Copyright  2014 Touch the Southwest Tours, LLC.  All rights reserved.

Frequently Asked Question About Our Grand Canyon Tour Special


Reservations


Q:  How do we book your tour? 

A:  Call or e-mail us and we’ll get you into our calendar.  We do require a credit card to hold all reservations.  Please contact us at 888-244-5256 or info@allaboutgrandcanyon.net to check availability.


Q: How far in advance should we reserve our seats for your tour?

A:  Our tours fill quickly so we recommend you make your reservations as early as possible.


Q:  Is it possible to book your tour when we arrive in Sedona or Flagstaff?

A: Yes, however we may not have space available.  So book early.


Q: Are your tours offered on certain days of the week or are they on a first come, first served basis?

A: We conduct our tours every day of the week and it is based on availability. If the day you want to go is booked, we offer you another day or we can put you on the wait list.


Q: Do you take reservations 7 days a week?

A:  Generally, we take reservations Monday through Friday 9:00a - 5:00p MST (Arizona Time).  If you call after-hours please leave us your contact information and we will get back to you, usually within 24 hours.  Even on weekends.



Cancellations


Q:  What are your cancellation policies?

A:  We maintain a strict 48  hour cancellation policy.  This means you must contact us via phone or e-mail two days before your tour departs.


Q: What if our plans change?

A: If your plans change and you need to reschedule or cancel, please call or e-mail us as soon as you know.


Q: What are the reasons you would charge my credit card?

A:  #1. You were not at your hotel when we arrived to pick you up the morning of your tour and you did not call us to cancel.

#2.  You did not give us a 48 hour cancellation notice prior to your tour.



Our Classic Victorian Picnic


Q: Are you able to provide our children with food in place of the picnic that will be more to their liking?

A:  Our picnic menu is very child friendly, but you are more than welcome to bring something for them if they are finicky eaters. 


Q: Does your lunch come pre plated?

A: No.  Our picnic is served family style.  People can choose what and how much they want.  And second servings are always allowed.


Q: Do you offer the Victorian Picnic if it is cold outside on your tour?

A: It all is dependent on the weather. If it is nice day, yes, we will serve up our Classic Victorian Picnic. If it is wintery cold day, then we take our guests to a local restaurant or deli for lunch.  


Q:  Is it possible to order a wheat free meal?

A:  Unfortunately, we do not offer a choice of meals for lunch. However there is plenty of other food that is wheat-free from which you can choose from. Plus, you may bring food of your own if you'd like.


Q: Would there or could there be a more simple lunch meal for children to eat?

A: We have found that most children like our Classic Picnic, but you are more than welcome to bring something for them if you wish.


Q:  Are we allowed to bring adult beverages on your tour? 

A:  This is a tricky question to answer.  On non-private tours we do not allow the consumption of alcohol.  However, you can on private tours.  We’ll even furnish the corkscrew and glasses.


Q:  Do you offer a vegetarian lunch?

A:  The short answer is no, we do not offer a vegetarian lunch.  However, our Classic Victorian is vegetarian friendly.  All salads, salsas, and chips are made from the freshest fruits and vegetables and contain no meats at all.  The only dish a vegetarian might choose to pass on is the Slow Roast Chicken.


Note:  Out Pasta Salad has cheese in it.  If you are Vegan then we suggest you bring additional foods.  New Frontier's Natural Market in Sedona offers an excellent selection of freshly made Vegan friendly foods.  With advanced notice we will make sure to have an extra cooler for you to put your food in.



Our Tour


Q:  How long is your tour? 

A:  From Sedona our tours run approximately 10 - 11 hours, hotel to hotel.  From Flagstaff our tours run approximately 8-9 hours, hotel to hotel.


Q:  What are your pickup times?

A:  In Sedona we start picking up around 8:00a.  In Flagstaff, it’s around 9:00a.


Q:  How much time will we actually be at Grand Canyon? 

A:  On average, we spend 4-5 hours in Grand Canyon National Park.  At your first stop you can expect to be outside and on the Rim for 2-3 hours, depending on the weather.


