Immerse yourself in authentic adventure
This tour departs from and returns to Las Vegas, Nevada
Day 1 (orientation)Las Vegas, Nevada
DAILY HIGHLIGHTS: Today Southwest Odyssey Tours prepares you for your tour! After arriving in Las Vegas, you will meet your Southwest Odyssey Tours guides and fellow adventurers and learn the ins and outs of your luxury tour vehicle. They may look tough on the outside, but inside you will find comfortable extras and special features that will enhance your traveling experience. Create your own record of your journey to show your friends on your personal map, look up curiosities along the way in the vehicle trail guide, and get up close with the high quality Canon binoculars in each vehicle.
WHERE YOU'LL DREAM OF TOMORROW'S ADVENTURE: WHERE YOU'LL DREAM OF TOMORROW'S ADVENTURE: To kick off your adventure, you will stay at the beautiful Palms Hotel. Famous for its Hollywood star appeal, The Palms features modern, neo-retro styling, a casino, and world-class entertainment.
Day 2Las Vegas, Nevada to Toroweap Point, Arizona to Zion National Park, Utah
WHERE YOU'LL DREAM OF TOMORROW'S ADVENTURE: Nestled at the edge of Zion National Park, The Driftwood Lodge is an experience in itself. With well-appointed rooms, our favorite part of the lodge are the Adirondack chairs on the terrace that overlook the canyons and river.
Day 3Zion And Bryce Canyon, Utah to Boulder, Utah
DAILY HIGHLIGHTS: The day begins with visits to Zion Canyon and then nearby Bryce Canyon. At a much higher elevation than Zion, wind erosion along the eastern side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau has turned Bryce Canyon into a giant natural amphitheater! Red, orange, and white rocks provide spectacular views. Then we will travel to Grosvenor's Arch, a unique sandstone double arch located in southern Utah that is the tallest natural arch in the United States. Afterwards we will head to Anasazi State Park, home to an ancient village dating back to 1160 AD. It is also one of the largest Ancestral Puebloan communities west of the Colorado River.
WHERE YOU'LL DREAM OF TOMORROW'S ADVENTURE: Rich in family history, Pole's Place Motel, Eatery, and Gift Shop is located near Anasazi State Park. It is famous for its friendly hospitality and peaceful country setting.
Day 4Boulder, Utah to Bullfrog City, Utah to Mexican Hat, Utah
DAILY HIGHLIGHTS: Take in the spectacular views of the northern edge of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Capitol Reef National Park in the heart of red rock country. Afterwards, your tour vehicle takes to the water via a ferry across Lake Powell to Hall's Crossing. Originally built in 1880 by Charles Hall, Hall's Crossing was largely responsible for pioneer settlement in southeast Utah. Then we will take to the roads again on the Moki Dugway where switchbacks will drop our elevation 2,000 feet to the Goosenecks of the San Juan River at Mexican Hat, a significant tributary of the Colorado River.
WHERE YOU'LL DREAM OF TOMORROW'S ADVENTURE: Built inside a red rock cliff edge, the San Juan Inn is one of the most unique places you will ever sleep! The views from your patio overlook the San Juan River and red cliffs.
Day 5Mexican Hat, Utah to Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park and Kayenta, Arizona
DAILY HIGHLIGHTS: This is truly a special day on our adventure as we journey into scenery so breathtaking you will have a hard time not thinking you are part of a painting. One of the most famous and most photographed landscapes on Earth, at Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, you will be led by a native Navajo Indian to sandstone spires, buttes, and mesas. You will also have the rare opportunity to explore the more remote sites in the park and learn the history of the Navajo in the area.
WHERE YOU'LL DREAM OF TOMORROW'S ADVENTURE: The Wetherill Inn is located in nearby Kayenta, one of the most important towns on the Navajo Reservation. The hotel features a Navajo craft gift shop where you might find a special handmade treasure or two!
Day 6Kayenta, Arizona to Four Corners to Mesa Verde National Park
DAILY HIGHLIGHTS: Today begins with a guided hiking tour of the Betatakin ruins. "Betatakin" literally means "house built on a ledge" in Navajo, and these ruins are one of three intact cliff dwellings preserved at the Navajo National Monument. Who says you can't be in two places at once?! You can actually be in four places at once when you stand at Four Corners where Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico meet! Then we will travel the Trail of the Ancients through southern Colorado to Mesa Verde National Park for a first-hand look at the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people. Home to the Pueblo for over 700 years, the park features more than 600 cliff dwellings.
