Southern Utah is home to four of the most well known National Parks, 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. Goblin Valley State Park demonstrates just how bizarre rocks shaped by erosion can get and also the magic of slot canyons. And Arches National Park lives up to its name with over two thousand sandstone arches of all shapes and sizes. 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
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We have rated this trip as a 3 and a 4 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. Because we offer choices of hikes each day, it is an excellent trip for novice and intermediate hikers who like hikes of intermediate or shorter length. The town of Moab at the end of the trip is an ideal spot for those who like to browse shops or bookstores, or sample excellent coffee and local beer and wine.
We stay at a variety of accommodations on this trip, starting with one night at a Las Vegas hotel. 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 is one night at a motel in Hanksville, before finishing the trip with two nights in Moab in beautiful new condos, each with three bedrooms and a private hot tub. One bedroom has a private bathroom and the other two (one bedroom has a queen, the other has twins) share a bathroom. Women who have paid for a single get the mistress bedroom and otherwise the rooms are assigned randomly.
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.
Yes, this was my first trip with AGC and I felt like it was run very well. Some of the hikes were cut short due to weather which was a little disappointing but understood. We had just enough time to look at souvenir shops but not too much since we weren't there to shop. The women on this trip were another of the big reasons it was so great. I loved getting to know each of them. I laughed so much on this trip which was mostly in the van. So I say the traveling was difficult but if we hadn't we wouldn't have had the crazy laughter and good times in the Sparkle Pony!!
Each location we visited was beautiful with fun and challenging hikes.
Yes, the accomodations and food was great. The guides were fantastic. What we saw in a week was so beautiful, and I loved the hiking in the different parks. The trip exceeded my expectations! Thank you
I heard the food would be good and it was. The accommodations were also a big part of the experience. I loved that we got to stay at the lodges within the park. The stay at the condos was also a treat. By this time in the trip, I knew the women in our condo. I loved the home-cooked meals and eating all together.
The guides! And their skills allowed me to enjoy each location and be challenged as expected! The places we stayed were great, the places we ate, and comfortable vans to travel in. I could not believe the wonderful surprises of the places we went to and the unique hikes we could do. Loved it.
Scenery, guides, companions wonderful; food/lodging better than expected.
Hiking highlights were scaling Angel's Landing and our long day at Little Wildhorse Canyon. The other highlight was simply spending a week with a group of amazing women. This was my second trip with AGC and once again I was touched at how quickly a group of mostly strangers were able to bond, even if it was only for a week.
All the National Parks were a highlight, along with the accommodations and the food. I'm glad we had two vans to travel in comfortably.
Our guides were wonderful - very knowledgeable and encouraging and fun, We got to see some breathtaking sights and a great variety of trails and locations. Everything was well organized and the timing always seemed just right.
The itinerary was great and the accommodations far exceeded my expectations.
It was my first AGC trip - in fact it was my first group, guided hiking trip at all - so everything was baseline.
Wonderful hiking and amazingly competent and great guides, yummy food, good company.
I enjoyed visiting the parks I had never seen before and had only heard about. Five parks in one week was sensational.
The guides, parks, food, and accommodations all excellent. The group was very compatible and we had alot of fun together and with guides.
Guides are professional, make traveling easy. Venue is awesome.
This was my first AGC trip and it rocked. I had a blast on this trip, and I loved getting to see so many National Parks with like-minded women who can't live without the outdoors.
This was my fourth trip with ACG, and was every bit as wonderful as the first three. Lisa and Anna Clair were wonderful guides, and it was a great group of women with wonderful conversations. I've already signed up for Cuba in January.
It fully met my expectations. I appreciated that the guides tweaked the original plans to provide additional hiking opportunities.
Bryce Canyon. Group melded well. Guides great and got along well with each other too.
Great guides and of course great parks!
The scenery was beautiful. The group and leaders were great. I have been on a number of prior group trips, so I know it isn't always the case to have such a cohesive and fun group.
The trip was well-paced. The accommodations were terrific (loved that we were staying in lodges inside two national parks)
The scenery was spectacular ! The hikes were challenging but manageable. The women were all friendly
It was a fantastic trip in an amazing part of the country with two great guides and a bunch of wonderful women. I feel like I have a number of new friends. And, most of all, I was able to experience so many beautiful places.
I especially liked the hikes that were less populated and off the beaten path. The hike on the West Rim in Zion was excellent. Loved the slot canyon hike (in spite of the Johnson family reunion crowd!).
Each day was a new adventure!
Reaching the top of Angels Landing, of course!
wonderful hikes great supportive and informative guides fun and nice people
I thought that trip was an amazing experience!
My best day was the Hidden Horse slot canyon hike in Goblin Valley SP. A very unique and fun hike.
The guides were knowledgeable of the terrain/hikes as well as educating on how to best approach the hike options. They had high energy even when everyone else was tired. They both had excellent interpersonal skills and both cooked up some delicious meals.