Trek across the Southwest as you take in the sienna-colored canyons, towering spires and desert landscapes found in Utah’s five national parks with the Painted Canyons of the West tour with AAA Member Choice Vacations.
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What You May Experience:
The backdrop of Denver’s Rocky Mountains is the starting point of your journey. Among vistas that evoke the spirit of the Old West, marvel at the unspoiled beauty of Utah’s five national parks, crossing its byways from Arches to Canyonlands to Dead Horse, Zion, and Bryce National Park. In Colorado’s wine country, dine with new friends and enjoy a tasting at a family-run winery. Stay on the Colorado River in Moab and have a full day in Zion to explore. Discover the bright lights and glitz of Vegas.
Where You Will Stay:
What You May Eat:
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Here is a look at the details of this trip:
At A Glance: Painted Canyons of the West ~ Denver, Colorado to Las Vegas, Nevada ~ 9 days ~ 12 meals
Day 1: Denver, Colorado ~ Tour Begins
Trek across the Southwest as you take in the sienna-colored canyons, towering spires and desert landscapes found in Utah’s five national parks. Your journey begins in the mile-high city of Denver – an urban gateway to America’s natural beauty.
Day 2: Denver ~ Grand Junction
The Rocky Mountains are your traveling companions on the drive to Grand Junction. Look out at the natural scenery as you pass by Glenwood Canyon, a product of the Colorado River, carved more than 3 million years ago. Dine together at a family-owned vineyard and enjoy a wine tasting in the midst of Colorado wine country. (B,D)
Day 3: Grand Junction ~ Colorado National Monument - Moab, Utah
Set out to explore the Colorado National Monument this morning along Rim Rock Drive. Make your way to Utah on the Upper Colorado Byway, known by the locals as “River Road.” As the iconic Fisher Towers loom over breathtaking mesas, make your way to Red Cliffs Lodge, nestled along the banks of the Colorado River. Relax tonight at a cowboy barbecue, where grilled steak is at the top of the menu. (B, D)
Day 4: Moab - Arches - Canyonlands - Dead Horse Point - Moab
Journey through the otherworldly oases of two national parks. Hike* along sunset-colored arches as you make your way through Arches National Park. Continue to Canyonlands National Park, resting in the heart of the Colorado Plateau, and discover a world of mesas, canyons, and arches. Close by, at the Island in the Sky, look out over a landscape of ethereal valleys and dreamy horizons. Today’s park pilgrimage ends atop the sheer sandstone cliffs of Dead Horse Point State Park. (B, L)
Day 5: Moab - Capitol Reef National Park - Bryce
Travel through the dramatic Utah desert on Scenic Byway 24. Visit Capitol Reef National Park, named for the curved white walls that resemble the U.S. Capitol building. On the Million Dollar Highway, take in views of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, where layers of warm reds and oranges melt into smooth sided peaks. Spend the night in Bryce, your jumping-off point to Bryce Canyon National Park. (B)
Day 6: Bryce Canyon National Park - Springdale
Spend the day in Bryce Canyon National Park and see the famous hoodoos – vibrant rock formations likened to fairy chimneys. Perhaps you’ll start your morning with a hike*, getting up-close and personal with the graceful geology. Consider wandering along the Navajo Loop or Queens Garden trails for incomparable views of your surroundings. As the day draws to a close, settle into Springdale, a small town perched just outside of Zion National Park. (B)
Day 7: Springdale - Zion National Park - Springdale
There are few places on earth that match the beauty of the red and white sandstone cliffs of Zion. Make the most of an entire day exploring this rock-ridden paradise. On Zion’s open-air tram, wind along the Virgin River through the 2,400-foot deep, half-mile wide Zion Canyon. Choose how you spend the afternoon because it’s your choice! Hike* independently -OR- visit Zion’s Human History Museum. Tonight, toast with your travel companions at a farewell dinner. (B, D)
Day 8: Springdale - Las Vegas, Nevada
Age-old nature is replaced with captivating energy, vibrant lights, and endless excitement in Las Vegas. The day is yours – spend your time along the neon-lit strip however you please. (B)
Day 9: Las Vegas - Tour Ends
Say goodbye to Las Vegas and the painted canyons of America as you depart for home.