Best of Utah Inn Based

St. George, UT
5.0 (60 reviews)

Trip Highlights

  • Iconic Hikes
  • Canyon Country Views
  • Slot Canyons & Waterfalls
  • Spires, Oases, Natural Bridges & Arches
  • Premier Accommodations
  • Amazing Natural & Cultural History
  • Breathtaking Solitude & Scenery

Description

See the best of Bryce, Zion and the Grand Staircase-Escalante (the most celebrated Utah national park destinations) in luxury on our 6-day “Best of Utah” Inn-based hiking tour! Our daily hikes will take you to the must-see highlights of these breathtaking parks, where you’ll 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 in luxury at our exceptional, rustic (but wonderful and modern) lodges and enjoy restaurants chosen for their excellent food, charm, and local color!

Read more …
From
$2940 Per Person
$400 Single Supplement

$400 Single Supplement

Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Inn-Based Tour
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 4-7 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. ↑↓:

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 DEMANDS OF THIS TRIP

  • 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
* For an official and complete list of physical requirements, please see our Essential Eligibility Criteria.

SOLITUDE LEVEL 2

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Utah hiking 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, Joshua Tree 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 2
  • 4 People: Rate x 1.5
  • 5+ People: Rate x 1.15

*all rates are per person and single supplements apply

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We’re here to help. If you have any questions, call 800-715-HIKE or contact us online.
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ITINERARY

ITINERARY

Day 1

  • Shuttle to trailhead: 1.5-hour drive from St. George, Utah
  • Hiking Mileage: 7.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 2100 feet

This Inn-based hiking tour of Zion, Bryce, and Grand Staircase-Escalante 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 hotel 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. Stopping at Zion Outfitter, to rent gear appropriate for the conditions (can include canyoneering shoes with neoprene socks, dry suit pants, dry bibs, or full dry suit, as  well as a wooden walking staff.)

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: in the event of 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: 2-hour drive from Zion
  • Hiking Mileage: 5-8 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 900-1500 feet

On Day 3 we’ll make our way to the Escalante country, visiting Bryce Canyon National Park en route. We’ll hike one of the lesser-traveled 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 enjoy a restaurant dinner near Bryce and then make our way to the stunning destination for our final 3 days – Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

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 lodge to clean up and then enjoy a delicious Canyon Country dinner.

Day 5

  • Hiking Mileage: 4-7 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 400-800 feet

This day takes us down the historic Hole-in-the-Rock Road to the Devil’s Garden National Recreation Area. This is a great spot for young and old alike as it’s a fairyland of small knobs, arches, and other eroded landforms. After lunch we’ll explore some local slot canyons in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Some canyons are dark and narrow, some are filled with water, while others contain surprises at every turn, like interconnected potholes, arches, and grottos!

Day 6

  • Hiking Mileage: 3 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 615 feet
  • Shuttle Time: 3.5 hours

On our last morning we’ll eat breakfast, check out of the lodge, 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 spectacular vistas. Our hike 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 Bryce Amphitheater. 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 day pack and trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • 5 nights of lodging at hand-picked Canyon Country inns and lodges
  • Trained hiking guide(s) with years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. See Guide Bios.
  • Roundtrip transportation from your hotel in St. George, Utah
  • Gear rentals for the Virgin River Narrows, which can include canyoneering shoes, neoprene socks, dry suit pants, dry bibs or a full dry suit.
  • National park entrance fees
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and communication device (InReach Explorer or satellite phone)
  • Mandatory 5% national park fee that passes through directly to the parks we enjoy on this trip
  • 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
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • 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

We provide all your meals from breakfast the first day through lunch the last day. Your guide will prepare breakfasts and lunches with a variety of hot and cold meals that are appropriate for the day’s activities. Feel free to tell us about your food preferences, as we’re more than happy to tailor the menu to your needs/desires. Some specialty diets may require an additional fee.

For dinners, we’ve hand-picked local restaurants you’re sure to enjoy! We made our decisions based on the quality of their food, their charm, and how much local color and character they have. Two very noteable restaurants we visit are the Buffalo Grill near Zion and the Hell’s Backbone Grill in Boulder, Utah – both highly acclaimed, award-winning grills!

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
  • Leki trekking poles
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)
  • Gear rentals for the Virgin River Narrows, which can include canyoneering shoes, neoprene socks, dry suit pants, dry bibs or a full dry suit.

Guest Packing List

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with a detailed packing list specific to this trip (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, a recommended clothing system, a headlamp or flashlight, a hydration system (water bottles and/or bladder) and other items specific to each trip.

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 Precautions

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. Guides adhere to standardized risk management protocols in case of any potential or actual incident, and all tours carry an emergency communication device and comprehensive first-aid kit. Additionally we have a “24/7” system through which guides or guests can reach Wildland support personnel at any time.

If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.

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.

Age Restrictions

Age restrictions on this trip 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 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

Zion Mountain Ranch

0-2 NIGHTS

At the edge of Zion National Park sits this authentic western ranch and deluxe cabins that feature not only premier lodging, but a romaing herd of buffalo! The ranch boasts wonderful views of Zion Country, sunsets, and tranquil lodging experience.

Cliffrose Lodge

0-2 NIGHTS

Cliffrose Lodge is a premier resort hotel in a stunning spot along the border of Zion National Park and on the shores of the Virgin River. Honoring nature in its design but with all the modern amenities, this wonderful lodge is perfect for our hiking adventure.

Slot Canyons Inn

3 NIGHTS

This amazing boutique lodge characterizes Canyon Country beautifully through its architecture, sandstone cliff surroundings, and wonderful hosts. With a variety of rustic but modern cabins and rooms, it is a perfect staging point to explore the amazing Grand Staircase!

* These exact accommodations are not guaranteed. In some instances alternative accommodations of similar quality and location may be used.

Trip Reviews

Trip Reviews

  • Average Customer Ratings:

  • 5.0 (60 reviews)
Jerry L
5.0

Awesome

12 days ago

Jennie D was our guide for the Best of Utah - Inn based hiking trip. 6 days of hiking was awesome. She made sure everyone was taken care of and made accommodations for those who needed it. The geology of the different hikes was so unique it was an awesome experience. Will definitely take another trip with Wildland Trekking.

Danielle R
5.0

Really was the best.

12 days ago

Best of Utah really was the best. I wouldn’t have done the Narrows or the slot canyons on my own. Having someone figure out the logistics and do all the driving makes it all the more worthwhile. The inns we stayed in had great views. Jennie was a great guide who really obviously tried to accommodate everyone on the trip, and she did an excellent job making vegan lunches and choosing vegan snacks!

Traci M
5.0

Did not disappoint!

12 days ago

An extended hiking trip in Utah has been a lifelong dream, and the Best of Utah Inn-Based Tour did not disappoint! I will never forget being immersed in the spectacular scenery. Traveling with Wildland means knowing you're seeing the best of the parks, and all you have to do is suit up and show up--they do the rest. I had to postpone this trip for two years due to COVID-19 and other events, and the staff went above and beyond to accommodate multiple booking changes I had to make. Questions to the office are always answered in a timely manner, usually the same day. The guide on our trek, Jennie Dufour, was so knowledgeable, organized, and laid back. Plus, she's a great "cook"--our lunches were excellent! And even though I was decades older than my hiking companions, at 62 this particular hike was very doable and enjoyable for me. I'm already planning where I'll go with Wildland next year!

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