North America Vacations
Utah | Bryce Canyon & Zion | Family
Hike and bike national parks on this top-rated Utah Family Vacation
6 days / 5 nights
Activity Level Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.
Explore nature’s playground of desert canyons and sand castles on this six-day, family-friendly adventure through the spectacular windswept rock terrain of Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks. Our Utah Family Vacations provide an opportunity for adventurers to spend quality time with their family, but also give children a chance to make new friends. Adults and parents alike both often bond over the childlike wonder shared by the young first time explorers.
These action-packed days and star-studded nights are sure to impress both the youngest and oldest in your family as you uncover the mystery and majesty of this guide-favorite custom journey through the spectacular fairy-tale scenes of Southern Utah.
Southwestern Utah’s Bryce Canyon & Zion National Parks are two of the most geologically fascinating and stunningly beautiful places on earth. Explore colorful canyon walls and looming cliffs in Zion National Park when you trek the Canyon Overlook Trail. Hike the most magnificent slot canyon around: Zion National Park’s Virgin River Narrows, ranked fifth out of America’s best 100 adventures by National Geographic Adventure Magazine. Browse galleries in the artist conclave of Springdale and unwind each night while marveling at the brilliance of Utah’s star-lit sky.
Highlights of your Utah Family Vacation:
- Hike past waterfalls, natural springs, and hanging gardens in Zion’s Virgin River Narrows, ranked one of America’s best adventures by National Geographic
- Travel through the breathtaking red canyon walls in Snow Canyon State Park
- Explore sculpted rock gardens of brilliantly colored spires, cliffs and natural amphitheaters and take in eye-popping views from Rainbow Point
- Hike the magical hoodoo rock formations of Bryce’s Peek-a-Boo and Queens Garden trails
- Scan the expansive grasslands outside of Bryce for pronghorn antelope, the Checkerboard Mesa in Zion for bighorn sheep and Scout’s Lookout for occasional California Condor – a grand treat for wildlife lovers!
- Join a night ranger talk in Bryce for fascinating insights into the Continental US’s darkest night skies
Related Utah Family Vacation: Utah Arches & Canyonlands | Family Vacation
A few more reasons why you've gotta go:
The scenery: a high-desert spectacle of rock formations and river-carved canyons, Southern Utah is a photographer's dream.
The star gazing: due to altitude and lack of air and light pollution, star gazing in Bryce and Zion is considered the finest in the Continental U.S.
The colors: there's an ever-changing orange, amber, and red sandstone glow that dazzles from sunrise to sunset.
Las Vegas, Nevada LAS
Las Vegas, Nevada LAS
Las Vegas / St. George
This morning your guides will pick you up at your hotel in Las Vegas and drive 2.5 hours to Snow Canyon State Park where you’ll begin your first hike of the trip amid lava flows and sandstone. The lava rock we’ll see along this trail is a result of cinder cones that erupted anywhere between 1.4 million and 27,000 years ago! Indulge in meal at a nearby restaurant before beginning this afternoon’s adventure. Listen to a short bike talk by your informative guides before you bike under towering red sandstone cliffs and black lava rock, eventually ending up at our first night’s accommodation. Tonight, enjoy some exceptional cuisine at the unique and contemporary Painted Pony restaurant in St. George. The Best Western Plus Abbey Inn will be our home for the night.
About the Best Western Plus Abbey Inn
Conveniently located, the best Western Plus Abbey Inn provides quick access to Bryce and Zion National parks. These luxurious accommodations offer all the amenities a guest can hope for, including an outdoor heated swimming pool, spa, and fully equipped exercise facility. Enjoy the conveniences in every room and the opportunity to rest up before transferring to the nearby Bryce Canyon entrance.
Cedar Breaks National Park / Bryce Canyon National Park
A freshly prepared breakfast will await you this morning. A short shuttle brings us to Red Cliffs Desert Reserve where we’ll take a neat hike. Red Cliffs is a 62,000-acre scenic wildlife reserve set aside to protect the Mojave Desert tortoise and other rare plants and animals • After a picnic lunch, we head to Cedar Breaks National Monument. Spectra Point Trail at Cedar Breaks will introduce you to even more stunning geology such as hoodoos, arches, and windows as you wind around the outer edge of the gorge. Enjoy the desert scenery as we finish our shuttle towards Bryce Canyon National Park. Check into your home for the next two nights and relax before dinner.
About the Lodge at Bryce Canyon
Located in Bryce Canyon National Park you will experience the rustic elegance at one of the grand western lodges designed for national parks in the 1920’s. A National Historic Landmark, The Lodge at Bryce Canyon is the only lodge of that era to remain largely intact. This historic lodge also offers unrivaled access to breathtaking views, world-class hiking trails, and a tranquil wilderness. As the only lodging within the national park, all of the facilities are just steps from the stunning ancient rock formations of the Bryce Amphitheater.
About the Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel
Located in southwest Utah just north of Bryce Canyon National Park, the Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel is surrounded by fantastic scenery, most notably rock spires of every shape and size, known locally as “hoodoos.” Experience for yourself Bryce Canyon’s newest and most luxurious accommodations and amenities with the best in western hospitality. The Bryce Canyon Grand offers an enclosed courtyard offering guest privacy for the pool, whirlpool, and patio areas. You’re invited to experience Bryce Canyon City’s newest lodging facilities while visiting the breath-taking Bryce Canyon National Park.
Peek-a-Boo and Queens Garden Trails
After a hearty breakfast, embark on a hike through the magical hoodoo rock formations of Bryce’s Peek-A-Boo and Queens Garden trails. Trek through natural sculpted rock gardens of brilliantly colored spires, cliffs, and natural amphitheaters and take in the jaw dropping views from Rainbow Point. Share your favorite parts of Bryce Canyon with the other families in your group as you dine with everyone at the lodge. If you are a night owl, be sure to take advantage of one of the clearest night skies around and try your hand at finding some of the constellations.
