Zion Basecamp Tour

St. George, UT
4.8 (18 reviews)

Trip Highlights

  • Zion Narrows
  • Spectacular Zion Canyon
  • National Park Camping
  • Fresh-Cooked Meals
  • "Mini Zion" at Snow Canyon
  • Amazing Natural & Cultural History

Description

Our Zion Basecamp Tour is an opportunity to experience Utah’s most famous national park as a standalone canyon country experience or as an easy add-on to a longer trip. Our iconographic hikes will take you to the rim of Zion Canyon, through the cool waters of the Virgin River Narrows and beneath the towering sandstone ramparts Zion is famous for.

The environment we’ll explore throughout our three days sits on the border of an incredible physiographic region called the Colorado Plateau. This Utah hiking tour starts with pick you up at your hotel in St. George, Utah, where we will make the short drive for our first hike in red rock country though Snow Canyon. From there, we will continue to Zion National Park where we will camp for 2 nights.

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From
$1445 Per Person
Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Basecamp Tour
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 4-12 Guests
Trip Length: 3 Days
Distance: 18MI / 29KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 2

Scale of 1-5. 1 is least difficult; 5 is most difficult

SUMMARY OF DIFFICULTY
This trip follows a mix of well-maintained trails and more rugged terrain. It includes mostly moderate hiking distances and elevation gains/losses. The most rugged part of the tour is hiking on slippery river rocks in the Zion Narrows. There is occasional heights exposure where drop-offs are 2-3 feet from the trail.

Hiking Distances:

5-10 mi

Backpack Weight:

8-12 lbs

Terrain:

Moderately Rugged

Max Daily Elev. ↑↓:

1200-1700 ft

Heights Exposure:

Significant

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.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS OF THIS TRIP

  • Hiking uphill or downhill with a 8-12 lb backpack for 6-8 hours
  • Maintaining balance and footing on moderately rugged terrain, including slippery river rocks in the Zion Narrows
  • Hiking with occasional, significant heights exposure
* For an official and complete list of physical requirements, please see our Essential Eligibility Criteria.

SOLITUDE LEVEL 1

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this tour a Level 1 for solitude. You can expect to be around other hikers most of the time.

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, 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
  • 4-5 People: Rate x 1.5
  • 6-8 People: Rate x 1.25
  • 9-12 People: Rate x 1.15

*all rates are per person

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ITINERARY

ITINERARY

Day 1

  • Shuttle to Snow Canyon: 15-minute drive from St. George, Utah
  • Shuttle to Zion: 1-hour drive from Snow Canyon.
  • Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 700 feet

On this Utah hiking adventure we start the first day with pick up in St George and shuttle to Snow Canyon State Park. Like a mini Zion, Snow Canyon (named after the man, not the precipitation) is in the same Navajo Sandstone layer as Zion, and cuts impressive walls from the lava-covered country above the rim through the slickrock country below. Along the way, we’ll have stunning views and visit (and perhaps explore) young lava tubes, and get a great introduction to canyon country. We’ll eat lunch on the trail and complete our loop. From there, it’s a 1 hr drive to Zion, while we’ll setup camp and cook dinner.

Day 2

  • Hiking Mileage: 5 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 60 feet

Our second day’s hike is arguably the most iconographic in Zion — the Virgin River Narrows. Stopping at Zion Outfitter, to rent gear appropriate for the conditions (can include canyoneering shoes with neoprene socks, dry suit pants, dry bibs, or full dry suit, as  well as a wooden walking staff.)

Our hike starts with a stroll down the paved River Trail. Buttressed by water on our left and a 3,000-foot cliff face on the right, the River Trail gives us an up-close appreciation for the powerful hydrological forces that carved this incredible canyon.

After a mile of walking along hanging gardens and under the dappled shade of majestic cottonwoods, the sidewalk ends. Wearing seasonally appropriate water gear, we’ll enter the river. Hiking in moving water can be a new and exciting experience for many. We’ll take time to get our “stream legs” before walking another 1.5 miles upriver to our turnaround point at Orderville Canyon.

Before descending back downstream, we’ll be certain to get a few more photos of the Narrows’ majestic beauty and, of course, stop-off for a relaxing shoreline lunch before returning to the trailhead.

Please note: in the event of high water, the Virgin River Narrows hike will be rerouted to a different trail in Zion. The Park is full of unforgettable hiking and scenery, so it’s easy to find an excellent substitute. To learn how seasonal river flows can affect your hike of the Virgin River Narrows, please review this article.

Day 3

  • Hiking Mileage: 7.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 2100 feet
  • Shuttle to St. George

This final morning, we’ll eat breakfast, breakdown camp, and embark on an exciting exploration of Zion Canyon. Beginning our day’s hike near the Park Visitors Center, we’ll enjoy the start of the morning in relative solitude with a lesser-traveled hike through the lower canyon.

After a quick break, we’ll board the Zion shuttle bus and travel up-canyon to our next trailhead. Here, we’ll hike up to Scout Lookout where we’ll relish in stimulating views of the surrounding canyon system. From our vantage point above the canyon floor, we’ll traverse along the canyon walls on well maintained trails to the Emerald Pools complex where we’ll marvel at the majestic pools before descending to the lawn of the historic Zion Lodge for a late lunch and a quick respite.

