Boulder Rim & The Great Western Trail

St. George, UT

Trip Highlights

  • Subalpine Meadows & Wildflowers
  • Waterfalls & Mountain Lakes
  • The Great Western Trail
  • Views of Utah Canyon Country
  • Unique Natural & Cultural History
  • Wonderful Solitude


This trip is under construction and is coming soon!

On its journey from Canada to Mexico, the Great Western Trail  slices through a scenic, quiet mountain range towering above Capitol Reef National Park and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Our Great Western Trail Hike provides guests with a unique experience that can’t be found anywhere else – a mountain backpacking trip (great in summer!) that provides breathtaking views down into Utah’s famous Canyon Country. We’ll earn bird’s eye views Capitol Reef, the Grand Staircase-Escalante Region, the Henry Mountains, and the Water Pocket Fold, a unique geologic feature. (We also offer a llama trek in this same area if you’re interested in a backcountry trip with lighter backpacks and more elaborate meals and amenities.)

On this Utah backpacking trip we enjoy waterfalls, streams, abundant wildflowers, historic overlooks, gorgeous aspen and conifer forests, wildlife and even the distant wreckage of an airplane crash. Join us for a week of unique beauty, immersion in a pristine Utah wilderness, and heard-earned adventure that rewards us with phenomenal scenery.

Please note that this trip takes place in Dixie National Forest outside the boundaries of Capitol Reef National Park. It provides amazing views down into Capitol Reef, but does not take place inside the national park.

Operated by Wildland Llamas

This trip is operated by Wildland Llamas, an authorized guide company and llama outfitter in the Dixie National Forest. Wildland Llamas is a separate, partner company of Wildland Trekking with partially shared ownership, guide teams, and infrastructure.

6 Days
$1675 Per Person
Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Guided Backpacking Trip
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 4-10 Guests
Trip Length: 6 Days
Distance: 33MI / 53KM


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:
35-45 pounds
Daily Hiking Distances:
4-9 miles
Most Elevation Loss:
1560 feet
Most Elevation Gain:
1560 feet
Quality of Trails:
Established dirt and rock trails, some off-trail hiking
This trip follows seldom used trails in the mountains above Capitol Reef National Park. We literally brought these trails back to life after decades of non-use. Be prepared for rugged hiking on faint trails with some off-trail hiking.

Participants should:

  1. be active and healthy
  2. regularly exercise vigorously
  3. be comfortable hiking, biking, running, or swimming for several hours without many breaks


1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Utah hike a solitude 5. You can expect to see a couple other groups of hikers over the duration of your trip.


This Utah trip originates in St. George, Utah where you’ll meet your guide and group during our pre-trip meeting the night before your trip starts.

Alternatively, you may choose to forfeit the pre-trip meeting and meet us in the town of Escalante, UT on the first morning of our trip. This can be more convenient if you are traveling overland from points North or East, but not recommended if you are a novice backpacker.

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 ( 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 866-389-7344 with any questions!


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 888-396-0744 to get the ball rolling!


  • 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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We’re here to help. If you have any questions, call 800-715-HIKE or contact us online.
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Day 1

  • Shuttle time to Trailhead: 3.5 hours
  • Hiking Distance: 4 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1560 feet

Your guide will pick you up at your hotel in St. George, Utah and we’ll enjoy a scenic shuttle through iconic Utah Canyon Country to our trailhead near Capitol Reef National Park. After departing the trailhead, we will ascend through Doug Fir and Aspen forests for 2 miles to a series of beautiful meadows. After the meadows, the route becomes rocky and climbs more steeply through mixed forests and up to a ridge line. Gradually the sound of a nearby mountain creek becomes louder and our views more expansive. The Boulder Rim towers above us at this point, and we can see the following day’s route, which helps orient us to the immensity and grandeur of the terrain. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch and some relaxation in this area before continuing on.

Soon after lunch the trail descends from the ridge line, we cross a rushing mountain creek and soon after come to our junction with the Great Western Trail (GWT). The GWT winds us through dense forests to a meadow and stream, and then a shallow lake. We will make camp tonight in a meadow near the lake, with views of the Boulder Rim above us and the purring sound of the creek tumbling away below us.

Day 2

  • Hiking Distance: 5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 895 feet

We’ll start today with our first backcountry breakfast prepared by your guide(s). After breakfast and breaking camp, our trail takes us across talus slopes and through spruce forests. Once we reach the rim above last night’s camp, we gain amazing views of nearby features: Meeks Mesa, Thousand Lake Mountain, and the Teasdale Comb. But the best of today is yet to come, as we continue on into a rocky bowl with a waterfall, verdant wildflowers and springs. The views here are simply astounding.

