Our northern neighbor state of Utah is a superb destination for spring and fall hiking. Our Southern Utah hiking tour of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Bryce, and Zion National Parks shows off one highlight after the next at some of the most spectacular National Parks in the Southwest. This tour is lodge-based, spending one night in St. George, Utah, one night in Kanab, and two nights apiece at Bryce and Zion National Parks. Each day we’ll enjoy some of the finest day-hikes in the Southwest and relax at unique lodges set in or near the parks each evening.
Meeting in St. George, Utah, we’ll split our time at 3 gorgeous inns near each park, taking memorable hikes each day. Colorful spires, hidden waterfalls, narrow canyons, and soaring rock walls make every day a highlight. Our typical day starts with breakfast at our hotel. Soon we’ll be out on the trail, exploring each of these parks in depth. Each morning, you’ll be handed a lunch to carry, and at a mid-point along the way we’ll choose a beautiful spot to stop and enjoy our picnic. We should finish our hike around 4 pm, giving you time to wash up, relax, or perhaps do a bit of shopping in town. After that, we’ll enjoy dinner together at our hotel or a favorite nearby restaurant that serves delicious local southwest specialties!
This tour can be combined with our Northern Arizona Highlights tour for a longer, 2-week Southwest tour, with a $300 discount for combining two tours. Please ask if you are interested.
In order to best accommodate each group, our specific hikes will be decided by your guide during your tour, but here is a sample of what to expect:
St. George, Utah – Fly to Las Vegas and take a shuttle, rent a car and drive to St. George, or you can fly directly to St. George Municipal Airport. We’ll meet in the evening for a nice dinner and talk about the trip to come. a nice dinner and talk about the trip to come.
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument –This morning we’ll head off to our first destination, Grand Staircase-Escalante–a land of fantastic spires, buttes, and twisting canyons. The hike through Phipps Wash to the Escalante River is a fantastic hike through forest and red rock canyons to the lush canyon floor. We’ll spend the night in Kanab at a charming family-run boutique hotel.
Bryce – After a leisurely morning, we’ll transfer north by van to Bryce Canyon National Park. Bryce is known for it’s otherworldly amphitheaters of colorful hoodoos (spires) and natural bridges.
The Fairyland trail gives us a great opportunity to soak in the atmosphere, a 3 hour hike through some of the finest scenery in the park. We can hike right to our lodge, the Bryce Canyon Lodge. Built in the 1920’s, the historic Bryce Canyon Lodge is just a short walk from the canyon rim.
Zion – Today we discover Zion National Park, a stunning park with orange-red canyon walls that tower over 3000′ above the canyon floor.
A morning transfer is followed by a spectacular hike, perhaps to Observation Point or Angel’s Landing, two of Zion’s best hikes, with sweeping canyon views that will take your breath away. Our lodging tonight is in the Cliffrose Lodge, a luxurious hotel in nearby Springdale with outdoor swimming pool, hot-tub and grand views.
Zion – Another of Zion’s classic hikes leads through the Zion narrows. Wading through the Virgin River (sometimes up to your thighs), this hike is a unique and challenging opportunity to hike through a impressive and narrow gorge, with waterfalls, hanging gardens and memories galore.
A more moderate option is a thrilling hike to Angel’s Landing, across a narrow sandstone fin to outstanding views in all directions. Truly a classic and fitting way to finish a great trip! Return to Springdale for our last night.
depart – After breakfast, we’ll return to St. George where you can continue on to your post-tour destinations.
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