Delicate Arch

Canyon Country In-depth

6 days
from
£2,539
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Trip code: 
AHF
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
New Cultural Holidays
Min age:
16
Group size:
1–13

Explore canyons and towering arches of the Southwest

The Desert Southwest is alive! Canyons, adventure and luxury dominate this trip through western America where you experience the more popular regions, but in a very different way. Enjoy a private backroads tour of Monument Valley with the Navajo, followed by a backcountry desert experience through Moab's beautiful slot canyons and towering arches carved by the elements. Visit Mexican Hat, an iconic structure eroded by the elements, and Mesa Verde National Park, where the Ancestral Puebloans made their home for over 700 years. By day, explore this incredible area, but retire to your high standard hotels and lodges in the evening to relax in comfort.

Highlights

  • Jeep and walking tour of Monument Valley
  • Canyonlands, Arches N.P.  and view of incredible Dead Horse Point
  • Private tour through Moab’s backcountry slot canyons

Key information

  • 5 nights in hotels and lodges
  • 6 days land only
  • Group normally 1 to 13, plus local leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Travel by private vehicle and 4WD

What's included

  • All accommodation (see below)
  • 5 breakfasts, and 2 dinners
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout

What's not included

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Optional activities
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Itinerary

Durango
to
Durango
  • Day 1

    Durango

    Welcome to the city of Durango in Colorado. This historic frontier mining town has something to offer both the culture vultures and adrenaline junkies. Discover the boutique restaurants, charming galleries and stroll past exquisitely restored Victorian buildings in downtown Durango before taking in the city’s surrounding scenic beauty. In the evening at 18:00, there will be a welcome meeting to meet your tour leader and fellow travellers.

    Optional Activities:
    • Durango & Silverton Railroad day trip US$89+ (must be booked in advance directly with the durangotrain.com)

    Accommodation: Purgatory Resort

  • Day 2

    Mexican Hat - Monument Valley

    Today you travel to the Navajo Nation’s greatest treasure, Monument Valley, via the iconic monument of Mexican Hat. A sacred land to those who call it home, the red sandstone monoliths have been the backdrop to countless Western movies. After arriving at the hotel, you set out on a backcountry 4x4 (vans in winter) driving tour, heading deep into the heart of the valley. After stops to photograph both the famous and lesser-known sights in the park, you come to ‘the end of the road’. Your local Navajo guide will then lead you even deeper into the park on foot where you’ll be walking to explore places that very few non-Native Americans ever to get to see. Finish your day with yet another unforgettable sunset in the heart of the valley, where the Navajo prepare a meal and you learn about their ancient cultures and customs.

    Accommodation: The View Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    Arches National Park - Moab

    Stunning red sandstone arches have been created over millions of years by the whipping winds that brush down the western slope of the Rocky Mountains. The park offers leisurely hikes through spectacular sandstone landscapes with intriguing names like the Devil’s Garden. One of the more widely recognised arches and by far the most visited is Delicate Arch, a 65ft freestanding arch that has become one of Utah’s most famous icons. Your leader takes you through the desert, pointing out various points of interest and of course, the overwhelming number of arches within the borders of the national park. In the afternoon, why not spend a few hours experiencing the charms of Moab - the small eclectic town that serves as the gateway to both Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.

    Accommodation: Red Cliffs Lodge

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Moab backcountry Needles District tour

    Explore the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park by comfortable 4WD. On this trip, you travel up Salt Creek and into the archaeological epicentre of Horse Canyon. The walls appear sculpted by an artist with their smooth flowing form as you travel the canyon’s sandy terrain. Continue to the southern entrance of Canyonlands near Church Rock, passing one of Utah’s first and still operational ranches before entering the Needles. Leaving the pavement at Salt Creek, we soon arrive at Paul Bunyan’s Potty; the most famous arch in Horse Canyon.

    A short traverse through the canyon leads to your next stop, Tower Ruin, a well preserved Ancestral Puebloan home. This dwelling was probably lived in seasonally by farmers migrating between Horse Canyon and the mesa top. Midday signals a stop for picnic lunch and is a great time for you to drill the guides for more information on the area’s human and natural history.
    After lunch, make your way to the Four Faces pictograph panel plus Castle and Fortress Arches; returning afterwards back down Horse Canyon for a short stop at the Newspaper rock petroglyphs before arriving back to Moab. This full day takes you well off-the-beaten-path and reveals a side to the area that few visitors have the privilege of seeing.

    Accommodation: Red Cliffs Lodge

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Moab

    The first half of the day is free for activities which Moab is so famous for. These include an extreme Hummer tour, canyoneering, a float trip on the Colorado River or mountain biking the slick rock. But the late afternoon, you’ll take a drive out to Canyonlands National Park and enjoy a hike along the rim for that iconic view at Dead Horse Point of the Colorado River snaking its way through the water channels. This is the perfect place to watch the sunset and observe how the rocks change hue with the lowering sun.

    Optional Activities:
    • Canyoneering – Moab US$100
    • Float trip on the Colorado River – Moab US$60-$91
    • Extreme off-road hummer tour – Moab US$90-$100
    • Mountain biking – Moab US$100

    Accommodation: Red Cliffs Lodge

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Mesa Verde National Park - Durango

    This morning you travel west back into Colorado and to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mesa Verde National Park, located in Montezuma County. See how the Ancestral Puebloans, often referred to as the Anasazi, lived and be in awe of this archaeological masterpiece as you explore the 600 cliff dwellings. You spend the day here with your tour leader, exploring and learning about the area before arriving back to Durango where this tour ends upon arrival.

