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Welcome to Arizona, famous for its scenic road trips, towering Monument Valley, and of course the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon. Your airport transfer will whisk you to your hotel in Scottsdale where you can enjoy the facilities and grounds of this striking desert oasis. Why not head out and explore Old Scottsdale, a vibrant and unique urban downtown area that introduces you the best of the state? Here, you’ll be surrounded by retro wooden buildings, rodeo inspired artwork and a selection of local stores, all radiating a classic Southwestern flair. At 18:00, join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Dinner at Zuzu, where you will have the opportunity to mingle and get to know one another.
Travel through world-renowned Red Country along the Red Rock Scenic Byway, one of only 20 designated All-American Roads nationwide. Explore bohemian Sedona with its shops and galleries, or simply take in the exceptional beauty of Red Rock Country before you make your way to the Grand Canyon. Follow Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Byway through Coconino National Forest, a breathtaking stretch of road recognized by Rand McNally as one of the Top Five Most Scenic Drives in America. On arrival, you can take an optional flightseeing tour over the Grand Canyon. Whether you prefer a helicopter or a fixed-wing plane, you'll enjoy magnificent scenery with aerial views from above. Meet your Local Expert Canyon Tim at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon to discover its wonders. You'll learn all about the origins of the five-million-year-old canyon, its rock formations and the human impact on this natural masterpiece. He'll also talk to you about the local flora and fauna, and where you might be able to spot them. This evening, dinner with wine will be served in the Thunderbird Private Room. With a perfect location overlooking the Grand Canyon's South Rim, settle down with a glass of wine on the private terrace while taking in flawless sunset views.
Early risers will take advantage of the lodge location to witness one of Mother Nature's grandest shows on earth: a sunrise over the Grand Canyon. Travel along the South Rim Desert View Drive, skirting the South Rim of the canyon until you exit the park. Head to the Cameron Trading Post, on of the oldest and most historic general stores in Arizona. Enter Monument Valley Tribal Park, where you'll join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience as you meet your Navajo Local Experts and board all-terrain vehicles with open sides for a private, off-the-beaten path exploration of this magical valley. Learn about Navajo history, culture and heritage from your expert as you travel deeper into the natural wonders of this unique landscape. Spend the rest of the day relaxing at your lakefront resort.
Today is entirely yours to do as you please. Partake in one of our popular optional experiences, explore on your own, or simply relax by the resort swimming pool with views of Lake Powell. As an optional activity this morning, let yourself be tempted by a gentle float trip down the Colorado River. Calmly float down the Colorado, past some of the most awe-inspiring sites, like the iconic Horseshoe Bend and Petroglyph Beach.
Take a cruise on Lake Powell to get an up-close view of the beautiful blue waters while you enjoy breakfast. Journey across a wide-open landscape punctuated by colorful sandstone cliffs, sagebrush-covered flats, and high ridges dotted with piñon pine and juniper. Travel through Bryce Canyon Country on a portion of the Scenic Highway 89, recognized by National Geographic as the No. 1 Driver's Drive in the world. You will be struck by the beauty of Bryce Canyon National Park, an otherworldly landscape of red rock pillars known as hoodoos, pink cliffs, and endless vistas.
Enjoy a Relaxed Start this morning, as you have a full day to explore the park. After a leisurely breakfast, you will tour the canyon aboard a privately chartered open-air vehicle, with live commentary from a Local Expert to show you the many scenic highlights of the canyon. This afternoon, enjoy an Insight Choice. Choose to join your Travel Director for a guided hike to the Emerald Pools. Alternatively, visit the Zion Human History Museum. Later, join your fellow traveler's for a Highlight Dinner hosted at the lodge.
This morning you'll make your way out of Zion National Park with a transfer to Salt Lake City, the capital of Utah.Join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a relaxing and delicious dinner at your hotel.
