Hiking Bryce and Zion National Parks

Destination: Bryce and Zion National Parks, Utah

| Activities: Hiking

Sometimes you just want to fit in as much hiking in a short period as you possibly can, and that is what we have planned. We’re packing in hikes to show you the best of Utah’s most iconic National Parks in four-days. You’ll see towering hoodoos, slithering slot canyons, and the striking desert oasis that is Emerald Pools. We spend three nights in Zion Canyon with a day trip over to Bryce for one of its premiere hikes. The cool weather and quiet of late fall are delightful for hiking. You'll get to experience jaw-dropping views, see the famous Zion Narrows, and spend your nights in the park’s lodges and rustic cabins for a well-deserved rest. Maximum group size: 12

Highlights

  • Climbing the trails to Scout's Lookout in Zion National Park
  • Hiking the amongst the Hoodoos in Bryce National Park
  • Enjoying the outrageous colors and crisp air of late fall
  • Staying for three nights in a lodge at the bottom of Zion Canyon

Departures and Prices

October 26 to October 30, 2023
$1995.00 - Available
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Inclusions

  • 1 - 2 experienced AGC guides based on group size
  • Four nights double occupancy accommodation
  • All meals from dinner on day one through lunch on day five
  • Transportation during the trip
  • National Park entry fees
  • Not included: Airfare to and from St. George, UT, Alcoholic beverages, Guide gratuities, trip insurance

Trip Documents

Trip Info

This trip is rated both 3 and 4 because of the option to modify the hikes by choosing a shorter hike within the park. Except for the first day, each day's hike as described is between 4 and 6 hours and with substantial elevation gain and loss. This trip is a great choice for any healthy woman in good physical condition who loves hiking and wants to do lots of it. If you have significant fear of heights, please call the office before you register.
Rating: 1 2 [3] [4] 5

Our fall hiking trip to the Southwest is designed to pack as much hiking into a short time as possible. Each of the hikes, chosen for their beauty and variety, involve significant ups and downs. There is not substantial downtime or time to visit Springdale, but there is plenty of time to absorb the unexpected beauty of the golden cottonwoods and red maples.

The first night is in St. George, Utah and then the next three nights at Zion Park National Lodge in Western Cabins with gas fireplaces and free WiFi. The cabins are simple and comfortable, and the setting, with red rock walls soaring above you, is outstanding.

Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.

DAY 1
Our trip starts today at the St. George, Utah airport (SGU). Plan on flying in by 3:30PM to meet the group by 4PM. It's a small but bustling airport. Nestled in a vast expanse of red rock scenery, St. George is listed as one of the best places to live in the United States and on the list of Fortune 500’s "Great Places to Retire In." We'll start getting to know each other and have a trip orientation in the evening before sharing our first dinner. Bedtime is likely to be early tonight! (D) Overnight: Abbey Inn

DAY 2
After an early breakfast, we'll load up and drive to a nearby hidden gem. Our first hike of the trip is at Snow Canyon State Park, a 7,400-acre scenic park quietly tucked amid lava flows and soaring sandstone cliffs in a strikingly colorful and fragile desert environment. We will see a little bit of everything the park has to offer on a loop connecting the following trails: Butterfly, Lava Flow, West Canyon, Red Sands, Whiptail, and Petrified Dunes. (4.8 miles, 639 feet elevation gain) Amidst a backdrop of red rocks and sage brush, we’ll have a picnic lunch here before continuing on to Zion. Tonight we'll eat dinner in the open dining area at the Lodge where we can watch the sun slip away beneath the horizon and the stars come out to play. (B,L,D)

Overnight Zion Lodge.
DAY 3
This morning we’ll beat the crowds and the heat on an out and back hike of the Watchman Trail. At the top, hikers are rewarded with sweeping views of the neighboring Springdale area, and the namesake of the trail, The Watchman rock formation. (3.1 miles, 646 feet elevation gain). In the afternoon we'll hike to Scout's Lookout on a wide paved path that has approximately 2 miles of ascending switchbacks. From this junction, the trail follows a narrow ridge (there are chains for support) out to a fantastic overlook high above Zion Canyon called Angels Landing. Due to issues like erosion and hiker safety, Zion National Park now requires a permit for those hiking to Angels Landing. If you don't have a fear of heights and would like to hike Angels Landing while on this trip, you will need to apply for an individual permit. Details can be found on the National Park website here: National Park website. (B, L, D)

