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This tour is currently not offered. A very similar tour that is running is Great Parks of the Southwest.
Featuring The Grand Canyon . Lake Powell . Las Vegas . Sedona . Bryce & Oak Creek Canyons . Zion National Park . Valley of Fire
Discover the scenic southwestern U.S. on this 10-day tour through Cowboy Country. Your tour begins in Chicago where you'll board the legendary Southwest Chief for your journey to Flagstaff. From there travel by motorcoach to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon, as well as Lake Powell, Bryce and Zion National Parks, Las Vegas, Sedona, and Winslow. The rushing rivers, deep valleys, rugged wilderness and natural wonders of Arizona, Utah, and Nevada make this a truly memorable vacation.
Scenic highlights of your trip include:
- Round-trip transportation aboard Amtrak's Southwest Chief
- Transportation aboard a deluxe motorcoach
- 7 nights hotel accommodations
- Two nights aboard Amtrak's Southwest Chief
- 19 meals
- Sightseeing excursions at the Grand Canyon, Lake Powell, Bryce and Zion National Parks, Las Vegas, and Verde Canyon Railroad trip.
- Services of a professional tour director
- Baggage handling
- Taxes and service charges
- Raton Pass
- Grand Canyon
- Lake Powell
- Glen Canyon
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Zion National Park
- Las Vegas
- Oak Creek Canyon
- Dry Creek Basin
Day 1 - Depart Chicago aboard the Southwest Chief
Arrive at Chicago's historic Union Station and meet your tour director in the Metropolitan Lounge. If you have time before boarding, go to the top of Willis Tower for breathtaking views of the city. You will board the Southwest Chief about 30 minutes prior to your 3:15 pm departure. This will give you time to get settled before the train begins its journey west. Take time this evening to meet your fellow travelers and enjoy a full-course dinner in the dining car. Snacks and lighter fare can be purchased in the Sightseer Lounge, the glass-enclosed car with expansive floor to ceiling windows offering impressive views of the ever-changing scenery. (D)
Day 2 - Southwest Chief to Flagstaff
After a hot breakfast, admire the passing scenery, keeping an eye out for Raton Pass, reaching an elevation of 7,834 feet. Enjoy a Trails and Rail presentation led by volunteer rangers in the Sightseer Lounge and learn about the area through which you're traveling. Get set for adventure and experience the historic wonders of the Santa Fe Trail as you cross New Mexico and Arizona! Enjoy a brief train side walk when you pull into Albuquerque around 4:00 pm before continuing on to Flagstaff, Arizona where you're scheduled to arrive just before 9:00 pm. Transfer to your hotel for the evening. Overnight Holiday Inn Express. (B, L, D)
Day 3 - Grand Canyon Excursion
After breakfast at your hotel, board your deluxe motorcoach bound for the Grand Canyon, seen by more than five million visitors each year. Carved over several millennia through the rocks of the Colorado Plateau, the canyon is unsurpassed in size, color and geological importance. Your tour of the South Rim will give you an opportunity to see the canyon from Mather, Yavapai and Desert View lookout points. Admire the spectacular views of the Colorado River, the Canyon, the Painted Desert and Kaibab National Forest. Later today, travel to Page, Arizona, and enjoy a group dinner in the Rainbow Room at your hotel. Overnight Lake Powell Resort. (B, D)
Day 4 - Lake Powell and Bryce Canyon National Park
Beautiful Lake Powell is located partly in Arizona and partly in Utah. No visit to the area would be complete without a cruise on the crystal-clear lake. Formed during the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam in 1963, Lake Powell is the second largest man-made lake in the country and is home to an abundance of wildlife along its shores.
After your cruise, travel to Bryce Canyon National Park for a guided tour including spectacular views of the cavernous canyons. The Park is named for just one of the many canyons that form a series of horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters on the edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Erosion has carved colorful limestone into thousands of spires, arches and mazes. As you travel to your hotel late this afternoon, get ready for a great evening beginning with dinner at the Cowboy's Buffet and Steak Room. Overnight Best Western Ruby's Inn. (B, D)
Day 5 - Zion National Parks
After breakfast at your hotel, make the scenic ride to Utah's first National Park, Zion National Park. Your tram tour will showcase the most stunning aspects of the Park, from hidden waterfalls and hanging gardens to spectacular red and white sandstone cliffs that tower thousands of feet high and a spectacular gorge of uniquely-colored sandstone and shale carved by the Virgin River. About a half-mile deep and a half-mile wide, the canyon narrows to about 300 feet at the Temple of Sinawava.
