power and stunning beauty of these incomparable monuments, presenting a wonderland of colored stone.
Ancient Peoples of the American Southwest (Second Edition) (Ancient Peoples and Places)
By: Stephen Plog
"A graphic, lucid account of the Anasazi, Hohokam, and Mogollon highlights how these ancient cultures evolved so successfully in response to their changing habitat."―Science News Most people are familiar with the famous pre-Columbian civilizations of the Aztecs and Maya of Mexico, but few realize just how advanced were contemporary cultures in the American Southwest. Here lie some of the most remarkable monuments of America's prehistoric past, such as Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde. Ten thousand years ago, humans first colonized this seemingly inhospitable landscape with its scorching hot deserts and upland areas that drop below freezing even during the early summer months. The initial hunter-gatherer bands gradually adapted to become sedentary village groups. The high point of Southwestern civilization was reached with the emergence of cultures known as Anasazi, Hohokam, and Mogollon in the first millennium AD. Interweaving the latest archaeological evidence with early first-person accounts, Stephen Plog explains the rise and mysterious fall of Southwestern cultures. For this revised edition, he discusses new research and its implications for our understanding of the prehistoric Southwest. As he concludes, the Southwest is still home to vibrant Native American communities who carry on many of the old traditions. 150 illustrations, 17 in color
Indian Arts of the Southwest
By: Susanne Page, Jake Page
Southwestern Native Americans are renowned for their commitment to excellence in artistry and craftsmanship. This equally excellent book offers clear, expert, concise guidance to the gorgeous array of objects created by the native peoples of Arizona and New Mexico.
The Desert Year (Sightline Books)
By: Joseph Wood Krutch
Now back in print, Joseph Wood Krutch’s Burroughs Award–winning The Desert Year is as beautiful as it is philosophically profound. Although Krutch—often called the Cactus Walden—came to the desert relatively late in his life, his curiosity and delight in his surroundings abound throughout The Desert Year, whether he is marveling at the majesty of the endless dry sea, at flowers carpeting the desert floor, or at the unexpected appearance of an army of frogs after a heavy rain.Krutch’s trenchant observations about life prospering in the hostile environment of Arizona’s Sonoran Desert turn to weighty questions about humanity and the precariousness of our existence, putting lie to Western denials of mind in the “lower” forms of life: “Let us not say that this animal or even this plant has ‘become adapted’ to desert conditions. Let us say rather that they have all shown courage and ingenuity in making the best of the world as they found it. And let us remember that if to use such terms in connection with them is a fallacy then it can only be somewhat less a fallacy to use the same terms in connection with ourselves.”This edition contains 33 exacting drawings by noted illustrator Rudolf Freund. Closely tied to Krutch’s uncluttered text, the drawings tell a story of ineffable beauty.
Revenge of the Saguaro: Offbeat Travels Through America's Southwest
By: Tom Miller
Tom Miller's Southwest is a vortex of cockfights and cantinas, of black velvet paintings and tacky bolo ties, of eco-militants, border-crossers, and eccentric characters whose outlook is as spare and elemental as the desert that surrounds them. This is Miller's turf. With wit and insight, he reveals how the clichés of romanticism and capitalism have run amuck in his homeland. When a saguaro cactus outside Phoenix kills its own assassin, it becomes clear that no other guide to the Southwest manifests such a clear moral vision while reveling in the joy of this magnificent land and its people. Originally published by National Geographic as Jack Ruby's Kitchen Sink, it received the Gold Award for Best Travel Book in 2000 from the Society of American Travel Writers.Tom Miller has been writing about the American Southwest and Latin America for more than three decades. His ten books include The Panama Hat Trail, which follows the making and marketing of one Panama hat, and Trading with the Enemy, which Lonely Planet says "may be the best travel book about Cuba ever written." Miller began his journalism career in the underground press of the late '60s and early '70s, and has written articles for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, Smithsonian Magazine, Natural History, and Rolling Stone. He lives in Tucson, Arizona, with his wife, Regla.
Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West
By: Wallace Stegner
From the “dean of Western writers” (The New York Times) and the Pulitzer Prize winning–author of Angle of Repose and Crossing to Safety, a fascinating look at the old American West and the man who prophetically warned against the dangers of settling it   In Beyond the Hundredth Meridian, Wallace Stegner recounts the sucesses and frustrations of John Wesley Powell, the distinguished ethnologist and geologist who explored the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon, and the homeland of Indian tribes of the American Southwest. A prophet without honor who had a profound understanding of the American West, Powell warned long ago of the dangers economic exploitation would pose to the West and spent a good deal of his life overcoming Washington politics in getting his message across. Only now, we may recognize just how accurate a prophet he was.
