Day Hikes and Tours

Erosion has patiently worked for millennia to create tapestries of rock.

Erosion has patiently worked for millennia to create tapestries of rock.

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. 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.  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.  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.

 

Hiking to the natural arch with an archeological surprise.

Hiking to the natural arch with an archeological surprise.

The deserts and mountains in Southern Utah are brimming with natural and cultural history.  Our Day Hikes discover these treasures on excursions that have awe inspiring vistas.  We provide day hikes of various abilities that are full of  interpretive experiences for travelers who want to experience more than a drive along Utah’s Highway 12 Scenic Byway.  A hike can be as short as a four hour mildly strenuous stroll or as long as a ten hour very strenuous adventure.

 

 

Approaching the falls in the Lower Calf Creek riparian zone.

Approaching the falls in the Lower Calf Creek riparian zone.

We enjoy stepping away from the crowds on hikes conducted to the three primary environments of the area – the gigantic slickrock formations and desert benches, the lush riparian canyons and the magnificent mountain forest and meadows.  We also enjoy visiting some of the more popular hikes in the area that attract hikers to some very spectacular sites.    Whatever day hike you choose, you are certain to be amazed at the beauty of South Central Utah.  Our Day Hike categories are described below.

 

Slickrock Hikes

Dramatic slickrock overlooking the life of the desert.

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 in the Monument. Read more…

Riparian Canyon Hikes

One of the many life rich areas in the Escalante River riparian zone.

The riparian zones within the canyons are the life of the desert.  These waterways create the ecosystems that support a vast majority of the plants and animals of the desert.  These hikes provide wonderful opportunities to discover the diversity of desert life.  And, when the temperatures sore, these waterways are a great place to be.  Read more…

Rim to River Hikes

Dropping down into the Escalante River on one of the routes blazed by tenacious cowboys of the old west era.

Dropping down into the Escalante River on one of the routes blazed by tenacious cowboys of the old west era.

The Rim to River Hikes provide spectacular views of the Escalante Canyon as we work our way down the canyon walls and side drainages to the Escalante River.  The two eco systems display the stark contrast of life in the desert – 0n the rim life must be tenacious in the canyon life flourishes.  Read more…

Slot Canyon Hikes

Slot canyons are beautiful ribbons cut deep into the slick rock that provide spectacular hiking opportunities.

Slot canyons are beautiful ribbons cut deep into the slick rock that provide spectacular hiking opportunities.

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.  Several slot canyons are in the guide books and have become popular destinations yet others are still tucked away gems.  We enjoy the popular slots, by knowing the off-peak times and the nearby features that are rarely visited, as well as the tucked away slots that always provide peaceful hikes.

 

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…

From Your Doorstep Hikes

Desert DAWN hikes are available to start at the doorstep of certain locations along the Escalante River.  The Kiva Koffeehouse and Kiva Kottage has two lovely rooms overlooking the Escalante River.  Here you will be able to listen to the birds in the cool of the evening while lounging on the patio overlooking the expansive Escalante Canyon   Another rare location is offered by Vacation Rental By Owner.  This beautiful home is situated in the cottonwoods right along the Escalante River.   Sooth your soul to the rippling sounds of the river as the cottonwood leaves flutter in the soft breezes.

And, when you have the desire to explore this beautiful landscape, a Desert DAWN guide will come right to your doorstep.  There are numerous rock art panels to discover, spectacular natural arches and bridges to behold and a world of nature to explore, all starting right from your vacation getaway’s doorstep.

Let’s Hike, Explore, and Discover!

Information on dates, rates and reservations is available on our Hike Reservations page.

Explore More:

Woodcraft Camping Courses               Custom Excursions                Family Excursions               Day Hikes
What is Woodcraft Camping?              Woodcraft Skills – Our Core Curriculum
Vision and Mission        Contact Us          Staff Stories
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