Moab National Parks Active Adventure

About the Experience

The iconic parks of the American Southwest speak directly to women drawn to the dramatic desert landscape. The red sandstone spires, hoodoos and impossibly balanced boulders and formations of Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park create an enormous and often unbelievable open-air gallery.

We’ll explore the parks in the most intimate ways–rappelling into carved canyons, rafting the mighty Colorado and hiking a network of trails that lead to some of the most famed arches and pinnacles.

This Wild Women road trip is designed for adrenaline-junkies, geology nerds and those who ask for “more desert” instead of dessert (but you can certainly have your cake and eat it too on this trip). 

We’ll experience the natural oddities of Island in the Sky and the Needles district, known for its peculiar potholes, petroglyphs and slickrock. In no time you’ll know your mesas from your buttes and your butt from your legs after a day of canyoneering!

This itinerary is jam-packed with activity and challenge with well-deserved pampering at day’s end! We’ll do this Wild Women Southwest road trip in total style and stay in yurts for a ‘soft cowgirl’ kind of experience.

Ready to rappel into this one? This trip is a brand new addition to our signature trips line-up–are you ready to rock and roll with us?

Click here to see the full itinerary!
Moab National Parks Active Adventure

About the Experience

The iconic parks of the American Southwest speak directly to women drawn to the dramatic desert landscape. The red sandstone spires, hoodoos and impossibly balanced boulders and formations of Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park create an enormous and often unbelievable open-air gallery.

We’ll explore the parks in the most intimate ways–rappelling into carved canyons, rafting the mighty Colorado and hiking a network of trails that lead to some of the most famed arches and pinnacles.

This Wild Women road trip is designed for adrenaline-junkies, geology nerds and those who ask for “more desert” instead of dessert (but you can certainly have your cake and eat it too on this trip). 

We’ll experience the natural oddities of Island in the Sky and the Needles district, known for its peculiar potholes, petroglyphs and slickrock. In no time you’ll know your mesas from your buttes and your butt from your legs after a day of canyoneering!

This itinerary is jam-packed with activity and challenge with well-deserved pampering at day’s end! We’ll do this Wild Women Southwest road trip in total style and stay in yurts for a ‘soft cowgirl’ kind of experience.

Ready to rappel into this one? This trip is a brand new addition to our signature trips line-up–are you ready to rock and roll with us?

DAY 1: HELLO MOAB

Plan to arrive in Salt Lake City (SLC) by late morning. Choose a flight that will arrive by 11am MST. From here, we’ll meet our energetic guide and have lunch at a local brewery and swap stories over a pint.

We’ll have a 4-hour drive to Moab in eastern Utah. What’s on your slickrock southwest road trip playlist? 

Moab is the gateway city to the massive red rock arches, mesas and buttes that have been sliced and sluiced by the serpentine Green and Colorado river’s force. Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park are Moab’s iconic national parks and a dynamic geographic magnet for hikers, spaghetti western fans and geology nerds.

In the evening, we’ll gather for a welcome dinner in one of the small resort town you-gotta-eat-here restaurants. Back at the hotel, our only to-do is chilling out and having a rock solid sleep! 

Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Hotel in Moab

 

DAY 2: EXPLORING ARCHES

Arches National Park boasts more than 2,000 natural stone arches with formations and textures that seem inspired by an insomniac sculptor (from 65 million years ago, of course). Rock fins, monoliths, impossibly balanced boulders and surreal pinnacles poke at the indigo sky.

We’ll rise with the sun and spend the day exploring the eroded sandstone layers and strike off on either a strenuous or leisurely hike (depending on the group’s interest and pace) to marvel at some of the most stunning rock features. In 2008, the famed Wall Arch collapsed serving as a reminder that this precious landscape is impermanent. Today will be a crash course on arch formation, the park’s history and indigenous people.

Be on high alert for kangaroo rats, ravens, bighorn sheep and lizards skittling about. The plant life is abundant here too–we’ll learn all about living soil too–and picnic on top of it midday!

