Location: Nevada, Utah, Arizona
Distance: 3,166 kilometres
The south western United States was made for the lover of nature who prefers the thrill of a little outdoor adventure. Across Nevada, Utah and Arizona, you'll find a fantastic collection of national parks where rich colours and staggering formations punctuate the landscape and deep canyons cut into the ground to create endless opportunity to explore. This Canyon Adventure Tour will see you putting rubber to the road in a journey across three south western states to discover this dramatic beauty and unique experience, from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon and everything in between.
While Zion National Park offers plenty of amazing scenery, the Great White Throne stands out as a highlight that can be seen from the scenic drive as well as many hiking trails.
- Utah's Canyonlands National park is divided into three distinct sections with such iconic locations as the Island in the Sky and the Needles District.
- There is a scenic drive shuttle through Bryce National Park, which you can jump off at numerous outlooks.
- While visiting Mesa Verde National Park, you can explore historic cliff dwellings. Make sure you check out the Cliff Palace as it is the largest structure with many rooms and chambers.
- En route to Las Vegas from the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Dam is definitely worth a stop. Tours are available in which you will journey through the inside of the dam.
Days 1 & 2 – Las Vegas
The first couple days of your journey are yours to enjoy the spoils of world famous Las Vegas. Experience the fun, attractions and the atmosphere of this glittering 'Entertainment Capital of the World.' Try your luck at gambling, savour a meal at one of the many first class restaurants or see one of the famous Las Vegas shows.
Day 3 – Las Vegas to Zion National Park to Bryce National Park
Today your road adventure begins. Leave the bright lights of Vegas behind as you travel 270 miles (340kms) across the desert to the magnificent Zion National Park in southern Utah. Visitors to Zion can park their cars at the Visitor Center and ride environmentally friendly shuttles through the most scenic areas of the park.
The stunning sandstone cliffs will surround you as you explore the majesty of the park. There are many hiking trails that allow you to explore at your own pace. After Zion, continue to the equally impressive Bryce Canyon where wind and rain have carved spires from the red rocks. After a full day of exploration, continue discovering the beauty of this region by partaking in a bit of stargazing.
Day 4 – Bryce National Park to Moab
This leg of your journey will see you driving 280 miles (450kms), passing through many spectacular sights before reaching the Moab Valley. This includes the Kodachrome Basin State Park, Anasazi Indian Village and Capitol Reef National Park. The Arches National Park awaits at your final destination, where the awesome power of natural erosion is on full display.
Day 5 – Moab to Canyonlands to Mesa Verde National Park
Get behind the wheel on day five for the 143 mile (229km) stretch to Mesa Verde National Park. Along the way, stop off in Canyonlands National Park known for its rich red mesas and countless canyons, which took over 300 years to form. Highlights include the Island in the Sky and Needles District. Continue on to Mesa Verde National Park where you will be witness to some of the world's best preserved Native American cliff dwellings.
Day 6 – Mesa Verde National Park to Monument Valley to Grand Canyon National Park
Drive 310 miles (498kms) to famous Monument Valley. Used as a location in numerous John Ford westerns, this iconic region of the Colorado Plateau is known for its cluster of imposing sandstone buttes. Continue to the trading post of Cameron and through the Navajo Indian Reservation to the incredible Grand Canyon. This magnificent natural wonder is a stunning display of colour, form and geological significance measuring 277 miles (445kms) long, 10 miles (16kms) wide and 5,700 feet (1,737m) deep.
Day 7 - Grand Canyon National Park to Las Vegas
Before tackling the final 280 miles (450kms) to Las Vegas, take the morning to explore the canyon more thoroughly. Flights are readily available. Alternatively, take a short drive to Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam before continuing on to Las Vegas.
Day 8 – Las Vegas
Depart from Las Vegas with plenty of memories of your Canyon Adventure tour.