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Utah

A Women’s-Only Hiking Adventure: Arches & Canyonlands National Parks

Join fellow women hikers in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks to discover ancient petroglyphs, geological monuments and the colorful beauty of two national treasures together.
Program No. 23871RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,579
Utah

A Women’s-Only Hiking Adventure: Arches & Canyonlands National Parks

Join fellow women hikers in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks to discover ancient petroglyphs, geological monuments and the colorful beauty of two national treasures together.
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,579
Program No. 23871 RJ
climate
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At a Glance

From the countless spires to the deep canyons, our hiking journey through Utah’s Arches and Canyonlands National Parks reveals how nature's forces have jointly sculpted and scoured this dramatic landscape. During daily hikes led by women and nature experts, explore the spectacular arch and canyon formations and the geological record, view ancient petroglyphs and investigate salt dome collapses all while bonding with fellow women hikers.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Trek different sections of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks including the Needles’ Slickrock Trail and Island in the Sky White Rim Overlook.
  • Make new discoveries with a tight-knit group of women, observing how the sedimentary layers have left a record dating back more than 250 million years.
  • Experience the geologic wonders of Fisher Towers and Utah’s signature Delicate Arch.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Roadside Geology of Utah
by Halka Chronic
Informative travel companions about roadside terrain and geology with photos, diagrams, and glossary. Great for drives and rides throughout Utah.
Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness
by Edward Abbey
"A passionately felt, deeply poetic book. It has philosophy. It has humor. It has its share of nerve-tingling adventures...set down in a lean, racing prose, in a close-knit style of power and beauty." Edward Abbey lived for three seasons in the desert at Moab, Utah, and what he discovered about the land before him, the world around him, and the heart that beat within, is a fascinating, sometimes raucous, always personal account of a place that has already disappeared, but is worth remembering and living through again and again. The classic drama of a year alone as a ranger in a national park. "This book may well seem like a ride on a bucking bronco."--New York Times Book Review
Canyonlands Country: Geology of Canyonlands and Arches National Parks
by Donald L. Baars
"An easy-to-read geological history of the amazing red rock landscapes in southeastern Utah. Towering red buttes, plunging canyon walls, domes, pinnacles, spires, ten thousand strangely carved forms—what visitor hasn’t marveled at the land of rock in southeastern Utah that is Canyonlands Country? Canyonlands Country offers a unique geological history of this awesome landscape, in language understandable by the non-geologist. The story is as strange and fascinating as the land itself. Each exposed rock layer has a different geologic history: one is a stream deposit, another is an ancient field of dunes, another was deposited by shallow tropic seas. The Green and Colorado Rivers began carving canyons thirty million years ago, but to understand such relatively recent events Canyonlands Country takes us on a journey of two billion years. Tours include Arches National Park, Island in the Sky, Needles District, The Maze and Elaterite Basin, Labyrinth and Stillwater Canyons, Meander Canyon, and Cataract Canyon."
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 4 L 4 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Moab, UT
D
River Canyon Lodge

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 5:00 p.m. This is a hiking program with daily hikes between 6 to 7 total miles.

Afternoon: Welcome to Moab! Program Registration-orientation. 5:00 p.m., join us for an orientation in the hotel meeting room. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule including any last minute changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Transportation throughout the program will be provided primarily by 12 passenger van. Our resident experts will lead us on all hikes throughout the program. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we will enjoy a plated meal, with choices from a menu, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: We will then wrap up our orientation back at the hotel. The remainder of the evening will be at leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night's rest for the day ahead. We have lots of exciting hikes this week!

DAY
2
Arches National Park
Moab, UT
B,L,D
River Canyon Lodge

Activity note: Getting on/off vans. Drive time - 4 segments of 20 minutes each. Hiking around 6 miles depending upon trails chosen. Elevation gains for the day 500 feet.

Breakfast: Early each morning we have the luxury of walking (or taking the van) down the street to the Moab Diner, a Moab favorite, for a plated breakfast chosen from the extensive menu accompanied by prompt, friendly service.

Morning: Aboard the vans, we'll set out from the hotel for Arches National Park. After a beautiful and dramatic drive through the entrance of Arches National Park, we'll stop at “Park Avenue” viewpoint for a brief introductory lecture. Next, we'll take the vans to “Devil’s Garden” for a beautiful hike to Landscape Arch, the longest arch in the park. While here, we'll have the opportunity to take the 3.5 mile roundtrip hike to other nearby arches with more breathtaking views.

