5 Days/4 Nights
Mar – Oct
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
March through the end of October 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 Majestic View Lodge 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... read more more of our national parks. The most important word I can use to describe our tour...More
I did the Southern Utah Hiker trip with MountainBased from Sep 2-6, 2019 and I cannot say enough good words about my overall experience. My guides for this trip were... read more Nick and Nick and they run the whole 5 day trip with the most effortless professionalism and expertise I have seen. Very friendly. Engage the whole group. Prepared the most awesome food. Drive us to every site in their van with enough breaks for snacks and refreshments. Time the hikes to perfection depending on weather and sun. This was my first time hiking, camping and in Utah and I cannot possible imagine having a better introduction to hiking that this trip with MountainBased. The whole trip has just been one high after the other. I highly recommend doing a trip with MountainBased and look forward to doing another one myself. More
My kids (17, 14, 11) and I did Mountain Based's new Yellowstone/Grand Teton 5-day camping adventure. It was incredible. The guides are fantastic--kind, fun, knowledgable, able to work with a... read more range of ages and abilities. We loved it so much that we will probably do...More
I took my very first solo trip from NJ to Utah with Mountainbased in April and I still think about it everyday, looking at my photos and wish I could... read more go back! Justin & Jared are AMAZING, incredibly knowledgeable and so fun to be around!...More
My wife and I travel frequently and I must say this was one of the best trips we have ever made. The guides Jared and James, whom are brothers... read more were exceptional in all aspects. Both parks were exceptional in regards to their beauty. That said, they are both extremely busy. The last thing that I wanted to do was worry about was the logistics involved. Mountain Based took the worry out of everything. They were able to meet the needs of all, from experienced hikers to the less traveled hikers. I'm also very happy that I chose the camping versus lodging. The camaraderie within the group was truly amazing in short time. We can't wait to do another tour with these guys. Mario More
This was an amazing trip. There isn’t much guides can do about the mix of people in a guided trip but what they can do is create the perfect... read more environment and opportunities for the group as a whole and each individual to have a great trip! This trip was perfect with amazing hikes and guides that were both friendly and super knowledgeable. I was nervous about hiking Angels Landing but our guide Jerud made sure we all got there safe and feeling as secure as possible. James provided stellar substitutions for those that didn’t want to do that hike. The parks are beautiful! James and Jerud with MountainBased we’re truly some of the best guides I’ve had and I’ve taken several guided trips. I will be back! This trip is the perfect mix of hiking in Bryce and Zion as well as ample opportunity to shop and some solo time relaxing if you want it. The van is comfortable and gear provided was top notch! Food was yummy and filling! Perfect mix of “rugged outdoors” and “relaxing vacation”! Best part was how well the guides knew which hikes and what times for us to feel like we were VIPs in the parks! We missed crowds and still saw both the famous hikes and some hidden gems! Thanks for a great bucket list trip to Utah! More
This was an absolutely fantastic experience made better by Nick and James. It was a perfect combination of day hiking, some challenging hike-climbs (Angels landing) and down time at stunning... read more sites. These guys had a great mix of knowledge, positive attitude, patience and humor thorughout...More
I can't speak highly enough of this tour. This tour is one of the best travel experiences I have ever had!! The guides go above and beyond to... read more make sure everyone has the most incredible trip. The guides' attention to detail and local knowledge made...More