Q:  Will we be at the canyon for sunset?

A:  No, at this time we do not offer scheduled sunset tours to Grand Canyon.  However, you can always book a private sunset tour.


Q:  How much hiking is involved on the tour? 

A:  We offer our guests the opportunity to take a 1.5 mile walk along Grand Canyon’s Rim.  However, this walk is NOT mandatory.  For those choosing to not walk you’ll have time to shopping, tour museums, or  relax at the famed El Tovar Hotel


Q:  Do we stop at the Desert View Watch Tower?

A:  Generally, we do not stop at the Desert View Watch Tower because it is usually crowded with busses and people.  Instead, we stop at quieter, less visited viewpoints that offer better views of the canyon.


Q:  What is the difference between the tour from Sedona vs. Flagstaff? 

A:  The differences are: 

Depending on where you're staying in Sedona, we generally start picking up in Sedona between 7:30a- 8:15a and return around 6:00p- 6:30p. 

If staying in Flagstaff, we generally pick up between 9:00a- 9:15a and return around 5:00p- 5:30p. 

When we pick up guests in Flagstaff, they will not experience the drive up through Oak Creek Canyon. Otherwise, the rest of tour remains the same.  


Q:  How many different viewpoints will we see on your tours?

A:  The number of viewpoints we stop at varies on each tour.  Generally, we’ll stop at three or four of the best viewpoints on the south rim.  The number is determined by the group and the weather.  We stop at fewer points because we spend lots more time at the points we do stop at.  The amount of time we are at each stop is determined by the group.  If the group wants to hurry through points then we’ll see more viewpoints.


Q:  Does the tour guide stay with the group the entire time at the South Rim?

A:  Your guide will be with you most of the time at the South Rim.  The only time the guide is not with you is when you are on your walk along the rim.  This hour is yours to be with the person or people you came with and nobody else.


Q:  What will we learn?

A:  Lots...!!!!  Our guides are regional experts who have decades of experience and knowledge about Grand Canyon and they will share what they know with you.


Q:  Does your tour stop at all the destinations mentioned in the website before we get to the Grand Canyon or are we just driving through it? 

A:  As mentioned in our website, we drive from Sedona to Flagstaff through Oak Creek Canyon.  There are no stops along the way until we get to Flagstaff where, if needed, we stop at a locally owned coffee shop for a restroom break.  Then, we continue driving past the San Francisco Peaks and through the Volcanic Field making our way to the south entrance of Grand Canyon.


Q:  How long is the drive from Sedona to the Grand Canyon?

A:  The drive from Sedona to Grand Canyon is approximately 110 miles and takes about 2 1/2 hours.



Vehicles


Q:  How many people are usually on your tours?

A:  Our tours average between 8-11 guests.  Our luxury touring vehicles seat 13 passengers and a guide/driver, for a total of 14 seats.  We usually have a few open seats but this is never guaranteed.


Q:  Does your van have wheelchair accessibility?

A:  Our vans are not equipped with wheelchair lifts or tie-downs, nor is there a dedicated place to store a folded wheelchair.  However, with advanced notice we will certainly do our best to accommodate your needs.

Note:  Our guides are not trained nor able to assist in the boarding and disembarkation of those in wheelchairs.


Q:  Will we be able to bring an umbrella stroller?

A:  Yes, providing it compactly collapses. 



Helicopters, Trains, IMAX & Skywalk


Q:  Do you offer helicopter flights of Grand Canyon during your tours?

A:  Generally, we do not offer helicopter flights on our tours.  However, if you book a private tour we’ll be more than happy to book helicopter flights for your group.


Q:  Can we add the Grand Canyon Railway to our tour?

A:   The route our tour takes does not allow us to offer a ride on the Grand Canyon Railway.


Q:  Do we stop at the IMAX of Grand Canyon?

A:  No, we do not stop at the IMAX on our tours.  Over the years we’ve learned our guests would rather spend that hour-plus actually looking at Grand Canyon opposed to watching a movie about Grand Canyon.


