Utah is home to five of America’s most compelling national parks. This nine-day tour will take you through Utah’s Big 5, as they’re affectionately called, with incredible experiences in each. Boulder over rocks to reach pinnacle views in Arches National Park, discover prehistoric petroglyphs, take a dip in waterfalls that end in a natural swimming pool and scale the side of a cliff at Angels Landing (with chain links for support, of course). If that all doesn’t take your breath away, the stunning views certainly will.
Arrive at any time.
Las VegasCapitol Reef National Park
Travel to Capitol Reef National Park. Known for its geologic monocline, discover the cliffs, canyons, petroglyphs and orchards that make up the park. Learn about the geology and the ancient inhabitants who created the petroglyphs still visible on the cliff walls. After dark, look up at Capitol Reefs starry night, designated a Gold Tier International Dark Sky Park.
Capitol Reef National ParkMoab
Set off in the morning to hike through the Waterpocket Fold, an 87 mile wrinkle in the earth’s surface. Climb through canyons and narrows to reach Cassidy Arch and panoramic views of this natural wonder. In the afternoon, continue to Moab, an adventure capital of the southwest and the gateway to both Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. In the evening, if you still have energy, head to Dead Horse State Park to watch the sunset from one of the most photographed spots in the region.
Canyonlands National Park
Travel to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. Stop at Newspaper Rock State Historical Monument, the largest known collection of petroglyphs in the Southwest. Spend the day hiking through desert lands to explore eroded towers of sandstone and fissures in the ground on the Joint Trail to Chesler Park. Return to Moab for a night in the town.
Arches National Park
Rise early for sunrise from Delicate Arch Viewpoint. Enjoy breakfast in the park before exploring the densest concentration of arches in the world. Stand in awe at the over 2,000 sandstone arches ranging in size and shape that make up this park. Take a hike through Devils Garden to Landscape Arch, passing fins and spires en route. Continue to Double O Arch, bouldering over rocks to to reach the pinnacle views. Pass by the famous Balanced Rock, The Windows and Double Arches before heading west to camp for the night.
Grand Staircase-Escalante National MonumentBryce Canyon National Park
Hit the road again, to travel along the scenic highway through the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Take in the mesas, canyons and arches that make up this diverse geological region. Set off on a hike and discover prehistoric petroglyphs and stunning waterfalls. Opt to cool off in the refreshing waters falling 38m (126 ft) to a natural swimming pool fed from Calf Creek Falls. Continue to Bryce Canyon National Park for the night. After the sun goes down, don’t forget to look up to check out this renowned night sky while enjoying s’mores around the fire.
Bryce Canyon National ParkZion National Park
Set off early in Bryce Canyon National Park, and stare in wonder at the largest collection of hoodoos in the world as the sun rises! Take a hike into the amphitheater of Queen’s Garden and Navajo Loop to walk amongst the hoodoos, walls and fins that make up this geological wonder. Continue to Zion National Park, traveling past towering cliffs and massive canyon walls, stopping at several viewpoints along the way. Head to the trailhead for Angels Landing, and begin the climb of 21 paved switchbacks to Scout Landing for panoramic views of the park. Opt to stop here, or continue on, scaling the side of the cliff while holding onto the chain links for support. Though not for the faint of heart, the heavenly views are certainly worth the effort.
Zion National Park
Spend the day discovering Zion National Park. Hike the East Rim Trail through Echo Canyon to reach panoramic views of the park at Observation Point. Return to the valley floor to trek through the river on one of the most popular hikes in the park, the Narrows. Admire monumental sandstone cliffs of cream, pink, and red that tower into the sky and opt to turn around at any point. Experience diverse plant and animal life in this narrow slot canyon as the park transitions from desert to forest. Gaze at the awe-inspiring beauty of the high plateaus, striking towers, temples, mesas, and the earth’s tallest-known sheer sandstone walls. After returning to camp, head into the charming town of Springdale to celebrate the accomplishments of the last week.
Zion National ParkLas Vegas
Take the short drive from Zion to Las Vegas. Tour ends on arrival. Onward travel should be booked no earlier than 3pm.