Lunch: At a picnic area, we'll have our fresh boxed lunches, prepared by a local market each day so that we can enjoy them in the scenic outdoors. Lunch will include your choice of sandwich, fruit, chips, dessert, and water.

Afternoon: We'll then enjoy another hike, this time to Sand Dune Arch where we'll take time to talk about how life has adapted to live in this dry, often hot, high-desert climate. After the hike, we'll drive to the Windows area of the park to explore the North and South Windows and Turret Arches. Next, we'll travel along the Colorado River to see Petroglyph Panels that will take us back thousands of years as we talk about the importance of this art, along with why we find it where we do.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we will enjoy a plated meal, with choices from a menu, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure

DAY
3
Island in the Sky District, Canyonlands National Park
Moab, UT
B,L,D
River Canyon Lodge

Activity note: Getting on/off vans. Drive time - 2 segments of 1 hour each, 2 segments of 20 minutes each. Hiking around 6 miles depending upon trails chosen. Elevation gains for the day 600 feet.

Breakfast: Diner plated meals.

Morning: We'll begin with a scenic drive to Canyonlands National Park's Island in the Sky. After a stop at the visitor center, we'll drive to the Upheaval Dome Overlook trailhead. There are two well-known theories as to the origin of the upheaval and we will learn about each before offering up our own ideas as to how this unique formation was made. Next, we'll drive to the Green River canyon overlook. The panoramic view is spectacular as the Green River winds its way to the confluence with the Colorado River.

Lunch: In the park, we'll have our fresh boxed lunches.

Afternoon: Then we'll hike on the White Rim Overlook Trail where we will be treated to an expansive view of the Colorado River Canyon. We'll be able to see all the way across to the Needle's District where we will hike tomorrow. As we take a few minutes to soak in the view, we'll talk about how erosion is still shaping this landscape. A trip to Island in the Sky would not be complete without a short hike to the amazingly photogenic Mesa Arch, so we'll stop there before we head back to Moab.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we will enjoy a plated meal, with choices from a menu, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Needles District-Canyonlands National Park
Moab, UT
B,L
River Canyon Lodge

Activity note: Getting on/off vans. Drive time - 2 segments of 1.25 hours each, 2 segments of 15 minutes each. Hiking around 6 miles depending upon trails chosen. Elevation gains for the day 600 feet.

Breakfast: Diner plated meal.

Morning: Traveling by vans, we'll head to Canyonlands National Park's Needles District. The Needles District forms the southeast corner of Canyonlands and was named for the colorful spires of Cedar Mesa Sandstone that dominate the area. We will stop at the visitor center for a break and an informative video about the area. Our hike is on the Slickrock Foot Trail and the entirety of the trail stays high on slickrock benches and mesa tops, providing sweeping, panoramic views of the Needles District.

Lunch: In the park, we'll have our fresh boxed lunches.

Afternoon: The we'll drive to Cave Springs Trailhead and walk to the cowboy line camp, stopping also to view some pictographs. Do you know the difference between a pictograph and a petroglyph? We will stop at Newspaper Rock on the drive back to Moab to view one of the best samples of petroglyphs in the area.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Colorado River Canyon, Delicate Arch, Arches National Park
Moab, UT
B,L,D
River Canyon Lodge

Activity note: Getting on/off vans. Drive time - 2 segments of 1 hour each, 2 segments of 20 minutes each. Hiking around 7 miles depending upon trails chosen. Elevation gains for the day 900 feet.

Breakfast: Diner plated meal.

Morning: Our featured hike of the program is to Delicate Arch, which has become the unofficial symbol of Utah. Have you noticed it on some Utah vehicle license plates? Towering eighty feet over hikers, Delicate Arch is a highlight of Arches National Park and is one of the most beautiful arches in the world. This arch needs to be experienced in person to really be appreciated.

Lunch: Fresh boxed lunches in the park.

Afternoon: Our last hike of the program will be to Fisher Towers, one of the most outstanding scenic features of Utah's Colorado Riverway. These rock pinnacles soar above a maze of red and purple-hued canyons. While hiking on the challenging rocky trail, we'll stop for a break to listen to the scrub jays and the ravens. Notice a juniper tree growing out of a crack in the rock. Try to get a close view of a lizard. These living components of the environment are as much a part of the scenery as the Fisher Towers.

Dinner: At a local grill in Moab with an incredible view of the surrounding region, we'll enjoy a special plated farewell dinner with choices from a menu, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Share some of your favorite experiences from the program with new Road Scholar friends and bid farewells. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
Moab, UT
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Diner plated meal. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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