In June of 2017, a group of American Classic Tours travelers will embark on a journey to the National Parks of the Southwest. On this trip we will see 5 National Parks, 1 National Recreation Area, 1 Native American Reservation, 3 states, and 2 iconic American cities. Below are 17 places you will experience if you join us on a trip to the National Parks of the Southwest.
1. Salt Lake City
In 1847 the Mormons, led by Brigham Young, finally settled in the Salt Lake City region after trekking halfway across America from Navoo, Illinois. When the Mormon's first arrived in Salt Lake Valley they found nothing but a barren, rocky desert. Despite the infertility of its soil, Young claimed that God had spoken to him, imploring that the Mormons must settle in the valley. Today, Salt Lake City sits majestically with the snow-capped peaks of the Wasatch Mountain Range to its back. Remarkably clean and well-organized, it is hard to believe that this beautiful, modern city was once a barren, largely uninhabited desert.
2. A Stay at The 5 Star Grand America Hotel
The Grand America is 24 story hotel in the heart of Salt Lake City. It is comprised of 775 guest rooms decorated with "handcrafted Richelieu furniture, original works of art, inviting balconies, and large Italian marble bathrooms."
3. The Rooftop Restaurant at Temple Square
On the first night of your trip to the Southwest National Parks you will enjoy the extravagant buffet and the beautiful views of the rooftop restaurant in downtown Salt Lake City. You eyes will feast upon the view of the Mormon Temple, downtown Salt Lake City's skyline, and the Rocky Mountains, as your taste buds delight in the multitude of options at this 5 star buffet.
4. a 2-Night Stay at the Red Cliffs Lodge
We will be staying at the Red Cliffs Lodge for the second and third nights of our trip to the Southwest National Parks. The Red Cliffs Lodge is a rustic, western-styled lodge nestled along the banks of the Colorado River in Moab, Utah. Enjoy breakfast on the back porch overlooking the the Colorado River and beautiful red rock canyon walls.
5. Arches National Park
This National Park is named Arches for a reason--it contains the world's highest concentration of natural sandstone arches. Within Arches National Park's 76,518 acres sit an astonishing 2,000 sandstone arches. Arches is also home to other unbelievable geological formations such as giant sandstone fins, enormous balanced rocks, and sky-reaching spires & pinnacles.
6. Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands National Park is often overlooked nationally and overshadowed locally by Utah's more prominent national parks including: Arches, Bryce, and Zion National Parks. However, after visiting Canyonlands National Park, you'll be left wondering why more people do not make time to visit this hidden travel gem while visiting Utah. Less than 500,000 people visit Canyonlands every year which is less than half of Utah's other major National Parks.
7. Horseshoe Bend
Located near the town of Page, Arizona, this horseshoe-shaped bend in the Colorado River creates a breath-taking view. Horseshoe Bend lies just 5 miles south of the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell.
8. Glen Canyon Dam
Located in Arizona, the Glen Canyon Dam sits on the Colorado River. Standing 710 feet high, this massive, concrete arch-gravity dam was built from 1956 - 1966 and forms Lake Powell.
9. Boat Cruise on Lake Powell
The blue waters of Lake Powell rest within its mighty, orange canyon walls. This massive, man-made lake serves the people of the Southwest in more ways than one. First, Lake Powell is as a water supply for the many homes in the Southwest. Secondly, it is home to almost 2 million recreational visitors per year who enjoy house boating, swimming and water-skiing in its waters.
10. Monument Valley & Navajo Nation
Perhaps more so than any other place, Monument Valley represents the American West - the boundless frontier romanticized in the movies of John Ford and John Wayne. The three iconic buttes sit on the red ground of Navajo Nation between Utah and Arizona.
11. The Navajo Bridge
The Navajo Bridge is only one of 7 land crossings of the Colorado River. Set against the backdrop of the vast Vermillion Cliffs, these two bridges (1 old and 1 a new replica) produce an iconic image of the American West.
12. The North Rim Lodge
It seems to good to be true: you could drink a cocktail at your hotel with some friends while you watch the sunset over the edge of the Grand Canyon. This dream-like scenario becomes a reality when you stay at the North Rim Lodge in Arizona. The image you see above is a photo of the deck of the North Rim Lodge.
13. The Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon
Despite the fact that the Grand Canyon is one of the world's most recognizable places and one of America's most visited destinations, it's Northern Rim provides a quiet, off-the-beaten path getaway. Due to both its short season (its only open May - October) and its remote location, North Rim receives 9 times less visitors per year than the busy South Rim.
14. Bryce National Park
Bryce Canyon is home to multitudes of Hoodoos, a unique geological feature which is shown in the image above. After visiting the gigantic Grand Canyon, you will be impressed by the intimate feel of Bryce Canyon National Park.
15. Zion National Park
Zion National Park offers the full package. Filled with red rock canyons, jagged mountain peaks, lush vegetation, a weeping rock, a Virgin River, unique geology, and diverse wildlife, this park has plenty of sites to feast your eyes upon.
16. The Las Vegas Strip
The Las Vegas strip is unlike any other place in the world. On this 4.2-mile long stretch of road sit 14 of the world's 25 largest hotels (by room count). Whether you want to see a show, enjoy fine-dining, or try your luck at the blackjack table, there is always something to do in the city that never sleeps.
17. The Paris Hotel in Las Vegas
The Paris Hotel sits in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip. We will enjoy a 1-night stay at this luxurious hotel & casino which is home to a stunning replica of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.