Utah’s twin rock stars, Zion and Bryce, are a who’s-who of hoodoos and colorful canyon scenery.
Refrigerator Canyon. Thor’s Hammer. After a week walking through Utah’s national parks, you’ve gotten used to descriptive names. Now it’s Zion’s colorful landscape that’s grabbing your attention. Your snaking climb up the zigzag path known as Walter’s Wiggles has earned you the best view of this Utah hiking trip. That’s saying something. Framed by sheer red-rock faces, the Virgin River winds through the verdant valley below. In a lifetime of walking, you’ve never seen scenery so divine. Bryce’s labyrinth of fiery-hued, wind-sculpted hoodoos. Shocks of slot-canyon greenery contrasting with ruddy streaks of mineral-rich “desert varnish.” The polychrome glow of Zion’s sandstone cliffs at dawn. Returning your gaze to Angel’s Landing, the knife-edged formation now soaring before you, you’ve got to admit—it’s a pretty apt name.
- From the edge of the rim, descend into the heart of Bryce Canyon on foot, observing natural amphitheaters and unique rock formations as you go.
- Explore the frontier beauty of Springdale, your home for three nights, and admire the local art inspired by Zion’s soaring backdrop of multicolored sandstone.
- With expert guides, discover how the Ancestral Puebloans thrived in Zion’s extreme climate, and perhaps spot their ancient rock art during your hike.
Bryce Canyon Lodge
A National Historic Landmark, this renovated 1920s park lodge is situated a few feet from the canyon rim. Enjoy spectacular views of hoodoos and Bryce Amphitheatre. The only accommodation located in Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce Canyon Lodge is steps away from trails and viewpoints, and offers a chance to unwind in natural surroundings, with un-air conditioned, naturally cooled guest rooms, most with balconies. The lodge features a dining room and a gift shop.
Desert Pearl Inn
Local stone, Douglas fir beams, and reclaimed redwood create a perfect rustic setting for this inn, located at the gates of Zion National Park. The Desert Pearl’s spacious and stylishly decorated rooms have air conditioning, WiFi, and balconies overlooking the Virgin River and surrounding cliffs. Here, you’ll discover a comfortable oasis amid the towering red-rock formations of Zion National Park. The outdoor swimming pool and hot tub are perfect for cooling off or soaking tired muscles at the end of a day of hiking. Relax as you enjoy a poolside chaise lounge while listening to the nearby rock waterfall.
|Exceptional boutique accommodations|
|All on-tour meals except 1 dinner|
|Local guides with you throughout tour|
|Local wine and/or beer with dinner|
|Travel assistance available 24/7 provided by Allianz|
Expert Local Guides
Experience your destination like an insider with people who call it home.
Heather Harding has been guiding for many years on both Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, where she lives, and in the canyons and plateaus of the Southwest, where she earned college degrees in biology and Southwest Studies. Heather brings a world-wide background of whale research and Waldorf teaching to her guiding. During the winters, Heather leads People to People tours in Cuba with her partner and frequent co-guide Eric Kessler.
Eric Kessler studied the natural history of the Olympic Peninsula in college and has explored its jagged peaks and forested valleys as a wilderness traveler ever since. Eric has guided worldwide and pursues his parallel photography career documenting the planet’s native peoples and ecosystems, including a writing/photo project on the Olympic Peninsula’s Elwha River, which was part of the largest dam removal and watershed restoration project in US history. Eric often guides in our National Parks with his partner and co-guide Heather Harding.