Type: Lodge-Based Hiking
Days: 5 or 6 Days
Distance: 30 to 40 mi/ 48 to 64 km
Origin: St. George, UT
Cost: 5-Days: $2125/person, 6-Days: $2550/person (plus Utah sales tax, 6.5%)
Single Supplement: 5-Days: + $400, 6-Days: + $450
This classic Utah hiking tour is one of our favorites! Towering cliffs, sparkling waterfalls, deep & narrow canyons, slickrock expanses and unimaginable views await the hiker that visits Southern Utah. Our Best of Canyon Country Lodge-Based Hiking Tour will take you to a number of the greatest destinations in the Southwest including Zion & Bryce National Parks, as well as the lesser known Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, home to incredible slot canyons, natural arches and innumerable ancient ruins. Spend your days exploring these outstanding destinations with a small day pack and relax each evening in a comfortable lodge, enjoying meals in nearby restaurants. Enjoy 1 or 2 days in Zion exploring it’s towering heights and narrow canyons. Next, it’s off to Bryce Canyon for a hike through its unearthly landscape of hoodoos and rock towers. We top it all off with a few days exploring the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, with its incredible diversity of slot canyons, slickrock, arches and rich ancient human history. This trip is a guide favorite and we’re confident you’ll agree.
Meet your guide for breakfast and a brief orientation at 6am. Depart St. George for the 1 hour drive to Zion National Park. Our first hike will take us into the famous Narrows of the Virgin River. This watery hike requires us to get a little wet as the “trail” simply follows the small river up an incredible, narrow sandstone canyon. We explore upriver, relishing in the ever-evolving views, before returning the way we came. After a full day enjoying the park, we will check into our hotel in Springdale, just outside the park. Tonight you are free to dine on your own at one of the many wonderful restaurants in Springdale. Free shuttle buses make finding your way around Springdale very easy and enjoyable. *Please note: If the Virgin River is flowing at high rates or thunderstorms/rain showers are imminent, a different hike will be chosen. There are many options for excellent hikes in Zion.
Drive Time: 1 hour
Distance & Elevation: ~5 miles, minimal elevation
Another day in Zion offers us the opportunity to hike up the canyon’s towering walls to the famous Angels Landing, offering one of the best views in the park. Many switchbacks will zig-zag their way up from the canyon floor. After a brief rest at Scout Lookout, we begin the final ascent along a narrow sandstone spine and up to summit at Angels Landing! The steady ascent will test your endurance and you’re your heart pumping. Nonetheless, the rewards from trail’s end are magnificent views of the canyon below and are well-worth the effort. We return the way we came and the afternoon offers some time to relax or explore a little further with your guide.
Drive Time: 15 minutes
Distance & Elevation: 5.4 miles, 1500 foot ascent/descent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Next it’s off to Bryce Canyon. Today we explore along and beneath the rim of Bryce Canyon. The Fairyland Loop offers all that Bryce is famous for: unique rock towers (hoodoos), natural arches and windows and spectacular views. And it’s also less crowded than some of the other trails in the park. You’ll enjoy the fascinating features like the Chinese Wall, Boat Mesa and Tower Bridge. There are plentiful ups and downs along the way making this a moderately strenuous hike but the rewards are plentiful! After our hike, we will transfer to our lodge in the town of Escalante for showers before heading out for dinner at a local restaurant.
Drive Time: 2.5 hours
Distance & Elevation: 8 miles, 2300 foot descent/ascent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Slot Canyons!!! Perhaps you’ve seen them in pictures but to walk through these spectacular, narrow canyons is an experience you won’t soon forget. Beautifully carved by endless centuries of rushing water, these sandstone canyons are a photographers dream. You’ve got to see it to believe it! A visit to Devil’s Garden with its unique rock formations will round out another fabulous day in Canyon Country.
