Natural Habitat Adventures

Canyons of the American Southwest

Iconic Vistas & Wondrous Light—A Journey into Bryce, Zion & Grand Canyon
8 Days
10-13
From $5995

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Standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon, searching the shadowy depths for the silver ribbon of the Colorado River thousands of feet below, we are overcome by wonder at our own tiny instant in geological history. The canyon's sedimentary layers, stacked more than a mile thick, are a calendar for the millennia, formed by the erosive power of water and wind over eons. While this region is known as Red Rock Country, the canyon walls glow gold, rose, rust and violet, ever-changing as the high desert light works its magic for photographers seeking coveted shots. No less moving are neighboring Bryce and Zion, whose pink pinnacles and soaring sandstone ramparts round out this trio of famed Southwest national parks. Explore highlights and hidden corners of all three on this classic Western nature adventure, guided by natural history experts, with stays at historic national park lodges.
  Click here to learn about our special photo departures.
    Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, USABighorn sheep, Zion National Park, UtahBryce Canyon National Park, Utah, USAGrand Canyon National Park, Arizona, USAZion National Park, Utah, USAGrand Canyon National Park, Arizona, USAZion National Park, Utah, USABryce Canyon Lodge, Utah, USABryce Canyon National Park, Utah, USAWest Temple and Sundial peaks, Zion National Park, UtahFlanigan’s Inn, Zion National Park, UtahGrand Canyon National Park, Arizona, USA

Trip Highlights

  • Explore the Grand Canyon with an Expert NaturalistGaze into the multihued layers of the Grand Canyon from less-visited overlooks, as our Expedition Leader unveils millennia of fascinating natural history
  • Fly over Bryce Canyon by HelicopterWitness the geological drama of Bryce and Zion, and get thrilling aerial photos of Bryce Canyon's pink sandstone hoodoos on a 30-minute helicopter flight
  • Stay at Historic National Park LodgesEnjoy coveted stays at classic stone and timber national park lodges, optimally located and offering the ambience of adventure from a century ago

See the Corners, Colors & Characters Most Visitors Miss

While travelers may be familiar with the sweeping panoramas and fantastic formations of Bryce, Zion and the Grand Canyon, few get to experience these iconic national parks off the conventional track. Relegated to bus tours, crowded park roads and heavily traveled trails, most visitors miss a quieter encounter with the Southwest's magnificent monuments, including secret spots revealed by our in-the-know guides. Here's what makes our approach better:

