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 early this morning in Las Vegas (Henderson), Nevada at our host hotel. Our guides talk us through the basics and offer invaluable tips about outdoor gear with women’s considerations in mind. After the orientation, we grab our sack lunches, hop in our van and set out for Zion. Towards the end of the three-hour drive, the peaks of Zion rise to meet us. Our first hike is in the spectacular Narrows, a deep, water-filled chasm carved by the North Fork of the Virgin River. We travel upstream (often wading in shallow water) through the steep sandstone walls of The Narrows before returning to the trailhead. After our hike we return via shuttle to our van and complete the drive to our private REI Signature Camp. At camp we'll settle in, enjoy appetizers and drinks together while we get oriented to the site. Then enjoy an abundant dinner spread as evening sets in. Lunch and dinner included.
Hiking: Up to 5 miles. Elevation gain/loss 200’. Transportation inside Zion NP is via National Park shuttle.
Wake to the song of canyon wrens and the smell of freshly brewed coffee as we have breakfast in camp. After breakfast, we embark on 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 transferring back to our tranquil camp later today, we enjoy an invigorating afternoon yoga session before another relaxing evening filled with great food, drink and shared memories with new friends. All meals included.
Hiking: Up to 5.4 miles. Total elevation gain/loss: 1,488’. Transportation inside Zion NP is via National Park shuttle.
After a breakfast of blueberry pancakes and maple sausage (or one of many other great hot breakfast possibilities), we bid farewell to our REI Signature Camp near Zion and relax during a scenic, two-hour drive to Bryce Canyon National Park. We arrive at Fairyland Point and relish our first dramatic views of Bryce. 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 over 200 feet tall. We explore part of the incredible Fairyland Loop Trail to Sunset Point, taking in the well-known landmarks of Sinking Ship, Tower Bridge, and the Chinese Wall. After our hike, we transfer 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: 6.1 miles. Total elevation 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 an incredible 126’ waterfall. After refueling and refreshing, we hike back through canyon country to the trailhead. Another relaxing yoga session at camp ends the day on a delightful note. Tonight, we spend a final 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 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'll have time for showers and 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. Breakfast and lunch provided.
Hiking: 4.6 miles. Total elevation loss: 1342'