5 Days/4 Nights
Spring + Fall
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
Cooler weather in the spring and fall is the perfect chance to explore Utah’s world renowned landscapes while resting at the day’s end in rustic luxury accommodations. Experience 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 Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef.
Today, we’ll depart from Salt Lake City and drive through the beautiful Wasatch mountains en route to the 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’ll arrive to our rustic lodge and have a nice dinner.
Driving time: 4 Hours
Hiking: 3+ miles – Minimal elevation gain
Wake up to breakfast included at your lodge and get ready to explore 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 and/or a visit to Castle Valley just outside of Moab. This evening, you will be dropped off in the town of Moab for an opportunity to shop and dine on your own. We’ll then pick you up and take back to your rustic lodge and allow you to relax for the rest of the night.
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. Capitol Reef is also the least visited of Utah’s National Parks, so it’s definitely worth checking out! This evening we’ll arrive to our rustic lodge near Bryce Canyon National Park.
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.
Later in the day we’ll head to our lodge just outside of Zion National Park! You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the property before we have an incredible dinner.
Driving time: 2 Hours
Hiking: 3-4 miles – 600+ feet elevation gain
Accommodation: Lodging at Zion Mountain Ranch or similar
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.
*Due to many natural variables in the outdoors, we take what mother nature provides for us when deciding on which hike we will do. Depending on the weather options include: Upper Emerald Pools, Observation Point, The Narrows 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.
My wife and I booked the MountainBased 5 day Lodging Tour of National Parks in southern Utah. We came away with an unforgettable experience and the desire to see more of our national parks. The most important word I can use to describe our tour...More
This trip was by far the coolest I've ever experienced. Justin and Jared were both very informative guides that are truly passionate about exploring and sharing the breath taking beauty Utah has to offer. They catered the trip to us and met all of our...More
First off, I’ve delayed my review because it still seems so surreal to me. It’s almost impossible to put it into words. These guys truly are passionate about what they do. This is not a job for them. When they say this is a family...More
Great trip. Excellent guides. Great accommodations and felt safe and comfortable. Perfect time of year to visit the Utah national parks. Less people and beautiful scenery. Spiritually uplifting journey in nature for sure. This company was incredibly professional and easy to work with.
Mind-boggling trip - and potentially life-changing. Thank you Justin and Jared for your wisdom, guidance and spirit.
Amazing experience! I I truly enjoyed my experience as a solo traveler with the mountain based company! We covered many national and state parks without feeling rushed! Nick, Jared and James, our tour guides, were always enthusiastic and very knowledgeable! This is a great tour...More
Fantastic family run business. The team have touring utah down to an art. They are funny, kind and offer an amazing experience
Let me start by saying I haven't camped since I was in Girl Scouts. My sister has wanted to visit Utah's National Parks for some time and finally convinced us (myself, my other sister, and our mom) to go. I am so glad she did...More