Arizona, a land of rugged red rock, dry deserts dotted with saguaro cactus, snow capped mountains, sparkling streams, the mighty Grand Canyon, the Colorado River and Monument Valley. This landscape has been the backdrop to a fascinating human history that includes the mysterious lost tribes of the Anasazi Indians, the Spanish explorers, individuals such as the Apache leader Geronimo, famous lawman Wyatt Earp and many others whose spirits still dwell in the canyons, deserts and mountains of Arizona.
Our Arizona Adventure 15 day/14 night self-drive tour samples the history, scenery and western culture of this incredible state. The tour operates from mid-April to end-September.
Day 1. Arrive Phoenix. Day 2. Phoenix to Sedona (approx. 150 miles). Day 3. Sedona. Day 4. Sedona to Grand Canyon (approx. 108 miles). Day 5. Grand Canyon National Park. Day 6. Grand Canyon to Lake Powell (approx. 150 miles) Day 7. Free time at Lake Powell. Day 8. Drive to Monument Valley (approx. 135 miles). Day 9. Monument Valley to Holbrook (approx. 188 miles). Day 10. Holbrook to Tucson (approx. 236 miles). Days 11, 12, 13 & 14. Tucson. Day 15. Tucson to Phoenix (approx.111 miles).
Day 1. Arrive Phoenix. Take the courtesy shuttle from the airport terminal to your hotel conveniently located close to the airport. Relax and enjoy the evening. Overnight: Best Western Airport Inn (Standard) Crowne Plaza Phoenix Airport South (Superior).
Day 2. Phoenix to Sedona (approx. 150 miles). Take the hotel shuttle back to the airport terminal and collect your rental car. For your journey to Sedona today we suggest that you take the longer, but more interesting route via the former Territorial capital of Arizona – Prescott. Here you can stroll along Whisky Row once the favourite of the cowboys and outlaws who enjoyed the 40 plus saloons which once lined this notorious street. From Prescott continue to Jerome – a partial ghost town, but now becoming a popular artists town with galleries, antique shops and lots of character. Soon after leaving Jerome you will notice the change in the surrounding rock colour – you are now entering Red Rock Country and Sedona is its capital (click here to view a short video of Sedona). Overnight: The Andante Inn of Sedona (Standard) or Sedona Real Inn & Suites (Superior).
Day 3. Sedona. A completely free day to explore the town and the beautiful surrounding countryside of Sedona. Start with a visit to the Visitors Centre in the heart of town, here you will learn what there is to do and see, and it will help you get your bearings. Railway buffs will almost certainly want to ride on the Verde Canyon Railroad from nearby Clarkdale (40 mins drive from Sedona) and we worth the effort as the ride takes you through the pretty Verde canyon with stunning views, lots of wildlife and ancient ruins. Just outside of Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon State Park is one of the most photographed locations in western America – well worth a visit, especially in the late afternoon when the pink sandstone walls of Cathedral Rock are ablaze with the setting sun. No visit to Sedona would be complete without a Pink Jeep excursion – click here to view a short video. Pink Jeep Tours offer several tours from their base in the heart of Sedona. We particularly recommend the 2-hour Broken Arrow tour which takes visitors on an exciting and informative journey on the company’s private land where many years ago the famous western movie – Broken Arrow was filmed. The tour escort/driver provides a fascinating commentary about the nature and history of the area after which you will be something of an expert in cacti, trees and wildlife of the American southwest! Overnight: The Andante Inn of Sedona (Standard) or Sedona Real Inn & Suites (Superior).
Day 4. Sedona to Grand Canyon (approx. 108 miles). Driving days on a self-drive tour don’t come much easier than this, a leisurely drive from Sedona allows plenty of time to choose whether to linger in Sedona, spend time in Flagstaff – perhaps driving a little of famous Route 66 – before continuing on to the Grand Canyon National Park (South Rim) arriving in plenty of time to take an optional helicopter or aeroplane excursion. Complete this fabulous day by enjoying the views at sunset over the Grand Canyon. Overnight: Maswik North Lodge (Standard) or Yavapai East Lodge (Superior).
Day 5. Grand Canyon National Park. A full day to enjoy and explore the wonders of one of the world’s greatest natural attractions. Optional sightseeing includes an exhilarating helicopter flight over the canyon; a guided nature hike with a national park ranger or discovering the canyon at your own pace using the free canyon shuttle which links the major overlooks along the rim. Enjoy the peace and tranquility of a Grand Canyon sunset. Overnight: Maswik South Lodge (Standard) or Yavapai East Lodge (Superior).