Overnight: Zion Lodge
DAY 4
We get up early this morning for the 2 hour drive to Bryce. The drive itself is wonderfully scenic and if you've never seen Bryce Canyon, your first look over the rim will take your breath away - as will the elevation, which at 7500 feet is something you may feel when you hike. Our trail today is the Peekaboo Loop (or Queen's Garden and the Navajo Loop depending on trail conditions). In contrast to yesterday where we climbed up out of Zion Canyon, today we'll start by descending into Bryce Canyon. This 6 mile trail follows a loop around a major formation. Constantly changing views provide an excellent opportunity to see hoodoos, or pinnacles of weathered rock, from the bottom up. After completing our hike we'll drive back to Zion, stopping at a restaurant where the food is rivaled only by the view and ambiance. (B, L, D) Overnight: Zion Lodge
DAY 5
Today we'll explore the Emerald Pools Trail. The hike to the Upper Pool is about 2.5 hours round trip and passes through the lush environment of the lower pool and the dry environment of the upper pool with waterfalls in between. (3 miles, 620 feet elevation gain) We'll plan to leave Zion by 1:30PM and be back in St. George by 3:30PM you can get a flight home after 5:00PM (B, L)

4.8

(92 reviews)
4.3 Food
4.5 Lodging
4.6 Safety
5
(75)
4
(15)
3
(2)
2
(0)
1
(0)

*These are the unfiltered reviews of women who have been on this trip in answer to the question "What made this trip special for you?". We take reviews very seriously and often tweak itineraries based on feedback. Please feel free to contact us about any questions you have.

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Elisabeth O.
1 month ago

The scenery is Bryce Canyon was breathtaking! We were fortunate to have a local guide, April, who not only know everything about the park but was also passionate sharing it with us.

Dee K.
1 month ago

Is my first trip with agc, I enjoyed it

Barbara E.
1 month ago

The people and the land.

Wendy W.
1 month ago

The guides! Tricia and Heather were fabulous leaders. Professional, knowledgeable, friendly and inclusive. They created a safe environment for us to learn and grow. Loved the women in the group. I will have wonderful memories for a lifetime. Zion and Bryce - breathtaking! Just go!

Lubna M.
1 month ago

Looking down into Bryce Canyon with all its splendor for the very first time! It took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. Also, meeting a wonderful group of ladies with such diverse backgrounds and experiences made it even more special. Heather and Trisha were amazing guides who went above and beyond to ensure that the group was having a great time and making precious memories :))

Heather H.
2 months ago

Loved experiencing the trip with a diverse group of women! The 3 parks we hiked in were absolutely stunning.

Janice C.
2 months ago

It gave me the opportunity to visit the Zion and Bryce National Parks.

Theresa C.
2 months ago

Breathtaking scenery, great guides and great group of ladies

Grace G.
1 year ago

Great mother daughter trip for me and my daughter, Lisa. The guides, Gina and Annie, were just great and worked together well. The group of ladies who attended the trip were all friendly, welcoming and easy going.

Lisa H.
1 year ago

Great guides and participants. Everyone was flexible and beauty everywhere!

Charlotte M.
1 year ago

The opportunity to see beautiful country, the camaraderie of the group, the WONDERFUL guides, and the variety of hiking trails.

Claire D.
1 year ago

It was gorgeous, and we had just enough hiking vs. down time.

Linda K.
1 year ago

The locations, Zion and Bryce, were excellent! I had visited both parks once before with my husband(6 years ago). I returned with a couple of goals I wanted to accomplish. Angels Landing was a huge one for me. I chickened out last time since my hubby wasn't up for it. Actually, at the time, I didn't know what kind of shape I needed to be in to accomplish this challenge. With AGC, you set the expectations high, explained what I needed to do and I prepared myself for it to make it happen. My other goal wasn't even on the itinerary. I spoke with Chris before the trip and told her I wanted to at least go to the Narrows trailhead. She let me know she heard me and said she would see what they could do.

Sarah A.
1 year ago

The women and seeing the landscape. It was well organized and planned. Great guides and wonderful women to hike with.

Julie Z.
1 year ago

Beautiful scenery, great weather, very friendly group, great guides

Janice W.
1 year ago

The guides, the environment and the participants

Lisa C.
1 year ago

Our guides made this trip so special. I really appreciated the contact call prior to the trip. I had so many little questions she was able to answer and that put my mind at ease. Throughout the trip they explained exactly what we were going to see, they gave us constant reminders about safety issues like hydration, and gave us much background information about the area and the trails.These ladies did so many extra things for us. They made this trip so special!

Ginger W.
1 year ago

I think the weather was perfect for this desert environment: cool with bright blue skies.

Janice Y.
1 year ago

I think it was a combination of things that made this trip special for me…Gina and Christine were so welcoming from the start. Also, the group of women on this trip seemed to “gel” immediately and as we got to know each other, it got ever better. Topped off by the beautiful setting of Zion and Bryce, it was perfect.

