Canyons of The Escalante Llama Trek

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 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.

Read more …
5 Days
$2075 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.

This Utah trip originates in Torrey, Utah where you’ll meet your guide and group on the evening of Day 1 for our pre-hike orientation, dinner and camping.

Salt Lake City, Utah is home to the closest major airport. Many guests rent a vehicle to get to Torrey, which is a 3.5 hour drive. There are also shuttle services available.

Important: two departures of this trip in 2022 (March 21 and April 18) are originating in St. George, UT. If you’re on either of these trips, please plan on meeting your guide and group the morning of Day 1 in St. George.

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

*all rates are per person

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ITINERARY

ITINERARY

Day 1

This guided Utah backpacking trip begins with rendezvous at Capitol Reef Resort in Torrey, Utah at 5PM on Day 1.  We’ll conduct an orientation meeting and enjoy dinner together, after which we’ll get settled in our semi-permanent canvas tent accommodations a stone’s throw away from the canyon country of Capitol Reef National Park. You can also book a room at the resort if you’d prefer (upgrade to a room not included.)

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.

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

  • 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 Torrey, UT to the trailhead and back (March 21, 2022 and April 18, 2022 departures are originating in St. George, UT and include transportation from there)
  • 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 (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)

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.

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.

Trip Logistics

Trip Logistics

Where Do We Meet?

You will rendezvous with the guide and group on Day 1 at 5:00 PM at Capitol Reef Resort in Torrey, Utah. Your guide will be in contact approximately 2 weeks before your trip starts to coordinate the rendezvous.

Please Note: two departures for this trip in 2022 (March 21 and April 18) are originating in St. George, UT. If you’re on either of these trips, please plan on meeting your guide and group in St. George the morning of Day 1. More travel information is provided in the detailed trip packet.

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 at 5:00 PM on Day 1 in Torrey, UT with an orientation meeting, dinner and pre-hike camping. Your guide will inform you of the Day 2 departure 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 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, 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 (5 reviews)
David L
5.0

Exceptional Experience

2 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!!

Jennie W.
5.0

Memory of a Lifetime!

7 months ago

This trip was a memory of a lifetime! Everything was well organized and guides were professional and fun. Gorgeous scenery, fabulous meals and lots of fun! The llamas were exceptionally well trained and we got to enjoy "glamping" thanks to all the things they carried for us.

Ursula S.
5.0

Fabulous Experience

8 months ago

A thru hike, Escalante back country, with llama as porters? Yes please! Wildland Trekking took care of all the details, provided excellent guides, solid gear, delicious food - everything to make this a fabulous experience. Plus llamas to carry our stuff! This was an amazing trek that I heartily recommend.

See All Guest Reviews!

Go to our reviews page

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