Arrival at Denver
Depart London Heathrow – 16:05
Arrive Denver – 18:45
Journey Time – 9 hours 40 minutes
Arrival into Denver where you will pick up your rental vehicle and travel towards Denver and your hotel. Drop your bags, freshen up and go for a bite to eat before retirning for the evening…
Overnight – Denver
Denver to Glenwood Springs
This morning take a glimpse of Denver – a bustling area centered around a mile-long pedestrian promenade that is lined with outdoor cafes and flower baskets. Down every street there are mountain views. The mountain panorama visible from Denver is 120 miles long and includes nearly 200 named peaks. Downtown Denver is home to three new sports stadiums, 300 restaurants, a restored historic district filled with 90 bars and brewpubs, a collection of museums, a variety of galleries and shopping, the second largest performing arts centre in the nation, three college campuses and even a unique downtown amusement park, Six Flags Elitch Gardens. The State of Colorado Capitol Building is quite beautiful and definitely worth a visit.
Then you’re heading off for Glenwood Springs where you can enjoy beautiful mountain scenery. Go for a dip in the famous Hot Springs Pool (located in the centre of the town), visit Doc Holidays grave, Fairy Caves, Glenwood Canyon, Hanging Lake, the National Forest or the latest area attraction – Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.
Whilst there, take a look at the historic Hotel Colorado – built in 1893 this is where the Teddy Bear was supposedly invented when some hotel maids sewed and stuffed a toy bear for the President (Theodore Roosevelt) to cheer him up after a fruitless grizzly hunt.
Overnight – Glenwood Springs
Glenwood Springs to Moab
Today pick up Route I-70 West and follow the Colorado River to Grand Junction. Here we suggest you take the business loop through town and follow the signage for the Colorado National Monument. This detour will take you about 2 hours through this beautiful park and you will exit the west and pick up I-70 once again at Fruita. The route will take you on into Utah at this point. You will now begin to notice the stunning change from mountains to red rock scenery. At exit 212, take the back route (most scenic) again along the Colorado River past the Fisher Towers and the back wall of Arches and into the Moab area.
Moab is a bustling little town famous for its mountain biking trails; you are likely to see one or two bikes during your stay! Your hotel is located right along the main street. We suggest you take the evening to stroll the main street where there is a very good choice of shops and restaurants.
We have allowed three nights / two full days in the beautiful mountain town of Moab as there is just so much to do here. Why not secure yourselves on one or two of the miriad of excursions available in this town. We would be delighted to arrange on your behalf. Please speak to us at time of booking.
Overnight – Moab
Days 4 & 5
Home to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, Moab is surrounded by some of the most stunning red rock landscapes on Earth. Moab’s unique combination of small resort town hospitality, beautiful scenery and the cool waters of the Colorado River has made it one of the most sought after destinations in the southwest.
With Moab as your base camp you can choose from a plethora of outdoor activities; partake in the world famous mountain biking, hiking, four wheel driving, or river trips of any length and experience level. Those that love to walk, run, or cycle will also love the Mill Creek Parkway, a paved pedestrian walkway that meanders through the heart of Moab. For a more relaxing visit, just sit back and enjoy the scenery along the beautiful scenic drives in the the national parks or on Moabs three Scenic Byways.
Whilst here a short drive to Arches National Park is a must. You will obtain a park map at the entry gate showing you all of the stops you can make in the park to view the stunning rock formations. Details on short walks and longer hikes are also provided and the higher elevation affords some quite spectacular views. Allow 4 hours to make most of the major stops and a short walk, longer if you wish to make a longer hike.
Also, head for the park entrance of Canyonlands National Park. Travel north for a very short distance on US-191 to US-313. This is a dead-end road but it will take you to the Canyonlands National Park-Island in the Sky District, quite beautiful. Here you must certainly stop at the Mesa Arch short loop trail….you will not be disappointed. Once again there are many stops and the map provided at the park entrance marks them all. 3-4 hours for this visit should be allowed.
