Classic South Western Splendours
The desert southwest is full of drama, twisted shapes, weathered buttes, red rock canyons and ancient cultures all discovered as you travel from one must-see site to another. Natural wonders and rich human history are your constant traveling companions as you experience the serenity of Sedona, the majesty of the Grand Canyon, the spectacular landscapes of Monument Valley and Bryce Canyon, and the natural splendor of Zion National Park. As you conclude your trip amidst the lights and action of Las Vegas, you'll have taken a once-in-a-lifetime journey through one of the most intriguing regions of America.
PLEASE NOTE: If this particular tour is too long for you or alternatively, you have other stops in mind we can tailor a different length holiday or route to suit your requirements. Please call one of our friendly and experienced consultants on (01892) 779900 for more advice or email us with your itinerary and we will be happy to assist in helping to plan your trip.
Not looking to drive so far? Why not let us suggest some alternative interesting routes with less mileage for you.
- Phoenix and Sedona
- The Grand Canyon
- Canyon de Chelly
- Monument Valley
- Lake Powell
- Bryce Canyon
- Zion National Park
- Las Vegas
Arriving in Phoenix today, you'll instantly be captivated by the Valley of the Sun. This multi-cultural, historical and rapidly growing metropolitan area, which began as a small town in the middle of the desert, gets 360 days of sunshine a year, and has heritage, entertainment and recreation to spare.
Experience the splendor of the Victorian era at Historic Heritage Park, view one of the finest displays of Native American art at the renowned Heard Museum, and wander through the specialty plants and flowers at the Desert Botanical Garden. You'll find fabulous shopping in nearby Scottsdale. Enjoy two days in this unique area, throughout which you'll see the architectural influence of Frank Lloyd Wright complementing the striking landscape of the Sonoran Desert.
On your way to Sedona today, stop to explore the ruins of ancient Native American civilizations at Montezuma's Castle and the Palatkai Ruins. These early inhabitants had gathered around the healing springs and gardens at Sedona long before Europeans arrived. As you travel past striking red rock formations with names like Cathedral Rock and Bell Rock, make use of the frequent pull-offs that enable awe-struck drivers to safely take in the views!
Your two days in this mystical place can be filled with activity, with visits to Slide Rock and Red Rock State Parks, a scenic drive along the Oak Creek Canyon, and hiking through the spectacular landscape, or with complete relaxation in an incredibly serene environment. Spend an afternoon wandering through the Tlaqupaque Arts & Crafts Village, a Sedona landmark and a unique shopping experience.
Get ready for the magnificence of the Grand Canyon today, truly a wonder among natural wonders. Take the free shuttle bus from the Canyon Plaza Visitor Center to some of the best viewpoints along the South Rim, or enjoy the 25-mile Desert View scenic self-drive. Visit the Yavapai Observation Station, the Tusayan Museum, and the Kolb Brothers Studio for more fabulous views and a glimpse of the cultural heritage and history of the Grand Canyon.
Treat yourself to a helicopter ride over the North and South Rims of the Canyon for thrilling bird's eye views of the Colorado River more than a mile below.
Chinle / Canyon de Chelley
Unique among National Park Service areas, Canyon de Chelly is comprised entirely of Navajo Tribal Trust Land, which is still home to the Navajo canyon communities. Well-preserved Anasazi ruins reveal the culture of the ancient peoples who lived in the area, ancestors of the present day Navajo.
While you may drive the Canyon rim on your own, you must have a Navajo guide to hike or drive inside the Canyon. Thunderbird Tours, the National Park Service official guide service at Canyon de Chelly, offers a variety of guided tours that are worth taking for the information, access, and unique perspective the guide provides. Ancient and living history, extensive rock art and distinctive architecture make Canyon de Chelly one of the most significant stops on your journey.
If the dramatic landscape around Monument Valley seems familiar, you've likely seen a lot of Western movies. The flat, often desolate landscape, punctuated with striking buttes and mesas, has formed the backdrop of many a John Wayne film and more. Visit Goulding's Museum for a look at movie-making in Monument Valley and a history of the peoples who have called it home.
For the best views of the area, take the park's 17- mile Valley Drive, a dirt road beginning at the visitor center and heading southeast past spectacular towering cliffs and mesas. Monument Valley is a Navajo Tribal Park, and still very much home to the Navajo. The tribe maintains the visitor center, provides tours, and preserves the land for the use and enjoyment of future generations. Enjoy a very full day here.
On the way to Lake Powell today, keep an eye out for the spectacular Vermillion Cliffs on the left-hand side of the road. As you look up at the 3,000-foot escarpment, you may be able to make out some of the distinct geologic formations contained within the cliffs.
Lake Powell is the second largest man-made lake in the country, longer than the entire west coast of the continental United States. The lake lies within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, which was established to protect the Colorado Plateau, a vast landscape of colorful buttes, mesas, canyons, and cliffs. To explore the area's 96 major canyons, rent a watercraft or sit back and relax on a tour boat cruise. Glen Canyon also offers tremendous hiking and biking opportunities in its 1.2 million acre wilderness.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Some of the most bizarre and extraordinary natural architecture awaits you today at Bryce Canyon National Park. Slot canyons, windows, fins, and the famous spires called "hoodoos" have been created over millennia by the forces of nature. The colorful and whimsically arranged rocks form a landscape of mazes, offering some of the most exciting and memorable walks and hikes imaginable. Take a horse or mule tour deep into the canyon. For a spectacular view of the entire Park, as well as the Kaibab Plateau at the Grand Canyon, drive or take the free shuttle out to Rainbow Point at the southernmost end of the park.
Zion National Park
You'll have time to explore more of Bryce Canyon this morning before continuing on to Zion National Park, just a short drive away. Zion is a true desert paradise. The beautiful Virgin River carved Zion Canyon, the park's centerpiece, more than 2,000 feet deep in places. Light plays upon the sandstone canyon walls, plateaus, and monoliths in an ever-changing array of color. A free shuttle travels throughout the park, beginning at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center. The Zion Human History Museum is well worth visiting for its exhibits on the park's rich geologic and human history.
From magnificent natural wonders to America's playground! Welcome to Las Vegas, a city created to provide non-stop entertainment. Enjoy two days in this fantastic city, wandering The Strip, enjoying show after show, taking in the view from the Eiffel Tower or catching an adrenaline rush on the Stratosphere thrill ride. For a break from the action, tour the world-famous Hoover Dam, or go for a hike or scenic drive through Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Museum lovers will enjoy the Imperial Auto Museum, the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, and the Liberace Museum. Whatever you choose to do, remember that "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!"
Enjoy another full day in Las Vegs before you depart later today. As you leave for home, know that you've experienced the trip of a lifetime in the American Southwest.
- Direct return flights from London
- 14 nights hotel accommodation and room tax
- Fully insured compact car hire
- A detailed travel pack with driving instructions and maps
We can also offer this itinerary in a wide range of other accommodation types, including superior hotels, character properties and small inns.