There are few things more liberating than turning the ignition and hitting the open road. The American Southwest is the spiritual home of the road trip and this 12-day adventure leaves none of its rust-red landscapes undiscovered as you pay the ultimate homage to freedom on four wheels.

Get your motor running in Phoenix and drive towards your first checkpoint, Sedona, a mystical city known for its indigenous cultural art and good vibrations from its hallowed energy-giving vortexes. It’s the scenery that will make your heart soar most, a heavenly mix of the scarlet desert and rocky spires you’ve left behind in Phoenix and the jade-hued forest of Flagstaff to the north. A hike with a naturalist guide will take you off the vermillion-painted path to sacred spots not even locals visit and Cathedral Rock – Sedona’s sandstone symbol.

Speaking of icons, you’ll then make a beeline for the Grand Canyon, a landmark cemented in road trip folklore thanks to hit movies like Thelma & Louise and National Lampoon’s Vacation – although your trip won’t be quite as haphazard. You’ll stay in a glamping site on the canyon’s least-visited rim, so you can hike, stargaze and soak up its natural splendour without seeing another soul.

If you thought the eye-widening beauty of the Grand Canyon was as good as it gets, then think again as nature’s paintbrush really channeled its inner van Gogh when creating your next stop, Zion National Park. The three-hour drive between the two will feel like loose change when your eyes meet Zion’s wealth of peach-tinged canyons, soaring white cliffs and lush vegetation. It’s a gorgeous scene you’ll treat as your personal playground, canyoning and hiking your way round this rocky wilderness.

Next, you’ll hop, skip and jump through three national parks showcasing the best of Utah’s Badlands. Enjoy treading among waterfalls and cliffs on a Zion National Park hike before cruising along scenic byways past the rocky spires and pinnacles of Bryce Canyon National Park and rolling along the rugged beauty surrounding Scenic Byway 12 to the rock art-etched canyons of Capitol Reef National Park.

The adrenaline-fed adventures keep coming in Moab, where you’ll trade the road for the Colorado River, bumping and bouncing your way through the rapids which cut through Canyonlands National Park on an epic white-water rafting excursion. After you’ve dried off, you’ll be spoiled with a private guided hike of Arches National Park – and what a treat it is. Its sandstone arches speak for themselves, but this is a backstage tour many don’t get to see, with your guide taking you on rarely treaded trails through its rocky wilds to the best picnic spot and even highlighting dinosaur fossils.

That burst of expert knowledge will have given you confidence to pitstop independently as you motor on to discover more prehistoric ruins, fossils and scenic lookouts before turning off the engine at sleek desert hideaway Amangiri. Your last hurrah in the Utah wilderness is a day of exclusive slot canyon hikes led by a Navajo guide and a private boat trip across Lake Powell for a gasp-worthy view of Rainbow Bridge, a huge sandstone arch that serves as a glorious crowning moment to your epic self-drive adventure.


Experience highlights

  • Hike through Sedona’s maroon-tinted desert with your own private naturalist guide. Dismiss the standard tourist circuit for places not even the locals have treaded, with your guide shedding light on how the city’s spiritual vortexes came to be, taking you to secret creeks to cool off on and the majesty of Cathedral Rock.
  • Stay at a glampsite overlooking the Grand Canyon’s least-visited rim. Dinner is paired with sweeping canyon-wide views, while an evening of s’mores and stargazing is the great American combo you never knew you needed.
  • Hike, climb and abseil your way through Zion National Park for a thrilling way to explore its sandy scenery. The cooling swim in the desert oasis at the end will be very much needed.
  • Get a pinch of what the Wild West must have been like with a visit to one of Zion National Park’s authentic ghost towns.
  • Explore Capitol Reef National Park under your own steam on a self-guided hike through its mesmerising canyons and cliffs, passing over naturally formed bridges that span the sandstone towers of Waterpocket Fold.
  • Crash through the white waters of the Colorado River on a thrilling rafting adventure while on your Canyonlands National Park tour, enjoying a picnic on the riverbank halfway through.
  • Explore Arches National Park with your own guide. They’ll lead the way to some of the park’s unusual rock formations, like Delicate Arch, Eye of the Whale and the septet of arches which make up the Devil’s Garden, as well as pointing out the fossilised remains of authentic dinosaur tracks.
  • Spend a couple of nights at Amangiri, a mind-blowing remote sanctuary in the heart of Utah’s dramatic desertscapes.
  • Wander a trio of canyons with a private indigenous guide deep in Navajo territory – two of which are off-limits to other travellers. The shafts of sunlight here create a wonderful spectacle, something you’ll be unable to take your eyes off as your guide unravels the human and natural history of this enigmatic region.
  • Soak up views of one of Utah’s sandstone icons, Rainbow Bridge, on a private boat charter across Lake Powell.
Plan your trip to the USA

