American Heritage Church History Tour

Experience American and Church History by visiting Washington, D.C., New York City, Palmyra, Nauvoo, winter quarters and more!

This exciting tour experience is designed to provide an opportunity for Latter-day Saint youth to become acquainted with their spiritual roots by retracing the locations associated with the events of the restoration and the founding of the United States of America.

We will have hands-on experience with the events, the sites, the doctrines and the circumstances surrounding these historic achievements.

It will uniquely prepare youth to serve full-time missions, enter the temple for the first time, and enhance their personal religious activities for the rest of their lives. Virtually every day has activities which will engage participants not only in educational forums but in fun and interactive ways applicable to their age. This is an active and interactive experience! Each day has adventure, activities, insights, perspective, Spirit, edification, application. Be prepared for an adventure of a lifetime!

This exciting, life changing tours are primarily geared for high school aged Latter-day Saint students. Elementary and middle school students may participate in this tour with a parent or guardian. High school students may participate without a parent. A chaperone is provided for each small group of high school students. Parents, mentors, staff and adult family members and friends are invited to go on any of our tours as well. Our tours are open to the public so students do not need to be enrolled in Ensign Peak Academy to participate. 

Note: This tour and its itinerary are subject to changes associated with imposed restrictions in connection with COVID-19.

Tour Dates: July 4-18, 2022


Meet Dr. Clark D. Anderson. EdD

Clark was born to a remarkable family of 9 children and raised in Orem, Utah. His father Gary was a gifted religious educator at BYU and served as director of the BYU Study Abroad Program to the Middle East.  Clark accompanied his father to the Holy Land on both semesters and was a student at the BYU Jerusalem Center in 1986. Clark received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from BYU and a Doctorate Degree from the University of Wyoming. His professional career includes 20 years as a Religious Educator and 12 years as an EFY (Especially for Youth) Speaker & Session Director. Clark started the family business of Anderson Tours 24 years ago. Clark is married to the impressive Heather Ballard and together they have ten children and seven grandchildren.

Clark has over 40 years of travel experience and expertise. Over the past 25 years he has organized and directed over 70 educational tours around the world, including a group of the BYU-Idaho Religion Faculty. He also pioneered the youth group program in partnership with HEFY (Humanitarian Especially for Youth) for the creation of Youth Summit Jerusalem (YSJ) taking youth to Israel. Clark spent the summer of 2000 in Israel as a student at an Ulpan learning Hebrew. He also enjoys learning Arabic. With so many visits, he now claims the Middle East as his second home.

More than anything Clark enjoys being a husband, father, and grandpa to his grandchildren. Clark is a very optimistic person and enjoys good humor and adventure and also appreciates and utilized music in all that he does. Clark is enthusiastic about learning and improving humanity and good will around the world.

Tour Itinerary


Our Tour begins with a visit to the historic and unforgettable Gettysburg Battlefield and Visitors Center. Lunch is a pleasure at General Pickett’s Buffet in Gettysburg. Our last stop of the day will be a memorable stop at the Washington D.C. Temple. We will not only enjoy the view, but if possible also take in the new movie on the Restoration on their large screen. We will retire early and overnight near the Temple in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

IMAGE: Gettysburg CivIl war cannons


We will be touring our Nation’s Capital. You will be free today to enjoy the Smithsonian Museums (Natural History, American History, Air & Space, National Gallery of Art, etc.), Holocaust Museum, Washington Memorial, White House, Capital Building, Arlington Cemetery or whatever your heart desires. This afternoon as a group we will visit the Lincoln, Vietnam, Korean War, Jefferson, and WWII Memorials together. Following our downtown visits we will travel to Philadelphia and overnight.


Today we begin our day at the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence & Constitution were signed. From here we will cross over to New Jersey and into New York City. This evening you will be free to do as you would like; take in an additional Broadway Play, etc. We will overnight in NYC near Times Square and the Theater District of NYC.

Day 4 (Thurs. July 7): NYC: TEMPLE, BROADWAY SHOW 

This morning you are free to venture out and explore the ‘Big Apple’ as your heart desires. For those interested Dr. Anderson will lead us to Ground Zero, Battery Park, Trinity Church, Wall Street, the First US Congress Building, St. Paul’s Church, etc. He will also share the Church History information relative to NYC. You will then enjoy the afternoon time as you desire visiting the Empire State Building, Broadway, Times Square, Central Park, Madison Square Garden, Statue of Liberty, the LDS Manhattan Temple, etc. Circumstances permitting, we will enjoy a Broadway Show together. We again overnight in NYC.


