Grand Canyon, Bryce, and Zion National Parks Family Expedition

  • Trip Type: Family
  • 8 Days | Round-trip St. George, Utah
  • Group Size: Max 26

Expedition Details

 

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.

Trip Highlights

  • 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 - 8 Days

Day 1 — St. George, Utah

Arrive in St. George by late afternoon and check into our hotel. Meet your guides and fellow travelers at a welcome reception and presentation from a National Geographic Expert before dinner this evening.
Best Western Abbey Inn (D)

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 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 a guided star-gazing outing in this certified 'Dark Sky Park".
Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim (B,L,D)

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. We stop at Point Imperial and Cape Royal for short walks and the 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.
(B,L,D)

Day 4 — Grand Canyon/Zion National Park, Utah

Rise early this morning for a spectacular sunrise viewing before journeying north across the Kaibab Plateau on the Mt. 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 the adults can choose from hikes in the park. One of the area's many scenic overlooks is the perfect setting for the kids's to try their hand at capturing the beauty of the area. Families will be able to take home 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.
Flanigan's Inn or Desert Pearl
(B,L,D)

Day 5 — Zion National Park

The day begins with an exciting canyoneering adventure. The group will enjoy multiple rappels in a beautiful slot canyon setting, led by experienced guides. No experience is necessary to tackle this exhilarating activity. This afternoon we spend the rest of the day 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, passing under the cool spray of a waterfall, Angels Landing or the famed Narrows slot canyon.
Flanigan's Inn or Desert Pearl
(B,L,D)

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 Canyon 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 rim of the canyon and join a National Park Service Ranger for a starry night telescope viewing on the canyon rim this evening.
Bryce Canyon Lodge (B,L,D)

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 an unrestrained gallery of hoodoos, fins, mazes and spires in shades of red, orange, pink yellow and cream. Today's adventure 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.
(B,L,D)

Day 8 — Kolob Canyon/St. George, Utah

Wind through Red Canyon to Cedar Breaks National Monument and onto Kolob Canyon, a stunning, lesser known area of Zion National Park. Return to St. George this afternoon.
(B)

Related Trips

National Geographic Expert

Stewart Aitchison

Stewart AitchisonStewart Aitchison has been exploring, photographing, teaching, and writing about biodiversity, geology, and the American Southwest for forty years. He frequently travels as a naturalist and photo instructor aboard the National Geographic-Lindblad fleet. Stewart also spent ten years as a field biologist for the Museum of Northern Arizona, a nonprofit institution dedicated to preserving the Colorado Plateau's natural and cultural heritage. His travels and studies have resulted in more than 20 books, including the bestselling Grand Canyon: Window of Time, a photography book focused on the history, geology, and mystery of this natural wonder. His latest book is The Desert Islands of Mexico's Sea of Cortez. Stewart's photos have appeared in National Geographic, Arizona Highways, the Los Angeles Times, Mountain Bike magazine, National Wildlife, Nevada magazine, Outdoor & Travel Photography, Reader's Digest, and Sierra.

Stewart will join the following departure:

Jul 07 - 14, 2018

SEE OTHER EXPERTS »

Dates

2018
  • Jun 02 - 09, 2018 (waitlist only)
  • Jun 23 - 30, 2018
  • Jul 07 - 14, 2018
  • Jul 28 - Aug 04, 2018

Expedition Cost

2018

Adults

$4,495

Children (Ages 7-17)

$4,045

Price is per person, double occupancy. For a single room add $1,100 in 2018.

Airfare to/from St. George, Utah is not included in the expedition cost.

Activity Level

Light/Moderate

Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives, or easy hikes, with options for more physical activities such as hiking, kayaking, snorkeling and biking.

Click here for a description of all activity levels.

What To Expect

This expedition is designed to accommodate both adults and kids at different activity levels. Choose hiking options ranging from easy walks of one to two miles to moderate or strenuous hikes of four miles or more, depending on your preference.

In addition to our National Geographic Expert, every departure includes an extra leader as kids coordinator to ensure both kids and parents have an expedition of a lifetime.