After a full day of touring, sit back and relax on your motorcoach ride to Las Vegas, where you'll arrive mid-evening. A stop for dinner will be made en route. After checking into your hotel, take the town by storm and explore the nightlife of this desert paradise! Overnight Flamingo Las Vegas. (B, D)
Day 6 - Fabulous Las Vegas
After breakfast this morning, embark on an architectural tour of four of Las Vegas' most spectacular hotels and casinos: The Venetian, New York-New York, Excalibur and Luxor. Your visit ends at the breathtakingly beautiful Venetian, with its plentiful food court, just in time for lunch! The afternoon is at your leisure to lounge by the pool or try your hand at a game of chance. Overnight Flamingo Las Vegas. (B)
Day 7 - Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona
This morning, cross the new Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge and enjoy spectacular views of the Hoover Dam. Continue south to Oak Creek Canyon, the second most visited tourist area after the Grand Canyon. Keep your camera handy! This canyon is known for its multi-colored cliffs, colorful rocks and unique formations.
Your next destination is Sedona, nestled among crimson towers of sandstone, and a stunning sanctuary for unique heritage, culture and contemporary arts. Shop for pottery, paintings, jewelry and art in the excellent galleries and boutiques found throughout the city and in Tlaquepaque, a Mexican/Spanish-style village. Check into your hotel and admire the amazing views of the surrounding hills. Don't miss the brilliant orange and red glow of the formations when illuminated by the setting sun. This evening you'll enjoy a chuckwagon supper and live Western stage Show at Blazin' M Ranch. Overnight Best Western Inn of Sedona. (D)
Day 8 - Sedona and Verde Canyon Railroad
The morning is yours to explore the wonders of Sedona: see the sun rise and light up the dramatic red rocks, shop in the boutiques near your hotel, or take an exciting Jeep tour into historic Dry Creek Basin and hear tales of the early cowboys. Your tour continues with a trip on the famous Verde Canyon Railroad tourist train, a three-and-a-half-hour round-trip excursion through Arizona's "other" Grand Canyon. You'll see Sinaqua Indian Ruins and a variety of wildlife and waterfowl. Later this afternoon, board your motorcoach and travel to Winslow, Arizona. Meet your traveling companions this evening for a farewell dinner in the Turquoise Room restaurant located at your hotel. Overnight La Posada Hotel. (B, D)
Day 9 - Southwest Chief En Route to Chicago
Early this morning, you'll transfer to the Winslow Amtrak station and board the Southwest Chief bound for Chicago. After settling into your seat, start the day with breakfast in the dining car. Keep your eyes peeled for more spectacular desert terrain and mountain scenery as the train travels through Arizona and New Mexico. Visit the Sightseer Lounge for breathtaking views of the passing scenery, chat with your fellow travelers, or relax on your own and reflect on your exciting travels through America's Southwest. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 10 - En Route - Back to Chicago
The Southwest Chief rolls across the plains of northeast Missouri, touches Iowa and travels through Illinois before you arrive back in Chicago at 3:10 pm. Your tour ends upon arrival in Chicago. (B, L)
Flamingo Las Vegas: Located on the famous four corners of Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road, this iconic hotel features roomy accommodations, many dining options, a spa, salon, pools, golf and tennis, and a wildlife habitat in addition to a 77,000 square foot casino
Holiday Inn Express: Located near the Grand Canyon and Oak Creek Canyon, this 155-room hotel features an arcade/game room, indoor and outdoor pools, whirlpool, and breakfast room.
Best Western Ruby's Inn: This 368-room has the distinction of being the closest hotel to Bryce Canyon. Amenities include an indoor swimming pool and spa, high-speed wireless Internet, 8 internet kiosks, a Laundromat, and two restaurants.
Best Western Inn of Sedona: This 110-room hotel features 4 promenade decks from which to admire Red Rock Country. Amenities include complimentary high-speed wireless Internet service, fitness room, and a heated outdoor pool and hot tub.
La Posada Hotel: This historic hotel built by the Santa Fe Railway in 1929 has hosted many famous guests. Shirley Temple, Clark Gable, Amelia Earhart, and President Harry Truman are only a sampling of the celebrities who have stayed in this restored railway hotel. Each room is uniquely furnished and offer views of the Santa Fe trains, cottonwood groves, the Secret Garden, or Route 66.