Today we depart NYC and travel up to Harmony, Pennsylvania/Susquehanna River where, among other things, the priesthood was restored. After enjoying the new Visitors Center there and lunch in the area, we will take a beautiful drive up to the grassroots area of the Church in upstate New York. Our first site in this area is Fayette, New York. The Church was officially organized here in 1830 at the Peter Whitmer Sr. Log House. We overnight in the Palmyra area.


Today is an amazing day visiting all the sites in the Palmyra area. We begin by visiting the log house of Joseph Smith Sr. and enjoy some reflection time in the Sacred Grove. Following this experience we will visit the new Palmyra Temple and then take in the E. B. Grandin Press and Print Shop. Nearby is the grave site of Alvin Smith, brother of Joseph. We will next visit the Hill Cumorah and review the historical accounts of events. This evening we will have the privilege of attending the final performance of the Hill Cumorah Pageant. We again overnight in the Palmyra area.


This morning as we travel to the majestic Niagara Falls we will enjoy a sacrament service. We will then stop for a memorable photo opportunity as well as a voyage on one of the ‘Maid of the Mist’ boats that take you right under the falls. From here we travel south to Kirtland, Ohio. This area is amazing as we visit four different sites where the Father and Son appeared. Our first stop is the new Historic Kirtland Visitors Center near the Newel K. Whitney Store. We spend some time in the ‘School of the Prophets’ room where the Father and Son appeared. We overnight in Mentor, Ohio.


Today we begin with a visit the John Johnson Home (D&C 76) in Hiram, Ohio. Next we visit the Temple Quarry before going into the Kirtland Temple, which was the first Temple built in this dispensation (D&C 109 & 110). We will also visit the Temple Quarry. We will conclude our day with a stop at the Morley Farm and then enjoy a relaxing evening at our hotel.


Today we are traveling through Amish country and cross Ohio into Indiana. We have an incredible experience as we stop in Shipshewana, Indiana for an Amish cooked meal. We first enjoy a tour of the MENNO-HOF (Mennonite-Amish) Visitors Center and Museum. This museum shares a great presentation of the history of this very fascinating people as well as many other religions throughout the Dark Ages. Following our home-cooked Amish meal we leave Amish country and pass by South Bend, Indiana, which is home to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. We enjoy some time and dinner at the famous Navy Pier in Chicago and overnight in Joliet, IL.

Day 10 (Wed. July 13): CARTHAGE JAIL / NAUVOO

Today we will make our way across the State of Illinois. When we arrive in Carthage we will reflect on the Martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith at the Carthage Jail. Following this sobering experience we will venture over to Nauvoo and re-experience history as we view the majestic Nauvoo Temple! Time permitting we will visit the Nauvoo Visitors Center where we will see the model of 1846 Nauvoo and the magnificent sculpture garden that features the Monument to Women. This evening those interested may enjoy the “Sunset by the Mississippi” production put on by the local Missionaries. We overnight in Nauvoo.


Today we spend our day soaking in the sights and sounds of Historic Nauvoo. For those able and interested the day will begin with a Temple Session or Baptisms at the remarkable Nauvoo Temple. In Historic Nauvoo there are over 30 sites to see and choose from; several Historical Homes and sites, Community of Christ (formerly RLDS) Visitors Center, a horse and carriage ride, a good local fudge factory, etc. For those interested in the Missionary Productions (“High Hopes and Riverboats”, “Anna Amanda”, etc.) will also be able to attend those. These sites should keep us all busy for the day. Dinner is a pleasure at the buffet in the Hotel Nauvoo. Our evening will be a memorable one as we experience the Nauvoo Pageant. We again overnight in Nauvoo.


Today we make our way down to Missouri and pass through Hannibal, which is home to the famous writer Samuel Clements (Mark Twain). Our historical sites begin today where the human race began at Adam-Ondi-Ahman. We will then venture over to Far West where, among other things, the cornerstones for a temple were laid. Following our stop there we will visit Liberty Jail, referred to as the Temple Prison (D&C 121-122). Following dinner we will explore the Independence, Missouri area with a visit to the Community of Christ Temple and Headquarters (formerly RLDS) as well at the Temple Lot and the newly remodeled Latter-day Saint Visitors Center. We overnight in Liberty, Missouri.


