Adventures / Wild Hikes

Desert hiking adventure in Canyonlands and Arches National Parks

Experience the Southwest's most epic trails and stargaze in Utah's unmistakeable landscapes

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Trip Ref #10111

Adventures / Wild Hikes

Desert hiking adventure in Canyonlands and Arches National Parks

Experience the Southwest's most epic trails and stargaze in Utah's unmistakeable landscapes

DURATION

3 nights

LOCATION

United States

ANNUAL LEAVE

2 days off work

SEASON

Apr-May, Sep-Oct

GROUP SIZE

Up to 9 people

MEETING POINT

Salt Lake City Airport, Utah

ACCOMMODATION

Yurt

DIFFICULTY

Moderate

Anyone with good fitness levels and a love of the great outdoors

Hike one of Canyonlands National Park’s most secluded and challenging trails: the Lathrop Canyon Trail

Experience Arches National Park's famous hoodoos: the otherworldly landscapes of natural stone formations and watch the sunrise through Mesa Arch

Spend your evenings stargazing and planet-spotting in some of the USA's best dark sky locations

All our reviews are verified

We only invite travellers to leave a review if they have booked this trip with Much Better Adventures.

Maarten, August 2021

The national parks are beautiful and our guides Megan and Alex were great! We had a chance to see a ton of wildlife, including wolves, bears, bison and more. The evenings at the campsite were very nice with campfires and some games. We would highly recommend this trip.

Included

Guides

Expert naturalist guides with wilderness first responder training

Accommodation

3 nights in luxury yurts

Meals

Enjoy tasty food throughout with all meals included

Transfers

Transfers to and from Salt Lake City Airport and everything in between

Permits

All national park entry fees and permits

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Tips for your guides

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)

10:30 on Day 1

Ends

Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)

18:00 on Day 4

Transfers

Your host will meet you at Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City, Utah at 10:30 on Day 1, so please book a flight that arrives by 10:00. Alternatively, you can be collected at your accommodation in Salt Lake City at 09:00 if you are already in town.

Your trip ends back at Salt Lake City International Airport at around 18:00 on Day 4. Please book a flight that leaves after 19:30 to ensure you have enough time to check-in. Alternatively you can be dropped at your accommodation in Salt Lake City if you are staying on.

Travel options

There are flights to Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) from across the US and Europe.

Day 1

Yurt · Triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 3

Yurt · Triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Evening meals will be based around rice and pasta dishes with fresh vegetables. For breakfast there will be eggs, pancakes and fruit. Lunches will be meat-based sandwiches unless you request a vegan/vegetarian option. During the adventure you'll be kept full of delicious, local snacks. Water, tea and coffee are provided as well as wine and beer in the evenings.

Vegetarian, vegan and most other dietary requirements can be accommodated on this trip.

What is the accommodation like?

Dead Horse State Park

You'll stay in luxury 'Moenkopi' yurts at Dead Horse Point State Park. The Moenkopi Yurts offer a glorious camping experience and perfect location for sunrise, sunset and a bit of seclusion before and after your adventures in the national park. The yurts comfortably sleep 3 people each.

Upgrades

So solo travellers looking for their space, it is possible to request your own yurt (subject to availability). See Optional Extras for prices. Please request this at the time of booking.

Day 1

Welcome to Utah!

Hiking

2-3hrs · 7-8km

Your host will meet you at Salt Lake City Airport where you'll jump in the van and hit the road over to Moab, the base for your adventure in the Utah desert. After checking in to your luxury yurts you can head out on a warm up hike to get your first taste of Canyonlands National Park.

In the evening you'll have dinner with the group while your guide gives you a heads-up on the big hike tomorrow. If you're lucky the stars will be out for some celestial neck craning before bed.

Day 2

See the sunrise through Mesa Arch before hitting the Lathrop Canyon Trail

Hiking

6-8hrs · 16km

Alarm clocks will be ringing early this morning as you wake up before the sun to head straight out into Canyonlands National Park. You'll watch the sunrise through Mesa Arch, a natural stone arch perched at the edge of a cliff with sweeping views of canyons, rock spires, and the La Sal Mountains.

You'll then tackle one of the park’s most secluded and difficult trails - the Lathrop Canyon Trail. The hike is challenging but you'll be rewarded with amazing big-sky views across the vast openness of Canyonlands. The trail progresses from grasslands to sand dunes to slickrock before you reach the canyon walls with the Colorado River two-thousand feet below. Epic!

Day 3

Arches National Park

Hiking

6-8hrs · 16km

After breakfast you'll head over to Arches National Park, named for the more than 2000 natural stone arches scattered throughout the park. Today you'll take a series of short hikes along different trails to see a selection of these incredible formations including Delicate Arch: the iconic arch which adorns Utah's license plates. Your hikes are set against a constant backdrop of bright red rock against the deep blue sky - an iconic southwestern sight.

Day 4

Goodbye Utah

Hiking

2-3hrs · 7-8km

After breakfast and a leisurely morning, or an optional hike in Dead Horse State Park, your host will drive you back through the desert to Salt Lake city in time for your departing flight.

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's available to hire?

  • Sleeping bag (see Optional Extras for prices)

What do I need to bring?

Bags

  • Backpack (60-70 litres)

Clothes

  • Hiking boots with sturdy soles
  • Light wool hiking socks, multiple pairs
  • Long sleeve sun protection shirt (synthetic and moisture wicking)
  • Hiking pants or shorts (at least one pair should be long pants)
  • Insulating layers for cool evenings (fleece jacket or vest, down jacket)
  • Hat
  • Casual clothes for camp

Sleeping

  • Sleeping bag (rated 30 degrees or lower). Also available to hire.
  • Cotton or silk sleeping bag liner (optional)

Other

  • Water bottles or Camelbak, 3L total minimum capacity
  • Headlamp
  • Small towel or facecloth
  • Toiletries and personal first aid
  • Sunscreen and insect repellant
  • Sunglasses
  • Personal mess kit
  • Trekking Poles (Optional)
  • Camera
  • Book
  • Ear plugs

Optional Private Yurt Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Yurt Upgrade

Per Person

Sleeping Bag Hire

Payable Before Departure

Sleeping Bag Hire

Per Person

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 122kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

This trip is for beginner and experienced hikers alike. The terrain isn't too challenging, though you will be ascending and descending along the way so you'll need to have decent fitness levels.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

The best times of year to hike in the deserts of Utah are during early Spring from late February to April, and the fall months of September through to early November. The summer months can be oppresively hot and not ideal for hiking. Daytime temperatures in spring and fall are usually from 60° to 80°F (16°-27°C) and nights are cool. In the early fall you should be prepared for the odd afternoon thunderstorm.

You can leave any excess luggage at the yurt and just take what you need for each day out on the trails in a day-pack.

There is fresh drinking water available at your yurt accommodation each morning and evening.

The hiking routes don't have water re-supply points, so you will need to bring reusable water bottles and/or a skin to fill up at your yurt each morning.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. The amount to tip is entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip in the USA; your guides will rely on tips for a considerable portion of their income.

We suggest to budget for 10% of the trip cost as a guideline.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

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