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Canyons of the American Southwest

An Expertly Guided Journey into the Hidden Corners of Bryce, Zion & Grand Canyon National Parks
8 Days From $4895
Standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon's North Rim, 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. No less moving are neighboring Bryce and Zion, whose pink pinnacles and soaring sandstone ramparts round out this trio of famed Southwest parks. Explore all three in depth on this classic Western adventure, enjoying stays in historic park lodges en route. And on our quieter spring and fall departures, visitors are fewer and the high desert light is pure magic.
    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 evocative depths from the more remote and less-visited North Rim, on this out-of-the-ordinary canyonlands adventure
  • Helicopter Flight over Bryce CanyonOur guides reveal the wonders of Zion and Bryce Canyon, and a helicopter flight over Bryce lends a thrilling aerial perspective on the rose-colored sandstone hoodoos 
  • Stay at Historic Park LodgesClassic stone and timber national park lodges, optimally located with proximity to park highlights, offer the ambience of adventure from a century ago

See the Corners, Colors and Characters that Casual Visitors Can’t!

While most people are familiar with the sweeping panoramas and fantastic formations of three of America’s most spectacular Southwest canyons—Bryce, Zion and the Grand Canyon—very few get to see the best of these iconic national treasures away from crowds. Relegated to large bus tours and heavily traveled trails, most visitors miss the authentic side of the Southwest's magnificent monuments. Our small groups see secret places not revealed by the impersonal big-tour approach—and you’ll experience far more with us than going it on your own. Here’s how:

  1. We Take the Hassle Out & Leave the Wonder In!
    Zion, Bryce and Grand Canyon are some of America’s most popular national parks. Most travelers have to book months out to get desirable accommodations, and often end up navigating the sights with hundreds, even thousands, of other visitors, trying to consult brochures, maps and guidebooks in an effort to catch the “highlights.” When you travel with us, we take care of it all—you’re assured of wonderful places to stay, outstanding interpretation you’d never get on your own, and the hidden side of the parks our “insider” perspective reveals.
  2. A Small Group Means More Intimate Nature Encounters
    Our trip is limited to approximately 14 travelers who are accompanied by two NHA Expedition Leaders. This allows us to break into even smaller groups, traveling in small vehicles with access to roads and places that large motorcoaches simply can’t get to. And since wildlife is more comfortable with fewer people around, we are more likely to enjoy encounters with some of the creatures that call these rugged environs home. 
  3. Stay on the Grand Canyon’s Quieter North Rim
    Most visitors to the Grand Canyon concentrate on the South Rim, which is far more touristed and 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 in relative solitude. 
  4. Take Part in Both Classic and One-of-a-Kind Park Activities
    You’ll get to participate in some highly popular activities such as riding a mule into the depths of the Grand Canyon or walking The Narrows in Zion. But we also add more unusual stops and sights, which often end up being the real highlights of the trip for many guests. Our Expedition Leaders, who are intimately familiar with this region, introduce you to the crannies, cultures and local “characters” that bring these stony scenes to life in vivid, fresh ways.
  5. Experience a Private Helicopter Journey Over Bryce Canyon
    At Bryce Canyon, we take to the skies on a thrilling 30-minute helicopter flight over the canyon walls and "forests" of pink sandstone hoodoos the park is renowned for. Our aircraft is able to fly low and slow, giving you a good chance to get exciting perspectives of famous formations and the broader canyon landscape.
  6. Exclusive Nat Hab Safari Trucks—Special Pop-Top Roofs Enhance Viewing!
    As on an African safari, the quality of your adventure vehicle is key to exploring America's national parks. A far cry from the typical buses other companies use, Nat Hab has crafted new Mercedes Sprinters into specialty “North American Safari Trucks.” Three double-wide pop-top roof hatches plus large side windows allow for 360-degree views of the landscape and wildlife. Every guest has a window seat and plenty of room for camera equipment and other gear. These exclusive vehicles make a big difference in your overall experience!
  7. Enjoy Personal Interactions with Colorful Local Residents
    While the geology of the Southwest is undoubtedly the greatest draw of canyon country, its human history is also fascinating. From ancient Native Americans to Mormon pioneers, from cowboys to river runners, explorers and settlers of the canyons have inspired their fellow humans for eons. We make sure you meet some of the local people who have a history here—and a few stories to tell.
  8. We Take Advantage of the Best Light
    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 facilitate opportunities to witness these wonders in the stunning light that enhances them best. Unlike bus tours that have to accommodate 40 or 50 people, our small group has the flexibility to move when the light is best. Some days we’ll rise early to see the first rays of sunlight reflected off of the rock formations, bathing them in a vermilion glow. As the sun climbs, natural bridges, cliffs, even waterfalls showcase an astounding palette of colors. Or we may linger over a radiant sunset, to quietly take in the grandeur of these astounding landscapes as the colors gleam, deepen and begin to fade. 
  9. Peaceful and Proximate Accommodations 
    We select atmospheric inns and lodges for their ambience and outstanding locations, including two classic properties inside the parks—Bryce Canyon Lodge and Grand Canyon Lodge on the North Rim—at a time of year when they are much mellower than the height of summer. A chance to stay at these fine rustic inns that are part of national park heritage adds a great deal to your Southwest canyons experience—and you don't have to jockey for reservations, which are almost impossible for most people to get on their own.
  10. With Decades of Experience, Your Guide Knows Every Trail 
    With an average of 20 years’ experience in this area, our expert naturalist guides know where the best “paths less traveled” are located, for wildlife watching and breathtaking landscape views. They know how to avoid the swarms of tourists that offload from big motorcoaches—and will inform you about every aspect of the region’s wildlife, geology, natural history and native cultures. With lots of special stops and surprises up their sleeves, our Expedition Leaders share a side of the canyons that most visitors never see. See Expedition Leader bios with traveler comments regarding the quality of our leaders.
  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 the Way You Travel
    We all care about the planet, and you can travel with us knowing that the emissions from your trip are 100-percent carbon-offset. Natural Habitat Adventures is the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company, a feature that is especially critical when considering that natural ecosystems and wildlife are under substantial threat from our planet’s warming temperatures.
  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 its worldwide travel partner—a designation that makes us exceedingly proud!
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