SOUTHERN UTAH GUIDED HIKES
Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument are both hiker paradises, but many of its best trails are unknown, difficult to get to, or require experience and skill that may be intimidating to those unfamiliar with backcountry hiking in the desert.
Come see for yourself why this area is considered to be one of the most stunning and awe-inspiring parts in not just Utah, but the world!
Our experienced and knowledgeable guides will show you their favorite hikes in the park while sharing some of their expertise on the geology, history, and archaeology of the area.
We provide transportation and tasty snacks. You’ll need to carry your own water and wear appropriate clothing.
Almost always. We want to be able to tailor your tour to what you want to see and experience, and be able to hike at your own pace – however on very rare occasions, we may reach out and ask if you’re comfortable with a solo hiker joining your tour.
Single hikers are welcome but must typically purchase two tickets. If you’re a single hiker and another guided hike is going out on the date you’re looking for, we can ask them if they can join.
Routes and itineraries are subject to change based on weather, road conditions, and other circumstances.
If Sleeping Rainbow Adventures cancels your tour due to “Acts of God”, you will receive 100% refund.
If you cancel your tour 72 hours or more in advance, you will receive a full refund. Tours cancelled with 48-72 hours notice prior to tour will be given a 50% refund. No refund will be provided with less than 48 hour notice of cancellation, however options are available to credit your payment towards a rescheduled or future tour.
We encourage everyone to obtain travel insurance in case of last minute cancellations to be covered.
We provide pickup from your lodging in the Torrey, Utah area. We can arrange to take you from other locations if, for example, you are passing through Capitol Reef or are staying in a town like Hanksville, Boulder, or Escalante. Additional charges may apply depending on meeting location and your tour.
While not required, it is customary to tip your guide.
We bring water and snacks in our vehicles, you’ll need to carry them yourself in yor own pack. Feel free to bring anything else that can reasonably fit in a day pack.
Our full day tours when noted include a picnic box.
You’ll need to bring your own hiking clothing and footwear – we typically wear very lightweight, long-sleeved, button up shirts, and lightweight, long-legged pants – an option to zip off the legs can come in handy. A baggy fit and neutral tones like khaki and white will help keep you cool in summer. We prefer the long sleeves and legs because of the sun protection, it’s much more effective than applying and reapplying sunscreen.
For most slot canyon hikes, you’ll want clothing that you’re okay with frequent scraping on rocks as we maneuver up and over obstacles.
We highly recommend layers – the coldest part of the day is just before the sun rises, but it can warm up 30-40℉ once the sun is out. Wind, clouds, shade, and significant elevation changes on our tours mean you may be shedding and adding layers frequently.
Hats, and sunglasses are good to bring too. On windy days, contact lens wearers may want to switch to eyeglasses to avoid dust.
The most important thing to consider with your footwear should be comfort. Breaking in untested new hiking boots is usually a recipe for blisters.
For shorter hikes, most shoes will be fine. Running shoes may be the most convenient option.
For hikes with water crossing and wading, we recommend an older pair of breathable shoes – waterproof boots will trap the water around your feet. You’ll need a thick enough sole that stepping on a pointy pebble won’t be painful. We don’t recommend hiking sandals unless you’re wearing wool or neoprene socks – the straps will cut into your feet.
For longer hikes you may want to consider a proper pair of hiking boots. The solid ankle support will help a lot on uphill and downhill sections.
As guides, we typically wear Chaco Hiking Sandals. We love them! But unless you’re experienced with hiking in them in rugged conditions, we’d highly recommend you wear closed-toe footwear.
You’ll need to bring your own daypack for hiking to carry your own water and food. We do have a couple well-loved, retired packs of our own we can share if you weren’t able to bring your own. If you have a water bladder, that is the best way to stay hydrated while hiking.
Feel free to bring your own trekking poles, but we have several sets we can bring for you if you’d like. Depending on your tour, they may not be needed.
We provide water and snacks (chips, Clif Bars, Kind Bars, Nature Valley bars, fruit snacks, Rice Krispie treats) in our vehicles, you’ll be able to load up from our stash but feel free to bring your own snacks and beverages.
If you’re staying in the Torrey area, you’re drinking water is coming from a pure mountain spring! It’s safe and tasty to fill up your own bottles or water bladders before.
Don’t forget your phone to take pictures. We don’t recommend larger, more delicate cameras on our tour.
Hiking season in Southern Utah is Spring and Fall – summer hiking after 10am in 85-100℉ temperatures will be unpleasant and unsafe. We do not typically offer tours in summer – but we may make an exception if you’re an experienced hiker and we start earlier than usual.
The one guided hiking tour we typically offer in summer is our Waterfalls and Slot Canyon hike. We’ll be in water for most of the tour, on even the hottest summer days the water is cool and refreshing.
Our backcountry hikes require morning departures when it’s still chilly – some trailheads can take over an hour of driving to reach so it will begin to warm up.
Shorter hikes around Capitol Reef’s Scenic Drive and Highway 24 in the cooler months can be enjoyed at almost any time of the day. There are a few great options to enjoy the golden hour and sunset!
No experience is necessary, we’ll discuss options for hikes based on your fitness and experience.
One of our favorite things is safely helping you out of your comfort zone – we’ll help you climb up and down obstacles, navigate unimproved, hard to follow routes, and take on challenges.
Our shortest, easiest tours will still be about 2 hours of hiking and may still require elevation gain and odd angles for feet.
Our most epic guided hikes will require you to hike for 6-9 hours at altitude. If you’re used to hiking a few hours on flat terrain, you’re probably going to have a hard time.
We want you to hike at a comfortable, safe pace. We won’t be pushing you to exhaustion. You still may be challenged, but we provide that security and experience to let even first time hikers enjoy incredible settings and experiences that require hiking to access.
Child prices are for ages 5-14. Infants and toddlers under the age of 5 are free, but probably won’t be comfortable on longer tours. Unless you have significant experience with a baby carrier, several tour options may be unsafe.
Please bring your own car seats and boosters. Utah car seat laws apply to all child passengers who are younger than eight years of age and shorter than 57 inches tall. As part of these car seat regulations, child passengers must use a rear- or front-facing restraint or a high-back or backless booster seat whenever they travel by passenger vehicle.
Pets are not allowed on trails inside Capitol Reef National Park, but can roam on-leash on other public lands. Grand Staircase-Escalante has numerous pet friendly options, but you may need to lift your pet up and down obstacles.
We reserve the right for additional charges in case of extra cleaning or damage to our vehicles.
For groups of 8 or more, please call or email to book. With enough advance notice, we can accommodate up to 20 people!
Group rates vary by the size of your group, contact us for details!
Wildlife in the desert is very elusive, typically active at night and early morning . We relish every rare encounter we have with them!
Interesting animals we have encountered on our tours include Bighorn Sheep, antelope, coyotes, fox, badgers, tarantulas, and rattlesnakes, and fresh cougar and bobcat tracks.