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Summer 2018: Hike, Camp, & Backpack

May 19 - 27, 2018

Arches NP, Canyonlands NP, Utah, Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP, Colorado

Cost:  $599 / $634  + your airfare to & from Denver, CO

Sign-up by:  Midnight, Wednesday, April 18
Pre-Trip Meeting:  Thursday, March 22 at 5:30 pm

On this trip we will explore 3 national parks! There are many arches, fins, pinnacles, towers, canyons, buttes, and even balanced rocks to discover.  Red rocks and blue skies will be the theme while we are in Utah. Canyonlands is a gem of a park just waiting to be explored!  We will finish the trip in CO at a park that has some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock, and craggiest spires in North America.  Due to the desert nature of the Utah parks, we will only go on one overnight backpacking trip (in the Needles section of Canyonlands). The rest of the time will be spent day hiking. This trip will include a 2-day backpacking trip, 5 days of hiking, and a bit of driving. We will also stay in a hotel on 3 nights.   Beginner backpackers are welcome on this incredible trip. 


Cost includes: Van transportation (from/to the Denver airport), group equipment, in-camp food, camping fees, hotel on each end of the trip & on Monday, backcountry permit fees, and park entrance fees.

Space is limited to the first 9 people that sign up.  An e-mail will be sent when we have enough people to book your flight.  Use these guidelines:  Arrive in Denver no later than 2:00 pm on Sat. May 19.   Depart DEN no earlier than 8:30 am on Sun. May 27.

Tentative Itinerary 

Sat. May 19 

  • Fly to Denver, CO.  Arrive by 1 pm to meet group.
  • Stop for fuel for stoves and some groceries
  • Begin driving the 4.5 hours on I-70 through the mountains!
  • Dinner at a restaurant
  • Hotel at Grand Junction, CO

Sun. May 20

  • Drive 2 hours  to Arches National Park, UT (Easy 3.0 m. RT)(near camp)  
  • Hike w/rangers: Fiery Furnace.  Later options:  Delicate Arch, 2 Arches SE of Camp
  • Camp at Devils Garden Campground, Arches NP

Mon. May 21

  • Hike the 7.7 mile trail, RT at Devils Garden (Easy - Moderate, 8 hours, including lunch)
  • Explore, short hikes and photo opportunities, as time allows.
  • Drive to a hotel in Moab, UT

Tues. May 22

  • Drive under 1 hour to and Islands in the Sky Vis. Ctr, Canyonlands NP, UT
  • Drive in the park, stopping at a few short hikes. 
  • Drive around 2.5 hours out, around, and back in to the Needles District.
  • Camp at the Squaw Flat Campground, Canyonlands NP   

Wed. May 23

  • Drive to Elephant Hill TH and begin overnight backpack trip
  • Hike 8.5 miles, set up camp, and explore.
  • Highlights include:  Devil’s Kitchen, Chesler Park, & Joint Trail

Thurs. May 24

  • Hike to Druid Arch and out (7.5 miles total) to end backpack trip at Elephant Hill.
  • Camp at Squaw Flat Campground, Canyonlands NP

Fri. May 25

  • Drive to Big Spring Canyon Overlook and then out of the park
  • Drive 211 miles or 4.5 hours to Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP, CO
  • Stop at South Rim Visitor Center.   Hike a few short hikes. 
  • Drive to and Camp at Crawford State Park, near North Rim. 

Sat. May 26

  • Drive to nearby Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.
  • Hike North Vista Trail to Green Mountain, 7.0 mile RT.
  • Drive to 339 miles and 5.5 hours to Denver (going on I-70 Glenwood Springs east: the most scenic Interstate stretch in the US, as declared by LPR!)
  • Dinner at a restaurant
  • Hotel in Denver near the airport

Sun. May 27

  • Depart hotel early to return vans to the airport
  • Fly Back to Nashville!