Zion New Year's Adventure

From: $2,499

per person dbl occ

Dates: Dec-Dec - see all dates

Total Days: 6

Activity Level: 3

Reserve This Trip

1-800-622-2236

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Monday–Friday,
7 AM to 5 PM Pacific Time

Zion New Year's Adventure

Price:

2014

REI member: $2,499

Non-member: $2,750

2015

REI member: $2,599

Non-member: $2,850

Additional Fees

Single supplement: Not available

Trip Dates:

2014

  • Dec 29 – Jan 3

2015

  • Dec 29 – Jan 3

Or, book a
private departure.

Group Size: 4-12

Activity Level: 3

Activities:

  • Hiking
  • Snowshoeing

Accommodations:

Lodge, 5 nights

Trip Highlights

  • Ring in the New Year at beautiful Zion National Park
  • Hike and snowshoe through quiet, stunning terrain in Zion and Bryce Canyon
  • Visit the Narrows, Angel's Landing, Bryce Amphitheatre, and more
  • Stay at a private lodge and celebrate with delicious meals and new friends

Usher in the New Year at beautiful Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks on this special hiking and snowshoeing holiday trip led by top guides. Our active exploration provides a unique opportunity to explore these magical parks during the winter season when visitors are few and the landscape is filled with an air of tranquility and renewal.

We spend most of our days in and above spectacular Zion Canyon and take invigorating hikes to some of the park's most magnificent scenic and geological highlights. We also spend a day in remarkable Bryce Canyon, at its most impressive with a dusting of winter snow. Evenings are spent in the cozy comfort of a nearby lodge where our guides prepare delicious meals. Join us as we toast the arrival of the New Year with new friends. Let the majesty and wonder of Zion energize your spirit and help start the New Year on a high note!

Itinerary Summary

  • Day 1 - Meet in Las Vegas and travel to our private ranch outside Zion.
  • Day 2 - Snowshoe across a forested plateau to views of Zion's colorful monuments.
  • Day 3 - Celebrate New Year's Eve after a hike up Zion Canyon and Walter's Wiggles.
  • Day 4 - Explore in Bryce Canyon National Park and hike to Bryce Amphitheatre.
  • Day 5 - Hike to the Narrows, the base of Angel's Landing, and Emerald Pools.
  • Day 6 - Hike the twisted narrows of Clear and Pine Creeks before departing.

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 - Meet in Las Vegas and travel to our private ranch outside Zion.

    Your trip begins today in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fly to Las Vegas, arriving at McCarran Airport in time for the 10 a.m. group rendezvous at a nearby hotel. We recommend arriving a night early if possible, to allow for some relaxation time and to avoid any problems with delayed flights or delayed 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. Dinner included.

    Driving: 4 hours.

  • Day 2 - Snowshoe across a forested plateau to views of Zion's colorful monuments.

    After a very short van ride, we set out on snowshoes across the top of the White Cliffs (6,500'), a forested plateau high above Zion National Park. Within a few miles, breathtaking vistas of deep, colorful canyons appear as we make our way along a ridgeline perched above Parunuweap Canyon. On a typical winter day, the high plateau of the East Mesa is covered with up to three feet of snow, while the lower elevations of Zion remain relatively snow-free. All meals included.

    Hiking / snowshoeing: 6 miles. Terrain: on-trail, 600’ climb.

  • Day 3 - Celebrate New Year's Eve after a hike up Zion Canyon and Walter's Wiggles.

    After a hearty breakfast, we drive into Zion Canyon and the Court of the Patriarchs, where we stop for a short hike to a magnificent viewpoint. Then it's on to the Grotto, where we climb up Walter's Wiggles and past Angel's Landing to a lunch spot with a breathtaking view into the Temple of Sinewava. All meals included.

    Hiking: 5 miles. Terrain: on-trail, 1,600' elevation gain/loss.

  • Day 4 - Explore in Bryce Canyon National Park and hike to Bryce Amphitheatre.

    Weather and road conditions permitting, we begin the day with an 80-minute drive to Bryce Canyon National Park. Our trailhead is at 7,800', high enough to provide us with reliable snow cover at this time of year. Our planned route takes us along the rim of Bryce above a maze of fantastically-shaped hoodoos. We'll walk along the edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau to Sunrise and Sunset Points and marvel at the wonders of magnificent Bryce Amphitheatre. Our snowshoe 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 / snowshoeing: 6 miles. Terrain: crosscountry over snow, 300' elevation gain.

  • Day 5 - Hike to the Narrows, the base of Angel's Landing, and Emerald Pools.