Q: Will we see the Skywalk on our tour?

A:  No.  Skywalk is located on Grand Canyon’s West Rim, a 250 mile / 5 hour drive from where we’ll be on Grand Canyon’s South Rim.



Weather & Clothing


Note:  Grand Canyon is a bona fide wilderness and visiting it requires visitors to be exposed to the elements.  We recommend our guests stay abreast of current conditions and dress accordingly.  A good rule of thumb is to be prepared for anything.


Q:  Do you cancel tours due to bad weather?

A:  The only type of weather that causes us to cancel tours is snow.  Otherwise, we go, rain or shine.


Q:  What if it rains?

A:  Our vehicles have rain-ponchos for everyone.  If it rains your guide will hand these out so you can continue enjoying your time at the canyon.


Q:  If there is inclement weather, what is there to do while at the canyon?

A:  There are several places along the south rim where one can escape the elements and still have a great view of the canyon.  If the weather turns bad while at Grand Canyon we will get you to these locales so you can still enjoy the canyon and stay warm and dry.


Q:  Would you recommend visiting Grand Canyon in the winter time? 

A:  Yes, Grand Canyon is simply beautiful in winter.  To see the canyon in new snow is a rare treat.  And if you’re looking to avoid the crowds of summer, winter is the time to do it.  But be prepared to bring down jackets, mittens or gloves, and wool hats with you.


Q:  Is the weather at the Grand Canyon colder than Sedona?

A:  Yes,  the temperature is about 10-15 degrees cooler than Sedona because you'll be at 7,000 ft elevation.


Q:  What do you recommend we wear for your tour?

A:  We suggest you wear clothing that reflects your sensitivity to heat or cold. Comfortable close-toed shoes, (tennis shoes work best), layered, light colored and loose fitting shirt & pant or shorts, a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses. Depending on the weather, you may want to bring a light jacket or sweater. Also, bring your camera, day pack or fanny pack and personal water bottle. You’ll be able to refill your water bottle with the filtered water we carry on board our vehicle. 



Where We Pick Up


Note:  We offer hotel pickups in Sedona and Flagstaff only.  If you are staying in Phoenix, Williams, Winslow, Tusayan, or Grand Canyon we are more than happy to arrange a location in either Sedona or Flagstaff so you can join our tour.


Q:  Can we join your tour if we are staying in Williams, Tusayan or at Grand Canyon?

A:  Unfortunately, no.  Our tours move in one direction, constantly offering our guests new scenes and sights throughout the day.  Therefore, we do not cover the same ground twice which makes it impossible to return guests staying in Williams, Tusayan or Grand Canyon Village.


However, if you would like a private tour we would be happy to pick you up wherever you may be staying.


Q:  Will you pick us up in Phoenix?

A:  Again, no.  However, we will work with you to arrange for a pickup that makes the most sense for you traveling in from Phoenix.


Q:  Will you pick us up at our hotel in Las Vegas?

A:  Our group tours to the Grand Canyon depart from hotels in Flagstaff or Sedona, AZ only. If you are able to get to either of these cities, we will be more than happy to pick you up and take you on our tours.



Q:  We have an elderly person in our group who likes to take a nap after lunch, is that possible?

A:  As for taking a nap after lunch, our tours to Grand Canyon take all day and there is no place to nap at Grand Canyon.


Q:  If we choose to stay in a vacation home rental, would you also pick up from there?

A:   For guests staying in private vacation homes, we will meet you at the Sedona Visitor’s Center located at 331 Forest Rd. near uptown Sedona on the morning of the tour.


Q:  What time will you pick us up and what time will we return to Sedona?

A:  Depending on where you'll be staying, we generally pick up at hotels in Sedona between 7:30a- 8:15a and return around 6:00p- 6:30p


Q:  Do your tours include stops at Sunset Crater and Wupatki Indian Ruins?

