Llama trekking in UtahPack llamas in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Canyons of The Escalante Llama Trek

St. George, UT
5.0 (7 reviews)

Trip Highlights

  • Fascinating History
  • Desert Oases
  • Wonderful Desert Solitude
  • Iconic Utah Landscapes
  • Traverse of Escalante
  • Stunning Rock Formations
  • Breathtaking Night Skies


This extraordinary journey through the wilder side of Utah’s Canyon Country is made all the better by our friendly pack llamas! Without the heavier loads of a backpacking trip, we set off into the wilderness on a 4-night backcountry adventure with sinuous sandstone canyon hiking, desert oases, amazing history, creekside camps, mesmerizing night skies, wildlife and more.

Beginning at a remote, scenic escarpment, this memorable Utah hike traverses from one side of the Escalante Canyons to the other. The two canyons that we follow create a natural corridor through the region. In fact, this route is a historic “road” through the Escalante Region used in the 1880’s. We will see signs of both the historical and pre-historical people who have been traveling this route since time unknown. This is simply a fantastic hike in a world class destination, made all the better with the help of our pack llamas!

This trip is operated by Wildland Llamas, an authorized hiking and llama outfitter in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. 

Need to Know: Waste Regulation

The public agencies that oversee this region require that everyone hiking through this fragile area pack out all solid waste, including human waste. We provide resources and training to make this manageable and efficient. However, if you’d rather embark on a trip in this region where that isn’t required, we recommending checking out the Boulder Rim Llama Trek.

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$2410 Per Person
Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Llama Trek
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 4-10 Guests
Trip Length: 5 Days
Distance: 23MI / 37KM


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

We rate this trip Level 3 difficulty due to the ruggedness of the terrain, and a longer first day of hiking. The first day covers 9.5 miles, all gradually downhill. Other days are much shorter (< 6 miles each). Conditions in the canyons can vary depending on recent rainfall. They can range from dry and rocky to sandy or muddy, and some of the hiking is done in the creek itself.

Hiking Distances:

5-9 mi

Backpack Weight:

10-20 lbs


Moderately Rugged

Max Daily Elev. ↑↓:

250 ft

Heights Exposure:


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.


  • Hiking in sandy, muddy, rocky or forested terrain with a 10-20 lb backpack for 4-6 hours
  • Maintaining balance and footing on variable, lightly rugged terrain including sand, mud, water and rocky areas


1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Utah llama trek a solitude 4. You can expect to see a couple other groups of hikers over the duration of the tour.

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 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 People: Rate x 1.25
  • 5+ People: Rate x 1.15

*all rates are per person

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Day 1

  • Drive time: 3.5 hours

This guided Utah llama 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

  • Drive Time: 3 hours
  • Hiking Distance: 9+ miles
  • Elevation Loss: 600 feet

After a quick but tasty breakfast, our adventure begins. We enter the rising walls of Wingate Sandstone that will grow progressively taller, in turn making the canyon floor narrower, as we make our way toward the Escalante River. Massive alcoves, boulders, rock formations and ecologically sensitive habitat above the flood zone pave the way for us. We have a long day of hiking today in what’s considered “off trail” trekking within the bottom of the canyon wash, but it’s all down hill. We’ll keep a steady but relaxed pace and make sure we soak up the magic of the breathtaking landscapes surrounding us as we hike. We conclude the day by establishing a camp near the shores of the Escalante River, which we’ll use for the next two nights, and relaxing over a delicious backcountry dinner.

