Zion Basecamp Tour

St. George, UT
4.8 (13 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.

Read more …
3 Days
$1375 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 REQUIREMENTS

  • 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

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 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
  • 4-5 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. 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
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Utah hiking guide
  • Roundtrip transportation from your hotel in St. George, Utah
  • National park entrance fees
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • 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
  • Leki 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 two 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.

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

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 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 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, 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 this hiking tour is 6 guests, with a maximum of 12 guests. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-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 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 signature camping 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 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 (13 reviews)
Megan A
5.0

We will be back for more Wildland trips.

19 days ago

The Zion basecamp tour exceeded all expectations. "Awesome", "OMG", and "Amazing" are just a few words we repeated ad nauseam. Our wonderful guide Adriana was both professional and fun to be with. Zion is a breathtaking place and it was truly a gift to experience it with a seasoned pro. I'm already pouring over more Wildland tours and can't wait for my next trip!

Audrey H.
5.0

I Highly Recommend This Tour!

1 month ago

I felt nourished, challenged, inspired and relieved. Our guide was a gentle and consistent with thoughtful preparation, accommodating successfully the needs of our group and sported an easy going personality. He masterfully balanced a feeling of being emotionally accessible while appropriately and professionally boundaried and did a great job of pushing our limits through subtle presence and encouraging words. My self- confidence grew as I tried things I wouldn't have known how to approach independently. I was happy the pacing of our trip was responsive to the needs of our group - our guide fostered an attitude of mutual support and though we presented with disparate intentions and needs in hiking pace, all of our needs were met. The landscapes were striking and dramatic, our guide shared his contagious enthusiasm for the geology and history of the region and we deeply appreciated the indulgence of camping with a cook, hiking with a sherpa and exploring with a back country expert. Highly recommend!

Nikola S.
2.0

Over-promise & under-deliver

2 months ago

This trip was quite different from, and worse than, what Wildland promises. The three main issues: (1) the trails were far more crowded than advertised; (2) there was far less hiking than advertised; and (3) the health & safety protocols were inadequate. In addition, there was a surprising lack of attention to detail with regard to gear and to food. For context, I have been on dozens of guided hiking, kayaking, rafting, and climbing tours. And I occasionally lead kayaking trips myself. I am aware that things occasionally go wrong, and that everyone has an off day. Until now, I had never left less than a 5* review for a guided trip; indeed, I just left a 5* review for the Bryce & Escalante Basecamp Tour which I took immediately after this trip. But, with hindsight, I would not have gone on this particular trip even if it had been free. Some details: TRAILS FAR MORE CROWDED THAN ADVERTISED Wildland rates this trip 2/5 for solitude: “Expect to have some solitude, as much as an hour at a time without seeing other groups”. This is laughable. I cannot recall ever being on hikes as crowded as the 2 days we spent in Zion. We were within 5 yards of other groups almost the entire time. And we were there in March, before the peak of Spring Break. Zion sees even more visitors during April – mid October, when Wildland runs most of its trips. To be clear, I don’t blame Wildland for the crowding. I do blame them for misleading advertising. If they wish to keep the current solitude rating, they need to switch to something other than the two most crowded hikes in the park. Or else they should acknowledge that the hikes are exceedingly crowded—in which case I would have booked a different trip. FAR LESS HIKING THAN ADVERTISED Wildland indicates that this trip involves “21 miles / 34 kilometers” of hiking over 3 days. In fact, we only did 14 miles of hiking. In particular, in Zion, we never did “enjoy the start of the morning in relative solitude with a lesser-traveled hike through the lower canyon”. And, in Snow Canyon, we only hiked 4 miles. Part of the problem was that the group included a guest who has suffered a knee injury and had limited mobility. The guest was very apologetic, and indicated that they had actually contacted Wildland prior to the trip to inform them of the situation. To be clear, I applaud Wildland for accommodating guests with limited mobility. But then they should have 2 guides and split the group. Or else they should have alerted other guests that the trip would involve very limited hiking—in which case I would again have booked a different trip. INADEQUATE HEALTH & SAFETY PROTOCOLS Guides really should wear gloves when preparing meals. They should also set up hand-washing stations when on the trail, and remind guests to wash their hands before touching group utensils, and before digging into communal packages (e.g., of nuts or tortillas). Wildland is really asking for gastro-intestinal issues. Wildland also claims that “use of face masks to cover nose and mouth are required at all times in company vehicles and public transportation”. In fact, after day 1, the guide no longer bothered to wear his mask; and by day 3 nobody was wearing them. I realize that mask-wearing is a controversial topic. But Wildland should either enforce its stated policy, or else change it to “masks optional at all times”— in which case I would have booked with a different company. GEAR Wildland forgot to provide ground cloths for the tents, or rain covers for the backpacks. Really, what rookie makes this sort of mistake? Also, Wildland never provided the promised camp chairs. FOOD Wildland advertises “eat like royalty”. This is obviously subjective, and in any case I don’t go on a hiking trip for the cuisine. I will say that the food would have been fine for a backpacking trip. But it was far inferior to that of any other guided car-based or raft-based camping trip I have been on. Indeed, even I generally cook more interesting meals when car-camping (and cooking is not exactly my strong suit). Sample meals: Breakfast: coffee; two pancakes with cream cheese; granola with some blueberries (no yogurt, milk, or nuts). Dinner: pasta with tomato sauce and a few veggies; chocolate squares for dessert. Lunch was fine, especially considering that the guide brought it with him in his pack. Frankly, I doubt many guests would complain if the guide just laid out the ingredients after breakfast, and instructed guests to prepare and carry their own lunch sandwiches…

Response from Management

For the reviewer: Thank you for your honest feedback, and I'm sorry this trip fell below your expectations. We have already made some changes based on your input and will continue our audit of this trip to find more areas for improvement. I'm glad your second trip with us - the Bryce and Escalante Tour - was a great success, and wish both would have been. But we will learn from our shortcomings and ensure this trip meets our standard moving forward.

For everyone else: this guest joined two Wildland trips, a Zion Basecamp Tour (3 days) and a Bryce and Escalante Basecamp Tour (5 days). This review is for the Zion Basecamp Tour, and he gave the Bryce and Escalante Tour a 5-star rating. These two trips are quite different. Zion is not a place to seek solitude, but it is one of the most beautiful canyons in the world, so it's worth 3 days of exploration. The Park limits where we can hike, so we do our best to provide an enriching experience within their boundaries. This trip has traditionally earned great reviews, but if you're looking for challenging hikes and/or solitude, we recommend looking at other options, especially our Bryce-Escalante trips, Utah backpacking and llama-supported trips.

-Scott Cundy, Co-founder/General Manager

See All Guest Reviews!

Go to our reviews page

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