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Zion, Bryce & Grand Canyon Hiking & Camping | Under 35

Trip Length6 Days
Group Size4–9
Activity level
Starting from
$2,799 for REI Members
$3,079 for non-members
DeparturesOct 2023-Sep 2024

Discover the awe-inspiring high desert landscapes of three of America’s crown jewel national parks on this action-packed 6-day hiking adventure. Designed for adventurers aged 18–35, but open to anyone over 18.

The national parks of the American Southwest offer an irresistible blend of sublime natural beauty, mind-blowing geology and exceptional hiking opportunities unlike anywhere else in the U.S. Soaring red cliffs illuminated by the setting sun, immense river-carved canyons thousands of feet deep, and towering sandstone pinnacles piercing the cobalt blue sky are just some of the unique treasures that await our discovery.

Setting out from Las Vegas, we begin our explorations in majestic Zion National Park, navigating amphibious trails through the Virgin River Narrows and climbing cliffside paths to spectacular viewpoints high above the canyon floor. In Bryce Canyon, we hike through a wonderland of multicolored hoodoos sculpted over time by the power of wind and water—a fantastic outdoor playground offering postcard-worthy scenery around every bend in the trail. The final leg of our journey transports us to the incomparable Grand Canyon—one of Earth’s seven natural wonders. Here, we hike down the iconic North Kaibab Trail into the canyon’s inner recesses, with our guides enlightening us on the park’s incredible geological history along the way.

While the days are active and enlightening, our nights are spent relaxing in our cozy campsites, enjoying the radiant colors of the desert sunsets and the warm company of our hiking companions and newfound friends.

We hike 4–7 miles daily, each hike unique and unforgettable.

Trip Highlights

  • Explore three of the Southwest’s most iconic national parks on one epic road-trip
  • Discover Zion’s breathtaking beauty on hikes to Scout Lookout and The Narrows
  • Hike among thousands of colorful hoodoos in Bryce Canyon
  • Follow the spectacular North Kaibab Trail into the heart of the Grand Canyon
  • Camp in comfort: Sleep in oversized tents and eat delicious guide-prepared meals


This trip is rated Moderate [3]. Trip members should have some previous hiking experience and be in good physical condition. Upon arrival, you should be able to hike up to 7 miles with a 5–10 pound daypack, over terrain with elevation gain/loss up to 2,200', for consecutive days in a row without major discomfort. There are some steep sections and exposed overlooks on the various trails we hike. Arriving in the best possible shape will allow you to enjoy this adventure to the fullest.

  • Hiking

What's Included

Five nights camping accommodations; guide leadership; round-trip van transportation from/to Las Vegas, NV; all meals as indicated on the itinerary; beverages including coffee, hot tea and hot chocolate; all group camping equipment; park fees and local taxes.


Camping, 5 nights

Your Adventure Itinerary

Itinerary map for Zion, Bryce & Grand Canyon Hiking & Camping | Under 35
Day 1

Arrive in Zion National Park and hike the spectacular Narrows

Our trip begins this morning in Las Vegas, Nevada. We meet our guides at 7am at our host hotel and, following introductions and a brief orientation, begin the three-hour drive over the Utah border to Zion National Park. Arriving midday, Zion’s extraordinary beauty immediately reveals itself as we set out on a hike into the Virgin River Narrows. On this amphibious exploration, our trail is the Virgin River as it winds its way between the thousand-foot-high walls of the enormous slot canyon (a significant portion of the Narrows hike requires wading through ankle to thigh-deep river water). Hiking through the Narrows can feel like a dream as the ever-changing light reflects off the cliff walls, continually altering the color of rock and water. At hike’s end, we transfer to our campsite and pitch our tents before enjoying our first guide-prepared dinner together under a star-filled Southwestern sky. We spend the next two nights at a campground near Zion National Park. Lunch and dinner included.

5 miles (with a significant amount of river wading), Elevation gain/loss: 200'; Van transfer: 3 hours

Day 2

Hike up Walter Wiggles to Scout Lookout and visit Emerald Pools

We get an early jump on the day, heading out for our exhilarating hike to Scout Lookout. A short ride on the park shuttle transports us to our trailhead. The trail to Scout Lookout is cut into the canyon walls and follows Walter's Wiggles trail, a series of 21 switchbacks, leading to a stunning and lofty viewpoint overlooking the towering cliffs of Zion Canyon. After descending the trail, we continue our hike to Emerald Pools, a verdant oasis located in a side canyon laced with streams and tiered natural pools. This afternoon provides an opportunity for some relaxation time back at camp to soak up the sunshine. Tonight’s dinner is on our own, allowing us to try a restaurant of choice in the charming town of Springdale, just outside the park entrance. Breakfast and lunch included.

