Boulder Mountain Backpacking Adventure

St. George, UT

Trip Highlights

  • Hike the Great Western Trail
  • Subalpine Meadows & Wildflowers
  • Waterfalls & Mountain Lakes
  • Great Summer Temps
  • Views of Utah Canyon Country
  • Unique Natural & Cultural History
  • Wonderful Solitude

Description

On its journey from Canada to Mexico, the Great Western Trail slices through a scenic, quiet mountain range towering above Capitol Reef National Park and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Our Boulder Mountain Backpacking Adventure provides guests with a unique experience that can’t be found anywhere else – a mountain backpacking trip (great in summer!) that provides breathtaking views down into Utah’s famous Canyon Country. We’ll earn bird’s eye views of Capitol Reef, the Grand Staircase-Escalante Region, the Henry Mountains, and the Water Pocket Fold, a unique geologic feature. (We also offer a llama trek in this same area if you’re interested in a backcountry trip with lighter backpacks and more elaborate meals and amenities.)

On this Utah backpacking trip, we enjoy waterfalls, lakes, abundant wildflowers, historic overlooks, gorgeous aspen and conifer forests and wildlife. Join us for a week of unique beauty, immersion in a pristine Utah wilderness, and heard-earned adventure that rewards us with phenomenal scenery.

Please note that this trip takes place in Dixie National Forest outside the boundaries of Capitol Reef National Park. It provides amazing views down into Capitol Reef, but does not take place inside the national park.


Operated by Wildland Llamas

This trip is operated by Wildland Llamas, an authorized guide company and llama outfitter in the Dixie National Forest. Wildland Llamas is a separate, partner company of Wildland Trekking with partially shared ownership, guide teams, and infrastructure.

Read more …
5 Days From
$1515 Per Person
6 Days From
$1715 Per Person
7 Days From
$1905 Per Person
Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Guided Backpacking Trip
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 4-10 Guests
Trip Length: 5-7 Days
Distance: 27MI / 43KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 4

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

SUMMARY OF DIFFICULTY
This trip has moderate distances and elevation gains, but rugged hiking on terrain that is or feels off trail. It is a steep 2,500 ft climb to reach the Boulder Rim, which is split on the first two days. The majority of this trip is spent above 10,000 feet, which also increases difficulty.

Hiking Distances:

4-7 mi

Backpack Weight:

35-45 lbs

Terrain:

Significantly Rugged

Max Daily Elev. ↑↓:

1600 ft

Heights Exposure:

Moderate

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. Backpack Weight ratings are estimates that account for Wildland-provided gear, guest clothing, personal items and a share of group food. By packing light it’s often possible to stay on the lower end of the weight range. Pack weights also decrease during the trip.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS

  • Hiking uphill or downhill with a 35-45 lb backpack for 6-8 hours
  • Maintaining balance and footing on significantly rugged terrain
  • Hiking with occasional, moderate heights exposure

SOLITUDE LEVEL 5

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Utah hike a solitude 5. You can expect to see a couple other groups of hikers over the duration of your trip.

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 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 866-389-7344 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 People: Rate x 1.25
  • 5+ People: Rate x 1.15

*all rates are per person

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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

  • Drive Time: 3.5 hours

This guided Utah backpacking trip begins with pickup at your hotel in St.George, UT.  We’ll enjoy a scenic drive through stunning Utah Canyon Country to the edge of Capitol Reef National Park. We’ll conduct an orientation meeting and enjoy dinner together, after which we’ll get settled in our tent accommodations a stone’s throw away from the canyon country of Capitol Reef. You can also book a room at the resort if you’d prefer (upgrade to a room not included.)

Day 2

  • Shuttle time to Trailhead: 15-20 minutes
  • Hiking Distance: 4 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1600 feet

Our hike today begins as we ascend through Doug Fir and Aspen forests for 2 miles to a series of beautiful meadows. After the meadows, the route becomes rocky and climbs more steeply through mixed forests and up to a ridge line. Gradually the sound of a nearby mountain creek becomes louder and our views more expansive. The Boulder Rim towers above us at this point, and we can see the following day’s route, which helps orient us to the immensity and grandeur of the terrain. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch and some relaxation in this area before continuing on.

Soon after lunch the trail descends from the ridge line, we cross a rushing mountain creek and soon after come to our junction with the Great Western Trail (GWT). The GWT winds us through dense forests to a meadow and stream, and then a shallow lake. We will make camp tonight in a secluded forest near the lake, with views of the Boulder Rim above us and the purring sound of the creek tumbling away below us.

Day 3

  • Hiking Distance: 1 mile
  • Elevation Gain: 900 feet

Today is a chance to relax and enjoy our surroundings, as well as acclimatize for our ascent to higher elevations. We’ll start the day with our first backcountry breakfast prepared by your guide(s) and a leisurely morning. We have some short but memorable hiking planned for the day to a viewpoint along the Boulder Rim, with amazing views down into the canyons below. If the group is up for more hiking, we can explore more of the surrounding area. The afternoon will be a chance to read, relax, take photographs or explore around camp before a wonderful dinner and campfire (if allowed.)

