August 8, 2015 Red Rock and Painted Canyons Tauck Bridges Tour

So excited to be taking my first Tauck tour with my husband, brother and his family. Have read some of the comments that others who have taken this trip have said about it being wonderful. Are there any helpful tips out there? Also, I was curious to how many adults and children are signed up for it at this point.
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Comments

  • Adults and children--- it is best to call Tauck about numbers about a week before the tour begins, it is way too early now, people cancel or sign up at the last minute. You could post again asking for anyone who is signed up for your tour to respond, but you may get no response if no-one realizes there is a forum Have a great time.
  • So excited to be taking my first Tauck tour with my husband, brother and his family. Have read some of the comments that others who have taken this trip have said about it being wonderful. Are there any helpful tips out there? Also, I was curious to how many adults and children are signed up for it at this point.

    I went on this tour in 2013 with my travelling partner and her family. Tauck does a wonderful job of planning activities for all of their tours. (I have done 23 and have 4 more booked.) I can not think of anything to add as far as tips go. The optional tour of Monument Valley is great. One learns about the life of the Navaho in addition to seeing the scenery. If you are old John Wayne movies buffs, the scenery will be very familiar. Another "tip" would be to dress for comfort. On Tauck tours, the welcome and closing dinner are usually a little more dressy, but I discovered on this Bridges tour since there are children is was very casual.

    If you call Tauck at any point, they will give you the break down of children as far as boys/girls and ages go. There is always the possibility of changes but it will give you an idea.
  • edited January 2015
    Hi Angelinaxox,

    Currently, there are 41 people booked on this trip (23 adults and 18 children of varying ages) but please be aware that like British said, these numbers could change, as people will cancel or change to a different trip date. Whatever happens, I'm sure you and your family will have a wonderful time. I had the good fortune to go on this trip a number of years ago, and enjoyed it immensely.

    -Tim
  • Thanks everyone for the replies and tips! I will have to look into the Monument Valley optional excursion. I will make sure to pack something a little dressier for the opening and closing dinners. Thanks Tim for posting the breakdown of those booked for this trip. I realize that the numbers can change, but just wanted a general idea. Horseback riding is listed for one of the days. How was this experience?
  • I did not do the horseback ride to the bottom of Bryce but the family with whom I traveled did. Some of the people had horses while others had mules. They said that is was fantastic, however if you have a fear of heights, you might not want to do it. You are on a path into the canyon and sometimes it is narrow. The wranglers who take you are excellent as the youngest member of our group was a little scared. They talked him through it and when he returned, he told us it was great! He is still talking about it and it has been almost a year and a half. It was the highlight of the trip for him.
  • Kathy18 wrote:
    I did not do the horseback ride to the bottom of Bryce but the family with whom I traveled did. Some of the people had horses while others had mules. They said that is was fantastic, however if you have a fear of heights, you might not want to do it. You are on a path into the canyon and sometimes it is narrow. The wranglers who take you are excellent as the youngest member of our group was a little scared. They talked him through it and when he returned, he told us it was great! He is still talking about it and it has been almost a year and a half. It was the highlight of the trip for him.
    Thanks Kathy for the info. If you opt out of riding the horses/mules, what do you do instead?
  • We went down to watch the riders prepare to go into the canyon. The wrangler gave a talk about how to shoe a horse. After the riders left, we walked the grounds of the lodge and went back to the rim of Bryce to look at the formations. There was also a gift shop to visit. I believe a few adults went back to their rooms. After we walked around, we went back and sat talking to one of the wranglers who was waiting for the riders to return. The lodge sits in a wooded area and just walking around was interesting to me as an adult. Most of the children went on the ride. On our tour, one grandmother did not go but her grandson was "adopted" by my family after she gave the park people permission for him to go.
  • When we went on the regular Canyonlands tour with Tauck, we rose early and walked the floor of the Canyon with a few others and the tour guide. It was not part of the tour but he walks it when he is there. You have to go early before it gets too hot in there, especially if you are going in August. The walk itself without the addition of heat is not tough for a person of average fitness. I really enjoyed it and the peacefulness and early morning color.
  • Thanks Kathy and British for the replies. Good info to know. The early morning walk sounds nice before it gets too hot.
  • For the optional excursion to Monument Valley, how do I book that? Is that something that is booked prior to the trip or will we be given information while on the trip and then we decide whether we are doing that or the other option for the day? Thanks for any help.
  • For the optional excursion to Monument Valley, how do I book that? Is that something that is booked prior to the trip or will we be given information while on the trip and then we decide whether we are doing that or the other option for the day? Thanks for any help.

