Take Your Workout In To The Trenches
Do you live an active lifestyle that you want to continue while you’re on vacation? Then it’s time embark upon a journey through a monumental trio of national parks with the award-winning Classic Journeys multi sport hiking trips. You can leave the logistics to us and immerse yourself in what the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion National Parks have to offer. You will average about 4 hours of hiking per day, expect to be mind blown by ancient rock formations and vast, sweeping views. You will thread through canyons that are barely 20 feet wide, explore mysterious Native American ruins, and go river tubing. For those looking to impress their pedometer, you can join the optional sunrise and sunset walks, perfectly timed to catch the golden light reflecting off the canyon walls and towering rock spires. Sprinkled throughout the trip are picnic lunches, pool time, fine dining and gallery hopping. Look forward to staying in iconic accommodations after each action-packed day. Every activity in the published itinerary is included in the trip cost, and Classic Journeys happy to calibrate activities for travelers of all ages and fitness levels. Dunes, cliffs, rivers and rims, this journey has everything you need to recharge and restore your body and mind with the wonders of the natural world. Get ready to make your family’s best memories as you take your workout into the wild. Here is a day by day itinerary of what you can expect.
Day 1: Grand Canyon
• Meet in St. George
• Picnic lunch with panoramic views
• Marvel at the colors of the Grand Canyon during sunset
You will meet in St. George, located in the southwest corner of Utah. Rich with pioneer history, the town is surrounded by colorful sandstone cliffs. From here, you set out for the Grand Canyon. Stately ponderosa pine forests welcome us to the Grand Canyon where you stay on the lookout for Condors that tend to nest here. You will get your first glimpse of the Grand Canyon as you approach the lodge that offers several amazing views while your guide talks about the geologic events that created this natural wonder. A short walk takes you to your guide's favorite vista point overlooking Roaring Springs, Bright Angel Canyon and the South Rim. Along the way, you will also have the chance to do some birding. Swifts and swallows can often be seen along cliff faces, and, with luck, you may even see a bald eagle or willow flycatcher. Before dinner, you have the choice to enjoy a glass of wine on the lodge's veranda with spectacular views as far as the eye can see, take a short sunset walk along the rim or join one of the ranger-led activities highlighting the natural history of this magnificent chasm.
DAY 2: Grand Canyon/Bryce
• Join a sunrise walk option for early risers
• Relax during the scenic drive to Bryce Canyon
A memorable sunrise walk along the rim of the Grand Canyon allows early risers to enjoy the vibrant colors as they reflect off the canyon walls. After breakfast, you take a guided walk along the Transept Trail following the rim of a side canyon through quaking aspens and ponderosa pines. Following your hike you’ll bid farewell to the Grand Canyon and journey to Bryce Canyon National Park. Have your camera ready during the scenic drive out of the park; you often see a variety of wildlife such as the rare Kaibab squirrel, found only on the Kaibab Plateau.
You arrive at Bryce Canyon National Park where nature has shaped colorful limestone, and sandstone into thousands of spires, fins, pinnacles and mazes, called hoodoos. Take time to relax at our rustic lodge, completely renovated to its 1930s elegance-down to replicas of the lodge's original hickory furniture. After a festive dinner of homemade western specialties, enjoy a relaxing evening under a blanket of stars that light up the enormous Utah sky.
• Enjoy a morning exploration of Bryce Canyon on foot
• Marvel at the incredibly-shaped hoodoos
• Experience a mule ride into Bryce Canyon
The scenic morning walk ventures below the rim into the heart of Bryce Canyon along gentle switchbacks and through Wall Street, appropriately named for its walls of red rock looming on either side. You will continue to the canyon floor for an up-close exploration of the hoodoos, the ancient rose-colored pillars of sand and stone that resemble a city of spires and minarets. As you walk among the natural formations, it's fascinating to imagine the castle turrets, windows, bridges, domes and other architectural features created by the natural erosion of the rocks. Along the way, your guide points out specific hoodoos, like Thor's Hammer, named to reflect their form and grandeur. In the afternoon, experience Bryce Canyon on mule back, or enjoy an afternoon walk on a trail that offers a spectacular viewpoint, where it's possible to see over 120 miles! On your return to the lodge, you will find photo opportunities at several viewpoints, including natural bridge, which isn't a bridge at all, but rather a picturesque red rock arch.
Bryce / Zion
• Walk past coral colored dunes and red sandstone cliffs
• Visit to the home of a highly regarded painter
• Enjoy the pool or hot tub at a fantastic riverside hotel
An optional sunrise walk follows a favorite portion of the Rim Trail overlooking the Bryce Amphitheater. Views of the cliff walls and rock formations come to life with vibrant gold colors as the sun rises in the distance. After breakfast, you will embark to Zion National Park. Along the way, you make a stop at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park for a walk through stunning, coral-colored dune fields surrounded by red sandstone cliffs, blue skies and juniper and pinyon forests. En route to Zion National Park, you make an interesting stop at the Maynard Dixon summer home and studio. Dixon was a well-known painter of Southwestern U.S. landscapes and native peoples during the first half of the 20th century. You’ll enjoy a private tour of his log home and grounds, and a picnic lunch outside the studio. Later in the afternoon you arrive at your hotel in Springdale, a riverside oasis where sun-hued stucco, timbers reclaimed from old railroad trestles, and native stone grace this beautifully landscaped property adjacent to Zion National Park. Relax at the hotel with an opportunity to swim in the pool before dinner.
• Riverside walk past hanging gardens of wildflowers
• Enjoy a night on the town in Springdale
Zion National Park is characterized by a range of colorful canyons, sandstone cliffs, rocky deserts and cool forested plateaus. The theme for this day is water, as you first set off together to the Temple of Sinawava for a shaded riverside walk along the Virgin River and upstream to Zion Canyon Narrows. The walk is adorned with beautiful hanging gardens of wildflowers in the spring and summer, and vibrant foliage in the fall months. Everyone enjoys getting their feet wet on explorations up the famous Zion Narrows, a slot gorge 20 feet across at its narrowest point with canyon walls that extend up to 2000 feet above. Enjoy a delicious picnic lunch among some of the most beautiful scenery in the southwest. Tonight, enjoy a night on the town in Springdale.
• Explore the Emerald Pools
•Art gallery exploration
•Part company in St. George
This morning, join your guide for an exploration of the beautiful Emerald Pools trail. Emerald Pools is a Zion classic: an oasis in the middle of the desert. The walk is a collection of short trails that meander past a small, lushly-vegetated stream that rolls down from the cliffs and forms several interesting pools. Returning to Springdale late morning, spend a couple of leisurely hours exploring the local shops and art galleries, showcasing photography, ceramics, jewelry and Native American art created by local artists and inspired by the beauty of Zion. Later this afternoon, a short drive brings us back to St. George where we part company in time for dinner and return shuttles to Las Vegas.