This is a wonderful hiking odyssey to the Fabulous Five Utah National Parks! I am finalizing the itinerary but there will be 10 classic Utah hikes for all abilities. [Final itineraries available 8 SEP 2021]
We will depart by Royal Excursion luxury coach from Niles, MI to Chicago O'Hare. Our flight will take us to Las Vegas where we will board the luxury coach that will serve us to departure. We will return to Chicago O'Hare from Las Vegas.
Our trip currently includes 3 nights in Springdale, UT, 1 night near Bryce Canyon Park, 3 nights in Moab, UT and one night in Page, AZ. This is peak season in Utah and the lodging costs are up but will be so worth it. I am hoping that I can offer a rebate or credit after all the trip costs are paid. You know giving you the best price is important to me. [see FINAL ITINERARIES] Coach Ron Gunn
2021 TRIP 1: SEP 18-26 TRIP 2: SEP 27-OCT 5 TRIP 3: OCT 6-14
Trip assignments have been mailed to everyone registered for Utah 2020. April 27 all registered Utah Trekkers were notified of trip moved to 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Note date changes and email any schedule conflict to Thom@CairnStoneTours.com. (scroll down for link to drop instructions)
Coach Gunn is committed to full refund of all payments to anyone not getting off the wait list. ($100 deposit is kept as your Training Partner fee.)
New Utah registrations (waitlist)
NOTE: EVERYONE SHOULD BE PAID UP & BE COVID VACCINATED
$1,684 D/O $2,448 S/O (2019 PRICES)
[Additional costs will be +$176]
~Round Trip Air (Chi-Las Vegas)
~Transfer shuttle to and from Chicago O'Hare
~Deluxe charter bus Out West
~Very nice lodging (“we don't sleep on the ground”)
~Breakfast every day
~All National park entry fees
~Specialized hike training program
~Coaching and Guide services of Coach Gunn
TRIP DOES NOT INCLUDE:
~Any lunches & dinners
~Bus driver gratuity
~Trip cancellation insurance (we strongly suggest this for your protection)
1) Final payment bills will go out soon. Details are in Coach Gunn's 31AUG2021 Utah Final Payment Update.
2) Submit your ID, Vax & Waiver forms to Thom; 269-462-0863 or Thom@CairnStoneTours.com
3) Shuttles to trailhead: Let Coach know which Day 3 hike you plan to do; Narrows, Top to Bottom, West Rim Trail, or Subway, Bottom Up. (Ron@CairnStoneTours.com)
4) Get your permit reservation online for the Narrows, Top to Bottom hike.
5) Pick up day 3 permits in the park on day 2 (of the itinerary) for all hikes requiring a permit; Subway, Bottom Up and Narrows, Top Down.
[SCROLL DOWN TO: Trip Refunds and Change Requests]
Snow Canyon State Park is a 7,400-acre scenic park quietly tucked amid lava flows and soaring sandstone cliffs in a strikingly colorful and fragile desert environment. Majestic views and the subtle interplay of light, shadow, and color dancing across canyon walls evoke strong emotional responses from visitors.
20 Walk-In Permits will be issued on day 2 of your itinerary for a hike on day 3. FCFS
Let Coach know to add you to the special shuttle list.
There are two ways to explore The Subway (the Left Fork of North Creek). Permits are required regardless of the direction of travel. We will only do the bottom up route (no repelling/swimming). Both routes involve extensive route finding. Visitors are encouraged to obtain a detailed route description. The Subway is a day-use area only.
NO PERMIT REQUIRED
Tell Coach you will be on the day 3 special shuttle
The trail starts at the West Rim trailhead from near Lava Point and traverses across the high alpine elevation with sweeping views out into the Wildcat Canyon area for the first 6.5 miles as you drop into Potato Hollow. Next the trail climbs out of Potato Hollow before it splits into the Telephone Canyon Trail and the West Rim Trail. The West Rim Trail follows along the rim with views of Phantom Valley and the canyons to the south. The Telephone Canyon Trail provides a shortcut between Potato Hollow and Cabin Spring or a possible loop for hikers entering and exiting the same trailhead. At Cabin Spring the trail begins a steep drop in elevation and descends 2,500 feet over 4.7 miles ending at the Grotto Picnic Area.
CLOSED DUE TO ROCKSLIDE
The trail starts at East Entrance Trailhead and climbs up 1,000 feet onto the rim with views into Jolley Gulch and the east side slickrock areas. The first stretch of trail offers sweeping views of the slickrock areas on the east side before walking through the high ponderosa forest. After you traverse the rim, the views of the Echo Canyon basin open up as you near the East Rim. After hiking over the rim of the canyon you sharply descend 2,300 feet down to the floor of Zion Canyon ending at Weeping Rock, passing through Echo Canyon and down the Observation Point Trail. This trail is best in the late spring and fall.
