Discovering Utah is just one of the many treats in store on this fabulous tour around some of America's most beautiful and exciting landscapes. Beginning and ending in glittering Las Vegas, you will visit the breathtaking Grand Canyon, Zion and Bryce Canyons, the Arches National Park and Monument Valley, the setting for so many of those cowboy movies. Over 12 action packed days and nights you will see so many iconic American sights that will live in the memory forever.
After arriving at Las Vegas International Airport you travel to your hotel. Welcome to the “City of Lights”! Las Vegas has something to offer everyone. From the outrageous live shows to the excitment of the casinos, the action never stops from morning to night. This evening, stroll down Las Vegas Boulevard, also known as “the strip” and enjoy the spectacle offered by each hotel and casino as they all have a distinctly different theme and all present wondrous displays.
Las Vegas to Zion & Kanab
This morning you leave the glitz of Las Vegas and head toward beautiful Zion National Park. Driving into Zion you will be greeted by gigantic sandstone monoliths and hear the soft rush of the Virgin River. The Narrows are Zion’s famous slot canyons which are narrow stone crevices with colourful stripes formed by years of water and wind erosion. In the park there are a variety of trails and paved pathways for hikers. There is also a complimentary shuttle bus that runs throughout the park. Stop at the Visitor Centre for information on guided tours then drive on to Kanab for an overnight stay.
Kanab to Grand Canyon, Lake Powell & Page
Leave Kanab very early this morning to see the north side of the Grand Canyon. The North Rim has three developed viewpoints that offer a great vista across the expanse of the canyon. Point Imperial, the highest point on the North Rim, overlooks the Painted Desert and the eastern end of canyon. Continue to beautiful Lake Powell in the afternoon and see how the Colorado River has carved through the sandstone. Popular Lake Powell is a body of deep blue water surrounded by red cliff walls. Continue to Page where you stay tonight.
Page to Monument Valley & Kayenta
This morning visit the John Wesley Powell Museum to learn more about the lake, before and after the dam construction. You can also stop at the magnificent Rainbow Bridge, one of the largest natural bridges in the world. Then say farewell to Lake Powell and drive to Monument Valley. Over the years, Monument Valley has been the setting for more Western movies than any other site in America. Unique sandstone formations punctuate the landscape and spires rise into strange formations. A visitor centre, museum and self-guided trails are available. Continue to Kayenta for an overnight stay.
Kayenta to Canyonlands & Moab
Leave Kayenta and drive toward Canyonlands National Park with its spectacular rock formations and vivid colours. Here you can look thousands of feet down to the Colorado and Green Rivers, or thousands of feet up to red rock arches, spires and cliffs. Visit The Needles district of the park, regarded as the most spectacular section. If you are feeling adventurous, you can hike 1,500 feet to Needle Point for breathtaking views. Then drive on to Moab for a two-night stay.
Moab to Arches National Park
Today visit Arches National Park. Here you will encounter more than 2,000 natural freestanding sandstone arches. The number varies from day to day, as old arches crumble and new ones form. The most famous of these is Delicate Arch, which is best viewed off the roadway and on a trail and it is well worth the hike to see it up close. At the Visitor Centre, rangers offer guided walks and nature talks. You can also visit the Aztec Ruins National Monument where construction began on this 500 room “great house” by ancestral Pueblo indians around 100 A.D.
Moab to Capitol Reef & Torrey
Leave Moab and explore more amazing natural scenery. Visit Dead Horse Point State Park, a peninsula of stone surrounded by steep cliffs which is perhaps Utah’s most spectacular State Park. From the overlook, perched at 6,000 feet above sea level, canyon erosion can be seen on a grand scale. Continue to Capitol Reef National Park and stop at Panorama Point which offers excellent photo opportunities. Activities in the park include hiking, horse riding, and a driving tour. Then drive on to Torrey where you will spend the night.
Torrey to Bryce Canyon
Drive towards Bryce Canyon National Park stopping at the Anasazi Indian Village State Park. Then drive through Kodachrome Basin State Park, a spectacle of massive sandstone chimneys, ever-changing from grey and white to shades of red. This park has a unique desert beauty. Your next stop is Bryce Canyon National Park, which is dramatically different. Bryce contains “amphitheatres” of colourful eroded rock formations called hoodoos. It is their uniqueness that sets Bryce apart. Light reflecting on the hoodoos at different times change the colours. A two night stay has been arranged in this area.
Today consider a drive to Rainbow Point. From some of the overlooks, you can see more than 100 miles on a clear day. There are also a variety of walking trails in the park that offer an up-close and personal encounter with nature. Horseback riding is another popular way to see the highlights of the park. All of the unusual hoodoos have names that reflect the shape they resemble. Look to the guideposts or the park publications to see if you can identify these unusual formations.
Bryce to Las Vegas
Leave Bryce this morning and drive towards Cedar Breaks National Monument. Situated at an elevation of 10,000 feet, Cedar Breaks is shaped like a giant coliseum dropping 2,000 feet to its floor. Deep inside are stone spires, columns, arches, pinnacles, and intricate canyons in varying shades of red, yellow and purple. The bristlecone pine, one of the world’s oldest trees, grows in the area and can be found along the Spectra Point Trail. The Dixie National Forest surrounds Cedar Breaks providing lush alpine meadows that have beautiful wildflower displays in summer. Continue to Las Vegas for a two night stay.
Today is yours to explore this electrifying city. Make sure not to miss the nightly fountain show at the Bellagio Hotel, take a trip up to the top of the Stratosphere hotel tower, and have dinner at the Top of the World. Visit any of the premier hotels including Caesars Palace, The Venetian and Paris for luxury shopping. If you’re searching for a bargain, drive to one of the outlet malls featuring designer names at discounted prices. For a different side of Vegas, visit Fremont Street, which features shops, restaurants and casinos all under a canopy screen with more than 12 million lights.
Las Vegas and departure
Your adventurous 12 day Discover Utah tour comes to an end today. Perhaps time for one last role of the dice or a game of Blackjack in one of the casinos or some last minute shopping before you return to McCarran International Airport to catch an onward flight or begin your journey home taking with you so many memories from one of the most spectacular areas of the United States.