Prof. Richard D. Little
invites you to join our
some of the world’s greatest
natural parks and attractions located in the desert Southwest area
LAS VEGAS -- GRAND
CANYON -- DEATH VALLEY
FEATURING: Absolutely sublime scenery and
amazing geologic history with explorations in isolated desert canyons
and the shores
of playa lakes -- both dry and wet, plus unusual volcanic explosion craters,
dunes by moonlight,
as well as experiencing the GRAND CANYON
below for the daily itinerary)
We will visit the Hualapai Reservation’s new glass Grand Canyon
Skywalk as well as Grand Canyon National Park’s South Rim.
Yes…great scenery, spectacular
geology, and magical romantic moments, too! You will have time to book a Las Vegas show (or two), enjoy great food at romantic
restaurants, walk in the desert’s winter warmth, swim in a
warm-spring-fed pool, and have free time for activities you choose.
Includes: Hoover Dam, Red Rock Canyon, Valley of Fire, Hualapai Indian Reservation,
the best of Las Vegas and Laughlin, one night at the Grand Canyon’s South rim
and 4 nights at
Furnace Creek Ranch Resort in Death
Valley National Park as well as almost 2 weeks away from New England Winter.
10 – 22, 2010 (or 23rd to avoid “red eye” flight) <> only $ 1800 (estimated cost) per person/double occupancy + air fare
A B O U T T
H E T O U R (see below for the daily itinerary)
VEGAS IS ONE OF THE MOST AMAZING LANDSCAPE AREAS ON EARTH.
world-class “Fantastic Landscapes” just minutes from the famous Las Vegas
Strip’s casinos! Really! Places like the amazingly colorful Jurassic dune-sandstone cliffs of Red Rock Canyon, a few miles west of town and Valley of Fire State Park, one-hour north, near the shore of Lake Mead.
Las Vegas as a base, we will explore
the surrounding spectacular natural landscapes as well as Hoover
Dam and Lake Mead. Las
Vegas itself is an amazing sight! In this unique oasis in the desert there
are the casinos with various gambling options [suggestion: stay away from
these!] and many artistic and spectacular show-extravaganzas, of course, but
there also are some other very interesting attractions: zoos, aquaria, and museums of natural
history and art. Las Vegas is indescribable
– it’s fun, it’s unique; you really have to see this to
four nights in Las Vegas, we will travel along the Colorado River and up into
the high desert to view the Grand Canyon’s south rim in Grand Canyon
National Park (weather permitting).
We will stay along the rim!
Then we will visit the new Skywalk in the Hualapai Indian Reservation at
Grand Canyon West. The Skywalk opened in March of ‘07
and this amazing loop walkway of glass (and other superb viewpoints) will give
you an unprecedented “eagles’ view” of the Grand Canyon. The Colorado River is 4,000 feet below
and you will have the option of helicoptering to the riverbank and boarding a
small boat for a flat-water excursion on the famous Colorado. We will have several nights in Laughlin,
a Nevada town right along the Colorado River, with river-front lodging and will
explore some very interesting desert scenery developed on granite bedrock,
something quite different from the landscapes previously seen.
we drive through the scenic Basin and Range - Mojave Desert landscape to Death Valley National Park. Death Valley’s landscape is
similar to the Connecticut
Valley during the Mesozoic
Era -- a time when the eastern side of our continent was splitting from Pangea
as the Atlantic Ocean began. These “rift” valleys are
fault bounded, and we will see lots of faults in our travels. Yes, you will find faults with this
tour (as well as alluvial fans, dunes, desert pavement, unusual salt
landforms, diverse slot canyons, and many more geologic thrills). We lodge for 4 nights at Furnace Creek
Ranch, a beautiful oasis with a warm-spring-fed swimming pool and even the
world’s lowest golf course at
your doorstep (everyone gets a low score here).
“slot” canyons are eroded into the mountainous sides of Death Valley and other ranges in the region. Being in the desert, they are dry for
most of the year and make for some outstanding nature walks or longer hikes, if
you wish. We will walk to the top
of desert sand dunes (by the light of the moon!), and explore desert lakes,
both dry and wet. Finally, we will
depart for our return to Las Vegas,
about 3 hours away.
your return plane flight for the evening
or stay over in Las
Vegas for a next day flight, Jan. 23rd.
The extra night will add about $50 to your tour price.
Suzanne points out Manly “Beacon”
Sandstone, Valley of Fire State Park
------- DAILY I T I N E R A R Y -------
DAY 1 January 10: arrive Las Vegas for 4 nights with super rooms at a location central
to the famous Las
DAY 2 1/11: Free Day to explore exciting Las Vegas. (It’s way
more fun than you think!)
