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

Canyons of The Escalante Llama Trek

St. George, UT
5.0 (12 reviews)

Trip Highlights

  • Fascinating History
  • Desert Oases
  • Canyon Country Solitude
  • Iconic Utah Landscapes
  • Exploration of Escalante
  • Stunning Rock Formations
  • Breathtaking Night Skies


This extraordinary exploration of 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 descends into the labyrinth of canyons that define the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The three canyons that we explore form a natural corridor through the region. We will see signs of both the historical and pre-historical people who have been traveling this route since time unknown.  Join us for an unforgettable adventure!

Please Note: This area can be subject to dangerous flash flooding. We schedule the trip dates for times of year when flash flooding is least likely. If moderate to significant rain turns up in the forecast, the trip may be rerouted to the Boulder Rim Llama Trek, also in Southern Utah.

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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From USD
$2470 Per Person
Trip Type: Llama Trek
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 4-10 Guests
Trip Length: 5 Days
Distance: 23+MI / 37+KM


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.  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:

5-8 mi

Backpack Weight:

10-20 lbs


Significantly Rugged

Max Daily Elev. ↑↓:

660 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 6-8 hours
  • Maintaining balance and footing on variable, significantly rugged terrain including sand, mud, water, rocky and thickly vegetated areas
* For an official and complete list of physical requirements, please see our Essential Eligibility Criteria.


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.


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 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: 7.4 miles
  • Elevation Loss: 524 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 base camp near the shores of the Escalante River, which we’ll use for the next three nights. We’ll cap off the day with our first delicious, backcountry dinner prepared by your guides.

Day 3

  • Hiking Distance: 5 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 660 feet

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 our first layover day for exploring the majesty of the Escalante canyons. We may take the llamas with us on day hikes, depending on conditions and desires of the group. After breakfast we will cross the Escalante 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 a wonderful canyon experience, as we are immersed in a very special desert riparian ecosystem enhanced by gorgeous walls of Navajo Sandstone, spectacular hanging gardens and a chance to see remnants of the earliest inhabitants of the area. Eventually we’ll return to camp for another rejuvenating backcountry evening.

Day 4

  • Hiking Distance: Up to 6 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: minimal

Today we’ll set off along the gorgeous Escalante River to explore the river corridor and several side canyons. Flowing for nearly 90 miles, the river is a tributary to the Mighty Colorado and ends at Lake Powell. The section of the river we explore today 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, soaking up the grandeur of our surroundings, watching for wildlife, exploring side canyons and enjoying a picnic lunch along the way.

Once back at camp, we’ll settle in for our final evening in the backcountry. Your guide(s) will prepare a delicious meal to celebrate our final night, and we’ll drift off to sleep with the sound of the river as our backdrop.

Day 5

  • Hiking Distance: 7.4 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 524 feet
  • Drive Time: 3 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 trailhead. Although this is the same route we followed on Day 1, our experience of the hike will be quite different. We’re hiking in the opposite direction, which provides us with a completely different perspective of the canyon. Also, the last 3 days in Escalante have given us a much greater context with which to appreciate where we are, and how unique and special these canyons are, so in many ways we’re seeing it with fresh eyes.

Once back at the trailhead, we will unload the gear and say goodbye to our llama friends. Then we’ll enjoy a very scenic drive back to St. George, stopping for a restaurant meal (included) in the charming Canyon Country town of Escalante. In St. George we will say our final goodbyes and start dreaming about our next adventure. What a week it’s been!

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)

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, 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

Pre and Post-trip On Request Lodging

We secure limited amounts of pre and post trip lodging in St. George, Utah as an optional add-on for guests of this trip. This lodging is on request, and is available on a first come, first serve basis. If interested, please reach out directly to our team to check availability.

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.

Travel to St. George, Utah

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.

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.

Essential Eligibility Criteria

Essential Eligibility Criteria (“EEC”) have been specifically identified to help you understand the skills and abilities necessary to participate on each Wildland trip, and they apply uniformly to all potential trip participants, irrespective of the presence or absence of any disability.

Once you identify a trip in which you may be interested, please carefully review the EEC and itinerary details. If after reviewing the EEC that apply to your desired trip, you determine you need an accommodation in order to meet the EEC, please contact us prior to registering to discuss your requested accommodation.

The EEC exist for your own safety and the safety and enjoyment of all participants. If you are unable to meet the EEC for the trip, with or without an accommodation, you are not eligible for that trip. If you register and arrive for a trip for which you do not meet the EEC, you will be disqualified from participation on the trip and will be dismissed or evacuated from the trip without a refund.

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 (12 reviews)
Judy B

Only have great things to say

9 months ago

This was my 7th trip with Wildland Trekking and, as with my previous trips, I only have great things to say about it. Such a beautiful place to hike, and our guides, Samantha & Jennie, are awesome, fun professionals who made our trip great! They are knowledgeable about the area, exceptional backcountry cooks, and made sure that we were safe and well taken care of. It was nice to camp at one location for 3 nights and do day hikes from camp since there is so much to explore in the Escalante River area. This exploration would not be possible if we were moving camp every day. This was my first llama trip so I wasn't sure what to expect, but the llamas on this trip were well trained, easy to handle, and allowed for extras that would not be possible on a regular backpacking trip (plus we did not have to carry a heavy backpack!). Such a wonderful way to experience amazingly beautiful desert canyons way off the beaten path.

Toni M

Thanks for great experiences.

9 months ago

Sam and Jen are top tier guides. Both are experienced, knowledgable, pleasant, fun, flexible and good cooks. I enjoyed the hikes in/out and all in between while in Silver Falls Canyon. Llamas were adorable, strong, and well trained. I felt as a group we all enjoyed one another and had a great time. I've been on 20+ Wildland Trips. Thanks for great experiences.

Scott O

Will absolutely book another trip with Wildland

1 year ago

Both Sam and Jack were consummate professionals - ever accommodating - always felt safe - food was spectacular - would Reccomend Wildlands without hesitation We (me and my two sons ) had a connecting flight cancel and Sam was beyond accommodating and reassuring - we got to rendezvous point 1.5 hour after scheduled departure - they brought two vehicles and kept one back for us and without making us feel like a burden. The Food was better than restaurant quality in the middle of a desert canyon - best food on any outdoor backcountry trip I’ve ever done The guides were friendly / knowledgeable/ engaging and genuine I will absolutely book another trip with Wildland

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