Utah National Parks Road Trip and Hiking
Get that epic sing-along mix tape ready! It’s here: Your 8-day ultimate Utah National Parks Road Trip! Ramble across southwest Utah on our women’s group hiking tour to some of Utah’s most popular national parks and beyond.
This isn’t that painful family road trip when Dad only allowed one pee break per state line. No way, Explorer Chick. Climb on into our Explorer Chick SHE-nanigan Shuttle with a gaggle of your newest girlfriends. Singalongs and snacks are strongly encouraged before lacing up dirty boots to hike the dusty trails of four of Utah’s national parks.
Guided Hiking in Utah’s National Parks
Rise to the challenge of a new trail, before a new horizon, with new friends who encourage your magic. Wander in disbelief as you hike above and below the giants in Zion Canyon. Siren your soul among the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon. Marvel the muscle of water cutting through the Arches. Hike up your big girl Lycra as you clamber through corkscrew slot canyons and descend layers of red, pink, brown, and white sandstone.
Along the way, you’ll be led by some of the best female guides in the business. They’ll be with you every step, ensuring your trip is seamless and unforgettable. Explorer Chick prides itself in curating trips for women who live an active, healthy lifestyle. We tackle the big climbs, the long trails, the bucket lists, and the uncomfortable — and your guides and Explorer Chick sisters will be there supporting you the whole way.
Accommodations and Meals Included
No tent camping this trip. Kick oﬀ your dusty hiking boots, howl at bad jokes, and settle into our shared digs (dreamy glamping and yurts, anyone?). We’ll feed your gremlin belly with a mix of fresh-made meals and dining out – including an insane lunchtime stop along the White Rim of the Colorado River in Canyonlands.
Start your fem-gines for this epic Utah National Parks Road Trip. It’s gonna be an unforgettable ride.
- Check off your National Parks bucket list over 8 days with hikes in Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce, and Zion.
- Witness the power of wind as you hike among iconic formations in Arches National Park where over 2,000 arches have been documented.
- Descend down a canyon wall and its layers of red, pink, brown, and white sandstone in Canyonlands.
- Wake early to watch the sunrise over the canyon in Dead Horse Point State Park while munching on breakfast and sipping on hot coffee.
- Get lost, figuratively, surrounded by the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon.
- Explore below the canyon walls in Zion trekking the Narrows and cast your eyes down at the valley perched atop Angels Landing.
- Stay glued to window as some of the world’s best scenery whirls by on the road.
- Explore lesser known, but breathtaking areas including Goblin Valley, San Rafael Swell, and Escalante.
- Actively experience the parks with 2 Explorer Chick Guides who will ensure you hike the best, and sometimes most challenging, hikes.
- Relax and let us do the driving in the Explorer Chick SHE-nanigan Shuttle!
- Settle in each night under the dark desert skies in a mix of townhomes, Yurts, and Glamping.
- Disconnect to reconnect! Leave behind the constant contact and use your phone solely for capturing moments.
- Relax with a comprehensive itinerary that makes the logistics, entrance fees, navigation, meal planning, lodging, and everything in-between easy.
- Geek out with supportive and encouraging Explorer Chicks on a private, women-only, small group adventure tour.
Day 1: Welcome to Utah!
Be sure to eat a gluttonous breakfast before meeting your group at 8:00am at our Rendezvous Hotel in Salt Lake City. You’ll be greeted by your Explorer Chick Guides with an oﬃcial orientation to follow. We’ll then hop into our Explorer Chick Shuttle for a 4 hour transfer to Moab and the surrounding National Parks. Dolly Parton and Wilson Phillips singalongs are encouraged!
It’s a biggie drive, but we’re still getting our hike on. Throw on your daypack to walk a favorite trail surrounded by giant towers with views of the Colorado River. Though it sits outside of the National Parks, the trail is crazy-spectacular.
We’ll then unpack at our Explorer Chick House for the next 3 days with views of the rocky mesas and red desert right out our windows.