Downtown Moab has a great collection of restaurants, shops and galleries. Stroll through the downtown shops for a great selection of southwestern arts and jewelry, souvenirs, t-shirts, and much more. Moab’s diverse cuisine will please any palate, from regional southwestern fare to world-class gourmet. We recommend the Moab Brewing Company for good American Style food, located at the south end of Moab just as you are about to leave the town.
Overnight (2 further nights) – Moab
Moab to Mesa Verde
A pretty straight forward drive, nothing much to see on en-route so suggest you dead head straight for Mesa Verde National Park. Once again our plan works on the presumption that you will start out early for this 2 hour drive and get yourself to Mesa Verde ideally by 12 noon. The climb up into Mesa Verde from the entrance is steep with lots of switchbacks and will take you about 45 minutes to reach the visitor centre at the top.
Mesa Verde National Park is home to the ancestral pueblo cliff dwellings, which date back to the late 1200’s. These people built elaborate small villages in the sheltered alcoves of the canyon walls. A visit to Mesa Verde is quite unique and you should allow at least an afternoon here to visit the remains and enjoy the scenery.
On arrival do go to the visitor centre and book yourself on one of the ranger-guided tours which operate every hour, you can then plan the rest of your afternoon in Mesa Verde around this as everything is driveable with ample parking at all pull outs of points of interest. The tours are only a few dollars and they will take you right into the cliff dwelling remains. Both are a little adventurous and required some ladder climbing to reach them but nothing too scary. Balcony House is a little more strenuous than the tour of Cliff Palace but both are exceptionally rewarding and interesting experiences.
There is an exceptional restaurant we can pesonally recommend at Far View Lodge in Mesa Vedge National Park – a total surprise and quite unlike National Park accommodation! The restaurant has stunning views of the canyons and valleys so even if you have to wait awhile ask for a table near the window. If you do have to wait go upstairs for a drink in the small bar where there is a patio balcony.
Overnight – Mesa Verde
Mesa Verde to Monument Valley
Monument Valley presents some of the most enduring and definitive images of the American West. It is not a valley at all, but a wide, flat, sometimes desolate landscape with red mesas and buttes jutting hundreds of feet in the air. This dramatic natural architecture is made up of the surviving remnants of sandstone layers that once covered the region. Some rise up as far as 1,000 feet. Because this magnificent area has been so well filmed and photographed over the years, it may seem quite familiar, even on a first visit. It is soon evident, though, that the natural colors really are as bright and deep as those in the pictures.
Much of the Park can be seen best by taking the 17-mile Valley Drive, a dirt road beginning at the visitor center and heading southeast past spectacular towering cliffs and mesas. Eleven marked stops at scenic places guide visitors along the route, which takes about two hours to drive.
Overnight – Monument Valley
Monument Valley to the Grand Canyon
Imagine standing at the edge of a crevasse so huge you cannot see the end and so deep that you could stack up ten 40 story buildings and they would not reach the top. At 277 miles long and 6,000 feet deep, the Grand Canyon, a World Heritage site, is the grandfather of natural wonders encompassing over 1.2 million acres. The Canyon is a mosaic of five of the seven life zones found in North America and three of the four desert types found on the continent. Over 1,500 plant, 355 bird, 89 mammal, 47 reptile, 9 amphibian and 17 fish species live here. An easy way to familiarise yourself with the Grand Canyon is on one of the free shuttle buses that operate on 4 routes. The village route runs from Canyon View Information Plaza through the village on a 60 minute round trip. The 30 minute scenic Kaibab Trail Route runs between the South Kaibab Trailhead and Yaki Point. The 75 minute round trip on Hermit Rest Route provides transportation on the 7 mile historic and scenic Hermit Road with stops at 9 canyon overlooks. During peak seasons, the shuttle bus is the only way to see this area – Don’t miss it.
We strongly suggest you that spend one of your evenings and maybe even an early morning at the Grand Canyon Rim to experience the spectacular sunrise and sunset.
