2020 was your year to see the world, and it sure looked good on that brand new TV. New Year’s resolution achieved! Well done. But if you’re hoping that 2021 brings more majestic slot canyons and fewer blanket forts then you’re not alone. And if you’re not quite ready to jump on an airplane across the world to do some exploring, you’re certainly not alone in that either. Gosh, if only there was somewhere you could explore some of the world’s most beautiful scenery by crossing just a few state lines ...
Well, as usual, the southwest and mountain states are here to help with these unforgettable trips from Southwest Adventure Tours that’ll make you say, “What rest of the world??”
Rockies to Red Rocks | Denver, CO -> Moab, UT
After a lost year you’d be forgiven if you wanted to treat yourself a little bit when you travel. Enter the all-new Rockies to the Red Rocks train route from Rocky Mountaineer. Rolling out with a 13-week preview season from August to November 2021, this luxury train will travel from Denver, Colorado, through the heart of the Rocky Mountains and into the vast red rock deserts of Utah, finishing up in the world-famous town of Moab.
Rocky Mountaineer’s scenery-centric trains travel only by day and are outfitted with oversized windows to let you really take in the stunning views. And in case you ever start to wonder if a road trip was the better option for your getaway, the delicious regional cuisine and drinks will help put those thoughts to rest.
Speaking of rest, this trip includes an overnight stay in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, so you can stretch your legs, get a relaxing night’s sleep and remember why you didn’t go backpacking instead. Rocky Mountaineer has partnered with Southwest Adventure Tours to create packages that incorporate this new route and the surrounding areas.
Trail of the Ancients | NM -> AZ -> UT -> CO -> NM
If a year of virtual happy hours and holidays has you wanting to never look at a screen again, this trip could be the time machine you’re looking for. The immersive 9-day Trail of the Ancients tour not only takes you to the ruins of local Native American tribes like the Navajo and Ancestral Pueblo but also showcases the many stunning landscapes in which they made their home. Thousands of years of history and culture are yours to take in, from historical sites like Mesa Verde and Aztec Ruins National Monument to Utah’s own natural wonders like Goosenecks State Park and Natural Bridges National Monument. This tour has unforgettable highlights for lovers of both scenery and history alike and can be enjoyed without a screen in sight.
Antelope Canyon | Kanab, UT - > Page, AZ
On the flip side, if you’re trying to beef up your Instagram game after months of posting nothing but selfies with your cats, there’s no better destination than Antelope Canyon. One of the most famously photogenic canyons in the world, this majestic petrified sand dune is only accessible by tour, so if you want to wow your friends and followers you’re gonna wanna make sure you book a spot. In fact, Southwest Adventure Tours even offers a special Photographer's Tour to help you snag the absolute best pics possible. And if the only people you’re influencing are the tiny adventurers you’ve got in tow, don’t worry — there’s a standard tour through the canyon as well. Whether you’re swapping lenses or saying cheese, these quick, easily accessible day tours are a truly unique experience.
The Mighty 5 | Salt Lake City, UT / Las Vegas, NV- > UT
If you didn’t get to see any national parks last year, why not see them all this year? Well, it might be hard to squeeze in all of them, but you can see all of Utah’s national parks with Southwest Adventure Tours’ Mighty 5 package.
This 8-day, 5-park tour leaves from Salt Lake City and takes you through Canyonlands, Arches, Capitol Reef, Bryce, and Zion National Parks in a sleek and comfortable sprinter van, with short, scenic hikes in each park.
If you’re crunched for time, the 1-day tour of Zion and Bryce also makes for a long yet unforgettable day. And if you like to gamble as much as you like to ramble, the same 1-day tour and a 5-day Mighty 5 tour are also available with starting points in Las Vegas.
In addition to the Mighty 5, there’s also a quaint little destination just south of Utah that’s worth checking out. It’s called the Big Canyon? Grand Earth-Hole? Oh duh, it’s the Grand Canyon. Southwest Adventure Tours’ 12-day Grand Circle Experience not only delivers days at each of Utah’s Mighty 5 parks, but also tacks on the Grand Canyon’s North Rim, Lake Powell and Mesa Verde National Park. A trip with 7 national parks that travels through Arizona, Colorado, and Utah on its way back to Vegas? That’s not a gamble, that’s a sure thing.
Yellowstone Tours | Salt Lake City, UT - > Grand Teton and Yellowstone
What better destination in this uncertain era than the always reliable beauty of America’s oldest national park? Stunning in any season, Yellowstone National Park and its towering Rocky Mountain neighbor, Grand Teton National Park, are worthy destinations for any traveler who wants to leave the world behind and wander into a truly unrivaled natural environment.
For travelers in the summer, spring and fall, Southwest Adventure Tours offers an immersive week-long round trip of the parks and surrounding areas. Heading north from Salt Lake City, you’ll take in the best of Jackson, Wyoming, and Grand Teton before venturing into Yellowstone for a tour that doesn't skimp on any of the highlights.
Your 3-day journey will take you to some of the grandest vistas and most interesting points in the park as you travel through a habitat teeming with wildlife. You’re bound to feel further away than the map indicates.
If you can’t wait till summer comes around to get out and explore there’s also a winter tour of the parks available, which includes a snowmobile journey through Yellowstone and a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the National Elk Refuge.
Not only does this tour help you avoid peak-season crowds, but it also allows you to see these wondrous landscapes like few others get to experience. It’s also a great way to get some winter excitement for those who spurn the ski slopes. And speaking of skiing, you’ll even get a look at the Utah Olympic Village when leaving Salt Lake.
While uncertainty continues to abound and normalcy waits just around the next canyon bend, there are still plenty of adventures to be had. The southwest region is filled with treasures that are waiting to be explored, and are often just a hop, skip, and jump away from each other.
Keep checking in on Utah.com for new travel tips, and book these amazing guided tours with Southwest Adventure Tours today.