Sonja B.
1 year ago

Our guides were a fabulous team - Gina and Annie. They were always keeping us informed as to the weather and flexible enough to make changes so we had the best experience. I loved all the ladies who were on the trip, I could not have asked for a better group of people. Ofcourse the most important thing was the hikes we took. Wonderful breathtaking scenery, tough hikes that challenged me and felt like an accomplishment at the end of the day. The accommodations were very nice. I really like the cabins and the way they were set up with the separate room for bathtub and toilet and the other room for vanity and clothes.

Linda Z.
1 year ago

This trip was fantastic and wouldn't hesitate to recommend this trip or tour company to anyone. I absolutely LOVED this trip and it exceeded my expectations! The group dynamics were excellent and I attribute this partly due to the great guides. Annie and Gina were so positive and encouraged great conversation and comradery. I loved all the hikes, lunches, dinners, and drives. I enjoyed the hike at Snow Canyon and was so happy we had the opportunity to see a park that is less popular but equally impressive. Zion and Bryce were amazing!

Karen A.
1 year ago

The variety of hikes and the guides.

Lucy H.
1 year ago

meeting and talking with women with every level of hiking experience was fun. They offered great advice and encouragement to each other. I would have liked to have a place where we could be together after the days hiking to share and get to know each other better. We basically went to our rooms after dinner with little to do. I would also have liked to get more information as we hiked on the areas we hiked in, geology, history, native traditions, plants and animals etc.

Linda K.
1 year ago

I traveled with 3 friends for this trip. We also added the 3 other Utah National Parks after departing from the AGC group. The guides were great and I enjoyed all of the hikes and especially staying in the cabins at Zion.

Frederique O.
2 years ago

Eliana C.
2 years ago

Deirdre R.
2 years ago

Lisa B.
2 years ago

Deborah W.
2 years ago

Changes to the itinerary and the choice to add a participant that required a guide to travel into town prior to starting events created a bit of confusion and changes in expectation + wait time on at least one occasion. Both of our guides did all they could to support us and stay positive, which was appreciated!

Lisa D.
3 years ago

Carol N.
3 years ago

Dolores A.
3 years ago

I have never seen that part of the country and it was absolutely amazing

Rita A.
3 years ago

Deborah H.
3 years ago

Angel's landing

Katherine A.
3 years ago

Tess P.
3 years ago

The beautiful scenery, the enthusiasm and instructions from your great guides, the dinner at Cordwood restaurant was awesome!

Tara R.
3 years ago

I had just finished two slackpacking trips so was used to a lot more miles/hours of hiking a day. The long van drives were necessary but not totally expected. I was a last-minute sign up so hadn't read the itinerary as well as I could have! But it was a great trip!!!

Carol M.
3 years ago

Katherine B.
3 years ago

The highlights were all the wonderful, supportive women. The only thing that would have been better for me would have been to be with more advanced hikers. But for this level, I think it was perfect.

Constance A.
3 years ago

The places we saw were breathtaking! So many highlights. One that brought me to tears is when I stayed back for a couple of hours while the group did a path and I hiked around the immediate area watching the sun come up on the Patriarchs. The colors were magical and the power of the experience was definitely a spiritual moment.

Megan N.
3 years ago

Hiking Angel's Landing, guides were great, fun to stay in the park lodge

Judy H.
3 years ago

The trip was SO well organized. A lot of thought and planning went into this trip and I was constantly impressed with how all the details fell into place. The trip exceeded my expectations! Lisa and Kaitlyn put their hearts and souls into making us all so comfortable. We were never rushed and yet we kept to the schedule meticulously. We always had time to stop and rest and to take lots of pictures. Everything was anticipated and the trip went so smoothly. There are so many examples... At rest stops during our hikes Lisa

Jillian P.
3 years ago

Unbelievable beauty of the location!!! Gorgeous landscapes, great hikes, so wonderful!

Dolores A.
3 years ago

Hiking in Bryce, was magical

Leigh H.
3 years ago

I honestly didn't come with any expectations, but was incredibly excited to be outside checking out new national parks and to be traveling what I assumed would be an incredible group of women. All of that was met and much much more. I feel fortunate to have been able to make the adventure and hope to join more in the future. I will say I think the way that our group jived helps make it such a positive experience but hands-down we had incredible guides. Lisa and Kaitlyn were a joy to have leading us and I'm so thankful for the role they played.

