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! Click here to learn more about our relaxed booking and travel options.
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.
Had an incredible trip visiting 5 national parks in 5 days. My guides, Nick and Jared, were great and well prepared for the trip. Would recommend this trip to anyone.
My wife and I enjoyed every part of this trip - the people, the camping, the hiking, and the spectacular scenery. Our guides - Justin, Nick, Nick, and Steve -... read more were very friendly, informative, organized, efficient, flexible, helpful, tireless, and patient. They set the tone...More
I went on the Yellowstone/Grand Tetons trip with Nick and James, and I absolutely loved it. The family-owned title of Mountain Based really shines through, as our group felt cared... read more for! The weather was just about perfect for camping, which brought out some of the best memories I have made.
Expert outfitters who plan everything down to the last detail. Our guides (Jared Ebert and Justin Chan) were knowledgeable, friendly and made the entire experience fun and safe! I can’t... read more recommend Mountainbased any more highly!!
We just came back from the Mighty 5 lodging trip. It was amazing. Our guide Eric did a fantastic job making sure everyone was both comfortable yet challenged... read more with the hikes. The parks are majestic. The hikes are each different but spectacular in their own way. Eric made the rides enjoyable with his conversation, soundtrack, and frequent comfort stops. His skill and knowledge were unrivaled. Don't hesitate to book with Mountain Based.
We just returned from our 2nd camping trip with MountainBased and are already thinking about the next! These trips self select for the most fun, best dispositioned people who become... read more found family. The campfire talks cannot be beat. The food is amazing! The camping gear is top notch. Most importantly, the guides are first class humans and take such good care of each and every guest.
Me and my husband just finished our second camping trip with MountainBased to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, our first one was Utah Mighty 5 (five national parks) earlier... read more this year. This crew really goes above and beyond - their customer service and dedication...More
We did the 5-day 4-night trip to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. Our guides were Justin, Meg, and Tyler. This is not something I would want to take the time... read more to plan out and organize and execute on my own with my family. They had everything taken care of. We tent camped each night. Their tents were easy to set up and they had self-inflating air mattresses that were comfortable. The guides cooked each meal and I would have to say that these meals were basically Gourmet, including gluten-free and vegetarian options. Or maybe they just tasted so good because we had hiked so far each day? I greatly appreciated the delicious coffee each morning and the fact that everything was planned out for us. The guides were very accommodating and made it seem like nothing was a problem, even if our group needed to stop to use the restroom too often or had questions that they just answered. They were always very gracious. Highly recommended.
My wife and I very much enjoyed our wonderful Mountain Based Utah Mighty 5 adventure. We had amazing experiences each day, thanks to the terrific guides, Justin and Eric. Everything... read more they planned went well. We were particularly pleased with the hikes, accommodations, choice of restaurants and picnics. We have taken many tours over the years and we rate this one as one of the best. We would love to join them again on another trip!
Check out a more in-depth list of what to bring here.