Family Zion & Bryce Hiking

Trip Length5 Days
Group Size4–12
Activity level
Starting from
$3,199 for REI Members
$3,519 for non-members
DeparturesJun 2024-Jul 2024

Incredible hiking and idyllic camping mark this 5-day family-friendly adventure in stunning Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks.

Glowing with vibrant, colorful beauty, the soaring landscapes of Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks are befitting of one of America’s great hiking destinations. Accompanying each group are our expert, local guides who work to ensure each trip is an educational and memorable experience for kids and adults alike.

Our adventure begins with a hike into Bryce Canyon where we feel an overwhelming sense of awe at the otherworldly, jagged, multi-hued landscape below. Next our adventure continues with a hike in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, where a stunning waterfall awaits at the end of an amazing desert canyon. We’ll travel to Zion, hiking from the valley floor up Walter’s Wiggles to Scout’s Lookout. Enjoy a full day exploring the labyrinth of the Virgin River Narrows. Each spectacular day of hiking offers a variety of dramatic views of the most celebrated wonders of Zion. Our evenings are spent in comfortable camping accommodations, our tent the only thing separating us from the stars.

Not traveling with kids under age 18? Check out our Zion & Bryce Hiking – REI Signature Camping trip or inquire about a private departure of this itinerary.

The spectacular world-renowned Narrows of Zion National Park

Trip Highlights

  • Explore Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks by foot
  • See waterfalls, hoodoos, Virgin River Narrows, and more
  • Visit Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument
  • Enjoy activities designed for the whole family
  • Stay at REI's Signature Camps, with top-notch amenities and superb service

Activities

This trip is rated Moderate [3]. Trip members should be in good physical condition and capable of hiking up to 6 miles over terrain with elevation gains up to 1,100', for consecutive days in a row. Trails can be rocky, sandy, steep, exposed and wet. Be prepared for all trail conditions. Hiking the Narrows is in water through the Virgin River where rocks are slippery and uneven. The summer heat can be well into the 90s°F (or higher) making the hikes feel much more strenuous. Additionally, hikes at higher elevations (the rim at Bryce Canyon is between 8-9,000') will feel harder and use more energy than at lower levels. Keep the heat and altitude in mind when training for this adventure, especially if coming from a lower elevation/sea level.

  • Hiking
  • Camping

What's Included

Four nights camping in our exclusive Zion and Bryce REI Signature Camps; guide leadership; round trip van transportation from Las Vegas; meals as noted in the daily itinerary; beverages including coffee, hot tea and hot chocolate; extra-thick sleeping pads; all group camping equipment; park fees and local taxes.

Accommodations

REI Signature Camp at Bryce Canyon, 2 nights; REI Signature Camp at Zion, 2 nights.

Your Adventure Itinerary

Itinerary map for Family Zion & Bryce Hiking
Day 1

Travel from Las Vegas to our exclusive Signature Camp near Bryce Canyon

Our trip begins early this morning in Las Vegas (Henderson), Nevada at our host hotel. Our guides will briefly talk us through the basics before we set out on the five-hour drive to Bryce Canyon National Park. We'll make a few stops to stretch our legs and pass the rest of the driving time with some travel games from the REI Family Games Bag. Bryce Canyon National Park is a chain of natural amphitheaters, formed by erosion, brimming with thousands of brightly colored spires or "hoodoos" striped in red, orange and white. Upon arrival, we 'll enjoy a spectacular one-way hike descending through the famed skyscraper hoodoos of Wall Street and past the walls of Bristlecone Ridge admiring the changing light illuminating the canyon. Emerging from the park at Tropic Trailhead, it’s only a short drive to our exclusive REI Signature Camp at Bryce Canyon. Our guides provide camp orientation and then we check out our comfortable tents and enjoy the first of many delicious meals prepared by our skilled camp chefs! All meals included from lunch on Day 1 to lunch on Day 5.

