Zion & Bryce Hiking – Lodge-based

From: $2,399

per person dbl occ

Dates: Apr-Oct - see all dates

Total Days: 7

Activity Level: 3

Reserve This Trip

1-800-622-2236

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Monday–Friday,
7 AM to 5 PM Pacific Time

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Price:

2014

REI member: $2,399

Non-member: $2,650

2015

REI member: $2,599

Non-member: $2,850

Trip Dates:

2014

  • Apr 26 – May 2
  • May 5–11 Sold out
  • May 17–23
  • May 26 – Jun 1
  • Sep 13–19
  • Sep 22–28
  • Oct 4–10
  • Oct 13–19
  • Oct 25–31

2015

  • Apr 25 – May 1
  • May 4–10
  • May 16–22
  • May 25–31
  • Sep 19–25
  • Sep 28 – Oct 4
  • Oct 10–16
  • Oct 19–25

Or, book a
private departure.

Group Size: 4-12

Activity Level: 3

Activities:

  • Hiking

Accommodations:

Lodge, 6 nights

Trip Highlights

  • Explore Zion and Bryce National Parks through a series of world-class hikes
  • Discover Angel's Landing, the Virgin River, Bryce Amphitheatre, and more
  • Hike past towering hoodoos, sandstone peaks, and colorful canyons
  • Spend the evenings at a secluded private lodge on Zion's eastern border

A jewel in the crown of the US park system, Zion National Park enchants visitors with its spectacular red- and white-walled canyons, towering sandstone peaks, and abundance of exhilarating hiking opportunities. Our week-long adventure, led by expert guides, includes some of the best-known hikes in this magical park. We climb to a lofty perch atop Angel's Landing for panoramic views of magnificent Zion Canyon and ascend 2,000 feet up a wildly switchbacked trail from the cool waters of the Virgin River to spectacular Observation Point.

We also spend a day exploring the highlights of nearby Bryce Canyon National Park and marvel at thousands of spire-like hoodoos, carved by the forces of erosion and standing as silent sentinels in colorful Bryce Amphitheatre. After each day's hike, relax with a bountiful meal and settle into a secluded lodge on a private 1,000-acre ranch on Zion's eastern border.

Itinerary Summary

  • Day 1 - Travel to our private ranch on the east side of Zion National Park.
  • Day 2 - Hike from the Virgin River up to Observation Point with stunning views.
  • Day 3 - Hike to Hidden Canyon and the amazing Zion Canyon Narrows.
  • Day 4 - Explore the Canyon Overlook Trail to the top of the Great Arch.
  • Day 5 - Discover Bryce Canyon National Park on a hike through Fairyland Canyon.
  • Day 6 - Hike to Angel's Landing; the trail soaring 1,500' above the canyon floor.
  • Day 7 - Hike the Watchman Trail before returning to Las Vegas.

See full itinerary

Trip Itinerary and Details

Important Notice: Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.

  • Day 1 - Travel to our private ranch on the east side of Zion National Park.

    Your trip begins today in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fly to Las Vegas, arriving at McCarran Airport in time for the 11 a.m. group rendezvous at a nearby hotel.  We recommend arriving a day early if possible, to allow for some relaxation time and to avoid any problems with delayed flights or luggage. From Las Vegas, we’ll take a four-hour van ride to our ranch accommodations on the east side of Zion National Park. We settle into our private lodge (where we’ll stay for the entire trip) and enjoy a home-cooked meal prepared by our guides. After dinner, an orientation meeting will be held allowing us time to get better acquainted with our traveling companions. Driving: 4 hours. Dinner included.

  • Day 2 - Hike from the Virgin River up to Observation Point with stunning views.

    Today we'll climb 2,200' from the Virgin River to Observation Point via an improbable route first pioneered by Native Americans hundreds of years ago, a route later improved and extended by the Park Service to reach the very rim of the canyon. This amazing trail negotiates dozens of switchbacks carved into the multi-hued sandstone walls of the canyon. Along the way we'll pass through the narrow confines of Echo Canyon, with the vertical face of Cable Mountain looming directly above us. The view from Observation Point (6,508') is expansive, encompassing many of the Park's well-known landmarks. All meals included.

    Hiking: 8 miles. Terrain: on trail with 2,200' elevation gain/ loss.

