2272
Utah
Hiking in Utah’s Splendor: Great Parks and Monuments
Come hike the great parks and monuments of Utah, where you’ll discover unique geology, ancient petroglyphs, dramatic falls and eons of exposed nature.
Program No. 2272RJ
Length
8 days
Starts at
1,165
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8 days
7 nights
20 meals
7 B 6 L 7 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
St. George, Utah
D
College Inn

Activity note: Please remember to bring your National Park Pass and hiking poles if you have them.

Dinner: 5:30 pm - Transfer to Dixie State University for a delicious banquet dinner.

Evening: Following dinner have a brief welcome orientation and overview of our daily activities and itinerary.

DAY
2
Field trip & Walks in Zion National Park
St. George, Utah
B,L,D
College Inn

Activity note: -Scout Lookout Hike is a 4 mile round trip with 1,100 ft of elevation change. -Riverside Walk is an easy 2 mile round trip on a fairly level paved trail ending at the entrance to the Zion Canyon Narrows. Total day hike miles will be 4-6 miles.

Breakfast: Continental breakfast buffet at the College Inn which includes hard boiled eggs, hot oatmeal, cereal, fruit, yogurt, pastries, toast, coffee, tea, milk & juice.

Morning: Travel to Zion National Park. We'll begin our hike to Scout Lookout at the West Rim trail-head from the Grotto. A footbridge over the Virgin River and a right turn heading upstream lead you along the northwestern shore on a relatively level path. about a half-mile, the trail begins to switch back up on a hot, paved slope. The views keep getting better with every turn as the expanse opens up below you. This section of trail has steep drop-offs, but is wide, which is helpful for those with a fear of heights. Shaded relief is found when the trail turns up into the aptly named, Refrigerator Canyon. Impressive rock walls tower with overhangs that are picture worthy. After a gradual grade, the trail turns and you face the famous Walters Wiggles feature of tight switchbacks up towards Scout Lookout.

Lunch: Box lunch on the Trail.

Afternoon: Continue exploring Zion as we hike the River Walk trail. This trail begins at the farthest end of Zion Canyon, in a natural amphitheater called the Temple of Sinawava. The well-traveled path ends where Navajo Sandstone walls close in and water is forced into the narrow walls of the world renowned Zion Narrows. Return to St. George.

Dinner: 5:30-6:30 pm - Enjoy a Grand Buffet at Chuck-A-Rama. Choose from a variety of fresh salads, homemade dinner rolls, barbecue ribs, baked or fried chicken, roast beef, sliced turkey breast, mashed potatoes & gravy, peas, green beans, corn, scones, assorted beverages. Save room for dessert, apple pie, cakes, cobbler, brownies, and soft serve ice cream or yogurt.

Evening: Geology/Ecology Lecture in College Inn classroom.

DAY
3
Grand Canyon National Park, North Rim
Kanab, UT
B,L,D
Holiday Inn Express

Activity note: -Bright Angel Point trail is a short .5 mile roundtrip walk on a paved trail. -Transept Trail is a 3 mile roundtrip along the rim. Total day hike miles will be 3.5 miles.

Breakfast: Continental breakfast buffet at the College Inn which includes hard boiled eggs, hot oatmeal, cereal, fruit, yogurt, pastries, toast, coffee, tea, milk & juice.

Morning: Checkout & depart for Grand Canyon National Park's North Rim. Upon arrival we'll take a short hike out to Bright Angel Point which places us on the edge of a vastness of scenery, time, and opportunity. The view confirms the tremendous uplift that has occurred, leaving the canyon’s North Rim 1,000 feet higher than the South Rim.

Lunch: Box lunch on the trail.

Afternoon: After lunch we'll hike Transept Trail which takes us along the rim through a majestic Ponderosa Pine Forest with multiple Canyon overlooks.

Dinner: Dinner at Houston's Trails End Restaurant.

Evening: Free time.

DAY
4
Hiking Bryce National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park
B,L,D
Ruby's Inn

Activity note: -Rim trail from Bryce Point to Sunset Point is a 2 mile one way trip on groomed trail with a 300 ft elevation drop. -Navajo Loop & Queens Garden Trail is a 3.5 mile hike with an elevation change of 521 feet. It's listed as one of the top 10 hikes in the U.S. by National Geographic. Total day hike miles will be 3.5 - 5.5 miles.

Breakfast: Holiday Inn Express Start Breakfast Bar features: - Fluffy scrambled eggs - Cheese omelets - Bacon and sausage - Biscuits and gravy - Sticky-sweet cinnamon rolls - An assortment of fresh fruits, yogurt, and breakfast cereals and breads - Pancakes - Fruit juices, 2% and skim milk, and our very own 100% Arabica Smart RoastSMCoffee.

Morning: Depart for Bryce Canyon National Park. One of America's most scenic destinations, Bryce Canyon National Park is a magical land, a place of inspiration and spectacular beauty where thousands of intricately shaped rock formations stir the imagination as they stand silent watch in their colorful cathedrals. Upon arrival we'll hike Bryce Point to Sunset Point.

Lunch: Box lunch on the trail.

Afternoon: Continue exploring in Bryce as we hike down into the Canyon on the Navajo Loop trail. The Navajo Loop Trail descends from Sunset Point through the slot canyon of Wall Street, where 500 to 700-year-old Douglas Firs reach upward toward the sunlight at the top of the canyon. The Navajo Loop is a popular trail in the park, and is often combined with the Queen's Garden Trail to form a longer loop that passes through the Queen's Garden and emerges onto the rim at Sunrise Point.

