Best of Utah Basecamp

St. George, UT
5.0 (50 reviews)

Trip Highlights

  • Hike Zion & Bryce
  • Explore Grand Staircase
  • Waterfalls & Slot Canyons
  • Stunning Views
  • Comfortable Camping
  • Canyon Country Solitude
  • Arches, Spires, Oases & Natural Bridges
  • Delicious Outdoor Cuisine

Description

See the best of Zion, Bryce and Escalante, Utah’s most celebrated national park destinations, on our 6-day basecamp hiking tour! Our daily hikes will take you to the must-see highlights of these breathtaking parks. Experience Utah’s spring-fed creeks, deep canyons, diversity of colors, and its array of sandstone sculptures – spires, arches, and towers. In the evenings you can relax, enjoy our fantastic outdoor cuisine, and have access to showers in beautiful, comfortable basecamps!

This trip begins with hikes in Zion and Bryce, and is capped off with our hikes in the amazing Grand Staircase-Escalante. Our first stop is at Zion National Park, where you’ll experience two days of desert rivers, box canyons, ominous towers, and 8 layers of sandstone carved away by millions of years of intense weather. Then it’s on to Bryce Canyon National Park, where we’ll spend a day exploring its famous “hoodoos” (rock spires) and incredible diversity. And finally we end up in Escalante, where for 2 days we’ll explore hidden canyons, oases, arches, and waterfalls in one of Utah’s – and even America’s – best kept secrets.

Read more …
6 Days
$2040 Per Person
Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Basecamp Tour
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 4-6 Guests
Trip Length: 6 Days
Distance: 30+MI / 48+KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 2

Scale of 1-5. 1 is least difficult; 5 is most difficult

SUMMARY OF DIFFICULTY
This trip follows a mix of well-maintained trails and more rugged terrain. It includes mostly moderate hiking distances and elevation gains/losses. The most rugged parts of the tour are hiking on slippery river rocks in the Zion Narrows and the slot canyons of Escalante. There is occasional heights exposure where drop-offs are 2-3 feet from the trail. Finally, the slot canyons can require scrambling and negotiating narrow spaces.
Hiking Distances:

2-10 mi
Backpack Weight:

8-12 lbs
Terrain:

Moderately Rugged
Max Daily Elev. Gain:

1200-1700 ft
Heights Exposure:

Significant

Please Note: Terrain, Elevation Gain and Heights Exposure ratings reflect the section or day of the trip with the maximum difficulty of each. Much of the trip is at easier levels. See the trip itinerary for more detailed information.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS

  • Hiking uphill or downhill with a 8-12 lb backpack for 6-8 hours
  • Maintaining balance and footing on moderately rugged terrain, including slippery river rocks in the Zion Narrows and slot canyons in Escalante
  • Hiking with occasional, significant heights exposure

SOLITUDE LEVEL 2

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Utah basecamp tour a Level 2 for solitude. In Zion and Bryce we’ll be around other hikers much of the time. In the Grand Staircase-Escalante you can expect as much as an hour of solitude at a time.

TRAVEL TO ST. GEORGE

This Utah trip originates in St. George, Utah where you’ll meet your guide and group. St. George has a small airport served by Delta Connection and United Express. From the St. George Airport one can take a taxi into town or some hotels offer a complimentary airport shuttle. The more popular method of travel though is to fly into Las Vegas, NV and take a shuttle (www.stgshuttle.com) to St. George. This is often your cheapest option. It is a 2-hour drive from Las Vegas to St. George on good roads.

UTAH SALES TAX

Utah is the only state we are based in that charges sales tax to outfitters and guides. The sales tax is based on the St. George, UT municipality rates, which are adjusted occasionally but are in the 6-7% range. For all of our hiking and backpacking tours that originate from our St. George, Utah base (Utah trips and Death Valley trips), the sales tax will be applied automatically to your payments. Feel free to call us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) with any questions!

Private Trips

Travel in perfect company by booking a private trip exclusively for your group!

Our sliding scale for private trips is based on the final number of guests in your group. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax, national park fees or guide gratuity. The final rate is based on the actual number of guests on the trip and may adjust based on cancellations or additions.

Please Note: you can also enjoy a private trip at our normal scheduled rates by filling any empty tour to capacity. However, if group members drop from the tour those spots will automatically become available on our website for instant booking. By purchasing a private trip at the rates listed below, your trip will remain exclusive to your group regardless of cancellations. 

Private Rates FOr This Trip

  • 2 People: Rate x 2.5
  • 3 People: Rate x 1.75
  • 4-5 People: Rate x 1.5
  • 6-8 People: Rate x 1.25
  • 9-12 People: Rate x 1.15

*all rates are per person

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Itinerary

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Shuttle to trailhead: 1.5-hour drive from St. George, Utah
  • Hiking Mileage: 8-11 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1200-1700 feet

This Utah hiking tour starts in St. George, Utah where we’ll drive to Zion National Park for our first day’s hike. Beginning near the Park Visitors Center, we’ll enjoy the start of the morning in relative solitude with a lesser-traveled hike through the lower canyon.