  • Day 3 - Hike to Hidden Canyon and the amazing Zion Canyon Narrows.

    We begin today's hike in the heart of the main canyon, where we'll stand surrounded by multicolored sandstone walls over 2,000' tall. We'll start at the Weeping Rock trailhead and climb to Hidden Canyon, a narrow cleft between The Great White Throne and Cable Mountain. The trail into Hidden Canyon is cut directly into the cliff face at one point, providing thrilling views into Zion Canyon below. The constructed trail ends at the narrow mouth of the canyon, but we continue our exploration as far as we are able, scrambling over boulders and dry waterfalls to a hidden arch. The final section of Hidden Canyon trail is optional and not recommended for those with acrophobia. After our side trip into Hidden Canyon we continue up the main canyon and into the incomparable Zion Canyon Narrows. All meals included.

    Hiking: 7 miles. Terrain: moderately steep trail, some rock scrambling in Hidden Canyon, 1,000' elevation gain. Possible river wading in ankle- to thigh-deep running water (conditions permitting).

  • Day 4 - Explore the Canyon Overlook Trail to the top of the Great Arch.

    Staying closer to our ranch today, we'll explore the quiet East Side of the Park and hike the Canyon Overlook Trail to the top of the Great Arch, keeping our eyes open for desert bighorn sheep that frequent the area. The view from the top of the Arch is breathtaking. The East Side of the Park is an undeveloped slickrock wilderness, with dozens of unnamed side canyons carved into towering sandstone buttes and mesas. The slickrock in this area is particularly colorful and had been sculpted into fanciful shapes and narrow slots. All meals included.

    Hiking: 5 miles. Terrain: a mix of on- and off-trail, some boulder-hopping and moderately steep slickrock.

  • Day 5 - Discover Bryce Canyon National Park on a hike through Fairyland Canyon.

    We begin the day with a 80 minute drive to Bryce Canyon National Park. Our planned hike takes us from the rim of Bryce into a maze of fantastically-shaped hoodoos. We'll descend through Fairyland Canyon to Tower Bridge then return to the rim at Sunrise Point where we'll walk along the edge to Sunset point and magnificent Bryce Amphitheatre. Our walking route allows us to view many of the scenic and geological highlights of this unique national park. We return to the ranch late this afternoon for dinner. All meals included.

    Hiking: 7 miles. Terrain: on-trail, 1,800' elevation gain.

  • Day 6 - Hike to Angel's Landing; the trail soaring 1,500' above the canyon floor.

    Back in Zion today, a drive to Canyon Junction allows us to catch the park shuttle to the Angel’s Landing trailhead. Our trail is cut into impressive sandstone walls and follows a series of switchbacks up to an awesome viewpoint overlooking the Virgin River. The final hike to the top of Angel’s Landing is along a steep, narrow trail set on the spine of a sandstone fin rising almost 1,500 feet above the canyon floor. Chains, for use as handholds, have been installed along the trail for hiker safety on this airy route. Please note: The final exposed section of the Angel’s Landing hike is optional and not recommended for those with acrophobia. All meals included.

    Hiking: 5 miles. Terrain: moderately steep trail, 1,500’ elevation gain.

  • Day 7 - Hike the Watchman Trail before returning to Las Vegas.

    On our way back to Las Vegas we'll stop at the Visitor Center and hike the Watchman Trail beneath the massive cliffs of Bridge Mountain and the iconic Watchman spire. For those flying home today, please do not schedule a flight out of Las Vegas prior to 7 p.m. DRIVING: 4 HOURS. Breakfast and Lunch included.

    Hiking: 2 miles. Terrain: on trail, 450' elevation gain.

Note on Itinerary

Although we do our very best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control including weather and trail conditions.

Air Travel

Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip has the necessary minimum number of participants required to operate.

Price Includes

Accommodations for 6 nights (shared bathrooms); meals as noted in the daily itinerary; group transfer from Las Vegas and return; vehicle support; guide leadership and park entrance fees.

Not Included

Airfare, one lunch; insurance of any kind, excess baggage charges, guide gratuities, alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, and items of a personal nature.

