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CAPITOL REEF NATIONAL PARK GUIDED HIKING TOURS

Winding slot canyons, waterfalls, natural arches and bridges, hoodoos, cliffside overlooks…the incredible diversity of Capitol Reef provides something for everyone.

We can provide excellent interpretation and knowledge on the popular frontcountry hikes, but we really love taking people off the beaten path and helping them get out of their comfort zone in the solitude of the rugged backcountry.

Tours Offered

  • Capitol Reef Slot Canyons
  • Capitol Reef Waterfalls & Slot Canyon
  • Lower Spring Canyon
  • Capitol Reef Classics – Guided frontcountry hikes
  • Upper Muley Twist + Waterpocket Fold Jeep Tour
  • Custom Tours
Sulphur Creek Capitol Reef National Park Hikes Shuttles Adventure Waterfalls

Tour Description

The perfect hike to beat the heat! Sulphur Creek is one of our favorite hikes in the park, but most people never have the opportunity to hike it because they lack multiple vehicles for the shuttle and the experience to tackle it’s obstacles. It’s also the best hike for the summer, the water is so cool and refreshing!

We’ll be hiking 6 miles one way down a narrow canyon with huge walls and running water (mostly ankle deep), climbing past waterfalls, wading through sections of deep water (water levels change by season), and sliding down a cascade into a natural pool as a glorious finale. 

This point to point thru-hike requires a shuttle or hitchhiking for hikers tackling this trek on their own, which we provide.

You will get wet and scramble down 10-15 feet drops, but our guides will be there to help you tackle any obstacles. This is the closest Capitol Reef equivalent of the famous Narrows in Zion, but without the crowds. 

Currently the deepest water you must hike in is thigh deep, but conditions do change throughout the year.

Half Day

Full Day – includes lunch

Both tours

Tour Description

Slot canyons are one of the most magical, unique experiences in southern Utah –  squeezing through a narrow canyon with towering rock walls is an adventure like none other.
 
The Waterpocket Fold district of Capitol Reef offers nearly unlimited varieties of slot canyons – some may require all day hiking, scrambling, and even rock climbing skills to navigate boulders and cliffs, some are mostly flat, at a minimum you’ll  need to be able to walk on occasionally uneven and rocky terrain.
 
Our experienced guides ensure you get to experience the magic for yourself by finding the perfect canyons to explore and assisting you along the way. We love providing a helpful hand and steady shoulder when it comes to some of the trickier obstacles.
 
If you’ve never been in a slot canyon before, we cannot recommend them enough.The options for slot canyons depend on length of time desired, as well as your mobility as a hiker. Some slot canyons are 1-2 miles of mostly flat terrain, others can be as long as 14 miles, and include stemming, bouldering, and scrambling.  Burro Wash, Cottonwood Wash, Sheets Gulch, Oak Creek, Pleasant Creek, Surprise Canyon, and Headquarters Canyon are all options.
 

Possible canyons to explore

  • Burro Wash
  • Cottonwood Wash
  • Sheets Gulch
  • Headquarters/Surprise Canyon
  • Pleasant Creek
  • Oak Creek
  • Lower & Upper Muley Twist

Add-Ons

  • Prepared picnic box from a local cafe
  • Overnight camping

Tour Description

A full day adventure, we hike down a huge, narrow dry canyon surrounded by towering walls. An extremely picturesque yet lightly trafficked setting.

This point to point thru-hike typically requires a shuttle or hitchhiking for hikers on their own.

Every twist and turn through Spring Canyon reveals new vistas of towering cliffs, spires, and domes set amid a rugged landscape. This hike is perfect for those who want to thoroughly soak in the atmosphere and aesthetics of a stunning canyon.

This backcountry route starts uphill at first with views looking down on Chimney Rock, then gradually descends through Spring Canyon and ends with crossing the Fremont River. Prepare to get your feet wet at the very end.

Add-Ons

  • Overnight Backpacking

Tour Description

We’ll work with you to find which trails and experience will provide the perfect half day or full day adventure tailored to your needs and desires. If you don’t want to miss the famous hikes of Capitol Reef National Park, but still want our educated guides to provide assistance and in-depth knowledge.

