Canyonlands and Arches National Parks – I
April 15 - 20, 2018
(6 days, 5 nights; Sun - Fri)Alternate Tour Dates
Includes all lodging, all meals, park entrance fees, rafting program, van shuttles, leaders, trail maps and narratives.
Grand Junction, CO
Timberline van shuttle is included from and to Grand Junction, CO prior to and following the tour.
Not included: Airline service to Grand Junction Regional Airport, CO; Guide Gratuity.
Hotel 8:00 am
Moab, UT is the mountain biking mecca of global proportions! But Moab’s best-kept secret is its phenomenal hiking opportunities.
Of all of the five national parks within the state of Utah, Canyonlands 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 slick rock.
Timberline will provide a van shuttle early morning of Day 1 from Grand Junction to Canyonlands National Park. Our introduction will be a hike in The Island-in-The-Sky District, with a 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 Trail head with its awesome view of the Shafer Trail that descends from Island-in-the-Sky to the White Rim (5 miles). Back in the van, we’ll pass through Moab and spend the first of two nights in Monticello. The Needles District will be our hiking destination for Days 2 and 3. We’ll then continue to Moab for our first of three nights.
Early morning of Day 2, we’ll van shuttle to The Needles District, 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 fantasy land of Devil’s Garden (8 miles). A change of pace is planned Day 5 as we enjoy a gentle, scenic float on a raft down the Colorado River.
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, Day 6 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 Grand Junction.
Elevation Chart Image Descriptions:
Day 1- Neck Springs; Day 2- Confluence; Day 3- Chestler Park; Day 4- Arches Devil’s Garden; Day 6 Iconic Arch
|Day 1||Assembly in Grand Junction - van shuttle to Canyonlands National Park; Hike Neck Spring/Island-in-the-Sky District/Canyonlands National Park; van shuttle to Moab||5|
|Day 2||The Needles District, Canyonlands National Park: Hike to the Confluence Overlook of the Colorado and Green Rivers||12|
|Day 3||The Needles District, Canyonlands National Park: Chesler Park; van shuttle to Moab; overnight at the Canyonlands Inn||10|
|Day 4||Arches National Park: Devil's Garden||8|
|Day 5||Rafting (gentle floating) down the Colorado River|
|Day 6||Arches National Park: hike to Delicate Arch, Double Arch and the Window; van shuttle return to Grand Junction||6|