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Canyons of the American Southwest

Iconic Vistas and Wondrous Light—A Journey into Bryce, Zion & Grand Canyon
8-9 Days
10-13
From $5395
Standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon, searching the shadowy depths for a glimpse of the silver ribbon that is the Colorado River, we're overcome by a sense of 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 expert naturalists 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, USANorth American Safari Truck, Zion 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

  • The Grand Canyon Less VisitedGaze into the Grand Canyon’s depths from the more remote and less-visited North Rim, on this out-of-the-ordinary, small-group adventure 
  • Helicopter Flight Over Bryce CanyonDiscover the scenic drama of Bryce and Zion, and take a 30-minute helicopter flight for thrilling aerial shots of Bryce Canyon's pink sandstone hoodoos 
  • Stay at Historic Park LodgesClassic stone and timber national park lodges, optimally located near park highlights, offer 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 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 iconic national park lodges often fill within hours of space made available annually. Most visitors end up fighting to see the sights with hundreds, even thousands, 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, outstanding interpretation, and show you hidden corners of the parks revealed through our “insider” knowledge.
  2. Small Groups Led by Two Expedition Leaders
    Our trips are limited to 13 travelers—and just 12 on 2020 photo tours, dropping to only 10 on 2021 photo departures! Each is guided by two Expedition Leaders, for the utmost in flexibility, peaceful nature encounters, personalized interpretation and superb service. We divide into even smaller groups, traveling in two vehicles that can access places big buses can’t reach—and 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 that Bryce is renowned for 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. Stay on the Grand Canyon’s Quieter North Rim
    Most visitors to the Grand Canyon go to the South Rim, which is far more heavily trafficked and more heavily paved than its counterpart across the chasm. More remote and less accessible, the North Rim evokes an experience of the Grand Canyon as it was decades ago, when the predominant sound was wind in the pines, and you could wander trails on the rim without huge crowds. 
  5. Take Part in Both Classic and One-of-a-Kind Activities
    Of course, you'll enjoy coveted highlights, like riding a mule into the Grand Canyon (if you want to) and walking The Narrows in Zion. 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. Exclusive Safari Vehicles with Pop-Top Roofs for Enhanced Viewing
    Nat Hab has crafted new Mercedes Sprinters into our own specialty North American Safari Trucks. Three double-wide pop-top roof hatches plus large side windows offer 360-degree views on these dramatic landscapes. Everyone has a window seat and plenty of room for camera equipment and other gear. These customized vehicles make a big difference in your overall experience!
  7. 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.
  8. 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 stunning geological features we've come to see. We often 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 rich palette of colors that transform the natural bridges, cliffs and canyon walls. And we linger at sunset as the colors gleam, deepen and fade. 
  9. 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. Staying at these fine rustic inns that are a classic part of national park heritage adds a great deal to your experience—and you don't have to scramble for reservations, which are almost impossible for most individuals to get on their own.
  10. Our Guides Know This Region Intimately
    With decades of experience in this region, our expert naturalist guides know where the “paths less traveled” are found, 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 wildlife, geology, natural history and native cultures of canyon country. 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.
  11. Expert Photography 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, offering all the personalized tips you need to improve your skills and go home with memories you'll be proud of.  
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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!
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