WHERE YOU'LL DREAM OF TOMORROW'S ADVENTURE: You will spend the night inside Mesa Verde National Park at the Far View Lodge. Decorated in traditional Southwestern decor, the lodge was designed to reflect the true flavor and ambiance of Mesa Verde. From your private balcony you can see breathtaking views while enjoying the quiet, peaceful ambiance of the park.
Day 7Mesa Verde National Park to Ouray, Colorado via the San Juan Skyway
DAILY HIGHLIGHTS: If you thought the Southwest was just the desert, you will think again after today's adventure! Traveling via the San Juan Skyway, your tour vehicle will take you up into the sky over 12,000 foot passes within the Rocky Mountains. One of the most scenic routes in America, along the San Juan Skyway you will see towering spruce, pine, fir, and aspen groves. At 13,000 feet, you will feel like you are on top of the world as you see the expanse below and play in snow in the middle of summer. Then we will visit several abandoned mining towns, including Ouray. Named after a Tabeguache Ute Indian chief who championed peace with the white settlers, Ouray is sometimes referred to as the "Switzerland of America."
WHERE YOU'LL DREAM OF TOMORROW'S ADVENTURE: Nestled in the mountains in picturesque Ouray, Colorado, you will spend the night at the charming Best Western Twin Peaks Lodge. There you can relax after your day of adventure in the natural, hot mineral springs.
Day 8Ouray, Colorado to Durango, Colorado
DAILY HIGHLIGHTS: One of our favorite days of the tour, first we will travel over Red Mountain Pass to the Silverton Mining Museum where you can choose from two unique experiences. The first is a vintage steam train ride to Elk Park where you will learn the history of the Denver and Rio Grande railroads. Or, tour an actual gold mine in Elk Park. Then we will leave our tour vehicle behind and ride like cowboys on horseback through Colorado Pass to the top of Molas Pass where a campfire lunch awaits.
WHERE YOU'LL DREAM OF TOMORROW'S ADVENTURE: Celebrating it's 125th anniversary this year, the Strater Hotel is one of Durango's most prominent landmarks. A standout for its architecture, inside you will discover the world's largest collection of American Victorian walnut antique furniture.
Day 9Durango, Colorado to Santa Fe, New Mexico
DAILY HIGHLIGHTS: We will start our day by heading East towards Pagosa Springs in the heart of the San Juan National Forest. Known for its hot springs, the town's name is derived from the Southwestern Ute Indian word for "healing waters." Then we head south to the historical railroad town of Chama, New Mexico before heading to famed Southwestern artist Georgia O'Keefe's, hometown of Abiquiu for a walking tour and a visit to the Ghost Ranch Museum.
WHERE YOU'LL DREAM OF TOMORROW'S ADVENTURE: In the heart of Santa Fe, the St. Francis Hotel combines the historic spirit of Old Santa Fe with modern amenities. With culturally themed guest rooms and unique decor, the hotel is within walking distance of the renowned museums and art galleries of Santa Fe.
Day 10 & 11Free Days to Explore Santa Fe, New Mexico
DAILY HIGHLIGHTS: After nine days of traveling, these next two days are purposely unplanned so you can do as much or as little as you wish! Santa Fe is filled with historical significance and is the highest and oldest capital city in the United States. So what are some things to do while you are here? Explore the many art galleries and museums. Taste the flavor of the local southwestern cuisine. Take a horseback ride into the Sangre De Cristo mountains or raft the Rio Grande. Shop at the Canyon Road shops or take the High Road to Taos. Or, you could just relax. Many optional activities will be available.
WHERE YOU'LL DREAM OF TOMORROW'S ADVENTURE: Enjoy two additional nights at the Hotel St. Francis!
Day 12Santa Fe, New Mexico to Chaco Canyon and St. Michaels, Arizona
DAILY HIGHLIGHTS: Back into our 4-wheel-drive tour vehicles, our journey will take us high into the volcanic Jemez Mountains. From there we will travel through the Valles Grande Caldera towards Chaco Culture National Historical Park. There you will experience the engineering and organizational brilliance of the Chacoan culture as you explore ruins, including Pueblo Bonito. Among the six major sites located within the park, Pueblo Bonito with its 800 rooms is the largest excavated ruin in the United States. In addition, Southwest Odyssey Tours will take you on a back roads tour of Chaco to view the area's most spectacular overlooks.