Overnight – Grand Canyon
Take a full day to explore the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park. Your first stop should be the Visitor Centre located at the South Rim Village. Here you can pick up information on short hikes, special areas that you may wish to visit during the day and helicopter or airplane rides over the Grand Canyon. A visit to see the El Tovar Lodge is a must, but we also suggest any of the scenic stops or even taking one of the guided coach tours that will explain the history and geology of the area. Another must is a visit to the IMAX Theatre, located in nearby Tusayan Village, for a thrilling 3D show based around the Grand Canyon.
Overnight – Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon to Sedona
Today we suggest that you leave early from the Grand Canyon and head to Flagstaff, from here you pick up US-89 through Oak Creek Canyon and on into Sedona. Along the route from Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona you will find many pullouts affording superb views of the valley and Red Rock Rim. Sedona is a quaint town in a beautiful setting, there are many very pleasant walks or if you are feeling a little more adventurous we would thoroughly recommend a jeep tour to get off the beaten track and really see and experience the rugged nature of the surrounding scenery.
Overnights – Sedona
So what can Sedona offer you? You will find world-class works of art created by the best local artisans located throughout the resort. Restaurants, nightlife, art galleries and shopping are just a five-minute walk away. For the adventurous at heart, unique activities ranging from Jeep tours and hot air balloon rides to spectacular hikes – all in what USA Today calls “the most beautiful place in America.” Or just relax and enjoy the rejuvenating energy of Sedona’s red earth and red rocks with a pampering massage, facial or a dip in the refreshing pool.
Despite this land’s myriad geological features, many tourists relate Sedona’s exceptional charm to the fact that visitors conveniently can spend a day hiking, horseback riding, or bouncing in a Jeep on trails and dirt roads that crisscross this area, and then enjoy the comfort of a prestigious resort at night. Indeed, this is the paradox and enchantment of Sedona: luxurious resorts, unique shops, impressive art galleries and fine restaurants nestled in an unusually rugged canyon surrounded by an expansive national forest.
Overnight – Sedona
Sedona to Scottsdale
Today we continue to slow the pace of your tour down with another relatively short drive south to the desert community of Scottsdale for a 3 night ‘wind down’ stay at one of the fabulous resorts Scottsdale has become famous for. In addition to being a golfers paradise Scottsdale offers world class shopping, some of the best Spa facilities in the world, desert tours to see the flora and fauna, hot air balloon trips sand that’s not to mention the historic downtown and abundance of award winning restaurants.
Overnight – Scottsdale
Days 13 & 14
If you like the idea of venturing out of your resort why not check out the historic old town or the myraid of fabulous shopping opportunities in the area. Visitors can also enjoy a multitude of outdoor adventures and activities including hot air balloon rides, off-road desert tours, horseback riding, rafting, hiking and more. Scottsdale is famous for golf with hundreds of courses to choose from in the area, so this provides yet another leisure option for you as you take the day to adjust to the time difference – or why not just sit back relax and enjoy your surroundings…
Your resort offers numerous opportunities to relax and pamper yourself – maybe take a dip in one of its myriad of radiant pools or indulge in a treatment at the beautifully tranquil spa facility. For those looking to venture out shopping, jeep tours, balloon trips and fine dining await. At C.N.A. we would be happy to make advance reservations for you or if you wish to leave it until you arrive make full use of the hotel concierge who will be more than willing to help you plan your day.
Overnight (2 further nights) – Scottsdale
Scottsdale is a mere 10 miles from Phoenix Airport Sky Harbor International Airport. With your flight leaving at around 7.30pm and allowing for getting there and check-in you really do not need to leave your resort until around 3pm so enjoy a relaxing morning and afternoon in the Scottsdale area. Return your car to the airport location – Please note that a one-way car rental drop off fee (of approx $300 plus tax) is payable locally on this itinerary when you return the vehicle to Phoenix Airport. Check-in for your non-stop flight back to the U.K.
Depart Phoenix – 19:25
Arrive London Heathrow – 13:10 (Next Day)
Journey Time – 9 hours 45 minutes