"Awesome!" As a parent, you may try to avoid the word. But in this case, as you gaze out over the Grand Canyon, marveling at the play of light and shadow across the endless expanse, it's perfect. And the words keep coming. Whether you're exploring a wonderland of hoodoos and pinnacles in Bryce Canyon ("sweet!"). Traipsing amid the soaring walls and hanging gardens of a slot canyon in Zion ("epic!"). Or laughing at fireside stories under a star-speckled sky ("those leaders are so fly!"). You'll try to contain yourself. But you can't. Because the whole experience is truly... awesome.
Days 1-2 In Bryce, hike through an impressive slot canyon whose walls are only ten feet apart in places Discover a labyrinth of hoodoos and vivid rock formations sprouting from the floor of Queen's Garden Grown-ups spin to Red Canyon, where youngsters join them for a breezy ride What was that? Desert critters, like lizards and chipmunks, scamper across your path Journey through an arid landscape with the spectacular Kaibab Plateau rising ahead.
Day 3 Kids make like early pioneers, exploring the Grand Canyon's rim by mule Adults enjoy an up-close look at the beauty of the Grand Canyon during a hike Swap stories about the day's adventures around the campfire.
Day 4 Splash your way through the Narrows in Zion Admire expansive high-desert views of the Grand Staircase en route to Zion, a hiker's paradise It's an exhilarating river hike through the Narrows, one of the most renowned slot canyons in the world, with small waterfalls and hanging gardens cascading down the rock faces.
Days 5-6 Night skies exploding with stars - we're far from city lights here Experienced canyoneering instructors show kids the ropes Adults opt for an easygoing walk past Emerald Pools or a thrilling climb to Angels Landing A traffic-free bike ride amid towering walls of sheer Navajo sandstone.
- Astonishing rock formations, river-carved canyons and sheer sandstone cliffs
- Kids make like early pioneers, exploring the Grand Canyon's rim by mule
- Pedal among crimson rocks and desert wildflowers
- Starry night skies far from city lights
- Splash your way through the Narrows in Zion
Sunset Campground (1 night): Set in a pine forest, just a short hike from the rim of Bryce Canyon.
North Rim Campground (2 nights): Our home, near the edge of the canyon in a meadow ringed with aspen, offers breathtaking views.
Watchman Campground (2 nights): Nestled along the Virgin River with soaring cliffs all around.
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of
interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one
day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat
from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each
day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.
Routes For All Abilities
|Daily Route Options|
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5|
|miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain|
|Other||Point Imperial scenic drive (2.5 hours)|
|Kids||Mule ride (1 hour)|
|Kids||Canyoneering (6 hours)|
* Includes a shuttle
2013 Dates & Pricing*
- 6/3-8 Price: $2098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 6/10-15 Price: $2098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 6/17-22 Price: $2098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 6/24-29 Price: $2098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/1-6 Price: $2098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/15-20 Price: $2098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/22-27 Price: $2098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/29-8/3 Price: $2098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/5-10 Price: $2098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/12-17 Price: $2098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/19-24 Price: $2098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/26-31 Price: $2098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
Plus 6.25% Utah state sales tax.
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Recommended Kids Ages
- Recommended minimum age for the trip: 6 years
- Minimum age restriction to ride own bike: 7 years
- Minimum age restriction for canyoneering: 6 years
- Minimum age restriction for mule ride: 7 years
General Info on Minimum Ages:We strongly encourage families to join our Family Trips, designed with kid- and adult-friendly features. Please note that we have a minimum age requirement of 1 year for all Inn trips and 2 years for all Camping trips. Other than that, we do not restrict trips to a minimum age except in the rare case of a hotel age restriction. We do, however, recommend minimum ages based on the following criteria:
- 12+ amount of cultural appreciation, difficulty of activities, routes
- 9+ difficulty of activities/activity age restrictions, routes
- 6+ several longer dinners; routes are difficult for pulling a Burley and therefore not appropriate for younger children; difficulty of activities/activity age restrictions
Guest Trip Reviews
Awesome and awe-inspiring. I knew the locations were going to be eye-openers. What I didn't realize was how Backroads would carefully construct and perfectly assemble this family camping trip. They made the most of every location for both parents and children. From the campsite logistics of arranging 3 sumptuous meals a day for 26 individuals (many with unique needs), to the setting up, arranging and taking down our tents at each site. On top of this, they provided informative breaks and activities on our long driving days. This was my first family camping trip, after 18 inn trips, and you all outdid yourselves! I'm convinced that another camping trip is in my near future. I've come to know that with Backroads, the trip logistics and planning will be top-notch. The thought and tiny details (playing in a water park for the kids to cool off, dessert at the rim of Grand Canyon, ice cream sundaes and smores for dessert) raise the bar for standards Backroads has set. I'm sold!- New York, NY
Every member of our family loved the trip. The scenery was incredible, our leaders were amazing, and we thoroughly enjoyed our fellow campers. I could not have imagined the uniqueness of hoodoos in Bryce, the awesome expanse of the Grand Canyon or the rugged beauty of Zion. Backroads provided the perfect way to see them.- Fort Myers, FL
Our trip was simply fantastic! The accommodations were great and I had NEVER tent-camped before this trip. The food was out of this world. I never would have guessed that we'd eat that well on a camping trip. Our leaders were second to none! I can't say enough about it, we really had the time of our lives. I was awed by the beauty of the Southwest.- Jefferson, MD