This tour is entirely customized to what you want to see: Popular options include Hickman Bridge (1-2 hours), Cassidy Arch (2-4 hours), Pleasant Creek (1-3 hours), Cohab Canyon (2-3 hours),  and Capitol Gorge (2-3 hours); there are scores to choose from depending on desired scenery and experience. We can either do a single short hike, or jam pack as many hikes as possible in a single day

Add-Ons

  • Prepared picnic box from a local cafe
  • Sunset departure
  • Sunrise departure
  • Overnight Backpacking

UPPER MULEY TWIST + WATERPOCKET FOLD JEEP TOUR

Tour Description

One of the best hikes in Southern Utah and possibly our favorite in Capitol Reef!

This amazing 9 mile trek takes us down a slot canyon, past several arches, before climbing up cliffs to reach the epic views at the top of the Waterpocket Fold, looking down at the Strike Valley.

Our 4×4 vehicles save us 6 miles of hiking up the rugged Strike Valley road.

This hike is usually tackled as a day hike combined with our Waterpocket Fold tour, but is great as an overnight base camp for a more relaxed effort. Contact us for details!

Add-Ons

  • Overnight Base Camp
  • Overnight Backpacking

UPPER MULEY TWIST + WATERPOCKET FOLD JEEP TOUR

Tour Description

One of the best hikes in Southern Utah and possibly our favorite in Capitol Reef!

This amazing 9 mile trek takes us down a slot canyon, past several arches, before climbing up cliffs to reach the epic views at the top of the Waterpocket Fold, looking down at the Strike Valley.

Our 4×4 vehicles save us 6 miles of hiking up the rugged Strike Valley road.

This hike is usually tackled as a day hike combined with our Waterpocket Fold tour, but is great as an overnight base camp for a more relaxed effort. Contact us for details!

Add-Ons

  • Overnight Base Camp
  • Overnight Backpacking

CAPITOL REEF WATERFALLS & SLOT CANYON

Tour Description

The perfect hike to beat the heat! Sulphur Creek is one of our favorite hikes in the park, but most people never have the opportunity to hike it because they lack multiple vehicles for the shuttle and the experience to tackle it’s obstacles. It’s also the best hike for the summer, the water is so cool and refreshing!

We’ll be hiking 6 miles one way down a narrow canyon with huge walls and running water (mostly ankle deep), climbing past waterfalls, wading through sections of deep water (water levels change by season), and sliding down a cascade into a natural pool as a glorious finale. 

This point to point thru-hike requires a shuttle or hitchhiking for hikers tackling this trek on their own, which we provide.

You will get wet and scramble down 10-15 feet drops, but our guides will be there to help you tackle any obstacles. This is the closest Capitol Reef equivalent of the famous Narrows in Zion, but without the crowds. 

Currently the deepest water you must hike in is thigh deep, but conditions do change throughout the year.

CAPITOL REEF SLOT CANYONS

Half Day

Full Day - includes lunch

Both tours

Tour Description

Slot canyons are one of the most magical, unique experiences in southern Utah –  squeezing through a narrow canyon with towering rock walls is an adventure like none other.
 
The Waterpocket Fold district of Capitol Reef offers nearly unlimited varieties of slot canyons – some may require all day hiking, scrambling, and even rock climbing skills to navigate boulders and cliffs, some are mostly flat, at a minimum you’ll  need to be able to walk on occasionally uneven and rocky terrain.
 
Our experienced guides ensure you get to experience the magic for yourself by finding the perfect canyons to explore and assisting you along the way. We love providing a helpful hand and steady shoulder when it comes to some of the trickier obstacles.
 
If you’ve never been in a slot canyon before, we cannot recommend them enough.The options for slot canyons depend on length of time desired, as well as your mobility as a hiker. Some slot canyons are 1-2 miles of mostly flat terrain, others can be as long as 14 miles, and include stemming, bouldering, and scrambling.

Possible canyons to explore

  • Burro Wash
  • Cottonwood Wash
  • Sheets Gulch
  • Headquarters/Surprise Canyon
  • Pleasant Creek
  • Oak Creek
  • Lower & Upper Muley Twist

Add-Ons

  • Prepared picnic box from a local cafe
  • Overnight camping

LOWER SPRING CANYON

Tour Description

A full day adventure, we hike down a huge, narrow dry canyon surrounded by towering walls. An extremely picturesque yet lightly trafficked setting.

This point to point thru-hike typically requires a shuttle or hitchhiking for hikers on their own.

Every twist and turn through Spring Canyon reveals new vistas of towering cliffs, spires, and domes set amid a rugged landscape. This hike is perfect for those who want to thoroughly soak in the atmosphere and aesthetics of a stunning canyon.

