Explore America’s most iconic national parks as you uncover the history of Colorado and Utah on this epic road trip. Navigate winding mountain tracks, discover striking canyons, and witness otherworldly rock formations on this unforgettable driving adventure.
- When to go
- From Price
- £10,000 PP*
- Ideal Length
- 8 Nights
- Drive through the American West’s most iconic national parks on its most scenic roads
- Stay at world-class luxury retreats; luxury camp in Monument Valley
- Helicopter ride over Bryce Canon; lunch atop Tower Butte
- Lake Powell hiking, jet skis, kayaks, SUPs
San Juan Mountains
Your road trip adventure will begin in the majestic San Juan Mountains of Colorado where you will explore the quaint town of Telluride set amongst the striking mountains and filled with an enchanting allure. From Telluride you will begin your journey following the San Juan Scenic Byway with the first waypoint being Lizard Head Pass. The high mountain pass sits at an elevation of 10,246 feet and is surrounded by some of the most picturesque landscapes in Colorado. Driving through these spectacular roads you will pass several famous mountains including Mount Wilson, Wilson Peak and Sunshine Peak, all of which tower above at the height to 14,000 feet. This afternoon you will arrive at the old mining town of Dunton where you will have the evening to indulge and relax in the soothing waters of the mineral hot springs.
Set out to explore the rugged mountains on horseback, following your expert guide, wind your way across the landscape, heading upriver and ascending steep mountain tracks as you come face to face with the majestic Dolores Peak. Resting here you will delight in a freshly prepared picnic lunch with matching wine before returning to your horses and taking the downhill ride along working cattle trails and through Aspen forests.
Surrounded by rocky outcrops and towering mountain ridges, Colorado provides the perfect place to test your skills at rock climbing. Guided by expert climbers, let your adventurous side free as you ascend challenging rock walls. Feel the adrenaline as you reach the summit and gain spectacular views across the valleys below you, before abseiling back to the ground. This evening you will reward your efforts with exquisite food and wine taken in the authentic setting of Dunton’s old mining town.
Colorado to Utah
Back on the road, you will depart Dunton as you cross from Colorado to Utah on an incredibly scenic route that will take you to two National Monuments, Canyon of the Ancient and Hovenweep, both preserved for their archaeologically significant landscape. In Goosenecks State Park you will stop to discover a beautiful chef prepared alfresco lunch overlooking the dramatic canyon below, before you get back on the road to reach the iconic Monument Valley, a true symbol of the American West.
In this majestic and otherworldly landscape, you will be greeted by your Navajo guides who will lead you through the untouched splendour of this sacred land. Traverse the desert in 4×4 jeeps, exploring backcountry tracks and marvelling at the remarkable sandstone rock formations including the Big Chief Monument and Sleeping Dragon Rock. Heading further into this remote and wild landscape you will find some of the valley’s oldest Anasazi ruins, petroglyphs and pictographs. Disembarking from your vehicles, set out on a hike across the dunes of Ear of the Wind Arch and walk inside the Big Hogan, Monument Valley’s largest amphitheatre. In the shadow of these astounding natural monuments, you will feel the remarkable beauty and power of nature.
This evening you will camp alone in this stark and sacred landscape where a private luxury camp will be constructed for you. Delight in an exquisite dinner accompanied by Peter MacDonald, Sr, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps in World War II as a Navajo Code Talker. Peter went on to become Chairman of the Navajo Nation and whilst you dine this evening you will hear the fascinating stories of his life and enhance your understanding of the Navajo people and history.
Monument Valley and Byway 12
After a freshly prepared breakfast spread at your camp, you will continue your journey through Monument Valley with the landscape ever changing as you progress and climb the incredible stretch of highway, the Moki Dugway. Ascending 1,100 feet in just three miles, this spectacular road is carved right out of the steep rock cliffs and rewards you with the most beautiful of vistas across the valley below. This afternoon you will cross the northern portion of Lake Powell, pass the Henry Mountains to the West and follow the Fremont River into Capitol Reef National Park. With each twist and turn of the road, you will be amazed and stunned as you enter the Red Rock Country.
Your final drive will take you along the Scenic Byway 12, one of the most beautiful drives in Utah and perhaps one of the most scenic roads in the world. As the road reaches its highest point, from an altitude of more than 9,000 feet on Boulder Mountain, the grandeur of this land is revealed with views of the five peaks of the Henry Mountains to the east, the magenta wedge of the Waterpocket Fold below, and the face of the Kaiparowits Plateau to the west. With otherworldly vistas unfolding before your eyes as your drive, each corner provides unparalleled beauty.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Arriving at Bryce Canyon National Park, trade the land for the sky as you take to the air onboard a helicopter for a scenic flight over the land of red rocks, pink cliffs, and endless vistas. With Lake Powell in sight, experience a thrilling ascent to the top of one of the desert’s most unique formations, Tower Butte. On top of this incredible landmark, with stunning 360-degree panoramic views unfolding as far as the eye can see, you will be treated to an unforgettable lunch. Back onboard you will continue your scenic flight to the exclusive Amangiri hotel where you will spend your final few nights relaxing in these serene and beautiful surroundings.
Explore the tranquil Lake Powell, set amongst the Glen Canyon Nation Recreation Area and surrounded by dramatic red rock formations, chasms and canyons. Traverse the rocky terrain on UTVs on off-the-beaten track paths until you reach the shores of the glistening Lake Powell. Here you will be met by a boat that will take you out on the water for an exhilarating afternoon with a range of toys, including Sea-Doo GTI jet skis, kayaks and SUPs, staged at different points around the lake. With more coastline than the entire coast of California, Lake Powell is renowned for hidden canyons, offering an opportunity for hiking and exploring deep into these areas formed by the wear of water rushing through the rock. Unmatched scenery and blissful remoteness await.
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