Ultimate Southwest Escape Private Tour Itinerary + Review
Meet Charles, Karen & Family
When Charles and Karen contacted DETOURS wanting to plan a vacation for their family to the Southwest, we got right to work! Hoping to give you a better understanding of what a private family vacation may look like, we shared their day-by-day itinerary below. We departed from Las Vegas, Nevada and finished with a 2-night stop in Sedona, Arizona, which offers easy access to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport on the last day. From a helicopter tour over the Grand Canyon to a scenic hike through the towering hoodoos at Bryce Canyon National Park, adventure was always around every corner.
The Ultimate Southwest Escape Private Tour
Saturday, April 13th: Las Vegas to Bryce Canyon NP Departure Time: 7:00 AM (Cosmopolitan) Lodging: The Lodge at Bryce Canyon
Highlights: Hiking Bryce, Visiting the Hoodoos, Inspiration Point, Sunrise Point, Sunset Point
An early start today will take us from Las Vegas, across the Mojave Desert and up into the Colorado Plateau. It’s a spectacular drive, offering breathtaking views throughout the day. There are excellent hiking/walking opportunities among the Hoodoos. We’ll tour Bryce Canyon’s famous overlooks along the Rim Trail; Inspiration Point, Bryce Point, Fairyland Point. The day ends with sunset and moonrise.
Sunday, April 14th: Bryce Canyon to Zion NP Lodging: Zion National Park Lodge or Cliffrose Lodge
Highlights: Excellent hiking opportunities in Upper Zion and Zion Canyon.
There’s an optional sunrise opportunity overlooking Bryce and then a fantastic drive through the heart of Mormon country. We’ll enter Upper Zion NP through the East entrance which offers incredible sights like Checkerboard Mesa and the Canyon Overlook trail. A 1.1-mile tunnel, built in 1930, takes us into Zion Canyon which is surrounded by majestic sandstone peaks. Hike along the Virgin River or up to Emerald Pools. Your guide will know the best options.
Monday, April 15th: Zion National Park to Page Lodging: Lake Powell Resort, Page
Highlights: Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Horseshoe Bend Hike, Lower Antelope Canyon Tour.
Another amazing drive is on the cards today, to Pipe Springs National Monument, along the Spanish Trail, past Vermillion Cliffs and Marble Canyon. Before reaching our destination of Page, AZ, we have 2 hours to explore the Coral Pink Sand dunes for a family ATV adventure. Following our off-road escapades, we continue to Arizona’s native lands. Walk across the historic Navajo Bridge overlooking the Colorado River and journey into the Navajo Nation. A short walk to Horseshoe Bend, the iconic viewpoint overlooking the Colorado River, will blow your minds! Later we’ll join a Navajo guide to explore Lower Antelope Canyon. The Navajo name for Lower Antelope Canyon is Hasdeztwazi or “Spiral Rock Arches.” This incredible canyon has been created over millions of years by the relentless forces of water and wind, slowly carving and sculpting the sandstone. We’ll end the day at Lake Powell Resort for sunset and dinner in the Rainbow Room.
Tuesday, April 16th: Page Lodging: Lake Powell Resort, Page
Highlights: Speed Boat to Rainbow Bridge, 5 hours, private boat tour and dinner under the stars.
Lake Powell’s Rainbow Bridge is another Bucket List destination, so we’ll join our Captain for a private 5-hour tour by Mastercraft Speed Boat. This natural bridge is 290 feet tall from its base to the top of the arch and spans 275 feet across the creek channel. The top of the arch measures 42 feet thick and 33 feet wide. It is nearly as tall as the Statue of Liberty and you can practically tuck the US Capitol Building Dome underneath the bridge. Your captain will explore side canyons along the lake shore and take you where the tour boats cannot access. After a relaxing afternoon, we’ll bundle up and journey to another incredible overlook for a private dinner under the stars with our local chef.
Wednesday, April 17th: Page to Grand Canyon NP via Monument Valley Lodging: Thunderbird Lodge, Grand Canyon
Highlights: Tour of Monument Valley, Cameron Trading Post, Sunset at the Grand Canyon
An early start today to experience Navajo National Monument and walk the Sandal Trail overlooking the Betatakin Ruins in the canyon below. We’ll explore the Navajo Nation Tribal Park at Monument Valley with a Navajo guide. This great valley boasts sandstone masterpieces that tower at heights of 400 to 1,000 feet, providing scenery that is simply spellbinding. The fragile pinnacles of rock are surrounded by miles of mesas and buttes, shrubs and trees, and windblown sand. This combines to make Monument Valley a truly wondrous experience.
After a Navajo lunch we’ll journey to Cameron Trading Post, established by two brothers, Hubert and C.D. Richardson in 1911, and was visited at that time only by Navajo & Hopi locals to barter their wool, blankets, & live-stock for dry goods. As traders, the brothers were more than merchants. Understanding local dialects & customs, they were trusted by the local Native Americans. Next stop is the Grand Canyon National Park, stopping at the famous Desert View Tower and other viewpoints along the Rim. Our lodge is located on the Rim and we’ll head out for an unforgettable sunset walk away from the crowds. Dinner tonight will be at world renowned El Tovar Lodge.
Thursday, April 18th: Grand Canyon to Sedona Lodging: Orchards Hotel, Sedona
Highlights: Sunrise at the Grand Canyon, Grand Canyon Private Helicopter Flight, Tour of Flagstaff on Route 66
Your guide will escort you to the best spot for sunrise overlooking the Canyon. After breakfast we’ll board a private helicopter for an exciting scenic flight over the Grand Canyon. This is a once in a lifetime experience and will give you an idea of how wide and deep the canyon is from a bird’s eye perspective. Travelling south past herds of Antelope, volcanic peaks and cinder cones, Flagstaff is next. This Route 66 town has preserved the history of this famous road and we’ll have time to explore the quirky shops and railroad museum. After lunch at one of Flagstaff’s famous burger joints, we’ll take the short drive through Oak Creek Canyon and into the Red Rock Wonders of Sedona. The shops and galleries here are world famous, short hikes surround the town into the towering sandstone formations, and there might even be some time to relax!
Friday, April 19th: Sedona Lodging: Orchards Hotel, Sedona
Highlights: Private Broken Arrow Pink Jeep Tour , hiking, cycling, exploring the Vortex of Sedona, and some relaxation, farewell dinner
After a relaxing morning we’ll join Pink Jeeps for a private and thrilling off road adventure. The Broken Arrow Tour is the best off-road adventure in Sedona, which features giant red-rock spires and the area’s most iconic rock formations. If offers 360-degree views, is guided by a professional expert tour guide and is a great family experience. Possible guided hiking, cycling or horseback riding opportunities this afternoon. Visit a winery or two for lunch if you like or just kick back and relax to views from your balcony. After watching the Full Moon rise over Sedona, there will be a farewell dinner at one of Sedona’s best restaurants to cap off a great day.
Saturday, April 20th: Sedona to Phoenix Departure Time: Early morning, depending on flight time.
Destination: Phoenix Sky Harbor
The drive to Phoenix takes us into the Sonoran Desert which will be in bloom in April, past towering Saguaro Cacti and one of the lushest deserts on earth. Today’s timing depends on flight time.