Day 6. Grand Canyon to Lake Powell (approx. 150 miles). Enjoy time at the Grand Canyon this morning – perhaps taking a flight or helicopter ride over the mighty Canyon – before driving on to Lake Powell. Lake Powell is the second largest man-made lake in North America, stretching over 190 miles and with a shoreline longer than the west coast of the United States it is a huge lake created by the Glen Canyon Dam across the Colorado River. There is much to do and see at Lake Powell. We particularly recommend a half-day Colorado River float trip on a raft from the base of the Glen Canyon. The raft gently floats down river from the dam, through narrow gorges with towering cliffs, past Indian sites and wildlife to the end point of your cruise – the historic Lees Ferry. We stress that this is a float trip – not a white-water raft experience. Other Lake Powell ‘optionals’ include scenic cruises on the lake, a visit to the Glen Canyon Dam, or just relax and enjoy the stunning scenery from the comfort of your lakeside hotel. Overnight: Courtyard By Marriott (Standard) or Lake Powell Resort, marina view room, (Superior).
Day 7. Free time at Lake Powell. Time to relax and enjoy the excursions mentioned above, or visit the Glen Canyon Dam Visitor’s Centre near the town of Page, or rent a boat and fish, or explore the many narrow side canyons off the lake’s main channel. Overnight: Courtyard By Marriott (Standard) or Lake Powell Resort, marina view room, (Superior).
Day 8. Drive to Monument Valley (approx. 135 miles). Arrive at Monument Valley – one of the most spectacular locations on your tour. Monument Valley’s red sandstone buttes and towering columns have formed a dramatic backdrop to countless western movies including John Wayne’s ‘Stage Coach’. We recommend that you pre-book a guided tour of the Valley with a native guide. Many of the roads are unpaved and so cannot be accessed with a rental car, and the valley is vast and many of the best features are hidden from the casual visitor. With a Navajo guide and a suitable vehicle you will see and learn a lot more than a do-it-yourself tour. Overnight: Gouldings Lodge, Monument Valley (Standard & Superior)
Day 9. Monument Valley to Holbrook (approx. 188 miles). Linger a while in Monument Valley this morning. We recommend that you pre-book a guided tour of the Valley with a native guide. Many of the roads are unpaved and so cannot be accessed with a rental car, and the valley is vast and many of the best features are hidden from the casual visitor. With a Navajo guide and a suitable vehicle you will see and learn a lot more than a do-it-yourself tour. In the afternoon continue on across the beautiful northern Arizona landscape to Holbrook a Route 66 town close to the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert National Park. Overnight: Best Western Arizonian Inn (Standard & Superior).
Day 10. Holbrook to Tucson (approx. 236 miles). Take time this morning to travel though the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest before continuing through the Fort Apache Indian Reservation and the Salt River Canyon to Tucson. Arrive in Tuscon this afternoon and enjoy a relaxing afternoon before your exploration of Tucson and its surrounding area. Overnight: Best Western Plus Royal Sun Inn (Standard) or Hilton El Conquistador (Superior).
Days 11, 12, 13 & 14. Tucson. Take a leisurely drive this morning to Tombstone – ‘The Town Too Tough To Die.’ Once the largest city between St Louis and San Francisco, Tombstone soon earned a reputation as one of the wildest, most dangerous towns in the west. Famous lawman Wyatt Earp and his brothers moved here and cleaned up this lawless town, the gunfight at the OK Corral was one of their more dramatic experiences, but this town is full of stories of murders, cheating and lawlessness. Don’t miss the Birdcage Theater, Boot Hill Cemetery and the Court House. If you have time take a drive to Bisbee an interesting Copper mining town with one of the deepest opencast mines in the world (open to visitors). In Tucson, we recommend that you visit the Mission San Xavier – the White Dove of the Desert – a beautiful Early Spanish mission church. Other Tucson attractions include Old Tucson Movie Studios, the unmissable Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum, the Pima Air and Space Museum, Kartchner Caverns (must pre-book) and Tucson’s fabulous shops! Overnight: Riverpark Inn (Standard) or Hilton El Conquistador (Superior).
Day 15. Tucson to Phoenix (approx. 111 miles). An easy journey up the freeway from Tucson brings you back to Phoenix. Return your rental car and check in at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport for your overnight return flight to the UK.
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* 14 nights hotel accommodation including local taxes.
* Maps, guides and itinerary.
Not included: Flights, car rental, travel insurance, optional excursions, meals, petrol, national park admissions &
Children 2- 11 years are free when sharing a room with 2 adults and using existing bedding at hotels.
