RGE TRAVELS: GREAT PARKS OF THE SOUTHWEST FEATURING THE GRAND CANYON HONORING WOUNDED WARRIOR US NAVY CPO KENTON STACY
Departure | September 20 – October 1, 2021
Discover the natural wonders and rugged wilderness of the Southwest on this scenic rail tour through Canyon Country. This tour has it all: amazing national parks, classic train journeys, spectacular sightseeing and excursions.
Travel aboard the Southwest Chief to Flagstaff, where your Southwest adventure begins. Continue by deluxe motorcoach to Williams for an excursion aboard the vintage rail cars of the Grand Canyon Railway to Grand Canyon National Park for a 2-night stay at the South Rim of the Canyon.
That’s just the beginning! Visit Lake Powell for a narrated boat cruise to ntelope Canyon and Kanab, known as “Little Hollywood” for the high number of Western TV shows and movies filmed in the area. Explore Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, and Arches National Parks and learn about the history and iconic features of each on guided tours. Take a jetboat ride along the Colorado River for a new perspective of Utah’s red rock cliffs and breathtaking scenery. Stay in Moab at the incomparable Red Cliffs Lodge, situated on the banks of the Colorado River with picture-perfect panoramas.
Iconic sites, unique experiences and five beloved national parks and make this a southwestern adventure to remember!
HIGHLIGHTS AND INCLUSIONS
• Rail travel on Amtrak (1 night on train)
• Scenic rail excursion aboard the Grand Canyon Railway
• Hotel accommodations for 8 nights, including 2 nights in Moab at the Red Cliffs Lodge and 2 nights at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon
• 12 meals, including lunch in the Rainbow Room
• Meals on the train included when upgrading to private sleeping accommodations
• 5 National Parks: Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef and Arches
• Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
• Jetboat ride on the Colorado River
• Antelope Canyon Cruise
• Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
• Services of a professional tour manager
• Baggage handling
• Key note guest speaker retired Col. Roland Guidry of Desert One documentary from History Channel
• Classes with key note guest speaker Stitch Work Designer Jean Farish
• Portion of fare will be donated to Veteran Charity
Day 1 – Depart Chicago aboard the Southwest Chief
Arrive at Chicago Union Station early this afternoon to meet your tour manager and fellow travelers. Board the legendary Southwest Chief, settle into your onboard accommodations and prepare for your overnight rail journey. Overnight train.
Day 2 – Southwest Chief to Flagstaff
Enjoy spectacular scenery from the comfort of your onboard accommodations or the Sightseer Lounge. Upon arrival in Flagstaff, we board our waiting motorcoach and transfer to our hotel. Overnight Flagstaff, AZ.
Day 3 – Grand Canyon National Park
This morning we travel by motorcoach to Williams, AZ, where we board the Grand Canyon Railway for the 90-minute journey to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. We arrive in Grand Canyon Village in time for sightseeing and lunch on your own. Our narrated motorcoach tour takes us east along the South Rim to the Desert Watchtower viewpoint. We return to Canyon Village Area for two nights lodging in Grand Canyon National Park. Overnight Grand Canyon, AZ. (B)
Day 4 – Grand Canyon at Leisure
Enjoy a day at leisure to discover Grand Canyon National Park. The park’s complimentary shuttle buses pick-up right outside our rustic lodge and take you on tours around the park. Hop on and off at those stops you want to explore at greater length. Your tour manager can assist you with suggestions. Overnight Grand Canyon, AZ. (B)
Day 5 – Antelope Canyon Cruise
After breakfast, we leave Grand Canyon National Park for Page, Az. As we head north out of the park, we stop at the Cameron Trading Post before having a delightful lunch in the Wahweap Lodge Rainbow Room. After lunch, meet at the boat launch on Lake Powell for a narrated scenic boat cruise to Antelope Canyon. This cruise provides an up-close opportunity to view the narrow, colorful, and sculpted sandstone geology of the lower end of Lake Powell. Our next stop is Kanab, UT, known by locals as “Little Hollywood” due to its history as a filming location for many western movies and television series including Stagecoach, The Lone Ranger and Gunsmoke. Overnight Kanab, UT. (B, L)
Day 6 – Zion National Park
Today we travel to Zion National Park, taking the Mount Carmel Tunnel, built in 1931, into the park. There will be time for lunch on your own at Zion Lodge before an afternoon guided tram tour. After touring the park, there is free time to explore on your own before departing the park from the east gate. Overnight Kanab, UT. (B)
Day 7 – Bryce Canyon National Park / Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
We depart Kanab this morning and drive down Long Valley to Bryce Canyon National Park. There is time for lunch on your own before our tour of the park. We leave Bryce Canyon for a drive through one of the newest monuments in the parks system, Escalante/Grand Staircase. Escalante consists of 1.9 million acres of wilderness, cut by the Paria and Escalante Rivers. We will stop for panoramic pictures as well as at the Ranger Station to learn about the establishment of this area. Our day continues with the drive to Torrey for our overnight. The views from our hotel are breathtaking. Overnight Torrey, UT. (B)
Day 8 – Capitol Reef National Park
We depart Torrey this morning and travel to Capitol Reef National Park. This remote and little-visited area of Utah is a pristine wilderness and is famous for its Navajo Sandstone that erodes into dome-like structures that resemble our nation’s capitol. We will stop at the park Visitor Center first and then make two stops at spectacular viewpoints for pictures and to see some ancient ancestral Pueblo petroglyphs. Next, we head to Green River, for lunch before continuing to Moab. Overnight Moab, UT. (B, L)
Day 9 – Arches National Park / Colorado River Jetboat Ride
Today begins with a tour of Arches National Park. This rugged area contains the largest concentration of sandstone arches, fins, spires and balancing rocks. After lunch, we board a Jetboat to travel down the calm water section of the Colorado River. Enjoy the beauty of the wilderness as we float leisurely down the red rock cliffs that mark the southern boundary of Arches National Park. We return to our hotel this evening and gather with fellow travelers for a Farewell Dinner. Overnight Moab, UT. (B, L, D)
Day 10 – Tour Conclusion
Your journey concludes after breakfast today with a motorcoach transfer to Grand Junction for flights home departing after 1:00 pm. (B)