After our immersive time in the desert we’ll drive to our yurts in Dead Horse Point State Park which is located just minutes from Canyonlands. After settling into our cool yurts we’ll enjoy a savoury dinner prepared by our top chef guides and absorb the sunset overlooking the canyons. 

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Yurt Accommodation
The skinny on today’s hikes: Depending on your group’s pace, expect to hike 6.4 – 11.3km (4-7 miles)

 

DAY 3: ISLAND IN THE SKY

We’ll wake up early this morning and make a beeline for the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park. This sheer-walled mesa is the calling card of the northern part of Canyonlands. The carved canyons below are the work of the Colorado and Green river at full force and are 1,000 feet below the rim in some places. Rivers divide the park into four districts: Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze and the mighty snaking rivers themselves.

We’ll explore the park on foot–several short trails run along the mesa top with minimal elevation change. Trails in this district include playful names like Upheaval Dome, Whale Rock, Gooseneck Overlook and Moses and Zeus. 

It’s one big, startling panorama and the scenic drive along the rim is one where the neck rotation of an owl would be helpful! Tonight’s entertainment includes a mesmerizing sunset followed by a star-studded show in the sky above our yurts! 

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Yurt Accommodation
The skinny on today’s hikes: Depending on your group’s pace, expect to hike 7.2 – 9.6 km (4.5 – 6.5 miles)

 

DAY 4: RAFTING THE COLORADO

Arches National Park is irresistible and the to-do and see list is endless. We’ll head back for a second day in the park and spend the morning exploring a few more namesake arches before having lunch at a local restaurant in town. In the early afternoon we’ll be on the move in a different way–we’ll take a big bite out of adventure and raft the Colorado River! This stretch of mesmerizing red-rock canyon offers mild to moderate whitewater (class I & II). We’ll spend 1-2 hours floating on the mighty Colorado, pulling over en route for a sandy beach stretch and snack. 

The Colorado River expands through seven states and on this section near Moab we’ll skirt the border of Arches National Park and take in a non-stop reel of red cliffs and canyons. This is red rock country!

In the early evening, we’ll have time to poke around the town of Moab. There are several microbreweries, galleries and indie shops on the two block stretch between 100 South and 100 North. Favourites include the modern art shop Moab Made, Back of Beyond Bookstore and Crave Moab for antique-inspired home decor. 

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Yurt Accommodation

 

DAY 5: CANYONEERING MOAB

We’ll experience Moab from a new perspective today via canyoneering or ‘canyoning’ (as the cool kids say). It’s an intimate way of navigating a gorge or canyon using techniques like climbing, scrambling, sliding and jumping. Anything goes! We’ll double-knot our trail runners (or hiking shoes) and slip into our harnesses for a full day of high octane adventure.

Our expert guide will lead us through remote areas and wild canyons. Today will be spent hiking, rappelling, down-climbing and stemming–a totally authentic Moab adventure! This will truly be a highlight for the trip! Be prepared for a rush of adrenaline. You can expect to rappel at least four times on this beginner-friendly activity. Note: You will be required to do some maneuvering through the slot canyons and climbing over rock formations. The longest rappel is 34 m (110 ft).

Tonight will be all about relaxing, sunsetting (it’s a fine art!), and a lovely wind down of s’mores by the campfire.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Yurt Accommodation

 

DAY 6: THE NEEDLES

The Needles District of Canyonlands National Park is very remote and features an impressive natural gallery of hoodoos, slickrock, and petroglyphs. We’ll spend the day exploring the network of trails (over 96 km/60 miles of interconnecting trails exist here!) and otherworldly sandstone spires of this quieter district of the park. This area is known for its petroglyphs remarkably pecked into walls, a historic cowboy camp, ancestral Puebloan-era structures and pothole communities that pepper the slickrock. It’s also home to Paul Bunyan’s Potty (a large pothole arch).

Depending on the group’s pace, skill and comfort level we can check out some of the backcountry arches and descend deeper into the slot canyons or visit the historic native sites.

