The biggest concentration of national parks and the most stunning scenery anywhere...

Heart of the Southwest


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Heart of the Southwest Overview

Polaroid - Horseshoe Bend

Vegas nightlife to classic red rock scenery at the heart of the Southwest. THIS is the tour if you are new to the American West. The Grand Canyon. Zion. Arches. Bryce Canyon. Capitol Reef. Arches. Canyonlands. Monument Valley. We take you to all of them. Hike. Swim in Lake Powell. Special highlights include horseback riding on a remote Utah ranch, and a jeep tour of Monument Valley with a special overnight camp out. Find the hidden viewpoints, and escape the crowds by going to lesser visited areas of popular parks. This tour is mainly about spectacular scenery but there is something here for everyone!

DAY 1: Las Vegas.

Arrive any time. HOTEL: Las Vegas, NV

DAY 2: Zion National Park.

Tour starts. Drive to Zion National Park for hiking. HOTEL: Springdale, UT

DAY 3: Bryce Canyon National Park.

AM hiking in Zion, Drive to Bryce Canyon. HOTEL: Bryce Canyon City, UT

DAY 4: Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

Drive scenic Hwy 12 through Grand Staircase-Escalante to Hell's Backbone for horseback riding (included). HOTEL/CABINS: Boulder, UT

DAY 5: Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

Relaxing or hiking in the vicinity. HOTEL/CABINS: Boulder, UT

DAY 6: Capitol Reef National Park.

Cross Boulder Mountain for hikes in Capitol Reef. HOTEL: Torrey, UT

DAY 7: Goblin Valley State Park & Dead Horse Point State Park.

Drive day to Moab, with state parks en route. HOTEL: Moab, UT

DAY 8: Arches National Park.

Visit and hike Arches National Park. HOTEL: Moab, UT

DAY 9: Canyonlands National Park.

Explore Canyonlands or vicinity. HOTEL: Bluff, UT

DAY 10: Monument Valley.

Scenic views and jeep tour of Monument Valley (included). CAMPING OVERNIGHT: Monument Valley, UT

DAY 11: Lake Powell.

Visit Lake Powell, Antelope Canyon, and see Glen Canyon Dam. HOTEL/CABINS: [vicinity of] PAGE, AZ

DAY 12: Grand Canyon National Park.

Drive to North Rim of the Grand Canyon for hiking. HOTEL/CAMPING: Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

DAY 13: Grand Canyon National Park.

Explore more of the North Rim. HOTEL/CAMPING: Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

DAY 14: Las Vegas.

Return to Las Vegas, end of tour. HOTEL: Las Vegas, NV

Summer / Autumn 2013:  13 days / 14 nights

DAY 1:

Las Vegas.

All-you-can-eat buffets, Elvis impersonators, and everything else!

DAY 2:

Zion National Park.

Leave the glitz of Vegas behind for the real star of this trip: chiselled red rock cliffs and the wide open spaces of the Colorado Plateau, an area of intense scenic beauty in southern Utah and northern Arizona. Our trekking grounds for the next two weeks, head first to Zion National Park for hiking and canyon views.

DAY 3:

Bryce Canyon National Park.

Red rock, everywhere! Hike today near Bryce Canyon, a high altitude amphitheatre full of rocky spires, before sleeping at the famous Ruby’s Inn.

DAY 4-5:

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument / Boulder, Utah.

After a dawn hike descending into Bryce Canyon, drive scenic Highway 12 through Escalante National Monument to the secluded and authentic Boulder Mountain Guest Ranch. Here, enjoy a full day of horseback riding (included!) and relaxation.

DAY 6:

Capitol Reef National Park.

A short drive over aspen and pine-clad Boulder Mountain brings us to Capitol Reef National Park. Time for hiking today in Capitol Reef or vicinity.

DAY 7-8:

Arches National Park.

Moab, Utah is our base for two nights, the outdoor recreation capital of southern Utah. Moab attracts off-roaders and mountain bikers to its famous slickrock trails, and nature lovers to its two nearby national parks. Take in the views at Canyonlands, followed by hiking in Arches the next morning with the afternoon off to explore the town.

DAY 9:

Canyonlands National Park.

Get off the beaten track! Visit the more isolated southern unit of Canyonlands National Park, or go for a hike on nearby public lands that see few visitors.

DAY 10:

Monument Valley.

Experience some of the most iconic red rock country in the West. Take a jeep tour of Monument Valley Tribal Park and gather insights into native life, sleeping out for a special overnight campout! (Included activity).

DAY 11:

Lake Powell.

Swim at Lake Powell or tour Antelope Canyon (weather permitting), a famous example of a desert slot canyon. See Glen Canyon Dam, second highest dam in the USA.

DAY 12-13:

Grand Canyon National Park.

Visit the Grand Canyon National Park’s lesser known north rim, wilder and higher than the south. Peer over sheer cliffs into the depths of the Colorado River. If weather conditions are favorable, these two nights could be special, scenic camping nights since hotels in the area are few and far between.

DAY 14:

Las Vegas.

Swap nature for civilization as we return to Las Vegas for a Friday night out. Culture shock at the best of times, Sin City is blistering hot and out of control. Make the most of it!

What do I get for my money?

  • Included activities (see sidebar at right).
  • All ground transportation by climate-controlled van (maximum 13 persons).
  • Shared hotel accommodation (2+ stars) and cabins on 11 nights. Up to 3 nights are special camping nights.
  • Admission to all included national parks and recreation areas.
  • Services of an experienced tour leader.
  • Sandwich lunches on most days (excluding free days).

$2,300 USD   per person

Departure 1:

September 2013 calendar

  • SEPTEMBER 14, 2013 (saturday night arrival in Las Vegas) to SEPTEMBER 27, 2012 (trip ends on friday in Las Vegas.)


wildlife or nightlife?

GRAPH - Heart of the Southwest Ranking Index

departure #1

  • SEPTEMBER 14, 2013 (saturday night arrival in Las Vegas) to SEPTEMBER 27, 2013 (trip ends on friday in Las Vegas.)

view brochure

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our route

Heart of the Southwest Itinerary Map

travel style

  • age range: 18+
  • accommodation: 11 nights hotels/cabins, up to 3 nights special camping nights
  • group size: maximum 13 persons

Polaroid pic #1 Polaroid pic #2

make your own memories!

Polaroid pic #3

included activities

  • An authentic western ranch horseback ride (1/2 day)
  • Monument Valley jeep tour
  • Antelope Canyon tour
  • Vegas limo cruise on the Strip

major cities

  • Las Vegas, Nevada

cultural heritage

  • Wild West
  • Navajo & Anasazi (ancestral Puebloan) Indian cultures

national & tribal parks

  • Zion National Park
  • Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Capitol Reef National Park
  • Arches National Park
  • Canyonlands National Park
  • Monument Valley Tribal Park
  • Grand Canyon National Park

national monuments & state parks

  • Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
  • Goblin Valley State Park, Utah

national forests & recreation areas

  • Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah