Arizona's Deserts & Canyons

Arizona's Deserts & Canyons
Sat, Feb 19th, 2022
to
Fri, Mar 4th, 2022
  • • "Triple" : $2830 Per Person
  • • "Quad" : $3810 Per Person
  • • "Single" : $3800 Per Person
"Double":

$2850 Per Person

Enjoy a respite from Winter in the "Valley of the Sun".

*Riley's purchases the Group Deluxe Protection plan with Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption on behalf of all participants*



Highlights Include:

Loretto Chapel (if available)
DeGrazia Art Gallery
Asarco Mineral Discovery Center
Arizona-Senora Desert Museum
Toritilla Flat
Dolly Steamboat
Barleen Dinner Show
Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
Queen Creek Olive Mill
Superstition Mountains Museum
Montezuma Castle
Verde Canyon Railroad
Sedona Trolley
Oak Creek Canyon
Grand Canyon Railway
Fremont Street
High Rollers Ferris Wheel

Day 1 Kearney, NE
When looking for relief from the long winter, there’s no better place than Arizona’s Valley of the Sun. The sunny skies and desert setting will thaw out your bones. Today is a relaxing travel day. We travel as far as Kearney, Nebraska for our first overnight.

Day 2 Colorado Springs, CO
We’ll make our way through Nebraska today, making a stop at the Golden Spike Tower in North Platte. We’ll see and learn about trains and history of the railroad. Be sure to take in the view on the observation deck! Its a can’t miss photo opportunity! After lunch on your own here, we will continue into Colorado and stop for our evening stay in Colorado Springs. (B)

Day 3 Albuquerque, NM
We continue south this morning through Colorado and into New Mexico. We’ll arrive in Santa Fe and have some free time to explore at the Santa Fe Plaza. Next, we’ll visit the historic Loretto Chapel, if available. Known for it’s “miraculous staircase.” The staircase has two 360 degree turns and no visible means of support. It is said that the staircase was built without nails, only wooden pegs. From Santa Fe, we will travel to Albuquerque, the largest city in New Mexico. We will overnight here this evening. (B)

Day 4 Scottsdale, AZ (Round Trip Fly Group Arrives)
Today is a travel day, sit back and relax as we travel along the historic Route 66 to the upscale area of Scottsdale and check-in to our hotel for the next 4 nights. (B)

Day 5 Scottsdale, AZ
We will start off the day visiting DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, what started as a small construction project in the early 1950s developed into a 10-acre National Historic District designed and built by acclaimed Arizona artist Ettore “Ted” DeGrazia. After lunch on your own, we head over to the Mineral Discovery Center and learn about the copper mining process then do a Mine Tour in an open-pit copper mine. We will see how copper ore is mined and how it is processed in the mill to extract the copper minerals. Next, we’ll spend the rest of our afternoon at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. A natural history museum, zoo, botanical garden, art gallery, and aquarium, featuring 21 acres of desert landscape. It is home to more than 230 animal species and 1,200 kinds of plants. (B)

Day 6 Scottsdale, AZ
This morning will begin with a stop for delicious citrus fruits while viewing the citrus groves located here at the Orange Patch. From there we drive through the Superstition Mountains on our way to Tortilla Flat, an authentic Ghost Town. You will have your choice of the biggest burgers, hot dogs, hottest chili, and much more as we enjoy an included lunch at the only restaurant in town. Don’t forget to save room for prickly pear ice cream for dessert. Nestled here in the heart of the Superstition Mountains, we’ll board the Dolly Steamboat on spectacular Canyon Lake. We’ll have a chance of seeing big horn sheep, bald eagles and a host of other wildlife, water fowl and birds. We’ll return to our hotel to freshen up a bit before we attend the Barleen’s Dinner Show, also known as “the Arizona Opry.” (B, L, D)

Day 7 Scottsdale, AZ
This morning we will discover Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, the Ancient Sonoran Desert People’s farming community which features the preserved “Great House,” or “Casa Grande.” Lunch is included and it’s a delicious one! We’ll spend the afternoon at Queen Creek Olive Mill touring their orchard and learning about how they grow and press olives to make quality extra virgin olive oil. Once we have had a chance to taste their product and do some shopping here, we’ll take of and head to The Superstition Mountain Museum. It lies in the foothills at the southwest end of the awe inspiring Superstition Mountains in central Arizona, the location offering commanding views of the Valley of the Sun, including Phoenix and the surrounding communities. Here we will learn the history and mystery of this intriguing area. We return to our hotel for the evening on your own. (B, L)

Day 8 Cottonwood, AZ
Today we gaze through the windows of the past into one of the best preserved cliff dwellings in North America, Montezuma Castle. This 20 room high-rise apartment, nestled into a towering limestone cliff, tells a story of ingenuity, survival and ultimately, prosperity in an unforgiving desert landscape. Today we head to the fertile Verde Valley to board the Verde Canyon Train with included lunch. The vintage train is fully-restored, whisking us back to a time of luxurious train travel. The excursion takes you on a 20-mile journey through 100 years of history. This unique geological wonderland features rugged crimson desert rock and beautiful panoramic views. Our overnight is in Cottonwood, Arizona. This evening we will enjoy an included dinner at a local restaurant. (B, L, D)

Day 9 Flagstaff, AZ
This morning we will take a Trolley Tour of Sedona, visiting the south side of town, showcasing the upscale Gallery District, including the famous Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village, and is highlighted by a stop at the inspirational Chapel of the Holy Cross. The views from the chapel are spectacular! We’ll allow you some free time here to explore everything this place has to offer. Later, we’ll drive through Oak Creek Canyon on our way to our overnight. The canyon is known for its colorful rocks and unique formations and is often described as a smaller cousin of the Grand Canyon because of its scenic beauty. (B)

Day 10 Flagstaff, AZ
All aboard! This morning we will board a vintage rail car in Williams, AZ for a nostalgic trip back in time with western music and cowboy characters sharing historical and regional information on the Grand Canyon Railway. The train will travel almost due north 65 miles to the Historic Village at the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Upon arrival, a motorcoach will be waiting for us to take us on a 1.5 hour guided tour along the South Rim. This tour is loaded with history, information about the region and lovely viewpoints. Lunch will be included at the Maswik Lodge along the way. There will be time to explore and shop at the historic Grand Canyon Village before we board our train for the 2 hour trip back to Williams Depot. (B, L)

Day 11 Las Vegas, NV
We travel to “the city that never sleeps,”--Las Vegas! When we arrive, we will ride the world’s tallest observation wheel known as the High Roller Ferris Wheel. Soar 550 feet above the center of the Las Vegas Strip for a 360-degree view of the Las Vegas Valley and The Strip. Next, we will check into our accommodations located on the famous Freemont Street. (B)

Day 12 Evanston, WY (Fly Groups Depart)
This morning we’ll depart and travel through Utah, home to the Great Salt Lake-the largest lake west of the Mississippi River. We’ll enter Wyoming and make our way to Evanston, our home for the evening. (B)

Day 13 Rapid City, SD
Continuing our trek home today, we will travel through Wyoming to South Dakota. We’ll drive as far as Rapid City before checking into our hotel. (B)

Day 14 Home
We’ll spend the day reminiscing of our fun tour to the Valley of the sun as we travel back home today. (B)
2 dinners 
4 lunches and 
13 continental breakfasts

Arizona's Deserts & Canyons Gallery