"The scenery was spectacular, the dinners fantastic, accommodations were quite lovely, and the hiking was terrific. I was very pleased with this trip and have recommended it to others. This is my third trip with Ken, first with Willi, and I would not hesitate to join them again. I really can't say enough nice things about them, they were WONDERFUL! I look forward to having them as guides again. Ryder Walker has two gems in these boys."- Pam Tudot
"Sedona was fantastic. Moab was majestic."- Angela Bass
Enjoy moderately strenuous hiking amidst sandstone towers and serpentine canyons.
Indulge in post-hike pampering in the trendy outdoor adventure meccas of Sedona, Arizona and Moab, Utah.
Splash and smile through gnarly sections of whitewater on the San Juan River.
Fill your cameras with photos of scenic vistas and vestiges of ancient civilizations.
Our Arches and Canyonlands hiking tour begins in Sedona, Arizona, a town with an established reputation for exquisite dining, inspired art galleries and a plethora of outdoor activities. By day, we explore an enchanting desert landscape, hiking one of the many backcountry trails that spiderweb throughout the region. By night, we relax our sun-tanned bodies, with wine in hand, at one of Sedona’s premier luxury resorts.
Continuing our hike to the tranquil hamlet of Bluff, Utah, we trade our hiking boots for paddles and bounce through one of the most exciting whitewater sections of the San Juan River. Using the riverboat as our base, explore ancient rock art and cliff dwellings with some dating back 5,000 years. Sun-drenched beaches, lost civilizations and two nights at a historic B&B make Bluff an irresistible desert retreat.
No desert tour would be complete without a visit to Moab, Utah, a vibrant oasis that continues to build upon its distinction as an outdoor adventure mecca. Your guide(s) lead you off the beaten path to explore hidden labyrinths, whimsical rock formations and natural sandstone arches. Return from the wild and bed down in one of Moab’s most comfortable retreats.
Transfer to Sedona and our well-appointed hotel. Sedona’s town center is lively with outdoor cafes, eclectic shops, art galleries and people from all over the world. The accommodations are divine and the culinary options superb.
Our goal for the first day’s outing is one of Sedona’s best loop hikes. The David Miller trail connects Secret Canyon to Bear Sign Canyon and makes an ideal start to the week.
Distance: 7.5 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 1200 ft.
An absolute Sedona classic is on offer today, complete with an option to climb to the top of Wilson Mountain. After a quick shuttle into Oak Creek our trail climbs through Ponderosa pine forest en route to the ‘first bench’. The beautiful descent passes Steamboat Rock and connects all the way back to Sedona itself.
Distance: 8 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 1600/2000 ft (+1.5 miles and +800 ft. for summit.)
A fascinating travel day features several excursions along the way, including a short hike into the West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon, a visit to the Wupatki Indian ruins, and a look at the Sunset Crater National Monument. We end the day with a crossing of Monument Valley at sunset, sure to be a highlight of the trip!
Distance: 3 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 500 ft.
We trade our hiking boots for paddles as we wind our way down a magnificent stretch of the San Juan River. Local river guides lead us on a journey of discovery through hundreds of millions of years of geologic history. We will take in some of the finest examples of rock art and cliff dwellings that lie along the calm sections of the river. Researchers estimate that some of the rock art found in this region goes back 5,000 years.
Distance: 1 mile. Elevation gain/loss: 100 ft.
Another astonishingly beautiful travel day takes us to Moab, Utah by way of Canyonlands National Park. We drive through Indian Creek, featuring some of the world’s most famous rock climbs, and visit the Needles District of the park for a great loop hike on the Slick Rock trail. Overnight in another wonderful bed and breakfast.
Distance: 3 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 350 ft.
We spend today in and around the multitude of Arches in the park. The main goal is the Dark Angel spire, but the approach to the trailhead is worth the price of admission itself. The full loop, taking the ‘primitive trail’ is one of the great hikes in the desert southwest.
Distance: 8 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 1800 ft.
Our second day in Moab combines everything wonderful about the desert. Embark on a remote and rarely visited canyon descent, enjoy fantastic wildflower blooms and lost alcoves. The snow-capped peaks of the La Sal mountains present a stunning backdrop against endless miles of red sandstone.
Distance: 6 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 150/900 ft.
Grand Junction, CO is the most convenient departure for this tour.