„South-West Natural Wonders“ from 21st May-5th July’06

Route from/to Los Angeles

To see the all pictures just take a look at the German site of this tour

1st day (Sun. May 21st): Traveling to Los Angeles (LAX)

Arrival is at 1:45 pm. Check-out took about 40 minutes. Arrival at our Hotel Courtyard by Mariott was at 2:30 pm. Meeting with tour-manager Cora, got our lagguage to our room and made our first shopping trip.

2nd day (Mun. May 22nd): Los Angeles - Las Vegas (523 km)

Start of our roundtrip in torrential rain. Short stay at Hollywood Blvd.
Then drive through Mojave-Desert to Barstow where we made our lunch-break at the old station.

From there to Las Vegas. Arrival at Gold Coast Hotel is shortly after 4:00 pm.
After 6:00 pm sightseeing-tour with visits of some Hotel-Casinos and Freemont Street Experience.

At last a visit of Hotel Bellagio with it's famous water fountains(Video of the fountains)

3rd day (Tue. May 23rd): Las Vegas - Zion N.P. - Bryce Canyon N.P. (511 km)

Drive through Nevada desert to Utah. Stay at Zion lodge in Zion N.P. and stroll at Virgin River. Picturestop at Checkerboard Mesa. Next picturestop at Red Canyon. Trekking-tour in Bryce Canyon over Navajo Loop Trail. After that the bus took us back to our nearby Hotel Ruby's Inn.

4th day (Wed. May 24th): Bryce Canyon - Capitol Reef N.P. - Canyonlands - Moab (504 km)
Drive over Scenic Byway No.12 at Escalante to Capitol Reef N.P.
After that on to Dead Horse Point, an overlook with a beautiful view into Canyonlands N.P.,
where the whole tour-group had a nice picnic.
Continuation of the journey to Moab, this days destination. Arrival at Hotel Ramada Inn at 6:00 pm.

5th day (Thu. May 25th.): Moab - Arches N.P. - Montrose (366 km)
Drive to Arches N.P. with first photostop at "Balanced Rock". Continuing on to "Devil's Garden", where a trekking-tour to Landscape Arch took place.

A short walk to a viewpoint to see Delicate Arch, the landmark of Utah, followed.
Next stay in "Garden of Eden" with a longer walk to the "Window section".

Then drive back to Moab for lunch-break.

Continuation of the journey with a photostop at the Colorado-shore to our destination Montrose.
Arrival at our Hotel at 5:50 pm.

6. Tag (Fr. 26.05.): Black Canyon - Silverton - Durango (254 km)
Mornign drive to Black Canyon of the Gunnison N.P.

First stop at Visitor Center with a view into the deep Canyon.
Second stop at the steep "Painted Wall" (a rock face run through with pink).

Drive back to Montrose, from there up into the Rocky Mts, where a short stop in between was in Ouray.
Another short stop to photograph the town from above followed.

Next stay at Red Mountain View Point at 3300m above sea-level.

Continuation of the journey to Silverton,


the final stop of the famous steam-powered Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.

Ride with the train to Durango through the canyon of Animas-River, ride duration 3 1/2 hours.

Visit this site to view pictures and short videos from this ride

Arrival at the Durango station is at 6:30 pm. From there with the bus to the hotel.

7th day (Sat. May 27th):Durango - Mesa Verde N.P. - Santa Fe (569 km)
On-hour-drive to Mesa Verde N.P. with first stop at Park Point Overlook.
Next stop at Square Tower House (cliff-dwellings from the Anasazi-Indians).

Next stops at Sun Point and at Sun Temple. Longer stay at Spruce Tree House, an Anasazi-cliff-dwelling in Mesa Verde, which is best preserved.

Trekking-tour to the cliff-dwellings with a visit. Drive back to Durango for lunch-break.
Continuation of the journey to Santa Fe.

8th day (Sun. May 28th):EnjoyingSanta Fe
Drive with the bus to the city-center of Santa Fe, from where a round-walk through the old-town followed.

After that exploring the old city on our own.

Late afternoon drive back to the Hotel with the city-bus.

9th day (Mun. May 29th) Memorial Day:Santa Fe - Albuquerque - Painted Desert - Holbrook (506 km)
Journey to Albuquerque, where a stay about 1 1/4 hours in the historic old-town followed.