  1. Experience All the Wonder & None of the Hassle
    Zion, Bryce and Grand Canyon are some of America’s most popular parks, globally coveted destinations. It's imperative to book accommodations months out, and the in-demand park lodges often fill within hours of space made available annually. Most visitors end up fighting to see the sights with hundreds of other visitors, juggling brochures, maps and guidebooks. When you travel with us, you'll worry about none of that: we arrange the best places to stay, provide outstanding interpretation, and show you hidden corners of the parks via our “insider” knowledge.
  2. Small Groups Led by Two Expedition Leaders
    Our trips are limited to 13 travelers, and just 10 on photo departures. Each is guided by two Expedition Leaders, for the utmost in flexibility, quiet nature encounters and personalized service. We divide into even smaller groups, traveling in two vehicles that can access places buses can’t reach, while providing the opportunity to pursue different activities to suit varying physical ability levels.  
  3. Private Helicopter Flightseeing over Bryce Canyon
    Gain a rare and thrilling perspective on the canyon walls and "forest" of pink sandstone hoodoos on a 30-minute private helicopter flight. Our aircraft flies low and slow, offering panoramic vistas and photography opportunities you can't get on the ground.
  4. A Quieter Experience of the Grand Canyon
    For a less-crowded experience of the Grand Canyon, choose our North Rim itinerary. More remote and harder to get to, the North Rim evokes a feel for what the Grand Canyon was like decades ago, when the predominant sound was wind in the pines, and you could wander trails on the rim without huge crowds. But we know some visitors don't want to miss the famous South Rim. Although it has more people and pavement than its counterpart across the chasm, it's also more historic, home to the classic village that sprang up in the 1930s. Yet even here, our seasoned guides get you to more secluded spots—less-crowded overlooks and little-known trails—so you can soak up the grandeur in peace. 
  5. Take Part in Both Classic and One-of-a-Kind Activities
    Of course we include coveted highlights, like walking The Narrows in Zion and an optional Grand Canyon mule ride (on North Rim itinerary only). But we also add more unusual sights and pursuits that most visitors don't have access to. Our Expedition Leaders are intimately familiar with this region and introduce you to the crannies, cultures and local characters that make it truly come alive.
  6. Enjoy Personal Interactions with Local Residents
    While the geology of the Southwest is the greatest draw of canyon country, the human history of the region is also fascinating. From Native Americans to Mormon pioneers, from cowboys to river runners, explorers and settlers of the canyons have inspired their fellow humans for eons. You'll get to meet some of the local people who have a history here—and a few stories to tell.
  7. Chase the Best Light for Photography
    Bright overhead sunlight is a dominant midday feature in the desert Southwest. But it doesn’t make for the best views of canyon country, let alone photos. That’s why we pursue light conditions that enhance the geological drama we've come to see. We rise early to catch the first rays of dawn bathing the rock formations in a vermilion glow. As the morning sun climbs, it reveals a shifting palette that transforms the natural bridges, cliffs and canyon walls. And we linger at sunset, watching the colors glow, deepen and fade. 
  8. Stay in the Most Coveted Locations  
    We select atmospheric inns and lodges for their ambience and proximity to nature, including two famous hotels inside the parks—Bryce Canyon Lodge and Grand Canyon Lodge on the North Rim (ask for details re: specific hotels on your chosen departure date, which may vary). Staying at these fine rustic inns that are a classic part of national park heritage adds to your experience—and you don't have to scramble for reservations, which are almost impossible to get on your own.
  9. Our Guides Know Canyon Country Intimately
    With decades of collective experience, our naturalist guides know where to find the “paths less traveled" for wildlife watching and striking views. They have secret spots where we can avoid the swarms of tourists that besiege the parks' most crowded locations, and they'll inform you about every aspect of the region's wildlife, geology, natural history and Indigenous cultures. With lots of surprises up their sleeves, our Expedition Leaders share a side of Canyon Country most visitors miss. See Expedition Leader bios with traveler comments regarding the quality of our leaders.
  10. Expert Coaching on Photo Tours
    If your goal is to capture stunning images of these classic landscapes, choose a special photo departure, designed for photographers of all ability levels. One day longer than our regular itinerary, photo tours take a slower approach, allowing time to be patient with light conditions and elusive wildlife. Your Expedition Leader is an accomplished photographer and instructor, well versed in the challenging photography conditions of high desert light, offering all the personalized tips you need to improve your skills and go home with memories you'll be proud of.  
  11. Our Quality-Value Guarantee Ensures an Exceptional Canyons Experience
    With Natural Habitat Adventures, you receive our exclusive guarantee that clearly states that we will meet the high expectations we set forth in our promotional materials. To our knowledge, this is the most ambitious guarantee made by any adventure travel company. Read our important promise.
  12. Feel Good About Your Carbon-Neutral Journey
    We care deeply about our planet, as we know you do. When you travel with us, the carbon emissions from your trip are 100% offset—including your round-trip flights from home. Natural Habitat Adventures has been the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company since 2007.
  13. Natural Habitat Adventures Is World Wildlife Fund’s Travel Partner
    Because of our commitment to environmentally friendly travel, as well as the exceptional quality of our small-group nature adventures, World Wildlife Fund, the world’s leading environmental conservation organization, has named Natural Habitat Adventures its worldwide travel partner—a designation that makes us exceedingly proud!

Read what travelers are saying about our Canyons of the American Southwest adventure:

4.9 average rating out of 43 reviews
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