Day Hikes

Escalante River 


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The canyons and desert in the GrandStaircase/Escalante National Monument and the forests on Boulder Mountain in the Dixie National Forest offer some truly spectacular hiking. Within the canyons, the desert and on the mountain we have a multitude of quiet spots that we love to visit and share with our guests.


The wind and rain working on the high desert have produced gigantic slickrock bowls, with hidden potholes of water, and gorged out deep canyons creating lush riparian zones of the Escalante River.


Hike Selections

The Escalante Canyons and Boulder Mountain provide a wide array of hiking categories.   Within each category are many hikes from which to choose, which will have vistas as well as cultural and natural history to explore. The following hike categories describe the various types of terrain for our area.


Slickrock Hikes


The Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument is notorious for it’s massive slickrock bowls and impressive slickrock hoodoos.


The swirling patterns within the slickrock reveal the history of the ancient dunes.


These hikes visit some of the more spectacular slickrock vistas in the Monument.


Riparian Canyon Hikes


The riparian canyons are the life of the desert where the water flows.  They create the ecosystems that support a vast majority of the plants and animals of the desert.


Petroglyphs, pecked in stone, leave a lasting story and show the riparian canyons gave life to of our predecessors as well.


The riparian canyon hikes provide wonderful opportunities to discover the diversity of desert life.


And, when the temperatures sore, the waterways are a great place to keep cool.



Rim to River Hikes


The Escalante Canyons were virtually impassible until ancient natives, cowboys or pioneers eked out a few trails or “roads” from the canyon rim to rivers and creeks below.


These few routes into the canyons provide spectacular scenery and a glimpse into the true grit of the people that needed access to the plentiful water below.


The transition between the two eco systems displays the stark contrast of life in the desert – on the rim life must be tenacious in the canyon life flourishes.


Slot Canyon Hikes


Slot canyons are exciting niches tucked away in the slickrock.


Eons of erosional forces have carved slender passageways out of the massive slick rock formations .


These places  provide a spectacular playground to explore and enjoy.





Boulder Mountain Hikes

A cool hike in the ponderosas provides wonderful nature awareness opportunities – notice the deer in the center.

These mountain hikes provide a wonderful opportunity to beat the heat in the middle of summer.  The Boulder Mountain is a spectacular  flat topped mountain that is a rainwater harvester for the Boulder region.  The water percolates through the mountain and resurfaces as springs scattered throughout the mountain and desert.  The hikes provide spectacular vistas and scenery just about any time of the year – winter and early spring snowshoeing, summer strolls through the wonderfully scented forests and meadows, and the glorious fall colors.  Read more…

The Ponderosas and the Sub alpine ecosystems on Boulder Mountain provide amazing diversity to discover with secluded little ponds and gentle flowing streams.  In the fall, the the aspens create a calming golden hue on the mountain.


Hikes From Your Doorstep

When you stay at one of the picturesque rooms of the Kiva Koffeehouse and Kiva Kottage or another rare Vacation Rental By Owner location within the cottonwoods on the Escalante River, several Desert DAWN hikes are available to start right from your doorstep.  Call us and we will meet you at your door.


Discovered Places 

The Escalante Canyons have definitely been discovered.   Many places that have become popular, via social media, in the last few years are now heavily used.   We still enjoy these popular locations, by knowing the off-peak times and the nearby features that are rarely visited.  However, the area is still rich with tucked away gems that always provide wonderful hikes.  Whether you are interested in the popular locations or the tucked away gems, Desert DAWN guides can help you find the most enjoyment from any location within the Escalante Canyons.


Which hike to choose?

We feel that part of our role as your guide is to match you and your group to the hike based on our knowledge of the hundreds of hikes that are available.  Let us know your ability level, the Hike Category that interest you – Slot Canyons, Slickrock, Rim to River, Riparian Canyon or Boulder Mountain – or any of the Popular Hikes of the area that interest you and we will arrange an appropriate hike based on the weather patterns we can expect when you visit (some locations are simply not safe for hiking under certain weather conditions).  Whenever possible, we prefer to meet you the night before and discuss hike options and refine the plan for the hike.  Frequently there are a few hikes that will meet your criteria and we will discuss the benefits and challenges of each before choosing a hike.


Dates and Rates

Dates.  Day hikes are available throughout the year. Most visitors come to our area in the spring, summer and the fall, though winter hiking can be pretty amazing.  Learn more about the Four Seasons of Hiking Near Boulder, Utah.

Rates.  The day tour rates are based on the length of the tour, with shorter tours starting at $280 per day and the longer tours starting at $440 per day.  The base rate for tours covers up to four participants.  The tour rate includes local taxes.   We strive to pay the guides a fair rate for the day, thus gratuity for the guide is optional.

Large Groups.  We can accommodate hikes with large groups.  The group size limit for most areas is 12, however some areas within the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument allow up to 25 people.  Group rates are available for groups larger than four hikers.  Please contact us regarding these hiking opportunities.


Reserve Your Hike Dates

Hike Reservation Deposit.  We do not require a deposit for your hike reservation.  We trust that you are intent on your visit to the area.  We also understand that in life sometimes our best intentions become derailed.  All we ask is that if things do not go as planned that you let us know so we can release the date on our books so that someone else may enjoy the day.

Reserving a hike date is easy.  For us, we appreciate the relationships that forms when people share time together in nature.   This connection begins as we start to plan the hike, thus, we prefer to talk with you to gain an understanding of your desired hike category, special interest and ability levels.   Lets start the conversation…

Get in touch with us.

Call us at 435-335-7710, or email us using our email contact form.


Let’s Hike, Explore, and Discover!

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