Grand Canyon tours and activities are awe-inspiring journeys through earth’s early history. You’ll see visibly exposed layers upon layers of sediment and rock that walk us back through time, well before the time of the dinosaurs.

Over millions of years the Colorado River carved a mesmerizing, powerful, yet breathtakingly beautiful gorge called the Grand Canyon through Northern Arizona. Over time, the river exposed nearly two billion years of the world’s geological history.

The sheer size of Arizona’s Grand Canyon is overwhelming. The Colorado River traverses for 277 miles below the canyon walls, which at its widest are 18 miles across and at its deepest, more than a mile above the rushing waters.

The world’s deepest gorge is Kali Gandaki Gorge in Nepal. The world’s biggest and widest canyon is Capertee Valley in Australia. Even Mexico’s Copper Canyon is larger than the Grand Canyon, but none of them can match the colorful beauty and over empowering wonder of the Grand Canyon in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, USA.

Below is an overview of Grand Canyon tours and activities you can enjoy.

Grand Canyon Tour Companies

Over 80% of the 5 million annual visitors to Grand Canyon National Park are from the United States.

There are many tour operators that offer everything from Grand Canyon day tours and excursions to fully guided, all-inclusive Grand Canyon tours that can run from one to two weeks. Grand Canyon tour operators also offer guided tours to accommodate virtually all ages and all types of vacationers.

Many Grand Canyon tour companies include a variety of activities in their tour itinerary, from views of Grand Canyon’s north and south rims to a Lake Powell boat cruise or excursions to Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park.

Grand Canyon Camping

Grand Canyon tours and activities also include camping! Camping is permitted in designated areas of Grand Canyon National Park, including on the North and South Rims. All Grand Canyon camping done below the rim require special permits, which have to be applied for months in advance since the park receives up to 30,000 camping requests annually.

Grand Canyon Activities

Many tour companies offer a variety of adventurous Grand Canyon tours and activities like white-water rafting, mule riding, and helicopter tours but depending on the weather, the time of day, and the season, tourists may also engage in self guided Grand Canyon activities like mountain biking and hiking.

Many of the more adventurous Grand Canyon activities require experience or the assistance of a knowledgeable guide since even the fittest of individuals may find the Grand Canyon challenging. One must respect the Grand Canyon’s vastness, steepness of the rocky trails, changes in elevation, and the possibility of heat exhaustion caused by the much higher temperatures that prevail at the bottom of the canyon.

Throughout the year, Grand Canyon National Park also offers a number of events and activities that visitors can participate in including guided walking tours, films, and free ranger programs.

Grand Canyon Train Tours & Skywalk

Visitors to the Park can take 90-minute Grand Canyon train tours on the Coconino Canyon Train for a more leisurely viewing experience. This Grand Canyon railway tour travels 24 miles through Grand Canyon National Park along historic train tracks built in the late 1800s.

Another unique way to view the gorge is by visiting the Grand Canyon Skywalk, which was recently opened by the Hualapai Tribe on tribal land. The Grand Canyon Skywalk is a glass-bottomed structure that juts out from the canyon rim some 70 feet in a horseshoe formation. The Skywalk offers visitors unparalleled views of the canyon below.

Grand Canyon by Air

A different perspective of the entire Grand Canyon can be seen from a helicopter or a small airplane. Many Grand Canyon tour operators offer flying trips with views of Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, Bowl of Fire, and the Valley of Fire. Sunset and twilight flights show the Grand Canyon in a totally different light. Flying is perhaps one of the best Grand Canyon tours and activities you do to take it all in, from the red rock formations to the shifting sand dunes.

Grand Canyon Weather

Grand Canyon weather can change quickly and according to the elevation. Generally, cooler climates rule the Northern Rim while hotter temperatures prevail in the Southern Rim. Both rims of the Grand Canyon get heavy rains during the summer and road closures are common at this time.

All Inclusive Grand Canyon Tours by Caravan

Grand Canyon Package Tour by Caravan Tours offers tourists the absolute best value for the money.

Caravan Grand Canyon tours are exceptionally priced 8-day package tours that are fully escorted, and all inclusive. These Caravan tours also include nearby “must sees” like Sedona, Monument Valley, Lake Powell, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Zion Canyon National Park.

Visit Caravan Tours’ Grand Canyon Tour Reviews page to read what others have said about this all-inclusive tour of Arizona’s Grand Canyon and then call 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) to reserve your spot today.

Enjoy Monument Valley jeep tours with Caravan Tours!

The pristine Monument Valley is located in the heart of Navajo Nation near Lake Powell along the Utah-Arizona border.

This restricted Utah backcountry is highly protected in order to preserve its many natural buttes, arches, and mesas. In fact, the area is only accessible to authorized Navajo guides; private vehicles are prohibited. All visitors must enter via a Navajo tour guide.

Despite its restricted access, for those vacationing in Utah and visiting the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley National Park is another “can’t miss” attraction and included in Caravan’s Grand Canyon tour.

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park History

The official name of Monument Valley is Navajo Nation’s Monument Valley Park.

As one of the most photographed points on the planet, this desert area has been featured in numerous early western films. Many come to Monument Valley, Utah to experience the “Good Old West” by jeep.

