Southern Utah is home to some of the most well known National Parks, State Parks, and National Monuments; each with its own special magic and unique attractions. Zion National Park is famous for its soaring red Navajo Sandstone cliffs. Nearby Bryce Canyon is a testimonial to the erosive power of ice and rainwater, carving its colorful limestone into windows, fins, and soaring spires called hoodoos. Capitol Reef is a monument to the amazing power of uplift. Snow Canyon offers a strikingly fragile and unique desert environment, all provided by multiple volcanic eruptions in the areas tens of thousands of years ago. While we need to drive between parks (on some of the most scenic highways you will ever have the pleasure to drive on), this is not primarily a driving trip. We will hike between 3 and 6 hours every day and see each park as only hikers can. Maximum group size: 10
We have rated this trip as a 3 because of the choice of a longer and shorter hike on most days. This trip is a great choice for women in very good physical condition with some hiking experience who are looking for hiking, some of it challenging, in a desert environment. Prior to beginning the trip, participants should be engaged in aerobic conditioning such as walking vigorously up hills, jogging, or stair stepping for 30 - 45 minutes at least 3 - 4 times a week. If you are planning on the longer hikes, we recommend aerobic exercise for 40-50 minutes 4-5 times a week and additional endurance exercise (e.g. going for a 2 hour hike once a week) and/or strength training. If you are looking for a trip in this area with shorter hikes or have very limited prior hiking experience, please look at Exploring the National Parks of Utah. Rating: 1 2 3 4 5.
This trip combines hiking with an immersion into the unique geology of this fascinating area - there is no better way to understand the different geologic processes that formed each Park than to explore them on foot. It is an excellent trip for intermediate and advanced hikers.
We stay at a variety of accommodations on this trip, starting with one night at a Best Western Plus in St. George. We then stay at lodges that are located right inside the parks, one night at Zion Park Lodge and two nights at Bryce Canyon Lodge, a very short walk from the rim. Then there are two nights at a resort just at the edge of Capitol Reef National Park in Torrey, UT. We finish our trip at the hotel in St. George.
Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.
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