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 retiring for the evening.
Overnight – Denver
Denver to Glenwood Springs
This morning take a glimpse of Denver – a bustling area centred 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. If you would like to consider extending your stay in Denver by a night or two just let us know.
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 activities/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 jewellery, 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 (further 2 nights) – Moab
Moab to Torrey (Capitol Reef National Park)
245 miles (taking scenic route through White Canyon)
There are 2 possible routes you could take to Torrey but we strongly suggest you follow highway 191 south, then highway 95 north through White Canyon and then west on highway 24 to Capitol Reef. A designated scenic route, this really is a lovely drive where if you have it you can engage the cruise control for large parts of the drive and the beautiful scenery that surrounds.
Capitol Reef is impressive, large canyon like mountains in dramatic colours. There is a one-way scenic drive from the visitor centre with unpaved roads leading off this that take you deep into canyons and gorges. In accordance with your car rental insurance you should not really take these routes but it would be a shame to miss out and the tracks are really quite smooth. Upgrading to a 4×4 SUV would certainly be an advantage in this situation. The experience of driving between the sheer rock faces and enjoying the short hikes at the end of ‘Grand Wash’ and ‘Capitol Gorge’ were very rewarding.
Other attraction at Capitol Reef include early Mormon settlement buildings including a preserved school house and Petroglyphs (Rock drawings by Fremont Indians circa AD700).
Overnight – Torrey
Torrey to Bryce Canyon National Park
We suggest you set out early from Torrey so as to get to Bryce and spend at least a good afternoon there. Highway 12 from Torrey to Bryce is a designated Scenic Byway and it does not disappoint. A little challenging with some steep hills to climb, lots of tight turns and switch backs. You climb up to about 10000 feet at one point, remember to watch out for the wildlife it’s not uncommon for deer to step out into the road in front of you.
It’s because of the relatively short drive to Bryce that we are only recommending 1 night here. If you arrive by lunchtime today you will be able to drive to all of the look out points in the park in the afternoon giving you a reasonable overview of the park, you can then check-in at Best Western Bryce Grand Hotel at the end of the day. For those wishing to take advantage of the superb hiking opportunities at Bryce we would suggest an additional night.
The visitor Centre in Bryce at the entrance is well worth visiting to see a free video presentation and to check on current weather conditions. Due to the high elevation of the park snowfall is common right up until the middle of May. Bryce is a stunningly beautiful site, very different to anything else you will see, perhaps the highlight being the view from Bryce Point – the pictures give you an idea of what to expect but in no way capture the impressive experience of actually being there.
Sunrise and sunset are particularly good opportunities to take some fabulous pictures. The sunlight brings out quirt amazing colours in the red rock. The times are posted daily at the visitor centre and I would recommend you go to Bryce Point.
An added bonus during the summer months is a Rodeo located 1 mile outside the park. This runs nightly Monday – Saturday from Memorial Day (End of May) until mid-September. This is a great western experience, it’s starts at 7pm and we would recommend you go along.
Overnight – Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon National Park to Springdale (Zion National Park)
Morning touring in Bryce before the short drive (about 2 hours) on to Zion National Park. One short hike suggestion at this point – as you travel into the park from the east entrance you will come to the long tunnel. Just at the entrance is a parking lot and a trail to an overview of the valley floor and Zion Park. This is well worth the short walk.
Continue on – your lodge for this night is found just outside the south entrance of the Zion Park on the outskirts of the very pleasant community of Springdale. As you have tomorrow to explore the park we suggest you relax and maybe take a refreshing dip in the pool followed by a stroll into Springdale where you will find some interesting shops and a small selection of excellent places to eat. The Bit & Spur does a tasty Mexican dish!
Overnight – Springdale (near Zion National Park)
Springdale (Zion National Park)
The Pioneer Lodge Restaurant in the heart of Springdale does a hearty breakfast, the ideal preparation before you head for the Visitors Center at the park entrance.
Zion N.P., touted by seasoned travellers as one of the most “user friendly” national parks in the country, has a rare combination of elevation, wide open and level spaces, spectacular slot canyons, great year round temperatures, and an expansive river valley.
Leave your car at your lodge and walk into the park, the trolley tours operate constantly all day and there are too many stops to count as the trolley buses amble along the Canyon. You can hop on and off at all these points where you will find a selection of short walks and longer hikes. The Visitor Centre has details so you can select something that suits you. The Museum stop is a must.
