Grand Canyon | Classic Journeys Blog
  • Sunrise at the Grand Canyon

    9 Must-Do Experiences in Bryce, Grand Canyon, & Zion

    Three of America’s most spectacular—and coolest—national parks without a single are-we-there-yet moment? You can do it on a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/grandcanyonfamily/" target="_blank"><u>Family </u></a>or <u><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/grandcanyon/" target="_blank">Multisport</a></u> trip to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Bryce, Grand Canyon &amp; Zion</a>. We take care of all of the logistics. Mountain bikes? Check. Mule rides into Bryce Canyon? Check. Timing visits perfectly to canyon rims for sunset, hiking through waterfalls, and great inns with swimming pools? Absolutely! So without further ado, here are 9 of the best experiences in Bryce, Grand Canyon &amp; Zion - all of which will echo in your memory for years to come.<br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">#1 Sunset at the Grand Canyon (North Rim)</a></b><br>A short walk to a vista point overlooking <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Roaring Springs, Bright Angel Canyon and the South Rim</a> at sunset is epic! Not only are the colors majestic, but you&#39;ll also have the chance to do some awesome birding. Swifts and swallows can often be seen along cliff faces, and, with luck, you may even see a bald eagle. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SIY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012BwT" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">#2 </a><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Sunrise at the Grand Canyon</a></b><br>A memorable sunrise walk along the rim of the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Grand Canyon</a> allows early risers to enjoy the vibrant colors that reflect off the canyon walls. Our personal favorite trail is the Transept Trail, which follows the canyon&#39;s rim through quaking aspens and ponderosa pines.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SIY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012BwY" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><b>#3 </b></a><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Mule Ride into Bryce Canyon</a></b><br>Experience <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Bryce Canyon on mule back</a> along a trail that offers a spectacular viewpoint, where it&#39;s possible to see over 120 miles! On <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys&#39; Bryce adventure</a>, you&#39;ll have many photo opportunities at several vistas, including a favorite natural bridge, which isn&#39;t a bridge at all, but rather a picturesque red rock arch.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SIY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Boy" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><b>#4 </b></a><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Bryce Amphitheater at Sunrise</a></b><br>Take a sunrise walk along a portion of the Rim Trail overlooking the<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"> Bryce Amphitheater</a>. Bask in the views of the cliff walls and rock formations as they come to life with vibrant gold colors while the sun rises in the distance. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SIY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Bp3" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><b>#5 </b></a><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park</a></b><br>Stroll through Arizona&#39;s Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park to see stunning, coral-colored dune fields surrounded by red sandstone cliffs and juniper forests. After the walk, if you&#39;re feeling adventurous, you must take advantage of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/grandcanyonfamily/" target="_blank">sand surfing down the dunes</a>! <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SIY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Boo" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><b>#6 </b></a><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Riverside Walk Past Gardens of Wildflowers</a></b><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Zion National Park </a>is characterized by a range of colorful canyons, sandstone cliffs, rocky deserts, and cool forested plateaus. Take a stroll along the river, where you&#39;ll enjoy beautiful hanging gardens of wildflowers in the spring and summer, and vibrant foliage in the fall months.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SIY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012BpX" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><b>#7 </b></a><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Explore Zion&#39;s Emerald Pools</a></b><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Emerald Pools is a Zion classic</a>: an oasis in the middle of the desert. The walk is a collection of short trails that meander past a small, lushly-vegetated stream that rolls down from the cliffs and forms several breathtaking pools.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SIY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012BpD" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/grandcanyonfamily/" target="_blank"><b>#8 </b></a><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/grandcanyonfamily/" target="_blank">Bike Through Zion</a></b><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Zion National Park</a> is characterized by a range of colorful canyons, sandstone cliffs, rocky deserts and cool forested plateaus. Take a bike ride in the park, which is one of the most bikefriendly national parks in the country. Explore the Par’us Trail, which comes from the Paiute word meaning “bubbling, tumbling water.” This relaxing path winds along the<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"> Virgin River</a> and is ideal for an easy-going ride on flat terrain.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SIY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Bot" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/grandcanyonfamily/" target="_blank"><b>#9 </b></a><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/grandcanyonfamily/" target="_blank">Tube Down the Virgin River</a></b><br>Partake in a tubing adventure down <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/grandcanyonfamily/" target="_blank">Zion&#39;s Virgin River</a>! Fun, and highly scenic, tubing is a tremendously popular way to see Zion.<br><br><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SIY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Bwi" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> 

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  • Sunset Over the Grand Canyon