Today we make our way to the Kainsville Tabernacle where the Church has constructed a beautiful new Visitors Center. We then make our way to Omaha, Nebraska to visit the Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters. It was here where the Saints who fled Nauvoo ended for the winter of 1846-47. Here we will also see the Pioneer Cemetery and Winter Quarters Temple. We then make our way to Grand Island, Nebraska and spend the night.


Today we see a good portion of the Pioneer trail as we make our way across Nebraska and into Wyoming. We will first enjoy a sacrament service and then as we venture across the ‘Trail’ we will enjoy and share stories of our Pioneer heritage. One of our stops today will include the Guernsey Ruts where you can still see the grooves in the rocks made by the Pioneer wagons. We will also admire Signature Cliffs, where hundreds of immigrants signed their names to the rock. In Casper, Wyoming we will visit the newly constructed Trails Center where we will learn about the five trails used by the early settlers as they migrated west. We overnight in Casper, Wyoming.

Day 15 (Mon. July 18): INDEP. ROCK / MARTIN’S COVE / S.L. VALLEY

Today we travel the last leg of the Pioneer Trail. On our way to Martin’s Cove we will see more of the Mormon Trail when we pass Devil’s Gate and Independence Rock. At Martins Cove we will reflect on the unforgettable events that occurred there. It was here where the Martin & Willie Handcart Companies were stuck in the early snow storms of 1847. Following this sobering experience we will continue to follow the trail until we eventually reach Immigration Canyon and enter the Salt Lake Valley! Our Tour concludes at the “This is the Place” monument. We should arrive around 6pm.


Early reservations are strongly recommended, and a deposit of $150 per person is required at the time of booking, with the remaining balance due 60 days prior to departure.  Applications received after this date should include full payment. 

Hold Your Seat: $150 non-refundable deposit per person. (Exception: If the tour cancels due to COVID-19 restrictions, this deposit will be refunded.)

The registration link is being reconfigured and will be published by mid April.

These prices include all ground transportation (not airfare), 2 meals daily, entrance fees and Broadway Play.

LUMP SUM PRICE:  $2,985 per person double occupancy. After paying the $150 to hold your seat send the balance of $2,835 via Venmo to ensignpeakacademy or by check to Ensign Peak Academy 10965 E. 19000 N. Mount Pleasant, UT 84647.

MONTHLY PAYMENT PRICE: After paying the $150 to hold your seat, set up a payment plan for 5 monthly payments of $587 per person.

American Heritage Church History Tour Monthly Payment Plan


ROOMMATES:  Single people may sign up for accommodations on a share basis and will be assigned roommates as circumstances permit.  If a roommate is unavailable, the participant will be notified of the adjusted price prior to departure.

ADDITIONAL CANCELLATION FEES:  Any cancellation within 30 days prior to departure will include an additional cancellation fee of $100, charged by Anderson Tours. In addition, all cancellation charges imposed by airlines, hotels, vendors, operators, etc., will be passed on to the participant.

TOUR INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING:                                                                      

  • first-class, top quality tour with experienced tour director
  • private, deluxe air-conditioned motor coach
  • hotel accommodations (Holiday Inn Express or comparable) 
  • two meals daily (breakfast and lunch or dinner) as indicated in the detailed itinerary
  • all admission fees to sites specified in the itinerary including one NYC Broadway Play


Airfare to BWI, items of a personal nature, such as souvenirs; excess baggage or portage charges; personal, trip, or baggage insurance; room service; laundry; phone charges; food or beverages not part of the group menu, gratuities for special services; expenses incurred on personal activities not included where group participation is not specified in the itinerary. We are happy to help you arrange your flight arrangements to BWI. Meals in NYC are on your own due to complications with group reservations.


All participants are encouraged to book their flight through Traverse Tours and Travel. This agency will assist our group with connecting in major airports, arriving at the same or similar times BWI in Baltimore, Maryland and departing at the end of the tour from Salt Lake International Airport. This agency will handle all issues that may arise during travel. Travel can and will be coordinated as much as possible.

Visit this link for full flight information:

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