Day 4

  • Hiking Distance: 7 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1100 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 1200 feet

Our fourth day will include a visit to a mountain lake along our hike and historic overlooks that allow us incredible views of the Henry Mountains and the southern extent of the Water Pocket Fold of Capitol Reef National Park. The Boulder Rim is surrounded by gorgeous, young Aspen forests, a feature that becomes a central highlight with the autumn colors if you’re doing a later season trip. Day 4 also offers views of a cascade from the Rim cliffs, after which we will arrive at our camp below a lake and above a small waterfall.

Day 5

  • Hiking Distance: 4.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 600 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 600 feet

Today we move camp again, so we’ll get a brisk start and fuel up before hitting the trail. Our hike takes us off trail deeper into the heart of Boulder Mountain and over Boulder Peak to a series of lakes along the Rim. There is also an airplane wreckage visible from one point on today’s trek. Getting away from roads and development is one level of solitude; getting away from trails is another experience all together. We’ll soak up the natural beauty, solitude and wildness of our surroundings today while we crest the peak and descend to camp on the other side on the shores of a small lake.

Day 6

  • Hiking Distance: 6 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 500 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 500 feet

Today is another relaxing one to soak up our surroundings and recuperate from our days of hiking.  We’ll enjoy a big breakfast before heading off on a wonderful day hike. We leave camp set up and hike to two scenic lakes: Spectacle Lake and Rim Lake, passing many other small lakes along the way. Another day of solitude, hiking and natural beauty is capped off with our final backcountry dinner and a roaring campfire if permitted.

Day 7

  • Hiking Distance: 4 miles
  • Elevation Loss: 1900 feet
  • Shuttle to St. George: 4 hours

Our trip ends with a descent off Boulder Mountain, down to the valley where Utah’s signature Canyon Country mixes with grass pastures and big open skies. Our hike drops us almost 2,000 feet through multiple changes in the species of trees and plants that surround us. We’ll reach our finishing trailhead and enjoy a long, scenic, relaxing drive back to St. George for the conclusion of our adventure.

5-Day & 6-Day Variations

This trip can also be done as a 5-day trip or a 6-day trip, which we detail below:

  • 6-Day Itinerary: On the 6-day itinerary, we hike farther the first day (5 miles, 2200 feet climb) and skip the day 2 layover, instead jumping directly into day 3.
  • 5-Day Itinerary: On the 5-day itinerary, we hike farther the first day (5 miles, 2200 feet climb) and skip both layover days (days 2 and 6)

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 technical backpack
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from dinner the first day through lunch on the last day
  • 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.
  • Comprehensive, roundtrip transportation to the trailhead from St. George, UT
  • All necessary entrance fees and permits
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite communication device
  • 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 backcountry – 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)

Guest Clothing 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.

Additionally, some guests choose to bring their own sleeping bag. We supply high quality, synthetic fill bags that are professionally laundered after every trip. Synthetic fill is non-allergenic, insulates when damp and stands up well to repeated washings, but is heavier and bulkier than down. If you’re able to bring your own down sleeping bag, there are multiple benefits. If not, we’ve got you covered!

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 on the morning of Day 1 with pick up at your hotel in St. George, UT. Your guide will be in contact approximately 2 weeks before your trip starts to coordinate the rendezvous. You can also meet your guide and group in Torrey, Utah the evening of Day 1 at 5:00 PM.

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

Start/End Times

This trip originates in the morning on Day 1 in St. George, UT. Your guide will be in contact approximately 2 weeks prior to the trip start date to coordinate the rendezvous. We will drop you off at your hotel on the final day normally before 7 PM (this time is not guaranteed, as a variety of circumstances can influence our exact return time).

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 Utah’s Mountains
This trip takes place in the mountains of Utah, which have very different weather than the desert and high desert areas. These mountains’ climate is more similar to that of the Rockies. You can expect warm days, chilly evenings, possible afternoon thundersorms and the potential for sudden weather shifts and dramatic temperature swings. The average highs and lows for this area are below:

Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
Month
High
Low
June
65°
35°
July
72°
43°
August
70°
42°
September
61°
34°
October
48°
24°

Accommodations

Accommodations

Backcountry Sleeping

TENT CAMPING

Sleeping on backpacking trips is in premier 1-person, 2-person or 4-person backcountry tents. Solo travelers, and anyone else who requests it, are issued single tents. Top-of-the-line self-inflating sleeping pads and sleeping bags (professionally laundered after every trip) are also provided.

Backcountry Cuisine

FRESH & DELICIOUS

Meals from breakfast Day 1 through lunch the last day are fully included and prepared by your guide. We never use dehydrated backpacking meals, instead serving freshly prepared, delicious backcountry cuisine made with a variety of common and specialty ingredients that travel well in the wilderness.

Amazing Campsites

IN THE ACTION

Of course campsites vary tremendously by destination, trip and even by the individual day of a trip. However, you can expect to camp in beautiful areas that put you right in the action to make the most of your backpacking adventure. We carefully design our itineraries with campsites in mind.

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