Qualifications

This trip is rated Moderate [3]. It is not necessary to be an expert hiker to participate, but you should enjoy hiking and feel comfortable hiking off-trail, sometimes on moderately inclined sandstone. To maximize your enjoyment of the trip and to avoid sore muscles, we suggest beginning a regular exercise regimen at least 2-3 months prior to departure. Recommended exercises include hiking, jogging, cycling and/or swimming. The better shape you are in, the more fun you will have. Get out on those hills if possible!

Weather

Spring and fall weather in Utah is generally perfect for hiking with typically sunny days and temperatures in the 60-85 F range in springtime and 45-70 F in the fall. Evening and early morning temperatures can drop below freezing so arriving with some cold weather clothing is essential. Thunderstorms are not uncommon, but are usually short in duration.

Single Travelers

Single room space is very limited and single travelers of the same gender will be roomed together on sold out departures. Single rooms cannot be guaranteed.

General Information

This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A full gear list and pre-departure information is sent upon sign-up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).

We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.

Zion & Bryce Hiking – Lodge-based Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. Try to bring only what is necessary—this will help you and the field staff.

Gear Checklist

Official Papers
  • Airline tickets
  • Photo identification
Luggage
  • Soft-sided luggage large enough to hold your clothing
  • Luggage tags and luggage locks
  • Daypack 1500-2500 cu. in. to carry camera, water and extra clothing
Casual Clothing
  • Bring a few lightweight, easily washable items for travel and evening wear
Clothing
  • Midweight fleece or wool sweater
  • Lightweight, synthetic or wool long underwear, top/bottom
  • Hiking shorts, synthetic
  • Hiking pants, synthetic
  • Hiking socks, synthetic
  • Liner socks, synthetic
  • T-shirts (cotton and synthetic)
  • Long-sleeve shirts
  • Underwear
Outerwear
  • Rain jacket/shell, waterproof, breathable
Clothing Accessories
  • Sun hat
  • Wool or fleece hat
  • Wool or fleece gloves
  • Bandana
Footwear
  • Sturdy lightweight hiking boots, broken in, agressive tread
  • Casual shoes or sandals for lodge/evening wear
  • Old tennis shoes (should be fully enclosed for foot protection while wading in rivers)
Travel Accessories
  • Sunglasses and retainer strap
  • Three one-quart water bottles or hydration system
  • Sunscreen and lip protection (SPF 15+)
  • Watch with alarm or travel clock
  • Toiletry kit
  • Flashlight and spare batteries/bulb
  • Hand sanitizer gel
  • Bath or body soap
  • Hair dryer
Optional Field Gear
  • Camera, spare media card and batteries
  • Reading and writing materials
  • Pocket knife or multi-tool
  • Walking staff or trekking poles with rubber tip protectors for better grip on slickrock
  • Compact binoculars
  • Whistle
  • Ear plugs
  • Travel pillow
  • Spare contact lenses or glasses
  • Motion sickness remedies

Things to Consider

  • Please remember to always pack essential items such as your passport, money, eyewear, a change of clothing, hiking boots and medications in your carry-on baggage, in case your luggage is delayed.
  • Cotton is wonderful in warm weather. However, once it becomes wet from rain, water, or sweat, it will drain your body heat. Bring quick-drying synthetics such as Capilene, MTS and Thermax.
  • Always test your layers before a trip. Your outer layer should fit easily over the inside ones without binding and bunching up.
  • Make sure hiking boots are broken in. Bring moleskin for foot treatment. Thin liner socks worn under regular hiking socks may minimize the risk of blisters. The liner sock should be synthetic, not cotton. Test your sock combination before you go on the trip.
  • Stuff sacks are great for sorting gear. Use different sizes/colors to differentiate contents.

Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
REI AdventuresZion & Bryce Canyon Hiking
 
4.6

(based on 22 reviews)

95%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Well organized itinerary (21)
  • Guides (20)
  • Activity level (19)
  • Accommodations (18)
  • Exceeded expectations (16)

Cons

    Best Uses

        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Avid adventurer (9), Casual adventurer (8)
        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
        • Active adventures (15), Destination (14), I liked the itinerary (13), All the details planned for me (12), Travel with like-minded outdoor enthusiasts (12)

      Reviewed by 22 customers

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      Displaying reviews 1-10

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      3.0

      Solid Trip

      By HooDooHiker

      from Maryland

      About Me Casual Adventurer

      Pros

      • Accommodations
      • Food
      • Guides
      • Well Organized Itinerary

      Cons

      • Bedding

      Best Uses

        Comments about REI Adventures Zion & Bryce Canyon Hiking:

        The people on this trip got along really nicely, even though we were from all across the US. That made an already well-planned trip even more fun.

