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Taking you inside America's impressive canyon country, we explore the incredible natural structures of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, Mesa Verde and the Grand Canyon. You'll enjoy Insider moments like becoming an expert in the Grand Canyon's history and nature as a geologist reveals the eras behind the multi-layered rainbow-coloured rocks. Once the unfathomable vastness and beauty of this natural wonder has been absorbed, your rim-side walk gives you more than most visitors get to experience. You learn about the towering canyon walls by exploring with our expert, who can answer your questions on anything from the people who've lived here to the mighty Colorado River below.
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Head toward the mountains this morning as you ascend into the foothills of the Rockies and cross the Continental Divide on your way to the resort destination of Vail. Founded in 1966 at the base of the largest ski mountain in the United States, this pretty alpine village has an old-world feel that attracts outdoor enthusiasts. Then it's on to Moab where, in the late 1940s, the legendary John Ford discovered the area's rugged beauty and filmed the first of many movies here. Tonight is yours—perhaps opt for taking in the sunset over the red cliffs. If you're in the mood for more excitement, try a jet boat ride along the mighty Colorado River with a tasty dinner included.
Travel south this morning through a mesmerising landscape dotted with natural arches and rock formations, framed by the jagged Rockies in the distance. Crossing into Colorado, skirt the edge of the San Juan National Forest before arriving at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mesa Verde National Park. Between 600 and 1300 A.D., the Ancestral Puebloan people carved houses and entire communities out of the sandstone along the canyon walls. Explore some of the cliff-top buildings and look down at the massive Cliff House, the largest cliff dwelling in the world; then spend some time in the museum learning about the culture and traditions of this once-great civilisation. This evening, enjoy a unique Navajo cookout Regional Meal on the floor of Monument Valley before returning to your hotel.
Rise early to catch the first rays of light as they illuminate the canyon. If you like, take an optional helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft flightseeing trip to see the canyon from the sky. Hit the road again, stopping along famed Route 66 hot spots in Seligman and Kingman. Driving through these desert oases is like cruising back in time to see the classic motels, diners and gas stations of a simpler time. Then, it's full speed ahead to glittering Las Vegas.
Your flight will depart Las Vegas late afternoon so you'll have time for sightseeing in this vibrant entertainment capital. This is the end of your tour but it doesn't have to be the end of your adventure. Perhaps you may want to extend your stay and spend a few days in San Francisco or maybe include a stop-over in New York before heading back to the UK.
Call the USA travel specialists at Bon Voyage to discuss the perfect Best of Canyonlands - A Trafalgar Escorted Tour.