Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why should I choose Dreamland Safari Tours?
Having received Traveler’s Choice Awards every year for more than a decade, we are the top rated area tour company on TripAdvisor. Why? Because of our guides and staff. We strive to provide best in class end-to-end guest services. From the first phone call or email, to helping you choose which tour is best for you and your group, to explaining permit processes, to efficient online or phone bookings, to coalescing and transmitting all the necessary information, to keeping you safe in the wilderness, to showing you the best hiking/photo routes and locations, to the most comprehensive educational information, and to just plain showing you a great time. Our team are a cut above and work relentlessly to serve you on your vacation; our reviews speak to that. There’s a reason that we’re the Dream(land) Team.
2. If I book a tour to the Wave (North Coyote Buttes) or South Coyote Buttes (SCB) with Dreamland, does it automatically include the required permits?
No, we do not have blanket or umbrella permits for the Wave or SCB. Our permits only cover our guides and can only be used in conjunction with our guest’s permits. The Bureau of Land Management restricts the number of people allowed in the area each day. Because of this all our guests are either required to obtain permits via lottery, or we’ll try to obtain them for you.
3. How do I get permits for the Wave or South Coyote Buttes?
There are two different lotteries to obtain permits for the Wave and SCB – online in advance and a last-minute online version for the Wave, and an in-person version for South Coyote Buttes. Both processes are explained HERE. Links to the government websites, and additional information is also posted on our blog HERE.
4. Can Dreamland get us permits to the Wave or South Coyote Buttes?
While the advance online lottery should always be your starting point, many times people lose the online lottery – and sometimes they realize too late that a permit is required. We have created options called Conditional Tours explained in depth HERE. As standard policy, if you are starting or joining a conditional tour (one in which the final destination depends on the last-minute lottery), we always attend the lottery on our customers’ behalf. It is a courtesy service provided only to guests who have booked a tour with us. However, we have no special standing in the lottery, we do not accept bribes to run bootleg tours, and of course there are absolutely no guarantees you will win. In the case that we do not obtain permits, we require an alternate tour. Usually this is The White Pocket Tour as it requires no advance permit. The cost of South Coyote Butte permits obtained by Dreamland, are not included in the tour price, and will be added to your bill at face value. Again, more important information you need to read if you are interested in conditional tours is located HERE at the bottom of the page.
5. I plan on doing a tour with Dreamland and am trying to get permits online but need some information to complete the application. What do I put in the blanks?
First, none of these answers are binding or terribly relevant for guided tours. Don’t let this step hold you up getting the permits. The idea here is for the government to be able to find you should you go missing while hiking in this area. With a guided tour this information is not important. For the Wave, the entry and exit trailhead is Wire Pass. For South Coyote Buttes, enter Cottonwood Cove for entry and exit. If your tour goes to Paw Hole at South Coyote Buttes, don’t worry, your permit is still good for both areas. When entering a group number, you do not need to include the guide when obtaining permits yourself. Just put the total number in your group. For state of the license plate put UTAH. For the license plate # enter GUIDE. When asked about the “recreation fee” enter NO. If the name of the company is required put DREAMLAND.
PLEASE NOTE: In the case of South Coyote Buttes, the government wants you to watch a video before, moving on to reserve permits first come first serve but if you do you will get shut out. So simply move the slider on the video from one yellow mark to the other. South Coyote Buttes is first come first served at noon mountain time on the first of every month for three months in advance. You must be on the ball right when the calendar opens and get through the process as quickly as possible, or you will get shut out.
6. Are large groups allowed at White Pocket?
All large group inquiries are handled on a case-by-case basis directly by management. If you have a large group for White Pocket, please call us at 435-644-5506.
7. I’m traveling by myself. What are my options?
Please do not book online if you are traveling alone. Call or email us to discuss your options and what tours are running during your date window. We have a two adult passenger minimum. If a tour is already booked, you can join the existing tour. If you are looking for a particular tour that is not already running on your date, we will add your information to our calendar. If that tour is booked or another single is interested, we will contact you to arrange the trip. If you wish to secure a date from December – February or August, you may pay for two seats.
PLEASE NOTE: As a single you will be joining tours booked by other parties. You need to remain as flexible as possible with dates, times, tour types, options, permits, draws, etc. You may have to compromise to get on a tour of any kind and keep your costs down to 1 seat.