Distance: 4.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,653′
Hiking Time: 3 hours
Transfer Time: 4 hours
Accommodation: Explorer Chick House (Night 1 of 3)
Meals: L, D
Day 2: Dead Horse Point State Park and Canyonlands National Park – Island in the Sky
It’s an extra early morning to snag the sunrise from the edge of Dead Horse Point State Park. Munch your breakfast and sip your coﬀee as the light wakes up the sky.
After an unforgettable sunrise, we’ll head over to Canyonlands National Park to tackle the steepest trail in the park – descending over 1,500 feet across 2.7 miles to the canyon plateau aka the best lunch spot in the park. We’ll likely be the only ones around as we feast like mighty She-Wolves. An intense hike back to the canyon rim will blast us up switchbacks along the cliﬀside – work those calves and earn that dinner!
After a triumphant ﬁnish, we’ll hop back in our SHE-nanigan Shuttle and pause at the best vista viewpoints the park has to oﬀer. Commence sweaty glamour shots.
Hiking Distance: 5.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,548′
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Accommodation: Explorer Chick House (Night 2 of 3)
Meals: B, L, D
Day 3: Exploring Arches National Park and the iconic Delicate Arch
We’ll take our time exploring Arches National Park, with frequent shuttle stops to enjoy killer overlooks and trails – we’ll even stop to do a Boomerang of you chasing a tumbleweed. We’ll wander between red sandstone walls and up massive rock formations seeking out some of the 2,000 arches in the National Park. Look up and geek out as you stand beneath picture perfect arches shaped by the same wind that’s wicking your sweat.
The most iconic hike is saved for sunset – Delicate Arch. There are no words to describe the glow of the Arch as the sun sets on our long day. We’ll gather in the “bowl” to perch in awe (and snap a bajillion Glamour Shots).
Hiking Distance: Varies 5-10 miles
Elevation Gain: Varies 1,000-2,000′
Hiking Time: All day
Accommodation: Explorer Chick House (Night 3 of 3)
Meals: B, L, D
Day 4: Slot Canyons and Goblin Valley
We’ll hit the road ﬁrst thing to travel to the San Rafael Swell area and slay our ﬁrst slot canyon. A quick hike up a wash brings us to a canyon with towering walls. Run your hand along the waves etched in the walls by water and time.
Nosh a picnic and marvel/giggle at the lesser known (but blatantly phallic) Goblin Valley State Park. Suggestive modeling is expected.
After countless “That’s What She Said” jokes, we’ll make our way to Escalante via one of the world’s most scenic roads – Highway 12. Over the next 3 hours, we’ll drive through Capital Reef National Park and cross over the remote Henry Mountains, leaving time for plenty of overlook stop oﬀs. Then it’s full on Yurt Life for the next 2 nights!
Hiking Distance: 8 miles
Elevation Gain: 787′
Hiking Time: 4 hours
Transfer time: 2 Hours + 3 Hours
Accommodation: Shared Yurts (Night 1 of 2)
Meals: B, L, D
Day 5: Escalante and more slot Canyons
Hike through the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument admiring the work of millions of years of erosion. Yesterday’s journey was a mere appetizer compared to today’s slot canyons. The sliding walls and pockets of the corkscrew slot canyon will feel like a total peyote trip.
We return early afternoon to kick it at our Yurts. Read a book in a hanging lounger, take a nap, or bust out some wine. We can always tack on another hike
Hiking Distance: 3.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 738′
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Transfer time: 2 Hours + 3 Hours
Accommodation: Shared Yurts (Night 2 of 2)
Meals: B, L, D
Day 6: The Hoodoos of Bryce Canyon
Get ready for National Park #3! Crush the Fairyland Loop with its towering hoodoos and etched rock. Roar like Mufassa as you take in the Bryce Amphitheater from the top.
Next stop – Instagram worthy Glamping tents. We’ll shake up dinner with an hour wagon ride followed by a Cowgirl Style Dutch oven meal.
Hiking Distance: 8 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,545′
Hiking Time: 5 hours
Transfer time: 1 Hour + 1.5 Hours
Accommodation: Shared Glamping Tents (Night 1 of 2)
Meals: B, L, D
Day 7: Zion and Angels Landing
Zion teleports you to a diﬀerent world. Towering cliﬀs rise above you, making you forget how many consecutive days you’ve worn that underwear.
