CANYONLANDS & RANCH HANDS

Ultimate Family Adventure to the American West

Rocky Mountains, The American Southwest

Duration: 12 nights

Price: From £5,700 per person in low season based on two adults and two children under 12 travelling together and including all flights in economy class, accommodation, some meals, private transfers, experiences as stated and taxes

Combining vibrant cities with the rugged desert landscapes of the Southwest, this family adventure holiday is great for families with teenagers and older children. Beginning in the madness of entertainment capital Las Vegas, you’ll explore the Zion National Park and Escalante National Monument region, recharge in the vibrant city of Denver, then head into the Colorado countryside four a few nights at the beautiful Zapata Ranch.
Perfect forFamily friendly hiking in the Utah back-country, plus experiencing one of the USA's most inspirational ranches.
In the knowAdding a couple of days after Las Vegas to explore the majestic Grand Canyon.

Best for

  • Adventure
  • Landscapes & Scenery
  • Teenagers
  • Eco-tourism

All Exsus holidays are tailor-made

This itinerary is just a starting point. Tell us your budget/wishlist/preferred length of stay and we'll help you select the best hotels and experiences, so your holiday is totally personalised.

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Itinerary details

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2 nightsLAS VEGAS

Flying into the desert, you’ll start your family holiday in the entertainment mecca that is Las Vegas. While Sin City might not immediately spring to mind as a family holiday destination, there’s much more to it than casinos, bars and nightclubs, and it’s a great destination for kids of all ages. The world’s tallest Ferris wheel, the High Roller, offers stunning views of Vegas and the desert beyond; the Adventuredome theme park has an array of thrilling rollercoasters and more genteel games and attractions; and Vegas Indoor Skydiving allows kids (as long as they weigh over 18kg!) to experience a weightless freefall – an unforgettable experience. You’ll be staying in the Mandarin Oriental, which as well as being noted for not having a casino, unlike many Strip hotels, is also celebrated as one of the finest hotels anywhere in the world.
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2 nightZION

After a couple of days soaking up the frenetic energy of Vegas, you’ll be transferred to Zion Mountain Ranch, around three hours away. A rustic but luxurious wooden lodge next to the east gate of Zion National Park, this is the perfect base from which to explore the cliffs, canyons and rivers which populate the stunning landscape. You’ll be taken on daily guided hikes through the park, through hidden creeks, plunging canyons, and the spires, arches and hoodoos for which the Southwest is famous. Birdwatchers will love Zion, which is home to over two hundred species of birds, including iconic ones like the peregrine falcon, bald eagle and California condor. Guided horseback rides are also available, and are a great way to traverse the park in the same way it has been for centuries. Also included is a trip to the stunning Bryce Canyon, famous for its stunning natural rock amphitheatres. During your stay in Zion, you’ll eat at hand-picked local restaurants as well as enjoying delicious pre-packed picnic lunches while you’re out exploring.
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3 nightsESCALANTE

After two days in Zion, you’ll be transferred to Escalante, where you’ll spend three nights at the aptly-named Slot Canyons Inn. Perfectly located for exploring the canyons, creeks and rock formations of the Escalante National Monument region, this is a beautiful hotel built in traditional style of adobe and wood. For added seclusion, stay in the Isaac Riddle Cabin, a historic wooden lodge dating from 1899, and updated to modern standards of luxury. The guided activities will continue in Escalante, which is a lesser-visited, hidden gem of the Southwest, but rivals any of its better-known neighbours for stunning desert views. The remote Grand Staircase area is home to the most extensive network of slot canyons in Utah, while the Escalante Canyons are stunning, home to arches, waterfalls and green river oases.
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1 nightDENVER

After a week exploring in the desert, it’s time for another dose of city life as you fly from Phoenix to Denver, a cosmopolitan cowboy town brimming with character. You’ll spend the night at Four Seasons, a luxurious downtown hotel surrounded by Denver’s art districts. Check out the Denver Art Museum, one of the largest galleries in the western USA with over 70,000 works, or catch a unique musical performance at the stunning sandstone Red Rocks Amphitheater. You can also get a feel for the region’s rich history at the grave of Buffalo Bill, the famous Old West figure and adventurer, with a museum dedicated to his life on the same site. The Molly Brown House Museum is dedicated to the life and work of Titanic survivor – and later fundraiser for those affected by the tragedy – Molly Brown, and as a Four Seasons guest you can enjoy exclusive after-hours access.
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4 nightsMOSCA

Following a night in Denver, you’ll fly to the Colorado city of Alamosa and transfer to nearby Mosca, the last stop on your journey. You’ll spend four nights at the Zapata Ranch, a luxurious traditional log farm surrounded by the Great Sand Dunes and the Sangre de Cristo mountains. The ranch is all-inclusive, and you’ll enjoy delicious cuisine based on high-quality, local produce like ranch-raised bison. You’ll also be taken on a range of guided excursions and experiences, like horseback cattle driving – don’t worry if you or your kids aren’t seasoned riders, as all ability levels (and none!) will be catered for. The ranch is committed to conservation, and you can learn about how the land and wildlife are protected, as well as embarking on guided naturalist and birding tours. Budding photographers can take spend a day with pro photographer Steve Weaver, learning how to perfectly capture the local scenery and wildlife. After four nights at Zapata Ranch, your adventure through the canyons and ranchlands of the Southwest comes to an end, and you’ll transfer to Alamosa for your flight home.
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