    We'll drive to the end of stunning Zion Canyon and the imposing Temple of Sinawava this morning and follow the Riverside Walk to the Virgin River Narrows. After a glimpse into the spectacular Narrows, we'll hike back along the river to the base of Angel's Landing, looking for ephemeral waterfalls that often tumble thousands of feet from the high canyon walls during the winter months. After lunch, a van transfer to the Zion Lodge leaves us at the trailhead leading to Emerald Pools, a lovely collection of ponds and waterfalls, the destination of our afternoon hike. Back at the lodge this evening, we'll enjoy one final dinner together and reflect on our adventure with a newfound appreciation for these wondrous national parks. All meals included.

    Hiking: 5 miles. Terrain: On-trail, 400’ elevation gain.

  • Day 6 - Hike the twisted narrows of Clear and Pine Creeks before departing.

    A 20-minute drive brings us to the Zion tunnel where, conditions permitting, we begin an exploration of the twisted narrows of Clear Creek and Pine Creek. We emerge from the narrows at the Zion Tunnel where we hike the Canyon Overlook Trail for a last look at this awesome park before our drive back to Las Vegas. Towering walls of sandstone capped with pure white snow fill the view from the top of the Great Arch at trail's end. For those flying home today, please do not schedule a flight out of Las Vegas prior to 7 p.m. Breakfast, Lunch included.

    Hiking: 2 miles. Terrain: rock scrambling off-trail in sandstone narrows, on-trail to Canyon Overlook, 100’ 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, snow, trail and road 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.

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 New Year's Adventure 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.

Weather

Winter in Zion Canyon is fairly mild. Clear days may become quite warm, reaching 50°F; nighttime temperatures typically drop into the teens and 20s. Winter storms occasionally bring rain or light snow to Zion Canyon, but heavier snow to the higher elevations where our lodge is located and some of our hikes are planned. Trip members should arrive prepared for all possibilities by following the recommendations on this Gear List. Be prepared for possible daytime temperatures of 20° - 50°F depending on the elevation of our hike each day.

Gear Checklist

Provided Gear
  • Snowshoes
Official Papers
  • Airline tickets
  • Photo identification
Luggage
  • Large duffel bag or soft-sided suitcase
  • Daypack - 2000 - 2500 cu. in. to carry your camera, water bottles, extra clothing. Should be larger than just a Camelbak.
  • Luggage tags and luggage locks
Casual Clothing
  • Bring a few lightweight, easily washable items for travel and evening wear
Clothing
  • Midweight fleece or wool sweater
  • Heavyweight fleece
  • Midweight thermal underwear top and bottom, synthetic or wool, two pair
  • Hiking pants, synthetic
  • Hiking socks, wool or synthetic – bring extra pairs
  • Liner socks, synthetic (optional)
  • T-shirts (synthetic is best for daytime activity)
  • Long-sleeve shirts (synthetic is best for daytime activity)
  • Underwear
Outerwear
  • Rain jacket/shell, waterproof, breathable
  • Rain pants, waterproof, breathable
  • Down or synthetic parka
Clothing Accessories
  • Sun hat
  • Wool or fleece winter hat
  • Waterproof winter gloves
  • Knee-high gaiters
  • Bandana
Footwear
  • Sturdy hiking boots, waterproof, warm, broken-in, aggressive tread
  • Warm casual shoes/slippers for lodge/evening wear
  • Yak Traks (optional but recommended)
Travel Accessories
  • Two (2) one-quart water bottles or hydration system (note: hydration pack tubes may freeze in cold weather)
  • Headlamp or flashlight with spare batteries/bulb
  • Watch with alarm or travel clock
  • Sunglasses and retainer strap
  • Sunblock and lip balm
  • Toiletry kit
  • Hand sanitizer gel
  • Bath or body soap
Optional Field Gear
  • Camera, extra memory and batteries
  • Extra pair of lightweight hiking boots for non-snow days
  • Reading and writing materials
  • Small binoculars
  • Pocket knife or pocket tool
  • Spare contact lenses or glasses
  • Ear plugs
  • Lightweight seating pad
  • Whistle
  • Hiking stick or trekking poles with baskets (handy for snowshoeing)

