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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.
Best Western Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel
One mile from Bryce Canyon, your conveniently located hotel is surrounded by spectacular views of hoodoos. Start the day off right with a hot breakfast and soak your tired muscles in Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel’s private pool or hot tub after a rewarding day in the park.
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|
|Telescopic walking sticks provided on tour|
Heather and Eric were the consummate stewards and hosts for the Bryce and Zion Park treks. While we walked and hike in some of the most “eye candied” terrain in the United States we learned about its incredible geological and archeological relevance, native inhabitants and even its political and social pertinence. Our pace was measured to elicit maximum enjoyment. Fall was our perfect active vacation partner with its clear, crisp skies during our sunrise forays and glimpses into the Grand National Staircase. Altitude and elevation changes were our reminders that nature and humans can coexist when we respect each other.…
Utah: Bryce & Zion Canyons
Great views fabulous hikes super knowledgeable guides and great people to hike with
Utah: Bryce & Zion Canyons
Expert Local Guides
Experience your destination like an insider with people who call it home.
Heather Harding has been guiding for decades on both Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, where she lives in the summer, and in the canyons and plateaus of the Southwest, where she earned college degrees in biology and Southwest Studies, and where she continues to explore from her winter residence in Kanab, Utah. Heather brings a world-wide background of whale research and Waldorf teaching to her guiding. When she isn’t guiding, she enjoys life to the fullest with her partner and frequent co-guide Eric Kessler, and she shares her knowledge by training guides and naturalists for the Jefferson Land Trust and the National Association for Interpretation.
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.