Those who have enjoyed Monument Valley jeep tours say that the valley offers some of “the most enduring and definitive images of the American West.” The red mesas and buttes (isolated flat top hills with steep sides) are pretty impressive. What may come as a surprise to many vacationers is the vast, wide-open sandy desert that feels like it’s straight from a movie or commercial. With a somewhat familiar touch, the area feels like you know it well, even on your first trip. That’s not to say the valley is not spectacular.

This open desert region of Utah is highlighted by many sandstone formations, plus the unique Navajo Indian population and the famous Four Corners Monument.

As mentioned, Monument Valley jeep tours is only conducted by certified Navajo tour guides. There are many jeep tours guided by registered Navajo tour operators that will take visitors down into the valley and up close to the many of the popular mythical formations. These areas are simply not accessible for visitors wanting to explore on foot.

Monument Valley Attractions and Landmarks

Monument Valley was once a vast lowland basin. Over many millennia, the landscape was eroded exposing layer after layer of sediment. With pressure from below the surface, these formations gently uplifted to create the now famous Monument Valley attractions, the red buttes and mesas.

Monument Valley Buttes

On Monument Valley jeep tours you’ll see the extremely steep sides and flat tops of the buttes. These are quite a sight to behold as they jut out from the flat surrounding desert landscape. Monument Valley features some of the world’s largest and most famous buttes including:

East and West Mitten Buttes – These buttes look like a set of hands. For Navajo peoples it symbolizes spiritual beings keeping watch over the valley.

Elephant Butte – A butte in the southwest point of the desert named for its elephant like appearance.

Camel Butte – A west facing butte named for the famous spitting, middle-eastern animal.

Monument Valley Mesas

In addition to the buttes, Monument Valley jeep tours also include up close tour of the mesas, which are similar to a butte but much wider. The famous mesas in Monument Valley include:

Merrick and Mitchell Mesas – Mesas named after two explorers who thought they struck it rich when they stumbled upon silver in Monument Valley. However, according to history, Merrick and Mitchell were eventually killed by the Ute tribe who wanted to conceal the silver.

Rain God Mesa – This mesa marks what is traditionally believed to be the geographical center of the world. Navajo medicine men pray to the Rain Gods at this mesa, whose south side seeps out water from the base of the sandstone.

Spearhead Mesa – A mesa that bares resemblance to the spear of an arrow; attached to Spire Monument.

All Inclusive Grand Canyon Vacations Include Monument Valley

Monument Valley jeep tours explore many of famous Utah landmarks and are included as part of Caravan’s all inclusive Grand Canyon Vacation Packages.

These 8-day, fully escort Grand Canyon vacations depart from Phoenix, AZ and end in Las Vegas, NV, between April and November of each year. Famous locations along the tour route include Sedona, Lake Powell, Glen Canyon Dam, Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon.

Visit Caravan’s Grand Canyon Vacation Reviews page to read what other Caravan vacationers have to say about these all inclusive Grand Canyon tours.

Call Caravan Tours toll free at 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) today to reserve your spot!

Each year millions of tourists choose to visit the Grand Canyon on their own however, Grand Canyon bus tours are your best bet if you want a Grand Canyon tour that is fully guided.

At almost 280 miles long, over a mile deep, and ranging between 4 to 18 miles wide, there is so much to see and experience in the Grand Canyon that a guided bus tour is simply your best option.

Our Caravan tour operators structure their guided Grand Canyon bus tours to include most of the Grand Canyon’s best features. Tourists enjoy our Grand Canyon motor coach tours because they can travel in comfort and not have to worry about parking or trying to decipher Grand Canyon maps.

Grand Canyon Shuttle Bus Tours

While there are shuttle buses within Grand Canyon National Park there are also many shuttle bus services that bring tourists from neighboring cities like Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Sedona, Phoenix, Flagstaff, and Scottsdale.

Visitors who come to Grand Canyon Park without their own transportation can choose to ride on the free park shuttle bus service. There are many different bus routes and tour stops to choose from and buses are color-coded to serve the different routes. Visitors are free to hop on and off of these Park shuttle buses to enjoy specific sites within the Park at their leisure.

Hermit’s Rest Bus Tour

Hermit’s Rest Route is a Grand Canyon shuttle bus available between March 1 and November 30 and runs regularly every quarter or half hour, depending on the time of day and time of year. The Hermit’s Rest Route is considered the longest bus route in the Park and includes the most number of stops. The bus trip alone, not counting the stops, runs one hour and 15 minutes long. Several of the popular stops along the bus route in Grand Canyon National Park include the Abyss, Hopi Point, Trailview Overlook, and Hermit’s Rest.

Grand Canyon Village Shuttle Bus Route

The Village Route, which makes runs the whole year round, was not designed as a scenic bus route. The destinations on the Village Bus Route include the different Grand Canyon restaurants, campgrounds, parking lots, and hotels. The Village Route bus is also available every 15 to 30 minutes and the roundtrip is about an hour long. The bus trip begins at the Information Plaza with scheduled stops at the Train Depot, Maswik Lodge, Trailer Village, and the Mather Campground. The Village Route bus is your best choice if you bring your own vehicle to Grand Canyon National Park or if you are staying in the campgrounds.

