Canyonlands/Arches Hiking Tour
(includes all lodging, all meals, park entrance fees, rafting program, van shuttles, leaders, trail maps & narratives)
Moab, Utah mountain biking mecca of global proportions! That's the image most commonly associated with Moab. Timberline, in fact, staged a wide range of mountain bike activities in the region well before it became fashionable to do so. But Moab's best-kept secret is its phenomenal hiking opportunities.
Perhaps Canyonlands, of all of the five national parks within the state of Utah, offers the grandest array of geologic and geographic phenomena that define Utah. Within the park's vast expanse are two of the west's great rivers the Colorado and Green gaping canyons, open desert and towering mesas covered with stands of pinion and juniper, natural arches, spires and towers, and miles and miles of colorful slickrock.
Timberline will provide a van shuttle early morning of Day 1 from Salt Lake City to Canyonlands. We're headed to Monticello because of its proximity to the Needles District where we'll hike on Days 2 and 3. Enroute to Monticello, we'll head for the Island-in-the-Sky District of Canyonlands and hike to Neck Spring , a great introduction to the ecology and geology of canyon country. Near the conclusion of the Neck Spring hike, we'll pause at the Shafer Canyon Trailhead with its awesome view of the Shafer Trail that descends from Island-in-the-Sky to the White Rim (5 miles). We'll then continue to Monticello and our first of two overnights.
Early morning of Day 2, we're off to The Needles, a vast wild region of the park, laced with serpentine canyons and towering spires of pink sandstone. Our goal is the breathtaking overlook of the confluence of the Colorado and Green Rivers and the awesome 1,000-foot-deep gorges these great rivers have carved through the rugged Colorado Plateau landscape (12 miles).
On Day 3, we'll return to the Needles District and hike to Chesler Park, a hike widely regarded as the premier hike in all of Canyonlands. Chesler Park, more than any other trail in Needles, showcases the amazing sandstone spires for which this region is named. We'll also experience the exciting Joint section of the trail that leads to an incredible view of the expanse of Chesler Park. Following our Chesler Park adventure, we're headed for Moab and our final three nights at the Canyonlands Inn.
Our focus on Day 4 will be Arches National Park with its astounding array of sandstone arches. We'll hike the complete loop through the fantasyland of Devil's Garden (8 miles). A change of pace is planned Day 5 when we challenge the rapids of the Colorado River as part of a full-day whitewater rafting adventure.
Perhaps Utah's best-known and certainly most- photographed natural feature is Delicate Arch in Arches and that's our destination for our final day of this hiking tour (5 miles). And since we're in the neighborhood, we won't leave Arches before visiting Double Arch and The Windows. Our hiking trip will conclude with a van shuttle back to Salt Lake City.
|Day 1||Assembly in Moab (van shuttle from Salt Lake); Hike Neck Spring/Island-in-the-Sky District/Canyonlands National Park (5 miles); van shuttle to Monticello||5 miles|
|Day 2||The Needles/Canyonlands National Park: Hike to the Confluence Overlook of the Colorado and Green Rivers||12 miles|
|Day 3||The Needles/Canyonlands National Park: Chesler Park; van shuttle to Moab; overnight at the Canyonlands Inn||10 miles|
|Day 4||Arches National Park: Devil's Garden||8 miles|
|Day 5||Whitewater rafting on the Colorado River or Hiking options|
|Day 6||Arches National Park: hike to Delicate Arch, Double Arch and the Windows (6 miles); van shuttle return to Salt Lake City||6 miles|