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Stories by Ken Burns... Share the wonders of nature's handiwork with your family on our popular western adventure. Tauck takes you behind-the-scenes with filmed narratives by Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan - creators of "The National Parks: America's Best Idea" - who share personal stories of the dreamers, visionaries, and unsung heroes who shaped the preservation of three great national parks of the American West - Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Zion. Thanks to our travel partner, Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, enjoy a complimentary night before your tour begins at this fabulous resort, one of the Southwest's finest (subject to availability, deposit must be made at time of booking); your complimentary night can be combined with other savings and promotions - ask for details! See the sun rise over the Grand Canyon with a stay at an inside-the-park lodge right on the rim, and walk along the South Rim with an instructor from the Grand Canyon Field Institute... discover classic Western towns like red-rock Sedona, Arizona and Kanab, Utah ("Little Hollywood")... head off into the Sedona hill country on an optional guided Pink Jeep off-road excursion... float along the Colorado River on a raft... flightsee over Rainbow Bridge... take a private lake cruise and guided tour to view colorful slot canyons in the Navajo Nation... view Bryce Canyon's famous hoodoos and ride a horse or mule along its scenic trails with a cowboy... and take a private tram tour at Zion National Park!
Day 1: Arrive Phoenix
Tour begins: Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North at 5:30 PM. A transfer is included from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport to the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North. Join your fellow family travelers for a welcome reception and dinner.
Day 2: Off road in Sedona and on to the Grand Canyon
Stunning red-rock formations like Coffeepot Rock, Bell Rock and Cathedral Rock form an awesome backdrop for your visit to Sedona - just like they've provided the backdrop for many Western movies. You can choose to enjoy some free time to explore this beautiful, historic town with its own unique energy, loved by artists, New Agers and Old West fans alike, or set off into the Sedona hill country on a guided Pink Jeep off-road excursion. Continue on to incredible Grand Canyon National Park, where you'll check out the Grand Canyon Overlook and Mather Point, guided by instructors from the Grand Canyon Field Institute. More than one mile deep, the Grand Canyon is connected with Bryce Canyon and Zion Canyon by a series of cliffs known as the Grand Staircase. Your family will spend the night at an inside-the-park lodge right on the canyon's South Rim, from which you can experience one of nature's masterpieces after the crowds depart - and be sure to watch the sun set over the canyon! Enjoy dinner at a choice of restaurants on the South Rim tonight.
Meals: B, D
Day 3: Explore the Grand Canyon's south & east rims, then on to Lake Powell
If you choose to, watching the glorious sunrise at the Grand Canyon makes getting up very early well worth it! Enjoy some time to explore the South Rim of the canyon as you please; keep an eye out for mule deer, squirrels and other wildlife on the cactus-studded landscape. Later, on a guided driving tour of the canyon's East Rim as you depart Grand Canyon National Park, stop at several points including Desert View Lookout, each offering a different view of the canyon, en route to your next destination... unique, man-made Lake Powell in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Have fun at tonight's private pizza party at your lakefront resort, followed by a campfire and s'mores!
Meals: B, L, D
Day 4: Fly over Rainbow Bridge and explore more of Lake Powell
Your adventures at man-made Lake Powell, formed from the Colorado River by the Glen Canyon Dam in the 1960s, will be a highlight of your family's Arizona vacation. Get a bird's-eye view of the amazing Rainbow Bridge, Glen Canyon and Lake Powell itself on a flightseeing expedition* (weather permitting) - or you can take an optional 4-hour flightseeing excursion* to explore famous Monument Valley with a Navajo guide, available at an additional cost (see Pricing & Availability or ask at booking for details). Later in the day, take a private lake cruise and guided tour to view Antelope Canyon, one of the colorful slot canyons in the Navajo Nation; difficult to reach and explore on your own, they are revered for their special beauty and change color as the sun moves overhead.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 5: Glen Canyon rafting, Old West fun & on to Bryce Canyon
No Arizona vacation would be complete without a canyon rafting experience - and your family will never forget floating along the Colorado River through Glen Canyon together aboard a raft* today, quietly spotting the animals who live amid the unique sandstone landscapes; pack your spirit of adventure - and your sunblock! Enjoy real Old-West-style entertainment during lunch in Kanab, Utah, this afternoon, another town you may recognize as the setting for many "cowboy" movies like Stagecoach and western TV shows from My Friend Flicka to Gunsmoke. Continue on to an overnight inside Bryce Canyon National Park, where you're treated to spectacular views of natural bridges, limestone cliffs and astounding stone spires, known as hoodoos, in shades of pink, red and orange.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 6: Ride the trails of Bryce Canyon's wonderland, then off to Zion
The hoodoos, spires, pinnacles and other amazing geologic formations of Bryce Canyon put on a magnificent "performance" as the rising sun plays over them - so you may want to get up extra early at your rustic lodge and walk ashort distance to catch the show! Weather permitting, you'll saddle up and share the adventure of a trail ride*, on either a horse or a mule, escorted by a cowboy guide who will point out hidden sights within Bryce Canyon's ever-changing world of naturally carved amphitheaters, rocky spires, gravity-defying bridges, balanced rocks and sculpted limestone cliffs. After lunch, it's off to Zion National Park, where your family joins us for a private tram tour of the park's highlights; overnight inside the park at historic Zion Lodge.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 7: Zion's natural treasures to Vegas's neon wonders
Spend the morning exploring Zion National Park's remarkable features - deep canyons, lush valleys, sandstone cliffs, mountain peaks, emerald pools and pink-colored gorges - as you please; eight different rock strata, deposited over 200 million years and creamy-pink Navajo Sandstone cliffs soaring 2,200 feet in height, tell the story of Earth's history here. This afternoon, journey across a corner of the Mojave Desert from Utah to Nevada, arriving in legendary Las Vegas, a neon-bright world crafted by visionaries and entertainers. Take in the man-made wonders of this "city that never sleeps" before joining us for a farewell dinner as your family's southwestern vacation comes to an end.
Meals: B, D
Day 8: Journey home from Las Vegas
Tour ends: Las Vegas. A transfer is included to Las Vegas Airport from Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas. Fly home anytime; checkout time at the hotel is 12:00 noon. Allow a minimum of two hours for your flight check-in.
Inside-the-park accommodations at Grand Canyon, Bryce & Zion; guided educational hike on Grand Canyon's South Rim; flightseeing adventure; private lake cruise; trail ride with a cowboy; rafting on the Colorado river; private tram tour in Zion National Park
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