South Kaibab Trail Bus

The South Kaibab Trail Route travels every half an hour and is available the whole year round. The two wonderful features of the Kaibab Trail bus route is that first, it is the only shuttle bus service that gives access to Yaki Point; and second, is the offering of the Hiker’s Express shuttle that would bring travelers to the South Kaibab Trail. The Hiker’s Express Grand Canyon is for night owls as this bus leaves the terminal between the hours of 4 and 6 AM.

Grand Canyon Rim to Rim Shuttle

The Grand Canyon’s Rim to Rim Shuttle bus affords tourists a daily trip between the Grand Canyon North Rim and the South Rim. The Rim to Rim shuttle bus is a single-way trip. This route is also limited until the month of October when this Grand Canyon bus route is closed to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon because of the winter season. Reservations are a must for this specific Grand Canyon shuttle bus route.

Guided Motor Coach Tours

Grand Canyon motor coach tours are for those who wish to have a more luxurious and more comfortable trip while touring Grand Canyon National Park. Our Caravan bus tours of the Grand Canyon are special, fully escorted bus tours aboard private, air-conditioned motor coaches that make sightseeing and travel through the Grand Canyon an absolute pleasure.

Professional tour guides accompany each Caravan Grand Canyon motor coach tour to explain the full background and history of the Grand Canyon. Caravan’s Grand Canyon tours are also all inclusive meaning that for one all-inclusive tour price the fully guided bus tour includes all ground transportation, Park entry fees, and all itinerary food and beverage, as well as Grand Canyon accommodations.

Book Your Grand Canyon Bus Tour

Caravan’s all-inclusive, fully escorted Grand Canyon National Park tours also include guided tours of Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park.

For current itinerary details please visit Caravan’s Grand Canyon Tours page. You can also read reviews for what others have said about Caravan’s all-inclusive tour of the Grand Canyon, Zion Park, and Bryce Canyon.

There’s so much to see and so many things to do in the Grand Canyon, so to check availability or to book your tour, please call Caravan Tours toll free at 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826)!

(Editor’s Note – This original post from April 2010 has been updated to reflect current Grand Canyon vacation details.)

Camelback Mountain Arizona is the famous landmark icon near Phoenix and the surrounding areas of Scottsdale and Paradise Valley. This prominent monument in the center of Phoenix Valley is part of the Camelback Mountain Echo Canyon Recreation Area.

For many local Arizona residents, this area is a point of pride symbolizing a resting camel keeping constant watch high above the Phoenix horizon. In fact, this natural sandstone formation, was named after its resemblance to the head and hump of a kneeling camel.

As vacationers fly into the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport they cannot help but notice this massive prominent landmark. Camelback Mountain overlooks the Valley of the Sun, which is shared by Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Paradise Valley.

History of Camelback Mountain

Some say it took tens of millions of years for wind and weather to sculpt this masterpiece made of sandstone and granite. The Mountain rises to over 2700 feet in elevation and is the highest peak in the Phoenix mountain ranges.

Early exploration discovered a ceremonial cave nestled into the north side of the mountain suggesting that the Hohokam Culture lived in the area. The Hohokam considered this to be a sacred site. Although they abandoned the area around the 14th century, today the religious Hohokam cave and its purpose cause many people to still refer to Camelback as Sacred Mountain.

Over the years several key political leaders have made efforts to preserve and protect this mountain monument as a natural landmark. Recommended laws to prevent any building and development above the 1,600-foot mark have yet to succeed however. In 1965 US Senator Barry Goldwater secured higher elevations of Camelback Mountain in Phoenix for natural activities and the area became an official Phoenix City park in 1968.

Despite legislative restrictions, there are now some luxury resorts and golf courses in the area. These were designed to blend into the natural settings and help make this area a great vacation destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Hiking the Mountain

Camelback Mountain trails attract more than 300,000 avid recreational hikers from around the world each year. In fact, the area is famous for its ultimate urban hiking experience.

There are two hiking trails that lead to the Peak of the Mountain. The ascent is 1,280 feet and the hikes are not for the beginner hiker, as both trails are strenuous with steep grades. Climbing Camelback Mountain, the summit hikes take between 1.5 and 3 hours, round trip.

Echo Canyon Trail (Summit Trail)

1.2 Miles with a 1,262 Feet Elevation Gain – Hike among spectacular sandstone rock formations with unrivaled views from the summit overlooking all of Greater Phoenix.

Cholla Trail

1.4 Miles with a 1,200 Feet Elevation Gain – Hike up steep rocky sections and navigate through trails with drop-offs on both sides. Trail consists of dirt, gravel, and boulders, with some handrails.

Camelback Mountain can also accommodate beginner hikers. The easier trails are equally enjoyable and take less than an hour to complete.

These include:

Bobby’s Rock Trail – 0.25 mile with a 200 feet elevation gain.

Ramada Loop Trail – 0.123 mile with a 100 feet elevation gain.