A:   Currently our group tours do not include visits to Sunset Crater & Wupatki Ruins.  However, we can certainly develop a private tour for you that does.



Why Choose Us?


Q:  Please provide three reasons why your tours are superior to your competition.

A:


#1.  Our Guides.  They are the single biggest influence on the quality of the experience you will have.  Each is a regional expert.  They are authors, historians, ethnobotanists, geologists and archaeologists.  All hold advanced degrees, some have PhD’s.  Each has decades of canyon guiding experience and has been hand picked for their dedication to providing you with the finest in personal service.


#2.  We produce better tours and we can prove it.  We are the only tour company in the southwest recognized by Condé Nast Traveler Magazine as one of their Top Travel Specialists in the World for the past four years, as well as being the only tour company in the region ever to be a member in the “invitation only” luxury travel network, Virtuoso: Specialists in the Art of Travel.  For over fifteen years Bruce Sawyer, the owner of Touch the Southwest, has been producing the finest custom and private luxury tours in the region.  His efforts and accomplishments in this field have been recognized by Conde Nast Traveler three years in a row, naming Bruce as one of their Top Travel Specialists in the world.  No other tour company in the region has ever been awarded this honor.


#3.  Our Classic Picnics & Luxury Vehicles.  Bruce Sawyer is a former Chef who created our Classic Victorian Picnic.  He has captured the essence of what a family picnic should be and put a southwestern spin on it.  As for our touring vehicles, we maintain the nicest, cleanest, most luxurious touring vehicles in the region.


Q:  What about your Expert Interpreters & Guides?

A:  Our guides are regional specialist with decades of back-country canyon guiding experience.  All have earned advanced university degrees in subjects like Geology, SW Archaeology, SW History, and Native American Cultures.  Each has been selected for their education, some having earned their Ph.D., experience, expertise, personality, and their dedication to providing you with the finest in customer service. We are proud to be associated with these exceptional individuals and to have them working with us. 


The reasons our tour is better is because of the following:


-Our owner, Bruce B. Sawyer is the Conde Nast Top Travel Specialist for the southwestern region for 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012.   This means he knows the southwest better than most and brings this expertise to designing the finest tours available.

-Our guides are the best in the region, they are well educated, some with PhDs. They are hand picked by the owner for their knowledge, expertise of the area and their outstanding customer service.

-We offer the most private time at Grand Canyon.

-Our chef prepares our Classic Victorian Picnic fresh daily.

-Our touring vehicles are Turtle Top Terra Transports with Executive Interiors featuring comfortable leather-clad reclining bucket seats, window shades, fully integrated DVD 19” Flat Screen TV, CD Stereo.

-And we offer the best value for our clients on our tours.



Who Can Go


Q: Can you tell me what ages your tour is recommended for?

A: Our tour is designed for all ages. We have had infants to great grandparents on our tours.


Q: Do you have any packages that include hotel stays?

A: We definitely can arrange for your stay at a hotel located in Flagstaff or Sedona, AZ. We generally book full service 4 - 5 star hotels, resorts or B & Bs.  Please contact us and let us know how you would like to proceed. 


Q:  Are we able to take a 8 month old child on your tour to the Grand Canyon?

A:  We welcome guests of all ages. Please let your group know that AZ Transportation laws require all children 5 years and younger regardless of their weight must be in a  Child Restraint car seat of which your group will have to provide 4 car seats, one for each child. Also, if you are bringing strollers for the young ones, they will have to be the umbrella style that compactly folds up.


Q:  We have a person that is 82 years young in our group, please explain the walk along the rim?

A:  The walk along the rim is approximately 1.5 miles long, it is on a level paved surface, of which we have had many elderly people participate. But, ultimately is up to the individual. If this person chooses not to do the walk along the rim, our driver/ guide will drive them to the village of Grand Canyon and El Tovar where they can wait for you while you and the rest of your family are on the walk.


Q:  Is your tour doable for a family with little children?

A: Our tour is for people of all ages.

I ain’t a redneck.  I’m a southern girl with attitude.

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