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 3 day hiking trip to Zion and Bryce and it was great! We did 3 different hikes and each one was amazing. Hiking The Narrows, with the river up to our knees, was definitely a highlight. Our guides Justin and Nick were fantastic- extremely knowledgable, enthusiastic and were keen to answer any questions we had. The food was delicious, campground was clean with hot showers, and company was awesome! The journeys weren't too long and the van was comfortable with air con. All in all this was a very organized, fun trip and I would certainly book another with MountainBased asap! Thank you for the best time!
I booked a 5 day private tour across Utah with my husband and 14 year old. The hikes in each park were pleasant and the food was outstanding. I also didn’t expect such a comfortable sleeping pad while camping! Justin and Nick were super understanding and they were very knowledgeable. We travel a lot and these guys really took the time to make sure we didn't miss any hidden gems along the way. Even my 14 year old had a blast and I will be recommending MountainBased to all my F&F.
My friend and I were on a convention in LV and we decided to do something adventurous. In our search we came upon MountainBased and I must say it was everything they had stated and much more. They were absolutely friendly and totally informative. Our 2 guides Justin and Nick not only became good friends in our 3 days but with their experience lead us to the best routes and so I was able to capture the best pictures from our hike. Our 3 day hike which started with the hike in the Narrows was so much fun. Hiking through the mountains in the running stream of the river was awesome.The second day to the Hoodoos in the Bryce Canyon was spectacular. The 3rd day we hiked the Angels landing and they were absolutely experienced with tips and tricks to make the hike not only fun but memorable.The camp site was clean and the food they cooked was delicious, fresh and hot. Very clean camp facilities and very well organised. I have been back a few weeks but still haven't stopped talking to everyone around me about this experience and highly recommend them to all. Didn't think I'd say this but looking forward to our next convention in LV to do another tour with MountainBased!
I just had the greatest experience with a 3 days camp at MountainBased. It was one of the best experiences I ever had! From these 3 days, I was very well taken care of and showed around so much. Of the three days, each one was unique and different. Justin and Nick were awesome and very patient. You can tell they were very experienced by the way they showed us around and knew their stuff. They took care of us, made us feel at home and even made excellent homemade food for us everyday! I definitely recommend this tour and I will be sure to try the 5-days camp with them next time!
- From TripAdvisor
My partner and I really enjoyed our camping trip to Utah with MountainBased! She and I agree that Will be back next year with more friends.
Absolutely recommend guided tours with these folks...they take the stress out of everything with their friendliness and knowledge...and you get to see things you might otherwise never see as a tourist!
Hike the famous trails at Zion and Bryce Canyon, while also trying out our specialty tree tents on this 4-day hiking and camping adventure.