Praying Monk Camelback Mountain

A natural point of interest situated on the northern slope is a natural rock formation known as The Praying Monk. This natural red sandstone formation is popular among rock climbers. It is also equally enjoyable to view from below as the outline looks like a monk kneeling in prayer and facing the mountain peak.

Other Activities

There are a lot of things to do on Camelback Mountain since it is also a cultural hub. You’ll find a wide array of activities such as exciting nightlife, world-class shopping, and outdoor activities including horseback riding, mountain biking, river rafting, kayaking, and Arizona desert eco-tours.

Resorts – Several resorts located near or on the Mountain host vacationers during their stay; popular hotels include Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain, Camelback Inn, Royal Palms and The Phoenician.

Golf – For the golf enthusiast there are several golf courses in the area as well including Camelback Golf Course, Indian Bend Golf Course, and Camelback Golf Club.

Grand Canyon Tour Includes Camelback Mountain

Caravan Tours is world renowned for our fully guided all inclusive tours. Since 1952, our family owned and operated tour company has been offering low cost guided tours throughout the USA, Canada, and Central America.

We offer the absolute best value for all inclusive Grand Canyon tours. For one low tour price your Caravan vacation includes all itinerary activities, ground transportation, airport transfers, accommodations, meals, and even gratuities.

Come join us on a Caravan Grand Canyon tour that also includes a sightseeing drive along Camelback Mountain before visiting Sedona, the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Park.

Visit Caravan’s Grand Canyon tour reviews page to read what other vacationers have said about our Grand Canyon tours.

Call Caravan toll free at 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) to reserve your spot today and book early as our Grand Canyon tour is always very popular.

Bryce Canyon, which is part of Bryce Canyon National Park, is actually shaped more like a giant amphitheater.

Did you know that Bryce Canyon Utah is not actually a canyon? Centuries of natural erosion from wind, rain and ice formed the 12-mile long Bryce Canyon amphitheater out of the Paunsaugunt Plateau in Utah.

In this Caravan blog post we’ve compiled some interesting information and facts about Bryce Canyon Park.

History of Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon was originally named after one of the area’s first pioneer settlers, Ebenezer Bryce.

In 1923 the US government declared Bryce Canyon, and the surrounding area, a US National Monument. Five years later in 1928, the area became officially designated as Bryce Canyon National Park.

At an elevation between 8,000 and 9,000 feet above sea level, Bryce Canyon is more remote than its neighboring cousins, the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park. While Bryce may not draw as many tourists, Bryce Canyon Park is open year round and boasts over a million visitors annually.

Bryce Canyon Hoodoos

Bryce Canyon is famous for its unique colorful rock formations called “hoodoos” and is home to more hoodoos than anywhere else in the world. What are hoodoos?

Bryce Canyon hoodoos are the tall, irregular totem pole shaped rock formations found in the badlands of Bryce Canyon National Park. Some hoodoos reach heights in excess of 200 feet!

Centuries of dry, hot, desert like conditions combined with extreme temperatures, wind, and water erosion, caused the lower portions of the hoodoos (the softer red and orange sedimentary sandstone) to crumble away. The resulting rock columns usually have a denser rock cap that is more resistant to erosion and serves to protect the lower part of the hoodoo pillar from the elements.

What gives the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Park their unique totem-like shape is the irregular erosion of alternating layers of soft and harder sedimentary rock.

The hoodoos of Bryce Canyon are not spires as some believe. A spire is smoother with a uniform shape that is generally thicker at the bottom and tapering thinner as it rises to the top.

The Colors of Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon hoodoos come in a myriad of shapes and sizes inspiring such descriptive names as Thor’s Hammer, Silent City, Queen Victoria, and Wall of Windows. Their singular pillars, grouped ridges, jagged crevices, and natural arches all play with the light and shadow, creating a myriad of colourful landscapes as the sun passes overhead.

It is this incredible display of colors that attracts tourists to Bryce Canyon National Park, highlighted by the Park’s unique hoodoos and natural arch formations.

The red, orange, and white sandstone offers up a kaleidoscope of shifting hues and majestic views that change seasonally and with each sunrise or sunset. Many tourists also enjoy Bryce Canyon during the winter when the hoodoos appear in their imposing red and orange hues but this time capped with white snow. Bryce Canyon is truly a photographers’ paradise.

Other Bryce Canyon Highlights

Bryce Canyon Wildlife – Bryce Park is teeming with an abundance of wildlife including rare golden eagles and hawks plus reptiles, small mammals, and mule deer.

Bryce Canyon Activities – Tourists will find a lot of worthwhile activities that can be enjoyed in Bryce Canyon National Park; everything from snowshoe walks, cross-country skiing, and other winter activities, to summertime activities like backpacking, horseback riding, hiking, moonlight walks, ranger-guided tours, and evening programs.

Bryce Canyon National Park Tours

A Bryce Canyon tour is currently included in Caravan’s all-inclusive Grand Canyon Tour.

This fully guided 8 day tour is affordably priced and includes all tour accommodations, most meals, land travel, activities, and gratuities. Additional tour highlights include visits to the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Lake Powell, and Zion National Park.

To make a reservation, please call 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826).

Read reviews by past Caravan guests or check out our Grand Canyon Tour FAQ page.