This was a fabulous trip! We have a 19-year-old and a 5-year-old and neither has stopped talking about how much fun s/he had. I did not want to miss an activity because all were geared around seeing or doing something new. The climb to Angels Landing was stupendous and the campsite at the Grand Canyon was superb. We have been on several European trips and had heard good things about the family trips. They all underestimated the quality of the trip. My wife doesn't even care to camp and she did not complain once due to the superior trip planning and the support team we had. Well done and keep up the good work!- Carmel, IN
Best family trip we have ever taken! You actually got my wife to enjoy camping, which is a feat that I would never imagine happening. The spirit and soul of your guides was a surprise and a high point of our experience. Really, I could go on but words do not really capture what I call "Ruach" (which means "spirit" in Hebrew) and which your company and your guides have in abundance. My wife accuses me of being a sentimental cornball (and she tends to be right) but the trip you had for us was deeply moving, both in the time I got to spend with my family, meet new friends (including your guides) and see wonderful places. It has been almost 2+ weeks since I have been home and I still get a smile in my heart and soul thinking about our trip with you. Thank you for that.- Libertyville, IL
The trip was outstanding. My son said "This was the best vacation of his life!" We all agreed that this was the perfect vacation for our family. We loved the activities, the scenery and the friendships formed among the kids. We were so impressed with the enthusiasm and energy of the trip leaders that we're already planning our next Backroads Family camping trip for next summer.- Encino, CA
The best compliment of all is that our kids all said this was the best trip we've ever taken. Our leaders were outstanding in every way - made us all comfortable and relaxed. They were a wealth of information about the parks and surrounding areas, handled the wide range of age levels in our group very well (kids ages 6-19), provided games to play, engaged the kids during "downtime," and made their own tasks seem effortless and seamless. The food was superb and their positive outlook was contagious and uplifting. We can hardly wait to book our next trip!- McLean, VA
I am overwhelmed with the perfection of this trip. Part of the wonderful experience was made possible by the natural beauty of Bryce, Zion, and the Grand Canyon. But my family's enjoyment of these magical places was orchestrated precisely and flawlessly by Backroads - starting with the helpful trip consultant who recommended this trip as one that would fit well with my vision of our summer family vacation. The next Backroads guidance came from the emails and brochures that came my way, including the terrific packing list and detailed itinerary. But the crowning Backroads contribution - the one that made a summer trip into perhaps the best summer trip my family has ever taken - comes from the leaders. They are simply fantastic; they're smart, informed, helpful, cheerful, earnest, committed, lovely, capable, energetic, impressive human beings. They worked together like synchronized swimmers, seamlessly executing a daily dance that made every element of the camping experience an effortless joy for everyone. They were terrific with the kids. They were engaging, warm, and just plain fun with the parents. I cannot say enough about how much their truly excellent work (and it WAS work indeed - daily and nightly diligence that always seemed like their pure pleasure to do) made the whole trip into pure enjoyment.- Chappaqua, NY
The best part of it was the sense that we accomplished something, by being physically involved in the experience rather than just through observation. The trip was challenging, but not overwhelming, and our kids did things they have never done before. The beauty of the surroundings was indescribable. The bonding we did with the other families and the leaders made it even more special. Our kids (8-yr-old twins and a 6-year-old) were crying when we left. It will leave a lasting impression on us.- Keene, NH
This was my 5th Backroads trip and it was fabulous. Backroads always does a great job choosing leaders, chefs and camp assistants. The itinerary was well thought out and the leaders executed the plan perfectly. I just want to compliment Backroads on your interviewing process and the training of your staff. All your staff were friendly, flexible, energetic, hard-working, well-liked by the kids and the adults. The leaders and camp staff really lived the mission that Backroads puts customers first. Backroads is a dream come true!- New York, NY
Once again, Backroads made going camping with my son a truly enjoyable experience for both of us. The scenery was magnificent, the guides were all awesome, the food was amazing and the camaraderie with our fellow campers made the trip so much fun! Thank you!- Richmond, VA
Amazing! Staff was energetic and always helpful, trip was well organized and fun, deluxe camping lived up to its billing.- New York, NY
Overall a really fabulous trip. The warmth and friendliness of the leaders was really great and lent a lovely feel to the group, helping both adults and children feel comfortable.- Scarsdale, NY
The trip far exceeded our expectations. Every detail was well thought out and planned. We were able to explore the Canyons in a way we never would have been able to independently.- Narberth, PA
The camping experience was great. The food was awesome. The seamlessness is always what impresses me most!- Boca Raton, FL
What a wonderful family trip! Experiencing the spectacular parks without the hassle of navigating, setting up tents, cooking or cleaning, etc., is the way to go. We got to be active all day and we didn't have to worry about the details. No getting lost on vacation! This "City Slicker" even opted to sleep outside under the stars one night...I will never forget gazing up at the sky with my children as they drifted off to sleep. Indescribably great!- Chicago, IL
The trip exceeded our expectations. I had moderately high expectations and it was even better than I would have thought. The itinerary was amazing, we had a great balance of activities and some downtime and most of all, it was all run with military precision. We were truly amazed at how every single aspect of the trip was incredibly organized. Everything ran on time, the leaders knew exactly what they were doing and there was never any standing around. All three leaders were incredibly competent, friendly, accommodating and great with the kids and adults alike!- Irvington, NY
Best trip we've ever taken! The leaders were incredible! The options for different levels of activities made it a perfect fit for our family.- Barrington, RI