Hiking: 6.5 miles; Elevation gain/loss: 1,500’

NOTE: An optional hike to Angels Landing may be incorporated in lieu of Emerald Pools if permits can be acquired. These highly competitive permits cannot be guaranteed, but we will attempt to secure them if possible. Angels Landing hike: 5 miles, 1500'

Day 3

Explore a slot canyon in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Rugged and remote, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is a vast wilderness playground filled with soaring cliffs, prehistoric ruin sites and labyrinthine slot canyons awaiting discovery. Our hike today leads us into one of these slots on a unique backcountry adventure and crash course in the geology of the Colorado Plateau. Following our guides, we make our way down over slickrock and sand to a series of narrow canyons, their pink and magenta striped walls less than an arm’s length apart. Squeezing our way through the narrowest passageways, we take advantage of the excellent photographic opportunities created by the light, shadow, color and rock textures converging in this geological masterpiece. After returning to the trailhead, we hop in the van and head to our private campground, just minutes from Bryce Canyon National Park. Tonight, we feast on appetizers and a delicious dinner before ending the day around the campfire’s warm glow. All meals included.

Hiking: 6.5 miles, Elevation gain/loss: 450'; Van transfer: 4 hours (with multiple activity stops). Note: If rain is forecasted, we will substitute the slot canyon hike with the Lower Calf Creek trail. Hiking: 6 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 866’

Day 4

Hike among the hoodoos and prepare for the Grand Canyon

Visiting Bryce Canyon for the first time, it's hard not to feel an overwhelming sense of awe at the sheer number of towering sandstone pinnacles (hoodoos) that rise from the canyon floor, forming a jagged, colorful landscape unlike any other on the planet. We spend the morning exploring this otherworldly wilderness, hiking along some of the park’s most scenic trails. Descending below the canyon rim, it’s easy to become mesmerized by the orange-colored sandstone, stands of jade green pine trees, and thousands of hoodoos that make this national park so uniquely captivating. In the afternoon, we begin the drive south across the Arizona border towards another remarkable canyon, this one many times larger than Bryce. Our campsite for the next two nights is near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. All Meals Included.

Hiking: up to 5 miles, Elevation gain/loss: 600'; Van transfer: 4 hours

Day 5

Descend into the grandest of canyons on the North Kaibab Trail

Providing the only maintained trail access to the bottom of the Grand Canyon from the North Rim, the spectacular North Kaibab Trail is our hiking route of choice this morning. Although we won’t make it all the way to canyon bottom, we descend the trail to Redwall Bridge for great views of the inner canyon and its awesome river-carved landscapes. Portions of this hike are challenging, but our guides encourage and educate us along the way, keeping us engaged and energized. This evening after ascending back out of the canyon, we’ll enjoy a final celebration dinner at North Rim Lodge providing an opportunity to celebrate new friendships and reflect on the week’s adventures. All meals included.

Hiking: 5 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +2,200'; Van transfer: up to 2 hours

Day 6

Hike through ponderosa forest to the canyon rim.

This morning we enjoy a hearty guide prepared breakfast before breaking camp and setting out for our morning hike. Todays journey takes us along a beautiful forested trail to Cape Final, a stunning viewpoint overlooking the Grand Canyon. We couldn’t ask for a more perfect hike to end our adventure as our path combines all the memorable elements of a visit to the Grand Canyon, from the lovely smell of ponderosa pine, to unparalleled high desert panoramas. From Cape Final, we can make out some of the canyon’s iconic formations, including Vishnu Temple and Jupiter Temple, and distant views of the Vermillion Cliffs and Navajo Mountain. Once our final hike is complete, we board the van for the last leg of our journey, arriving back at our host hotel late this afternoon. Breakfast and lunch included.

Hiking: 4 miles, Elevation gain/loss: Minimal; Van transfer: 5 hours.

Itinerary map for Zion, Bryce & Grand Canyon Hiking & Camping | Under 35

Gear List

This gear list has been created to help you choose the best equipment for the trip. Try to bring only what is necessary, as this will help you and the field staff. The weather and other conditions at the time of your arrival will dictate what clothing and equipment you will be required to use each day and what (if anything) can be left behind. It may be a necessary precaution that you bring certain items on the list, even if it is uncertain whether or not they will be needed.

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.

Provided by REI

  • All Group Cooking Gear
  • Group First Aid Kit
  • Sleeping Pad
  • 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.