Meet your guides and fellow travelers in Henderson, NV for an orientation before setting out for Bryce Canyon National Park. Whether it’s your first trip to Bryce or not, it’s hard not to feel an overwhelming sense of awe at the sight of the towering hoodoos (sandstone spires) that rise from the canyon floor of Bryce Amphitheater. Inspiration Point is said to be one of the best views in the park and it’s where our first hike begins. As we hike along the canyon rim, we have a front-row view of the thousands of vibrantly colored spires – the greatest concentration of hoodoos found anywhere on Earth. Before we know it, the trail descends into this magical sandstone forest via the Queen’s Garden Loop Trail with its mesmerizingly bizarre and colorful rock formations. A gradual descent on the Tropic Trail provides stretches of Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Fir mixed in with the otherworldly landscape. From the trail’s end, a short drive takes us to our private REI Signature Camp where we are welcomed in style for our first night of camping under the Utah sky. Lunch and dinner included.
Hiking: 4.5 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +398’ / -1,615'; Van transfer: 5.5 hours
We take advantage of our full day in Bryce by hiking the wonderful Fairyland Loop, a scenic trail that offers endless photographic opportunities the entire way. Descending into the canyon, the warm-colored sandstone, stands of jade-green pine trees, and whimsical hoodoos surround us with every step. It is easy to understand why this national park is so uniquely captivating. This afternoon, we return to camp to relax before enjoying a homemade dinner prepared by our amazing guides. Bryce Canyon, and the surrounding area, are part of the International Dark Sky Association so after the sun goes down, a local astronomer visits our camp (weather permitting) to teach us about the night sky providing an unforgettable star-gazing experience. All meals included.
Hiking: 6 miles, Elevation gain/loss: 1,600'
Today’s hike gives us one last opportunity to take in the natural beauty of stunning Bryce Canyon National Park. Starting on the rim at Bryce Point, we’re greeted with a spectacular view of the hoodoo-filled Bryce Amphitheater. From here, the well-maintained trail descends quickly into the splendor of the amphitheater before connecting with Peek-A-Boo Trail and past iconic rock formations like The Alligator and Fairy Castle. On Bryce’s trails, what goes down must come up. To return to the rim, we ascend the switchbacks of the iconic Wall Street Trail. The crimson-colored walls and rock formations make this hike fun and interesting, even on the uphill. Along the rim, we take in the mesmerizing vistas of Bryce one last time then drive south to the incomparable Grand Canyon, our home for the next two nights. After settling in, we’ll take a short walk from our lodge to Bright Angel Point and enjoy its world-class view of the canyon. Tonight, relax in the comfort of a private cabin. All meals included.
Hiking: 4.2 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +1,572’ / -1,953; Van transfer: 3.5 hours
The famous North Kaibab Trail is our hiking route today. Cut into the redwall cliffs, this is the only maintained trail with access to the canyon floor from the North Rim. Initially, the trail descends a series of switchbacks that offer remarkable views and verdant vegetation like fir trees, aspen, and ferns. As we hike down, we’ll stop at scenic overlooks before reaching Supai Tunnel, our turnaround point. The tunnel was built in the 1920s by blasting directly into the red stone to match the quality and grade of the South Kaibab Trail. Sections of this out-and-back hike can be challenging, but our guides are here to keep us engaged and energized, sharing stories of the canyon, and teaching us about the park’s flora, fauna, and geology. Tonight, we enjoy a well-earned hearty dinner in the famous North Rim Lodge dining room. All meals included.
Hiking: 3.5 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +1,385’
What better way to spend our last morning at the North Rim, and get a unique perspective of the canyon, than by hiking along the canyon rim? From the lodge, the 4-mile roundtrip hike skirts the rim and winds through a canopy of trees with scenic vistas along the way. As we hike, our guides will identify various topographical and geological points of interest to help us better understand the features that comprise this beautiful landscape. With luck, we’ll encounter wildlife along the way such as birds, mule deer, or the elusive Kaibab squirrel found only on the Kaibab Plateau. After our morning hike, we have lunch before setting out for Las Vegas where we say our final goodbyes. We plan to arrive in Las Vegas by late afternoon. Evening flights should be scheduled for 8pm or later. Breakfast and lunch included.
Hiking: up to 5 miles, Elevation gain/loss: 600’; Van transfer: 5.5 hours