In the afternoon, with our amazement meter topped up, we’ll return to Moab and gather for our farewell dinner and a pampered night at our hotel.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Hotel in Moab
The skinny on today’s hikes: Depending on your group’s pace, expect to hike approximately 9.6km (6 miles)

 

DAY 7: DEPARTURE

After our last breakfast together in town, our guides will transfer us back to Salt Lake City for 2pm (sigh) for our departure flights . When booking your flight, it’s recommended that you choose a departure after 4pm (MST). Don’t forget to take in those last lovely visuals  of the slot canyons and arches from cruising altitude!

Meals Included: Breakfast

 

The Skinny on the Hikes

The hikes on this itinerary are designated as easy to moderate to difficult. More difficult hikes may be offered as optional extras for those who are comfortable with the challenge, but are never mandatory!

The majority of the hikes will be less than 10km (6 miles) with a maximum elevation change of 305m (1,000 feet). Depending on the group’s comfort and activity level, we can tailor the itinerary to include hikes that are up to 16km (10 miles) long with 457m (1,500 feet) elevation change. Note: The average elevation in Moab and the surrounding area is 1,524m (5,000 feet)

The hikes will be on established trails with no technical aspects. There will be plenty of time for breaks and to absorb the views. Keep in mind that most of the trails are exposed with no tree/shade coverage. While your guides coordinate start times to escape the extreme heat and desert temperatures begin to drop in the fall. Sunscreen and proper headwear and clothing is extra important.

The trails traverse over slick rock, through hoodoos, arches, buttes, amongst the dark red and lush green desert landscape. If a longer trail option is chosen, the elevation gain will be spread out gradually avoiding intensely steep sections.

Geology Cheat Sheet


Slickrock: Wind-polished stone.
Mesa: An isolated flat-topped natural elevation with steep slopes.
Butte: Similar to a mesa (isolated and flat-topped) but narrower than a mesa.
Monolith: A huge, single upright block of stone.
Pinnacle: An individual, isolated column of rock shaped like a vertical shaft or spire.
Hoodoos: A tall, thin spire of rock.
Fin: A tall narrow rock, residual wall of hard sedimentary rock that remains standing after surrounding rock has been eroded away
Slickrock:
Smooth, wind-polished rock.
Petroglyphs: Prehistoric rock carvings created with stone chisels or hammerstones. (Not to be confused with pictographs which are rock paintings.)

Canyoning Cheat Sheet


Stemming: A technique used to travel up or down a slot canyon to navigate over wet sections. You place your left foot and left hand on one canyon wall and your right foot and right hand on the other wall. Kind of like a vertical version of Twister!
Down-climbing: A descent is made using a fixed rope gripped with one or both hands with a hand-over-hand movement (without using your feet).

Click here to see upcoming trip dates to book your spot!

Wild Women Expeditions and our local partners intend to adhere to the described itinerary. This is only a general guide to follow on your tour of the region. Our itineraries are subject to change, as we cannot predict the weather or other environmental conditions. We are continually striving to make improvements to all our trips based on feedback from Wild Women members, guides, partners, and other research. We reserve the right to alter itineraries based on the above at any time.

Arrival into Salt Lake City (SLC), UtahPlan to arrive in Salt Lake City (SLC) by late morning. Choose a flight that will arrive by 11 AM MST.Notes about Arrival

  • Your guide will meet you at the door of the Baggage Claim area wearing a Wild Women Expeditions shirt.
  • If you are arriving a day early, please make sure your pre-trip hotel is clearly listed in your Travel Details Form. The hotel pick-ups will be between 10 – 11 AM.

 

Group Rendezvous Point

  • Date: Day 1
  • Time: 11AM
  • Location: Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) or your pre-trip hotel if it is within 15 minutes from the Airport or Downtown.


Departure from Salt Lake City, Utah

  • A group transfer to the Salt Lake City Airport will depart after breakfast.
  • We suggest booking a flight that departs after 4 PM.

