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

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Comments

  • edited June 2015
    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?

    Hi Angelina! As far as what to do on the first day. I would think it depends on how your traveling has been. Example, do you have to get up in the pre-dawn hours to catch your flight, do you have a time change to cope with? It's also a very hot time of year, these things may influence the energy levels of your party and I don't think you mention how young/ old the children traveling with you are.
    If you wait just a little longer until your more detailed information arrives in the mail, this might help in your choices. Have you looked at the hotel website to see if they have suggestions for activities, yes, I just looked for you, there is quite a good variety of attractions nearby, it really depends on your interests and the age of the children and whether you want to do something child orientated, or make them tag along to something you are interested in, or do you want to separate from your party and do something aa q couple. When we did the regular tour we did not stay at the Four Seasons, forget the name of the hotel, but we arrived a couple of days eaely for rest and relaxation, think spa and private pool. They also offered a Mixology class which we took and it was fabulous.
  • The Four Seasons is not easy to get away from unless you have transportation. Our friend and the tour company picked us up at the hotel. If we did not have that, we would have been limited in what we could do. It was a distance to drive just to get off of the property.
  • Thanks British and Kathy for the replies. We will probably want to make reservations to eat at the hotel then since there are seven of us. We are flying in, but are all used to traveling and being on the go including the kids (ages 10, 13 and 15). I have checked the hotel activities for all of us too and I like to pass all the info I read here and on the hotel/other sites back to my brother. I appreciate your answers to all my questions. They have definitely been useful in being prepared for this trip. Hopefully, there are others who will benefit by all the info you two have posted here in response to my questions.
  • I think we are good with our plans. Now that it is July, time to think about what I may still need to buy for this trip. I have read the travel tips for packing. Is there anything that you are glad that you packed or wished you would have packed? Or is there anything that was recommended and you found that you really didn't need? Are hiking boots necessary or will we be fine with sneakers? I would prefer to wear sneakers.
  • The tour is very casual so jeans and shorts with short sleeve shirts or t-shirts were the major clothing items. Have sunscreen and a hat for walking around the parks. Hiking boots are not necessary. Everyone wore only sneakers that I remember. I do wear Rockports sometimes instead of regular sneakers but I did not bring or need hiking boots. Be sure to bring a light-weight jacket or sweater because it does cool off in the evenings.

    You will have a great time as this is an amazing tour.
  • Thanks. I am glad to hear that sneakers are good. I will make sure I pack a light jacket.
  • I was reading on the Grand Canyon website about the heat advisory and recommendations for staying cool. I was wondering if bottles of water are provided on the tour or if they were readily available for purchase at either the hotels or parks. We love the backpacks sent to the kids. Are there places for the kids to fill the water bottles provided?
  • Hi ,there is always water provided for you, but touare always encouraged not to waste water. Sometimes you get individual bottles, sometimes you can fill them from a large bottle supply. you only have four weeks to go, have fun!
  • Thanks British. That is what I figured, but I wanted to make sure. Yes, only four weeks to go! So hard to believe that it is coming up quickly now. When I first started this thread, it seemed so far away, but not anymore. ????
  • I was reading on the Grand Canyon website about the heat advisory and recommendations for staying cool. I was wondering if bottles of water are provided on the tour or if they were readily available for purchase at either the hotels or parks. We love the backpacks sent to the kids. Are there places for the kids to fill the water bottles provided?

    Every time you leave the bus we were given a bottle of water. In the parks there are various concession areas where you can purchase water and other items. If you feel lightheaded or queasy, a ranger recommended drinking Gatorade. This really does work. There are also locations for filling water bottles. Whenever I have been in this area, I have remembered that I must drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

