Expedition Overview

Expedition Overview

  • Discover the wonders of three national parks—Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce Canyon—alongside a National Geographic expert.
  • Hear an expert describe the geological events that shaped the regions, then delve into Zion’s magnificent sandstone slot canyons and Bryce Canyon’s surreal maze of red spires.
  • Stay in historic national park lodges, and learn about area wildlife from park rangers.

Itinerary

Itinerary

Encounter the incredible geological treasures of the American Southwest with your family on an expedition to Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce Canyon National Parks. Explore the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Hike amid Zion’s wonderland of slot canyons, hanging gardens, and waterfalls. And wind your way through Bryce Canyon’s whimsical maze of red rock spires. Stay in historic park lodges with Old West atmosphere, and take part in activities and excursions geared for explorers of all ages.

Day 1: St. George, Utah

Arrive in Las Vegas and transfer to our hotel in St. George this afternoon. Meet your guides and fellow travelers at a welcome reception and enjoy a presentation with your National Geographic expert before dinner this evening.

Meals Included:Dinner
Accommodations:Best Western Abbey Inn
Day 2: St. George, Utah/Grand Canyon, Arizona

The next morning, travel into canyon country to begin your family adventure, stopping for a catered picnic lunch at Pipe Springs National Monument—a beautiful desert oasis. We arrive at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and get our first glimpse of this amazing natural wonder. Walk along the rim and view the colorful rock formations that reveal the region's geological history.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim
Day 3: Grand Canyon North Rim

Set out to explore the canyon’s rim, peering into the multi-hued chasm carved by the Colorado River over millions of years. Stop at Point Imperial and Cape Royal for short walks and a chance to capture amazing photos. Choose from a variety of hikes for all levels and learn about the park’s unique ecosystems and geology while enjoying sweeping views at every turn. Return to the lodge this evening and capture the canyon’s dazzling colors at sunset from the stone balcony overlooking the canyon.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim
Day 4: Grand Canyon/Zion National Park, Utah

Rise early this morning for a spectacular sunrise before journeying north across the Kaibab Plateau on the Mount Carmel Scenic Byway, passing the vermillion, white, and pink cliffs of Grand Staircase and the orchards of Long Valley. Kids join a local artist for an afternoon of watercolor painting, while adults can choose from a variety of hikes in the park. One of the area's many scenic overlooks provides the perfect setting for the kids to try their hand at capturing the beauty of the area, creating an original keepsake to commemorate the trip. This evening learn about the fascinating geological history of the Grand Staircase that stretches from Bryce, through Zion, and into Grand Canyon National Park.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:

Flanigan's Inn or Desert Pearl

Day 5: Zion National Park

The day begins with an exciting canyoneering adventure. The group will enjoy multiple rappels in a beautiful slot canyon, led by experienced guides. No experience is necessary to tackle this exhilarating activity. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon to explore Zion, a wonderland of sandstone slot canyons, lush hanging gardens, and cascading waterfalls. Choose from a variety of hiking options; the Emerald Pools Trail, which passes under the cool spray of a waterfall; Angels Landing; or the famed Narrows slot canyon.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Flanigan's Inn or Desert Pearl
Day 6: Bryce Canyon National Park

Bid farewell to Zion this morning with one last hike before continuing on to the last destination of the trip, Bryce Canyon National Park. A hike along the rim from Fairyland Canyon to Sunset Point offers a breathtaking introduction to the park. Settle into our home for the next two nights near the canyon's rim. This evening, join a park ranger for a starry telescope viewing on the canyon rim.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Bryce Canyon Lodge or Best Western Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel
Day 7: Bryce Canyon National Park

Spend the day exploring Bryce's famous hoodoos and learn about one of the world's geologic masterpieces. From the rim of the canyon, the ground falls away to reveal a gallery of hoodoos, fins, mazes, and spires in shades of red, orange, pink, yellow, and cream. Today's hike winds along the rim and down into this striking landscape. Choose to travel on foot or saddle up for an exciting mule ride. Watch the sun set over the canyon and join your fellow travelers for a farewell dinner.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Bryce Canyon Lodge or Best Western Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel
Day 8: Kolob Canyon/St. George, Utah

Wind through Red Canyon to Kolob Canyon, a stunning, lesser known area of Zion National Park. Return to St. George this afternoon and connect with your flight home.

Meals Included:Breakfast