- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip has the necessary minimum number of participants required to operate.
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.
Airfare, one lunch; insurance of any kind, excess baggage charges, guide gratuities, alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, and items of a personal nature.
This trip is rated Moderate . 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!
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 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.
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.
- Airline tickets
- Photo identification
- 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
- Bring a few lightweight, easily washable items for travel and evening wear
- 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
- Rain jacket/shell, waterproof, breathable
- Sun hat
- Wool or fleece hat
- Wool or fleece gloves
- 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)
- 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
- 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
- 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.