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Canyonlands National Park

Monday, April 24, 2023 - Monday, May 1, 2023 -- $1700 ★★★★, ONLY 1 SPOT LEFT

In the remote Utah backcountry, lies a magical world of colorful canyons, mesas, and buttes called Canyonlands National Park We will be backpacking the Maze District, one of the most remote areas in the lower 48 The Maze can be challenging primarily due to dramatic drop-offs, climbs and precipices, so if you have a fear of heights, this trip is not for you. However with great challenges come great rewards like ubiquitous red rocks, ancient petroglyphs, colossal sandstone arches, turn-of-the-century ranches, winding canyons, natural bridges and elusive wildlife such as lizards, mule deer, bighorn sheep, and possibly even black bear.

Our trek begins in Moab at Tex's Riverways. Tex's will shuttle us to the Colorado River for a several hour jet boat ride that is spectacular in itself. We are dropped off at Spanish Bottom and quickly make a steep ascent to "The Dollhouse", consisting of soaring spire after soaring spire of rock formations jutting into the stratosphere. We will visit the iconic Chocolate Drops and will also see mystical Petroglyphs (ancient graffiti).

Water will be scarce at times so we will need to have enough capacity to carry as much as 8 liters (16 pounds) of water in our packs when we find it. We will know the water situation better as the trip approaches. In April, the temperatures are moderate (even cold at night) and the days get longer, with great sunsets and amazing star-gazing opportunities if you are able to stay up past dark.


Weather is always an important concern when hiking. Expect daytime hiking temperatures in the 70s and nighttime temperatures in the 40s. However, be prepared for the possibility of day temperatures as high as 90 and as low as 30, with an occasional chance of rain or possibly even snow. Here is the historical April weather. Be prepared with lots of sun protection and water containers that add up to 8 liters of capacity.

Probable Trip Leaders

Steve Silberberg
Any Other Guide(s) TBD


The trails through Canyonlands National Park are often gentle, enjoyable and dare we say easy to hike, especially when inside the level, sandy-bottomed canyons or on the flat, rocky, view-laden mesas. However, getting from the mesas to the canyons or vice-versa can be a terrifying challenge for some. A few of these transitions consist of extremely steep slickrock with sometimes dramatic, near vertical dropoffs. Almost all of these transitions contain rock scrambles that require the use of your hands and butt to navigate, all while carrying a full pack. If you have a fear of heights, this is not the trip for you.


$1700 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a room with another participant during the 1 hotel night. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Moab (CNY), personal equipment, restaurant meals eaten off the trail and any gratuities.

Covered expenses include 1 hotel night, 1 night in a campground, round-trip ground transportation from the airport to Moab, 6 days of trail meals, Jet Boat transportation, National Park permits, backcountry fees and awesome guides.

Tipping: In order to keep our prices competitive with (and hopefully favorable to) other outfitters, we shamefully can’t pay our guides as much as we think they deserve. Like most other guiding services, we rely on the generosity of our participants to make up this shortfall by tipping the guides. While tips are not required or expected, if your guides have served you well, please consider a gratuity so they can continue living their extravagant lifestyles of eating powdered meals, sleeping in the dirt and pooping in smelly outhouses and small holes they've dug.


Canyonlands National Park (as well as Fitpacking) takes Leave No Trace seriously. Toilet paper does not decompose in the Canyonlands desert ecosystem, so it must be packed out.

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Monday, April 24, 2023

Fly into Moab (CNY). The best time to arrive is between around 9AM-Noon but flights are limited. We can make later times work.

We will pick you up and shuttle you to a local front country campground: Pack Creek Campground 1520 Murphy Lane #23, Moab, UT 84532, (435) 259-2982

Although you will have already had your online equipment shakedown, we will still do a mini-shakedown at camp.

"Before" body compostion measurements taken

Make Your Own Trail Mix Bar

Go to Gearheads 471 S Main St. (Hwy 191), Moab, Utah 84532 for any last minute equipment

We may go out for a group welcome dinner (dinner not included in trip cost) or opt instead to prepare dinner at camp (included in trip cost)

Camp at local frontcountry campground (TBD)

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Early wake-up as there are many things to do to make sure we get to the Jet Boats on time.

Second set of "before" body composition measurements taken

All the items that you won't bring on the trail will be set aside and put in storage, possibly with the Jet Boat company. Try to keep this to a small amount of stuff.

Break camp and shuttle to Tex's Riverways. We must arrive by 7AM

Take about a 4 hour scenic jet boat tour down the Colorado River, dropping us off at Spanish Bottom


Begin Hiking, elevation 3800'.

Hike 1.0 steep, some say grueling uphill miles to the top of the plateau

Drop packs and Day-Hike 1.0 round trip miles to the Granary (prepare not to be blown away by it)

Hike 0.2 steep uphill miles to the Dollhouse

Hike 0.3 miles along the 4x4 road to Dollhouse 1 or 2

Set up camp at Dollhouse 1 or 2, elevation 5100'

There is no water here

Miles today: 2.5. Total miles: 2.5

Possible bailout: 4x4 road, Spanish Bottom

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Hike 0.3 miles along the 4x4 road back to the trail

Hike 3.1 miles on the Colorado / Green River Overlook trail, past Beehive Arch to a trail intersection, elevation 5600'

Hike a 0.8 loop above the Colorado River / Green River Confluence Overlook, elevation 5100'

Hike 2.0 miles to Water Canyon Spring, elevation 4660'

We will need to fill up 8 liters of water here

Camp at Water Canyon Spring, elevation 4660'

Miles today: 6.2. Total miles: 8.7

Possible bailout: One day away

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Hike 3.4 miles up Water Canyon to Chimney Rock, elevation 5450'

Hike 2.8 dirt road miles to the Wall, elevation 5000'.

Cache 2 liters of water here so we don't have to carry it to the Chocolate Drops and back

Hike 4.2 primarily flat miles to the Chocolate Drops, elevation 4650'

Camp at the Chocolate Drops, elevation 4650'

Miles today: 10.4. Total miles: 19.1

Possible bailout: 2 days away

Friday, April 28, 2023

Hike 4.2 miles primarily flat miles to the Wall, elevation 5000'

Hike 1.2 dirt road miles to Lizard Rock, elevation 5525'.

Hike 5.9 miles down Pictograph Canyon past the Harvest Scene petroglyphs to a trail intersection, elevation 4540'.

Camp at trail intersection on Pete's Mesa Route, elevation 4540'

If there is no water here, there should be pools of water 0.9 miles further towards the Maze Overlook

Miles today: 11.3. Total miles: 30.4

Possible bailout: No good options

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Hike 4.2 miles to Chimney Rock, elevation 5450'

Hike 3.8 road miles to the Dollhouse #2, elevation 5100'

Camp at the Dollhouse #2, elevation 5100'

Miles today: 8.0. Total miles: 38.4

Possible bailout: Spanish Bottom

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Hike 1.6 miles to Spanish Bottom, elevation 3900'

End of hiking

Miles today: 1.6. Total miles: 40.0

The Jet Boat shuttles us 4 hours back to Moab

Check into a local hotel TBD

We will get your stuff from storage

After body composition measurements taken

Dinner and awards Ceremony. Dinner not included in trip cost.

This is the official end of the trip. You are welcome to spend the night at the hotel, however if you drove and would like to get on the road or if you flew and would like to schedule a late flight (or a red-eye if this is a West Coast trip) you can definitely do so.

Monday, May 1, 2023

We will either drop you at the airport or pay for a shared cab / Uber

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