8. We are traveling as a family. What tours do you suggest?
There are several tours we could suggest, but it all depends on what exactly interests you, ages/attention span, and the abilities of your family. Two of our most popular tours with families with younger children are the Peekaboo Slot Canyon and Slot Canyon / Dinosaur Track Combo Tours. We suggest looking at our Tour Information Matrix. This has everything broken down at a quick glance with links to the individual pages.
9. How physically challenging are your tours? How should I choose which is right for my abilities?
Most, but not all, of our tours are nothing extreme, though they are active. If a tour is physically difficult, it will be noted on the tour information page (examples are The Wave, The Amazing Sandstone Teepees and the Grand Staircase Hikers Dream tours.)
Most of our tours are designed for the average person and only a few of them hike more than 5 miles. Some do include minor scrambling. Keep in mind that our hikes take place in the 4000-8000 ft elevation range which can take adjustment for those from sea level or close to it. The hiking/physical difficulties are listed on each individual tour page and in the Tour Information Matrix. We realize this scale is relative but have tried to calibrate our estimates to an average person between 40-70. For the sake of maximizing enjoyment for yourself and the others who subsequently join the trip, or if you have known physical difficulties, please be a little more conservative and carefully consider joining tours with the appropriate activity level, or simply give us a call for. recommendation.
While we do everything we can to moderate hiking routes to fit our groups’ abilities, sometimes groups with mixed abilities require patience and understanding on both sides and with our guides. Please be as honest as possible with Dreamland about any conditions or limitations both before and during your tour.
10. We are a group with varying abilities. What tour would you suggest?
For a partial day our Peekaboo Slot Canyon Tour is great for all ages and abilities. It’s a three-hour tour with minimal hiking. We have had everyone from infants to elderly in this canyon. For a full day tour, you may want to consider our White Pocket Tour. Hiking difficulties are listed on the individual tour pages and can be seen at a glance on the Tour Information Matrix.
11. In what languages are your tours offered? Can I request a certain guide?
All of our tour guides speak English. Co-owner Sunny and guide Shawn both speak fluent German. Guide Nicolas speaks Czech. Marjorie speaks French. If you would like to request a particular guide who speaks your native language, we will do everything possible to honor that request. However, there are no guarantees as logistical and scheduling conflicts sometimes arise. Please indicate at booking any special requests like language or guide requests. Online please enter this in the “Special Requirements” box. If you are not on a tour with a guide who speaks your language, rather only English, it is recommended that at least one person in each party speaks English and is able to translate to get the maximum value out of the tour. Please ask your guide to give pauses for translation.
12. What do I need to bring on a day tour or for an overnight tour?
The biggest things you need to remember on a day tour are a small pack to carry your own water (essential especially on tours with more hiking), food, a jacket for warmth and rain (essential), boots or high-top sneakers (optional but optimal in sand), any essential medication, and camera. Other items include extra layers when cold, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, Chapstick, and other typical daytime sundries. Hiking poles are not required unless you really need them due to balance issues. You may bring them optionally but please make sure to bring the rubber tips to protect the fragile sandstone. If you don’t have rubber tips, please let us know in advance and we will bring some for you to use. For 24hr scheduled overnights bring all the same except add an extra layer or two. For overnights in April or October bring a warm hat and gloves. For scheduled overnights of 48 hours or custom multi-day trips just add a change of clothes or two. On all tours we provide water and snacks. On day tours of more than 6 hours you have the option of choosing a Dreamland lunch for a nominal surcharge. On multi-days (middle days only) more than 24 hours we provide lunch. On scheduled overnights of 24 hours, we do not provide lunch so please eat before you come.
13. Do you offer pet-friendly tours? Can we bring our dog?
We do allow dogs on most tours for a small surcharge. The only place we tour that does not allow dogs is Toroweap. If the original booking party books in a dog, then anyone who subsequently joins the tour must accept it. If anyone that subsequently joins wishes to bring a dog, then the original booking party must agree. We welcome Best Friends volunteers and their furry pals. Ask for a sleepover dog! Please be prepared with leash and poop bags. Click for more info about pet-friendly hotels in Kanab.