Nicola Harwood (Product Manager at Complete North America) – “One of my abiding memories of this area is of sitting on the porch of our hotel, the Cliffrose Lodge, in the early evening – just relaxing with a drink & taking in the beautiful surroundings watching the humming birds as they fed from the feeders out on the patio… A wonderful way to end a fantastic day exploring Zion National Park.”
Overnight – Springdale (near Zion National Park)
Springdale to Lake Powell
One of the most popular lakes in Arizona, Lake Powell is a narrow, 186-mile-long body set amid the deep canyons, rocky outcrops and spectacular scenery of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Formed by one of the world’s highest dams and the waters of the Colorado River, the lake boasts a surface area of 162,700 acres and 1,960 miles of meandering shoreline – making it the perfect destination for fishing, water sports, houseboating and myriad other outdoor activities.
Your accommodation for this evening is located at Wahweap Marina in Page, AZ – right in the heart of all your down-lake activities and adventures. The Resort offers comfortable lodging, dining – an ideal place to return to after a day of fun and relaxation.
Here you can kick back by the side of the pool and enjoy some spectacular scenery – or why not take a boat tour, a dinner cruise or rent a powerboat for the afternoon of exploring canyons and having a picnic on your own secluded beach.
Rainbow Bridge Tour – Half Day (5 .5 hours). Departs 1pm. From £85 per person
Let us take you on a truly one of a kind excursion. Enjoy cruising past 50 miles of Lake Powell to Rainbow Bridge National Monument. At the monument your tour boat will dock and you will set off a fairly easy mile-plus trail to Rainbow Bridge. The bridge itself extends 290′ into the sky and 275′ across Bridge Canyon. Witness first hand the power of wind and water in their role of sculpting this remarkable landscape. Complimentary coffee, water, lemonade and restrooms are available on all scenic boats. Contact us at time of booking to pre-book this tour. You will of course need to allow plenty of time to get from Springdale to Lake Powell in time for the tour departure at 1pm (Approx. drive time from Springdale to Lake Powell is 2.5 hours).
Overnight – Lake Powell
Lake Powell to Grand Canyon
This morning you will leave Lake Powell and head south via the old trading post of Cameron and through the Navajo Indian Reservation to the grandeur and beauty of the Grand Canyon, one of the world’s natural wonders.
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 Las Vegas
Head out early this morning for a long but spectacular day of driving. Travel across the high desert lands and eventually over the Hoover Dam. If you have not already visited this engineering feat then stop and take the guided tour otherwise continue on across the dam and into the state of Nevada.
Everybody has to visit Las Vegas once in a lifetime and today is your day! It’s a city founded on entertainment, glitter and fabulous night life. You can of course, try your hand at gambling, or let your hair down, enjoy yourself, take in a show, and otherwise let yourself be entertained! As they say in Las Vegas, ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.’
Las Vegas has seen unbelievable expansion since it emerged from the desert 100 years ago, with sights and sounds that are enjoyed by over 38.9 million visitors every year. They stroll in some of the most glamorous, unique hotels in the world, eat at five-star restaurants and expansive buffets, play in pools, health spas and golf courses. Sometimes (many times, actually) they even marry each other. Enjoy whatever you choose to do!
Overnight – Las Vegas
A full day to enjoy the sights and attractions of this most exciting city.
During you day be sure to catch the Volcano Fountain eruption every 15 minutes, the fountain show on the lake at Bellagio, also every 15 minutes, take a gondola ride at the Venetian, take a ride up to the observation deck on the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel, take the Big Shot ride atop the Stratosphere Tower, Bungee jump at Circus Circus Hotel, visit the amazing Fremont Street experience or maybe even book a helicopter trip to flight over the Strip or if shopping is important to you there are two Premium Outlet Stores within 3 miles of the strip – both offer amazing prices for the latest designer brands.
As your day nears an end choose from the endless choices of places to eat before finishing the night off at one of the world class shows that entertain nightly across the city that literally never sleeps.
Overnight – Las Vegas
Depart Las Vegas
Today sees the conclusion to your discovery tour of the western United States. However, as your flight does not depart until this evening you still have all day in Las Vegas – maybe some last minute shopping, spend your remaining dollars at the slots or maybe just relax and soak up the last few rays in the Nevada sunshine before you return your rental car to the airport and check-in for your flight back to the U.K.
Depart Phoenix – 21:15
Arrive London Heathrow – 15:00 (Next Day)
Journey Time – 9 hours 45 minutes