After a quick break, we’ll board the Zion shuttle bus and travel up-canyon to our next trailhead. Here, we’ll hike up to Scout Lookout where we’ll relish dramatic views of the surrounding canyon system. From our vantage point above the canyon floor, we’ll traverse along the canyon walls on well maintained trails to the Emerald Pools complex where we’ll marvel at the majestic desert oasis pools before descending to the lawn of the historic Zion Lodge for a late picnic lunch.

Following lunch, we’ll make our way down-canyon to pick up hiking gear for tomorrow’s adventure in the Virgin River Narrows before departing for our camp for the evening.

Day 2

  • Hiking Mileage: 5 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 60 feet

Our second day’s hike is arguably the most iconographic in Zion — the Virgin River Narrows. Our hike starts with a stroll down the paved River Trail. Buttressed by water on our left and a 3,000-foot cliff face on the right, the River Trail gives us an up-close appreciation for the powerful hydrological forces that carved this incredible canyon.

After a mile of walking along hanging gardens and under the dappled shade of majestic cottonwoods, the sidewalk ends. Wearing seasonally appropriate water gear, we’ll enter the river. Hiking in moving water can be a new and exciting experience for many. We’ll take time to get our “stream legs” before walking another 1.5 miles upriver to our turnaround point at Orderville Canyon.

Before descending back downstream, we’ll be certain to get a few more photos of the Narrows’ majestic beauty and, of course, stop-off for a relaxing shoreline lunch before returning to the trailhead.

After our hike we’ll have some time to relax before enjoying a great dinner, a possible evening walk and a good night’s sleep.

Please note: Based on the weather forecast days 1 and 2 may be swapped by your guide to optimize our chances of hiking the Narrows. In the event of dangerously high water, the Virgin River Narrows hike will be rerouted to a different trail in Zion. The Park is full of unforgettable hiking and scenery, so it’s easy to find an excellent substitute. To learn how seasonal river flows can affect your hike of the Virgin River Narrows, please review this article.

Day 3

  • Shuttle to Bryce NP: 3-hour drive from Zion
  • Hiking Mileage: 5.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 900-1545 feet

On Day 3 we’ll break camp and make our way to the Escalante country, visiting Bryce Canyon National Park en route. We’ll enjoy one of the lesser-hiked trails in Bryce, but one that offers some of the most impressive scenery in the Park. We’ll be in the northern part of Bryce, where we’ll enjoy superb vistas of Boat Mesa, the Sinking Ship formation, Tower Bridge, China Wall, Fairyland Canyon and other amazing rock structures.

After our hike we’ll continue to our Escalante Camp for a tasty dinner and night of rest and recuperation.

Day 4

  • Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 860 feet

Our first hike in the Escalante country will take us to the spectacular Calf Creek Falls. This is a beautiful hike along a flat, sandy canyon bottom. We’ll pass indian ruins and pictographs, and have a good chance of seeing some wildlife. At the end of the trail we can take a swim (if you’re hearty – this water is surprisingly cold) below the 128-foot falls. We’ll eat lunch at the falls, and then have the opportunity to visit the town of Boulder, UT where we can make an optional visit to Anasazi State Park. This site was home to one of the largest Anasazi communities west of the Colorado River. Once done at Anasazi State Park, we’ll drive back to our basecamp and enjoy a delicious dinner.

Day 5

  • Hiking Mileage: 7-10 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 650 feet

This day takes through one of the most physically fun hikes in all of southern Utah. Driving down historic Hole-in-the-Rock Road, we’ll hike out to the exciting and fun Spooky and Peek-a-Boo Canyons. Spooky is aptly named as it’s a dark, narrow slot that requires lots of sideways walking with your daypack in your hand. Peek-a-Boo is also brilliant but quite different; it’s filled with interconnected potholes, arches, and grottos. Along our drive back, we’ll take the opportunity to visit the incredible Devil’s Garden. This is a great spot for young and old alike as it’s a fairyland of small knobs, arches, and other eroded landforms.

Day 6

  • Hiking Mileage: 2.2 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 545 feet
  • Shuttle Time: 4.5 hours

On our last morning we’ll eat breakfast, breakdown camp, and head west toward the starting point of our trip, St. George, Utah. But the trip isn’t over yet! We’ll stop at Bryce Canyon National Park for a second time to enjoy another classic hike through its famous hoodoos and specacular vistas. Our hike, the Navajo Loop, takes us down from the rim, through the stunning corridors of Wall Street and past the Silent City, before bringing us back to the rim of the amphitheatre. We’ll enjoy lunch on the rim, gazing into the maze of Wall Street and contemplating our incredible week. After lunch we’ll load up and head back to St. George, where we’ll say our goodbyes and start scheming about our next adventure!

Snow Canyon Add-On Hike

Extend your adventure with a day hike in the amazing “Miniature Zion Canyon” – Snow Canyon State Park! Click here to learn more.

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes. Normal terms and conditions apply to trips with itinerary changes.

Trip Dates & Booking

TRIP DATES & BOOKING

Click on a date to register. You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.

