Hovering hoodoos. Walter's Wiggles. Spindly spires. Kids in giggles. Seems right out of Dr. Seuss. But this fantastical world exists. Right here. In the Southwest. You'll rub your eyes. Once. Maybe twice. To believe the whimsical rock formations. The spectacular views. The red and orange and yellow hues. And in this wonderland of slot canyons, pinnacles and bristlecone pine, your family gets to hike, bike, mule ride and rock climb. Watching the sun set at the surreal gorge's rim, you might just hear Dr. Seuss say: "Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one."
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.
Accommodations & Service StandardsThe Lodge at Bryce Canyon is a fairly rustic national park lodge that reflects its natural surroundings. While this historic hotel offers simpler accommodations than the typical Backroads property, it's been selected because of its access to the best riding and hiking in the region. Please note that the guest rooms are basic and are not equipped with televisions or air-conditioning (nights are usually cool due to the high elevation).
Generally speaking, service in the national parks can seem laid-back when compared with the high standards of service found on other Backroads trips.
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.
Days 1-2 Bryce Canyon's maze of spires, windows and pinnacles Hike through a 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 Marvel at the awe-inspiring vastness of the Grand Canyon, one of the world's seven natural wonders.
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 Join your leaders for a drive out to Point Imperial for unrivaled views of The Painted Desert and the Marble Canyon Can't get enough of this expansive natural wonder? Follow Widforss Trail for an astounding view of the majestic San Francisco Peaks towering above the South Rim Youngsters delight in a special dinner with the Kid Coordinator while adults sit down to a satisfying meal at the Grand Canyon Lodge.
Day 4 Splash your way through the Narrows in Zion, one of the most renowned slot canyons in the world, with small waterfalls and hanging gardens cascading down the rock faces Admire expansive high-desert views of the Grand Staircase and watch as the cliffs change to vibrant shades of pink and red.
Days 5-6 The thrilling hike to Angels Landing, bringing you nearly 2,000 feet above the valley for a 360-degree panorama of soaring sandstone Opt for an easygoing walk past Emerald Pools if heights aren't your thing Experienced canyoneering instructors show kids the ropes Pedal a traffic-free route amid towering walls of sheer Navajo sandstone.
- Astonishing rock formations, river-carved canyons and sheer sandstone cliffs
- Pedal among crimson rocks and desert wildflowers to Red Canyon
- An impressive slot canyon in Bryce, whose walls are only ten feet apart in places
- Kids make like early pioneers, exploring the Grand Canyon's rim by mule
- Splash your way through the Narrows in Zion
The Lodge at Bryce Canyon (1 night): Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this simple park lodge is mere steps from the canyon's edge.
Grand Canyon Lodge - North Rim (2 nights): This 1920s rustic stone-and-wood lodge is perched above the grandeur of the remote North Rim.
Cliffrose Lodge & Gardens (2 nights): A riverside oasis with a beach and lush gardens. (pool)
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 Hours Round-Trip)|
|Kids||Mule Ride (1 Hour)|
|Kids||Canyoneering (6 Hours)|
* Includes a shuttle
2015 Dates & Pricing*
- 6/14-19 Price: $2698 pp dbl. occ., (+ $520 for sgl. occ.)
- 6/21-26 Price: $2698 pp dbl. occ., (+ $520 for sgl. occ.)
- 6/28-7/3 Price: $2498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $520 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/5-10 Price: $2498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $520 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/12-17 Price: $2498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $520 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/19-24 Price: $2498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $520 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/26-31 Price: $2498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $520 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/2-7 Price: $2598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $520 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
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 from a large selection of dates for your group of 8 or more. Call us for date availability.
If your party has fewer than 8 guests, or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.
Pricing for Private Trips (prices may vary based on departure date)
|2 - 3 guests from $4,798 pp dbl. occ.||8 - 9 guests from $3,298 pp dbl. occ.|
|4 - 5 guests from $3,998 pp dbl. occ.||10 - 11 guests from $2,798 pp dbl. occ.|
|6 - 7 guests from $3,598 pp dbl. occ.||12 or more guests from $2,498 pp dbl. occ.|
Please note: Youth savings do not apply to Private Trips.
Guest Trip Reviews
This was the best trip ever - it combined the right amount of adult time with family time, exercise and leisure. Given the five-year difference in our kids' ages, combined with our younger son's endless energy, we wanted to find the family vacation that satisfied all our needs and goals, and Backroads fulfilled this in every way. Additionally, our leaders' willingness to be flexible with regard to our itinerary made the trip even more tailored to us. A perfect blend of activity, downtime, family, new friends. We are new fans!- Menlo Park, CA
What an amazing family experience!! We could never have accomplished near this amount of activities, left to our own devices. Nor have challenged ourselves as much. We enjoyed the entire experience, and hold its memory dear!- Saint Augustine, FL
Backroads is the way to travel - it was great having all the logistics taken care of. We could just relax and enjoy the trip. The sights were incredible and the activities fun. My children, ages 6-17, all had a wonderful vacation. I cannot say enough nice things about our leaders - they were awesome. I would recommend this trip to anyone who likes to be active and appreciates nature.- Wauwatosa WI
This has been the best trip our family has ever taken. Please extend my sentiments to the owner of Backroads: "the quality of the backroads experience...is unsurpassed. I will be back. Thank you very much."- Lafayette, LA
This trip exceeded our expectations in every way. I kept telling my friends for weeks afterwards about Backroads and the fact that not a detail was missed. All of our leaders were excellent. We liked that there were always options in terms of length of hikes or bike trips. We liked the options. We can't say enough good things about our Backroads experience.- Wilmette, IL
The trip in the canyon areas exceeded my high expectations. Our family had a wonderful time and truly enjoyed our vacation together. This was our second Backroads trip and reinforced our pre-existing belief that Backroads trips are the best way to see new areas.- Needham, MA
Fantastic! We had an awesome time. One of our best family vacations. Everything went like clockwork - and the little details were a treat (from the raspberries and chocolate greeting the Angels Landing hikers to the gerbera daisies in the vans).- Arnold, MD
Overall wonderful experience!! We enjoyed seeing the national parks on bike and foot, mixed with just the right amount of fun activities for the kids. And the ease at which all of our leaders moved us comfortably from location to location, with wonderful food preparations and guidance was truly amazing!!- Folsom, CA
The trip exceeded all our expectations - which had been set pretty high by previous Backroads clients we know.- Hopkinton, MA