Dinner: Buffet Dinner at Ruby's Cowboy Buffet & Steak Room including BBQ Beef & Pork Ribs, Baked Chicken, Asian Orange Chicken, Baked Pollock, Cornbread, Soup & Salad.

Evening: Free time.

DAY
5
Hike Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
Capitol Reef National Park
B,L,D
Capitol Reef Resort

Activity note: -Calf Creek Falls is one of the most well known and unique features in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The trail follows Calf Creek to the 126' high falls. The hike is 6 miles round trip. Elevation change on the trail is minimal, but the trail is sandy and walking can be strenuous.

Breakfast: Breakfast at Ruby's Cowboy Buffet which includes fresh fruit, yogurt, assorted baked goods, cereal, scrambled eggs, french toast, oatmeal, smoked bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, coffee, and assorted teas, juice and milk.

Morning: Check out and depart at 8:15 am. Travel along scenic Highway 12 to Calf Creek Falls. The lower falls of Calf Creek were for many years one of the hidden attractions of southern Utah but since the creation of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument they have become quite well known. At the falls, the creek emerges from a V-shaped channel at the end of upper Calf Creek Canyon and cascades over a near-vertical cliff face into a large pool. Enclosed on three sides by sheer Navajo sandstone walls the rocks closest to the water are covered in delicate patches of blue and green algae.

Lunch: Box lunch on the trail.

Afternoon: After finishing our hike to Calf Creek Falls we'll tavel to Anasazi State Park. This park shelters the ruins of an ancient Native American village, one of the largest Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) communities found west of the Colorado River. Known as the Coombs Site, it is believed to have been occupied from AD 1160 to 1235 and may have housed as many as 200 people. This park consists of a museum where you can see many ancient artifacts found in this area. In addition, some of the ruined walls and other structures have been stabilized and can be explored by people via short trails that extend directly behind the museum. The remains of more than 100 structures have been found here, along with thousands of artifacts.

Dinner: Enjoy a plated dinner at Pioneer Kitchen Restaurant.

Evening: Free time.

DAY
6
Hike Capitol Reef
Capitol Reef National Park
B,L,D
Capitol Reef Resort

Activity note: -Chimney Rock Trail is a 7 mile roundtrip with elevation change of 810 feet. We generally don't complete the full loop. -Grand wash is a level 2.5 mile one way hike. Total day hike miles will be 6-9 miles.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Depart for Capitol Reef National Park and a hike on the Chimney Rock Trail. Chimney Rock is an impressive pinnacle of Moenkopi Shale that rises from the desert. The trail begins with a short strenuous switchback trail that leads to the top of the mesa and than becomes an easier loop hike around the top of the mesa. The loop hike offers outstanding views for Chimney Rock and the surrounding countryside.

Lunch: Box lunch in picnic area by Capitol Reef National Monument Visitor Center.

Afternoon: Hike Grand Wash, a famous gorge that cuts its way through the upper portion of the Waterpocket Fold. The wash connects the Scenic Road as it heads south past Cassidy Arch, to Highway 24 just east of Spring Canyon. The wash is level throughout almost the entire route, though it is full of streambed sediment. Only at the narrow does the trail close in and get tight. We'll then make a brief stop at "Petroglyph Panel". Most are attributed to the Fremont Culture, which existed in areas of Utah from approximately AD 600 – 1300. The Fremont people were contemporaries of the Ancestral Puebloans (Anasazi) of the Four Corners area.

Dinner: Dinner at the Rim Rock Restaurant. Choose between Utah Mountain Trout pan-seared in browned butter and topped with pine nuts, sage and regional herbs, or Rim Rock Chicken slow roasted with honey herb glaze, or Sergio Leone's Pesto Fettuccine with roma tomatoes, portobello mushrooms, and asparagus sautéed in pesto and white wine.

Evening: Evening presentation.

DAY
7
Kolob Canyon, West Zion National Park
St. George, Utah
B,L,D
College Inn

Activity note: -Bristlecone Pine trail is a short, level .6 miles roundtrip. -Timber Creek Overlook trail is a 1 mile roundtrip with a 150 foot gradual ascent to the overlook. Total day hike miles will be 2 miles.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Checkout and depart. We'll travel south through Dixie National Forest with a stop at Bristlecone Pine Trail. This hike meanders through meadows of wildflowers and aspens, ending in front of a grove of spectacular bristlecone pines. We'll also get a breathtaking overlook view of Zion National Park in the distance.

Lunch: Box Lunch at a park in Cedar City.

Afternoon: Continue to Kolob Canyon, the western part of Zion National Park. Here we will hike Timber Creek Overlook Trail. This trail is a short hike to a rocky outcrop with panoramic views over the Kolob Canyons area, Pine Valley Mountain range, Timber Creek drainage, and Red Butte. The trail climbs an exposed ridge and heads south to a small peak. On clear days views range from the Kaibab Plateau (south) to the Grand Canyon's North Rim.

Dinner: Closing Dinner at a St. George restaurant.

Evening: Enjoy a closing dinner and recap the scenic beauty you were able to see this week.

DAY
8
Program Concludes
St. George, Utah
B

Breakfast: 6:30 - 8:00 am - Continental breakfast buffet at the College Inn which includes hard boiled eggs, hot oatmeal, cereal, fruit, yogurt, pastries, toast, coffee, tea, milk & juice.

Morning: Program ends following breakfast.