Utah’s National Parks
Explore the history, ecology and scenery of five national parks and monuments on the Colorado Plateau. Experience the dramatic cliffs of Zion and the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon. Hike amid multi-hued cliffs, spires, and arches of Cedar Breaks; the Waterpocket fold of Capitol Reef; and slot-canyons in Grand Staircase-Escalante. Learn about federal policies that have led to notably different development of these parks. Former Park Ranger Frank Ackerman leads our trip.
Arrive independently the previous night. Meet for an early morning orientation at the Las Vegas DoubleTree before we depart. After stopping in St. George for lunch, continue to Cedar Breaks National Monument, which encompasses a 5-mile wide natural limestone amphitheater. From its 10,000-foot-high rim, experience views across the multihued cliffs, spires, and arches of its eroded slopes. Hike the 2-mile Alpine Pond Trail, set amid spruce trees and bristlecone pines. Continue to Bryce Canyon National Park. The Lodge at Bryce Canyon (L,D)
Visit the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center and hike the Rim Trail. Experience the canyon’s intricate geological display from the rim at Bryce Point and Paria View, and below the rim on the Navajo and Queens Garden Trails on a 3-mile loop. This afternoon savor the ambiance of the Lodge, designed in 1924 by master architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood. The lodge and its cabins were recognized in 1987 as a National Historic Landmark. The Lodge at Bryce Canyon (B,L,D)
Travel along scenic highway 12 to Grand Staircase Escalante. Explore one of the narrow, steep-walled slot canyons characteristic of the Escalante Country, as it branches off of Long Canyon. Travel through pinyon-juniper woodlands to the rim of the 100-mile-long monocline known as the Waterpocket Fold, which once blocked the progress of emigrant wagon trains. Lodge at Red River Ranch (B,L,D)
Visit the pioneer Mormon community of Fruita, including a stop at the old schoolhouse, in the verdant bottomlands of the Fremont River. View petroglyphs and take a 3-mile hike into the Fold on the Grand Wash Trail. Return via the 2-mile trail in Cohab Canyon. Lodge at Red River Ranch (B,L,D)
Visit Anasazi State Park, the anthropology museum, and the excavated site of a 1,000-year-old village. The Fremont prehistoric people occupied most of Utah during the same period as the Ancestral Puebloans. Artifacts recovered from this site, as well as its architecture, reflect a prehistoric “melting pot.” Take a 3-mile, out-andback hike along the Escalante River, crossing it several times before continuing on to Zion, the oldest of the parks on this tour. Desert Pearl Inn (B,L,D)
Enjoy a 1-mile roundtrip hike up to the canyon rim for an overview of Zion. Explore the area along the Virgin River within Zion Canyon, the heart of the park. Take a shuttle bus ride to the Temple of Sinawava and continue on foot along the paved Riverside Walk trail to the Narrows of Zion Canyon. Enter the river for a unique hiking experience, traveling a few miles further through the river (water shoes needed) for a total of 4 miles roundtrip. This afternoon visit the Zion Human History Museum. Desert Pearl Inn (B,L,D)
Relax at the hotel or head back into Zion for an optional 4-mile hike to Scout Lookout. After freshening up, depart for Las Vegas with a lunch stop on the way. Please book your flights for 6:00 p.m. or later. (B,L)
Cost and Details
$3,995 per person, double occupancy
$795, Single room supplement
6 nights accommodation as specified; round-trip transfers from Las Vegas to Utah’s National Parks; all park admission fees; daily hiking activities; all ground transportation; daily breakfast (6) at the hotel or nearby, 7 lunches and 6 dinners, welcome and farewell dinners with beer and wine; tours, entrances, and events as specified in the itinerary; van transportation for all excursions; gratuities for hotel staff, restaurant staff, drivers and for all group activities; expert guide Frank Ackerman; services of a professional tour manager and assistant.