 

Drop-Off Point:

  • Date: Day 7
  • Time: 2 PM
  • Location: Salt Lake City Airport (SLC)


You are responsible for booking your own flights or other transport arrangements to the trip start location. These arrangements and any other independent arrangements that you may make are not a part of the trip booked with Wild Women Expeditions and are entirely at your own risk. Wild Women Expeditions accepts no responsibility, directly or indirectly, for any loss, damage or injury to property or person in connection with such arrangements. Should you require assistance with your travel arrangements, please contact:Megan and Zale | ****Now Boarding Travel SpecialistEmail: wildwomen@nowboarding.travel 

Note: Now Boarding Travel only provides services of 3-star quality or greater. For budget alternatives, please refer to the Lonely Planet guide for your destination.

 

Important: For international and remote destinations, there is always the risk of flight delays, baggage delays and flight schedule changes which may cause late arrivals, which may, in return, result in you missing the group tour departure. For these reasons, we encourage you to consider arriving a day early, which will also help you overcome any jet lag from traveling!


You are fully responsible for your own visa requirements, permits, and certificates for your trip. It is the sole prerogative of each country or region to determine who is allowed to enter. It is your responsibility to check with the country’s Consulate and your country’s travel website such as Canada’s for up-to-date information about traveling internationally.

  • Passport

Most countries and airlines recommend passports be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your expected return to your home country. Before you leave, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules..

 

Important: A copy of your passport must be emailed to the Wild Women Expeditions office by 130-days pre-trip.

 

  • Visa

No visas are required for Canadian and most European citizens. Visas are required for some Asian, Central American and Eastern European countries.

 

Note: As fees and policies can change, we highly recommend that you contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent.


Most participants tip their guides when they feel they were provided great service and typically tip in the range of $25 – $45 USD per day. If there are two WWE guides, both guides should be tipped. Often groups will pool their gratuity and present it to the guide(s) at the end of the trip.Any tips for outside services like restaurant waiters, whitewater rafting, canyoneering activities, etc. are handled by Wild Women Expeditions.

  • Rooming Arrangements

Will be provided on a shared basis. In yurts, accommodations will be in twin/triple share.

  • Sleeping Bags

Sleeping bag (NOT provided so you can either bring your own or rent one). These are available for $55 USD which is payable in either cash or card upon arrival. Please contact support@wildwomenexpeditions.com to request a sleeping bag rental, and include this request in your Travel Details Form.)

  • Potable Water

Purified water is provided throughout the expedition. Tap water is fine to drink as well.

 

If you would like to join Wild Women Expeditions in its commitment to reducing single-use plastic, you can travel prepared with your own water treatment system!

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  • Elements Hotel

Elements Hotels encourages a sense of well-being through a nature-influenced environment. Intuitively constructed with an efficient use of space, and with a focus on sustainability, Element helps you stay connected, feel alive and balanced while you’re away.

  • Yurts

https://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/dead-horse/

You can either bring your own sleeping bag or rent one for a one time fee of $55 USD.

The yurts are outfitted with outlets for electricity, and have Heat/AC units.



Arches National Park

  • a href=”https://www.nps.gov/arch/index.htm” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>Arches National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

Canyonland National Park

 

  • a href=”https://www.nps.gov/cany/index.htm” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>Canyonlands National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

 

Discover Moab

 

  • a href=”https://www.discovermoab.com/” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>Moab Utah’s Official Vacation Planning Website – Discover Moab
    )

 


Spring and Autumn in Moab, are moderately warm months, with average temperature ranging between min 61.2°F (16.2°C) and max 80.1°F (26.7°C).

Wild Women Expeditions recommends that each participant should bring enough cash in local currency or available credit/debit funds to cover their meals during travel to and from their destination. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, meals not included in the trip package, shopping, etc., and we also suggest you have access to emergency funds.

  • Currency Exchange Offices & Banks

If you need to change currency you will usually find a currency exchange counter at international airports in the USA. You will have to show your passport in order to be able to exchange money.

Please check online for current exchange rates. Wild Women Expeditions likes XE Currency Converter

We highly suggest you read this article: Where to Exchange Currency Without Paying Huge Fees for more information about this for your trip.

