US & Canada / Utah
Canyonlands and Escalante Hiking Tour
Hike in Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Grand Staircase-Escalante
Forming a bizarre and surreal landscape, the canyons of Utah's Color Country make up one of the West's most fascinating geologic wonderlands. Discover delicate arches, elaborate spires, intricate slot canyons, ancient Indian petroglyphs, fiery slickrock palisades, and fantastically eroded redrock monuments and buttes. This trip has long been one of our owner's favorites.
Day 1: Arches
Arches National Park contains more than 1,500 sandstone arches — the world's largest concentration. Here we hike through precariously balanced rocks and natural arches as we trek along slickrock to Delicate Arch and onward to the other worldly formations of the Fiery Furnace.
Day 2: Canyonlands
We depart Moab for Canyonlands National Park where we hike into the wilds of the seldom-visited Needles District. Soaring monuments and slot canyons lead us to the banded sandstone pinnacles called the "needles." The more adventurous can add on the Joint Trail, following a long stretch of connecting "joints" through the deep and narrow crevices of a massive rock expanse.
Days 3-4: Capitol Reef
Today we shuttle along the San Rafael Swell and through the Fremont River Valley en route to Capitol Reef National Park. After exploring the historic Mormon settlement of Fruita during our lunch break, we hike to fabulous Cassidy Arch, named for the famous bank robber who hid out in this area. Capitol Reef preserves an eroded jumble of colorful cliffs, massive domes, soaring spires, stark monoliths, and graceful arches. We hike through the river in the slot canyon of Sulphur Creek or beneath towering walls of Navajo sandstone in seldom-visited Spring Canyon.
Days 5-6: Grand Staircase-Escalante
The geologic marvels of Grand Staircase-Escalante will put you in touch with pure wilderness solitude. Before flying back to Moab on our final day, we travel into Phipps Wash and to Lower Calf Creek Falls. These gorgeous, yet very different canyons, feature sheer slickrock walls, desert wildflowers and unusual geological formations.