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5 Days/4 Nights
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
See what southern Utah is all about as we travel through “Canyon Country” and work our way up the Colorado Plateau to some of the most incredible sights in the American Southwest. One iconic site after another, this tour will provide an unforgettable experience to see all 5 of Utah’s National Parks including Zion, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef, plus additional State Parks as a bonus!
Today, we’ll depart from Salt Lake City and drive through the beautiful Wasatch mountains en route to incredible canyons of southern Utah. First up for the five National Parks is Canyonlands, known for being rough, rugged, and desolate…but with much beauty to behold! We will explore the district called Island In The Sky where we’ll hike to some outstanding viewpoints and see an iconic natural arch.
Additionally, we will stop at Dead Horse Point State Park for one of the most awe-inspiring views of the mighty Colorado River. This amazing place has been featured in many movies and television shows ranging from “Thelma & Louise” to HBO’s recent series “Westworld”.
This evening we will set up camp just outside of the town of Moab. Your guides will provide you with all the camping gear necessary, provide a detailed tutorial on how to set up tents, then let you get settled in as they cook up a hot meal. This night we’ll relax by the fire and enjoy the dark southern Utah night sky.
Driving time: 4 Hours
Hiking: 3+ miles – Minimal elevation gain
Accommodation: Kane Creek Campground or similar
Wake up to breakfast provided by your guides (including lots of coffee!). Today we’ll be exploring one of the greatest collections of natural arches on the planet at Arches National Park! We will depart early to view the Windows, Double Arch, and hike 3-miles round-trip to one of the most famous features in the entire southwest, Delicate Arch.
“A weird, lovely, fantastic object out of nature like Delicate Arch has the curious ability to remind us—like rock and sunlight and wind and wilderness—that out there is a different world, older and greater and deeper by far than ours” – Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire
After some additional active options in Arches National Park, we make a trip to their visitor center before returning to Moab for a couple hours of down time at our campsite. Depending on group preference, some additional options this afternoon may include a visit to Castle Creek Winery for some wine tasting or a stop at the Moab Museum of Film and Western Heritage. This evening, we will have a group dinner in the town of Moab.
Driving time: Local
Hiking: 3-5 miles – 700+ feet elevation gain
Accommodation: Kane Creek Campground or similar
Departing from Moab, we drive 2 hours to our first adventure for the day at Goblin Valley State Park. This place is out of this world! It is hard to envision a more “alien-like” landscape than what you’ll see here. Small hoodoos, locally known as goblins, fill a former tidal plain and make for one of the most unique destinations in the American Southwest.
After Goblin valley, we’ll enjoy one of America’s most scenic drives as we explore Capital Reef National Park for a possible hike to view a famous Natural Bridge. Capitol Reef National Park includes 241,904 acres of amazing red rock formations, cliffs, canyons and natural bridges. It is Utah’s wilderness at its best. Capital Reef is also the least visited of Utah’s National Parks, so it’s definitely worth checking out!
This evening we will spend near Bryce Canyon.
Driving time: 5 Hours
Hiking: 2-3 miles – 400+ feet elevation gain
Accommodation: Rubys Campground just outside of Bryce Canyon
This morning we will enter Bryce Canyon National Park just in time to capture the sun rising over a collection of sandstone spires called “hoodoos”. Explore several viewpoints before we descend into the Bryce Amphitheatre on “The world’s best 3-mile hike”. This trail is rated as moderate and is a wonderful way to view a variety of geology, flora, & fauna.
Tonight we head closer to Zion and set up camp under Ponderosa pines. You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the campground amenities including a swimming pool and recreation barn, then enjoy a fresh dinner prepared by your guides.
Driving time: 2 Hours
Hiking: 3-4 miles – 600+ feet elevation gain
Accommodation: Zion Ponderosa just outside of Zion
Today we explore our 5th National Park in 5 days at Zion National Park! Marvel at the giant red cliffs that rise over 2,000 feet above the blue-green waters of the Virgin River. We’ll spend the day exploring much of what this park has to offer before making our return trip to Salt Lake City.