Lunch-break in the small town of Gallup.

Continuation of the journey to Arizona and stay at the Visitor Center of Petrified Forest and Painted Desert N.P.
Drive through the colourful landscape of Painted Desert with a few photostops.

Continuation of the journey to the hotel in Holbrook.

Railroad-crossing in Holbrook, where a freight-train of the BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe) drives through.

10th day (Tue. May 30th):Holbrook - Petriefied Forest -Canyon de Chelly - Kayenta (434 km)
Drive to Petrified Forest N.P. where an one-hour-stay followed.

Continuation of the journey to Canyon de Chelly with various photostops. Prolonged stay at White House Viewpoint.
A trekking-tour into the canyon took place here.

After the walk back up, drive on to the hotel in Kayenta.

11th day (Wed. May 31st):Kayenta - Monument Valley - Grand Canyon N.P. (432 km)
Drive to Monument Valley, where a Jeep-Tour into the valley took place.
The tour was very bumpy, but great.
Then back to Kayenta for lunch-break. Next stop for half an hour in Cameron at Little Colorado.

Journey continues to Desert View Point at Grand Canyon. 45-minutes stay here.

Next stop at Bright Angel Lodge with a trekking-tour to Yavapai-Point and drive back with the shuttle-bus.

In the evening drive to the hotel in Tusayan.

12th day (Thu. June 1st):Grand Canyon Helicopterflug - Sedona (181 km)

Drive to Grand Canyon Airport for the helicopter-ride over Grand Canyon.

View from the chopper into the Canyon

The journey goes on over Flagstaff through Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona, the town between the "Red Rocks".
Two hours lunch-break there. After that drive on to the hotel in the outskirts of Sedona in Oak Creek Village. In the afternoon Jeeptour into the "Red Rocks".

Just across the other site of the street, a forest-fire was raging

Mum with our nice tourguide & driver Carol

The forest-fire late in the evening: the whole hillside was on fire now

It seemed as if everywhere on the hillside, houses had their lights on. It was a spectacular, but at the same time fearful sight.

13th day (Fri. June 2nd):Sedona - Prescott - Laughlin (395 km)
Drive over Jerome to Prescott, the former capitol of Arizona, for lunch-break.

Next stay in Seligman at the historic Route 66.

Drive on to our destination Laughlin at the Colorado, Nevada.
Arrival at Hotel Flamingo Hilton, it was very hot and humid (42 degrees C).

Short stroll in the evening (it was still 38 degrees C) at the Riverwalk along the Colorado.

14th day (Sat. June 3rd):Laughlin - Los Angeles
Short stroll at the Riverwalk in the morning after breakfast.

Drive back through the Mojave-desert to L.A. with a stop-over in Barstow at the Outlet Center.

Arrival at Hotel Courtyard by Mariott in L.A. at 4:30 pm. The bus-tour ends here.

In the evening farewell dinner at the Hotel Figueroa in downtown

with a walk afterwards through L.A. downtown at night.

"The Spanish Stairs" of L.A. with 102 steps

At 10:00 pm we were back at our hotel. We said goodbyes to driver Garrett, tour-manager Cora and the other group-members.

15th day (Sun. June 4th):L.A. - Manhattan Beach - Flight L.A. - London
Drive with a free trolley-bus to the beach of Manhattan Beach;
a nice little town right at the Pacific Ocean.

Impressions of Manhattan Beach:

A very nice town-sign

The pier of Mahattan Beach goes straight into the Pacific

The beach of Manhattan Beach

Beautiful street in Manhattan Beach

Bottle-Brush-Trees border the streets

Stay there for about two hours. A nice end to finish our tour.
After this back with the trolley to the hotel.

From there with the hotel-shuttle to the airport-terminal. Check-In and then a long wait till departure with our plane from United Airlines to London.

It was an old Boeing 777, a tight and cold "box". We were shivering the whole flight (duration 10 hours).

16th day (Mun. June 5th):  London - Düsseldorf - Wegberg
Five hours stay in London. A small relaxation after the long Atlantic-flight.
Then connecting flight with Lufthansa to Düsseldorf.
Pick-up there by Taxi Erren. Arrival in Wegberg at 9:00 pm.
After stocking the lugguage, dinner at Lukic's "Adria-Grill". After a long time something decent!

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