        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
        • Joined Friends
        • Why did you choose this trip?:
        • Joined some friends who were already traveling on this trip.
        • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
        • Great lodging, but get a real bed if possible, not a bunk bed. (The mattresses on the bunk beds were less supportive for one's back.) Also, this lodge provides towels and some shampoo/conditioner/soap items. Knowing this will save you some space when packing. Also, bring a trowel for digging, in case you need to use the bathroom outside while hiking.
         
        5.0

        The Beauty is the Journey

        By Neryta

        from Knoxville, TN

        About Me Full Figure Adventurer

        Pros

        • Accommodations
        • Activity Level
        • Exceeded Expectations
        • Food
        • Group Camaraderie
        • Guides
        • Well Organized Itinerary

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about REI Adventures Zion & Bryce Canyon Hiking:

            Don't over pack, use your gear list. Ask your trip planner any questions or concerns about. Listen to your guide :)
            & be open minded!

            • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
            • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, I Liked the Itinerary, Reputable Company, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
            • Why did you choose this trip?:
            • Never been there!
            • What was the highlight of your trip?:
            • The people!!! Our guides Jody [@] & Otto were amazing & my fellow adventures were great playmates! The scenery wasn't bad either ;)!
            • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
            • "Be the water" Go with the flow, slow down & meander & go around the obstacles.
             
            5.0

            great trip

            By mouse28

            from massachusettes

            About Me Adventure As Much Asi Can

            Site Member

            Pros

            • Accommodations
            • Activity Level
            • Exceeded Expectations
            • Food
            • Group Camaraderie
            • Guides
            • Once in a Lifetime Experience
            • Well Organized Itinerary

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about REI Adventures Zion & Bryce Canyon Hiking:

                the group of people who were on this trip were fantastic. we all got along so well, the guides were fantastic and the scenery is breathtaking.

                • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                • Why did you choose this trip?:
                • wanted to see that part of the country
                • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                • pretty much everything,but loved bryce canyon
                • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                • be sure you are in shape for the level activity you choose
                 
                5.0

                Awesome adventure!

                By Ginzy37

                from Silver Spring, Maryland

                About Me Casual Adventurer

                Pros

                • Accommodations
                • Activity Level
                • Food
                • Great Experienced Guides
                • Great Healthy Food
                • Group Camaraderie
                • Guides
                • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                • Well Organized Itinerary

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about REI Adventures Zion & Bryce Canyon Hiking:

                    I went in May 2012 with leaders Steve [@] and Jen and had a great time. I went by myself but quickly made friends with others in the group: two older couples (but one of them was in better shape than the rest of us), one young couple and three single women. The hikes were great, challenging but doable and we all slept very well every night.

                    • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                    • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination
                    • Why did you choose this trip?:
                    • I have always wanted to visit, hike and photograph Zion and Bryce but I don't have friends who also want to do the same given the time and resources and scheduling required. REI takes care of everything: the experienced guides, transportation, cooking, etc.
                    • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                    • Hiking through the backcountry in Bryce, hiking the hair-raising Angel's Landing trail in Zion, and getting tips on photography from our extraordinary leader and guide, Steve [@].
                    • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                    • Sign up and have the experience of a lifetime!

                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Great Trip

                    By NHgal

                    from Aurora IL

                    About Me Casual Adventurer

                    Site Member

                    Pros

                    • Accommodations
                    • Activity Level
                    • Exceeded Expectations
                    • Food
                    • Group Camaraderie
                    • Guides
                    • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                    • Well Organized Itinerary

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about REI Adventures Zion & Bryce Canyon Hiking:

                        The trip was wonderful - lots of great hikes, incrediable scenery and now have new friends.

                        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                        • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                        • Why did you choose this trip?:
                        • Having been to the Grand Canyon - I had heard great things about both Zion and Bryce and wanted to see for myself.
                        • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                        • The camaraderie of the group - everyone got along famously. Lots of laughter. Our trip leaders were exceptional - would go with them again.
                        • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                        • Bring comfortable, broken in boots/shoes.
                         
