This trip is rated Moderate . Trip members should have previous hiking experience and be in good physical condition. Upon arrival, you should be able to hike up to 6 miles with a 5–10 pound daypack, over terrain with elevation gain and loss up to 1,500', for consecutive days in a row without major discomfort. There are some steep sections and exposed overlooks on the various trails we hike. Angels Landing hike in particular has places with long drop-offs and a last section along a steep, narrow ridge to the summit. The altitude at the rim on Bryce Canyon is between 8–9,000'. This may cause hikes to feel harder and use more energy than at lower levels. In the summer, temperatures can soar to 90°F+ in both Zion and Grand Staircase Escalante canyons and may also make hikes feel more strenuous. Please keep these conditions in mind when training for this adventure.
Our trip begins this morning in Las Vegas (Henderson), Nevada. We meet our guides 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 the Watchman Campground in Zion National Park. Lunch and dinner included.
5 miles (with a significant amount of river wading), Elevation gain/loss: Minimal; Van transfer: 3 hours
Wake to the song of canyon wrens and the smell of freshly brewed coffee as we enjoy breakfast in camp before embarking upon one of the most thrilling and famous hikes in the Southwest: Angels Landing. This long, steady climb culminates in an exhilarating half-mile of hiking along an exposed sandstone ridge.
Rewards at the top are the feeling of accomplishment and the stunning views of the canyon below making this challenging hike worth all the effort. After our hike, a refreshing swim in the Virgin River caps an unforgettable day! Back at camp, look forward to another relaxing evening filled with great food with new friends. All meals included.
Hiking: Up to 5.4 miles. Total elevation gain/loss: 1,488’. Transportation within Zion NP is via National Park shuttle.
Our Zion camp host bids farewell this morning with a delicious breakfast spread while our gear is loaded and we prepare to depart Zion for Bryce Canyon National Park to begin the next chapter of our adventure. Our van transfer today takes less than two hours, and the scenic drive traverses Red Canyon, providing just a glimpse of the grandeur that awaits us at Bryce. After a bountiful picnic lunch to fuel our bodies, we'll arrive at Fairyland Point to our first dramatic views of Bryce Canyon National Park. This chain of natural amphitheaters, formed by erosion, is packed with thousands of brightly colored spires or "hoodoos" banded in red, orange and white, some standing more than 200' tall, all steeped in the mythology of the ancient Paiute people. After donning our hiking boots and daypacks, we hike down into the canyon to walk among the hoodoos. We'll explore the incredible Fairyland Loop Trail, taking in the well-known landmarks of Sinking Ship, Tower Bridge, and the Chinese Wall. After our hike, we transfer by van to our exclusive Bryce Canyon Signature Camp where our host will welcome us in style as we arrive to find everything in its place for another night of camping perfection. All meals included.
Hiking: 6 miles. Total elevation gain/loss: 1,900'.
The smell of pinion pine and juniper mingled with fresh coffee and steaming hot breakfast begins a new day. 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 wilderness area in southern Utah. We hike three miles along a river, passing Native American 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 the trailhead. Tonight, we'll enjoy a final relaxing evening in our Signature Camp, complete with a farewell dinner and celebration. All meals included.
Hiking: 6 miles. Total elevation gain/loss: 370'
This morning we transfer to the rim of Bryce Canyon where we enjoy a spectacular sunrise before starting on our final classic hike. We descend through the famed skyscraper hoodoos of Wall Street and past the walls of Bristlecone Ridge as we admire the changing light illuminating the canyon. We emerge from the park at Tropic Trailhead, where our camp host will meet us. A ten-minute drive takes us back to camp, where we have time to pack up and eat a tasty brunch before departure. Loading the van, we start the 4.5 hour drive to Las Vegas. En route, we make stops to stretch our legs, enjoy a short hike and savor our last picnic lunch together. We expect to arrive at the Las Vegas airport by approximately 5pm and our host hotel at 6pm, local time. Please do not schedule a departing flight prior to 8pm. Breakfast and lunch provided.
Hiking: 4.6 miles. Total elevation gain/loss: 1342'