Welcome to Tauck's Spirit of the Desert: The National Parks of the Southwest Forum

Welcome to Tauck’s Spirit of the Desert: The National Parks of the Southwest Forum - Find the answers to your trip questions, answer questions posted by fellow travelers, plus share your Tauck experiences and stories. Stop by often and join in on the discussions.


  • When will dates for 2012 be available, please?
  • We will be taking the Spirit of the Desert tour June 24. We would love to hear from anyone who has returned from this new tour, to give us any details about weather, what to bring, how was the scenery, the dawn patrols and sunset scouts, etc.? We are excited about the trip and want to know how it went!
  • Hi all,

    Jdurkin, I'm afraid I can't give you a concrete date for when we'll be putting the 2012 dates on the website, but I do know that if you call and ask, we have some dates we can give you, though I have no idea about availability for Spirit of the Desert.

    And oceans4me, if no one else gets back to you, I can give you the official Tauck answers to those questions, if you'd like.

  • Tim,
    I would appreciate a reply--since this is a new tour this year, I just would love to hear if anything is changing on it since it started; if dress i casual for all dinner meals (unlike other Tauck tours we've been on?); if Dawn patrollers get to go back and have time for breakfast!, etc. We leave on Friday.

    It is a shame no one seems to use these new message boards. I don't use Facebook--maybe they are all on that now?
  • To oceans4me - I guess you have returned from your tour - was it wonderful? What can you tell me about it. We will be going on Sept. 14. I have all the same questions that you have had - perhaps you can give me some info. My email is [email protected] Thanks
  • BonnieJ,
    We had a wonderful Spirit of the Desert trip--one of the best Tauck tours we've ever taken. The signts at each park were unbelievably beautiful. The first hotel, the Red Cliffs Lodge, is awesome, with stunning views right from your patio. Dress was very casual throughout the trip. I'd be more than happy to answer any questions; just ask. We had sunny weather every day; one brief thunderstrom at Zion one late afternoon, and one in Las Vegas. Very hot--but the nights cooled off, so the no a/c rooms at Grand Canyon were not a problem.
  • We are leaving on the July 27. The packing list suggests a windbreaker for the rafting trip. Is that necessary in the heat of the summer? An answer from anyone would be appreciated.
  • Marguerite,
    No windbreaker needed on the raft--it was so hot, we were glad to get splashed! We all wore sshorts and tee shirts, and lots of sunscreen! Believe me, you won't be cold! You will enjoy every minute on this trip!
  • Hi there oceans4me -glad to hear that the trip is wonderful. I think it will still be quite warm in Sept. I am thinking shorts for most of the time. We are starting to get excited. We are staying a the Red Cliff Lodge an extra night - do you think it would be good to take a trail ride that morning before the trip starts? Do you have to get dressed up at all - would a pair of nice khaki's be good enough for the guys for the dressiest nights? I would like your opinion. Did you like the sunrise and sunset hikes? Does it cool off at night? I would love an answer from you. Thanks, Bonnie
  • Marguerite - Good luck and have a great time on your trip. We don't go 'til Sept 14 so let me know how it all went! Bonnie
  • To oceans4 me - another question for you - we are arriving a day early and I mentioned - should we do a trail ride - after reading in detail I see that we have a morning free and one of the suggestions was a trail ride. What did you do that morning? Do you ever get to go into the town of Moab - I hear it is really cute and western?!?!? Bonnie
  • Bonnie, you do get a visit to Moab, before the flight to Bryce; besides, it is quite far away. Trail ride? You will get that, too, if you want it; the new itinerary splits the group between the river rafting and a horseback ride on the second day, and vice versa--everyone gets to do both. The itinerary has evolved a bit. You will get the full itinerary when you arrive. However, the hotel staff at Red Cliffs was the best--I can't say enough about them--and they can book anything for you, I'm sure, and make suggestions if you have the time.

    It is just amazing country; I just loved sitting on the patio and looking at the view!
  • Bonnie, Sorry, I just saw your earlier questio about dres--khakis are fine for any dinners. No formal wear needed on this trip! Many wore shorts on the hot days during the day trips; some women wore capris if they were not comfortable in shorts; some wore slacks. Some of the restaurants were really nice and you did not want to wear shorts in them, but you could if you wanted to. Many on our trip were staying extra nights in Vegas, and had booked show tickets in advance of the trip. You may want to look into that. I am happy to answer any other questions as you think of them!
  • Hi
    Looking for information regarding the flightseeing over the canyons. We are looking at the Oct 7 departure trip. I am not fond of heights and a little apprehensive about the size of the plane. I would appreciate any information. My husband has his heart set on this trip and I hate to disappoint him but then again I want to make sure I can get on the plane! Thanks
  • MargA,
    The planes are small--we split our group of 40 in 2 for the flights, so I guess about 20 per plane--but the views were so fantaastic! I don't particularly like to fly, either, but I did not mind this at all. I guess it was because in a small plane, you don't go bery high--you can really see what you are flying over, so I just kept looking out the window, and took pictures--it was a smooth flight, with no problems. Take it--it's really amazing what you can see from the air!
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