Bryce & Capitol Reef National Parks Walking & Hiking Tour
A Journey Across the Grand Staircase
Journey along a scenic byway into the rugged wilderness and isolated landscapes at the heart of the American Southwest. Dramatic scenery and serenity await in the deep canyons of Capitol Reef's Waterpocket Fold, a spectacular wrinkle in the earth's surface almost 100 miles long, and in the winding labyrinths of Bryce's surreal gardens of stone. This hiker's paradise is one colorful vivid playscape that will leave you hungry for more.
THIS ITINERARY: 5 days, 4 nights
ACCOMMODATIONS: Casual Hotels
Start/End St. George
Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.
- Experience the rugged landscape of southern Utah, an expanse of natural wonders and unusual geologic formations that await your discovery
- Hike into the extraordinary Waterpocket Fold, a massive warping of the earth's surface and the defining geologic feature of remote Capitol Reef National Park
- Savor sophisticated farm-to-table cuisine served in a unique restaurant located on the edge of the wilderness in a once inaccessible mountain town
- Admire the otherworldly landscape of Bryce National Park, where the forces of nature have crafted fantastic rock formations beyond your wildest imagination
5 Days Casual Hotels
Are you ready for an unforgettable Southwest adventure? Traverse the northern edge of Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument for a hike past prehistoric pictographs to a dramatic box canyon | Feel the cool mist on your face as you encounter Lower Calf Creek Falls plunging 130 feet over a sandstone cliff | Journey along the Hogsback, an unforgettable stretch of scenic byway that winds along a narrow ridge | Stay in Boulder, a town so remote that it was one of the last in the United States to receive mail by mule train.
Relish the solitude and pristine natural beauty of Capitol Reef National Park, a secluded wonderland and the least visited of Utah's Grand Circle parks | Encounter natural arches, water-carved canyons and towering domes that give Capitol Reef its name, as you hike through the colossal Waterpocket Fold | Notice the greener side of the desert as we pass through the pioneer settlement of Fruita, where 19th-century orchards are still thriving | Revel in the sophisticated menu at Hell's Backbone Grill, inspired by Buddhist and Native American cultures and cuisine.
An oasis of tranquility and comfort overlooking an 11-acre bird sanctuary at the foot of Boulder Mountain in the rugged landscape of southwestern Utah.
Enter Bryce Canyon, home to the world's largest collection of fanciful geologic formations called hoodoos | Spend the morning on a hike through the Queen's Garden, a natural labyrinth of pinnacles, spires and windows | Venture into Wall Street, a narrow passage between towering rock fins where two immense Douglas fir trees await | Attend an evening performance you'll never forget—a gentle dance of shifting light and color with ever-changing hues of red, orange and yellow across an immense natural amphitheater.
Circumnavigate Boat Mesa as you hike along the Fairyland Loop, one of the most spectacular routes in the park where a new vista awaits around each twist and turn | Embark on a scenic driving tour to 9,100-foot Rainbow Point at the southern end of the park where, on a clear day, you can see 100 miles to the Kaibab Plateau | Pass through Dixie National Forest and the incredible Red Canyon on our way back to St. George.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this simple park lodge is mere steps from the canyon's edge.
The earlier you book, the more choice you'll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind — you won't be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due. View cancellation policy
Click on dates for pricing, itinerary variations and to book your trip. Price is per person, double occupancy.
Activity Level: 1-3
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. LEARN MORE.
Note: The terrain on this trip includes a mix of well-maintained dirt trails and paved walkways, with some exposed ridgetop and narrow canyon sections.
- All breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
- Expertise and services of our experienced Trip Leaders
- Snacks and beverages between meals
- Additional guides and experts from the region on many trips
- Van shuttles to support a variety of route options
- Comprehensive Travel Planner with detailed pre-trip information
- Private guided tours at museums, historic sites, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the Travel Planner
- All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
- Special events, including wine tastings and other select attractions as mentioned in the Travel Planner
- On biking and multi-adventure trips, use of fully equipped Backroads titanium bike plus helmet and accessories
- Trailercycles, carriers, and kid-sized helmets for Family Trips
- Equipment and experienced guides for kayaking, rafting, snorkeling, sailing and canoeing as described
- Park and other entry fees
- Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the Travel Planner
- Select coach transfers
- Baggage transfers and porterage
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.
The 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 unparalleled access to the best 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.
The National Park Service has many regulations on hiking. In Bryce Canyon National Park, your leaders can hike with you but can't act as "interpretive guides." Throughout the trip, your leaders will give an orientation to the area's flora, fauna and terrain before your hikes. Thank you for helping us cooperate with the park's regulations.
We ordinarily staff our trips with three leaders: two leaders out on the trail offering support—allowing everyone to have the experience they want, whether it's an easygoing interpretative walk or a rigorous hike—while the third leader moves the van from trailhead to trail end. This trip is a little different in that our routes are a combination of loop hikes and out-and-back trails that begin and end in the same location. This means that you'll still have the same two leaders providing excellent trail support without the need for a third leader to move the van.