14. What are the costs of your tours?
The costs of our tours vary, are per person not including taxes and fees, and can be found on their individual pages. For a ballpark figure they start at roughly $100 per person for a half day and $200 per person for a full day. For the specific tours with a child rate, we offer that rate for kids 14 and under. Infants 2 and under are free, however we do need to know if you have infants to be able to plan truck capacities. Cost and other facets of our tours can also be scanned at a glance with the Tour Information Matrix.
15. Is tipping the guide customary?
In the United States tipping is not required, but it is the socially accepted norm. When a service has been provided to you, tipping of the immediate providing individual is customary. Tipping of tour guides is typically around 10-15% of the tour cost. Tips are not expected, but always greatly appreciated by our guides, and make up a significant portion of their income. When they do a great job, please tip them. We have a more detailed blog post about the question of tipping HERE.
16. When are your tours available? What time do your tours depart?
Our day tours are available year-round except Christmas and Thanksgiving days. Our multi-day tours both scheduled and custom run April-October. Our tours are booked on-demand. You choose your departure time at booking. If you are joining a pre-existing tour, the departure time has been chosen by the original booking party. Departure time options for our tours can be seen at a glance on the Tour Information Matrix.
17. What is included on your tours?
Day tours include pickup and drop-off from local hotels/RV parks/or short-term rentals in Kanab, off-road transportation, natural history narration, guided hiking, photo advice, photo assistance, first aid, emergency communications, snacks, water. For tours that are longer than 6 hours, you may choose to add a Dreamland-provided lunch for a nominal surcharge (must be selected at the time of booking). Our multi-day tours include all of this plus excellent meals, tables, chairs, tents or cots, pads, sleeping bags, camp toilets, camp management, stargazing, sunsets, and sunrises for the photographer, and lots more time outside. On overnights you may bring your own tent and/or sleeping bags which you are responsible for setting up and breaking down.
19. What is your weather policy? What is your cancellation/reschedule policy?
These policies are all found on our Policies Page. PLEASE NOTE: Because of the constantly changing weather, the unpredictability of weather forecasts, the complexities of different road surfaces, the variable nature of storms as far as coverage and volume in this area, and the fact that some of the best photography weather is often on days with a chance of rain, we do not reflexively cancel tours without solid information. However, as your safety is always paramount in situations where incontrovertible evidence leads us to believe that potentially dangerous situations are probable, we will cancel tours if necessary. We will assume tours will run until departure time.
We do not cancel tours until departure time as the most relevant information is at hand. Also, if we know of a particular area or time that will be a problem we will often consult with all parties on the tour as to how best to go about re-routing, postponement, or cancellation.
Trying to manage this on the phone hours before the tour is nearly impossible. If a party decides to cancel prior to departure time for reasons of weather forecasts, the cancellation will be subject to the standard policy. Cancellations made by us at departure will be accompanied by a full refund if no other solution can be reached. Also, the information we have at any given time is often incomplete. For example, we do not know if the Wave is covered in snow or if the route is hikeable, whether roads are impassable in each location etc.….as we do not have a webcam at these remote locations. We do try to network to get better information if we can. Sometimes incontrovertible evidence is only found once the tour has begun. Guessing, followed by reflexive cancellations, we have learned, produces more poor results for everyone involved, than the strategy we take. It is very, very complex making these decisions. We are always monitoring the weather and have many years of experience managing the logistics that are affected by weather in this area. Please trust us to act in both our best interests.
20. How soon should we book?
This depends on several factors, but our best advice is to book as soon as you finalize your plans. We do fill up, and if you have a limited window of opportunity, you may miss out. The smaller your availability window and the tighter your schedule, the earlier you need to book to ensure availability. The larger your group, especially if it involves more than one of our trucks (>6 passengers), the earlier you need to book.
21. Am I able to book last minute?
Yes, you can book by phone at the last minute depending upon availability, but please don’t wait longer than necessary. Any advance notice greatly assists us in arranging guide and equipment logistics. Please be prepared to join an existing tour that may not have been your first choice. We prefer that you call rather than use the online system. We try our best to keep the reservation system as real-time as possible, but it is very difficult to be 100% accurate with logistics and resources that are constantly varying. For this reason, online booking is cutoff 18-24 hours before departure. We may still need to adjust your choices to match availability. Options are not infinite at the last minute.