    I am enjoying reliving my Bridges tour through your questions. I know that you will have a wonderful time and the children will have an unforgettable experience. It has been two years and the children that I was with are still talking about it.
  • I am so glad it gives you chance to relive it! I am the same way after a trip and I see others talking And asking questions about a place I have been to. It has been so helpful having others who have done the itinerary respond. When I first started the thread, I didn't realize how many questions would pop up for me, but it has been fun coming back into the thread to check the responses. It has been great that you and British have helped build my enthusiasm. To me the planning is part of the fun of the trip! The countdown is definitely on for me!
  • One week to go. I was organizing what we are packing to see if I needed to go out to buy anything else when I realized I wasn't sure about whether I would need to pack extra things to wear for the dinners. Kathy, I went back and read what you wrote at the beginning of the thread about the dress being casual and the opening/closing dinners were more casual than the regular Tauck tours. So I was packing something casual for them, but I was wondering during the rest of the week, did you change for dinner? I know it will be hot during the day, but I don't want to overpack. I am used to taking cruises in which I pack one outfit for day and one outfit for night. I just wanted to make sure I pack appropriately for this tour.
  • One week to go. I was organizing what we are packing to see if I needed to go out to buy anything else when I realized I wasn't sure about whether I would need to pack extra things to wear for the dinners. Kathy, I went back and read what you wrote at the beginning of the thread about the dress being casual and the opening/closing dinners were more casual than the regular Tauck tours. So I was packing something casual for them, but I was wondering during the rest of the week, did you change for dinner? I know it will be hot during the day, but I don't want to overpack. I am used to taking cruises in which I pack one outfit for day and one outfit for night. I just wanted to make sure I pack appropriately for this tour.

    There is no need to pack extra dressy clothes. I had a nice pair of slacks that I wore to the welcome dinner and then again to the final one in Las Vegas. Both of those evenings I just had a "dressier" shirt than what I wore during the day. (It may even have been the same shirt that I wore at the beginning!) The other evenings we were in the National Parks so the dress was whatever you wore during the day. People wore either shorts or jeans mostly. One night we even had a picnic outside. In short you can go to dinner wearing whatever you wore during the day. I would suggest taking an extra shirt or two just in case you felt that you were too hot during the day and wanted to change, but it is not necessary. Most evenings after dinner, my friend and took a walk in the area of the lodges. I believe that I mentioned earlier to bring a sweater or light jacket as it might get cool at night.

    I don't think I mentioned but it is interesting to get up and watch the sun rise over the Grand Canyon. The jacket came in handy that morning because I pulled on a pair of jeans over my night clothes and then put on the jacket to go outside.

    I hope that you let me know how you liked the tour when you get home. I will be away until the end of August but I will be interested in knowing how you enjoyed the Bridges tour.
  • One week to go. I was organizing what we are packing to see if I needed to go out to buy anything else when I realized I wasn't sure about whether I would need to pack extra things to wear for the dinners. Kathy, I went back and read what you wrote at the beginning of the thread about the dress being casual and the opening/closing dinners were more casual than the regular Tauck tours. So I was packing something casual for them, but I was wondering during the rest of the week, did you change for dinner? I know it will be hot during the day, but I don't want to overpack. I am used to taking cruises in which I pack one outfit for day and one outfit for night. I just wanted to make sure I pack appropriately for this tour.

    Hi Angelina! The tour you are taking is absolutely nothing, I mean nothing like you have experienced on a Criuse. First of all, you will be a small number of people who you will get to know really well. Second, you are going to the National parks with Tauck. For me, who has done the itinerary independently with our children and then again with Tauck, the main difference is that Tauck do it far more efficiently, such as getting you to the sites and destinations at exactly the right time of day, so for instance you will see the Grand Canyon in the evening and then you can get up the next morning and head out for a walk along the rim before all the day tourists come in. You'll see all those extra colors in the morning light. Other than that, you will be around the general public, who will be in the same restaurants as you and I am quite sure they will be in shorts and t shirts and in very casual clothing. There really is no need to worry about any dress up clothes apart from smartening yourself up for the Welcome diner and maybe again in Vegas. In fact, I notice pretty much on every tour I have been on, that by the time the Goodbye dinner comes along, people know each other better and really don't need to 'impress' each other with clothing, or they can't be bothered, or hey, they might have run out of clean clothes, most of this is almost certainly extra true for the men, who have probably been forced by their wives to smarten up for the trip and put on a jacket because the wives think all the other men will be wearing jackets because The paperwork on Tauck says so.
    On another thread, someone, it might have even been Kathy said something like this. When we got back, there was time to change for dinner, but I sat down for a cocktail and chatted to our new Tauck friends instead. I thought that was lovely and what a vacation, especially a Tauck Bridges vacation should be all about. One week to go for you. Please take the time to tell us about your experience and please correct us if we mislead you in any way.
  • edited August 2015
    Kathy18 wrote:
    There is no need to pack extra dressy clothes. I had a nice pair of slacks that I wore to the welcome dinner and then again to the final one in Las Vegas. Both of those evenings I just had a "dressier" shirt than what I wore during the day. (It may even have been the same shirt that I wore at the beginning!) The other evenings we were in the National Parks so the dress was whatever you wore during the day. People wore either shorts or jeans mostly. One night we even had a picnic outside. In short you can go to dinner wearing whatever you wore during the day. I would suggest taking an extra shirt or two just in case you felt that you were too hot during the day and wanted to change, but it is not necessary. Most evenings after dinner, my friend and took a walk in the area of the lodges. I believe that I mentioned earlier to bring a sweater or light jacket as it might get cool at night.