Day 3

  • Hiking Distance: ~6 miles
  • Elevation Gain: minimal
  • Elevation Loss: minimal

Sunrise in Utah’s Canyon Country is a special experience as we watch the desert slowly come to life on our first morning. Today is a layover day for exploring the majesty of the Escalante canyons.  After a wonderful breakfast prepared by your guide(s), we’ll set off along the river to explore this amazing ecosystem. The river corridor is walled in by shear sandstone cliffs and lined with high benches populated by towering cottonwood trees and fields of desert sage. We will go as far as 6 miles roundtrip, enjoying a picnic lunch and possibly exploring some side canyons on our way. Your guide will help the landscape come to life even more by conveying facts about the natural and cultural history of the Escalante Region and telling stories about previous travelers who passed through this region. Eventually we’ll to camp for another rejuvenating backcountry evening.

Day 4

  • Hiking Distance: 5.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 250 feet

After breaking camp we will say goodbye to the river and enter the sinuous, breathtaking world of a very special, historic side canyon. There is a perennial flow of spring-fed water in this canyon, which we will cross throughout the hike. Today is another wonderful canyon experience, as we are immersed in a very special desert riparian ecosystem framed by gorgeous walls of Navajo Sandstone. Camp will be on a quiet bench above the creek where we will experience a quintessential evening deep in Canyon Country. One last backcountry dinner will cap off our day before we turn in for a relaxing night of sleep to the sound of desert breeze and – if we’re lucky – coyotes or the occasional hoot of an owl.

Day 5

  • Hiking Distance: 5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 250 feet
  • Shuttle to St. George: 5 hours

On the final day of this trek, we’ll pack up our llama friends for the last time and make our way to the ending trailhead. As we continue to get further up canyon the walls get shallower and further apart, changing the character of the place with every step. When we reach the vehicle we will unpack the llamas and say a heartfelt goodbye to the animals, thanking them for all the work they did for us to experience this beautiful and unique place with just small day packs.

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


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

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


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


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

  • Pack llamas to transport the majority of gear and food
  • 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.
  • Top-of-the-line tent, backcountry sleeping pad and multi-day backpack
  • High quality, synthetic sleeping bag (professionally laundered after every use) – or bring your own.
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • Roundtrip transportation from St. George, UT to the trailhead and back
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and communication device (InReach Explorer or satellite phone)
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and your kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (see recommendations)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Waterbottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-15% 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 or Mountain Hardware tents
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware synthetic-fill sleeping bags (or bring your own)
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki trekking poles
  • Mountain Safety Research cooking stoves
  • Mountain Safety Research cookware
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)

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.

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

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.

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 average high and low temperatures in Utah’s Canyon Country:

Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)



Backcountry Sleeping


Sleeping on llama treks 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 synthetic-fill sleeping bags (professionally laundered after every trip) are also provided.

Backcountry Cuisine


Meals from breakfast Day 1 through lunch the last day are fully included and prepared by your trekking 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


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 llama trekking adventure. We carefully design our itineraries with campsites in mind.

Trip Reviews

Trip Reviews

  • Average Customer Ratings:

  • 5.0 (7 reviews)
Andrea K

Truly Enjoyed

5 months ago

I truly enjoyed this experience- beautiful scenery, competent and lovely guides, fun with the llamas, and great hiking.

Becky C

Another great trip with Wildland!

6 months ago

This was my fourth trip with Wildland and it did not disappoint. I was awed by the majesty of the canyons. Hiking with llamas is a treat in itself. Their slower pace, and the fact that we’re connected to them at all times, changes the hike into a partnership that enhances the experience. The fact that they carry all the gear makes me value them even more! Our campsites were magical. The food was varied, delicious, and mostly healthy. (Llama cake and peach cobbler were appreciated exceptions!) James was a great storyteller, chef, and guide. He used his “tree man” skills to cut our way through fallen logs. He never seemed to run out of energy. This trip will stay with me forever.

David L

Exceptional Experience

12 months ago

What an experience! Matt Maar and the Wildland Trekking team had to change our itinerary at the last minute due to weather but we were treated to an unbelievable trip. We could not have asked for better support from Wildland, especially our guide Matt and the scenery we experienced. Overall a great trek and a trip my son and I will never forget! Thank you Wildland and Matt!!

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