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Indulge in Native American culture whilst exploring Northern Arizona's diverse landscapes and the Grand Canyon
Destinations > South West > Northern Arizona Bucket List
7 nights accommodation, 7 days car rental, meals as indicated and sightseeing as specified
*Price is per person based on twin share. Please speak to our team or view our terms and conditions for more information
Daily, Jan - Dec
Arizona is recognised for its most famous natural landmark, the spectacular Grand Canyon; but there is so much more to the Grand Canyon State than its namesake. Arizona is vast and ancient, an outdoor adventure lover’s paradise, with a history defined by Native Americans, larger-than-life characters, and diverse landscapes
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Join a guided tour of the canyon floor at Canyon de Chelly National Monument
Take a Navajo led tour at sunset through Monument Valley, complete with dinner and a cultural experience
Capture awe-inspiring images and memories with a visit to the Grand Canyon National Park
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Phoenix lies in a basin known as the Valley of the Sun, where the warm, dry climate attracts many sun-lovers, particularly in winter. The Arizona Upland subdivision of the Sonoran Desert has the most structurally diverse vegetation in the United States. It includes one of the most famous species of succulents, the giant saguaro cactus.
Located just east of Phoenix the town of Scottsdale has been branded as "The West's Most Western Town”. Spend some time discovering Downtown's Old Town Scottsdale with its 1920s buildings and 19th-century olive trees.
The trip north to Payson is one of the prettiest in the state. As you leave the saguaros behind, you'll enter the pine-covered region known as Rim Country. The forest and lakes of this part of the state recline in the shadow of the Mogollon Rim, a 200-mile limestone and granite escarpment that slices Arizona in half. Western novelist Zane Grey lived in a cabin near the Rim and the area inspired the settings of many of his books.
Just north of Payson, pay a visit to Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. Moss and lichen blanket the rock walls leading down to the largest natural travertine bridge in the world—hike the trail to see the 183-foot formation span Pine Creek.
Time permitting swing by Winslow's Rock Art Ranch to see one of the best-preserved collections of petroglyphs in the world, before retiring to your hotel in Holbrook. (B)
In the morning visit Petrified Forest National Park. The northern half of the park contains the Painted Desert, a colorful world of badlands and mesas stratified by layers of iron-pigmented shale, siltstone and mudstone. The southern half of the park encompasses the Petrified Forest with its petroglyphs, archaeological sites, petrified wood, and 200-million-year-old fossils. The best way to see it all is on a drive through the park; even though the route is only 28 miles, it'll take you about an hour to complete it. Stop for hikes and photos, especially at Tawa and Kachina Points.
Fun fact: Petrified Forest National Park is the only national park to protect a portion of Route 66.
Afterwards stop at Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site. It is considered a meeting ground of two cultures between the Navajo and the settlers who came to the area to trade.
Your final destination for today is Canyon de Chelly. Nowhere in Navajoland is the blend of past tradition and present culture more evident than Canyon de Chelly National Monument. The Navajo people still have a mystical bond to this red stone canyon that cuts an almost tropical path of trees and flowers through the desert. Time permitting, we suggest you take a first look into the canyon from either South Rim Drive or North Rim Drive, each more than 30 miles long, which are excellent driving routes along the canyons. The scenery is spectacular, including the White House Ruin cliff dwellings and the 800-foot sandstone spire known as Spider Rock. (B)
This morning a guided tour of the canyon floor takes you into Canyon de Chelly. On this tour, you will see many historical and archaeological sites which may include Kokopelli Cave, Petroglyph Rock, Antelope House Ruins, and the White House Ruins.
In the afternoon drive to Monument Valley, an area of free-standing sandstone rock forms that rise majestically from the desert floor. Up to 1,000 feet tall, they create a truly magical desert landscape. The beauty of the area is a fact well documented by the numerous Western movies and television commercials for which Monument Valley has served as a backdrop. Enjoy a guided sunset tour of the valley, an outdoor meal and a Navajo cultural experience. (D)
Travel to Lake Powell and Glen Canyon National Park today. Sparkling, clear, blue water laps against towering, sheer, red-rock canyon walls and sandy beaches. Lake Powell, an artificial lake that was created by Glen Canyon Dam, is 186 miles long and has 1,960 miles of shoreline, which is longer than the entire west coast of the continental United States.
There is so much to do here – maybe take a hike to famous “Horseshoe Bend” for amazing views. Late this afternoon we have reserved a Navajo guided visit to famous Antelope Slot Canyon for you.
One of the most spectacular examples of erosion anywhere in the world, the Grand Canyon is unmatched in the incomparable vistas it offers to visitors on the rim. Grand Canyon National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy a hike, explore the rim, or for an experience of a lifetime, take an optional helicopter flight out over the canyon. The Canyon is an overwhelming experience, and nothing can prepare a visitor for the sight. Be sure to find a perfect viewpoint to watch the sunset. (B)
In north-central Arizona, stunning landscapes of pine trees, red rocks and historic pioneer towns define the region. The colorful collection of buttes, pinnacles, mesas and canyons surrounding Sedona is famous the world around for its red rock vistas. Known for its beauty and serene setting amidst the beautiful Red Rocks, the town is famous for its vibrant arts community with nearly 100 art galleries and events.
Then a stop in Jerome, a boom town called Wickedest City in the West in 1903, the largest producer of copper, gold, and silver in Arizona simultaneously in the 1920s before the mines closed in 1953 and it became the largest ghost town in the west. Beginning in the 1960s, the town was restored with historical accuracy and revitalized as an arts community.
Your overnight stay is booked in Prescott, a mile-high city nestled in the Ponderosa Pines of Prescott National Forest. With a classic downtown brimming with Victorian homes, turn-of-the-century saloons along Whiskey Row, and other historic settings, you’ll find plenty of Western history in Prescott – much of it dating back to the days of Wyatt Earp.
Continue back to Phoenix where your exploration of Arizona comes to an end.
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