The first view of Bryce Canyon did it for me-magic! But also Yosemite, Zion, Arches, Canyonlands, Canyon de Chelly, Monument Valley and just about everywhere else on the trip was pretty special. Not forgetting the mini stops-Rachel, Nevada on the ET highway, near Area 51-prepare to be abducted, and Seligman, a little tourist town giving us kicks on the legendary, now defunct Route 66.
Do this trip. Long days driving, living in tents, shopping and cooking for the group, and ridiculously early mornings are more than compensated for by the scenery. The parks are beautiful, well maintained and litter free. Las Vegas at the end of the trip provides a wake up call and reminds you of the other side of America. Tacky in the extreme, and an amazing contrast.
The only grumble we have was the optional trip to Monument Valley. This was offered as "everybody does it or nobody" which puts unfair pressure on those travellers on a budget. The food and "entertainment" provided by the Navajo was nowhere near good enough. Exodus should do this extra as a drive through Monument Valley, and cut out the rest-the scenery was great but not worth an extra $100. As an extra thought, why not extend your benefitting local communities policy to the Navajo-they could do with some help in making this more enjoyable and professional, and they don't seem to get it from their government.
Grumble over-loved the trip.