                        5.0

                        Just go

                        By sparkleplenty

                        from Boston MA

                        About Me Casual Adventurer

                        Pros

                        • Activity Level
                        • Guides
                        • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                        • Well Organized Itinerary

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about REI Adventures Zion & Bryce Canyon Hiking:

                            On May 7, 2012 after much anticipation I met my guides Jen and Steve and my fellow hikers at the appointed time. We set out for a fabulous adventure. The planning was spot on; the hikes became more and more challenging and as the week progressed we became more close knit as a group. I found my fellow hikers well travelled,educated and adventurous. We talked about all sorts of things from the recent MET High definition opera production of La Traviata to William Morris and his philosophy on home design. I learned a lot of geology and the history and development of southern Utah, I got helpful tips on gardening and I swaped novels with a hiker from DC. Another hiker shared her exercize routine so by the end of the week we were doing group stretching before loading ourselves into the van.

                            Our guides created a warm and comfortable environment that enabled us to come together as a group or go out on our own--whatever we desired. Clearly providing the BEST vacation experience for each of us was their ultimate goal and for me, at least, it was a total success.

                            This was my first REI trip and I am already planning my next trip with REI next year.

                            • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                            • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                            • Why did you choose this trip?:
                            • I wanted to hike out west. Years ago I had visited Zion --although didn't hike and didn't spend much time--so I wanted to correct that.
                            • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                            • my big decision was whether to wear long or short pants. Mostly I wore shorts. The weather was fantastic. I loved coming back from an active hike, taking a shower and sitting with my new found friends and drinking a beer or two.
                            • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                            • do it. Angel's landing is so much fun as are the slot canyons. The whole experience is almost other worldly for those of us who live in the Northeast. The hoodoo's at Bryce are like nothing you have ever seen.

                            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            A Colorful Week in the Rocks

                            By Spirit is willin

                            from Laurel, MD

                            About Me Avid Adventurer

                            Pros

                            • Accommodations
                            • Activity Level
                            • Exceeded Expectations
                            • Food
                            • Group Camaraderie
                            • Guides
                            • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                            • Well Organized Itinerary

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                                Comments about REI Adventures Zion & Bryce Canyon Hiking:

                                I was delighted with our REI tour of Zion and Bryce National Parks. We spent one day in Bryce, but Zion was our main hiking area with its many miles of monolithic rocks rising vertically to over a thousand feet. I was amazed that there existed trails cut out of this vertical rock in seemingly impossible places. We hiked up several of these monoliths from bottom to top with spectacular views enroute. We also explored canyons that led to petroglyphs and to a dry creek with stretches of vertical walls on both sides. Our lodging was on large ranch, just outside of the east entrance of Zion Park, with several buildings, one of which was occupied solely by our group. This quiet spot provided lots of room for our evenings of socializing and relaxing. There was a kitchen/dining area in which our REI leaders prepared breakfasts, dinner, and laid out food for us to pack lunches. The hike leader and the assistant leader, his wife, were with us all week. They were both highly professional and thoroughly prepared and key to our memorable weeklong experience. The leader was the most experienced guide, actually the most experienced outdoor adventure person I'd ever met! The assistant leader served as the center of communications for the group, combining her considerable outdoor skills with the social skills to make us a cohesive group. Together they tuned each day's hiking to fit the capabilities of the group. For example, I found that Zion's Angel's Landing hike had too much altitude exposure for my comfort, so the leaders directed me to a close-by alternate hike that was interesting and enjoyable and more attuned to my abilities. The leader had a dazzling history of outdoor experiences, but told about them only when asked. He had a detailed geologic knowledge of how the unique rock formations came about. His explanations inspired me to read more about the geology after returning home. This was a memorable week. I recommend it as a place unique in the world that everyone should visit, and I would go there again with REI!

                                • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                • Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Previous trips were good
                                • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                • I had never visited these Southwest parks.
                                • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                • The spectacular trails in Zion Park.
                                • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                • Go in early Spring to beat the heat!

