Expedition Overview

Expedition Overview

  • Discover the wonders of three national parks—Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce Canyon—alongside a National Geographic expert.
  • Set out on an interpretive stargazing excursion along the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
  • 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

Discover the geological treasures of the American Southwest, exploring Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce Canyon National Parks. Explore the North Rim of the Grand Canyon on foot, and learn about the powerful forces that have carved this mile-deep chasm over 200 million years. Hike amid Zion's wonderland of slot canyons, hanging gardens, and waterfalls, and explore Bryce Canyon's otherworldly maze of crimson-colored spires. Soak up the Old West atmosphere at historic park lodges.

Day 1: St. George, Utah

Arrive in St. George by late afternoon and check in to our hotel. 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, 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. After dinner this evening, gather for guided stargazing outing in this certified “Dark Sky Park.”

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 vermilion, white, and pink cliffs of Grand Staircase and the orchards of Long Valley. Later this afternoon, take a short hike before settling into our hotel in Zion Canyon. 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
Day 5: Zion National Park

Spend today exploring 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:Flaningan's Inn
Day 6: Bryce Canyon National Park

Bid farewell to Zion this morning with one last hike before continuing to our final destination, Bryce Canyon National Park. A hike along the canyon rim from Fairyland Canyon to Sunset Point offers a breathtaking introduction to this natural wonder. Settle into our home for the next two nights near the rim of the canyon. 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 hikes wind along the rim and down into this striking landscape. 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 Cedar Breaks National Monument, a stunning natural amphitheater with similar hoodoo formations as those found in Bryce Canyon. Return to St. George this afternoon.

Meals Included:Breakfast