Our activity today will likely include an adventure down the world-famous Narrows where you’ll experience hiking knee-deep in cool, rushing water as towering cliffs rise up on both sides. This trail begins on a paved path that follows the Virgin River for approximately 1 mile and provides a great opportunity to spot Mule Deer before we enter the river section for the rest of the hike.
*Due to many natural variables in the outdoors, we take what mother nature provides for us when deciding on which hike we will do. Other amazing options may include an adventure to the Upper Emerald Pools or similar.
After several hours of optional hiking and exploring, we depart from Zion National Park and begin our return 4.5-hour drive to Salt Lake City.
Driving time: 5 Hours
Hiking: 3-6 miles – minimal elevation gain
Return to Salt Lake City: We plan to return to SLC by approximately 7:00pm. If you plan to depart from Salt Lake International Airport after the trip, be sure you do not book a flight prior to 10:00pm or 22:00 due to various circumstances out of our control.
Check out a more in-depth list of what to bring here.
I did the 5 day "Southern Utah" trip covering Bryce, Zion and Grand Escalantes with 2 of my friends in a group of 12 people. The trip organization was amazing... read more with great camping locations, georgeous hikes, yummy food and perfectly planned itinerary. Nick 1 and Nick 2 were knowledgeable and friendly guides and went to great lengths to make our trip most enjoyable and kept the whole group engaged with their efforts and planning. Our fellow campers were also hugely cooperative and great folks to be around. I had a blast during the trip. Will be looking forward to do the Yellowstone a d Teton soon with MoutainBased.
I just got back from the Mighty 5 trip to Utah (leaving from Vegas) and can't say enough about Mountain Based. These guys are complete professionals, and the... read more trip was amazing from start to finish. Definitely a week I'll never forget. Huge thanks to best guides ever, Jared and Nick! Hope to see you both somewhere down the road.
Our trip with MountainBased was an excellent way to visit the 5 National Parks in southern Utah and a few state parks that most people don't get to visit. Justin... read more and Jared, did a wonderful job setting up the days adventures and working with each...More
We had a wonderful time on this trip. Typically we don't go on group tours, but this was a perfect option for us. The fabulous guides did all the driving,... read more planning, and reserving- while we hiked, played, and enjoyed. It was a great spring break...More
Thank you Mountainbased and our guides Nick and Steve for an amazing trip for me and my daughter to the Mighty 5’s. Awesome group of people. Countless memorable moments for... read more us and jaw dropping sceneries. My daughter still talks about it. She loved camping under the stars, making S’mores by the camp fire, meeting a really great bunch of people who really included her, and walking the Narrows at Zion. The guides were friendly, knowledgeable and gave us plenty of time to enjoy each park. They’re pretty awesome cooks too! I would recommend this trip to anyone!! It has to be done!!
This was an excellent trip. My daughter and I enjoyed every aspect of this adventure vacation in Utah. Our guides Eric and Nick did an outstanding job providing us... read more with a really unique opportunity to see Utah and the five National Parks along with two state parks. They balanced the hiking and travel time in the Van in such a way that we were able to rest between hikes, catch some excellent meals and have plenty of bathroom breaks. They really did a superb job of meeting everyone's (seven in our group) needs. They provided excellent meals had us hiking at the best time of the day for beating the heat and seeing the best colors in the parks. As they say...Best Trip Ever!!!
Another fantastic trip with Mountainbased! Justin and Jared were great, very professional, hard working and fun to be with. For most people in our group this was our second trip... read more with Mountainbased and we are already planning our third.
Highly recommend for families and friends. Guides are caring, professional and as excited as you to see natures beauty. Moderate hikes through iconic parks, high-quality food prepared on-site,... read more & excellent equipment. Great family memories that will last a lifetime. Disney World - your days are...More