William I. Hitchcock, William W. Corcoran Professor of History

Learn More


$3,995 per person, double occupancy, land only

Gateway Cities Are Available. Flights will be priced at booking.

A limited number of single rooms will be available for a supplement of $995 to the per person, double occupancy rates.


It’s a land of scenes epic in scope, from the immense Grand Canyon and the winding Colorado to the sandstone spires of Bryce and the red-rock cliffs and chasms of Zion. It’s the Southwest, which our small group celebrates at favorite national parks and preserves. And, wrote author Wallace Stegner, it’s America’s “best idea.”

Program Highlights

  • Encounter spectacular Southwest scenery
  • Enjoy immersive experiences in three national parks
  • Tour Sedona’s red-rock landscape in an open-air Jeep
  • Experience the world-renowned Grand Canyon
  • Stay in a lakeside hotel at Lake Powell
  • Embark on a motorized rafting excursion on Colorado River
  • Admire the “flowing” rock walls of Antelope Canyon
  • Take guided hikes in national parks
  • Take in the natural hoodoo rock formations of Bryce Canyon National Park
  • See Zion National Park’s diverse landscapes and wildlife


William I. Hitchcock, William W. Corcoran Professor of History

Picture of Will HitchcockWill Hitchcock teaches in the Corcoran Department of History at the University of Virginia. He studies the great conflicts and struggles of the twentieth century, including World War I, the crises of the interwar years, the catastrophe of World War II, and the Cold War. An expert on French and British politics, he most recently ventured into U.S. presidential history with his book The Age of Eisenhower: America and the World in the 1950s, which was a New York Times bestseller. Previously, he wrote The Bitter Road to Freedom, which explored the experiences of European civilians and American soldiers during the liberation of Europe in 1945. It was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Will has lived in and traveled across much of Europe and the Mediterranean. His two children are both UVA students, and he is married to the Civil War historian Elizabeth R. Varon.


DAY 1 - September 29, 2021

Depart for Phoenix, Arizona

We depart today for Phoenix, Arizona. As guests’ arrival times may vary, we have the day at leisure to explore Arizona’s capital city as we wish. This afternoon we check in at our hotel, where we enjoy a welcome briefing and dinner together.
Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort
Dinner (D)

DAY 2 - September 30, 2021

Phoenix/Sedona/Grand Canyon

We leave Phoenix today, bound for the Grand Canyon. First, though, we’re headed to Sedona, one of the most striking spots in the American Southwest. Famed for its range of towering red sandstone formations, Sedona ranks as a popular destination for artists, filmmakers, photographers, hikers, and mountain bikers. We have time for lunch on our own and to do some exploring before we encounter this dazzling landscape in style, as we take a Pink Jeep Tour for an educational off-road excursion. Winding over dirt roads, we enjoy stunning panoramic views and learn about the region’s cultural and geological history on this guided tour to Honanki Heritage Site, a 700-year-old Sinaguan cliff dwelling. Then we continue on to the Grand Canyon and our nearby hotel, where we dine together tonight.
Best Western Premier Grand Canyon Squire Inn
Breakfast, Dinner (B,D)

Day 3 - October 1, 2021

Grand Canyon

Grand CanyonIt’s a day to remember as we visit one of the country’s most famous natural landmarks: the Grand Canyon. Considered a wonder of the natural world, this UNESCO site stretches nearly 300 miles through and 10 miles across the Arizona desert. We see truly awe-inspiring vistas: banded layers of rock rise to plateaus and bluffs thousands of feet overhead, while the mighty Colorado River rushes one mile below. On our guided tour, we learn about the canyon’s geological history, and also about human history here: it dates back some 10,000 years and includes Native peoples, explorers, miners, entrepreneurs, conservationists, and of course, visitors–who today number some six million annually. Then we have time for lunch on our own and an afternoon at leisure to appreciate the magnitude and beauty of the six-million-year-old canyon as we wish. After this bucket-list visit, we return to our hotel; dinner tonight is on our own.
Best Western Premier Grand Canyon Squire Inn

DAY 4 - October 2, 2021

Grand Canyon/Page/Antelope Canyon/Lake Powell

Today we travel to Page, Arizona, gateway to the imposing Glen Canyon Dam and its reservoir, Lake Powell. After reaching Page early this afternoon, we have lunch on our own then visit the sinuous – and spectacular – Upper Antelope Canyon. We travel onto Navajo land to reach this slot canyon, known to local tribes as “the place where water runs through rocks” – and one of the most photographed slot canyons in the world. Our tour through this stunning passageway reveals red-orange walls of “flowing” rock rising to heights of nearly 120 feet – the narrow canyon’s hard edges smoothed away by eons of water and sand erosion. We check in at our lakeside hotel this afternoon then enjoy dinner together there tonight.
Lake Powell Resort