  • Automated Teller Machine (ATM)

Most places take Visa and MasterCard. Many also take American Express.

  • Credit Cards

One of the most convenient ways to get cash in the US dollars is by using an ATM. You will often receive better exchange rates, even though you have to pay a service fee, as with most ATMs outside your bank network.

  • Cash

It’s always advised to travel with some cash on hand and this is easily accessible at local ATM machines when needed.


Please be sure to provide complete, accurate, and up-to-date information about your health & fitness level and keep us updated if there are changes. Wild Women Expeditions trips travel to remote areas where limited or no sophisticated medical facilities exist.A medical emergency situation is extremely unlikely; however, should it arise we need to be prepared with the necessary information to help you.Important Note: If you choose not to disclose a condition, infirmity, injury, or ailment herein and are subsequently deemed to be unfit for expedition travel due in whole or in part to such condition, infirmity, injury or ailment, Wild Women Expeditions guides, and partners shall have the right to remove you from the trip with no refund or compensation payable. Any evacuation expenses incurred are payable by the evacuee via their Medical Travel Insurance or personal expense. 

Getting Fit

You don’t have to be a professional athlete to enjoy your Wild Women expedition. Not by a long shot! You’ll be surprised at what you can achieve with our experienced guides at your side and a little camaraderie.

That said, you’ll definitely enjoy yourself far more if you do some preparation so your body is conditioned and ready to enjoy and make the most of the outdoors.

 

Here are a few ideas to help you get ready:

  • Take every opportunity you can to be active.

You can improve your fitness a lot just by adopting some new habits; take the stairs at work, go for a walk at lunchtime, park your car away from work and walk. Aim for 30 minutes a day and keep a diary so you can look back on it and feel proud. These may sound trivial but they’re all building blocks!

  • Rev up your ticker!

Think ‘interval training’, which means doing short bursts of high-intensity work with recovery time in between. Depending on how fit you are this can mean strolling with bursts of power walking, or jogging with sprints. Either way, the aim is to get your heart rate up.

  • Join a local walking or running group.

This is a great way to get fit and you’ll also see new places, meet great people… and make them all jealous when they find out what you’re about to go on your travels.

  • Hill Training.

The most spectacular views aren’t from the bottom of a valley – so the places we go on our trips aren’t flat. A little time training on hills and stairs is an investment that’ll pay off big-time when you’re on your trip. When it comes to hills there’s no hurry – get into a slow steady rhythm and you’ll be at the top before you know it.

  • Warm up, cool down and stretch.

If you’re doing a workout then make sure you start and finish gently and stretch any tight muscles – this will help you avoid any aches, pains and pulled muscles. If you’re a member of a gym try some yoga, tai chi or pilates classes to build up your flexibility, stability and balance.

  • Break in your hiking boots.

Blisters and sore feet are no fun at all! So make sure that while you’re getting yourself ready you’re doing the same for your boots. Start by just wearing them around the house, then down the road, and walking the dog. Then ideally do a couple of decent length weekend hikes to prepare them for what is to come.

  • Hydration.

When you suddenly ask your body to walk or be active, it needs a bit more fuel than it needs when, say, sitting at a desk all day! The main thing your body needs is water, so stay hydrated and practice sipping water often. Getting a water bottle or hydration bladder is a great way to make sure you have it on hand at all times. Make a habit out of taking a bottle of water with you wherever you go.

  • Nutrition.

Eating little and often will keep your body well fuelled for outdoor exercise, especially food like nuts, dried fruit and bread. The odd bit of chocolate and a few boiled lollies are good for keeping your blood sugar levels up while you’re hiking as well!

  • Have fun!

The most important point of all! You are about to embark on the trip of a lifetime. You’re going to meet some amazing people, see some wonderful places and create memories that will stay with you for life. The more prepared you are to tackle the various challenges, the more fun you will have. Also, with all the endorphins you create from all this training, you’ll be smiling from ear to ear! It’s a great way to boost your happy vibes.


For general Wild Women Expeditions FAQs please click here.