Our trip begins at 10am today at the Grand Junction, Colorado airport. After introductions we transfer to our comfortable accommodations in Moab, Utah. This afternoon we set out on a hike that provides incredible views of massive fin-like sandstone rock formations. We admire the deep red and pink hued colors of the canyons while enjoying a guide-prepared picnic dinner. Lunch and dinner included.
Hiking: 4+ miles on sand and slickrock trails; Elevation gain/loss: 800'; Driving: 2 hours.?
Today?s hike is in Canyonlands National Park. The trail begins with a gradual climb across open wildflower-filled grassland toward the rim of Island in the Sky mesa. The sandy trail eventually changes to slickrock before reaching a mesa-top vantage point offering awe-inspiring views across the Colorado River Canyon to the soaring sandstone pinnacles and spires of White Rim. Watching for bighorn sheep, we hike just below the mesa rim along the Lathrop Trail, with the cliffs of Island in the Sky above and the fantastically-carved red rock canyons of the Colorado River spread out before us. Tonight we dine in Moab. All meals included.
Hiking: up to 8 miles on sand and slickrock trails; Elevation gain/loss: 600'.
Reaching Arches National Park, we travel along a dirt road through the Salt Valley to the remote Klondike Bluffs region. This area is seldom visited by other hikers. We hike to Tower Arch via a series of steep climbs over slickrock and sand, walking between massive cliffs that are hundreds of feet high. We enjoy a picnic lunch with time to enjoy the views of monoliths that comprise the surrounding landscape . You can also practice your scrambling skills. The next section of the hike includes a multitude of sandstone fins; the enormity of the landscape provides a sense of awe. Dinner is on your own in Moab, with transfers provided by your guides. Breakfast and lunch included.
Hiking: 5.5 miles along primitive sand and slickrock trails; Elevation gain/loss: 600'; Driving: 3 hours.
We set out to a hiker's paradise, the remote Needles section of Canyonlands National Park. Before entering the park, we take time to view a series of ancient pictographs and petroglyphs at Newspaper Rock State Historic Monument. There are hundreds of fascinating petroglyphs (some dating back 2000 years) carved into the rock face by the Native American peoples who passed through this region over the centuries. Our hike begins at Squaw Flat. We are treated to unforgettable vistas of this entire region of Canyonlands, including an astonishing array of sandstone "needles" rising from the slickrock landscape like a city of stone skyscrapers. Our hike concludes at Elephant Hill trailhead. Returning to our lodge, we have dinner together. All meals included.
Hiking: 6 miles, mostly on slickrock; Elevation gain/loss: 600'; Driving: 4 hours.
Arches National Park is our focus today. With giant balanced rocks, colorful hoodoos, and more than 2000 sandstone arches of all shapes and sizes lying within its borders, Arches National Park is nature's sculpture garden. Our hike takes us through the tall canyon walls of Park Avenue, where we are surrounded by imposing red cliffs. Continuing our hike, we reach the most extraordinary natural arch in the Southwest - the magical Delicate Arch. Perched above a striated sandstone basin, the graceful shape, color and location of Delicate Arch make it a photographer's dream. We pause for a picnic lunch with wonderful views of this natural work of art. Next, we hike the Devil's Garden Trail to view Landscape Arch, the longest in the park, stretching to more than 300 feet. The Double Arch and Windows Trail round out our day of exploring. We stop at the park?s visitor center, then return to our lodge. Dinner is in Moab. All meals included.
Hiking: Up to 8.5 miles on sand and slickrock trails; Elevation gain/loss: 1000'; Driving: 1 hour.
We depart our lodge and begin our journey back to Grand Junction, Colorado. En route we take a final hike on the Grandstaff Canyon Trail to see Morning Glory Natural Bridge, the sixth longest natural rock span in the U.S. Following a picnic lunch, we continue our drive to reach Grand Junction by 4pm. Breakfast and lunch included.
Hiking: 4.3 miles over sand and slickrock with a few small creek crossings; Elevation gain/loss: 400'; Driving: 2 hours.