For US travelers who want a chance to experience America’s natural wonders of nature along with the USA’s indigenous wildlife, there is no shortage of excellent All Inclusive USA Tours by Caravan Tours, including fully guided US national parks tours.

Guided western national parks tours are the easiest way to get the most out of visiting places like Yellowstone, Yosemite and of course, the Grand Canyon, where knowledgeable tour guides provide much of the history and background information about each national park’s unique attributes.

Grand Canyon National Park Tours

The Grand Canyon has held visitors spellbound since it was first explored in the mid 1800’s. Escorted Grand Canyon US National Parks Tours will help you discover one of the world’s most mesmerizing landscapes, if only for the sheer size of the canyon. For many visitors the vastness and beauty of the Grand Canyon almost amounts to a spiritual experience.

Caravan Tours’ Grand Canyon National Park tour includes both the south rim and the north rim. More adventurous visitors can also take hiking tours deep into the canyon or explore the adventure of river rafting down the Colorado River, over a mile below the Canyon rim.

The all-inclusive Caravan Grand Canyon Tour also includes fully guided tours of two other US National Parks:

  • Bryce Canyon National Park – with its unique rock formations
  • Zion National Park – with its amazing and unique geological formations
  • Grand Teton National Park

Yellowstone National Park

The world’s first national park (and America’s largest) is Yellowstone National Park. For international visitors who to enjoy Caravan Tour’s American national parks tours, Yellowstone is a must. Yellowstone National Park is actually an ancient super volcano boasting over 10,000 geothermal activities including over three hundred geysers, the most famous of which is Old Faithful Geyser. Yellowstone also has 290 cascading waterfalls plus hundreds of mud pots, fumaroles and hot sprints.

Caravan’s Yellowstone & Mt Rushmore tours are extremely popular and also include several other major US attractions including:

  • Mount Rushmore National Monument
  • Mammoth Hot Springs
  • Grand Tetons National Park.

Yosemite National Park

To view El Capitan, the world’s largest exposed granite boulder (3,600 feet high) or places like Bridal Veil Falls, Cathedral Rocks or the 1,410-foot Upper Yosemite Falls (America’s highest waterfalls), visitors should consider taking an escorted California Yosemite National Park tour by Caravan Tours. Yosemite National Park is also a World Heritage site.

Caravan Tours’ Yosemite National Park Tour is included as part of our guided motor coach tour of the California Coast with visits to places like Big Sur, the giant Sequoia redwood forest, San Francisco, Monterey, California wine country, and Hollywood.

Discover Caravan’s US National Parks Tours

It is imperative for visitors who want to enjoy fully escorted US national parks tours to choose a good, well-established tour company. Caravan Tours has been offering fully escorted tours across the USA since 1952.

To make a reservation, call toll free at 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826)

Check out some of Caravan’s tour review pages to read what others have said about Caravans’ all inclusive, fully escorted US national Parks Tours:

Grand Canyon Tours Reviews
Yellowstone Park Tours Reviews
Yosemite Park Tours Reviews

Visit some of the top Zion National Park attractions with Caravan Tours.

Zion was Utah’s first national park and another in a series of US National Parks established in the same region as the Grand Canyon and Bryce National Park, where the wonders of geologic rock formations never ceases to amaze visiting tourists.

Zion National Park attractions are numerous but a little more difficult to access because of the steep sandstone cliffs, some of which are classified as the highest in the world.

Different environments have emerged throughout the Zion Park according to the variation in sedimentation. This has brought about the existence of diverse fauna and flora, which can be seen in the many types of woodland, desert areas, coniferous forest areas, and the riparian zones (where the land and rivers meet).

Settlers in the region revered the natural beauty of Zion National Park and gave many of the park’s unique features such names as the East Temple, Angels Landing, the Great White Throne, the Court of the Three Patriarchs and the Temple of Sinawava.

Here is an overview our top 8 Zion National Park attractions:

8. Angels Landing Trail This is one of the most popular hiking trails in Zion Canyon. Visitors that reach the summit are treated to a spectacular panoramic view of Zion National Park. Other notable trails in Zion Park include Emerald Pools Trail, Hidden Canyon Trail and Canyon Overlook Trail.

7. Zion Canyon– Over millions of years the Virgin River carved through the soft sandstone creating the 15-mile long Zion Canyon that in some places is as deep as a half a mile.

6. Zion Narrows– The narrowest point of Zion Canyon is a steep gorge just 20 feet wide and aptly named Zion Narrows (located at the mouth of Zion Canyon).

5. Virgin River Narrows– Located just upstream of Zion Canyon but within Zion National Park is Virgin River Narrows. This prime 3.6-mile hiking area traverses through a narrow gorge called “The Narrows” and is part of the Colorado Plateau.

4. Kolob Arch– Considered to be the second longest natural arch in the world, Kolob Arch is uniquely situated, framing the nearby sandstone cliffs in the Kolob Canyon.

3. Checkerboard Mesa– Millions of years ago wind-blown sand cut deep grooves into the Navajo sandstone creating a checkerboard pattern in this unique geological wonder.