We dip back into the dense mixed forest away from the Rim and ascend gently to an impressive overlook with views to the west and south, giving us an excellent perspective of the stunning basalt cliffs that comprise the Boulder Rim. Our route continues in and out of forests, across meadows and along the Rim. We’ll spend ample time today soaking up the views along this section of our hike. Eventually we’ll come to our camp, which is near a lake (great for swimming or fishing) and a nearby waterfall.

Day 3

  • Hiking Distance: 7 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 260 feet

Our third day takes us farther along the Rim, earning us more amazing views of the surrounding wilderness. We  visit 3-4 mountain lakes during our hike today, which is a very special treat. We will set a comfortable hiking pace as a group and enjoy high elevation mountain meadows and lakes throughout the day, stopping to soak our feet and enjoy breaks and lunch along the way. Eventually we’ll make camp and settle in for the evening while your guide(s) prepare a delicious backcountry dinner.

Day 4

  • Hiking Distance: 4 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 490 feet

Today a leisurely one to catch our breath after 3 days of hiking the Rim portion of Great Western Trail. Starting with a delicious breakfast, we will break camp and set off on our short hike. Our route winds back and forth through forests, picturesque meadows, and views of the valley below. If there’s been enough rainfall we will also be treated to an incredible waterfall where a creek plunges over the Rim. Tonight’s camp is one of our very favorites. It is located below a lake along a creek, and adjacent to a waterfall. With an early arrival we will have plenty of time to enjoy the lake and majestic views near camp. Additionally, this is a great time to fish, swim and enjoy some first rate hors d’ oeuvres before we dig in to a much needed freshly prepared meal.

Day 5

  • Hiking Distance: 4 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1560 feet

Today we’ll enjoy a a very relaxing morning and layover day after four days on the trail. We will take our time eating a freshly prepared breakfast on the lake shore as the sun rises over the Boulder Rim and lights up the valley below. Once everyone has taken a few personal moments to bask in the summer sun we will have the option to go on a day hike to nearby waterfalls, lakes and meadows, or simply swim, fish and hang out at the lake.

Day 6

  • Hiking Distance: 8.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 250 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 1260 feet
  • Shuttle to St. George: 3.5 hours

Our final hike back to the trailhead takes us through dense forests at the Rim’s edge, eventually arriving at a point with stunning views into the expanse of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Navajo Mountain, Paunsaugunt Plateau, and the lush, irrigated fields framed by Navajo sandstone bluffs that is the town of Boulder, UT.  After admiring the vistas we will descend down an old cattle trail that switchbacks through forests of Indian Paintbrush, Raspberry, Elderberry, and Aspen. The trail is narrow and dug into the rocky boulder field it meanders down. Eventually we enter a tunnel of aspens in a recently regrown burn. Continuing on we finally arrive at a wide open grazing meadow with views of Mt. Ellen peeking over the contour of Boulder Mountain. From here we will continue down the road to our trailhead, and the relaxing drive back to St. George for the conclusion of our amazing week.

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


This trip is a new offering and is still under construction. We will have dates posted very soon!

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

  • Top-of-the-line tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and technical backpack
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Utah hiking guide
  • Comprehensive, roundtrip transportation from your hotel in St. George and back
  • All necessary entrance fees and permits
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite communication device
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and 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
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% 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, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware sleeping bags
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and 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 three 1-liter water bottles 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.

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

How Do I Register?

Reserve your spot today! In the Trip Dates & Booking section of this page, the green and red dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you’re ready to register we’ll email you a link to a registration profile. You’ll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit.

Feel free to call us for more info – we’re here 7 days a week!

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. Alternatively, you may choose to forfeit the pre-trip meeting and meet us in the town of Escalante, UT on the first morning of our trip. This can be more convenient if you are traveling overland from points North or East, but not recommended if you are a novice backpacker.

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 you are staying at a hotel in St. George 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.

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 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 communication device. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.


Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.

Guide Working Parameters

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time…etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides’ off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.

Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on our Capitol Reef trips is 6 guests and 1 guide, with a maximum of 10 guests and 2 guides. 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.

Age restrictions are as follows:

  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis

Weather in Southern Utah

Weather in Utah’s Mountains
This trip takes place in the mountains of Utah, which have very different weather than the desert and high desert areas. These mountains’ climate is more similar to that of the Rockies. You can expect warm days, chilly evenings, possible afternoon thundersorms and the potential for sudden weather shifts and dramatic temperature swings. The average highs and lows for this area are below:

Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)



Backcountry Sleeping


Sleeping on backpacking trips 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 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 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 backpacking adventure. We carefully design our itineraries with campsites in mind.

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