Tue, June 20: Fly to Phoenix, Arizona and transfer to Montezuma Castle National Monument, one of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in North America. A 900-year-old legacy of the ancient Sinagua culture, this 20-room high-rise apartment set into a towering limestone cliff tells the story of ingenuity, survival and ultimately, prosperity in an unforgiving desert landscape. Continue to Sedona, a beautiful town situated on the mouth of Oak Creek Canyon. Spend time exploring the art galleries and quaint shops, or hiking the extensive network of trails around town. Check into the Best Western Plus Arroyo Roble Hotel, located in the heart of downtown Sedona, and enjoy a Welcome Dinner with the group. (Meals: Dinner)
Wed, June 21: After a morning at leisure, transfer to Clarkdale for an excursion on the Verde Canyon Railroad. Step aboard the fully restored vintage train, complete with luxurious coaches and shaded open-air viewing cars. Your first-class passage includes Champagne upon departure, living room-style seating with panoramic windows and complimentary Southwestern-style appetizers. The ride from Clarkdale to the turn-around point of Perkinsville is timed for the progress of daylight as it dances over the rippling green waters of the Verde River, then tiptoes across the canyon floor through canopies of foliage before escaping up the towering canyon walls into the brilliant skies of the gorge. Back in Sedona spend the evening discovering more of the town at your leisure. (B)
Thu, June 22: Grab your camera for a Pink Jeep tour of Sedona’s red rock country. On this mild off-road experience with just the right amount of adventure, you’ll have photo opportunities of the stunning red rock panoramas with every turn of the trail. Pass by some of the most inspiring red rock formations as your guide explains Sedona’s history, wildlife and geology. After lunch on your own in town, depart for Grand Canyon National Park, one of the great seven natural wonders of the world. The Grand Canyon IMAX Movie at the National Geographic Visitor Center provides an excellent introduction to the park before checking into Maswik Lodge North near the rim of the canyon for two nights. (B)
Fri, June 23: Today is free to experience the Grand Canyon as you like. Use the free shuttle system and spend the day exploring at your own pace. Participate in one of the many ranger programs offered by the park or consider an optional excursion. (B)
Sat, June 24: After breakfast, check out of the lodge and transfer to the Phoenix airport for your flight to Indianapolis. (B)
Best Western Plus Arroyo Roble, Sedona, Arizona
Located in the heart of uptown Sedona overlooking Oak Creek Canyon and convenient to shopping and dining, each room of the hotel has a private balcony or patio offering magnificent Red Rock views. Highlights: free wireless Internet • in-room coffeemaker & mini-fridge • indoor/outdoor heated pool • fitness center • sauna & steam room • tennis courts • indoor, air-conditioned racquetball courts • weight room • billiards room.
Maswik Lodge North, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Located inside the park, a quarter-mile from the canyon’s edge, the Maswik complex is a stop on the park’s free shuttle system. Modest accommodations are accessed from outside walkways and stairwells, (there are no elevators). Highlights: comfortable rooms • in-room coffeemaker • mini-fridge • TV • air conditioning • food court and pizza pub.