    We booked the Monument Valley excursion with Tauck prior to going on the tour. If you call them, they will add the additional cost to your tour. They might have asked when we got there if anyone else wanted to go, but I do not remember. It was easier to have it arranged before going on the tour. If you go to Monument Valley, you do the Slot Canyon when you return. The options when I went was a short flight or Monument Valley. Both included the Slot Canyon just at different times of the day. Everything that one sees on the short flight, you also see on your flight to Monument Valley.

    I hope that this answers your question.
  • Thanks Kathy for the quick reply. I am glad I asked. On the afternoon of that day, there is a choice between an off road adventure or a boat cruise on Lake Powell. Do you have a recommendation for either one of those?
  • Thanks Kathy for the quick reply. I am glad I asked. On the afternoon of that day, there is a choice between an off road adventure or a boat cruise on Lake Powell. Do you have a recommendation for either one of those?

    When I did this tour, we did not have the option of the boat cruise which I had done years ago on the adult version of this tour. It was nice, however having done both the boat and off road experience, I would definitely take the off road adventure to the slot canyon again. This is a more interesting experience. You will see the Glen Canyon Dam close up on your float trip the day that you leave Lake Powell.
  • Thanks. We were leaning towards the off road experience. I told my brother about booking the Monument Valley prior to the trip, so he called our travel agent. She is going to look into it for us.
  • We booked the Monument Valley flight. Glad to have that all set. Have a question about the front end of the trip. The itinerary says it includes a complimentary night at the Four Seasons in the beginning so I believe that means we are staying two nights. Does that mean the Welcome dinner is not on the day we arrive and we have free time that first day? Just want to make sure I am understanding the beginning of the trip correctly so that I can plan things if we have time to do things on our own.
  • Hello Angelina. If you have been given the extra night (please be sure you have) the welcome dinner will definitely be the second night. When you make the final payment for your tour, which has to be 60 days before the tour begins, a couple of weeks after that, you will be sent a booklet with far more details of your itinerary. This will give you a far better understanding of the breakdown of things. In addition, when you arrive, you will be given an even more detailed breakdown by your tour director. Sometimes they will give you just a few days worth, sometimes for the whole of the tour. If there are any days with free time, you will be given a list of suggestions for extra site seeing or restaurants. Each tour director has a different style, they soon get an idea of the breakdown of their group and may change things even more, for instance, if they get the feeling your group are reliable about turning up in good time, they might think, oh I know this group will all appear the time I say, I'll give them an extra five minutes in bed, or they might see that some are late so we may be asked to arrive earlier because lateness can make any itinerary not work to clockwork. When you arrive at the hotel, be sure to identify yourselves as Tauckers and give the date of your tour start, occasionally there may be one or two tours around, some people might be on the next tour that begins very near you, some night be on another entirely different Tauck tour. Ask if the tour director has left information for you. Sometimes people at the front desk forget to give it out. Sometimes the envelope appears in your room the next day.
    I always book with Tauck directly, so I have no idea if travel agents send you the booklet, or hold on to it a while, or whether Tauck send it to you directly. I just enjoy reading it, checking dates, refreshing my memory and noticing if there have been changes made, which occasionally happen for all sorts of reasons.
    Your trip gets nearer and nearer!
  • Thanks British for the highly detailed response. Great information. Glad to know we will receive more info later including something at the hotel. I will be on the lookout for it and make sure to ask if we aren't given anything.
  • Since this is a Bridges tour, there will not be an adult Canyonlands tour at the same time. I checked the dates just to be sure because these tours are basically the same and Tauck would not have a fully adult tour paralleling a Bridges one. You will have free time in the National Parks, however since there are children involved the basic schedule does not deviate. Any activities in the Parks are basically hiking or just admiring the scenery.