Things to Consider

  • Please remember to always pack essential items such as appropriate identification, money, eyewear, a change of clothing, hiking boots and medications in your carry-on baggage, in case your luggage is delayed.
  • For snowshoeing, layering thermal underwear, hiking pants and waterproof/breathable rain pants allows you to stay comfortable in the many possible temperatures you will encounter.
  • Cotton is wonderful in warm weather. However, once it becomes wet, it will drain your body heat. Bring wool or 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.
  • We will be snowshoeing and possibly hiking through some snow. Warm, waterproof and broken-in hiking boots are a necessity. Lightweight hikers and trail shoes will not suffice on most days.
  • Make sure 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.
  • Although it is not mandatory to have hiking/ski poles for use while snowshoeing, we do highly recommend participants bring their own to assist with balance and maneuverability. Be sure poles have the baskets attached. Snowshoes will be provided.
  • We highly recommend bringing a lightweight seating pad (ex. Therm-a-Rest Lite Seat, about $25) or small piece of closed cell foam for use during lunch stops on hikes. Depending on conditions, we may be sitting and eating on warm sandstone or frozen snow pack!
  • Please bring a headlamp. With short days and early nightfall this time of year, it is important to have a headlamp along while hiking or snowshoeing in case it is needed on the hike out (ex. Petzl Tikka).

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 New Year's Adventure
 
4.9

(based on 7 reviews)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Well organized itinerary (7)
  • Guides (6)
  • Activity level (5)
  • Food (5)
  • Group camaraderie (5)

Cons

    Best Uses

        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Avid adventurer (6)
        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
        • Destination (5), I liked the itinerary (4), Active adventures (3), All the details planned for me (3)

      Reviewed by 7 customers

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      Displaying reviews 1-7

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      5.0

      Wow...that was wonderful

      By Pocodino

      from San Luis Obispo

      About Me Avid Adventurer

      Site Member

      Pros

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

      Cons

      • Accommodations

      Best Uses

        Comments about REI Adventures Zion New Year's Adventure:

        Overall, the trip was a 9.5 out of 10. The guides went overboard to accommodate us and we loved them. The ranch house/converted horse stables was super neat and cozy, but rooms can be very tight with a regular bed AND bunks too.

        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
        • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
        • Why did you choose this trip?:
        • I needed to depart 2013 with a smile on my face and enter a new year with a smile on my face. This trip and the guides (Jerry Andersen and his son, William) were beyond expectations.
        • What was the highlight of your trip?:
        • All of it! Where do I begin? Jerry and William were great guides. The comradery was amazing - everybody was awesome individually and together. The hikes - wow. Every hike was beautiful. My favorite was Angel's Landing. Amazing. I LOVED the sunrises. The horses are super friendly too.
        • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
        • You must be an avid hiker. We had a person who came and did NOT prepare - was NOT fit. This person slowed the group down on day one, then injured herself and had to sit at the lodge on the remaining days. If you can't hike at least 6 miles a day in steep terrain, choose a different trip which will best suit you. This trip is listed as MODERATE for a reason.
         
        5.0

        Rock and Ice, Bighorn Sheep and Condors

        By Just a random guy

        from Calabasas, CA

        About Me Avid Adventurer

        Pros

        • Activity Level
        • Group Camaraderie
        • Guides
        • Well Organized Itinerary

        Cons

        • Accommodations

        Best Uses

          Comments about REI Adventures Zion New Year's Adventure:

          This was a fun trip with fun people and guides. Our guide was a walking Wikipedia of knowledge about local geology and biology. His enthusiam was infectious. The accommodations call for tolerance and flexibility, however.

          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
          • Active Adventures, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary
          • Why did you choose this trip?:
          • I had planned to volunteer at a famous animal sanctuary nearby for a few days and wanted to supplement that with a trip such as this one. I also loved to snowshoe. Although I've been to Zion and Bryce before, I've never hiked, and therefore experienced, them in an intimate way.
          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
          • There were several: seeing a condor up-close, photographing several bighorn sheep, walking through frozen slot canyons, walking up and down Zion Canyon walls.
          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
          • Bring a good camera! You'll need some good grippers, preferably with a retaining strap, for your boots, as some trails can be quite icy. Be mindful of the accommodations, however. The "lodge" is really a converted stable with stalls that have been fixed up as rooms. If you're fine with this arrangement, then go for it!
           
          5.0

          Loved it! Loved it! Loved it!

          By James R Staley

          from Northridge, CA

          About Me Avid Adventurer

          See all my reviews

          Pros

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

          Cons

          • None

          Best Uses

            Comments about REI Adventures Zion New Year's Adventure:

            On our visit the weather was warmer than usual so some of the equipment was unnecessary. However, the weather varies from year to year, so do bring whats suggested to be safe.

            • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
            • All the Details Planned for Me
            • Why did you choose this trip?:
            • Our first REI adventure was to Peru. It was an A+ experience. Zion did not disappoint. You don't have to fly around the world to find incredible sights. Zion & Bryce Canyon are magnificent to hike and absorb. Once again, the people are wonderful, not a bad apple in the bunch. Our Hosts, Larry & Sue were highly trained Professionals who know their job well and execute it brilliantly. Bravo!
             