This backcountry route starts uphill at first with views looking down on Chimney Rock, then gradually descends through Spring Canyon and ends with crossing the Fremont River. Prepare to get your feet wet at the very end.

Add-Ons

  • Overnight Backpacking

CAPITOL REEF CLASSICS - FRONTCOUNTRY HIKES

Tour Description

We’ll work with you to find which trails and experience will provide the perfect half day or full day adventure tailored to your needs and desires. If you don’t want to miss the famous hikes of Capitol Reef National Park, but still want our educated guides to provide assistance and in-depth knowledge.

This tour is entirely customized to what you want to see: Popular options include Hickman Bridge (1-2 hours), Cassidy Arch (2-4 hours), Pleasant Creek (1-3 hours), Cohab Canyon (2-3 hours),  and Capitol Gorge (2-3 hours); there are scores to choose from depending on desired scenery and experience. We can either do a single short hike, or jam pack as many hikes as possible in a single day

Add-Ons

  • Prepared picnic box from a local cafe
  • Sunset departure
  • Sunrise departure
  • Overnight Backpacking

UPPER MULEY TWIST + WATERPOCKET FOLD JEEP TOUR

Tour Description

One of the best hikes in Southern Utah and possibly our favorite in Capitol Reef!

This amazing 9 mile trek takes us down a slot canyon, past several arches, before climbing up cliffs to reach the epic views at the top of the Waterpocket Fold, looking down at the Strike Valley.

Our 4×4 vehicles save us 6 miles of hiking up the rugged Strike Valley road.

This hike is usually tackled as a day hike combined with our Waterpocket Fold tour, but is great as an overnight base camp for a more relaxed effort. Contact us for details!

Add-Ons

  • Overnight Base Camp
  • Overnight Backpacking

UPPER MULEY TWIST + WATERPOCKET FOLD JEEP TOUR

Tour Description

One of the best hikes in Southern Utah and possibly our favorite in Capitol Reef!

This amazing 9 mile trek takes us down a slot canyon, past several arches, before climbing up cliffs to reach the epic views at the top of the Waterpocket Fold, looking down at the Strike Valley.

Our 4×4 vehicles save us 6 miles of hiking up the rugged Strike Valley road.

This hike is usually tackled as a day hike combined with our Waterpocket Fold tour, but is great as an overnight base camp for a more relaxed effort. Contact us for details!

Add-Ons

  • Overnight Base Camp
  • Overnight Backpacking

ADD-ONS AND ADDITIONAL SERVICES

$15 per picnic box
Requires 36 hours advance notice
Let us know if you’d like to add-on a picnic lunchbox for tours that don’t include a lunch. You are free to bring your own food and drink, and we provide a tasty selection snacks for you to enjoy, but you may find it convenient (and delicious!) to order a prepared picnic lunch.

We’ll send you lunch order forms and handle the rest. You’ll get a fresh, large sandwich with cookie that is the perfect companion to an incredible setting to enjoy it.

Please note: Starting November 1-April 1, we will be unable to provide picnic lunchboxes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

There are plentiful options for great sunset hikes on the Capitol Reef Classics tours.

The Waterpocket Fold district is an excellent place for an overnight camp if you’d like to explore as many slot canyons as possible. These slot canyon hikes, as well as Upper Muley Twist involve a lot of driving, by camping overnight here we can get half of the driving done the night before and be the first hikers on the trail.

Lower Spring Canyon and other longer Capitol Reef Classics hikes can be undertaken as easy overnight backpacks.

ADD-ONS AND ADDITIONAL SERVICES

$15 per picnic box
Requires 36 hours advance notice
Let us know if you’d like to add-on a picnic lunchbox for tours that don’t include a lunch. You are free to bring your own food and drink, and we provide a tasty selection snacks for you to enjoy, but you may find it convenient (and delicious!) to order a prepared picnic lunch.

We’ll send you lunch order forms and handle the rest. You’ll get a fresh, large sandwich with cookie that is the perfect companion to an incredible setting to enjoy it.

Please note: Starting November 1-April 1, we will be unable to provide picnic lunchboxes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

There are plentiful options for great sunset hikes on the Capitol Reef Classics tours.

The Waterpocket Fold district is an excellent place for an overnight camp if you’d like to explore as many slot canyons as possible. These slot canyon hikes, as well as Upper Muley Twist involve a lot of driving, by camping overnight here we can get half of the driving done the night before and be the first hikers on the trail.

Lower Spring Canyon and other longer Capitol Reef Classics hikes can be undertaken as easy overnight backpacks.

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.