DAY 5 - October 3, 2021

Page/Colorado River/Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Our long, but incredibly scenic, day of travel begins with a rousing motorized rafting excursion on the smooth waters of the Colorado River. Controlled by a series of dams and reservoirs, the river provides hydro-electric power, irrigation, and municipal water supply to nearly 40 million people in the western U.S. Our adventure begins at the base of one of these structures: the 710-foot-high Glen Canyon Dam. The dam holds back man-made Lake Powell, the nation’s second largest artificial lake at 186 miles long and with nearly 2,000 miles of shoreline. As we drift downstream between soaring sandstone cliffs on either side, we’re on the lookout for ancient Native American petroglyphs on the canyon walls, as well as local wildlife. We continue on to southern Utah and Bryce Canyon National Park, stopping for lunch along the way. We dine together tonight.
Best Western Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel

DAY 6 - October 4, 2021

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce CanyonDespite its name, Bryce isn’t truly a canyon at all, but a series of natural cliffs and amphitheaters carved into the region’s plateaus. The result: a stunning array of hoodoos, natural stone pillars and spires reminiscent of a child’s drip sand castle, as we see today. Thousands of these delicate structures stand side by side along the canyon’s ridgelines, lending a dramatic atmosphere to this remote location. In the park’s visitor center, we see a film about the unusual geology here then have the day free to explore at our own pace. Our full day of natural splendor concludes with dinner together tonight.
Best Western Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel

DAY 7 - October 5, 2021

Bryce Canyon National Park/Zion National Park

We depart this morning for another celebrated Utah destination, Zion National Park, and arrive before noon at the historic Zion Lodge, which enjoys a prime location within the park, surrounded by beautiful cliffs and canyons. Upon arrival, we have time for lunch on our own, then begin our exploration of Zion National Park, so named for the 15-mile-long, 2,500-feet-deep Zion Canyon cutting through the park’s western half. During our visit to the park’s Visitor Center, we learn about this unique region encompassing four separate biomes: desert, riparian, woodland, and coniferous forest. After our first taste of Zion’s wonders this afternoon, we have the evening free. Dinner tonight is on our own: we may dine at the lodge or explore the many great dining options in the town of Springdale.
Zion Lodge

DAY 8 - October 6, 2021

Zion National Park

slot canyon Zion National ParkWe spend the day amid the wondrous natural world of Zion National Park. Despite its modest size, Zion counts as one of the most diverse national parks in the United States. Deserts and forests, rivers and canyons, buttes and natural arches all greet us here, along with numerous plant and animal species. As with most of the Southwest, the area is dominated by red-rock bluffs that show eons of sediment buildup; indeed, the rock formations here represent about 150 million years of geological history. We take a guided hike and have ample free time for exploration and lunch on our own. This evening we enjoy dinner together at our hotel.
Zion Lodge

DAY 9 - October 7, 2021

Zion National Park/St. George/Las Vegas, Nevada

En route to Las Vegas today, we stop in St. George, Utah, site of the winter home of Mormon leader Brigham Young and where the Mojave Desert, Colorado Plateau, and Great Basin converge in a stunning setting. We have time to explore and have lunch on our own before we continue on to Las Vegas, arriving late this afternoon. Tonight, we celebrate our Southwestern sojourn at a farewell dinner.
Westin Las Vegas

DAY 10 - October 8, 2021

Depart Las Vegas

This morning we transfer to the Las Vegas airport for our flights home.


  • Phoenix – Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort
  • Tusayan – Best Western Premier Grand Canyon Squire Inn
  • Page – Lake Powell Resort
  • Bryce Canyon City – Best Western Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel
  • Zion National Park – Zion Lodge
  • Las Vegas – Westin Las Vegas


17 meals: 9 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 7 dinners

Program Fees

$3,995 per person, double occupancy, land only

Gateway Cities Are Available. Flights will be priced at booking.

A limited number of single rooms will be available for a supplement of $995 to the per person, double occupancy rates.

General Terms & Conditions

Please read this information carefully, as payment of a refundable $500 deposit per person represents your acceptance of the following Terms and Conditions.

Cavalier Travels reserves the right to use photos that might include you in marketing materials and for other purposes unless you specify otherwise.

Payment Schedule: A refundable deposit of $500 per person confirms your reservation. The balance of your invoice is due 95 days (June 26, 2021) before departure.

