Staff Adventures: Touring America’s Canyonlands with Tauck

Last year one of our brilliant agents here at went on a trip with Tauck to explore America’s terrains. He came back with an amazing recount of his adventures. Read below to see how his trip went!

Touring America’s Canyonlands with Tauck
Written by Robert Blair, Travel Consultant

If you’ve ever wanted to travel to see wondrous landmarks just outside your back door, consider a journey into America’s Canyonlands with Tauck. With lavish accommodations and dining experiences in Phoenix and Las Vegas, plus incredible, iconic natural wonders, this escorted tour is an excellent introduction to the best of the U.S. Southwest.

Our first stop on our 8-day itinerary was Sedona, Arizona, known for its scenic red rock vistas and rich history. This beautiful area has long been an inspiration for artists; we enjoyed its great shopping and restaurants. We ended our first full day of touring at the majestic Grand Canyon. From the top of the North Rim, I enjoyed watching the sun set and seeing the layers of rock change colors before my eyes.

After breakfast overlooking the rim the next morning, our tour group learned how millions of years of weather events created the magical scenery. We boarded our motorcoach to head north through sacred Navajo Indian territory, where our guide explained many Navajo traditions and cultures. By this point, I had taken over 300 photographs! I was able to immediately share my photos online thanks to complimentary wi-fi on our motorcoach.

Glen Canyon National Park

Our next stop: Glen Canyon National Park, where we enjoyed relaxing on man-made Lake Powell. Here, a sunset cruise past ancient cliff dwellings and a plane ride over Rainbow Bridge were highlights of our short visit. In Page, we took a bus up a dry riverbed to Antelope Canyon. It was breathtaking to see how the light reflected through the caves and off the sandstone rocks, which were shaped by water barreling through the canyon during rainstorms—a photographer’s dream.

The next morning was an exciting rafting trip down the Colorado River. We witnessed thousand-year-old petroglyphs carved into the sides of the canyon walls. The historical and geographical knowledge gained on this trip cannot be taught in a classroom.

Bryce Canyon National Park

We continued the journey north to Utah for a short stop in Kanab, Utah, which gave us a chance meet with local residents, eat lunch and take pictures on old movie sets at the local museum. From there we traveled to my favorite stop on the itinerary: Bryce Canyon.

Known for its “hoodoos,” Bryce Canyon provided us with vistas unparalleled in nature. These rock structures appear to rise up out of the landscape like a forest of statues. Hiking trails took us deep into the canyon allowing for views from below and above this truly remarkable location. As the sun set, the stars appeared like a blanket of shimmering diamonds across the sky. Never have I felt closer to heaven.

Zion National Park

Our next stop was also so impressive, Zion National Park. We admired its steep peaks soaring into the heavens as we traveled the winding road into the park. Noticing the presence of wildlife in the rocky landscape, my traveling companions and I were amazed when we witnessed several sure-footed mountain goats bouncing precariously from ledge to ledge. Once in the campground, we took advantage of its well-designed shuttle system giving us easy access to various trails ascending to towering cliffs for astonishing views.

As a special touch, our Tauck tour director compiled many of our photos into a digital slide show set to traditional Native American music. En route to Las Vegas, we watched the images on the overhead monitors on board our state-of-the-art motorcoach and were also each given a copy to take home. At our farewell dinner amid the glitz and glamour of the “entertainment capital of the world”  so different from our evenings spent amid starlit skies and red-rock monuments our tour group enjoyed reliving our trip together. By the end of the eight days, we’d all bonded over shared activities  hiking, horseback riding, rafting and sightseeing — and it was bittersweet saying good-bye to such lovely people. I know I’ll never forget the amazing experiences we had in America’s Canyonlands.

Photos © Robert Blair

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