The three national parks clustered along U.S. Route 89, in northern Arizona, and southern Utah are the destination for the Friends of SaddleBrooke Libraries fall tour from Oct. 16 through 23. On this guided bus tour, you can enjoy the spectacular beauty of the Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce Canyon National Parks without the hassle of finding parking and worrying about where you will stay.
The tour begins with a day at the Grand Canyon National Park. Our hotel for two nights is Maswik Lodge, a short walk from the South Rim. A special banquet is planned at the famed El Tovar Dining Room overlooking the Grand Canyon. We are pleased to have Wayne Ranney, one of the foremost authorities on the geology and origin of the canyon, as our guide for the day.
Zion National Park, where we will spend two nights, is the opposite of the Grand Canyon. Instead of looking down in a canyon, you will be at the bottom looking up at towering sandstone walls. Our hotel for two nights is the Zion Park Lodge in the heart of the park. Using the park’s shuttle bus system, you will have a day to explore along the Virgin River at your leisure, with the option to hike into side canyons. Shuttles also connect to the charming gateway town of Springdale with interesting galleries, shops, and restaurants.
Bryce Canyon National Park is situated at the top of the Colorado Plateau’s layer cake of rock formations. We will spend two nights at Bryce Canyon Lodge, a short walk from the rim where you can enjoy the beauty of sunset or sunrise. Bryce Canyon is actually an amphitheater created by erosion on the eastern edge of a high plateau. The erosion of the soft rock has left a spectacular array of red, orange, and white pinnacles, called hoodoos, below the rim of the plateau.
The last night of the tour will be at the wonderful Little America hotel in Flagstaff, with dinner in the newly renovated Silver Pine restaurant.
The on-board guides for the tour are James Cowlin and Barbara Kemp Cowlin who have lived in Arizona for 45 years, and traveled extensively throughout the Southwest, giving them a deep understanding of the history, culture and geology of the region.
The fee for the tour is to be determined, but will include transportation, accommodations, meals as specified on the itinerary, on-location tour guide services, tour directors’ services, and gratuities for food and lodging services. Reservations are on a first come, first served basis and are limited to 50 people. Once that number is reached, a waiting list will be established.
Reservation and final pricing information will be available on the FSL website (sbfsl.org) after April 6.