2. Great White Throne– Located near Angels Landing, the north face of the Great White Throne, which gets its name from the white sandstone cliffs, towers 2,350 feet above the Zion Canyon floor and is considered by many to be the symbol of Zion National Park.

1. Three Patriarchs– These massive cliffs rise over 2,000 feet above the Zion Canyon floor and feature three different rock formations dating back to the Jurassic age including Moenave, Kayenta and Navajo Sandstone. Other notable sandstone cliff formations in Zion National Park include East Temple, Temple of Sinawava, and Horse Ranch Mountain, the highest point in Zion National Park at 8,726 feet above sea level.

Getting Around Inside Zion Park

No private vehicles are allowed within Zion National Park and transportation is given via free shuttle buses. These Zion National Park Tours are the best way to view the outstanding geological formations known as the Grand Staircase, which represents millions of years in sedimentation in the area.

Zion Park Lodge

The word “Zion” means a place of refuge (or peace). Zion Park Lodge, which was built in 1925, is aptly named and located in the center of the valley floor, offering a unique perspective of the surrounding massive sandstone cliffs and unique rock formations of Zion Canyon.

Zion Park Lodge is open for guests year-round who come to explore the magnificent surroundings of Zion National Park. The original Zion Lodge structure was destroyed by fire in the mid 1960’s and although the lodge was rebuilt the same year, it did not regain its original rustic appearance until it was refurbished in 1990.

Caravan’s current Grand Canyon Tour itinerary includes two nights at the acclaimed Zion Park Lodge.

Visit Zion Park Attractions with Caravan Tours!

In addition to two nights’ stay at the Zion Park Lodge, many of the above mentioned attractions are included as part of Caravan Tours’ fully escorted 8-day Grand Canyon Tour, which is all inclusive and affordably priced.

Read the many reviews for this tour or check out the Grand Canyon FAQ page.

These Grand Canyon vacations always book up quickly!

Call 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) to check availability or reserve your spot today.

(Editor’s Note – This original post from February 2012 has been updated to reflect current Grand Canyon vacation details.)

Lake Powell, in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, stretches for over 185 miles in an area once known as Lee’s Ferry, situated north of the Grand Canyon in Arizona and west of Bryce National Park in Utah.

This man made reservoir on the Colorado River borders Arizona and Utah and is named after John Wesley Powell, a one armed American Civil War veteran who explored the Colorado River in a posse of three wooden boats.

Today, Lake Powell is the Reservoir on the Colorado River that acts as a water basin to Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California. Enjoy a Lake Powell boat tour as part of Caravan’s all inclusive Grand Canyon tour.

Lake Powell Glen Canyon Dam

Glen Canyon Dam helps to form the second largest man made reservoir in the United States.

Back in 1963 the building of the dam, and flooding of the Glen Canyon, was highly controversial. The reservoir was originally planned for what is now Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado. However, activists lobbied to protect the area and the plans were moved over to Lee’s Ferry, which was situated between Glen Canyon and Grand Canyon.

The waters now flood Glen Canyon, which was reported to once be rich in extraordinary attributes such as 80 foot plus canyon walls, sandstone streams, and numerous Native American heritage sites. Natural landscapes such as arches and natural bridges were also compromised in the flooding.

On September 13, 1963 the Glen Canyon Dam project was officially completed. It took an additional 17 full years for Lake Powell to reach its high water mark. Water levels fluctuate to this day with seasonal changes.

Lake Powell Boat Cruise

A scenic cruise or boat ride along Lake Powell will open a visitor’s eyes to many of the above-mentioned natural landscapes that are still visible today despite the flooding of Glen Canyon.

The waters that fill Glen Canyon create nearly 2,000 miles of shoreline thanks to Lake Powell’s intricate rock formations. This is longer than the entire west coast of the continental US! These shorelines allow visitors to access 96 major canyons that are only accessible via watercraft.

As many would imagine, the vantage point from the boat on a Lake Powell cruise provides countless photo opportunities of a skyline undisturbed by modern civilization.

Rainbow Bridge National Monument

One of the most popular landmarks to behold in the Lake Powell area is Rainbow Bridge, labeled the world’s highest natural bridge.

This rock formation was originally recorded in 1974 to be 275 feet; later in 2007 a more accurate laser measurement recorded the formation at 234 feet. The peak of the bridge is 42 feet thick and 33 feet wide.

Rainbow Bridge is easily accessed by a two-hour Lake Powell boat ride and a short mile-long hike from the wharf up the canyon. For more active vacationers, Rainbow Bridge can also be accessed by foot. This several-hour hike from the trail head requires a special permit from the Navajo Nation but is well worth it.

The sacred and religious meaning of Rainbow Bridge is held dear to many local Native American groups. They express concern about visitors walking underneath the bridge and National Park Services request that all tourists be respectful of the people who have historically visited the monument. However, it is not illegal to walk under the bridge or approach the bridge, and there is a well-worn path under the bridge that gives proof of thousands of visitors exploring the natural wonder.

Antelope Canyon Lake Powell National Park

The well-visited Antelope Canyon along Lake Powell got its Navajo name from the herds of pronghorn antelope who roamed the area.

