The Grand Staircase refers to an immense sequence of sedimentary rock layers that stretch from Bryce Canyon National Park and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, through Zion National Park and Grand Canyon National Park. The rock that is at the bottom of Bryce forms the top of Zion and the bottom rock of Zion is the top layer of the Grand Canyon. We've picked three National Parks along the Grand Staircase to hike: Zion, Bryce and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon National Parks are all spectacular and all very different from the others. The Grand Canyon is vast: it is 10 miles from one side to the other and a mile deep. Bryce is known for amazing hoodoos, the brightly colored spires of varied shapes; and Zion, with the tallest layer of redwall limestone of any canyon, is both majestic and a much more intimate canyon that fully deserves its name. We have chosen some of the classic trails in each park, designed to give you an experience and understanding that can only be gained by hiking in them. Max group size 10.
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Not included: Travel to and from Las Vegas, alcoholic beverages, snacks, guide gratuities and travel insurance
This trip is rated 4 because, except for the first day and last day, each day's hike is between 4 and 8 hours and with substantial elevation gain and loss. This trip is a great choice for any healthy woman in good physical condition who loves hiking and wants to do lots of it. If you have significant fear of heights, please call the office before you register. Prior to the beginning of the trip, participants should be engaged in aerobic conditioning for at least 40-50 minutes 4-5 times a week. Additional endurance exercise (e.g. going for a 2 hour hike once a week) and/or strength training is usually required.Rating: 1 2 3  5.
This trip combines hiking with an immersion into the unique geology of this fascinating area - there is no better way to understand the different geologic processes that formed each Park than to explore them on foot. Some of the hikes are quite challenging in terms of length and elevation gain, and it is an excellent trip for fit intermediate and experienced hikers who like hikes of intermediate or longer length.
We will be staying in double-rooms in the lodges right in or very near the National Parks every night, which gives us the opportunity to become intimately acquainted with each. Each room has an ensuite bathroom and two beds, sometimes two queens and sometimes a queen and single.
Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.
Sights and compatible company.
Hiking NPs in Utah, specifically Zion Narrows and Angels Landing. The guides and other women on the trip were great!
the women and the hiking
The guides, the parks.
The beautiful scenery in each of the National Parks was stupendous, especially with the fall colors in full display.
The women who were on the trip and the spectacular scenery in the National Parks were the best parts of the trip.
The National Parks we visited are astounding. I so much appreciated the variety of experiences offered- the Narrows, Angel's Landing in Zion. I loved the places we stayed within the Parks and even outside of the Park. I love that AGC explores and supports the smaller businesses and entities and encourages women to support them. This is a big part of why I love AGC. I am adding this comment here because there seems to be no other place to give an overall comment. I think AGC needs to do a better job of vetting skills. There was a woman on our trip who has been on 10 trips with AGC (so her abilities must well be known) and is clearly not able to handle a 4, yet she was welcomed in and ended up splitting the group a lot because of her slowness. (And the admirable desire of the guides to keep everyone together.)Also a woman on our trip who could barely rate as a 4 despite her belief that she was right up there with the rest, is now next going on a 5 . This will be a drag for the other women on that trip and there seems to be no vetting. I get the feminist note that no one should be judged, but yes AGC needs to somehow vet people according to their desired hikes. Otherwise it is unfair for others. And before you cast me off as being selfish dickhead, think about equity for all, not just the one who is overrating herself. Too, I understand that AGC stopped the switching roommates because of COVID. But for some reason I got paired with someone who I least liked in the whole group and this so much didn't seem right or fair. What is the pairing process that goes on- totally arbitrary or geographic or age? Not sure what the right way to do it is, but I just know that this so much didn't work for me. And there should be a better way
The scenery was amazing and challenging! Our guides were GREAT and their meals ....my favorite of the entire trip!
My highlights - breathtaking scenery, charming accommodations, good companionship and great guides.
Loved the angel’s landing hike especially, but all were great
The Grand Staircase trip exceeded my expectations. The guides were great - very organized, enthusiastic and conscious of everyone’s needs (allergies, blisters, etc. that needed tending, abilities), and the views on the trip were amazing. Staying right in the parks was very convenient and it was nice to have early starts each morning to avoid some of the crowds. It would have been nice to go right to the bottom of the Grand Canyon but then we would have missed seeing something else.
Great guides, nice traveling companions, beautiful scenery... everything was you could think of!
Pleasant companions great leaders hiking
The scenery was amazing, the guides were outstanding and the other participants were such fun!
Anne and Gina were amazing guides! I felt informed of what was going on each day and the meals they prepared were awesome. The women on this trip were so easy to get along with which just added to the overall amazing time I had on the trip.
For me, hiking with a group of women for a few hours at a time is not about sharing life stories with new friends. In fact, when I hike I do not talk much. Instead, I take my thoughts to the trail, ponder new ideas or what I want in life, observe the geology around me, or allow my mind to endlessly wander in every direction as I listen to the subtle sounds of nature, the rhythmic plodding of my boots, and clinking of hiking sticks around me. I am happy. Most of these women I will never see again. But it is our shared love of nature and challenge that brings us together on the trail. Hiking with them keeps me humble. My legs will burn, my lungs will struggle to breath, and the sun and climb will warm my body to near exhaustion, but I like the sense of accomplishment. I feel gratitude to my strong body for getting me there. I feel gratitude to the people who had the foresight to preserve these national parks. I feel gratitude for the sunshine warming my body or the gentle breeze and sh
Highlights - maybe obvious, but I am still in awe of the beauty of these parks. I was pleasantly surprised how well everyone got along. A great bunch of women.
Our guides (Deb and Anne) were both great. Very knowledgeable and accommodating. Amazing group of 12 women on the trip.
Seeing and hiking in these three parks and meeting all the fabulous women! We laughed a lot! A really good group and Great Guides!
the trip was a wonderful way to hike and explore the beauty of the Grand Staircase all while meeting fabulous women and guides! I don't think that the trip was necessarily a 4 out of 5, and I was surprised that all of the hikes were tailored to the slowest hiker. I would like to see more opportunity to split the group and hike just a little faster, if so desired.
Highlights were seeing Bryce and hiking there. I really enjoyed that day as I did not feel rushed to complete the hike in a specific time and was able to take lots of pictures. Where it failed to meet my expectations was the pace of a few of the hikes, having to complete them in a specific time to meet the schedule. I would suggest for the longest hike in the Grand Canyon, to start at least an hour earlier and not feel so rushed would have been more desirable to me. As it was, Saturday hike was a big disappointment to me. The trail and the views were amazing. The silence and solitude are meant to be enjoyed - which I could not do for the rush to make it to Roaring Springs by a specific time.