Zion National Park
Start the day with an easygoing bike ride under the towering cliffs and scattered pine forest of Red Canyon. After, a short shuttle will bring you to Arches Trail where you will enjoy a short hike and a picnic. Shuttle into Zion through an entrance that will leave you in awe as you wind through the magnificent canyon walls and towering cliffs that make up this majestic park. This afternoon, experience some of the best views that Zion has to offer when you hike the Emerald Pools Trail, an oasis in the middle of the desert. Take the evening to enjoy dinner on your own and explore the artsy town of Springdale.
About the SpringHill Suites
The award-winning SpringHill Suites Springdale Zion National Park offers a comfortable, elegant setting for adventurers. Located only 1 mile from Zion’s gate, the Springhill Suites is centrally located to explore everything southern Utah has to offer. After an exciting day of hiking, treat yourself to the luxuries the SpringHill Suites has to offer. Enjoy the outdoor pool and hot tub with amazing canyon views, splash pad, balconies, patios and fireplaces, or stroll along the Virgin River to take advantage of the desert dark night sky.
Explore more of the wonders that Zion has to offer today. Spend a full day walking and wading along the Virgin River, into the sheer walled canyon of the Narrows. Soak up the captivating scenery as you pass waterfalls, natural springs and hanging gardens. The Narrows hike is recognized as one of America’s best adventures by National Geographic and is one that you will not soon forget. Take time to relax and reflect before our farewell dinner at Bit & Spur.
Springdale / Las Vegas
For a final adventure, bike through Zion for the last time. Ride from the lodge to the Temple of Sinewava and then back to the visitor center to grab a delicious sack lunch for the road. Take in the beauty of this place one last time as we shuttle back to Las Vegas for our departures home.
*Trip itineraries are subject to change without notice due to road, weather and other factors outside of our control, for the safety and enjoyment of our guests, as deemed necessary and appropriate by Austin Adventures.
* During the spring, an alternate hike to Observation Point may be arranged if the Virgin River is running too high or too cold
Arrival & Departure
Please plan on arriving at least one day prior to your departure. Day one of your itinerary starts at 7:00 am or 7:20 am, depending on which Las Vegas hotel you are staying at. Your trip ends with a drop-off at the Las Vegas airport (1:30 pm) or your hotel (2:00 pm).
* Please note, there is a one-hour time difference between Las Vegas, NV (PST) and St. George, UT (MST).
Hiking: 2 to 8 miles per hike, easy to moderately strenuous terrain
Biking: 8 to 12 miles per ride, easy to moderately strenuous terrain
Austin Adventures guides are experienced facilitators and regional experts. They will take the time to explain the details of each activity, answer any questions, and demonstrate the use of all equipment. Each activity has been carefully planned to include options for all levels. Most importantly, Austin Adventures guides will help you select the distance that’s right for you.
Hear tales of the region’s history from Butch Cassidy to Mormon settlers. Learn about Canyon Country geology, including hoodoos, arches, alcoves and fins. As you pass through portions of Bryce Amphitheater on Peek-a-boo Trail, allow your mind to wander as you glimpse views of fantastically imaginative rock formations. Do you know how petrified sand dunes came about? Is Bryce Canyon really a canyon? Keep a keen eye out for mule deer, coyotes, and lizards that call the rugged, red sandstone walls of Kolob Canyon home. Absorb the magnificence of one of the most legendary canyons in all of Zion National Park, the Zion Narrows, as you walk and wade along the North Fork of the Virgin River in the midst of towering canyon walls. Learn about the freezing and thawing process called “ice-wedging” that created Bryce Canyon National Park. Come visit “The Most Colorful Park in America” (Bryce) and “The Land of Rainbow Canyons” (Zion) to witness for yourself what all the hype is about!
The hallmark of an Austin Adventures vacation is our exceptional dining. All meals: breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, refreshments and receptions – except one dinner on your own – are included as indicated by itinerary. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner). Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities are not included in the trip price.
After receiving your reservation and deposit, we’ll send you a pre-trip planner with general information about the area you’ll be visiting, a packing list, exercise guidelines, a guest information questionnaire and a liability release agreement for you to sign and return within 10 days.
Included in Trip Price
- Double occupancy rooms with private baths.
- All meals: breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners – except one dinner on own your own – refreshments and receptions .
- Fully trained, first-aid certified professional guides and knowledgeable local partners.
- Bikes, helmets and other necessary equipment – all safe and well maintained.
- Vehicle support and land transportation during the trip.
- Austin Adventures T-shirt, water bottle, luggage tags and luggage service.
- Pre-departure and packing information.
- Incidental expenses such as taxes, dining and housekeeping gratuities, local partner and expert gratuities and national park entrance and permit fees.
Not Included in Trip Price
- Gratuities to Austin Adventures guides.
- Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities.
- One dinner on your own.
- Pre-and post-trip accommodations and associated expenses.
- Air and land transportation to/from host cities.
- All types of personal insurance.
- Personal expenses.
Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.1 Easy (1)
Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.2 Moderately Easy (2)
National Parks Expert
As Vice President of Operations at Austin Adventures, Kasey Austin can tell you the logistical ins and outs of every single trip. More than that, though, Kasey has lived and breathed most of the company’s featured destinations and will eagerly share her contagious passion for the transformational power of active travel. Kasey grew up in the adventure travel business; she knows the positive, lifelong impact of family travel, a quality that earned her the distinction of being named top family travel guide by Outside Magazine in 2014.