Hiking: 2.5 miles; Elevation gain/loss: 1,100'; Van transfer: 5 hours

Day 2

Visit Lower Calf Creek Falls and learn about Fremont culture

Within an hour drive from our camp, Lower Calf Creek Falls is one of the gems of Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument, a lesser-known but equally spectacular region of southern Utah. We hike 3 miles along a river, passing Fremont pictographs and granaries as we explore deeper into the canyon. Enjoy a relaxing lunch and swim at the base of the incredible 126’ waterfall. After refueling and refreshing we’ll hike back through canyon country to our trailhead. We return to camp and relax with some fun camp games or kids can take part in a sketch session (all supplies provided) of some beautiful features visible from camp such as Bristlecone Ridge. Most evenings there will be time for some extra fun at camp—solving "Criddles" canyon riddles- answering canyon trivia about flora and geology. Another wonderful dinner followed by a delicious, well deserved dessert tonight!

Hiking: 6 miles; Elevation gain/loss: 866’

Day 3

Hike in a Queen’s Garden; stay at Zion Signature Camp

After a great hot breakfast, we bid farewell to our REI Signature Camp near Bryce Canyon. We pack our lunch and have a short transfer back to the National Park. The legend of the Paiute says that a long time ago a group of people moved into the area and made coyote angry with their bad behavior. Coyote put a curse on the people, now called "Legend People", turning them to stone. See if you can find the images of people sitting and holding each other in the hoodoos! Our last hike at Bryce has us descending into the canyon to explore the dramatic corridor of stone through the Two Bridges side of the Navajo Loop. To ascend we’ll follow the Queen’s Garden Trail (definitely fit for a queen) to the rim. Our van transfer today takes less than two hours as the mountains and mesas of Zion appear in the distance and rise to meet us. We ascend the final stretch of road to our secluded REI Signature Camp at Zion Canyon, above the national park. At camp we'll settle in, enjoy appetizers and cold drinks together and get oriented to the site. We’ll enjoy an abundant dinner spread and after grab our headlamps and join the guides for an optional evening hike to take in the sunset from a spectacular viewpoint near camp before returning to camp for the night.

Hiking: 2.75 miles; Elevation gain/loss: 800'

Day 4

Hike Scout’s Lookout

We enjoy a scrumptious breakfast, before catching the park shuttle to the Grotto Trailhead. From here we begin our hike to Scout’s Lookout. Step by step, we make our way through aptly named Refrigerator Canyon where the towering rock walls keep temperatures cool. Exiting the canyon, Walter’s Wiggles soon comes into view. The famous set of 21 tight switchbacks carved into the cliff face leads to today’s destination, Scout’s Lookout. From the lookout, we’re rewarded with expansive views of Zion Canyon and the iconic formations that comprise the multi-colored landscape of this national park. After our hike, we return to camp where parents can relax while kids take part in a sketch session (all supplies provided) of our beautiful surroundings. Tonight, we enjoy a relaxing evening at camp, complete with a farewell celebration dinner.

Hiking: 3.25 miles; Elevation gain/loss: 1,000’

Day 5

Hike the Narrows before we depart for home

After another hearty breakfast, we say goodbye to camp and shuttle to the Temple of Sinawava. From here, we embark upon our hike into the Narrows—a deep gash in the earth carved by the Virgin River. We travel upstream along the steep, colorful sandstone walls on a route often described as one of the best hikes in the U.S. After exploring the spectacular Narrows, we return to our waiting van and begin the three-hour drive back to Las Vegas. We expect to arrive at the Las Vegas by early evening.

Hiking: up to 5 miles; Elevation gain/loss: 200’; Van transfer: 3 hours. We walk on trail for approximately one mile before entering The Narrows where we literally get our feet wet. We hike upstream 1.5 additional miles, gradually gaining approximately 100' before turning around and exiting the same route.

Itinerary map for Family Zion & Bryce Hiking

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. This gear list is provided to help you in choosing your equipment and clothing for this trip. Try to bring only what is necessary.

Already booked this trip? Sign into your online traveler profile for a more detailed list of what you'll need.

REI members can shop for gently used gear online or at most REI stores. Members can also trade in pre-loved used gear online or at any REI store in exchange for REI gift card credit. Check out Re/Supply at REI to learn more.

We provide

  • All Group Cooking Gear
  • Camp Furniture
  • Cots and Sleeping Pads
  • Group First Aid Kit
  • Tent(s)

What to pack

Contact Us

Feel free to give us a call at 1 (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales ( 1 (800) 426-4840 ) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out REI Expert Advice , which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

Trip specifics may change over time. Reviews reflect the version of the trip that was active at the time the reviewer took it. Please review the itinerary as described above and call our team for any additional details.