    I don't think I mentioned but it is interesting to get up and watch the sun rise over the Grand Canyon. The jacket came in handy that morning because I pulled on a pair of jeans over my night clothes and then put on the jacket to go outside.

    I hope that you let me know how you liked the tour when you get home. I will be away until the end of August but I will be interested in knowing how you enjoyed the Bridges tour.

    Perfect. I think I will throw in an extra pair of shorts and shirt just in case I feel the need to change any night during the week. I am only taking a pair of capris for the opening night. The last night we booked a show in Vegas so I may wear the capris again or I may just wear shorts. I did get the windbreaker and made sure it was waterproof too. We purchased sturdier water shoes for the rafting day. I am taking jeans and packed things to try to stay as cool as possible. I still haven't decided whether I am doing the mule ride. The rest of the family says I have to do it. ????

    I hope you enjoy your trip as well! I will definitely come back and let you know how we enjoyed ours.
  • British wrote:
    Hi Angelina! The tour you are taking is absolutely nothing, I mean nothing like you have experienced on a Criuse. First of all, you will be a small number of people who you will get to know really well. Second, you are going to the National parks with Tauck. For me, who has done the itinerary independently with our children and then again with Tauck, the main difference is that Tauck do it far more efficiently, such as getting you to the sites and destinations at exactly the right time of day, so for instance you will see the Grand Canyon in the evening and then you can get up the next morning and head out for a walk along the rim before all the day tourists come in. You'll see all those extra colors in the morning light. Other than that, you will be around the general public, who will be in the same restaurants as you and I am quite sure they will be in shorts and t shirts and in very casual clothing. There really is no need to worry about any dress up clothes apart from smartening yourself up for the Welcome diner and maybe again in Vegas. In fact, I notice pretty much on every tour I have been on, that by the time the Goodbye dinner comes along, people know each other better and really don't need to 'impress' each other with clothing, or they can't be bothered, or hey, they might have run out of clean clothes, most of this is almost certainly extra true for the men, who have probably been forced by their wives to smarten up for the trip and put on a jacket because the wives think all the other men will be wearing jackets because The paperwork on Tauck says so.
    On another thread, someone, it might have even been Kathy said something like this. When we got back, there was time to change for dinner, but I sat down for a cocktail and chatted to our new Tauck friends instead. I thought that was lovely and what a vacation, especially a Tauck Bridges vacation should be all about. One week to go for you. Please take the time to tell us about your experience and please correct us if we mislead you in any way.

    I am so glad to be doing the parks with Tauck and love that we are staying right in the parks so we can see them without lots of other tourists. I am so glad my brother picked this tour. I love what you wrote about the clothes for the husbands. It made me chuckle as I see that on the cruises too. I only packed one pair of khackis for my husband and then he can decide if he needs them for both the first and last night or just the first night. I think a lot of what I packed was more about trying to keep cool and comfortable than about looks. I will definitely come back to the forum and post about our experience. Thanks again for your help.
  • edited August 2015
    Thanks Kathy and British for all your help. We had a wonderful trip. My favorite hotel was the Four Seasons in Scottsdale. We got very dirty doing the hike there so we did do laundry before the opening dinner. We were very pleased that this tour included the extra night and we all agreed that this hotel would be a place we would love to go back to in the future. For anyone who does this tour in the future, keep an eye out for wild life as you may encounter it (we saw a snake on a set of stairs to a cassita that workers were called to come get). I was glad I read about this online prior to staying here. We loved all the little touches that this hotel had and appreciated the free and conveniently located laundry areas.

    The service and food at all the hotels were wonderful. We definitely took full advantage of all the meals provided. The only one I didn't really care for was the boxed lunch we had in the middle of the trip so when we were offered the choice between a second boxed lunch for a picnic at Bryce or eating in the restaurant we chose the restaurant. We were the only family who did so but we were so glad we did, especially when we brought our yummy desserts back on the bus to eat.

