Our trip begins in Salt Lake City, Utah. We rendezvous with our guides in the morning and, following introductions and a brief orientation, set off for Moab, the adventure outpost that serves as a gateway to the marvelous red-rock country that lies beyond. After lunch near Moab, we drive to Arches National Park for our first hike to what is arguably the most extraordinary natural arch in the Southwest: the magical Delicate Arch. Perched above an orange sandstone basin, the graceful shape, color, and location of Delicate Arch make it a photographer’s dream. We spend some time lingering near the arch, marveling at its ability to seemingly defy gravity, before heading back down the trail. After a short drive, we arrive at our base camp just outside of Moab, and our home for the next two nights. After setting up our tents, we sit down to a tasty guide-prepared dinner under the star-filled Utah sky. Lunch and dinner included.
Hiking: 3 miles with 480’ elevation gain/loss; Transfer: 4.5 hours
Today’s hike in Canyonlands’ otherworldly Island in the Sky region provides an ideal introduction to the wind and water-carved landscapes and unique geology of this awe-inspiring national park. Island in the Sky is filled with trails that lead us over dirt, sand and slickrock to vantage points offering breathtaking views across the Colorado River canyon. As we gaze out at the ever-changing panorama, we see the pinnacles, arches and spires of the park’s Needles district and the lofty La Sal Mountains looming in the distance. Our guides can choose from various trail options depending on conditions but every route will deliver picture-postcard vistas and unforgettable views. After our active day of adventure in Canyonlands, we return to our cozy camp in time for appetizers and a delicious al fresco dinner. All meals included.
Hiking: Up to 8 miles with elevation gain/loss of up to 1,500’; Terrain: slickrock and dirt trails. Transfer: 2.5 hours
We break camp this morning and transfer back to extraordinary Arches National Park. With over 2,000 sandstone arches of all shapes and sizes lying within its borders, the park contains the largest concentration of natural stone arches on Earth. After a stop at the visitor center, we drive to the Devil’s Garden trailhead where we begin today’s hike. Winding our way over wind-sculpted sandstone, we visit a variety of the park’s iconic arches including Double O Arch and 306-foot-long Landscape Arch, one of the longest natural stone spans in the world. After our walk in the “Garden”, we end the day with a final road transfer to our campsite in Torrey, Utah, a stone’s throw from Capitol Reef National Park. All meals included.
Hiking: 4-6 miles; Elevation gain/loss: 500-800’; Terrain: slickrock and dirt trails; Transfer: 4 hours
Still relatively undiscovered, Capitol Reef National Park is a gem in the U.S. National Park system. Waterpocket Fold, the park’s central feature, is a 100-mile-long wrinkle in the Earth's crust which has eroded over time into massive sandstone domes, narrow slot canyons and graceful arches. We spend most of the day exploring some of the highlights of Capitol Reef starting with a scenic drive to our trailhead along Waterpocket Fold’s tilted layers of burgundy, grey, red, orange and white-colored rock. Today’s through-hike traverses part of the Grand Wash and gives us access to some of the best backcountry in the park. After our immersion in this untrammeled wilderness, our trail ultimately leads us back to our vehicle, waiting to shuttle us to our nearby camp. All meals included.
Hiking: 6 miles; Elevation gain/loss: 1,000’; Terrain: slickrock, sandy washes and dirt trails; Transfer: 1.5 hours
It's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument that captures our imagination today as we explore the monument on a hike to a hidden waterfall. Departing Torrey this morning, we head south and west along Utah's Scenic Byway 12 to our trailhead for Lower Calf Creek Falls. Here we begin our six-mile hike to the 130-foot waterfalls, a lush oasis concealed deep within the tumbled stone and slickrock of Grand Staircase-Escalante. Continuing to Bryce Canyon, we spend the night in a campsite near the national park, an ideal spot for stargazing in one of the darkest nighttime locations in the U.S. All meals included.
Hiking: 6 miles; Elevation gain/loss: 866'; Terrain: dirt trails; Transfer: 3 hours
Gazing into Bryce Canyon for the first time, it's hard not to feel an overwhelming sense of awe at the sheer number of hoodoos that rise from the canyon floor forming a jagged, colorful landscape unlike any other on the planet. We take full advantage of our hiking time in Bryce today beginning with the outstanding Fairyland Loop hike this morning. During our walks, photographic opportunities abound as we descend into the canyon proper surrounded by the warm-colored sandstone, stands of jade green pine trees, and the whimsical hoodoos that make this national park so uniquely captivating. Saying goodbye to Bryce we jump back aboard our van and hit the road for Zion National Park, the final stop on our amazing journey. All meals included.
Hiking: 6 miles; Elevation gain/loss: 1,600'; Terrain: dirt trails and sandy washes; Transfer: 3 hours
Zion’s extraordinary beauty immediately reveals itself as we set out to explore this iconic park. We’ll start out with a morning hike on one of its many trails before hopping aboard the park shuttle to the entrance of the spectacular Zion Narrows. Alternating between hiking and wading, our trail is the Virgin River itself as it winds its way between 1,000-foot-tall canyon walls. We follow the river for a few miles, marveling at the hanging gardens, beautiful geology, and play of light in this enormous slot canyon before returning downriver. Afterward, we’ll explore another trail with spectacular views before returning to camp. Tonight, we gather for a special celebration dinner and reflect on all the wonders we’ve seen during our time together. All meals included.
Hiking: up to 6-7 miles; Elevation loss/gain: up to 368'; Terrain: dirt trails, river wading (sometimes in thigh to waist-deep water)
Before beginning our drive to Las Vegas, one final invigorating hike in Zion awaits us. The trail up to Scout Lookout is cut into sandstone walls and follows Walter's Wiggles, a series of 21 switchbacks leading up to a lofty viewpoint overlooking the soaring cliffs of Zion Canyon. If time permits after we return from Scouts Lookout, we’ll hike on a nearby trail before setting out for Las Vegas where we’ll say our final farewells. Please do not schedule any flights out of Las Vegas until later this evening. Breakfast and lunch included.
Hiking: up to 6.5 miles; Elevation gain/loss: up to 1,500’; Terrain: dirt trails; Transfer: 3 hours