Top three reasons to hike the Paria Canyon
Discover spectacular sandstone arches and towering walls of red rock
Learn all about camping and navigating through the wilderness
One of the most spectacular canyon-backpacking destinations in the world
Nestled in the heart of the Vermilion Cliffs in Utah, Paria River Canyon boasts immense beauty overflowing with rainbow rock layers and narrow gorges. Hiking the canyon is the best way to reach the hidden gem of this varied landscape famous for its hanging gardens and red rock walls that soar for hundreds of feet above the canyon floor. The trail follows the steps of early Mormon pioneers and the seasonal migration patterns of the area’s native Paiute and Anasazi people. This incredible 38 miles long desert route is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts stepping into the world of backpacking. Find out more about backpacking through the Paria Canyon from Sunny Stroeer, Owner of AWExpeditions, and her former adventure participant Elysia Cook McDermott.
September through November and March through May
St. George is 1.5 hours away from the starting point
Intermediate to advanced
Book this adventure
5-Day Backpacking through the Paria Canyon
Embrace the challenge and join your guides for a 5-day hiking adventure along the twisting gorges of the Paria Canyon. Spend your days exploring seldom-seen parts of the canyon and discover Native American history along the way. Hike the incredible, 38 miles long desert route and learn all about camping and navigating in the backcountry terrain.
Day 1: Arrival
Spend your first day getting to know your guides and other outdoor enthusiasts that you’ll share the next 5 days with. Around noon, you’ll check your gear and head to the trailhead where you’ll share lunch with your group. Hike for about 8 miles through the magnificent Paria Canyon Narrows before reaching the best place for establishing camp for the night.
Day 2-4: Hiking
Spend three full days adventuring and discovering the natural wonders and wildlife of Utah. You’ll hike 10-12 miles per day along the length of the Lower Paria River. Weather permitting, you can visit Buckskin Gulch, Wrather Arch, and more. Enjoy the wonderful environment made of spectacular sandstone arches and towering walls of red rock.
Day 5: Departure
Today is your last day of exploring the Canyon before returning to civilization. Hike out to Lee’s Ferry for 7-10 miles before reaching the end of the trail. In the afternoon, you’ll be transferred back to Kanab. This adventure might be over, but the friendships and memories will last!
Meet your guides
Dreamland Safari ToursDreamland Safari Tours
Dreamland Safari Tours
Lead guide and the owner of AWExpeditionsLead guide and the owner of AWExpeditions
Lead guide and the owner of AWExpeditions
We had a phenomenal winter adventure walking the length of the Paria canyon with some side canyon explorations. This was major bucket list check off! Sunny did a fantastic job as the lead guide. Our meals were plentiful and excellent. She had some great tips and tricks for comfort for winter camping. I enjoyed learning about the Paria from her and getting to know her better. She is a great steward of Leave No Trace ethics and safe backpacking practices. I also really enjoyed hiking with Maddi and Andrea who also guide with Dreamland.
Sunny was great about pre-trip communication. She developed a thorough pre-trip packet and answered my emails promptly. I really appreciate the extra time she took to give me gear, day hike, and reading recommendations. Booking was easy and I think the price is spot on for all that is included and her service. Her itinerary included hotel stays before and after the trip with associated meals. This was a huge perk that other groups do not routinely offer. It was great to have a “home base” in Kanab at either end of the trip.I highly recommend this multi-day backpack excursion with Dreamland as well as their other day trips.
Get complete checklist for hiking and camping equipment.
Things to know
Covid measures in Paria Canyon, Utah
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Paria Canyon, UT, please refer to the official Government of Utah website.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!
What you get on this adventure:
- Two experienced, local hiking guides with extensive knowledge of the area
- 5 days of hiking depending on your chosen itinerary
- Overnight permits for the Buckskin-Paria corridor
- Trailhead transport from & to Kanab
- Cooking equipment
- Breakfasts, lunches and dinners
- Water purification and/or water resupply
- Team first-aid kit and at least one Wilderness First Responder guide
- Satellite messenger communication in case of emergency
- Human waste bags
- Pre-trip gear & training advice as desired
What’s not included:
- Transportation to Kanab
- Accommodation & meals before and after the adventure
- Personal backpacking gear
- Alcoholic beverages
How fit do I need to be?
Hiking in Paria Canyon does not require a lot of skill but all participants must be in good physical condition and have some previous hiking experience. You have to be able to comfortably hike 8-10 miles on uneven terrain (and not feel utterly exhausted at the end of it) in order to enjoy this hike. Previous backpacking experience is helpful.
The Paria Canyon Backpack is not a mountaineering adventure, but it is an excellent introduction into remote backcountry travel, endurance, safety, and camping. There is no elevation change along the Paria River, but there is a lot of uneven footing as well as long stretches of mandatory wading. October typically sees the Paria flowing all the way from White House to Lee’s Ferry, and we’ll have wet feet for at least 70% of our trip (if not more). Keep in mind, the weather in summer can be very hot and you’ll also be packing a backpack filled with water and other things you’ll need throughout your trip.
What do I need to bring?
Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:
- Backpack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 40L bag)
- Hiking poles — optional
- Sleeping bag
- Sleeping pad
- Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
- Personal trail snacks — bring a minimum of 2,500 calories
- Plastic mug, bowl, and spork
- Fire matches, lighter, or tinder
- Lightweight hiking boots or shoes that can get wet
- Weather-appropriate clothes for layering
- Fast-drying base layer (no cotton)
- Long sleeve shirt
- Warm layers: fleece or down jacket
- Lightweight wind/waterproof jacket
- 4 pairs of hiking socks
- Neoprene socks — optional
- Dry bag for electronics — optional
- Waterproof rain jacket
- Buff or bandana
- Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
- Small quick-dry towel
- First aid kit
- Headlamp or flashlight
- Camera — optional (but recommended)
Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.
Group sizes and age requirements
Group sizes and prices:
- For this group adventure, the max client to guide ratio is 4:1, with groups of up to 8 people.
- Cost is per person. The cost does not decrease as the group grows.
Min. age requirements:
- If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
- Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to join the hike on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.
If your group has hikers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
Registration for an adventure with your guide requires a $100USD deposit. The balance of program fees will generally be due 90 days prior to the starting date of the program. It is your responsibility to adhere to the fee payment schedule. Late payment will result in cancellation of program reservations and forfeiture of all fees paid.
The $100 deposit is non-refundable. All other program fee payments are refundable upon request unless the expedition has already incurred costs on behalf of the applicant.
In some cases, if you are required to forfeit your spot, you may find an acceptable replacement in which case your deposit and fees would transfer to your replacement without penalty.
Getting there and meeting location
To get to Paria Canyon, most people fly into Salt Lake City (SLC), about a five-hour drive, Las Vegas (LAS) just over a two hours away, or St. George Regional Airport (SGU) about 90 minutes away. From there, you can rent a car or take a bus ride to Kanab, UT, where you will meet your guides.
Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet. The guide will take you from Kanab to Paria Canyon and choose the appropriate terrain depending on conditions and the ability of the group.