Navajos pictured the canyon as a very spiritual place such as a cathedral. Traditionally, Navajos would take a short pause before entering the region in order to prepare the people for protection and to gather a deep attitude of respect. Trekking through the area was viewed as a very spiritual experience that would connect them with what Mother Nature had to offer and to promote living in harmony.

Today, Antelope Canyon is divided into two sections:

  1. Upper Antelope Canyon features water running through rocks (which is the meaning of the Navajo name for the area). The upper area is situated about 4,000 feet above sea level and the canyon walls rise up about 120 feet above the streambed.
  2. Lower Antelope Canyon features famous spiral rock arches.

Visitors require a guide for visiting both the Upper and Lower regions of Antelope Canyon.

Lake Powell Reviews

Visit Caravan’s Grand Canyon tour reviews page to read what other vacationers have to say about their Lake Powell Resort experience. Here are just a few reviews from Caravan Tour guests:

The sightseeing and activities were very good. Plenty to see and absorb. To me, it was the right amount to see. Lake Powell was great! The motor coach was nice. It was clean, new and comfortable. I was concerned about this before the tour, but that soon went away! It was an absolutely great coach tour. I am recommending it back home. I will do it again ‘somewhere’ next year. Please let us know if our tour director moves to another tour. We would like to take one with her again! Thanks for a great vacation!”
Mr. & Mrs. M.S., Elkton, Florida

The sightseeing and activities such as visits to the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion cannot be anything but breathtaking; and, the intervening stops at Lake Powell and Monument Valley were well chosen. Overall, it was a superb vacation that we enjoyed greatly from start to finish. I don’t know how it could be improved.”
Mr. & Mrs. S.W., Wilmington, North Carolina

My favorite part of the tour was traveling to three states, visiting various locations and me not doing any of the driving. The Lake Powell Resort hotel was a very nice facility and the dining and breakfast were outstanding. The tour was excellent, there were many options of sightseeing and activities that were more than I expected. Another favorite part of the tour was Bryce Canyon and Zion Park, the beauty was breathtaking. My wife wanted to know when we were moving out there, I told her we must go back as I only took 577 photographs.”
Mr. & Mrs. D.M., York, Pennsylvania

Caravan’s Grand Canyon Vacations Include A Lake Powel Cruise

Lake Powell and many of these famous Arizona landmarks are included as part of Caravan’s all inclusive Grand Canyon vacations.

These 8-day, fully escorted Grand Canyon vacations are affordably priced and all inclusive, which means that all itinerary meals, land travel, hotel accommodations, scheduled activities, and even gratuities are included. Other famous locations included in Caravan’s Grand Canyon Tour include Phoenix, Oak Creek Canyon, Monument Valley, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park.

(Editor’s Note – This original post from April 2012 has been updated to reflect current Grand Canyon vacation details.)

Take a Grand Canyon Tour and travel fully guided to one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.  Grand Canyon National Park, just north of Phoenix, Arizona, is also a World Heritage Site and attracts nearly five million tourists each year.

In order to accommodate all the annual tourists, the Grand Canyon area is well developed with excellent hotels and accommodations for anyone wishing to enjoy a Grand Canyon tour on the South Rim or the North Rim.

It’s relatively easy to find a good Grand Canyon tour company to explore the Canyon with.

Whether you are looking for a helicopter tour, a river rafting tour or a chance to explore many of the other great activities within the Canyon area (such as the Grand Canyon Skywalk or the Grand Canyon Railway), your Grand Canyon National Park tour will be one that leaves a lasting impression.

Grand Canyon Travel Itinerary

Many tourists begin their Grand Canyon tour from Phoenix Arizona, which offers the best airport for easy access to Grand Canyon National Park. Caravan Tours begins all of their Grand Canyon tours from Phoenix, the largest city in Arizona. Upon landing at the Sky Harbor Airport, Caravan Tours’ guests stay one night in Phoenix before heading north to visit an artists’ colony in Sedona and then on to the Grand Canyon.

Two nights of the Grand Canyon tour are spent right at the Grand Canyon with accommodations at one of four Grand Canyon Park Lodges located inside Grand Canyon National Park near the South Rim. Apart from a short orientation session, tourists are at leisure to choose the Grand Canyon activities that interest them, such as hiking Grand Canyon rim trails, visiting historic buildings, or checking out the Lookout Studio.

After departing the Grand Canyon, Caravan tourists stay at Lake Powell Resort where they enjoy a boat cruise and take a jeep tour of Monument Valley. This Bryce, Zion and Grand Canyon tour also includes one day at Bryce Canyon and one day at Zion Park, which nicely rounds out the tour experience before heading past the Grand Canyon west rim to Las Vegas, Nevada where the tour officially ends.

The Grand Canyon & Tourism

The 227-mile long gorge that creates the Grand Canyon naturally attracts tourists from around the world. As one of the most complete geological cross sections visible on our planet there are a number of archaeological sites that date back hundreds of millions of years.

The Grand Canyon National Park tour allows visitors to explore some of the over 1.2 million acres that is home to over 1,500 species of plants and animals including cougars, rattlesnakes and Gila monsters. The enduring force behind sustaining the wildlife community, and is responsible for carving the Canyon over millions of years, is the mighty Colorado River.

