Explore national parks of the American Southwest from the immense Grand Canyon and the sandstone spires of Bryce to the red-rock cliffs and chasms of Zion. 

Starting at: $3,895 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Bryce National Park, Utah   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  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 days from $3,895

Explore national parks of the American Southwest from the immense Grand Canyon and the sandstone spires of Bryce to the red-rock cliffs and chasms of Zion. 

or Call 855-330-1542

SPECIAL VALUE

This tour is specially designed for a small group of 16 to 24 Smithsonian travelers and offers outstanding travel value. Prices include airfare, airline taxes, fuel surcharges, and departure fees.

Overview

Enjoy an overview of the natural wonders of three iconic national parks in Arizona and Utah, all in one exciting tour!

Highlights Include

  • Sedona: Travel through the beautiful desert landscape from Phoenix to Sedona, known for its towering red sandstone formations. Explore this dazzling landscape during an exciting off-road jeep excursion.
  • Grand Canyon National Park: Considered one of the seven wonders of the natural world, this World Heritage site stretches nearly 300 miles through the Arizona desert. Witness truly awe-inspiring vistas of banded layers of rock that rise to plateaus and bluffs thousands of feet overhead, while the mighty Colorado River rushes below. Gaze in wonder as you walk through the sinuous red slot canyon of Upper Antelope Canyon, and later, see the Grand Canyon up-close during a float trip on the Colorado River. Learn about the canyon’s cultural history and geological significance during almost three days here.
  • Bryce Canyon National Park: Gaze in awe at a stunning array of hoodoos, the legendary rock formations dramatically sculpted by erosion. Learn about the park’s unusual geology at the Visitor Center and enjoy the day to explore as you wish.
  • Zion National Park: Spend a day exploring the diverse landscapes of this wondrous park, including deserts, forests, rivers, canyons, buttes, and natural arches. Take a guided hike to observe the sandstone cliffs ranging in color from cream to pink and rusty red, then enjoy ample free time to explore as you wish.

Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart for Phoenix, Arizona

Depart today for Phoenix, Arizona. As guests’ arrival times may vary, you have the day at leisure to explore Arizona’s capital city.

This afternoon check in at your hotel, where you enjoy a welcome briefing and dinner together. (D)

Day 2 — Phoenix, Sedona, Grand Canyon

Leave Phoenix today, bound for the Grand Canyon. First, though, you’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, hikers, and mountain bikers.

Enjoy time for lunch on our own and to do some exploring before encountering this dazzling landscape in style, as you take a Pink Jeep tour for an exciting off-road excursion. Winding over dirt roads, enjoy stunning panoramic views and learn about the region’s cultural and geological history.

Also visit the Honanki Heritage Site, a 700-year-old Sinaguan cliff dwelling. Then continue on to the Grand Canyon and your nearby hotel, where you dine together tonight. (B,D)

Day 3 — Grand Canyon

It’s a day to remember, as you visit what is arguably one of the country’s most famous natural landmarks: the Grand Canyon. Often considered one of the seven wonders of the natural world, this World Heritage site stretches nearly 300 miles through and 10 miles across the Arizona desert.

See truly 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 your guided tour, 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 enjoy time for lunch on your own and an afternoon at leisure to appreciate the magnitude and beauty of the six-million-year-old canyon as you wish. After this bucket-list attraction, return to your hotel; dinner tonight is on your own. (B)

Day 4 — Grand Canyon, Page, Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell

Today travel to Page, Arizona, gateway to the imposing Glen Canyon Dam and its reservoir, Lake Powell.

After reaching Page early this afternoon, enjoy lunch on your own then visit the sinuous – and spectacular – Upper Antelope Canyon. Travel onto Navajo land to reach this slot canyon, known to local tribes as “the place where water runs through rocks.” Your 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.

Check in at your lakeside hotel this afternoon then enjoy dinner together there tonight. (B,D)

Day 5 — Page, Colorado River, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

On tap today: 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. Your adventure begins at the base of one of these structures: the 710-foot-high Glen Canyon Dam, which holds back man-made Lake Powell, the nation’s second-largest artificial lake at 186 miles long and with nearly 2,000 miles of shoreline.

As you drift downstream between soaring sandstone cliffs on either side, look out for ancient Native American petroglyphs on the canyon walls, as well as local wildlife. Continue on to southern Utah and Bryce Canyon National Park, stopping for lunch along the way. Dine together tonight. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Bryce Canyon National Park

Despite its name, Bryce Canyon 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 sand castle, as you see today. 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, see a film about the unusual geology here then have the day free to explore at your own pace. Your full day of natural splendor concludes with dinner together tonight. (B,D)

Day 7 — Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park

Depart this morning for Zion National Park, another celebrated Utah destination. After reaching Springdale mid-day, enjoy lunch on your own then walk to Zion’s nearby visitor center to learn about this inimitable region, which encompasses four separate biomes: desert, riparian (or riverbank), woodland, and coniferous forest.

Then enter Zion National Park itself, so named for the 15-mile-long, 2,500-foot-deep Zion Canyon cutting through the park’s western half.

Get your first taste of Zion’s wonders this afternoon then have the evening free for dinner on your own in Springdale. (B)

Day 8 — Zion National Park

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 you 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.

Take a guided hike and enjoy ample free time for exploration and lunch on your own. This evening, enjoy dinner together at your hotel. (B,D)

Day 9 — Zion National Park, St. George, Las Vegas, Nevada

En route to Las Vegas today, 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.

Enjoy time to explore and have lunch on your own before continuing on to Las Vegas, arriving late this afternoon. This evening, gather to toast your Southwestern adventure at a farewell dinner. (B,D)

Day 10 — Depart Las Vegas

This morning transfer to the Las Vegas airport for your flights home. (B)

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