On Day 1, we assemble in Las Vegas and shuttle to Zion National Park. For our first introduction to the park we will venture up the canyon as far as the road goes to visit The Narrows of the Virgin River. We’ll wade through the shallow river bed upstream at least far enough to sense the awesome beauty of this narrow corridor through which the Virgin flows (5 miles).
Day 2, we’ll climb from the floor of Zion Canyon through Echo Canyon to awesome Observation Point, the highest accessible promontory in Zion. The views from Observation Point are incredible. Far below, the Virgin River winds through Zion Canyon towards its ultimate rendezvous with the Colorado; massive sandstone temples line the Virgin corridor. From our vantage point, we look down on the famed promontory that is Angel’s Landing (8 miles). It is precisely there that we venture on Day 3, Our hike to the pinnacle of the hogback includes canyon crossings, switchbacks, and chains that provide at least a semblance of security. (5 miles) After our descent we’ll head to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to enjoy our first views. A hearty dinner and an early bedtime will prepare us for the hike the next morning.
On Day 4, we follow Bright Angel Creek as it tumbles toward the Colorado on the North Kaibab Trail. Along the way, we’ll pass Roaring Springs, the primary water source for both the North and South Rim villages. A short spur trail offers the irresistible opportunity to visit Ribbon Falls. By the time we reach Phantom Ranch, our destination for the evening, we will have descended almost 6,300 feet over 14 miles through five distinct life zones to the canyon floor. Our lodging at Phantom Ranch will be in 4 – 10 person cabins, or single sex dormitories. Unfortunately we cannot offer a choice of beds as our bed assignment is provided from a lottery and we take what they can give us. Toilets are in each lodging unit, and the well stocked showers are located in a separate, single sex building.
By the morning of Day 5 we’ll be crossing over the Colorado, as the sun begins to rise above the canyon walls. We’ll follow the Bright Angel Trail as it climbs from the river beyond the Inner Canyon to Indian Gardens, onward and upward to the South Rim (10 miles). We’ll spend the evening at a lodge on the South Rim and celebrate over dinner at magnificent El Tovar Restaurant.
Day 6, we’ will be a bit more relaxed as we explore the South Rim of the Grand Canyon along the West Rim Trail past Hermit’s Rest, The Abyss, Mohave Point and Hopi Point. All too soon we’ll need to depart for Flagstaff for our afternoon arrival and the conclusion of our tour.