DAY 3 1/12: Valley of Fire State Park. Short
amazing hikes to petroglyphs and slot canyons, picnic lunch.
DAY 4 1/13: Red Rock Canyon tour and short hikes with picnic lunch. Spring Mt Ranch
historic site. Plan a Las
Vegas Show for the evening?
DAY 5 1/14: Depart Las Vegas for Hoover
Dam tour and Lake Mead views. Grand Canyon National Park is our overnight destination. Catch the sunset on those colorful
sedimentary rocks! [weather permitting -- Our
base for activities will be from Laughlin, NV in case of unsafe conditions at the South Rim, due to
its high elevation]
DAY 6 1/15 Grand Canyon – South Rim explorations [weather
permitting] Overnight at Kingman
1/16 : Grand Canyon West.
This area in the Hualapai Indian Reservation with its new glass Skywalk
has some of the best Grand Canyon – Colorado River views. Note:
you do not have to go on the Skywalk for fantastic views of the Colorado River and Canyon. Option: Helicopter into
the Canyon, with short boat trip.
DAY 8: 1/17
Free Day in Laughlin, along the Colorado River. Optional afternoon activities to scenic areas.
DAY 9 plus 10,
11, 12. Today we drive through the interesting and scenic
Basin and Range topography to Death Valley National Park.
Overnight at Furnace Creek Ranch Resort, in the Park, for next 4 nights.
which is 200 feet below sea level, features great views and a naturally warm
spring water swimming pool, plus the world’s lowest golf course surrounds
the lodgings. Death Valley Explorations:
canyon and mountain drives, walks and hikes. Scotty’s Castle visit, volcanic
explosion craters, Titus, Mosaic (and other) Canyons, Artist Drive, Dante’s View, Death Valley Dunes, Badwater (-282 elevation) and more incredible sights!
1/22 Final morning activities in
the Park then scenic drive to Las
Vegas, arriving late afternoon. Based on past experience, most people
will book one last night in Las Vegas and have a return flight on
I will book rooms for this
night as per your wishes and, depending on departure times, you can usually be
transported to the airport in our rental vehicles.
FAQ’s -- (
Frequently Asked Questions) -- and participant comments
Who goes on these “Fantastic Landscapes” Tours? While our average age of participants is probably mid
50’s, we have had a variety of folks, from families to
eighty-something. How strenuous
is the “hiking”? If
you like “nature walks” you’ll love our outings. We have a
great variety of options. Some people plan more strenuous activities than
others, and our daily activities are geared to meet everyone’s goals,
as much as possible. Where do we stay? We book high quality, medium to
small lodgings (usually), in scenic, convenient settings. Who does the driving? We use rental mini vans and
full-size cars with volunteer drivers.
We buy the maximum extra liability insurance and we have 2-way radios
for communication. I don’t
know any geology! Should I go on
this tour? Yes! If you have an
interest in nature, come and learn how to read the “record in the rocks
....... the history in a grain of sand”. Travel with a geologist to unlock
the secrets of the rocks and landscapes. Your tour leader has decades of
experience. Go with our small group
and get away from the crowd, but still have a helpful group of friends
to share with. You will have
flexibility to stop for that great view, smell the flowers, pick up an
incredible rock, have a romantic dinner…
The cost is LOW for what you get! (check out other tours and see) Don’t wait to save your
place... seating is definitely limited!
Who are your tour leaders? Richard Little is professor emeritus of geology at Greenfield Community
author of 2 books and 2 videos on Connecticut Valley geology, and has been elected to the Mass. Science
Educator Hall of Fame. He has been
leading “Fantastic Landscapes” tours since 1981. His spouse, Suzanne, loves flowers and
has degrees in Biology, Education, and Social Work.
comments? “The trip was
superb…we have been singing you praises across the
certainly was a fantastic trip… the moonlight walk in the dunes was a
sublime experience. We will certainly tell our friends about the great time we
had, and thank you again for being such wonderful and caring leaders!” Want to
talk with a past participant? We
can refer you.
THE COST: only $1800 (estimated) Per person / double occupancy +
Includes: First Class Lodging, Transportation,
Experienced Tour Leader, Guide Book, Pre and Post Trip Meetings, Video Record
of Trip. The cost does not
include: air fare, food, gas, and minimal costs of parking and entrance fees to
parks, etc. Gas, etc., costs will be
divided amongst the group members.
E N R O L L
Send $500 per
person deposit** (check to “Earth View LLC),
6 Grand View Ln, Easthampton, MA 01027-1075) to hold your space.
For questions or more information, contact
Prof. Little by phone or email, see above.
refundable until November 1st. FINAL PAYMENT
DUE November 1st Cancellation fees: after Nov. 1st = $50 pp
check out our ALASKA TOUR, early-mid August, 2010