Escalante River Llama Trek

St. George, UT

Trip Highlights

  • Excellent Family Trip
  • Amazing Utah Canyons
  • Desert Oases & Arch
  • Fascinating Natural & Cultural History
  • Stunning Desert Creeks
  • Moderate Hiking & Light Packs
  • Breathtaking Night Skies

Description

The Escalante River has been described as ‘the crookedest river in the world”. Our backcountry llama trek along one of Southern Utah’s most important waterways takes us under towering sandstone cliffs, past groves of Cottonwood trees, and across white sand beaches begging us to kick off our shoes and soak the Canyon Country in.

The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is one of the most beautiful regions in Utah with it’s unique, undulating terrain and brilliant sandstone features. The route takes us from the historic town of Escalante to the famous Highway 12 Bridge, one of the most dramatic entry points to the National Monument!

Along the way we’ll pass two major tributary canyons, Death Hollow and Sand Creek, as well as dripping springs, natural bridges, and rock art and ruins left by the pre-Columbian Fremont People. Being next to the river for our entire hike, we’ll have an excellent chance of seeing wildlife as they come down to get a drink.

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

3 Days
$1865 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: 3 Days
Distance: 13-15MI / 21-24KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 3

SOLITUDE LEVEL 4

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 per day.

TRAVEL TO ST. GEORGE

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 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 Trailhead: 3.75 hours
  • Hiking Distance: 7 miles
  • Elevation Gain: minimal
  • Elevation Loss: minimal

This Utah hiking adventure departs St. George, Utah early the first morning for the remote town of Escalante which is truly the heart of Utah’s canyon country. After reaching our trailhead outside of town we will have lunch, load the llamas and prepare for our cross country hike.

As we begin to make our way down the Escalante River, massive walls of pink and red Navajo and Wingate Sandstone will rise around us. We’ll have multiple chances to cool off by splashing in the river today. We pass pictographs from the Fremont people hidden in a deep alcove before settling in for a hearty dinner and relaxing camp on a sandy beach next to the river.

Day 2

  • Hiking Distance: 4.2 miles
  • Elevation Gain: minimal
  • Elevation Loss: minimal

Today we enjoy a relaxed morning and a delicious breakfast before resuming our downstream journey. The flow of the river is beginning to increase as springs and small side canyons add their flow to the rivers, so break out those water shoes!

We’ll take time to explore upstream in some unique side canyons that are gems of Canyon Country!

Day 3

  • Hiking Distance: 3 miles
  • Elevation Gain: minimal
  • Elevation Loss: minimal
  • Shuttle to St George: 4 hours

This morning we’ll wake with the sun and enjoy morning coffee before continuing on our way

The river banks get even more lush and shaded in this part of our trek as deciduous trees take advantage of the rich riverbank soils. As the canyon begins to open up, we’ll pass Escalante Natural Bridge, an incredible 130 foot high arch located in a short side canyon. Just past the bridge we pass a well-preserved Fremont dwelling located high in a cliff of pink sandstone. Finally, we emerge back into civilization at the famous Highway 12 trailhead, just in time for lunch and our shuttle back to St. George.

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

This tour is booked on a custom basis for private groups so does not have set dates (requested dates are almost always available).  It’s an excellent family option. Give us a call at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to schedule your hike!

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?

You will rendezvous with the guide and group in St. George, Utah for an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM the evening before the trip begins. Your guide will be in contact approximately 2 weeks before your trip starts to specify the orientation location, and we are more than happy to pick you up if the meeting if you are staying at one of our recommended hotels but the orientation is taking place elsewhere. The guide will then pick you up at your hotel the next morning for transport to the trailhead. For Private Utah Tours your guide can meet you at your hotel in St. George or Cedar City, Utah at an agreed upon time.

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 at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 5 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.

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