Escalante River Backpacking Trip

From $895 See Rates

Activity
Backpacking
Destination
Grand Staircase-EscalanteUtah
Tour Length
3 days, 2 nights
Accommodations
Backcountry Camping
Guide Type
Guided
Difficulty
Moderate

AOA is now a part of the REI Co-op and in 2020 this trip will no longer be available. You can book a similar trip directly through REI. It will still be operated by the same great guides who call the Southwest home.

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Southern Utah’s Escalante River winds through a magical canyon country deep in the Grand-Staircase Escalante National Monument. Backpack along the banks of the river, camp beneath natural sandstone arches, and wiggle through slot canyons as you explore the last mapped place in the continental United States. Spend 3 days and 2 nights camping beneath the stars, trekking through the lazily flowing river (perfect for the backpacker who truly enjoys getting their feet wet!), and marveling at the native tribal ruins and pictographs sprinkled left and right. Get to know some of Southern Utah’s intricate canyon hideaways including Death Hollow and the Escalante Natural Arch, and you’ll never want to leave.

What's Included

AOA is now a part of the REI Co-op and in 2020 this trip will no longer be available. You can book a similar trip directly through REI. It will still be operated by the same great guides who call the Southwest home.

Find a Similar Trip

Permit & Land Use Fees Include

  • Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument commercial fees

Not Included ​​​​​​​

  • Personal insurance and expenses
  • Pre- or post-trip lodging
  • Transportation to and from the meet location
  • Breakfast Day 1, dinner Day 3
  • Sleeping bag (available to rent from AOA)
  • Sleeping pad (available to rent from AOA)
  • Backpacking pack (available to rent from AOA)
  • Backpacking tent (available to rent from AOA)
  • Trekking poles (complimentary upon request)
  • Gratuities to AOA Guides

Upgrades + Additions

Gear Rental

  • 1-person backpacking tent ($25 per)
  • 2-person backpacking tent ($35 per)
  • 55 to 65 liter backpack with removable daypack option fitted to individual ($30 per)
  • Sleeping bag ($25 per)
  • Inflatable sleeping pad ($25 per, sleeping pads add insulation and are required on AOA trips)
  • Trekking poles (complimentary upon request)

Transportation Package – $100

  • Meets in Las Vegas or St. George
  • Las Vegas meet: Lobby of the Homewood Suites in South Las Vegas at 6:00am. Drop-off: 6:30-7:30pm same place. (CLICK HERE for map). All times in PST (Nevada).
  • St. George meet: Outside terminal building at St. George Regional Airport (SGU) at 9:00am. Drop-off: 5:30-6:30pm same place. All times in MDT (Utah).
  • Water and snacks during transfer

Other Additions

  • Purchase: 3-liter Camelbak reservoir/bladder ($35 per)
Optional upgrades, additions, and rentals subject to tax (8.05%).

Rates

2019 Rates

  • TOUR PRICE $ 895 pp* 895 pp
  • +Permits & Land Fees $ 27 pp** 27 pp

*Subject to 8.05% Utah Sales Tax.
**Subject to change and will be based on actual costs at time of departure.

2020 Rates

  • Trip not offered in 2020 $

*Subject to 8.05% Utah Sales Tax.
**Subject to change and will be based on actual costs at time of departure.

AOA is now a part of the REI Co-op and in 2020 this trip will no longer be available. You can book a similar trip directly through REI. It will still be operated by the same great guides who call the Southwest home.

Find a Similar Trip

Dates

1569110400
1569801600
1570406400
1570924800
1571616000

Select Month

September 20-September 22
September 28-September 30
October 5-October 7
October 11-October 13
October 19-October 21

AOA is now a part of the REI Co-op and in 2020 this trip will no longer be available. You can book a similar trip directly through REI. It will still be operated by the same great guides who call the Southwest home.

Find a Similar Trip

Your trip begins today at 1:00pm at Excursions of Escalante in Escalante, UT. Enjoy a homemade ice cream sandwich or espresso while your guide briefs everyone on the trip and helps everyone get fitted for a backpack. We then load into the AOA vehicle for a short drive to the trailhead and an opportunity to begin getting to know one another. Beginning at an elevation of 5,840 feet, we make our way into the portal of the canyon where the Escalante River enters the soaring sandstone walls at the sharp flexure of the Escalante Monocline. The town is just a mile away, but we might as well have stepped back in time and fallen in stride with the explorers of yesterday. We track the sandy bench trails that follow the serpentine course of this crazy crooked creek, wading occasionally for a cool down. Our destination is the Escalante’s confluence with the clear-flowing tributary of Death Hollow. We’ll camp along the sandy river bank with the sheer cliffs of the canyon looming nearby.

Hiking

4-6 miles on trail and through river

Meals

Breakfast on your own, lunch and dinner included

Lodging

Backcountry camping

Hikers next to Escalante River on backpacking trip

Carrying only our daypacks, we venture deep into the labyrinths of Death Hollow where the cascading creek, swimming holes, and grottos of fern and moss create an otherworldly atmosphere. Narrower than the canyon of the Escalante, Death Hollow is filled with vibrant contrasts in color, vegetation and light. Depending on the water level of the river, we may hike to a colossal waterfall (though water’s not always falling) hidden deep in the recesses of Mamie Canyon. Be prepared for water fun as we snake in and out of the river making our way up the canyon. Some rock scrambling may be involved, but the destination is sure to be worthwhile. Or you can opt to bask on the banks of the playful swimming holes or boulders lying under the innumerable shady alcoves in this area. We return to camp for another great meal and evening under the stars.

Hiking

2-6 miles on trail and through river

Meals

All meals included

Lodging

Backcountry camping

Hikers next to Escalante River on backpacking trip

Wake up early to the quietness our hideaway offers, and savor a few moments over a steaming cup of coffee. After breaking camp, we once again tag along the meanderings of the Escalante downstream. Fantastic manifestations of human and geological history await us towards the end of the trail. We enjoy these impressive treasures in relative solitude, relishing not having to compete with numerous tourists. A single short stretch leads us to the Escalante Natural Arch towering over a large well-preserved Anasazi granary. Beyond here, tucked in a side canyon at 130 feet high and 100 feet across, we encounter the largest natural bridge in the Grand Staircase. All too soon we begin to see day hikers and hear the sound of Highway 12 Scenic Byway. After a stop at a local coffee shop for a well-deserved reward, we shuttle back to the town of Escalante where we bid our farewells.

Hiking

6-8 miles on trail and through river

Meals

Breakfast and lunch included, dinner on your own

Lodging

On your own

Note about itinerary changes: We do our best to operate each trip as closely as possible to the published itinerary, however there are sometimes forces outside of our control that could require us to make adjustments to the operations of a trip. These include but are not limited to weather, natural disasters, road closures, park closures, campsite availability, emergency guest illness or injury.