You’ll jump right into the action hiking your booty right on to the top: Hello, Angel’s Landing. Yes, you’ll ascend all 21 of Walter’s Wiggles to reach Scout Landing. We’ll take a breather and sit in the stillness. Any Explorer Chicks feeling daring are welcome to tackle the chains to reach the infamous Angels Landing.** PINCH ME!
After our climb down, we’ll squeeze in as much trail time as we can before hopping our shuttle back to our luxurious Glamping Digs.
Hiking Distance: 4.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,073′
Hiking Time: 4 hours
Accommodation: Shared Glamping Tents (Night 2 of 2)
Meals: B, L, D
**All Explorer Chicks will need to apply for their own permit through Recreation.gov to hike the “chains” to Angels Landing. Please review the Permits tab for more details.**
Day 8: The Narrows and Farewell Utah
Hold those tears back – we have one last epic hike!
But today we’re exploring below the walls as we trek in the Virgin River. As the narrowest section of the canyon, the water levels can get deep, forcing intrepid Explorer Chicks to go for a swim.
SOAK IT ALL IN GIRL! You earned this high after 8 days of gnarly hikes, belly laughs, and new friendships. We’ll hug it up and roll out to drive the 4:30 hours back to Salt Lake City. The courage in your heart and stank in your boots will buoy you until your next Explorer Chick adventure.
Plan evening flight departures after 9pm.
Hiking Distance: 5 miles
Hiking Time: 5 hours
Transfer time: 4:30 hours
Meals: B, L
*Explorer Chick reserves the option to modify trip itineraries at the discretion of your tour director as necessary due to weather, conditions, illness, injury, group dynamics, or other unforeseen incidents.
- 8 days/7 nights in shared occupancy accommodations
- 3 Nights in Townhomes equipped with all the comforts of home (Shared 2 per room)
- 2 Nights in drool-worthy Yurts with kitchenettes and an ensuite bathroom (Shared 5 per Yurt)
- 2 Nights in the cutest Glamping tents with electricity and a lovely porch (Shared 2-3 per tent)
- All National Park Entrance and commercial permit fees
- All meals as indicated in itinerary: B-7, L-8, D-7
- A commemorative Explorer Chick shirt and swag.
- A detailed Travel Guide upon booking with everything you need to know for your trip.
- The freedom to enjoy your vacation and mindlessly wander!
- 2 experienced Explorer Chick Guides ensuring your trip is seamless and unforgettable!
- Small Group experience! Your Explorer Chick Adventure is exclusive and limited to 10 women.
*Packages do NOT include your optional Narrows Rental Gear, rendezvous hotel, departure hotel, airfare, airport transportation, alcoholic beverages, travel insurance, Explorer Chick Leader Tips, meals exclusive of itinerary, or costs for additional activities.
*Does not include Angels Landing Permit ($6.00/permit). Please read “Angels Landing Permit” tab for more information.*
*Does NOT include your Explorer Chick Guide’s Tips – Tipping your Explorer Chick Guides is optional, but customary. If you wish to recognize your Explorer Chick Guides for exceptional service we recommend you tip total 10-25% of your trip costs. Gratuity may be given to one guide—the team divides tips among themselves after the trip.
You will receive a Travel Guide with all the hotel and additional information you’ll need to prepare for your epic trip!
Your adventure begins and ends in Salt Lake City, UT.
Day 1: Arrival. We will rendezvous as a group at 8:00am on Day 1. It is highly recommended to arrive the day before. You are responsible for booking your arrival hotel and airport transportation.
Day 8: Departure. Plan to fly out of Salt Lake City on Day 4 after 9pm. It is recommended to fly out the following day in case there are road delays or issues on the trail. You are responsible for booking your departure hotel and airport transportation.
We require a minimum of 4 Explorer Chicks for this trip. Please confirm your trip is guaranteed before booking airfare.
*Yes – Our set departure dates and trip falls on funky, non-traditional, requested off, sequential weekdays, but we want you to experience your National Parks with fewer crowds. (ie. Not exploring the busiest parks on the weekend) Hey, what can we say? We’re savvy rebels!
