Big City to Big Outdoors Exploring the Parks
Three very different Big Excitements! The thrills that only the vibe of New York can provide combined with the visual stimuli that you will get in Utah and the buzz of Las Vegas. Which will stick in the memory longest? The skyscrapers of the city or the monoliths of the Arches National Park? The rush of people and cars or the thunder of hoofs of a herd of elk? The highs and lows of the gaming tables or the peaks and troughs of Zion National Park. You will be able to have all these sights, sounds and more on this remarkable holiday.
Here's a day-by-day guide to your itinerary. Feel free to ask us to add other days or ideas and excursions by adding them to your wishlist, so we can give you the best price.View full itinerary
A direct flight will transport you to Denver, the Mile High City where you will collect your car...
Arches National Park
Now you will arrive in red country - where the desert earth is such an extraordinary colour...
Dead Horse Point
Leave Moab behind you and start making your way to Monument Valley which is a 2.5 hour driv...
Capitol Reef Park
Leave Monument Valley behind you and head for Capitol Reef Park a h...
A treat in store today as you will drive one of America's best scenic-byways. Highway...
Bryce Canyon National Park is a series of natur...
Fly to New York for a 3 night stay (longer if you wish). Included in your stay will be a FREE entry ticket to the Empire State Building Observatory.
3 nights New York
A direct flight will transport you to Denver, the Mile High City where you will collect your car and head in to the Rockies to spend a night or two in Vail, Colorado
1 night Vail
Arches National Park
Now you will arrive in red country - where the desert earth is such an extraordinary colour and the rocks rise out of the ground in amazing shapes. Your hotel for the next couple of nights will either be Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa or Red Cliffs Lodge both of which are situated on the Colorado River about 12 miles from Moab.
You will have time to explore the Arches National Park - an easy hike will allow you to see the Double Arch, the Broken Arch and Park Avenue with its sandstone towers resembling its New York City namesake, the Delicate Arch which is the biggest and most spectacular in the park, as well as the grandfather of them all - Landscape Arch which at 290 feet has the longest span in the US beating the Kolob Arch in Zion National Park by 3 feet. The longest in the world is an amazing 400 feet but for that one you will have to go to the Fairy Bridge over the Buliu River in China. Arches National Park is a wonderland and the sort of place that brings out the amateur geologist or landscape photographer in all of us. Even if you are not a walker, you will be able to see most of the highlights if you follow theArches Scenic Drive. The road was very well designed to bring visitors close to park attractions; it will take four or five hours to drive all the park’s paved roads and spend about ten minutes at each viewpoint.
Moab is also famous for its mountain biking, hiking, four wheel driving or rafting adventures on the Colorado River which can be for any length and for any level of experience. Frontier America can arrange any of these as well as Hummer tours, horseback riding and jetboats.
2 nights Sorrel River Ranch or Red Cliffs LodgeClose
Dead Horse Point
Leave Moab behind you and start making your way to Monument Valley which is a 2.5 hour drive away. However, leave early and along the way, you should certainly stop in Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park which has one of the most photographed scenic vistas in the world. Towering 2,000 feet above the Colorado River, the overlook at Dead Horsr Point provides a breathtaking panorama of Canyonlands' sculpted pinnacles and buttes. Deposition of sediments by ancient oceans, freshwater lakes, streams and wind-blown sand dunes created the rock layers of canyon country. Igneous activity formed the high mountains that rise like cool blue islands from the desert below.
The legend of Dead Horse Point says that around the turn of the century the point was used as a corral for wild mustangs roaming the mesa top. Cowboys herded them across the narrow neck of land and onto the point. The neck was then fenced off with branches and brush. They took the best horses and the rest were left corralled on the waterless point where they died of thirst within view of the Colorado River 2,000 feet below.
2 nights in Oljato-Monument ValleyClose
A day to explore this great valley with its sandstone masterpieces that rise to 1,000 feet. The angle of the sun accents these graceful formations, providing scenery that is totally spellbinding views. The fragile pinnacles of rock are surrounded by miles of mesas and buttes, shrubs, trees and windblown sand enhancing the magnificent colours of the valley
From the Visitor Centre, you see the world-famous panorama of the Mitten buttes and Merrick Butte. You will need a guided tour from Navajo tour operators, who will take you down into the valley in jeeps for a narrated cruise through these mythical formations. Places such as Ear of the Wind and other landmarks can only be accessed via guided tours which Frontier America can arrange for you. We can also arrange horseriding and balloon tours for you. NB. Please note that whilst on the Navajo Indian lands, alcohol is not permitted.
Capitol Reef Park
Leave Monument Valley behind you and head for Capitol Reef Park a hidden treasure filled with cliffs, canyons, domes and bridges in the Waterpocket Fold, a geologic monocline (a wrinkle on the earth) extending almost 100 miles.
