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Escalante Basecamp Tour

Highlights

  • 5 days exploring Utah's best kept secrets
  • Exploration of Grand Staircase-Escalante
  • Wonderful solitude & breathtaking scenery
  • BIG views, slot canyons, wildlife, waterfalls...
  • Spires, oases, natural bridges, and more!
  • Comfortable camp with showers & evening campfires
  • Delicious outdoor cuisine and expert guides

Description

For this tour we've taken our popular Escalante Inn-based Tour in Southern Utah, and added a basecamp adaptation. Our Escalante Basecamp Hiking Tour is an exciting and diverse journey into the classic landscapes of the West. You'll experience the intricacies of this secluded and diverse landscape. Each day is completely different as we set out on increasingly exciting hikes and adventures into breathtaking Canyon Country. Waterfalls, slickrock, deep canyons, natural arches and bridges, relics of the Native Americans and pioneers who once called this land home, and endless views make this week one of the most enchanting you'll spend on the planet!
Each evening you'll return to a comfortable camp with fantastic dinners and breakfasts, access to showers, a variety of cold and hot drinks, larger tents (than on backpacking trips) with plush sleeping amenities, and lots of relaxation to replenish for the next day's adventure.

Join us for this truly spectacular experience of Southern Utah's one-of-a-kind canyon country! Give us a call at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to book your spot today.
Click here to have a detailed PDF information packet emailed to you, or request a reservation today. You can also call us at 800-715-HIKE.

 

Photos of this Trip

(Special thanks to PJ O'Malley for many of our Utah photos)

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 - Upper Escalante Canyon

Shuttle to Escalante: 3.5-hour drive from St George
Hiking Mileage: 4 miles

Campground: Escalante Petrified Forest State Park

This Utah hiking tour starts with a drive to the town of Escalante and to the trailhead for the Upper Escalante Canyon. The day’s trek consists of pleasant hiking along the floor of a deep and imposing canyon. There will be lots of hiking across the creek so you’ll need your wading shoes for this one. The highlight of the day is the spectacular Escalante Natural Bridge, located 1.5 miles in. Following the hike we’ll set up our basecamp, eat a tasty meal and, possibly go for an evening or full moon hike, then settle in for the night.


Day 2 - Calf Creek Falls

Hiking Mileage: 6 miles

Campground: Escalante Petrified Forest State Park

Our second hike will take us to the spectacular Calf Creek Falls. This is a beautiful hike along calf creek, a lush stream that is home to a substantial trout population. We’ll pass indian ruins and pictographs, and have a good chance of seeing some wildlife. At the end of the trail we can take a swim (if you’re hearty - this water is surprisingly cold) below the 128-foot falls. We'll eat lunch at the falls, and then have the opportunity to visit the town of Boulder, UT where we can make an optional visit to Anasazi State Park. This site was home to one of the largest Anasazi communities west of the Colorado River. Once done at Anasazi State Park, we’ll drive back to our basecamp and enjoy another delicious dinner.


Day 3 - Phipps Arch

Hiking Mileage: 5 miles
Campground: Escalante Petrified Forest State Park

After a hearty breakfast we’ll hike into Phipps Wash, a seldom-visited, colorful canyon with a forty-foot high arch and a natural bridge. The hike begins off the historic Sheffield Road on open slickrock with expansive views. We descend quickly, however, and eventually come to the hidden Phipps Arch. We’ll have lunch here and take some time to explore. Eventually we’ll hike into the Escalante River drainage and wade upstream toward Highway 12.


Day 4 - Devil's Garden, Spooky & Peek-a-Boo Canyons

Hiking Mileage: 7-10 miles
Campground: Escalante Petrified Forest State Park

This day takes through one of the most physically fun hikes in all of southern Utah. Driving down historic Hole-in-the-Rock Road, we’ll hike out to the exciting and fun Spooky and Peek-a-Boo Canyons. Spooky is aptly named as it’s a dark, narrow slot that requires lots of sideways walking with your daypack in your hand. Peek-a-Boo is also brilliant but quite different; it’s filled with interconnected potholes, arches, and grottos. Along our drive back, we'll take the opportunity to visit the incredible Devil's Garden. This is a great spot for young and old alike as it’s a fairyland of small knobs, arches, and other eroded landforms.


Day 5 - Navajo Loop in Bryce Canyon

Hiking Mileage: 2.2 miles
Shuttle to St. George: 4.5-hour drive


On our last morning we’ll eat breakfast and head west toward the starting point of our trip, St. George, Utah. But the trip isn't over yet! We'll stop at Bryce Canyon National Park to enjoy a classic hike through its famous hoodoos and specacular vistas. Our hike, the Navajo Loop, takes us down from the rim, through the stunning corridors of Wall Street and past the Silent City, before bringing us back to the rim of the amphitheatre. We'll enjoy lunch on the rim, gazing into the maze of Wall Street and contemplating our incredible week. After lunch we’ll load up and head back to St. George, where we’ll say our goodbyes and start scheming about our next adventure!


Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary park restrictions, campsite availability, weather, road closures, guest ability/injury, and natural events like fires and flooding.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Top-of-the-line tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and day pack
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Utah hiking guide
  • Roundtrip transportation from your hotel in St. George, Utah
  • National park entrance fees
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)
See the Packing Lists page for more information.


Meals: What To Expect

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the outdoors – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.


Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware sleeping bags
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Satellite phone


What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and either a headlamp or flashlight per person. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.


What Clothes to Bring

Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots (reliable brands include Montrail, Lowa, Merrell, Vasque, and Salomon), rain gear, and non-cotton and cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required, and we recommend Neoprene socks and water shoes for this trip. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

NOTE: See the Packing Lists page for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Ready to hike? Simply click here and complete the form to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 48 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($500).

Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!


Where Do We Meet?

You will rendezvous with the guide and group in St. George, Utah for an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM the evening before the trip begins. Your guide will be in contact approximately 2 weeks before your trip starts to specify the orientation location, and we are more than happy to pick you up if the meeting if you are staying at one of our recommended hotels but the orientation is taking place elsewhere. The guide will then pick you up at your hotel the next morning for transport to the trailhead. For Private Utah Tours your guide can meet you at your hotel in St. George or Cedar City, Utah at an agreed upon time.

Check out our Travel Resources page for information on flights, shuttles, lodging and more.


Start/End Times

Your guide will inform you of the first day's pick-up time at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 5 and 8 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will drop you off at your hotel on the final day no later than 7 PM.


Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.


Guides

Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.


Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on this hiking tour is a maximum of 10 guests and 2 guides. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 800-715-HIKE (4453) and we'll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:
  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis


Weather in the Southern Utah

Weather in Southern Utah
Southern Utah is a high desert. The weather is very moderate: occasional dustings of snow in the winter that melt rapidly, and summer temperatures in the low 90s (°F) that often cool down with thunderstorms. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). The ideal time to be in the Canyon Country is Spring and Fall. Read below for average high and low temperatures in Utah's Canyon Country:

Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
 
 
Month
High
Low
 
Dec-Feb
43°
18°
 
March
55°
27°
 
April
64°
33°
 
May
73°
40°
 
Jun-Aug
88°
55°
 
September
79°
45°
 
October
67°
35°
 
November
53°
25°