22. How do I reserve my date(s)?
You are able to book online or by contacting us. We do require a 50% deposit to reserve your day tour date(s). The remaining balance is due the day of your tour at departure. Your guide can take any method of payment.
23. How do I book multiple tours online?
The easiest way, currently, is to call our office at 435-644-5506, 7 days a week, from 8am – 5:30pm. Otherwise, bookings will need to be made individually on the website.
24. Can I pay via cash, Paypal, credit card, check?
You will need to make your reservation deposit with a credit card, but once in the area you may pay your balance by cash, check or credit card. We do not use PayPal.
25. Where do you pick up/meet? Do you pickup in Page, AZ?
We pick up anywhere within 15 miles of Kanab. WE DO NOT PICK UP IN PAGE. Other pickup locations may be possible depending on tour logistics and are determined on a case-by-case basis. If you are staying in Page, and wish to avoid backtracking, and are doing a Wave, White Pocket, Buckskin Gulch, or South Coyote Buttes we often arrange to meet people at the intersection of House Rock Valley Rd and Hwy 89. However, this meeting location is weather dependent for White Pocket and South Coyote Buttes Tours, and if we are unable to access these areas from the north you will need to meet us in Kanab.
For those staying in Kanab but traveling on to Page or other AZ destinations that evening, guests sometimes follow in their own cars from Kanab and park them at an appropriate place to avoid backtracking. Many people traveling through or who have just arrived opt to meet us at our Kanab office location: 406 E 300 S, Kanab, UT 84741. We’re right next door to the Travelodge and across the street from Escobar’s Mexican Restaurant.
26. What is there to do in Kanab? Should we stay there?
Kanab is definitely the place to be. It makes a great home base because of its central location. We are 2 hours or less from Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park, Lake Powell, and several National Monuments. Look at our Resources page for our recommendations for local hotels, restaurants, and attractions.
27. What kind of vehicles do we tour in? Do you offer ATV/Jeep Tours?
All our tours are run in Chevrolet Suburban’s or Crew Cab Silverado’s for comfort and safety. We do not offer ATV or Jeep Tours. Many times of year open vehicles are uncomfortable due to extreme high and low temps, rain, wind, and dust. Our enclosed trucks with professional drivers are safer as well and offer more time for education and interaction with your guide.
28. Can we visit Toroweap, Peekaboo Slot Canyon, and White Pocket in a single day?
Unfortunately, due to the remoteness of these areas, that tour you have in mind may not be logistically feasible as in the above examples. If you are looking for more than what you see on any tour page, contact us. We do offer custom tours, but keep in mind it may not be able to work as you have planned. Often the geographical space of the Western US is vastly under-appreciated during planning.
29. Can the longer day tours be shortened? Can tours be customized?
Every tour can be converted to a private tour. When booking a private tour we can customize the itinerary, start time, etc. Our Guide’s Choice Tours are customized, private tours. Call or email us what you are looking for, and about your interests, and we’ll create a custom agenda for you.
30. I want to see as much as possible in one day. What do you suggest?
We have several different tours that allow you to see much of what this area has to offer. These tours are: Ultimate Kanab Tour, Grand Staircase Dream Tour, and our custom Guide’s Choice Tour.
31. Do you offer sunrise or sunset tours?
Due to the remoteness of many of our tours, there is no practical way for us to offer tours with sunrise photo shoots. If you are interested in a sunrise shoot, we suggest one of our overnight tours, specially designed for photographers. Sunsets can be experienced on our Sunset Safari Tour or can sometimes be accommodated on a case by case basis by request usually during Winter or at locations near Kanab. Remote sunsets in summer require tours not returning until midnight and remote sunrises require departures of 3:30am, are difficult to coordinate.
32. What is the best time of day for photography?
This is a highly complex question that varies by the topographical nature of a place, time of year, weather, tour practicalities, and the photographer’s capabilities. While it is impossible to predict with total precision, a few trends have emerged. Slot Canyons are best from 9am to 5pm with less optimal high light penetration in some canyons for an hour around solar noon. Please note that often the typical photography dogma of sunset/sunrise does not always apply here. Examples include dealing with massive shadows in a 3000-foot gorge (Toroweap) or a sandstone bowl surrounded by 60-foot buttes (the Wave). In these cases, and many others, photographs during high daylight hours are the most desirable when the sun evenly lights the area.
