Hiking Bryce and Zion National Parks
Nothing says Utah like rock spires and hoodoos. Come learn about these geological wonders from experts as you hike the stunning landscapes of Bryce and Zion National Parks.
Rating (4.96)
Program No. 7735RJ
7 days
Starts at
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7 days
6 nights
16 meals
6 B 5 L 5 D
Getting There
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Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
St. George, UT
College Inn

Activity note: Inn check-in 3:00-5:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, other important information, and to confirm when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: We will transfer to Dixie State University for a delicious banquet dinner featuring a buffet, plus coffee, tea, water.

Evening: Orientation. Returning to the College Inn, the Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Please remember to bring your National Park Pass, hiking poles if you have them, sturdy walking shoes, a small backpack, sun protection and a refillable water bottle. Transportation will be provided primarily by motorcoach, unless otherwise specified. 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. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

Snow Canyon State Park, Restored Pioneer Homes
St. George, UT
College Inn

Activity note: Hiking 2 – 4 miles on unpaved trails and paved city sidewalks, depending on walks chosen, depending on time and weather. Elevations range from 2,500 feet in the city to 4,500 feet at Snow Canyon.

Breakfast: At the College Inn, the breakfast buffet offers choices such as hard boiled eggs, hot oatmeal, cereal, fruit, yogurt, pastries, toast, milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We will transfer by motorcoach for a 15-minute ride to Snow Canyon State Park. As we walk with our instructor on trails among sandstone formations, we will have an introduction to local geology, including red and white rock cliffs, rolling mounds of petrified sand dunes, and basalt rock formations.

Lunch: At a Dixie State University café, we will choose from an expansive buffet selection including a fresh salad bar, pizza, Asian and Mexican grill, and barbecue. Soft drinks, coffee, iced tea and water are included. Other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We will return to the inn for a presentation on the human history of the area by a local historian, who will then narrate a motorcoach field trip of restored pioneer buildings and homes in Saint George.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we will enjoy a variety of menu and beverage choices from the extensive buffet. Coffee, tea, water, and soft drinks included.

Evening: Back in our meeting room at the inn, our instructor will present a lecture on the geology, ecology, flora, and fauna of Southern Utah. We’ll gain a greater understanding of the incredible formations we will hike through and explore during the week. While we’ll continue to have trailside talks during field trips, this class will set the stage for our remaining outings. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

Zion National Park Hiking & Geology, Birds of Prey
Zion National Park
Springhill Suites by Marriott Springdale Zion National Park

Activity note: Driving 1 hour. Hiking 4 to 5 miles. Lower Emerald Pools is a 1.2 mile round trip on groomed trail with 70 foot elevation change. Middle Emerald Pools is a 2 mile round trip on groomed trail with 150 foot elevation change. Riverside trail is a 2 mile round trip on a paved trail, mostly flat.

Breakfast: Inn buffet.

Morning: We’ll check out of the hotel and ride to Zion National Park by motorcoach. From Zion Lodge we'll hike to Middle and Lower Emerald Pools with our instructor and Group Leader to view waterfalls cascading over sandstone cliffs to shallow green pools.

Lunch: Returning to Zion Lodge, we’ll have a box lunch on the lawn that includes a sandwich, chips, cookie and fruit.

Afternoon: We’ll transfer by motorcoach to Zion National Park for hiking field trips led by our instructor. For our first hiking field trip, we’ll stop at the Temple of Sinawava, a natural amphitheater and the trailhead for the Riverside Walk. From here, we walk on a fairly level, paved trail that follows the course of the Virgin River deep into the heart of Zion Canyon, viewing spring lines that provide water for lush hanging gardens and the home of the endangered Zion snail. Our instructor will provide information about the Virgin River and Zion Canyon’s geology and plant habitat along the way. We’ll then return to the lodge to take the motorcoach to our next hotel in Springdale, located just outside the gates to Zion National Park.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal that includes coffee, tea, and water. Other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: We’ll be joined in the hotel meeting room by a federally licensed eagle falconer for a presentation on birds of prey see a live falcon, hawk, and golden eagle.

Hike Zion’s Scout Lookout
Zion National Park
Springhill Suites by Marriott Springdale Zion National Park

Activity note: Hiking 4 – 5 miles. Scout Lookout is a 4 mile round trip hike with a 1,100 foot elevation change.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet includes choices such as scrambled eggs, pancakes, oatmeal, cereal, bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, fresh fruit, yogurt, assorted baked goods, milk, juice, coffee, assorted teas and water.

Morning: We’ll set out to explore Zion's West Rim Trail, Scouts Lookout. Starting at the Grotto trailhead, today's hike takes us up and out of the west side of the main canyon to Scout's Lookout. From here we will continue along West Rim trail another 1 to 2 miles with incredible views of the Canyon.

Lunch: On the trail, we’ll have box lunches that includes a sandwich, chips, cookie and fruit.

Afternoon: We’ll continue hiking and exploring Zion, returning to the hotel late afternoon.

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. There’s a variety of small and distinctive restaurants to choose from.

Evening: At leisure.

Hike Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park
Ruby's Inn

Activity note: Driving 75 miles, about 1.5 hours. Hiking 2 to 5 miles. Peekaboo Loop trail is a 5.3 mile round trip on groomed trail with 1,000 foot elevation change. Rim trail from Bryce Point to Sunset Point is a 2 mile one way trip on groomed trail with a 300 foot elevation drop.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we will enjoy a buffet which includes fresh fruit, yogurt, assorted baked goods, cereal, pancakes, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, coffee, assorted teas, water, juice and milk.

Morning: We will travel to Bryce Canyon National Park for a full-day field trip, starting with the Peekaboo Loop Trail. We’ll begin at Bryce Point, one of the best vistas in the park, zigzagging down the rim 1,000 feet into the canyon. Here we’ll weave through a brilliant collection of hoodoos, fins and spires in the main Bryce Canyon amphitheater. For those who prefer a less strenuous route, the 2 mile Rim Trail also offers great views of the Bryce Canyon amphitheater.

Lunch: On the trail, we’ll have box lunches that includes a sandwich, cookies, chips and fruit.

Afternoon: We’ll continue exploring Bryce Canyon then stop at the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center to view the award-winning park video, visit the natural history museum, and learn about the amazing night sky at Bryce. Later, we’ll proceed to our hotel for check-in.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a Western-themed buffet with main dishes, side dishes, dessert, and beverage choices of lemonade, coffee, teas, and water.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer tomorrow.

Hike Bryce Canyon National Park
St. George, UT
College Inn

Activity note: Hiking 4 to 5 miles. Navajo Loop and Queens Garden Trail is a 3.5 mile hike with an elevation change of 520 feet.

Breakfast: At Ruby's Inn, the breakfast buffet includes fresh fruit, yogurt, assorted baked goods, cereal, scrambled eggs, French toast, oatmeal, smoked bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, coffee, assorted teas, juice, water and milk.

Morning: After checking out, we’ll set out for our final hike in Bryce Canyon: Navajo Loop and Queens Garden Trail. This hike is absolutely the best way to see the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon. It's listed as one of the top 10 hikes in the U.S. by National Geographic.

Lunch: On the trail, we’ll have box lunches that include a sandwich, chips, cookie and fruit.

Afternoon: We’ll wrap up our adventures at Bryce and travel to St. George.

Dinner: At Dixie State University, we’ll enjoy a buffet of various options, with coffee, tea, and water.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

Program Concludes
St. George, UT

Activity note: Inn check-out by 10:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Inn buffet. This concludes our program.

Morning: 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 another rewarding program 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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