    The welcome dinner will be on the first night of the tour (8/8) and not the complimentary night that the hotel is giving everyone on this tour. You will probably be meeting the other people on the tour informally because they also will have the extra night.

    A piece of advice about the Grand Canyon. There are a couple of eating places within the area. Make a dinner reservation as soon as you get there!!!! We did not do that and had to wait as well as separate our party to get dinner.
  • Thanks Kathy. For the dinner reservation, are we given a list of places to choose from or do we just find a place and make a reservation while there?
  • Thanks Kathy. For the dinner reservation, are we given a list of places to choose from or do we just find a place and make a reservation while there?

    I found the sheet which was given to us on the Bridges tour. This sheet gave the specific details for the tour. For the evening in the Grand Canyon it reads, "Dinner reservations for El Tovar will be taken by Tauck Director (6:30-7:30p); other options are Bright Angel and Arizona Room". Knowing that the El Tovar is the "fancier" restaurant in the park and dinners there might run up to two hours, we opted for the Arizona Room which is right near the lodge. We had a fine dinner but not fancy and had more time to explore around the rim of the Canyon including watching the sun set! You might have to walk over to the Arizona Room to place your name on their list when you first get there if that is where you chose to go.
  • Thanks again for the info, Kathy. Good to know what the choices are so I can research them ahead of time. I think I am with you in preferring a quicker meal but will probably go along with whatever my brother decides. I really appreciate all the help you have given me to my questions so far.
  • I have already thought of another question. On the last night, there is a farewell dinner. Would there be time to book a 9:30 show after the dinner? Or do most people stay and hang out together at the hotel after the dinner? Was just wondering if it was feasible to take in a Vegas show.
  • The farewell dinner was scheduled for 6:00. There would probably be time to book a 9:30 show. I know that one family had booked an early show somewhere so only stayed for the reception prior to dinner. The family that I was with went down to the pool area and sat there after dinner. Many families had early morning flights so they needed to get ready to leave so I do not remember too many people hanging around too long afterwards.
  • Thanks! I didn't want look into booking anything if we would be missing something.
  • With just about two months to go, final payment has been made. Have been fortunate with all the helpful information I have been given so far.
  • Hi Kathy, I had another question for you. On the last day, do you remember how early you arrived in Las Vegas? Was there time to walk around or try the pools at Mandalay Bay? Or did you just relax and get ready for dinner?
  • Hi Kathy, I had another question for you. On the last day, do you remember how early you arrived in Las Vegas? Was there time to walk around or try the pools at Mandalay Bay? Or did you just relax and get ready for dinner?

    I do not remember exactly when we arrived in Las Vegas. Three of us adults rushed down to see the Dancing Waters at the Bellagio. It was tight trying to get back to be ready for the reception. The rest of the family including the children went swimming at Mandalay Bay.
  • Thanks again, Kathy. I think I will stick with the pools at Mandalay Bay then, as I have always wanted to try their pools. Glad it looks like I might be able to fit it in.
  • On the complimentary day at the beginning, did you make reservations to eat at the hotel? I noticed on the Four Seasons website, that reservations were recommended. What did you plan that first day or did you just take it easy?
  • We booked a tour on our extra day with a company called DeTours. For dinner we went with a friend who lives there to a local restaurant. If the hotel suggests making a reservation, I would do that.
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