                                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                5.0

                                Spectacular Canyons

                                By like-to-hike

                                from Laurel MD

                                About Me Casual Adventurer

                                Pros

                                • Accommodations
                                • Activity Level
                                • Exceeded Expectations
                                • Food
                                • Group Camaraderie
                                • Guides
                                • Well Organized Itinerary

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                    Comments about REI Adventures Zion & Bryce Canyon Hiking:

                                    The information provided by the leaders on the geology of the area was fascinating. It made the spectacular scenery all the more interesting.
                                    The leaders were helpful in encouraging those of us with a bit of acrophobia - we made it up most of the trails!
                                    The hikes were varied.
                                    The food was delicious and plentiful and healthy.
                                    The ranch was unusual and very comfortable.

                                    • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                    • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                    • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                    • Desire to see this part of the country on a hiking trip.
                                    • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                    • Making it to the top of all the switch backs.
                                    • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                    • Do some practice hikes on hills and at altitude if possible.

                                    (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    5.0

                                    Expert and Professional Guides!

                                    By advtraveler

                                    from Phoenix, AZ

                                    About Me Avid Adventurer

                                    Site Member

                                    Pros

                                    • Accommodations
                                    • Activity Level
                                    • Exceeded Expectations
                                    • Group Camaraderie
                                    • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                                    • Well Organized Itinerary

                                    Cons

                                      Best Uses

                                        Comments about REI Adventures Zion & Bryce Canyon Hiking:

                                        On May 7, 2012 the guide's punctually met the group of nine hikers at a hotel in Las Vegas. After introductions we had a brief on the day's agenda prior to departing. All nine hikers met and greeted each other prior to the guide arriving. During our drive to Zion, factual and interesting information about the geography and geology of Utah was provided by the guides.

                                        Accommodations:
                                        -The ranch in Zion was amazing.
                                        -The private acreage provided scenic views of the mountains, quite evenings and starry nights. Every member had their own room.
                                        -Every member provided positive reviews of the ranch during the week based on cleanliness, proximity to the hikes, and comfortable accommodations.
                                        -The meals prepared by the guides were great. Meals included hot breakfast, sandwich for lunch on the trail, and great dinners and desserts after the hikes.
                                        -The guides provided their personal guide books for the group to enjoy during the week.

                                        Technical knowledge level:
                                        -The two guides demonstrated a high level of knowledge of the history of the Zion and Bryce National parks as well as the history of the Native Americans that inhabited the lands.
                                        -The lead guide's high level of technical knowledge of the geology of the canyons in Zion and Bryce was impressive and provided an educational aspect to the trip that I would not have obtained through a tour guide book or lesser caliber tour guide. At the end of the trip, I felt inspired by the lead guide to learn more about the region and have set aside some off time to pursue.
                                        -The lead guide demonstrated vast experience and detailed technical information on hiking, photography, and camping equipment that will aid me in my recreational enjoyment and performance.
                                        -The lead guide mentored me on hiking conservative decision making that will prove invaluable throughout my hiking recreation.
                                        -The hike details were provided each night after dinner to allow each person to decide if the difficulty of the hike was appropriate for their skill level.

                                        Safety:
                                        -The guides were very safety conscious during all hikes.
                                        -Pre-hike safety briefs were given before execution of every hike.
                                        -Observations concluded that the guides expertly monitored each hiker for performance and comfort level during the hikes and adjusted speed and difficulty level to ensure 100% of all hikers were accounted for, supervised, and felt safe.

                                        Day 2 to Hidden Canyon. The guides did a great job leading the group over the switch backs and assisting with the chains on the narrowing passages on Hidden Canyon. The two guides split up with one leading and one in the back ensuring all hikers were comfortable along the route. The guides chose this hike to acclimate the hikers to elevation and endurance.
                                        Each hike built up to the next which made really tough hikes manageable and fun.

                                        Day 3 hike to Observation Point. At the top of the 2000 ft climb, the views of the Canyon provided return on the effort.

                                        Day 4 Clear Creek /Wash Trail had amazing slot canyons and slick rock formations. The guides kept a watchful eye on our group along the winding path from slot canyons ensuring our group was steered in the correct direction and enjoying our hike.

