Utah's Escalante Country Greatest Hits BaseCamp 
Capitol Reef & Grand Staircase
A Geologist Experience
Trip Details

Type: BaseCamp Hiking and Canyoneering

Trip Code: UTEB

Duration: 5 Days

Distance: Up to 36 mi/59 km

Fitness: 2
Comfort: 2
Solitude: 4

Origin: St. George, Utah

Cost: $1300/person

Trip Description:

The Utah Escalante Country Greatest Hits BaseCamp tour gives a unique view into some of Utah's most wild, remote, and most spectacular scenery.  From our comfortable and private camp site near Boulder, Utah, we will hike, canyoneer, and explore Capitol Reef National Park and the Waterpocket Fold, Kodachrome Basin, and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.  There is so much adventure to be had here, it seems almost impossible to boil it down to just a few days, but we do our best on this epic trip, with an intinerary that includes adventurous hiking, exploring hidden canyons, and reveling in some of the most unspoiled and outstanding wilderness in Utah, the American Southwest, and the world.

  1. Capitol Reef National Park
  2. Calf Creek Falls, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
  3. Kodachrome Basin State Park, Utah
  4. Capitol Reef National Park
  5. Enter if You Dare, Capitol Reef National Park
  6. Calf Creek Falls, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
  7. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
  8. The Volcano, Utah
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Trip Itinerary

Day 1:

The Utah Escalante Greatest Hits BaseCamp tour begins with a tremendous scenic drive through some of Utah's canyon country, skirting around Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and part of the Grand Staircase before we stop to hike and explore in Kodachrome Basin State Park, one of Utah's hidden gems.  Wild rock formations and an epic geologic history awaits you in this incredible landscape.  After excellent hiking and a delicious lunch, we will continue our trek towatds Boulder, where we will set up our comfortable and private camp site, and prepare for our wonderful jouney ahead.
Drive Time: 4.5 hours
Distance & Elevation: 4 miles, 160 foot descent
Light Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 2:

Today we will stretch our legs, after a hearty breakfast of course, during some excellent canyon hiking in the Grand Staircase.  We will see natural arches, soaring cliffs, and a very special and unique feature known as "The Volcano".  The Grand Staircase offers almost limitless opportunity for hiking and exploration, and we will take every possible moment to do just that before we return to camp and revel under some of the best stars in the Lower 48. 
Distance & Elevation: 9 miles, 160 foot descent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3:

Our third day is chock full of more geologic hiking adventure as we head into Capitol Reef National Park.  Your geologist/guide will choose an excellent hike for the group that will showcase this wondrous and unique area, which boasts the biggest, baddest monocline of them all, the Waterpocket Fold.
Distance & Elevation: Up to 10 miles, up to 1000 foot descent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4:

Want more Laramide deformation?  You got it.  Today's adventure is canyoneering along the San Rafael Swell, often referred to as "Utah's Little Grand Canyon".  This part of Utah is incredibly unique and special, and we will foray into its heart as we hike and explore some excellent narrows for some outstanding adventure.
Distance & Elevation: 9 miles, 600 foot descent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5:

Our final day in the Escalante Country will see us into the wonderful Calf Creek Falls, a spectacular waterfall in the Grand Staircase.  This is one of the most popular and scenic adventures in the Grand Staircase, and here we will unwind and refelct on our wonderful adventure, while drinking in the exquisite falls.  We will then make our way back to St. George, this time going directly though the heart of Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks.
Distance & Elevation: 4 miles, minimal descent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Drive Time: 4 hours

*Final itineraries are occasionally subject to change due to permit/campsite availability, park restrictions/closures, weather conditions and/or road closures.

What’s Included:
A professional, degreed, licensed and medically trained geologist/guide
All necessary gear: daypack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, trekking poles
All cooking/eating gear: bowls, cups, utensils (your geologist/guide will prepare all meals)
All food, including a mix of fresh and pre-made backcountry meals
Roundtrip Transportation from your hotel in Saint George, Utah to all activities/attractions
Entrance fees, camping fees, and backcountry permits

Meals: what to expect
We provide all your meals from a light breakfast on day 1 through lunch the last day. Your geologist/guide will prepare a variety of meals on the trail and in camp that will fit the day's activity. Feel free to tell us about your food preferences, as we're more than happy to tailor the menu to your needs/desires. Some specialty diets may require an additional fee.

All meals will consist of one entree, prepared by your geologist/guide.  Fresh options will be available, and meals will be served cafeteria-style on covered tables.  There will be trail snacks that consist of nuts, fruits, chocolate, and other "gorp" style mixes.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.

What’s Not Included:
Transportation to/from St. George, Utah
Lodging the night before/after the trip
Clothing, raingear, and footwear
Personal toiletries, sunscreen
Water bottles/hydration bladder
Headlamp or flashlight
Guide gratuity (suggested 10-15% of trip cost)
*Upon booking you will receive a detailed trip information packet

How many people are in the group?
Most basecamping trips in Utah will accommodate 6 people plus one geologist/guide. On occasion, a group may be as large as 8 people plus 2 guides.

Are there age restrictions?
Children under 12 are generally not permitted on any of Blue Marble's scheduled trips.  This can be negotiable on private tours, please contact us to discuss this policy

How do I sign up?
In order to confirm a reservation , we require an initial deposit of $500 per person, with the final balance due 90 days prior to the trip’s departure. If you book a trip within 90 days of the trip’s scheduled departure, then full payment is due at the time of booking.  Your deposit is payable over the phone by Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, or Discover. Checks by mail are fine as well, as are bank transfers ($35 transfer fee). Call our office Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm Arizona time. 1-602-904-2536
Travel Logistics

Where does the trip begin/end?
This trip will begin/end in St. George, Utah and you will need to spend the night prior to your trip’s scheduled departure in Saint George. You will want to fly into Saint George. Please visit our  Travel Resources  page for information on airports, shuttles/rental cars and recommended hotels.

Where do you meet our guides?
We will hold a pre-trip orientation at 4:30pm the evening prior to your trip’s departure at the host hotel in St. George. Departure times and logistics for the following morning will be discussed at the orientation.  Most trips will depart between 5am and 6am.

*This meeting is not mandatory, but highly recommended, as we will depart early the next morning. If you are unable to attend, please let us know in advance so that we can make alternate arrangements.

What do we do with our car and extra stuff?
We will provide all transportation to/from trailheads for the duration of the trip. We will pick you up at the host hotel in St. George and return you there at the trip’s conclusion. Guests staying at the host hotel can leave their cars at the hotel. These hotels will often store your luggage for you, as well. If not, we are happy to store extra luggage at a secure location for the duration of the trip. If you are staying at a different hotel, you will need to check with them as to whether you can leave your car there

What time will we get back on the last day?
Expect to be back in St. George by 8pm at the latest on the last day of the trip. Some trips will return earlier but we cannot make any guarantees. In general, it is recommended that you do not plan to fly home on the same day your trip finishes. Since each trip has slightly different logistics, feel free to contact us with specific questions related to the expected return time for your trip.

Trip Dates

2017 Dates
May: 8-12
June: 21-25

2018 Dates
May: 8-12
June: 21-25

More dates to come soon…
Don’t see your dates? Custom dates may be available!
Call 1-602-904-2536 or email us  for details.