WHERE YOU'LL DREAM OF TOMORROW'S ADVENTURE: The Navajoland Inn and Suites in St. Michaels, Arizona overlooks the beautiful Window Rock Cliffs and Forest.
Day 13St. Michaels, Arizona to Canyon de Chelly, Arizona
DAILY HIGHLIGHTS: Immerse yourself in the Navajo culture as you enter Hubbell Trading Post, the oldest operating trading post in the Navajo nation. Become part of the community as you buy an item from the fully operational "bullpen" still used for trade in the local community. After shopping, tour the trading post museum collection. Almost entirely family owned, the collection features over 350,000 individual items. Back in our luxury tour vehicles we will explore the majestic upper rim of Canyon de Chelly where both the Pueblo and Navajo tribes lived. Then we will drive into the canyon itself to the White House Cliff Dwelling, the largest and most spectacular ruin at Canyon de Chelly.
WHERE YOU'LL DREAM OF TOMORROW'S ADVENTURE: The Holiday Inn at Canyon de Chelly is no ordinary Holiday Inn! It was built around the original trading post in Canyon de Chelly and a gift shop in the old trading post has been preserved. Decorated with Navajo accents, the hotel provides modern conveniences and features an authentic Navajo restaurant.
Day 14Canyon de Chelly, Arizona to Hopi Indian Country to Winslow, Arizona
DAILY HIGHLIGHTS: Get a first hand look at all three mesa villages in Hopi Indian country! Home to the historic villas of Walpi, First Mesa is recognized for its pottery and Katsina doll craftsmanship. At Second Mesa, immerse yourself in Hopi tradition at the Hopi Cultural Center. See an authentic Katsina dance or watch an artist create a coil basket. At Third Mesa, ceremonial baskets and plaques are made in the Hopi tradition. Then, prepare to be dazzled by the fantastic natural wonder of the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest.
WHERE YOU'LL DREAM OF TOMORROW'S ADVENTURE: Built in 1929, the La Posada was ranked in 2009 one of the "World's Best Places To Stay" by Conde Nast Magazine. Finely appointed and rich in history, it is known as the last great railroad hotel.
Day 15Winslow, Arizona to Cameron Trading Post
DAILY HIGHLIGHTS: First we travel to the Homolovi ruins dating back to the 14th century when an ancient people, today known as the Hopi Indians, settled along the Little Colorado River. A significant part of Hopi religious history, Homolovi is a sacred place to the Hopi people even today. From there we will venture off the beaten path to the remote and magnificent Grand Falls of The Little Colorado and Sunset Crater, a natural phenomenon formed by an erupting volcano. Then it is off to the Wupatki Ruins National Monument where you will explore the ruins of the ancient Citadel and Wupatki pueblos. Wupatki is considered a cultural crossroads destination as it hosted many different Native American tribal cultures in its long history.
WHERE YOU'LL DREAM OF TOMORROW'S ADVENTURE: With hand carved furniture and southwest-styled rooms, the Cameron Trading Post celebrates the Navajo and Hopi cultures while providing comfortable beds and amenities. But the best kept secret of this location is its extensive Native American art collection. In fact, it has become a premier location for Native American artists to showcase their work!
Day 16Cameron Trading Post to Grand Canyon National Park, to Las Vegas, Nevada
DAILY HIGHLIGHTS: According to most Southwest Odyssey Tours adventurers, day 16 of the tour is the most humbling as you realize how small you really are in this universe at the edge of the Grand Canyon. Your tour vehicle will take you to the best spots to view this natural wonder including Mary Coulter's Desert View Watchtower. Modeled after ancient Pueblo watchtowers, the Coulter tower offers expansive views and features murals by Hopi artist Frank Kabotie. Climb the stairs to the top for an outstanding view. From there, we will visit other Canyon lookouts at Lipan Point, Moran Point, Grandview Point, and several other inspiring locations along the South Rim. Then we will return to Las Vegas where we will say our goodbyes after an unforgettable adventure.
WHERE YOU'LL REFLECT ON YOUR INCREDIBLE ADVENTURE: The Palms Hotel welcomes you back!