                                        Day 5 Trip to Bryce Canyon. Breathtaking Hoodoos summarized the day. Countless photos of the scenery were taken by the hikers as well as the many photos taken of the hikers by the guides throughout the hike. The lead guide was very accommodating to each hiker that requested a photograph. The guides were great at pointing out photo opportunities.

                                        Day 6 Angel's Landing trailhead was supreme! The tour guides followed us closely while navigating the switchbacks, chains, and handholds. The elevation change above the canyon seemed challenging initially, but the tour guides high commitment to safety and hiker comfort made the Angel's Landing hike outstanding and rewarding. Angel's Landing was the most challenging but fun trail yet!

                                        Day 7 After a personal hike and reflection time, we departed Zion Park. Difficult to leave the fantastic adventure the nine person group had experienced during the week. All nine members stated that they were having a great time during the trip. Every meal was spent with interesting casual conversations. With a group diverse in age and professional backgrounds, every member had something to positive to contribute to the conversations throughout the days and evenings.

                                        I have traveled around the world experiencing many different regions and cultures, but this journey was amazing and we will be back!

                                        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                        • Active Adventures

                                        (14 of 31 customers found this review helpful)

                                         
                                        1.0

                                        Very disappointed

                                        By Foreverblossom

                                        from Los angeles, Ca

                                        About Me Avid Adventurer

                                        Site Member

                                        Pros

                                        • Accommodations
                                        • Activity Level

                                        Cons

                                        • Fell Short of Expectations
                                        • Guides

                                        Best Uses

                                          Comments about REI Adventures Zion & Bryce Canyon Hiking:

                                          On May 7th, 2012 the guide met the group of 9 hikers, including myself, at a hotel in Las Vegas. He requested we introduced ourselves, which consisted on just giving our names and saying whether we had been at Zion before or not, and then we were on our way. Not one hour had passed when he started talking about Utah, the laws of the state, etc., and then he proceeded to talk in a derogatory manner about my religion, without even knowing if there were anybody of that particular religion in the van. One of his statement that was very offensive to me was: "I showed a lot of (this particular religion) girls how to have a good time, because their boyfriends decided to be door mats", and he laughed loudly in an arrogant way. Then one of the hikers responded: "Some body had to show them". Well, it happened that I am of that religion, and I was shocked to hear a comment like that, among others comments, from a guide, but I did not say anything. A few minutes later more derogatory comments were made and this went on for 3 days, in the van, at dinner, during the hikes, etc., without me saying anything. I wanted to see how far they were going to go. After 3 days of listening more awful comments and during a hike I reacted and said : " I paid over $2,100 to have a guide that would lead me through Zion and Bryce Canyon and not to criticize my religion or any other religion for that matter." After that, things changed, the comments stopped, but I never got an apology from anybody. I assume they also told the other hikers I was of that religion because, not only the other hikers never talked in that manner again, but they gave the cold shoulder, and every time I talked about something they would roll their eyes.

                                          I never felt so uncomfortable in my life. These people ruined my vacations. They were unprofessional, arrogant, opinionated, and had no idea how to treat people in a guided tour. I traveled all over the world and never seen anything like that, and for it to happened in my own country, where there should be no discrimination, makes me really sad. Although the comments about my religion stopped, there were other derogatory comments during the hikes from the guides about other religions and about the people from one state. Again, whether we agree with a religion or not it was not the place of the guides to talk in that manner about any religion and to criticize any group of people from any state. They continued to be opinionated and offensive though, to the last day.

                                          Towards the end of the week some of us were getting tired and it was getting hotter. So the guide, after the hikes, would get into the van, in the driver's seat, and with the excuse of needing to start the air conditioning, would stay there seated comfortable while we would get in the van, make sure all of us were there and close the van doors (these doors were heavy and would not close easily). Sometimes he would start driving away and we would have to say: " Wait, wait, somebody is missing". In my experience as a traveler, the guides turn the air conditioning, then go outside and count the heads to make sure there is no one missing and then they close the door securely. I told the guide so, and he said: "It takes more than your comments to soften me

                                          From all my travels this was my worst experience. I came back home angry, unhappy, stressed, frustrated, humiliated, offended, and promised never to use REI again for any travels. I don't have a lot of money, I save all year so I can take one nice week vacation some where, and this year was ruined. It was a waste of money and time.

                                          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                          • I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts

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