Canyons of The Escalante Llama Trek

St. George, UT
5.0 (1 reviews)

Trip Highlights

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

Description

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 3-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.

5 Days
$2035 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

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 2

Our difficulty ratings are based on a scale of 1-5, tours with a rating of 1 being least difficult, tours with a rating of 5 being most difficult

Backpack Weight:
10 pounds
Daily Hiking Distances:
5-9 miles
Most Elevation Loss:
600 feet
Most Elevation Gain:
250 feet
Quality of Trails:
Well maintained and off trail
Additional:
Expect on-trail and off-trail hiking on rocky, sandy and hard-packed terrain with some rugged sections.

Participants should:

  1. be active and healthy
  2. exercise several times per week
  3. be comfortable hiking 6-8 miles per day in hilly or mountainous terrain

SOLITUDE LEVEL 3

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Utah llama trek a solitude 3. You can expect to see a couple other groups of hikers per day.

TRIP ORIGIN

This Utah trip originates in St. George, Utah where you’ll meet your guide and group in the morning on Day 1 and make your way to Torrey, Utah. You can also meet us in Torrey the afternoon of Day 1. 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

Traveling in perfect company is a wonderful thing! With our private trip offerings you can book a trip exclusively for your group. Whether it’s with family, friends or colleagues, private trips are a fun and enriching way to explore the outdoors.

Private trip pricing is based on a sliding scale, depending on the number of people in your party. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax and national park fees (where applicable) or guide gratuity. Give us a call at 800-715-HIKE to get the ball rolling!

Private Rates FOr This Trip

  • 2 People: Rate x 2
  • 3 People: Rate x 1.3
  • 4 People: Rate x 1.1
  • 5+ People: Rate x 1

*all rates are per person

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ITINERARY

ITINERARY

Day 1

  • Shuttle to the Grand Staircase: 6 hours

Your guide will pick you up early today at your hotel in St. George, or you can meet up with the guide and group in the early afternoon in Torrey, Utah. Either way, today is all about driving through iconic Utah landscapes, learning about and connecting with the llamas, preparing for our adventure and bonding as a group over some tasty meals. We will camp tonight not far from our starting trailhead, putting us in a perfect spot to embark on our journey in the morning.

Day 2

  • 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. Our drive back to St. George is a scenic one past endless Utah landscapes that will stir many guests’ imaginations and become the seeds of adventures yet to come.

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary park restrictions, campsite availability, weather, road closures, guest ability/injury, and natural events like fires and flooding.

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

  • Pack llamas to transport the majority of gear and food
  • One or more professional, knowledgeable, certified Utah hiking guides / llama handlers
  • 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 your hotel in St. George, UT to the trailhead and back
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and 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 (Oboz hiking shoes and boots recommended)
  • 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)

What Gear to Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter waterbottles 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. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

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!

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. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

Trip Logistics

Trip Logistics

Where Do We Meet?

We will pick you up early in the morning in St. George, Utah on Day 1, or you can rendezvous with the guide and group in Torrey, Utah early that afternoon. Your guide will be in contact approximately 2 weeks before your trip starts to coordinate the first day’s logistics.

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 during the pre-trip contact. Generally, you can expect it to be between 6 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 normally before 7 PM (this time is not guaranteed, as a variety of circumstances can influence our exact return time).

Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional Wyoming 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 most tours carry a satellite phone. 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, training in llama-handling, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.

Group Size

The standard ratio of guests to guides on llama trips is 1 guide for 1-4 guests; 2 guides for 5-8 guests; and 3 guides for 9-10 guests. Private trips can have can have up to 12 guests. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 800-715-HIKE (4453) and we’ll answer all your questions.

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)
Month
High
Low
Dec-Feb
43°
18°
March
55°
27°
April
64°
33°
May
73°
40°
Jun-Aug
88°
55°
September
79°
45°
October
67°
35°
November
53°
25°

Accommodations

Accommodations

Backcountry Sleeping

TENT CAMPING

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

FRESH & DELICIOUS

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

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

Trip Reviews

Trip Reviews

  • Average Customer Ratings:

  • 5.0 (1 reviews)
Jeff F.
5.0

Excellent Guides

8 months ago

Traci and Laura were excellent guides. They faced a difficult situation regarding a lost hiker that we came upon about 1.5 miles into the trek. This posed a tough situation for the guides and the clients. Traci and Laura handled the difficulties and priorities in a very professional manner, and they were very considerate of the emotional state of all of us. Thank you for providing such excellent guides.

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