    A Guides Best Kept Secrets to National Parking

    So there you are in your first slot <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">canyon</a>. Whorled walls of stone twist up to a narrow sliver of sky. Except for a burble of sandstone-red water, it’s totally quiet. Just ahead, a young woman has stopped, head bowed. You don’t want to interrupt so you sidle past quietly. And you can’t help but notice that she’s praying … to her smartphone. Specifically, to the guidebook she downloaded to figure out what she’s seeing.<br><br>For too many visitors, that’s how <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">national park</a> visits work — plenty of awe, and an awful lot of head scratching. Of course, the National Park Service offers excellent visitor centers, but they take you inside to learn about the great outdoors. Park rangers are amazing sources of information, but they’re stretched to the max by shrinking budgets and the tourists who arrive without a plan or a clue about what to do. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Group riding mules in the Grand Canyon" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATOd&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9ml" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>You, on the other hand, can take your time, go deeper than the crowded lookout points, and get an intensely personal take on these national treasures in the company of the experienced<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"> local guide on your Classic Journey</a>. Our friend Marcia, who’s been a professional guide for 15+ years, says it just right. “I like to help you get a little outside your usual comfort zone and have a blast.”  She adds an observation that we’ve seen over 20 years of exploring in the national parks: “80% of visitors drop out in the first 20 minutes of a hike. So leaving the crowds behind really contributes to the sense of discovery and fun.”<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><b>“Ask questions until you’re hoarse.”</b></a><br>Because you’ll be part of a small group of no more than 18 travelers, your guide has plentiful time to satisfy your curiosity — whatever form it takes. How tall were the Puebloans? Are those layers of stone slanting up or down? How do trees survive flash floods? Is the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Grand Canyon</a> still getting deeper? You get answers that help you understand what you’re seeing, as you see it.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATOd&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f7zT" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><b>“Avoid erosion overload.”</b></a><br>It’s no joke! You’ll see countless kinds of outlandish rock formations. But where do you look first? In <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Bryce Canyon</a>, there are hundreds of hoodoos, those pillars of crimson stone. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Zion’s slot canyons</a> branch and curve out of sight. Every view of the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Grand Canyon</a> is, well, grander than the last one. Many overwhelmed visitors call it a day without realizing what they’ve missed. An informed guide brings it all down to size and makes sure you see the crème de la crème sights with an elegant efficiency.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATOd&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f7zY" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><b>“Commune with the neighbors.”</b></a><br>With so much focus on the geology, it’s easy to overlook the fact that human habitation in these parts dates back about 12,000 years. Your <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys guide</a> makes certain you learn about the Ancestral Puebloans and visit their ruins. You’ll also meet the couple that maintains the home of Maynard Dixon, one of the region’s leading artists. They have lunch ready just as you arrive. And a local cowboy musician tunes up his guitar for the evening, right after he’s done tending his mules.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Puebloans Grand Canyon" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATOd&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000fBdN" style="height: 354px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><b>“Stay comfortable.”</b></a><br>The premier accommodations in these parts are already booked up far in advance, but you don’t have to worry. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys</a> reserves these coveted spaces one to two years in advance, so you’ll stay at the classic park lodges that most visitors only get to peek into. You’ll also love the Desert Pearl Inn, a scenic and super-civilized resort set on the banks of the Virgin River at <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Zion</a>. And your guide takes your comfort to an even higher level by timing walks carefully, advising you whether it’s a day to wear shorts or jacket, and making sure you stay hydrated. When you go national parking, it really pays to know the right people!<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATOd&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f7zO" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a>

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  • Grand Canyon

    Deeply American: Bryce, Grand Canyon & Zion

    Today the Grand Canyon celebrates its 100th anniversary! So, let’s hear it for the redrock, white and blue! A vacation that dips and winds through the amazing canyons of our <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">premier national parks</a> is about as all-American you can get. Leisure travelers have visited the Grand Canyon since the 1890s. Bryce and Zion opened their gates not long after. If you’re of the generation that remembers making a too hot, too long minivan trek to these parks (“It’ll be fun,” Dad insisted), you can rest assured that that’s one travel tradition Classic Journeys has put to rest.<br><br><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001Y4Gs&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012BoP" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br>First, get it out of your head that if you’ve seen one canyon, you’ve seen them all. Not true…and it’s why a well-coordinated visit to these<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"> three natural wonders</a> is a major revelation. Immersive explorations with an expert local guide put you in touch with areas most visitors miss because they don’t stray far from the car park. As Marcia, one of our guides loves to say, “It’s all about erosion, but I promise it won’t wear you down!”<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Zion" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001Y4Gs&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000oWeX" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Bryce</a>, for example, is famous for its hoodoos. They’re those spindly needles of sandstone with boulders balanced on top that tended to cause a lot of trouble for Wile E. Coyote. Sighting one of them would be enough to knock your socks off, but there are hundreds and hundreds tightly clustered in a canyon that looks like the set for a high-speed Star Wars chase. Wandering among them is one of the most inspiring walks you’ll ever take.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Bryce Hoodoos" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001Y4Gs&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000oWec" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">The Zion Canyon Narrows</a> couldn’t be more different. Known as a slot canyon, it’s slender, smooth and sinuous. At the narrowest point, it’s only about 20 feet from wall to wall, but it’s 1,300 straight up to the narrow slit of sky you can see. Where Bryce overwhelms with wind-carved complexity, Zion is a streamlined canyon sliced deep by the Virgin River.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Zion Narrows" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001Y4Gs&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000oWeh" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">The Grand Canyon</a> has a river, too. But in many spots, the Colorado flows so far below that it barely registers as a thread of silver. The rim’s the place to be to enjoy the technicolor show that plays all day from sunrise until the last drop of purple and red disappear at nightfall. The trails are wonderful, and it’s not too shabby that you can enjoy this particular canyon from the terrace of your lodge with your beverage of choice in hand.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Grand Canyon and Colorado River" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001Y4Gs&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000oWem" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>Along the way and at ground level, you’ll also walk (or if you’d like, sand surf) in Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. And one of your trails offers a look at Ancestral Puebloan ruins that are more than 950 years old.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Horseback Riding in Grand Canyon" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001Y4Gs&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000oWer" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>These canyons are as deeply carved in the American spirit as they are in the rusty red rock of our continent. For a vacation that’s closer to home and near and dear to our homegrown traditions, you can’t do better than <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Bryce, Zion, and the Grand Canyon</a>.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Bryce" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001Y4Gs&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000oWf1" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a>

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