Experience highlights

Pick up your rental car when you arrive in Phoenix and get ready to hit the open road
The mystical city of Phoenix is your first stop
Bed down at Enchantment Resort, nestled in between Sedona's caramel-hued canyons
Lace up for a private guided hike with a naturalist through Sedona's red-rock vistas
They'll take you to some of Sedona's famed vortexes, said to be swirls of intense spirit-lifting energy
You'll also soak up perfect views of Cathedral Rock, one of Sedona's sandstone icons
Drive north to the Grand Canyon, one of the world's great wonders
Stay at Custom Grand Canyon North Rim Glamp Camp on the fringes of the canyon's seldom-visited northern rim
Your glampsite is ideally located for exploring the canyon's many hiking trails
Enjoy dinner looking out over the Grand Canyon's rugged glory
After dark, make gooey s'mores on the campfire and gaze at a star-filled sky
For a raw adrenaline rush, you'll go hiking and canyoning in the wild Zion National Park
See the remains of an authentic Wild West ghost town
Soak up the tranquil ambience of Cliffrose Springdale after a busy Zion National Park trip
Enjoy another hike among the waterfalls and cool pools of Zion National Park
Gasp at the multi-hued rock formations of Bryce Canyon National Park
Drive along one of the USA's most scenic roads, Utah's Scenic Byway 12
Embark on a self-guided hike of Capitol Reef National Reef, crossing some of its dramatic natural bridges
The views from Sorrel River Ranch appear ripped from a great Western movie
Slalom your way through the white-water rapids of Colorado River on an epic rafting adventure
A private guided trek of Arches National Park will take you to dinosaur relics, sandstone formations and rippling dunes
After leaving Moab, pitstop en route to Amangiri to discover more fossils, formations and fine views
In the heat of Utah's desert, Amangiri is a divine oasis
Relax by the main pool; a feat of striking architecture that curves around a 165-million-year-old Aeolian sandstone rock
Go on an exclusive canyon walk with a Navajo guide, visiting areas others don't have access to
Finish your adventure with a private boat ride over Lake Powell, witnessing a fine frame of Rainbow Bridge arch

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    Where you’ll stay


    Enchantment Resort, Sedona

    Sitting plumb in arguably the most astounding of Sedona’s terracotta canyons, Enchantment Resort’s sensitive design melds flawlessly with its rocky surrounds. Its location was once a sacred place of restoration for ancient tribes and the resort’s tipis, Native American patterns and traditional restorative techniques in its spa are an ode to the land’s ancestors. There’s nothing the staff here don’t know about the surrounding seventy acres of wilderness, leaving you with the feeling this patch of Sedona really does possess a kind of magic.


    Custom Grand Canyon North Rim Glamp Camp, Grand Canyon National Park

    Pitched close to the northern rim of the Grand Canyon, this glampsite puts you in a prime spot to enjoy the natural splendour with few others around. Your tent is simple but comfortable, yet your wild setting is so good you won’t miss the luxuries. This is peak Americana: roasting s’mores over a campfire, hiking trails peeling off in every direction, world-class stargazing and dining al fresco right on the canyon’s edge for an immense rugged vista. Here, that’s all the five-star luxury you’ll ever need.


    Cliffrose Lodge, Springdale

    Just a few dusty boot imprints away from the entrance to Zion National Park, Cliffrose Lodge is ominously overlooked by one of the park’s trademark towering outcrops. Sitting beside the Virgin River, the rooms, suites and villas speckled throughout the lodge’s lush gardens make it feel like a boutique resort and mini oasis rolled into one. You will quickly cherish the peaceful ambience the lodge emits, especially if you have weary legs following a busy day traversing Zion’s rust-coloured landscapes.


    Sorrel River Ranch, Moab

    Right on the mighty Colorado River’s and with unblemished views of russet-coloured cliffs and rock formations, the scenery all around Sorrel River Ranch is of cinematic quality. They had to get in early to nab a 240-acre swathe of this wilderness – it was established in the early twentieth century – and its rustic-chic cabins make for an archetypal ranching experience. Within easy reach of nearby Canyonlands and Arches national parks, its indulgent spa treatments and sundowners are particularly welcome after a day of high-octane activities.


    Amangiri, Canyon Point

    A sleek sanctuary is the last thing you’d expect to find in Utah’s pristine red-rock country but you’ll be awfully glad it’s here. Amangiri is a relaxing oasis in the heat of the desert and its sand-hued canvas-topped pavilions and Navajo-influenced spa treatments take inspiration from their surrounds to deliver unparalleled comfort. Even the swimming pool looks like it’s being fed by the cliff face it’s built into. Perhaps it’s apt Amangiri is in the eye of a Martian landscape, because it feels out of this world.

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