Drive Time: 1.5 hours
Distance & Elevation: 6 to 8 miles, minimal elevation
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today is all about waterfalls! Calf Creek is a gorgeous canyon with lush vegetation, cool, clear water and the idyllic Lower Calf Creek Falls. Enjoy a dip in the creek while your guide prepares a tasty lunch beneath the shady cottonwoods. If time allows, there is an opportunity to visit Upper Calf Creek Falls, an equally breathtaking oasis.
Drive Time: 1 hour
Distance & Elevation: 6 to 8 miles, 400 foot ascent/descent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
On our final day, we will pack up and head back towards St. George. A stop in Red Canyon State Park offers a final opportunity to get out and stretch our legs in this dramatic landscape. Stunning views and quiet trails are the flavor of the day in Red Canyon, a seldom-visited jewel of Canyon Country. Your guide will choose one of many great hikes to suit the desires of the group. After lunch, we will finish up the drive back to St. George for farewells.
Drive Time: 4 hours
Distance & Elevation: 6 miles, 500 foot ascent/descent
5-Day Option: For those looking for a shorter trip, our 5-day itinerary spends one less day in Zion National Park. We will embark on a hike to Observation Point on Day 1. All other days are as described above.
*Final itineraries are occasionally subject to change due to permit/campsite availability, park restrictions/closures, weather conditions and/or road closures.
- A professional, licensed and medically trained guide
- All necessary gear: backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, trekking poles
- All cooking/eating gear: bowls, cups, utensils (your guide will prepare all meals)
- All meals from a light breakfast on Day 1 through lunch on the last day + trail snacks
- Rountrip transportation from your hotel in St. George, UT
- Entrance fees, camping fees and backcountry permits
What’s Not Included:
- Transportation to/from St. George, UT
- Lodging the night before/after the trip
- Clothing, raingear, and footwear
- Personal toiletries, sunscreen
- Water bottles/hydration bladder
- Headlamp or flashlight
- Guide gratuity (suggested 10-20% of trip cost)
*Upon booking you will receive a detailed trip information packet
How many people are in the group?
Most trips in Utah will accommodate 6 people plus one guide. On occasion, a group may be as large as 9 people plus 2 guides.
Are there age restrictions?
Children under the age of 12 are generally not permitted on regularly scheduled trips. This restriction may be negotiable on private tours. Please contact us with any questions regarding this policy.
How do I sign up?
In order to confirm a reservation, we require an initial non-refundable deposit of $250 per person, with the final balance due 90 days prior to the trip’s departure. If you book a trip within 90 days of the trip’s scheduled departure, then full payment is due at the time of booking.
Your deposit is payable over the phone by Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, or Discover. You can also pay by personal check or PayPal (PayPal incurs a 1.5% surcharge). Call our office Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm Arizona time. 1-877-272-5032
Where does the trip begin/end?
This trip will begin/end in St. George, UT and you will need to spend the night prior to your trip’s scheduled departure in St. George. You will want to fly into either Las Vegas (2 hour drive) or St. George. Please visit our Travel Resources page for information on airports, shuttles/rental cars and recommended hotels.
Where do meet our guides?
We will meet for at 6:00am the morning of your trip’s departure at the Best Western Abbey Inn in St. George. It is best to plan on staying at this hotel the evening prior to your trip’s departure.
What do we do with our car and extra stuff?
We will provide all transportation to/from trailheads for the duration of the trip. We will pick you up at your hotel in St. George and return you there at the trip’s conclusion. Guests staying at the Best Western Abbey Inn (recommended) can leave their cars at the hotel. The hotel will often store your luggage for you, as well, but please confirm this option in advance. If you are staying at a different hotel, you will need to check with them as to whether you can leave your car/luggage there.
What time will we get back on the last day?
Expect to be back in St. George by 5pm at the latest on the last day of the trip. Many trips will return earlier but we cannot make any guarantees. In general, it is recommended that you do not plan to fly home on the same day your trip finishes. Since each trip has slightly different logistics, feel free to contact us with specific questions related to the expected return time for your trip.
All lodge-based tours are currently postponed through May 2021, except for preexisting reservations.
Don’t see your dates? Custom dates may be available!
Call 1-877-272-5032 or email us for details.