We make tracks for Arches National Park. Stunning red sandstone arches have been created over millions of years by the whipping winds that brush down the western slope of the Rocky Mountains. The park offers hiking trails through spectacular sandstone landscapes with intriguing names like the Devil's Garden. One of the more widely recognised arches, and by far the most visited, is Delicate Arch, a 65ft., freestanding arch that has become one of Utah's most famous icons (visited on Day 5).
On Day 6 you'll walk on the Primitive Trail to Double O Arch, with free time in the afternoon to spend the afternoon ‘off the trail', experiencing the charms of Moab - the small eclectic town that serves as the gateway to both Arches and Canyonlands. Day 7 is mostly a free day for optional activities, but your leader will take you on a very short scenic walk to view Mesa Arch before an afternoon drive out to Canyonlands National Park. You'll also experience the iconic view at Dead Horse Point of the Colorado River snaking its way through the water channels. Optional Activities: Mountain biking US$60Extreme off-road hummer tour US$79 Stay: Adventure Inn Moab (or similar).
On to Grand Canyon National Park; one of those rare places that has yet to be adequately described, painted or photographed in its entirety. This incredible spectacle is difficult to comprehend, even as you stand at the rim or hike down into the canyon. Carved over several millennia, this massive wonder of nature is 277 miles (445 km) long, up to 18 miles (29km) wide and over one mile deep (1.6km). Snaking through the canyon floor is the mighty Colorado River, which runs 1,450 miles (2,330km) through seven US states and two Mexican states.
Watch as the sun sets on this incredible place and attempt to comprehend this canyon's staggering proportions and power. There are many rim trail walks that you can enjoy using the parks transport, as well as the park ranger's guided nature walk, or you may just wish to sit in quiet contemplation on the edge of this natural wonder. However, with a full free day we highly recommend lacing up your hiking boots and walking the Bright Angel Trail down to Plateau Point. For a unique bird's eye view, why not opt for a scenic flight over the canyon, which offers perspectives that cannot be seen when visiting on foot. NB: Grand Canyon National Park regulations limit group size and do not allow guided hikes. Your tour leader will provide briefings, directions and maps, but are not permitted by the National Park Service to walk with you on the trails. Optional activities:, Grand Canyon helicopter flight US$289 Stay: Yavapai Lodge (or similar).