33. We want to do one of your overnight tours but aren’t able to make any of your scheduled dates. What are our options?
Depending upon our schedule, we may be able to add or shift dates. Custom multi-days may be able to be arranged April – October depending on availability. Please call us with which tour you are interested in, and which dates you are considering. Calls allow for far easier information exchange and logistics sorting.
34. Can it just be my group on the tour?
Yes – we offer a private tour option for all our destinations at private group rates. If you would like book a private tour, please select the private option during online check-out or specify that you would like a private tour when booking over the phone.
Note: Unless you explicitly book a private tour when you make your reservation, we reserve the right to fill the truck. There is always a possibility it will just be your group, but it is not guaranteed. Customers booking standard fares and tours (which are significantly cheaper than private tours) should never expect that the tour will be private. We can and will fill the seats to capacity if possible. The max is 5-6 depending on the truck and destination.
35. Can you send us a copy of your brochure?
Our brochure is a highly abbreviated listing of our tours with few pictures. It is intended as a teaser for visitors passing through Kanab, available for in-person pickup only. Our website is our most complete and up-to-date information source. If you have specific questions about our tour offerings or would like to see more photos, please call, or email us and we may be able to send you more information digitally.
36. Do you offer a shuttle service? How do we get to Kanab?
We do not offer a shuttle service to trail heads, or to / from St. George. As there is no public transportation to Kanab, you must rent a car to get here.
37. How much time is spent in the car versus time at my destinations? What is the pace of the tour?
It depends on whether you are on a “sampler tour” or a “destination” tour. On “sampler” tours like our Ultimate Kanab, or Grand Staircase Dream Tour, you immediately start going to each point of interest, and make many small stops along the way. These are great for kids’ attention spans.
Some tours have stretches on the highway or bumping along miles of dirt roads. The drives are always scenic and never urban. We specifically craft our tours to maintain around a 1 to 1 ratio or better.
38. What is the best time of the year to see wildflowers?
It is completely dependent on elevation. In Kanab (5,200 ft) it is usually the first week of May. In the Mojave Desert (1,200 ft) it’s the first week of April, and in Cedar Breaks (10,000 ft) it is in June / July. All these dates can vary by several weeks depending on the preceding winter weather.
Tour Specific FAQs
39. How hard is the hike to the Wave, really?
The round-trip hike is just over 6 miles (9.5 kilometers) if you take the most direct route to the Wave and back. Our tours typically cover about 8 miles so we can visit other spectacular sites. Fit, experienced hikers would probably consider this a hike of moderate difficulty. There are long stretches of deep sand to trudge through and an elevation gain of about 500 feet on the trek. There are a few steep inclines with loose footing, and often you will be hiking on uneven sandstone with one foot higher than the other while you hug the side of a steep sandstone ridge.
Folks with knee injuries may find the uneven footing and loose sand particularly challenging. Elevation is also a factor. Many visitors come from sea level. North Coyote Buttes is above 5,000 feet or 1,500 meters in elevation. Decent cardio fitness, leg strength, some amount of endurance and good balance are needed. Practice walking in deep, dry sand on a beach for at least 1.5 miles to get a sense of the difficulty of the sandy sections.
Wind and harsh weather are other factors. This is a particularly windy spot that makes the winter chill even colder. Ice and snow make the uneven hike quite slippery. Falls are common, even among the sure footed when it’s slippery. Summer heat though really packs a punch. The sun is relentless, heating the ground until the radiant heat rises from the earth while the sun shines from above. There is little shade.
We offer harder hikes, but because the Wave has become famous, it attracts all sorts of visitors, not just avid hikers who are used to cross-country travel where there are no signs or marked trails. Stories of rescues in North Coyote Buttes of those who got lost, ran out of water, or showed signs of heat stroke are not uncommon. Cell phone service is spotty, and you can’t count on finding a park ranger around every corner like at the national park. With that said, if you have a true emergency, even if you don’t show a signal on your phone, you may still be able to reach 911.