Rita A.
3 years ago

Loved the trail choices except for the first day (highly trafficked choices). The guides were working around weather conditions and lengthy travel time for the four-day trip, both out of their control. Appreciated the descriptions of the history and terrain of the national parks that Lisa shared. Would suggest requesting printed materials at park entrances for hikers who would like to have them.

Denise M.
3 years ago

Everything was great. I wonder if there is a way to stay at Bryce for a night rather than returning to Zion. It was a lot of driving and time pressure to get back to the van in time. However, I am sure the logistics get complicated.

Carol H.
4 years ago

As usual, the trip was very well organized, the food options delicious and accomodations very nice.

Jacqueline C.
4 years ago

Bryce and Zion were amazing. I am so happy I had the opportunity to take this trip.

Cherie V.
4 years ago

I found that hiking with a group inspired me to push myself a bit harder than I would when hiking alone:). The guides were so cheerful fun and encouraging, and participant group was so nice too!

Michelle C.
4 years ago

I've only vacationed with family or friends -- never with strangers. I was delighted by how much fun we had, and how comfortable I felt with the group. I thought that the trip might feel short, but in fact, I felt like I was gone for much longer. The guides were VERY good. The itinerary

Kathy W.
4 years ago

Guides, travelers and beauty!

Nancy S.
4 years ago

Loved ALL the hikes, especially the Zion days. Also, it was really special to be able to stay right in Zion.

Mary S.
4 years ago

Angels Landing hike.

Dorothy T.
4 years ago

The guides were awesome. I can’t think of any negative to say. I love the whole trip

Gwen E.
4 years ago

I had no ideas there were acres and acres of hoodoos in Bryce! The trip to Angel’s Landing was just right, thank you Karen Rinker. 🙏

Marie B.
4 years ago

Getting up to Angels Landing.Different hikes we did. The cabin was amazing. Karen and Claire are the best. They compliment each other.

Jung-Chen J.
4 years ago

The trails are all with spectacular views. Transportation and lodging are comfortable.

Karen S.
4 years ago

Hailey C.
4 years ago

This trip exceeded my expectations! It was a once in a lifetime, amazing adventure. I LOVED the guides, the other women I met and the hiking and areas we went - well, there are no words to explain the beauty and awe of it! The only part I really did not like was the Alexis Resort - I didn't feel extremely safe there. It is run-down and in a seedy area. The caulking was coming off of the windows and some of the lights didn't work. It wasn't the best place to start the trip. I recommend a different hotel like the Best Western by the airport.

Francine M.
4 years ago

This was my first AGC trip. I could not get over the organization and flow of the trip. It was great traveling with women of like minds. We were all interested in hiking and appreciating the sites. There was no concern competition and though there were several levels of skills the guides were encouraging and worked with it. I don't know if the skill level can be vetted better for the benefit of the whole group.

Michele W.
4 years ago

Wish the guides had time to tell us more about the area - history /geology / fauna. On the Olympic Peninsula trip we had time for this.

Lanna L.
4 years ago

We had a great group of women, the guides were excellent, the scenery was spectacular and the hiking was the perfect level of challenge. Each day - and therefore, the whole trip - flew by between the amazing and ever changing vistas, the interesting conversations, and the chance to push yourself up that next incline.

Kathy S.
4 years ago

Karen and Claire were awesome! They made everything easy. I loved not having to think about anything. Lunches were spectacular. I expected PBJ or lunch meat sandwiches and was surprised by freshly made fixings!

Sydney H.
4 years ago

The highlight was Utah - Zion and Bryce - WOW!

Sheela C.
4 years ago

The stunning scenery of both Zion and Bryce, including the fall colors, were spectacular. The guides also made the trip and there was general collaboration among the participants.

Judy N.
4 years ago

Zion and Bryce were just stunning and I was in awe! The trails were beautiful and a challenge, but not impossible. I was very pleased choices were given at Angels Landing which is good for the guides as well as the participants. The guides were excellent! Claire and Karen were very good and dealt with the lively group very well. I sincerely enjoyed the group and made some great friends that I will continue to keep. This trip is more than just seeing parks, it is a challenge both physically, cognitively and emotionally. The trip can change ones outlook on self and how they view the world. As John Muir says, "sometimes you have to go out, to go in."

Beth W.
5 years ago

The scenery/hiking was just magnificent. Truly! But sharing it with such a wonderful group of women, including our guides, was also priceless.

Carlyn M.
5 years ago

It was all so wonderful. I really appreciated Karen and Ann taking the time to hike with me b/c I was slow. The encounter with the Big Horn Sheep was a once in a lifetime. Ask Ann. I enjoyed all the women in the group. I loved that it was women from all over and all ages. And the location was WOW!!! Amazing!