    We were so glad we caught an early bus to Hopi Point to watch the sunrise at the Grand Canyon. It was still dark and it was only us and another couple who caught this bus (most took the five o'clock bus). It wasn't easy finding the bus stop in the dark, but it was worth it. We saw lots of shooting stars while it was dark and then we were able to watch it get lighter and lighter outside over the canyon. This was definitely a highlight of our trip. It was truly breathtaking.

    All the hotels were in great locations. My least favorite was the Grand Canyon Lodge, especially since it followed the Four Seasons and it couldn't compare in my opinion to the rustic Bryce Lodge and the lovely Zion Lodge. But the location was awesome!

    We hiked a lot during this trip including walking back from Hopi Point. We saw deer up close including a buck. Since we walked a lot, and got hot and dirty, we went through many clothes and I had to clean my sneakers often. I am glad I packed extra clothes to change into. As you said, it was a very casual trip, so I just needed spare comfortable clothes to change into after I got cleaned up from our hikes. I am glad I had the waterproof windbreaker and invested in a good pair of water shoes. We were all glad we had these for the rafting and other parts of the trip. We were fortunate that we had a lot of overcast days and it kept the heat down. The guides we had for different activities told us we were lucky so it wasn't nearly as hot as I expected it to be.

    Our Tauck guide was excellent and well organized. Tauck was excellent with supplying water bottles throughout, like you said. The bus and driver (John) were wonderful too. I liked having the outlets on the bus although both my cell phone and internet service wasn't as good as others in my family had. But I liked that Tauck offered the free WiFi.

    Kathy, we were really happy that you recommended the Monument Valley excursion. Only our family and one other family chose it, but it was worth it. I had seen pictures of it in movies and on TV but it was incredible in person. I also liked visiting the Navajo Hogan, and seeing a demonstration and having our hair done there.

    The activities were great fun, although visiting Little Hollywood and making the "movie" wasn't really our cup of tea. Guess what -- my family talked me into doing the horseback riding. I think that was probably everyone in my family's favorite activity except me. I was terrified the whole time! It is not for someone like me who has a fear of heights. I think it is the reason why I am the only one in my family whose favorite park was Zion and not Bryce.

    We didn't have time for swimming when we arrived in Las Vegas (which we couldn't do anyways due to the pools being closed for weather issues) so we just explored the pool areas and did some packing before the final dinner. After dinner, we caught the tram from Mandalay Bay to Excalibur to do some walking on the strip and to go to our 9:30 p.m. show. We did have plenty of time for it.

    So many great memories were made. I can't say enough good things about this trip and about Tauck. I liked how we were dropped off at visitor centers or different activities while the tour director took our suitcases to our rooms and checked us in. I liked how we left our suitcases in our room in the morning for pickup and not outside the rooms like we saw with another tour group at Lake Powell (which had been my previous experience when I toured with that company). I liked how all the tips were already included in the Bridges tour. We always felt well-taken care of the entire time. I would highly recommend this tour to others.
  • Angelina, delighted to read that you had a great trip! Yes the Monument Valley plane ride is worth every penny. Looks like we need to give the Four Seasons a try, it was not the hotel on our tour. Looks as if it could be the first of many Tauck tours for you. We certainly enjoy every tour, far and wide. Thanks for taking the time to share your fun!
  • Hi Angelina,

    I am glad that all the advice that I gave you regarding the Bridges tour was useful. It sounds as if you did have a great time. Monument Valley is spectacular and even today when I see it in an old movie, I remember seeing it in person.

    My first Tauck tour was the Canyonlands which is the adult version of this one. I was so impressed with the quality of Tauck that I never bothered to look at other companies since then. I just returned from the Danube River cruise which was my 26th tour!
  • Kathy18 wrote:
    Hi Angelina,

    I am glad that all the advice that I gave you regarding the Bridges tour was useful. It sounds as if you did have a great time. Monument Valley is spectacular and even today when I see it in an old movie, I remember seeing it in person.

    My first Tauck tour was the Canyonlands which is the adult version of this one. I was so impressed with the quality of Tauck that I never bothered to look at other companies since then. I just returned from the Danube River cruise which was my 26th tour!

    Oh wow! That is impressive! I hope you had a great time on the Danube cruise. That is one I have been looking at and am interested in doing in the future.
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