Your journey into the American southwest begins at Phoenix airport when you collect your comfortable hire car and head to the stylish Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch. Today is a day to take it easy and stave off any jetlag. Relax by one of the resort's ten pools or enjoy a treatment in the serene spa.
Refreshed and rejuvenated, you'll have the day at leisure to explore Scottsdale on your own. Choose whether to drive into the countryside, visit Old Town Scottsdale or simply enjoy your hotel's 11-hectare grounds. We recommend a trip to the Musical Instruments Museum in Phoenix with its 15,000-piece collection.
Enjoy the brilliant colours of the Arizona landscapes and the shifting hues of the earth as you cruise from Scottsdale to the little town of Sedona: it's around two hours' drive. Set amid pine forests and scarlet rock, the elegant Amara Resort & Spa will be your home for the next two nights.
Enjoy the colours of Sedona in the early morning as you stroll a short distance from your hotel to meet your off-road adventure tour. You and your group will roar through the bright red rocks around Sedona. Stop at an ancient Arizonan cliff dwellings, where Native Americans once lived, and savour a gourmet picnic in the countryside. The afternoon is free for you to relax at leisure.
It's about two hours’ drive to the Grand Canyon National Park, where your expert guide will meet you for a morning hike along the canyon rim. Learn about the geology of this iconic gorge as you stroll less-visited trails and capture unique angles. Enjoy lunch at your hotel, El Tovar, before your guide leads you through the historic lodges and structures that line the canyon rim.
We recommend waking early to appreciate the Grand Canyon in the morning light. From your hotel, it's about a 2.5-hour drive to Lake Powell, the reservoir that seems carved from the sculptural landscapes that surround it. You'll spend the afternoon sharing a float trip down the Colorado River through towering Glen Canyon, before you make your way to the Courtyard Page at Lake Powell.
Today is yours to use as you would like. You might want to spend the time exploring Lake Powell, recharging by the pool, relaxing with a good book, or enjoying a treatment at the spa. Especially for photographers, a sunset boat cruise on Lake Powell comes highly recommended.
Two hours away by car is Zion Mountain Ranch, an authentic western-style ranch. Your private guide will meet you here for a half-day tour of Zion National Park. Beat the crowds as you explore less-visited trails and discover sweeping vistas of unique rock formations. The evening is your own, to enjoy the desert stars.
No American southwest itinerary would be complete without enjoying a day at a ranch. We recommend you make the most of Zion's facilities by saddling up a steed from their extensive stables and riding out. Non-equestrians can sample activities from hiking to canyoning, from mountain biking to massage.
Your southwest adventure reaches its climax today as you head three hours through rugged desert scenery to Las Vegas. Don't miss the towering Hoover Dam, a masterpiece of 30s engineering, along the way. Make the most of your night in Vegas by staying right on the Strip itself, in an iconic hotel such as Caesars Palace.
McCarran International Airport is just a few minutes' drive from the Strip. Here you'll return your hire car, complete any last-minute shopping that you have time for, and head for home.