Air transportation to and from Las Vegas, Nevada; hotel accommodations in Las Vegas; meals and beverages other than those specified as included; optional excursions and other activities done independently; trip cancellation/interruption and baggage insurance; personal items such as email, telephone and fax calls, souvenirs, laundry; and gratuities for non-group services.
Average temperatures in June range from day-time highs in the 70s-90s and overnight lows down to the 40s-50s. We’ll also be at a variety of elevations from 4,000 to more than 10,000 feet.
Travelers should be in active good health to participate in this trip. Most hikes are between 2 to 5 miles with a 200 to 500 feet elevation gain. Walks are not too strenuous, but some are over uneven terrain and may require the use of hands and feet to climb over obstructions. Two hikes include walking through stretches of rivers, so closed-toe water shoes are needed. Our longest day of hiking is up to 5 miles, with approximately 1,000 feet in elevation gain. Most hikes are “out and back” so participants can go as far as they like, and then wait for the group to return. Optional trekking poles will be provided to all guests for the duration of the tour.
Our transportation around the region is by van. Given the vastness of the area, there is some time to be spent in the van driving between parks, but we’ve designed it so you alternate days with longer drives (3 to 4 ½ hrs) with days with much less driving (1 to 2 hrs).
evolution of park policy over the past 100 years and, in specific, the delicate balance of the dual mandate of preservation and promotion of visitation. He is also excited to teach you about the spectacular desert flora and fauna, and the geology and human history of the region.
Terms and Conditions
Deposits and Payments
To make a reservation, a deposit of $500 per person is required by check or credit card. Please mail your check (payable to “Black Sheep Adventures, Inc”) or charge instructions, with your completed reservation form to the address on the reservation form. You may also fax in your reservation form or call our office or call (415) 597-6720. Final payment is due no later than April 21, 2017. For those who pay by credit card, BSA will charge your card the balance due at 60 days prior if no other payment has been made. Charges will appear on your credit card statement as “BSA Tour 866-6474337” or “Stripe”.
Cancellations and Refunds
Your deposit and payments are refundable, less the following cancel fees:
• 91+ days prior to trip start date, $100 per person
• 61-90 days prior to trip start, $500 deposit
• 0-60 days prior to trip start, No refund
We recommend trip-cancellation insurance; applications will be sent to you. Tour can also be cancelled due to low enrollment. Neither CWC nor Black Sheep Adventures accepts liability for cancellation penalties related to domestic or international airline tickets purchased in conjunction with the tour.
Participation in this program requires that you be in good health. It is essential that persons with any medical problems and related dietary restrictions make them known to us well before departure.
We require membership to the Commonwealth Club to travel with us. People who live outside of the Bay Area may purchase a national membership. To learn about membership types and to purchase a membership, visit our membership page or call (415)597-6720.
We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance, which is available for coverage of expenses in conjunction with cancellation due to illness or accident. Baggage insurance is also recommended. In the event you must cancel your participation in the travel program, trip cancellation insurance may be the only source of reimbursement. Information will be sent upon registration and can be viewed Travel Insurance Services website.
The Commonwealth Club of California and our ground operators and suppliers act only as agents for the travelers with respect to transportation and arrangements, and exercise every care possible in doing so. However, we can assume no liability for injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity in connection with the service of any automobile, motorcoach, or any other conveyance used in carrying out this program or for the acts or defaults of any company or person engaged in conveying the passenger or in carrying out the arrangements of the program. We cannot accept any responsibility for losses or additional expenses due to delay or changes in air or other services, sickness, weather, strike, war, quarantine, force majeure or other causes beyond our control. All such losses or expenses will have to be borne by the passenger as tour rates provide arrangements only for the time stated. We reserve the right to make such alterations to this published itinerary as may be deemed necessary. The right is reserved to cancel any program prior to departure in which case the entire payment will be refunded without further obligation on our part. No refund will be made for an unused portion of any tour unless arrangements are made in sufficient time to avoid penalties. The Commonwealth Club of California accepts no liability for any carrier’s cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a nonrefundable ticket in connection with the tour.