During your Utah Road Trip Hiking adventure, you will hike some of the best trails in Utah’s National Parks and beyond. The itinerary is packed full of hiking every single day.
You should be comfortable with hiking up to 8 miles in a day carrying a light day pack with elevations gains up to 2,000 feet.
- Day 1: Fisher Towers 4.4 miles/1,653′ gain
- Day 2: Gooseberry 4.2 miles/1,500′ gain
- Day 3: Varied Mileage 5-10 miles
- Day 4: Wild Little Horse Canyon 8 miles/787′ gain
- Day 5: Peek-a-Boo/Spooky Gulch 3.5 miles/738′ gain
- Day 6: Fairyland Loop 8.3 miles/1,545′ gain
- Day 7: Angels Landing: 4.4 miles / 2,073′
- Day 8: Narrows: 4-5 miles
Plus, optional side hikes of varying distances/elevation.
You should very easily be able to hike on rough terrain at 2 miles per hour. Please read the itinerary thoroughly with the stated hikes and gains.
You should be training on rough and rugged terrain – not always perfectly paved sidewalks. Train how you play!
Find steps, a hill, or the Stairmaster and get to climbing! Your quads, booty, and calves will thank you. Train in all the weather – This even means rain!
Train your tootsies! Do not show up with brand new hiking boots or trail shoes. You should be spending hours upon hours in your boots leading up to your adventure to break them in. Better to suffer blisters at home than to miss out on a hike due painful hot spots on your feet. This is our number one injury. Don’t let it happen to you!
Tackle your fears: Both Gooseberry in Canyonlands and Angels Landing may prove challenging if you have a fear of heights. Slot canyons may prove a challenge if you get claustrophobic. Your guide and Explorer Chick sisters will support you the whole way. In some cases, your guides can provide alternative hikes.
Explorer Chick prides itself in curating trips for women who live an active, healthy lifestyle. What this means is we tackle the big climbs, the long trails, the bucket lists, and the uncomfortable. To get the most from your adventure we recommend having a solid fitness base with training on trails in a variety of weather conditions and hill/stair climbing. Train how you play!
Please consider your ability to meet the physical demands very seriously. It is for the safety of both you and our group. All Explorer Chicks will be required to sign an Acknowledgement of Physical Demands as part of their waiver upon booking.
Prepare for Your Trip with Explorer Chick
Starting in 2022, you must have a permit to hike the “chains” to Angels Landing. All Explorer Chicks will need to apply for their own permit on Recreation.gov through their permit lottery process. We will provide you with more details and information on the lottery process at the time of booking. If you do not receive a permit for Angels Landing via the lottery, you may to apply again 1 day before your scheduled visit.
Those Explorer Chicks who do not receive a permit during the first or second lottery application period will hike the West Rim Trail with the group starting at the Grotto Trailhead. You will experience the other famous sections of this remarkable trail: Refrigerator Canyon, Walters Wiggles (with 21 switchbacks!) , and Scout’s Lookout. Scout’s Lookout has amazing views of Zion Canyon, and is the farthest you can hike the trail before the Angels Landing chains begin. One of our Explorer Chick guides will remain with you and there may also be a possibility of adding another easy hike if time allows.
Angels Landing Lottery Application Timeline:
April-May Trips: Apply for Permits from January 3 – January 20 (notification of permits on January 25)
September-October Trips: Apply for Permits from July 1 – July 20 (notification of permits on July 25)
Still not convinced that THIS is the adventure for you?
We’ve rounded up some of our most popular blog posts, so you can get to know us a bit better and learn what really goes down on your Explorer Chick Adventure.
- Remember How it Feels to Play
- You are NOT Alone
- The Power of Explorer Chick
- What Does an Explorer Chick Look Like?
- We are ALL IN
- We Do Dumb Stuff
- The Explorer Chick Purpose
- The Traveler vs. the Tourist
- 6 Benefits to Booking with a Tour Company
You can always reach us by email with more questions! Info@ExplorerChick.com
To protect your travel investment and your hide, we highly recommend purchasing travel insurance. World Nomads is our trusted travel insurance provider. Receive an no-hassle, online quote in less than 2 minutes.
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Non-Refundable Deposit: $300 due at booking to secure your spot
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