            5.0

            Once in a lifetime experience!

            By Corinne - Nature Lover

            from Oak Forest, IL

            About Me Avid Adventurer

            Site Member

            Pros

            • Exceeded Expectations
            • Fantastic Accommodations
            • Food
            • Group Camaraderie
            • Perfect activity level
            • Well Organized Itinerary
            • Wonderful trip leaders

            Cons

            • None

            Best Uses

              Comments about REI Adventures Zion New Year's Adventure:

              This experience exceeded my expectations because we had very knowledgeable trip leaders, who were able to teach us about the geology and wildlife of the area. The information provided by REI was very professional and helped prepare me for a winter trip. While we deviated slightly from the original agenda, alternate hikes were equally enjoyable.

              • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
              • Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
              • Why did you choose this trip?:
              • I really wanted to see snow in Zion, as I have never been there in the winter. I was also looking forward to my first experience snow-shoeing.
              • What was the highlight of your trip?:
              • My favorite part of the trip was walking the Zion Scenic Drive from the Lodge up to the Temple of Sinawava. It was closed to traffic due to all of the snow, so it was a once in a lifetime experience for me.
              • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
              • Follow the guidelines on the provided gear list - it was very helpful, and I used everything on there including the Yaktrax!

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Perfect weather for perfect scenery

              By CliffinVA

              from Virginia

              About Me Long time hiker

              Pros

              • Accommodations
              • Activity Level
              • Food
              • Guides
              • Well Organized Itinerary

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about REI Adventures Zion New Year's Adventure:

                  In retrospect it would have been good if the trip were a bit longer (2 weeks), a bit less hurried, a bit quieter - but that's an almost elderly retired guy talking. Probably the trip was just about perfect in length for most.

                  • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                  • Destination, I Liked the Itinerary
                  • Why did you choose this trip?:
                  • Wanted a winter break and to try snowshoes with logistics handled by someone else.
                  • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                  • Snowshoeing the and happy attitude of our guides.

                  (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Visual Sensory Overload

                  By Michelle Y.

                  from San Diego, CA

                  About Me Avid Adventurer

                  Site Member

                  Pros

                  • Accommodations
                  • Activity Level
                  • Exceeded Expectations
                  • Guides
                  • Quality Equipment Provided
                  • Well Organized Itinerary

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about REI Adventures Zion New Year's Adventure:

                      Hats off to our guides, Steve [*] and Chris. They set the tone for the trip with their knowledge, ease with people, and concern for the environment. The pace and activity levels were based upon the abilities of the group, and they took care to be sure we all got out of this trip what we were looking for.

                      • 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 had always wanted to see Zion and Bryce, but I shy away from the crowds flocking to our state parks. As a winter trip this was the best way to see the parks, not from a car window, and avoid the crowds.
                      • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                      • Walking through the canyons, exploring the hoodoos, snow-shoeing for the first time, amazing hikes and stunning views. . . everything.
                      • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                      • Pay close attention to the packing list. Everything is there for a reason. I used everything I was told to bring and didn't bring much extra to carry.

                      (10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Great way to bring in the new year!

                      By Erin Mac

                      from Cincinnati, Ohio

                      About Me Casual Adventurer

                      Site Member

                      Pros

                      • Accommodations
                      • Activity Level
                      • Food
                      • Group Camaraderie
                      • Guides
                      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                      • Quality Equipment Provided
                      • Well Organized Itinerary

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about REI Adventures Zion New Year's Adventure:

                          This was my first REI Adventures trip, and I loved every moment of it. A great group of people, an amazing location, great accomodations and the best guide around!

                          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                          • Better than hiking alone
                          • Why did you choose this trip?:
                          • I wanted to get away over the New Years holiday, and was attracted to the idea of Zion and Bryce in the wintertime.
                          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                          • Snow, snow and more snow!! We lucked out with an unusually high amount of snowfall last year (2009) and were able to snowshoe more than anticipated. The itinerary was practically tossed out the window due to icey conditions on a lot of the trails, but this was no problem! Master guide Steve knows the area well and had no problems blazing new off-trail routes.
                          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                          • Be prepared for a wide range of temperatures. Even with near-record snowfall, we found ourselves hiking in t-shirt and shorts (yes, in January!), but was the sun was low, it was chilly. The altitude is 6000 - 8000 feet, so be prepared for the activity level. I was not in the best of shape, but managed to keep up and still thoroughly enjoy myself.

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