Our bellies content and our spirits filled, we’ll head back to St. George, where we’ll say our goodbyes and start scheming about our next adventure!

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

  • Top-of-the-line tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and day pack
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • 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.
  • Roundtrip transportation from your hotel in St. George, Utah
  • Gear rentals for the Virgin River Narrows, which can include canyoneering shoes, neoprene socks, dry suit pants, dry bibs or a full dry suit.
  • National park entrance fees
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and communication device (InReach Explorer or satellite phone)
  • Mandatory 5% national park fee that passes through directly to Zion National Park
  • A Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and dependents to a discount of 10% off any Wildland hiking trip after your first one (must book directly with us to receive the discount)!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (see recommendations)
  • 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 outdoors – 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
  • Gear rentals for the Virgin River Narrows, which can include canyoneering shoes, neoprene socks, dry suit pants, dry bibs or a full dry suit.
  • Leki trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and 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

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. Your guide will be in contact approximately 2 weeks before your trip starts to specify the orientation location. 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 no later than 7 PM.

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.

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.

Age Restrictions

Age restrictions on this trip 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 Southern Utah
Southern Utah is a high desert where the weather can vary significantly based on elevation and season. 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 sample average high and low temperatures in Zion National Park:

Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
Month
High
Low
January
54°
30°
February
59°
34°
March
66°
39°
April
75°
45°
May
86°
54°
June
95°
63°
July
100°
70°
August
99°
68°
September
91°
61°
October
79°
48°
November
64°
37°
December
54°
30°

Accommodations

Accommodations

Premier Campgrounds

2 NIGHTS

On our basecamp tours we hand pick wonderful campgrounds that put us right in the action for exceptional hiking and camping vacations. They may be national park, state park, or private vehicle-accessible campgrounds. They may vary by trip date depending on availability and seasonality.

Fantastic Meals

8 MEALS

Basecamp trips include meals for the duration of the tours beginning with breakfast the first day through lunch the final day. Meals are prepared by your guide(s) using fresh ingredients, exclusive Wildland recipes, and we adhere to all department of health outdoor cooking codes.

Comfortable Camping

CAMPING AMENITIES

What amenities do basecamp tours include? Cold and hot drinks, campfires (where/when allowed), camp chairs, access to showers, fresh food, roomy tents, comfortable sleeping pads, comfy sleeping bags, camp pillows and more! Camp comfortably, eat like royalty, and hike til your heart’s content!

Trip Reviews

Trip Reviews

  • Average Customer Ratings:

  • 4.8 (18 reviews)
L Leong
5.0

Amazing

12 days ago

Nina is an excellent, amazing guide who has good leadership qualities. She has made my trip the most enjoyable and memorable one. She is also a great chef. Will certainly look out for next trip with Wildland !

Ella G
5.0

Full Zion Experience

2 months ago

This was my first hike tour and it went beyond my expectations. Our guide, Nina, went above what I was anticipating. She served delicious food and kept us all safe while able to give us the full Zion experience.

Katherine L
5.0

Stop Searching. The Is Your Zion Trip!!

3 months ago

In a word: Exceptional! From the meet & greet to the gear return, Wildland Trekking did not miss a beat. Hikes: Day one was in Snow Canyon State Park, on the way to Zion. A pleasant surprise experience hiking over petrified sand dunes, seeing a lava tube, a rock amphitheater and pioneer names written in axle grease; the day did not disappoint. Day two was all ZION. We caught the sunrise at the Canyon Overlook just in time. A definite do not skip. Picking up Narrows gear was smooth. The Virgin River was crowded but not unexpected due to the beautiful day the crowds at the park. That said, our group of seven was able to move smoothly up the river. We took a short break and returned down river and found we moved quicker with the flow of the river aiding our movement. Day three was the icing on the cake. We hit the ground running with a hike up to Scouts Lookout. A nice long break at the top was needed after Walters Wiggles. While at the top we could see, with envy, all those hikers hitting the Angles Landing trail (permit only access). After a quick bathroom break we were back on the trail to see Emerald Pools. The lower pool had a beautiful waterfall and the upper pools should not be missed if possible. A perfect place for our group to relax and eat lunch. We returned to the Lodge and relaxed on the grassy lawn and explored the gift shop. Meals: Our guide, Marlo, prepared each meal with precision. From Cashew Chicken or Tacos to her family Tuna Fish recipe or pancakes and bacon, this girl surprised us at every corner. It’s amazing what she could do with a camp stove. Campground: Zion Ponderosa was great campground offering lots of unexpected amenities: Hot showers and a clean bathroom plus a nice pool. Our campsite was large and allowed us to spread out. Wildland: All the gear provided was clean and in working order. A surprise item included in our gear bag was a towel for showers. This allowed the group to free up a section of the suitcase. Snacks were included and the variety was perfect. We were encouraged to load up our packs each day to ensure we didn’t lose energy. Guide: MARLO! She is the bomb. From the first moment we met her I knew that we had the BEST! She was a wealth of knowledge on the history of the area. She never was without a smile and always willing to help capture that perfect photo. She even granted a special request for a camp fire with SMORES at the last minute. Is there anything she can’t do? If you have gotten this far in the review then you must know that this trip exceeded my expectations. BOOK YOU TRIP NOW! And request Marlo.

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