"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.
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
Interpretive Guides & Hiking Without Your LeadersDue to permit restrictions for all outfitters, your Backroads leaders can hike with you in Bryce Canyon National Park, but can't act as interpretive guides. They will be unable to hike with you in Grand Canyon National Park and are limited to guiding on certain trails in Zion National Park. Throughout the trip, your leaders will give an orientation to the area's flora, fauna and terrain before your hikes.
Permit restrictions also dictate that your leaders won't be able to offer route support on the optional bike ride at the Grand Canyon.
Tents & Sleeping EssentialsOur roomy four-person dome tents accommodate two adults and two small children snugly, without luggage. Sleeping bag, sleep sheet and an extra-thick inflatable sleeping pad are all provided to make sleeping on the ground more comfortable. Backroads does not supply pillows, so please bring your own. No lighting is provided in your tent, so a small flashlight is essential.
Restroom FacilitiesRestroom facilities are available at each campground. The restroom floors can be wet, so be sure to bring flip-flops! We also recommend bringing a hanging toiletry bag since space is limited and surfaces are wet. Be advised that outlets and mirrors are few. Backroads does not supply towels, so please be sure to pack your own.
ConnectivityKeeping your cell phone charged while on a camping trip is usually done during the day via a car charger in the Backroads van. Backroads will provide car chargers with USB ports, so please make sure to bring your USB connecter cord with you. You’ll be responsible for plugging your phone in and retrieving it at a later time.
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
2014 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: $1998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/4-9 Price: $2098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/8-13 Price: $1998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/11-16 Price: $1998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/15-20 Price: $1998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/18-23 Price: $1998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/22-27 Price: $1998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/25-30 Price: $1998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/29-8/3 Price: $2098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/1-6 Price: $2098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/5-10 Price: $2098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/8-13 Price: $1998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/12-17 Price: $1998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/15-20 Price: $1998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/19-24 Price: $1998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/22-27 Price: $1998 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: 5 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
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities.
You can pick any open date in next year's lineup for your group of 16 or more - just book by December 31st of this year. Call us for date availability.
Youth savings do not apply to Private Trips.
Guest Trip Reviews
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
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 put together this family camping trip from considering how to make the most of every location for both parents and children, to the campsite logistics of arranging three sumptuous meals a day for 26 individuals (many with unique needs), to the putting up, arranging and taking down of our tents at each site, to providing informative breaks and activities on our long driving days. This was my first family camping trip (after 18 inn trips). You all outdid yourselves. I'm convinced that another camping trip is in my near future. I've come to know that with Backroads that 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 and standards that Backroads set. I'm sold on family camping for the future.- New York, NY
Our trip was simply fantastic. The accommodations were great (and I had NEVER tent-camped before!), the food was out of this world (I never would have guessed that we would eat that well on a camping trip!), and our leaders were second to none. I can't say enough about it; we had the time of our lives! I was awed by the beauty of the Southwest as well as the top-notch service we received from Backroads.- Jefferson, MD
This was a fabulous trip! We had 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 Angel's landing was stupendous! 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! We look forward to seeing Provence with you in September.- 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 a 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 my entire life!" and we all agreed that this was the perfect vacation for our family. We loved the activities, the scenery, the friendships among the kids, and we were so impressed with the enthusiasm and energy of the trip leaders. 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 "down time," 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 whom I spoke with way back in November and 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
This is our third Backroads trip and we look forward to many, many more. The overall trip was great. The leaders were fabulous. Like the previous two trips, after about 24 hours you feel like you are vacationing with them (but they won’t let you do any work) rather than them being your guides. That is not to say they were not superb leaders but that the comfort level is so good they feel like companions in a leadership role. They clearly know how to make people feel at home and are excellent at managing people's differences in a very professional way.- Atlanta, GA
Don’t know how you continue to exceed my expectations. I don’t usually give all 10s. Backroads is stupendous.- Atlanta, GA
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. They were able to handle some challenging personalities of the guests as well! Backroads is a dream come true!- New York, NY
This was a really great family vacation. We would never have camped as a family without this level of support. We had heard great things before we came and the trip was even better than other people had described it. The leaders and support were truly outstanding.- Manchester, MA