1 night Boulder Mountain Lodge.Close
A treat in store today as you will drive one of America's best scenic-byways. Highway 12 starts at Torrey and goes all the way through to Bryce Canyon spanning a route of 124 miles, and travels through some of the most diverse, remote and ruggedly beautiful landscapes in the US. You will pass from the remains of ancient sea beds to one of the world’s highest alpine forests, and from astonishing pink and russet stone turrets to open sagebrush flats past the Kodachrome Basin (a short drive off the Highway), Escalante Petrified Forest, and Anasazi Museum State Parks and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (also a short drive off the Highway).
Additionally, there are nine communities along Byway 12, each with a character all its own. Settled by Mormon families who established homes and ranches in the area, the towns proudly display their unique heritage and invite you to visit.
1 night Ruby’s Inn or the Best Western Bryce Canyon
(An alternative option, and to extend your holiday, is to head to the fabulous Amangiri Lodge which is an extra, worthwhile, 2 hours drive. There is a minimum stay of 2 or 3 nights depending on the season)
Bryce Canyon National Park is a series of natural amphitheatres sunk into pink cliffs and filled with delicate red rock "hoodoos." The most brilliant hues of the park come alive with the rising and setting of the sun. Summertime offers a myriad of walking/hiking trails and a 37-mile scenic drive overlooking incredible vistas. Easy drives within the park have spectacular views of redrock and pine forest scenery. Stop along the way at the Sunrise, Sunset, Inspiration, and Bryce view points but if you prefer to explore on foot, there are many trails from easy to strenuous, with varying backdrops. You can choose a hike to a waterfall, redrock hoodoos, spruce tree forests, the Bryce Amphitheater, and other famous landscapes. Navajo Loop Trail is a 1.3-mile hiking path that wanders through rock formations and draws you into the mystical hoodoos' perspective. If you have time, continue along the Queen's Garden trail for the best round-trip access to Bryce Canyon. The trail adds about 1.8 miles (3 km) and rises 320 feet back up to Sunrise Point. Frontier America can also organise riding or ATV tours.
Towards the end of the day, you will have to leave Bryce for the 1 ¾ hr drive to Zion along the Mount Carmel Scenic Highway.
Stay for 2 nights in the small town of Springdale which only has 500 full time residents but has a wealth of interesting shops and restaurants to explore if you need a rest from all the natural beauty you have seen or you can stay in Zion Park at the Zion Park Lodge.
2 nights in Springdale or Zion Park
Explore Zion National Park
Despite all you will have seen by now, Zion will still impress.
Zion translates to "The Promised Land," and that means some of the most spectacular hiking of your life and impossible landscapes you will never forget. Carved by water and time beyond the stretch of the imagination, Zion National Park is a canyon that invites you to participate in the very forces that created it. Zion National Park's soaring towers and massive monoliths create a spectacular grandeur. Over 100 years old, Zion is Utah's most visited park, welcoming more than 3 million visitors in 2012. There are numerous easy, self-guided trails and more adventurous or strenuous hikes can be found in the park ranging from easy 3-mile hikes to much more demanding 5-mile scrambles. One of the most famous hikes is along The Narrows – this is through the Virgin River itself. The hike is as long or short as you want but the best is to hike around 3-4 hours and get to Wall Street – named after New York again because of the narrowing of the canyon at this point with very high sides and slot canyon – offering spectacular light and beauty.
Zion National Park has become a favourite for Canyoneering: dozens of canyons that offer route finding, rappelling, swimming and hike challenges for beginners to advanced. Additional park activities: Backpacking, bicycling, birding, horse-back riding, rafting and ranger-led programmes all of which can be arranged by Frontier America.
Leave all the natural beauty behind you as you head for the bright lights of Vegas along Zion Park Scenic Byway route 9 through towns with such names as Hurricane and Virgin as you follow the red rock of the Virgin River. It is only a 2 1/2 hour drive but the differences are total. Las Vegas created from the desert is a cornucopia of bright lights, outrageous hotels, wonderful shows, gambling and restaurants. Dozens of renowned chefs serve their culinary creations at award-winning restaurants all over the city. Foodies who are looking for a distinctive dining experience have a dizzying array of choices.
We recommend at least 3 nights to get the best of this amazing city from where we can also arrange a visit to the Grand Canyon. Then time to end your holiday and fly back home.
3 nights Las Vegas
This is a selection of hotels for this itinerary. Some areas have many more choices; please use the search function above if you wish to find an alternative hotel.
New York City
Zion National Park
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This suggested itinerary is our recommendation but can be tailored to match your wishes and needs
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