    This tour ends at our gateway hotel at approximately 17:00 hrs. We recommend booking post-tour accommodation if time allows. If you are planning to fly tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 21:00 hrs.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

This In-depth tour offers an experiential journey of the Desert Southwest and Canyon Country whilst delivering superior comfort. Stay in a combination of boutique hotels and unique locations that bring the flavours of the areas to life. The tour has been specifically crafted to suit those looking to travel shorter distances but dig deeper into national parks and monuments, and benefit from specialist guides with expert local knowledge. This tour includes more meals, plus a host of unique activities to ensure a once-in-a-lifetime holiday experience.

Visas

United States

British, New Zealand, Swiss and most EU passport holders do not need a visa (and enter the country under the Visa Waiver Program), provided they are in possession of an onward air ticket when entering the USA. Visas for the USA are required by some nationalities and it is always best to check with the relevant embassies. All passengers travelling to and from the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are required to hold a machine-readable passport (MRP). A MRP has the holder's personal details, e.g. name, date of birth, nationality and their passport number contained in two lines of text at the base of the photo page. This text may be read by machine. The US now charges $14 for the visa waiver program and must be paid by credit card. The US authorities have introduced a mandatory requirement for all passengers travelling under the Visa Waiver Programme to register for an Electronic Travel Authority. As of 21 January 2016, any person who has travelled to Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria since March 2011, or have dual nationalities of these countries, may no longer qualify for the VWP. For additional specifics about the VWP please consult the VWP information on the U.S. Embassy London website. More information and all necessary Internet links can be found at www.exodus.co.uk/Usvisa

Vaccinations

United States

There are no mandatory vaccinations required for this trip.

Eating and Drinking

2 dinners included.

On hotel based tours when meals aren’t included , you will usually eat out in local restaurants. We have detailed on the day by day itinerary, which meals are included and when you are likely to be eating out. To help you budget for your meals on average hotel breakfasts cost from US$6-12, lunches from US$8-15 and dinners from US$13-30; this does not include alcoholic beverages. Wine costs approximately US$5 per glass and beer US$4 per bottle. Please also be aware that a tip of approximately 15%-20% is added to group meals in North American restaurants. Applicable taxes will also be added to all listed menu prices.
Please make sure we are aware of any special meal requirements before travelling. We will do all we can to accommodate for various dietary requirements but in certain parts of North America certain food types can be limited.

Weather

The West is known for its very dry spring, summer and autumn weather and outstanding blue, sunny skies. Being as far south as Southern Europe and Northern Africa, temperatures are normally much warmer than in Northern Europe. However, temperatures vary greatly depending on the elevation you are at. Generally, the higher the elevation, the cooler the temperature. Be prepared for afternoon thunderstorms in the summer months, and look out for the plentiful mountain wildflowers.

Utah weather chart

Utah weather chart

Is this trip for you?

This tour is operated in partnership with our sister company Grand American Adventures (GAA). As such the departures are not exclusive to Exodus and groups may be a mixture of Exodus, Grand American Adventures, and other clients. This trip is booked through Exodus and you will receive the same award winning customer service that you are used to. GAA operate with the same core principles used by Exodus and champion the benefits of small group travel.

This active tour is suitable for people of most levels of experience and fitness, although we recommend some training prior if you intend to hike the national park trails. Active tours are about exploring the places you visit so whether it’s sightseeing, walking or hiking, you’ll be experiencing the best from each place.

There are opportunities for optional activities during your tour. Your tour leader will organise these on your behalf and you will pay locally in cash. You’ll find the main optional activities listed above under each itinerary day description, along with guideline prices. It may not be possible to do all optional activities listed on each tour.

Although each tour follows an itinerary, there is a certain amount of flexibility and from time to time your tour leader may suggest changes. This may be due to road conditions, weather or a visit to a special attraction or event that happens to be in progress. Flexibility is key and often a side diversion will be a highlight of the tour. Hikes and optional activities cannot be guaranteed and may vary depending on ability, group interest, local weather conditions and time of year.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels and lodges

Accommodation will be in clean, comfortable national park lodges, boutique hotels and unique locations that bring the flavours of the areas to life. They will all be in close proximity to the highlights of the region. You will be roomed with a fellow passenger of the same sex on a twin share basis (two people per room) unless you are travelling as a couple. Each hotel used is listed within the itinerary so you are comfortable with the standard at the time of booking. They are subject to change for a similar style/standard , although we endeavour to stick to the advertised itinerary as closely as possible.

PURGATORY RESORT

This gateway resort is situated in a beautifully dramatic area in Durango, surrounded by mountains with amenities including heated outdoor pool, hot tub, fitness centre and complementary Wi-Fi.

THE VIEW HOTEL

This relaxed Navajo-owned property is within Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. Rooms feature locally-woven rugs and Native American decor, along with flat screen TVs, minifridges, microwaves, coffeemakers, balconies with patio furniture and views of the valley. Amenities include free Wi-Fi in the lobby and an exercise room.

RED CLIFFS LODGE

Red Cliffs is an award-winning lodge which is nestled along the banks of the Colorado River, surrounded by deep-cut Canyonlands and steep cliff walls. While the west is best known for its rugged landscape and hardy adventures, staying at the Red Cliffs Lodge is anything but primitive.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

For anyone leaving from the UK we would be pleased to book your flight in conjunction with your tour. Please contact us for competitive prices on flights departing from most UK airports.

If you are booking your own flights, you are free to arrive at any time on day one but it is advisable that you arrive in plenty of time to reach your joining hotel and attend your welcome meeting. We also suggest that you book your return flight the day after your tour finishes. If you have to return home on the day your tour finishes, please make sure that your flight does not depart before 21:00 hrs.

Please note that we cannot be held responsible for any delays, cancellations, changes to your flights, or any missed flights. We are unable to delay a tour, or finish a tour early due to your flight times.

Call us on 020 8772 3936