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|
|15 on-tour meals: 5 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners|
|Local guides with you throughout tour|
|Local wine and/or beer with dinner|
|Travel assistance available 24/7 provided by Allianz Global Assistance|
|Telescopic walking sticks provided on tour|
Expert Local Guides
Experience your destination like an insider with people who call it home.
Although Tim Smith’s vocation was teaching, his passion has always lived in the outdoors. Currently he divides his time between Vermont and the Southwest where he spends his free time hiking the canyons and mesas. A self-taught naturalist, Tim truly looks forward to sharing his passion for the Southwest with CW guests on our Utah tour. Tim can be found hiking, canoeing, snowshoeing, or skiing during his free time.
Marsha Holland is a professional guide and historian with a background in forestry, mapping, search and rescue operations, and motherhood! She lives at the foot of Bryce Canyon with her husband where they raised their two sons. Marsha is a good listener, prioritizing both fun and safety in her guiding. During the school year, she works as a substitute teacher in Tropic, Utah. She is also a Master Naturalist in desert environments with a lifelong interest in exercise and nutrition. As a founding member of the Bryce Community Foundation, she supports healthy southern Utah communities.
A travel and adventure enthusiast from an early age, Joyce (Joy) Binnie was brought up on the U.S. National Parks and continues to seek out nature at every opportunity. Splitting her time between northern Arizona (near Grand Canyon National Park) and West Yellowstone, Montana, she enjoys hiking, baking, stimulating conversation and all forms of travel, having visited countries on five continents! As a self-described “Yellowstone Geek”, Joy is often found poking around the bookstores of Yellowstone looking for her next read or attending classes to further her knowledge of her favorite place on earth. Joy’s favorite thing about guiding is sharing a “bucket-list” experience with guests and seeing their faces as they experience this wonderland!
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.