The Grand Canyon is also in close proximity to three other natural tourist destinations, all included along Caravan’s Grand Canyon Tour bus route:

Lake Powell

Bryce Canyon National Park

Zion National Park

Family, Senior & Group Grand Canyon Tour Deals

As one of the top rated full escort tour companies, Caravan Tours offers the best value for all inclusive Grand Canyon Tours. The entire Grand Canyon bus tour is guided by a tour director with a depth of information and knowledge that pleasantly surprises all Caravan guests. The one low Grand Canyon tour price includes all itinerary activities, meals, and hotel accommodations while on tour.

Caravan Tours is very accommodating of special travel guests, making Caravan the ideal travel company for Family Grand Canyon Tours, Senior Grand Canyon Tours, and Group Grand Canyon Tours. Special groups, seniors, and children over five are especially welcome on these well planned and reasonably paced Grand Canyon tours.

Call 1-800-CARAVAN (800-227-2826) to book your family, senior or group Grand Canyon tour today.

Affordable Grand Canyon Tours

Caravan’s fully escorted Grand Canyon tour packages are unrivalled in both price and experience! There’s no other 8-day, all inclusive Grand Canyon vacation tour out there with the same high level of activities, luxury hotel accommodations, and professional tour guides!

Visit Caravan’s Grand Canyon Tour reviews page to read what other travelers have to say about this popular Grand Canyon tour.

Sightseeing in the United Stages attracts tourists from around the globe who come to enjoy bus sightseeing tours of our parks, our historic landmarks and our incredibly beautiful landscapes.

The United States is such a diverse country with everything from the deserts of Arizona and the beaches of California to the super volcano of Yellowstone National Park and the rolling Appalachian Mountains of New England.

Tourists can find plenty of different US sightseeing tours to choose from including all inclusive USA sightseeing Tours like those offered by Caravan Tours.

Here are some of the more popular Caravan US bus sightseeing tours;

  • Motor Coach tours to the Grand Canyon
  • Bryce Canyon Sightseeing Tours
  • Zion National Park Sights
  • Yellowstone Sightseeing Tours
  • Yosemite National Park Sightseeing Tours
  • California Coast Sightseeing Tours
  • New England Sightseeing Tours

Grand Canyon Sightseeing

It doesn’t matter if you standing on the Grand Canyon South rim or standing 18 miles across on the north rim; or if you are descending down into the mile deep canyon itself; or if you are river rafting through the canyon on the Colorado River, the effect is the same… sightseeing in the Grand Canyon is absolutely incredible from every perspective.

Bryce Canyon Sightseeing

Along with bus sightseeing tours, backpacking, horseback riding and hiking are a few other great options for taking in Bryce Canyon sights including the incredible display of hoodoos, natural arches, fins and spires as well as Bryce Canyon’s Grand Staircase and Thor’s Hammer, among others. Bryce Canyon is included as part of Caravan’s Grand Canyon fully escorted tour.

Zion National Park Sightseeing

Checkerboard Mesa, the Great Arch, the Beehives, Twin Brothers and the many towering monoliths like the Watchman, West Temple and Temple of Sacrifice are some of the names given to the unique rock formations and other Zion Canyon sights worth exploring. Zion National Park is included on Caravan’s all inclusive Grand Canyon tour.

Yellowstone National Park Sights

Yellowstone is literally one big super volcano with over 10,000 geothermal activities that offer tourists such unique Yellowstone attractions as Old Faithful Geyser, fumaroles, mud pots and hot springs. Other Yellowstone sights worth visiting include Upper Yellowstone Falls, Lower Yellowstone Falls, Norris Geyser Basin, Upper Geyer Basin and Mammoth Hot Springs. Caravan’s Yellowstone Park tour also includes visits to Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Monument.

California Coast Sightseeing

A place like no other, California offers tourists some of the most unique coastal landscapes in the world. Some of the more popular California sights include Big Sur, Napa Valley wine country, the stand of ancient giant redwoods, the cable cars of San Francisco, Monterey and Carmel, Hearst Castle and Hollywood.

Yosemite Sightseeing

Yosemite Valley is also known as the “Incomparable Valley”. A few of the more notable Yosemite sights include the 3600 foot granite monolith El Capitan, the 8840 foot Half Dome, the 650 foot Bridal Veil Falls, and Yosemite Falls, which has a total drop of over 2400 feet making it North America’s tallest waterfalls. Yosemite Park in included as part of Caravan’s fully escorted California Coast tour.

New England Sightseeing

Fall foliage tours are quite popular in New England however there are many other New England sights worth exploring including Atlantic coastal beaches and fishing villages, the home of Mark Twain, Martha’s Vineyard, and the Norman Rockwell Museum.

All Inclusive US Sightseeing Tours by Caravan

Caravan Tours is family run and has been offering fully escorted tours since 1952. All of Caravan’s US sightseeing tours are all inclusive, meaning all meals, activities, accommodations and ground transportation are included for one low incredible price.

Visit Why Buy Caravan Sightseeing Tours to learn more or Check Sightseeing Tour Availability now.