Grand Canyon, Bryce, and Zion National Parks

  • Trip Type: Land
  • 8 Days | Round-trip St. George, Utah
  • Group Size: Max 25

Expedition Details

 

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.

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, 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 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.
Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim (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. 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.
Flanigan's Inn or Desert Pearl
(B,L,D)

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, passing under the cool spray of a waterfall, Angels Landing or the famed Narrows slot canyon.
Flaningan'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 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.
Bryce Canyon Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Kolob Canyon/St. George, Utah

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

Related Trips

National Geographic Expert

Kirt Kempter

Kirt KempterKirt Kempter is a field geologist and teacher based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. A Fulbright Fellow, Kirt has led many geologic expeditions to Bryce, Zion, and Grand Canyon National Parks, and has published numerous maps and articles on the geology of the American Southwest. He has conducted fieldwork on a National Geographic-funded project, as well as studies of plate tectonics and volcanism around the world, including Iceland, Costa Rica, and Mexico. He received his Ph.D. in geology from the University of Texas.

Kirt will join the following departures:

May 26 - Jun 02, 2018
Sep 01 - 08, 2018

SEE OTHER EXPERTS »

Dates

2018
  • May 26 - Jun 02, 2018
  • Jun 02 - 09, 2018
  • Aug 04 - 11, 2018
  • Sep 01 - 08, 2018
  • Sep 09 - 16, 2018
  • Oct 06 - 13, 2018

Expedition Cost

2018

$4,495

Price is per person, double occupancy. For a single room, add $1,050 in 2017 $1,100 in 2018.

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

Featured Traveler Photo

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 guests at different activity levels. Choose hiking options ranging from easy one-to-two-mile walks to moderate or strenuous hikes of four miles or more.