The Bean Trees: A Novel
By: Barbara Kingsolver
The Bean Trees is bestselling author Barbara Kingsolver’s first novel, now widely regarded as a modern classic. It is the charming, engrossing tale of rural Kentucky native Taylor Greer, who only wants to get away from her roots and avoid getting pregnant. She succeeds, but inherits a 3-year-old native-American little girl named Turtle along the way, and together, from Oklahoma to Tucson, Arizona, half-Cherokee Taylor and her charge search for a new life in the West.Written with humor and pathos, this highly praised novel focuses on love and friendship, abandonment and belonging as Taylor, out of money and seemingly out of options, settles in dusty Tucson and begins working at Jesus Is Lord Used Tires while trying to make a life for herself and Turtle. The author of such bestsellers as The Lacuna, The Poinsonwood Bible, and Flight Behavior, Barbara Kingsolver has been hailed for her striking imagery and clear dialogue, and this is the novel that kicked off her remarkable literary career.This edition includes a P.S. section with additional insights from the author, background material, suggestions for further reading, and more.
Laughing Boy: A Navajo Love Story
By: Oliver La Farge
Capturing the essence of the Southwest in 1915, Oliver La Farge's Pulitzer Prize-winning first novel is an enduring American classic. At a ceremonial dance, the young, earnest silversmith Laughing Boy falls in love with Slim Girl, a beautiful but elusive "American"-educated Navajo. As they experience all of the joys and uncertainties of first love, the couple must face a changing way of life and its tragic consequences.
Desert Solitaire
By: Edward Abbey
Hailed by The New York Times as “a passionately felt, deeply poetic book,” the moving autobiographical work of Edward Abbey, considered the Thoreau of the American West, and his passion for the southwestern wilderness.Desert Solitaire is a collection of vignettes about life in the wilderness and the nature of the desert itself by park ranger and conservationist, Edward Abbey. The book details the unique adventures and conflicts the author faces, from dealing with the damage caused by development of the land or excessive tourism, to discovering a dead body. However Desert Solitaire is not just a collection of one man’s stories, the book is also a philosophical memoir, full of Abbey’s reflections on the desert as a paradox, at once beautiful and liberating, but also isolating and cruel. Often compared to Thoreau’s Walden, Desert Solitaire is a powerful discussion of life’s mysteries set against the stirring backdrop of the American southwestern wilderness.
Where the Water Goes: Life and Death Along the Colorado River
By: David Owen
An eye-opening account of where our water comes from and where it all goes.The Colorado River is an essential resource for a surprisingly large part of the United States, and every gallon that flows down it is owned or claimed by someone. David Owen traces all that water from the Colorado’s headwaters to its parched terminus, once a verdant wetland but now a million-acre desert. He takes readers on an adventure downriver, along a labyrinth of waterways, reservoirs, power plants, farms, fracking sites, ghost towns, and RV parks, to the spot near the U.S.–Mexico border where the river runs dry. Water problems in the western United States can seem tantalizingly easy to solve: just turn off the fountains at the Bellagio, stop selling hay to China, ban golf, cut down the almond trees, and kill all the lawyers. But a closer look reveals a vast man-made ecosystem that is far more complex and more interesting than the headlines let on.The story Owen tells in Where the Water Goes is crucial to our future: how a patchwork of engineering marvels, byzantine legal agreements, aging infrastructure, and neighborly cooperation enables life to flourish in the desert —and the disastrous consequences we face when any part of this tenuous system fails.
Field Guide to the Grand Canyon: An Introduction to Familiar Plants and Animals (A Pocket Naturalist Guide)
By: James Kavanagh
Grand Canyon National Park is renowned for its spectacular geology, but within the 1.2 million acre park visitors will also experience seven life zones, three types of desert and an ecology that nearly rivals the park's impressive geology. This beautifully illustrated guide highlights over 100 familiar species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, trees, shrubs, wildflowers and fossils. This guide was updated in 2012 with a new cover design and a canyon-wide illustration featuring the geologic history of the canyon. Laminated for durability, this handy guide is a great source of portable information and ideal for field use by novices and experts alike. Made in the USA.
Carving Grand Canyon: Evidence, Theories, and Mystery, Second Edition
By: Ranney, Wayne
Ancient Landscapes of the Colorado Plateau
By: Blakey, Ron, Ranney, Wayne
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Laminated)
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only). It also includes up to $25,000 medical and up to $500 dental expense coverage, and 24-hour worldwide travel and medical assistance. Please click here to view complete coverage details.

Please visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1-800-208-6142 to learn about additional (optional) coverage.