Christy D.
5 years ago

The landscape was the highlight of the trip. I've never been to this area. It's so different from the Midwest. We started out with the hike to observation point and each day the hiking just got better. Angels Landing was such a challenge and I was so excited to reach the top with the group. Speaking of.....we had a great group of women on this trip.

Krassimira P.
5 years ago

Mary B.
5 years ago

Bryce Canyon was my favorite hike, because it was so different and beautiful, and I felt like the distance and terrain was perfect on that hike.

Nancy K.
5 years ago

I really enjoyed the women in my group. Easy going and mature. there was not any big drama. The scenery was way beyond my expectations. Bryce was especially beautifuul

Anonymous
5 years ago

Everything I wanted but much more.

Sandy G.
5 years ago

The trip was very organized and activities were as promised. The guides were prepared for all situations. The women participants were all wonderful - very friendly, easy going and pleasant. I usually shy away from traveling with a group so I wasn't sure what to expect on this one. It was a fantastic experience!

Andrea L.
5 years ago

Never traveled with women only and it was great. Guides excellent at pacing and accommodating individuals needs and skill levels. Initially thought I would have liked more hikes but realistically it was just right according to my muscles by the end. The lodge, restaurants, and fare guides provided were excellent. The choice of hikes were beautiful.

Regina S.
5 years ago

The other ladies; the hiking; the location

Anonymous
5 years ago

A very good group of people from the guides to the participants! So much fun.

Susan H.
5 years ago

Great hike, gorgeous views, great people and great people and guides and food.

Bernadette B.
5 years ago

Spectacular landscapes, great lodging and food, and wonderful women to travel with.

Maurine B.
5 years ago

Great group of strong, upbeat, intelligent, supportive women.

Caroline H.
5 years ago

This was a fabulous trip. Well organised and executed. The hikes were spectacular and the setting perfect!

Carlyn M.
5 years ago

Honestly, everything was so wonderful. The guides were a Godsend for helping me. I was slow. But they stayed with me and taught me so much about hiking from how to pole uphill to a new way to tie my boots. I really appreciated all the information Karen shared about the geology of the parks, vegetation etc. She was also so great to point out the best places to take photos. All around it was fantastic. And I climbed Angel's Landing!!!

Luann P.
5 years ago

Doris E.
5 years ago

This was another great AGC trip. It definitely met my expectations. Highlights included the extraordinarily unique beauty of the two parks, the challenging hikes, great weather all four days, a fun group, a song fest on the van ride back from the Cordwood Restaurant, being led up Angel’s Landing by Wonder Woman on Halloween and having trouble keeping up on the way down with a 80 year old “mountain goat” from Minnesota. The Alexa Park was adequate (clean and safe), but a bit rundown. More effective screening of first-timers would be helpful.

Angela R.
5 years ago

Everything was great

Angela P.
6 years ago

The beautiful scenery with perfect hiking weather.

Jean W.
6 years ago

A great itinerary

Roberta H.
6 years ago

Variety of trails

Donna S.
6 years ago

Jennifer K.
6 years ago

Everything about the trip was just wonderful. The hiking-spectacular trail picks and nice options for those who wanted to do a little less the last day. The food was amazing! I was so impressed with the nice lunches that the Deb and Karen put together for us to make. Options that met everyone's tastes and so creative to come up with such a spread out of their cabin room. We had a variety of level hikers...marathon runners to a couple that were not as up for the steep difficult trails. I was so impressed with Deb an Karen and their ability to cater to everyone's needs and do so in such an effortless manor. WOW!

Andrea C.
6 years ago

Besides, spending time with great friends visiting Zion and Bryce, I loved the hike to Angel's Landing with Karen. It was my trip highlight related to the itinerary. Thank you!

  1. Where do we eat?

    Breakfasts and dinners will be in restaurants where you can order off the menu or are buffet style. Before you start the day, the guides will put out lunch 'fixings' and you'll take a packed lunch or occasionally lunch will be picnic style.
  2. What dietary preferences or restrictions can you accommodate on this trip?

    If we know well in advance, we can accommodate vegetarian, lactose-free, and gluten-sensitive diets. We cannot guarantee a completely gluten-free diet and we cannot provide a kitchen guaranteed to be free of cross-contamination. If you are vegan, we ask that you bring some additional protein bars; and if you are gluten-sensitive, please bring some gluten-free snacks. If you have severe allergies, Celiac disease and/or other significant dietary restrictions, please call the office before you register.
  3. I will be coming by myself. Do I need to pay a single supplement?

    You only need to pay a single supplement if you want to guarantee you have your own room. Otherwise we’ll pair you up with someone and then switch roommates every time we switch lodging.
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