ICONIC HIKE EVERYONE SHOULD DO
No permit or special shuttle required for the Bottom Up hike.
The Narrows is the narrowest section of Zion Canyon. This gorge, with walls a thousand feet tall and the river sometimes just twenty to thirty feet wide, is one of the most popular areas in Zion National Park. Most will hike up and back and will see the best views by hiking 3 miles to Wall Street. You start at the last shuttle stop and hiking along the paved, wheelchair accessible Riverside Walk for one mile from the Temple of Sinawava shuttle stop. If you wish to see more, you must walk in the Virgin River. This can involve wading upstream for just a few minutes or it can be an all day hike. Some of our elite hikers will take on the 16 mile Top to Bottom hike (10 to 14 hrs) from Chamberlain's Ranch outside the park and ending where the Bottom Up hikers started.
Bryce Canyon is not a single canyon, but a series of natural amphitheaters or bowls, carved into the edge of a high plateau.
The most famous of these is the Bryce Amphitheater, which is filled with irregularly eroded spires of rocks called hoodoos. Perhaps every visitor to the park will spend at least some time marveling at its four main viewpoints, all found within the first few miles of the park: Bryce Point, Inspiration Point, Sunset Point, and Sunrise Point.
Our more ambitious hikers will do the Fairyland Trail hike.
Located in south-central Utah in the heart of red rock country, Capitol Reef National Park is a hidden treasure filled with cliffs, canyons, domes, and bridges in the Waterpocket Fold, a geologic monocline (a wrinkle on the earth) extending almost 100 miles.
Hit the trails inside Capitol Reef National Park and walk in the footsteps of history’s most famous outlaws. The trails through the majestic Grand Wash and the spur trail to Cassidy Arch lead to some pretty unforgettable scenery as you explore the colorful canyon country. Combining the two trails makes for a 7.5-mile roundtrip hike and hits on some of Capitol Reef’s amazing highlights.
Visit Arches to discover a landscape of contrasting colors, land forms and textures unlike any other in the world. The park has over 2,000 natural stone arches, in addition to hundreds of soaring pinnacles, massive fins and giant balanced rocks. This red-rock wonderland will amaze you with its formations, refresh you with its trails, and inspire you with its sunsets
From the prominence of Dead Horse Point, 2,000 feet above a gooseneck in the Colorado River, an ever-changing landscape unfurls. Immense vertical cliffs meet with canyons carved by ice, water, and wind creating a visual masterpiece. Plants and animals surviving on the edge of existence face many challenges of extreme conditions within this high desert environment.
Stories of ancient hunters, resting along the cliff tops while knapping chert in preparation for the next hunt, and cowboys of the late 1800s, chasing wild mustangs onto Dead Horse Point, using the narrow neck to block off the natural corral.
Antelope Canyon did not happen this year, but Coach always has a plan B and often it is even better!
This time the search for a better Plan B has resulted in a rich addition to the 2022 Itinerary for the Grand Canyon XII adventure; Buckskin Gulch!
Use the button below to check it out.
Free shuttles operate about every 15 minutes all day in Springdale and Zion National Park. You are required to mask on the shuttles.
The park and town are located in a narrow valley so both are long and not so wide. The park is north of the town of Springdale. Springdale is 3 miles long but only a few blocks wide in places.
Zion Adventure Company is our outfitter for special shuttles and rental of water gear. They are located 0.4 miles from our hotel and 0.6 miles from the park entrance. Getting around is no problem here with both walking and shuttles as options.
Thom's Tip: Treat yourself to one breakfast at Oscar's - they even make their own granola! Thom's favorite, granola pancakes. Located just 2 blocks south of our hotel.
Zion National Park provides free shuttle service in the park and in the town of Springdale. Getting around is easy here.
(Desert Pearl is nearest stop to La Quinta)
Park Passes: Coach will get everyone a 3 day pass when we arrive day 1. (You are welcome to bring and use your Senior Pass but Coach must pay for a pass for every person on the bus anyway.)
Permits: Logistics - the only day with time to get our backcountry permits is day 2 on the itinerary for a hike on day 3.
TRIP DESCRIPTION & HIKE TRAINING SCHEDULE
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Hiking maps for you to print and take with you to Utah. Coach Gunn will have a few for those not able to print these.