Before leaving Salt Lake City, take in the State Capitol building. Drive along the scenic Logan Canyon, over the Wasatch Mountain Range, and up to the Bear Lake Summit. Stop for lunch at Garden City, Utah while enjoying views of the beautiful turquoise waters of Bear Lake. You will then head north across the Oregon Trail to historic Jackson. Have your cameras ready for the famous elk antlers the central square, while eager shoppers will find a number of charming traditional boutique galleries to browse. Enjoy the rest of the evening at leisure, with your hotel located only a short walk away from Jackson's Town Square.
Wake up to a mountainous view like no other and witness the striking Grand Tetons thrust skyward 6,562 feet (2,000 metres) from the valley floor. This morning, you have the opportunity to partake in an optional scenic float down the Snake River (signed waiver required) inside Grand Teton National Park. In keeping with today’s rustic country charm, you’ll enter Yellowstone, the world’s first National Park. Known for its unique geothermal activity, spectacular landscapes and abundant wildlife, you’ll experience Wyoming in all its glory. Keep an eye out for black bears or wolves. Tonight you’ll stay in the National Park Lodges, allowing you to experience the park after hours, in its natural habitat.
Savour the surreal surroundings of Yellowstone with a relaxed start. Walk among the rainbow tinted hot springs and watch the erupting geysers as you take in the history of the park on an informative stroll with your Travel Director. Catch the renowned colourful bubbling mud pots and observe Old Faithful geyser shooting water over 120 feet (37 metres) into the air. In the afternoon, enjoy the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone as you take in stunning natural wonders. While driving through Hayden Valley, famous for its wildlife, keep an eye out for wolves, bears, elk and hundreds of bison. The rest of the evening is at leisure for you to relax.
Set off on your travels through the stark Shoshone Canyon and Absaroka Rocky Mountains, leading you to the Wild West Town of Cody. Channel your inner showman and learn more about America’s great Western legends at the Buffalo Bill Centre, known for its Western art collection, firearms, and natural history. Travel through the Bighorn National Forest to the Ranch at UCross. Take in the rustic charm as you're hosted at a traditional Wyoming Family ranch. Start off the evening with a cocktail hour in the historic Ranch House bar. After a home-cooked dinner, enjoy a fire pit with live entertainment, including country, folk and bluegrass music.
Live the American frontier dream and begin your day with a scenic country horseback ride (8) accompanied by a Ranch Hand. If playing cowboy isn’t your thing, perhaps go fishing or merely relax and take in your beautiful surroundings, the choice is yours. Make your way to Devils Tower, an astounding geological feature that protrudes out of the surrounding the Black Hills. This symbolic landmark is considered sacred to the Lakota and other tribes. Experience Spearfish Canyon, a favoured spot among wildlife enthusiasts and one famous for its elvish woodland beauty. The limestone palisades of this creek-carved gorge are more ancient than the Grand Canyon itself.
A day for those looking to explore the Wild West, try to spotting the fastest mammal in North America, the pronghorn antelope as you cross the great high plains to the Black Hills of South Dakota. Once in Deadwood, you’ll have the opportunity to join Kevin Costner’s Original Deadwood Tour. A Local Expert will tell you tales of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane, who made this once lawless town famous during the Gold Rush of the 1870s. Continue on to Custer State Park, renowned for its beautiful landscape and abundant wildlife.
Travel to the iconic Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Here, carvings of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt overlook the landscape. Next, join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience as you head on to with Crazy Horse Memorial, which is dedicated to protecting and preserving the culture, tradition and living heritage of the North American Indians. An exclusive Insight Experience awaits as you are taken up to stand face-to-face with this impressive sculpture. At 641 feet (195 metres) long and 563 feet (172 metres) tall the piece takes the record for the world’s largest mountain carving.Join your Travel Director and newfound friends for a Celebration Dinner with wine, as you reflect on your adventure across the wide-open spaces of America's national parks.
Travel south from Custer State Park where your trip ends on arrival in Denver. A transfer is available to Denver International Airport. Airport arrival in Denver will be at 16:30.
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