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.
Absolutely fantastic experience, they not only know how to look after the group, but created an excellent atmosphere for everyone to enjoy and relax. Our tour guides, Jared and Eric,... read more are very knowledgeable about Utah’s history and Geology, and also about all aspects of camping,...More
Wow. Coming all the way from NYC & taking the gamble on going solo to this trip was one of the best decisions i could have made. If you're considering... read more a solo trip then this is for you! I went on the Yellowstone & Grand Teton camping trip. For a first time overnight camping, this was a surprisingly comfortable & pleasant experience. The equipment was top notch & very clean. The Guides, James & Jared are absolute gents, they are super upbeat, fun & easy to get along with. Lastly, the FRIENDS. From Silicon Valley all the way to Alabama, the diversified group of people i've gotten to know in only 5 days time, the bond made with this group of friends is unbreakable. Thank you Mountain Based family for the amazing adventure & everlasting memories. Can't wait for the next trip!
I went on the Utah Mighty 5 Camping trip in May. Everything was well organized. I thought for sure we'd be trying to cram too much in over a short... read more period of time but the itinerary was perfect. There was plenty of exploring and getting a taste of the trails, balanced in with chill time at camp or bonding with the group in the car. Our guides were amazing. They went above and beyond to make sure we had a fantastic time. The trails and parks were visited were beautiful, all different from each other and had their own wonders. Justin has a wealth of knowledge about the area and JC was a natural guide, bringing a zen like approach to connecting with nature. It was one of the best group trips I've ever been on, and I've been on plenty. I would highly recommend a trip with Mountain Based and hope to go out with them again in furture.
We did the 5 day camping trip to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. Eric and Steve, our guides were amazing. This was our 3rd trip with MountainBased and... read more we plan to do another as soon as possible.
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.
Despite the fact that I was ill the first two days (nothing to do with MountainBased), the staff guys really took care of me, allowed me to rest and take... read more shorter hikes. The travel was efficient. And the parks we saw were amazing. I highly...More
We chose the MountainBased Mighty 5 trip (with lodging) to celebrate my fathers 80th birthday and it was awesome. The trip was well organized and the guides were attentive, knowledgeable,... read more and accommodating to each of our skill levels. Our group ranged in ages from 13...More
Justin and Jared, our guides, did a wonderful job in coordinating all the logistics in visiting the 5-National Parks in Utah. Besides visiting the national parks, we also visited several... read more State Parks. My favorite was Goblin State Park. Would preferred to have bypassed the other...More
Check out a more in-depth list of what to bring here.