Bryce and Zion National Park Extension
Bryce and Zion National Park Extension
Extend your Waterpocket Fold Adventure with a few extra days visiting some of the American Southwest’s best National Parks. Hike the infamous hoodoos in Bryce Canyon, explore local museums and discover the verdant valleys and vermillion cliffs of Zion National Park.
For standard meeting places and times, see Dates & Fees tab.
For travelers heading on to the second portion of the trip, after a hearty breakfast, make your way to Bryce Canyon National Park. Visit the ranger station and learn about the unique geological history before venturing into the park. You will have the option to explore the area from different viewpoints via shuttle or stretch your legs hiking down into Wall Street for an unforgettable experience deep within the hoodoos.
In the late afternoon, stop at the Bryce Wildlife Adventure Museum and learn about local flora and fauna from the museum curator, Robert Driedonks, before checking into your accommodations. Your group will be staying at the historic Ruby’s Inn for the next 2 nights just outside the park. Steps from the main street, this rustic lodge-style hotel is 4 miles from both the legendary stone formations in Bryce Canyon National Park and the Bryce Wildlife Adventure museum. After settling in, enjoy an unforgettable evening of old fashioned western fun, music and great cowboy food at Ebenezer’s Barn and Grill in downtown Bryce.
Start your morning with an early breakfast before setting out to visit Zion National Park for the day. Enjoy the scenic drive past checkerboard mountain and the East Temple as you make your way into the park. Choose the treacherous hike atop Angel’s Landing for the day or take a leisurely hike around Emerald Pools. Zion’s unique array of plants and animals will enchant you as you absorb the rich history of the past and enjoy the excitement of present day adventures. Enjoy dinner as a group at the southwest themed Thunderbird Restaurant in Mount Carmel Junction, en route back to the hotel.
Wake up early to catch the sunrise over Bryce Canyon before breakfast at the Inn. Pack up your belongings before making the scenic drive back to Salt Lake City. Stop at the Great Salt Lake to enjoy a picnic lunch together and take in its’ majesty. The lake, the largest of it’s kind in the Western Hemisphere, provides habitat for millions of native birds, brine shrimp, shorebirds, and waterfowl. Afterward, check into your accommodations at the Little America Hotel. Enjoy a final dinner together before preparing for tomorrow’s travels.
The day is yours to spend in Salt Lake City or to make your way back home or elsewhere. All transportation and travel arrangements are to be made on your own.
A note about the itinerary: Our trips are real adventures in the outdoors. While we'll make every effort to follow the itinerary listed here, elements may change due to weather or reasons beyond our control.
Travel, Terrain, Etc...
TERRAIN/ROUTE: Hiking routes will be primarily on established, yet rugged desert canyon trails. There are a wide variety of trails to choose from including relaxing strolls along smooth paths to strenuous hikes up steep inclines. Hikes may take you into narrow gorges, high top cliffs, under natural arches, and much more.
TYPE OF TRAVEL/DISTANCE: Hikes range from 2-8 miles for an average of 4-5 hours of physical activity per day. You will carry a day pack with only what you will need during the day. No previous experience is needed to complete this trip; however, some trails are fairly steep and being relatively fit and enthusiastic is important. The group will travel in 15-passenger vans between destinations.
WEATHER: Weather in Southern Utah changes frequently. Temperatures range from high 60s to low 80s during the day with cool nights. Be prepared for all types of weather. Rain is likely, so a good raincoat is important.
YOUR GROUP: The group will be 6-11 people total with 1 Wilderness Inquiry staff and a local guide. Each group could consist of people of various ages, backgrounds, and abilities, including people with disabilities. Our trips are cooperative in nature. Staff will assist you in whatever areas you need, however most people pitch in where they can.
ACCOMMODATIONS: We will sleep in a variety of lodges and motels at night. Typically there are 2-3 people per room, matched by gender or requests to room together. In most rooms, solo travelers have single beds and couples share beds.
SINGLE TRAVELERS: If you are traveling alone, you will feel at home with a welcoming group. If you would like to have your own room throughout the trip, you may purchase a single supplement for an additional fee. Please email or call us if you would like this option.
MEALS: All meals will be prepared for us. Meals will offer fresh, healthy ingredients for bountiful dishes. Vegetarian meals and other dietary needs are easy to accommodate. There will be plenty of snacks provided throughout each day. We'll enjoy happy hours together, but the purchase of alcoholic beverages is not included in the trip fees.
EQUIPMENT AND CLOTHING: Wilderness Inquiry will provide all group equipment. You will need to provide your personal gear as outlined in the packing list. If you are new to outdoor activities, you do not need to spend a lot of money. Wilderness Inquiry can usually arrange for you to borrow most items.A note about the itinerary: Our trips are real adventures in the outdoors. While we'll make every effort to follow the itinerary listed here, elements may change due to weather or reasons beyond our control.
Geological features provide the source of many of the park’s names in the area. The vast expanse of white Navajo Sandstone atop the sloped side of the monocline is dotted with numerous natural tanks or potholes that collect rainwater, contributing to the name "Waterpocket" Fold. Navajo Sandstone domes resemble the Capitol building, hence the name "Capitol." Many early prospectors were former sailors who likened the vertical cliffs of Wingate Sandstone to a barrier common in nautical travel, "Reef."
The area of Capitol Reef has been a home to many people for thousands of years. Originally this was home to Archaic hunters and gatherers who migrated through the canyons. Then Fremont Culture solidified, 500 CE, from food foraging groups and farmers. Petroglyphs etched into rock walls and painted pictographs remain as sacred remnants of the ancient natives' saga. Explorers, Mormon pioneers, and others arrived in the 1800s, settling in to what is now the Fruita Rural Historic District. They planted and nurtured orchards of apples, pears, and peaches, which are still present today.
The Waterpocket Fold defines Capitol Reef National Park. An 87-mile long warp in the Earth's crust, the Waterpocket Fold is a classic monocline: a regional fold with one very steep side in an area of otherwise nearly horizontal layers. A monocline is a "step-up" in the rock layers. The rock layers on the west side of the Waterpocket Fold have been lifted more than 7000 feet higher than the layers on the east.
More recent uplift of the entire Colorado Plateau and the resulting erosion has exposed this fold at the surface only within the last 15 to 20 million years. The name Waterpocket Fold reflects this ongoing erosion of the rock layers. Erosion of the tilted rock layers continues today forming colorful cliffs, massive domes, soaring spires, stark monoliths, twisting canyons, and graceful arches.
Capitol Reef National Park contains nearly a quarter million acres in the slickrock country of Utah. Plant and animal life is diverse because of a variety of habitats such as pinyon-juniper, perennial streams, dry washes and rock cliffs.
No Dates Scheduled
WI leads trips to this destination but currently has no dates scheduled. If you have a group of people interested, we can set up a customized adventure just for you! Please contact us if you are interested in a group trip to this destination.
Call us to arrange one of these trips for your group:
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