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Booking Information

Trip Dates

April 11-15, 2018




Additional Information

Utah Canyons Backpacking Links:
Area weather –

Activities: Backpacking
Difficulty: 3  

Our Utah Canyons Backpacking trip is like an excursion to an outdoor natural history museum. The canyon is littered with early Pueblan Indian ruins dating between 800-1200 A.D. You will have a first-hand view of petroglyphs, pictographs, and ancient kivas! You will travel through high plateaus, multi-colored sandstone cliffs, and narrow twisting canyons. After the day’s hike, you will relax with a hot meal, share stories with your hiking companions, and spend the night under the countless stars.

With 4 days and 3 nights on the trail, plus a welcome dinner and overnight stay in historic Durango, CO, this is a truly unique backpacking experience. Each team member will carry their own personal gear, along with group gear and food distributed evenly. We will cover 5-8 miles per day, eating lunch on the trail and spending plenty of time enjoying our surroundings.

    • The name “Utah” comes from the Native American “Ute” tribe and means people of the mountains.
    • Utah peaks, on average, are the tallest in the country. The average elevation of the tallest peaks in each of Utah’s counties is 11,222 feet higher than the same average in any other state.
    • The Uinta mountain range, named after the Ute Indians who lived in the basin, is one of the only East-West axis mountains in North America.
    • Utah has seven national monuments
    • Cedar Breaks, Natural Bridges, Dinosaur, Rainbow Bridge, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Timpanogos Cave and Hovenweep. Utah is a great vacationland with 11,000 miles of fishing streams and 147,000 acres of lakes and reservoirs.
    • The biggest dinosaur footprints in the world are in Utah. The prints belonged to a hadrosaurid (duckbill). The Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry is one of the world’s foremost dinosaur fossil sources. Includes more than 30 complete skeletons, several thousand individual bones, intact dinosaur eggs, and tons of other remains.
    • The controversy surrounding the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell is often cited as the beginning of the modern-day environmental movement.
    • Kanab is called “Park Central” because it is located only minutes away from a grand array of three (3) national parks, three (3) national monuments, one (1) national recreation area and two (2) state parks. Two (2) national forests and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wilderness areas also surround Kanab. It is also known as Utah’s Little Hollywood because of the large number of motion pictures that are filmed in the area. .
    • Because of the state’s inland location Utah’s snow is unusually dry. Earning it the reputation of having the world’s greatest powder. 14 Alpine ski resorts operate in Utah.

– See more at:

Day 1 Arrival to Durango, CO. Once checked in to your hotel you will meet your guides for a welcome trip briefing and gear shakedown followed by dinner at local favorite Steamworks Brewing Co.

Day 2 Drive from Durango to Southeast Utah, approximately 3hrs to Kane Gulch Ranger station. Upon arrival we will get our backcountry permit, watch a canyon etiquette video, have a quick lunch, shuttle vehicles and hit the trail. Hike to the mouth of Todie Canyon, approximately 6 miles.

Day 3 Todie Canyon to Coyote Canyon, 7.5 miles.

Day 4 Coyote Canyon to Jailhouse Ruin Camp, 6 miles.

Day 5 Jailhouse Ruin Camp to Bullet Canyon trailhead 3.5 miles. We will have an early start and plan to exit the canyon by 11am. We will Drive down the Moki Dugway and travel back to Durango, arriving mid-afternoon. Depart Durango, CO.Note: Itinerary is subject to change depending on weather, trail and course conditions, travel, health and wellbeing of the trip participants, and interests of the group.

✓ Backpack – 30-50 liters, capable of 30-40 lb load.
✓ Large duffel bag

✓ Sleeping bag – lightweight, easily packable (rated to 20 degrees).
✓ Sleeping pad.
✓ Tents are supplied.

✓ Casual clothing – lightweight, comfortable items for travel.
✓ Airline tickets (if necessary).
✓ Earplugs.
✓ Travel pillow.

✓ Sun hat with brim
✓ Ski hat
✓ Gloves – midweight windstopper.
✓ Gloves – warm and waterproof.

✓ Hiking shorts.
✓ Pants-zip-offs are great
✓ T-shirts.
✓ Long sleeve shirts.
✓ Long underwear.
✓ Fleece jacket or wool sweater.
✓ Fleece pants.
✓ Down jacket (optional).
✓ Waterproof/breathable jacket and pants.
✓ Underwear.

✓ Hiking boots – waterproof with good ankle support.
✓ Tennis shoes or sandals.
✓ Gaiters
✓ Hiking socks.
✓ Sock liners
✓ Camp sock

✓ Water bottles (2-3) and/or a Hydration reservoir (2-3 liters)
✓ Plastic bowl, cups, spoon and fork.
✓ Water purification tablets or filter.
✓ Matches or lighter.
✓ Trekking poles
✓ Small multi-tool or pocket knife.
✓ Headlamp or flashlight.
✓ Sunglasses
✓ Camera, film, tripod (optional).
✓ Extra batteries for headlamp, camera, etc.
✓ Book notebook, journal, pencil or pen.
✓ Bandanas or Buff.
✓ Pack cover.
✓ Binoculars.
✓ Personal first-aid kit and medication.
✓ Trail snacks
✓ Several large Ziploc plastic bags

✓ Toilet paper (will use Ziploc bags for used paper while on trail).
✓ Medium to Large pack towel.
✓ Toothbrush and toothpaste.
✓ Handi-wipes (moist towelettes for cleaning).
✓ Hand sanitizer
✓ Personal toiletry items.
✓ Sun block and lip balm.

Trip FAQs

What's included?

  • 4 days/3 nights backpacking in Grand Gulch canyon (entering Kane Gulch, exiting Bullet canyon)
  • 1 night at Rio Grande Inn downtown Durango prior to hike
  • Backwoods Adventures guides
  • All transfers to and from La Plata County airport, if necessary
  • All transfers to and from Cedar Mesa recreation area
  • Marmot 3 season tents provided
  • All group cookware, stoves/fuel, and water filtration systems provided
  • Minimum 3 pre-departure information conference calls with head guide
  • All meals, recreation area fees, and all guide fees

What's not included?

• Transportation to and from Durango, Colorado
• Personal gear and clothing
• Alcoholic drinks, extra drinks and snacks
• Gratuities
• Extras; laundry, massage, Internet


While in town, we will eat at wonderful restaurants in Durango. On the trail, your guides will prepare delicious meals each day! Traditional trail snacks are also provided, but you are welcome to bring some of your favorites, if you prefer. We know that well-fed hikers are happy hikers and we aim to please! Special dietary considerations can usually be accommodated.


We stay at a hotel in historic downtown Durango the first night. The next 3 nights will be spent sleeping under the stars in roomy, 3-person tents.


Some of the activities that you may choose to participate in while in Utah are strenuous. They should not be undertaken if you have any health conditions which may put you at risk. You are strongly advised to consult your physician for a thorough medical check-up and clearance before attempting our Utah hiking. If you are over 50 years old, talk to your doctor about doing a ‘stress EKG’. Should you require any medication whatsoever, you must provide your own and be able to administer it yourself.