Available to Book

AVAILABLE TO BOOK

This trip is available and bookable online! Click on the date to register now or contact us online to book through our award-winning customer service team!

Going Fast

GOING FAST

This trip has 1 or 2 spots remaining and is bookable online! Click on the date to book now or contact us online to book through customer service.

Request a Reservation

REQUEST A RESERVATION

This trip is exclusively booked through customer service due to logistics with lodging, permits, staffing, availability, or something else. Please contact us online or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to request a reservation.

Don't see your dates? Call us! We may be able to add new trip dates.

800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Details

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Top-of-the-line tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and day pack
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Utah hiking guide
  • Roundtrip transportation from your hotel in St. George, Utah
  • National park entrance fees
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • A Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and dependents to a discount of 10% off any Wildland hiking trip after your first one (must book directly with us to receive the discount)!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (see recommendations)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about what to pack.

Meals: What to Expect

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the outdoors – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.

Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:

  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware sleeping bags
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)

What Gear to Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and either a headlamp or flashlight per person. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important.

What Clothes to Bring

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with detailed guidance about what clothes to pack (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, and our recommended clothing system. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required.

Trip Logistics

Trip Logistics

How Do I Register?

Reserve your spot today! In the Trip Dates & Booking section of this page, the green and red dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you’re ready to register we’ll email you a link to a registration profile. You’ll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit.

Feel free to call us for more info – we’re here 7 days a week!

Where Do We Meet?

You will rendezvous with the guide and group in St. George, Utah for an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM the evening before the trip begins. Your guide will be in contact approximately 2 weeks before your trip starts to specify the orientation location. The guide will then pick you up at your hotel the next morning for transport to the trailhead. For Private Utah Tours your guide can meet you at your hotel in St. George or Cedar City, Utah at an agreed upon time.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about flights, shuttles, recommended lodging and more.

Start/End Times

Your guide will inform you of the first day’s pick-up time at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 5 and 8 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will drop you off at your hotel on the final day no later than 7 PM.

Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT’s, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We’ve developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and all tours carry an emergency communication device. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.

Guides

Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.

Guide Working Parameters

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time…etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides’ off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.

Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on this hiking tour is 6 guests and 1 guide; private trips can go up to 12 guests. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and we’ll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:

  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis

Weather in The Southern Utah

Weather in Southern Utah
Southern Utah is a high desert. The weather is very moderate: occasional dustings of snow in the winter that melt rapidly, and summer temperatures in the low 90s (°F) that often cool down with thunderstorms. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). The ideal time to be in the Canyon Country is Spring and Fall.

Read below for sample average high and low temperatures in Utah’s Canyon Country. Zion represents the lower elevations (4000 feet) and Bryce represents the higher elevations (7700 feet):

Month Zion Bryce
hi low hi low
January 54° 30° 37° 15°
February 59° 34° 38° 17°
March 66° 39° 45° 23°
April 75° 45° 54° 29°
May 86° 54° 64°  37°
June 95° 63° 75° 45°
July 100° 70° 80° 53°
August 99° 68° 77° 50°
September 91° 61° 70° 42°
October 79° 48° 58° 32°
November 64° 37° 45° 23°
December 54° 30° 36° 15°

Accommodations

Accommodations

Premier Campgrounds

5 NIGHTS

On our signature camping tours we hand pick wonderful campgrounds that put us right in the action for exceptional hiking and camping vacations. They may be national park, state park, or private campgrounds. They may vary by trip date depending on availability and seasonality.

Fantastic Meals

17 MEALS

Basecamp trips include meals for the duration of the tours beginning with breakfast the first day through lunch the final day. Meals are prepared by your guide(s) using fresh ingredients, exclusive Wildland recipes, and we adhere to all department of health outdoor cooking codes.

Comfortable Camping

CAMPING AMENITIES

What amenities do basecamp tours include? Cold and hot drinks, campfires (where/when allowed), camp chairs, access to showers, fresh food, roomy tents, comfortable sleeping pads, comfy sleeping bags, camp pillows and more! Camp comfortably, eat like royalty, and hike til your heart’s content!

Trip Reviews

Trip Reviews

  • Average Customer Ratings:

  • 5.0 (50 reviews)
Becky C.
5.0

Do this trip!

3 months ago

This was my first trip with Wildland Trekking and it was a great experience. The beauty of Southern Utah is indescribable and our guide, Jack, was excellent. He selected hiking trails that were accessible for each person in our group, accommodated meals for taste preferences (even at the last minute), and provided knowledgeable insight at each of our locations. My husband and I had a great time on this trip and will definitely look at Wildland Trekking again! 10/10 recommend Wildland Treks and 12/10 recommend Jack as guide.

Christine G
5.0

It was Perfect!

3 months ago

This was by far the best vacation experience I have ever had. We had so much fun and had great food for every meal. I would definitely go on another adventure with Wildland Trekking!

Kari H
5.0

Amazing!

3 months ago

Our guide took care of us in every way possible! He feels like family after a week of hiking and camping. We will look at other Wildland Trekking options for our future needs!

See All Guest Reviews!

Go to our reviews page

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