Location No.nights Standard Hotels Superior Hotels Phoenix 1 Best Western Airport Inn Hampton Inn Phoenix Airport South (cont. bkfst) Sedona 2 The Andante Inn of Sedona (cont.bkfst) Sedona Real Inn & Suites (cont.bkfst) Grand Canyon 2 Maswik North Lodge Yavapai East Lodge Lake Powell 2 Courtyard By Marriott Lake Powell Resort (marina view room) Monument Valley 1 Gouldings Lodge Gouldings Lodge Holbrook 1 Best Western Arizonian Inn (full bkfst) Best Western Arizonian Inn (full bkfst) Tucson 5 Best Western Plus Royal Sun Inn (full bkfst) Hilton El Conquistador
All hotels and lodges are subject to availability at the time of booking. All mileages are approximate.
Just America will be please to offer suggestions on extending the itinerary – extra nights en route or at the end of the holiday. We can also extend the holiday with a stay at the Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson – what better way of concluding your western holiday!
Tour prices:The prices shown in the price panels are for the accommodation elements only, they do not include flights or car rental (unless indicated). This enables you to choose the airline and car of your choice and add them to the accommodation package to create your holiday. Our reservations staff will be pleased to help you with flight availability, to suggest which is the best airline for your itinerary and to advise you of any special offers the airlines may have introduced.
Hotels:Hotels featured in our self-drive and independent tours are chosen for their location, value for money and facilities. Whenever possible we offer a choice of Standard or Superior hotels. There is no recognised 'star' system throughout North America for classifying hotels, motels and resorts. The hotel ratings for our tours are subjective and are provided to give you an understanding as to the level of facility. They are either the hotel's official categorisation as per the Official Hotel & Resort Guide, or Just America's. Standards vary from location to location, therefore ratings in the remote areas can differ from those in the cities. Standard hotels would be those classified as Moderate, and Superior hotels would be First Class, in the Official Hotel and Resort Guide. National Park accommodations are more rustic and are chosen almost entirely because of their location. It should not be assumed that because an hotel is listed as Superior that it has certain amenities. Often a hotel is classified as Superior due to its position, views or room standard, it does not always follow that a superior hotel will have a swimming pool, hair-dryers, golf course, room service etc. We will try to provide information on individual hotels on request although the internet is usually the quickest and most accurate source of information. Hotel rooms in North America usually have one or two double beds. Triple and Quad rooms have two double beds. Very few hotels in North America have three or four beds. It is sometimes possible to have a rollaway bed which can be requested, but cannot be guaranteed. Occasionally hotels are chosen purely for their location - i.e. half-way between two points of interest - and may be included as a one night stop to break up an otherwise long journey. Such hotels may not have the full facilities normally associated with a Standard or Superior hotel, but sometimes we don't have any other choice. Where possible hotels providing free car parking have been included, however in some locations, such as city centres, the hotels may make a charge.
Note:Hotels are not usually ready to accept guests until after 3 or 4 pm, so please try not to check in before mid-afternoon. Check out time is usually before 11 am or 12 noon. It is sometimes possible to arrange late check out, or the storage of luggage, but this is at the discretion of the hotel.
Tour notes and itineraries:On several of our tours the tour notes and itineraries are provided at the first hotel. On other tours this information is forwarded with the travel documents approximately 14 days prior to departure. We will endeavour to provide the best information we can to help you, but it is not our policy to provide mile by mile detailed route guides, the frequent changes to local road conditions, layouts etc., makes this impossible. We do provide maps, guides to the major attractions en route, and directions to hotels whenever possible. These are independent self-drive holidays and you will be required to read a map and locate attractions and hotels. Sat.Nav. is available from the car rental companies - at a charge - and you may find this useful, however all technology is prone to failure so we always recommend that you keep the maps handy.
Tailor-made holidays:We will be pleased to discuss your own ideas and itineraries and help you plan your holiday. If you would like to email, fax or mail an outline of your tour with dates, number of people, ages of children etc., to us we will be happy to advise you. We request that you include your daytime telephone number on all correspondence. Where you have chosen the route and we have designed a tailor-made holiday for you, it may not be possible to provide you with a detailed tour itinerary. We suggest that you read up about the area you are planning to visit well in advance, preferably before you book the holiday. Insight Guides cover almost every region of North America and are about the best on the market. Just America can also provide a some tourist information subject to availability, but we do not have detailed route information to cover every area of the Continent. You might find the internet to be the best source of free, up-to-date information.
National Park Passes:Both the US and Canada charge entrance fees for their national parks, and if you are visiting a number of parks, this cost can add up to a significant amount. We recommend that you purchase a Parks Pass at the first national park you visit. For the US the pass currently costs $80 for up to four adults (children under 16 are free). In Canada a family pass currently costs $136.40. Both passes provide unlimited visits to that country's parks for 12 months. The passes can only be used in the country of purchase. Full details available at www.nps.gov (for USA) and www.pc.gc.ca/index_e.asp