Included in Tour Price: Round-trip air transportation from specific cities (or may be purchased as land only); 9 nights’ accommodations in Deluxe, Superior First Class, and First Class hotels; extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees; services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director; private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip; luggage handling for one bag per person; gratuities for dining room servers, hotel porters, rafting guides, and all drivers.

Not Included in Tour Price: Airfare and airport transfers when purchasing a Land Only package; airfare from your hometown to your departure city; costs of passports and visas; personal expenses such as beverages, laundry, room service, and meals not specified; communication charges; optional sightseeing; gratuities to your Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director, which are at your discretion (suggested gratuities: $10–$15 per traveler, per day); and travel protection insurance. Additional baggage fees may apply and are subject to change at any time. You should confirm directly with your airline(s) prior to departure.

Cancellation, Refunds, and Changes: If you must cancel your trip, the effective date of cancellation will be upon the University of Virginia’s receipt of your notification. Refunds for cancellations are subject to the following per person charges: cancel 45 days or more before departure: full refund;cancel 44-30 days before departure: 75% of tour price; cancel 29-0 days before departure: no refund. If you make any changes to your reservation from 94 to 30 days prior to departure, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. will apply a $100 per person administrative fee, in addition to any fees or penalties imposed by third parties. Changes are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed. If your reservation changes from double occupancy to single occupancy for any reason, you will be charged the single supplement. No changes are allowed within 30 days of departure.

Upon reservation, you must provide your full legal name as it appears on your passport, as well as your date of birth and gender. In the event an airline ticket is issued with incorrect information you have provided, you will be responsible for charges associated with the ticket’s reissue.

Responsibility: The liability of the University of Virginia, as sponsor, and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc., as tour operator, is strictly limited. Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. purchases transportation, hotel accommodations, and restaurant and other services from independent suppliers not under our control. We serve only as agents for these suppliers in securing tour arrangements, and therefore will not accept responsibility for wrongful, negligent, or arbitrary acts or omissions of these independent contractors, or of their employees, agents, servants, or representatives. The University of Virginia and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. are not liable for injury, damage, loss, accident, or delay that may be caused by events not within our control, including, without limitation, acts of terrorism, war, strikes, the defect of any vehicle, or the negligence or default of any third party. All coupons, receipts, and tickets issued are subject to the terms and conditions specified by the air carriers, cruise lines, and other independent suppliers. We will make every effort to operate our tours as planned, but we reserve the right to make itinerary changes as necessary. If unforeseen circumstances require us to change a hotel, we will select alternative accommodations of the same or better quality.

Health and Medical Issues: We request that you be in good health to participate in this University of Virginia tour. There is a considerable amount of walking, and you must be able to get on and off motorcoaches and rafts on your own. We regret that we cannot offer individual assistance; in such cases you must be accompanied by a companion who will assist you. Please note that many of our itineraries, for reasons beyond our control, cannot accommodate wheelchairs. Please call or e-mail us to inquire and we will do our best to answer any questions you may have. We reserve the right to remove anyone whose physical or mental condition, in our opinion, compromises the operation of the tour or detracts from the enjoyment or safety of the other passengers. In that event, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. and the University of Virginia assume no financial responsibility for any unused portion of the tour.

Air Transportation – Important Information: Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. offers round-trip economy air from designated gateway cities, and contracts with those airlines the company feels provide the level of service, routings, and value necessary for your entire trip. While another airline may offer a more direct connection, it may be at a price unavailable at the lower group rates. You will receive your preliminary air schedule approximately 2½ months prior to departure. Please note that seat assignment on your flight is usually done at airport check-in. Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. is unable to guarantee any seat assignments. Due to the nature of tour operator tickets, other restrictions apply, including, but not limited to, frequent flyer mileage accrual, stopovers, alternate travel dates, upgrades, and airline taxes and fees. If you prefer to make your own travel arrangements, Land Only is available on most tours. Since domestic air schedules are subject to change at any time, we recommend that if you choose to make your own airline reservations, you do not purchase non-refundable tickets or those with high penalties for changes. If you choose to make your own air arrangements, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. shall not have any liability for any loss resulting from cancellation of this tour or changes in this tour.

COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols: The well-being of our guests and staff members on tour will continue to be our highest priorities. To maintain a healthy environment for travel, we will be establishing and adhering to a detailed set of health and safety protocols for all facets of your tour. We are committed to following the guidelines of the State Department, CDC, WHO, and authorities of respective countries regarding travel to a particular destination. Detailed protocols for this tour, based on conditions at the time, will be provided approximately 90 days prior to departure.