The Buckskin Backpack
Fully Guided Tour
We go out of our way to open the wonders of the West to EVERYONE.
We are permitted, licensed, and insured.
Dreamland Safari Tours holds Special Use Permits from the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, Grand Canyon National Park, the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument/Paria Wilderness, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Kanab Bureau of Land Management, Kaibab National Forest, and Arizona Strip Bureau of Land Management.
Don't see your preferred departure date or time available via online booking? Give us a call.
For sunset or sunrise at our more remote locations, we recommend a scheduled or custom overnight or multi-day tour - and we are happy to work with you to develop an itinerary that meets your needs.
All listed tour durations and pickup times are approximate. Please allow 10-20 minutes of pickup time flexibility for unforeseen circumstances and varying pickup logistics. Water and snacks are provided on all tours. A lunch meal is included on all tours of 6+ hours. Vegetarian option available.
We reserve the right to fill all empty seats on non-private tours. Cancellation / Reschedule / Weather policy applies.
Please familiarize yourself with our FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS before contacting us.
Backpacking the length of Buckskin Gulch is a true bucket list adventure for avid desert hikers
Private Tour Upgrade Available?
What is included on your backpacking trips?
Backpacking trips include overnight permits, lightweight tents, team cooking equipment, main meals, trailhead transport from the closest town, water purification, team first aid and emergency communication, and of course experienced backpacking guides. Almost all of our backpacking trips also include a hotel night (double occupancy) before and after the hike, as well as a team dinner pre- and post-hike.
What gear do I need to bring?
Dreamland Safari Tours provides tents, team cooking gear, water purification, team first aid & emergency communications. You need to bring (or rent) a backpack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, cup/bowl/spoon, and your hiking attire including a waterproof jacket and down jacket. Rentals for backpacks, sleeping bags & sleeping pads are available through Dreamland Safari Tours.
What type of food should I expect?
Dreamland Safari Tours provides breakfasts, dinners, and light lunches while we are on the trail (as well as water, coffee and tea). You can expect both fresh meals and the occasional backpacker's freeze-dried meal. We can accommodate many dietary restrictions with prior notice.
What is the bathroom situation?
Except for the Grand Canyon itineraries, there are no outhouses to be found on our backpacking itineraries. On most backpacking trips, expect to bury solid human waste by digging cat holes. For some itineraries such as the Paria and Buckskin Gulch, the use of wag bags is mandatory.
How much weight will I have to carry?
Standard pack weights for most of our itineraries vary between 35 to 40 lbs, which includes a ~5 lbs team gear allocation in addition to your personal gear. Your gear choices, trip duration, and water availability on your itinerary are the main determinants of final pack weight.
Is it possible to hire porters?
Most of our itineraries are subject to strict group size limits, which makes it difficult to impossible to offer porter services. That said: if you are booking a private backpacking adventure and would like to explore the possibility of adding on porter services, please give us a call or send us an email to discuss.
How do I get to Kanab or Escalante or... ?
Most of our backpacking programs start and finish in small desert towns which can be admittedly hard to reach. Public transport options are very limited, which makes travel by (rental) car advisable. If you are flying in and would like to avoid renting a car, please give us a call - we may be able to assist with car pools with other backpackers or airport pick ups.
Is there a place to leave my vehicle?
There is a safe spot to park your vehicle for the duration of the backpack on each of our itineraries.
Is tipping the guide customary?
Yes! A typical gratuity is $20-$40 per person per day -- so for a 5-day trip, the suggested tip would be between $100 and $200 total. You can read more about guide tipping from the perspective of one of our guides on our blog here.
Buckskin Gulch is the longest slot canyon in North America and potentially the world. 12 miles of uninterrupted narrows, plus several miles of mandatory approach to and from the slot canyon on either end, make for a spectacular 20+ mile hike through the belly of the earth that is best done over the course of 2-3 days.
About Buckskin Gulch
With a narrows section that continues for almost 15 miles and reaches a depth of up to 500ft, Buckskin is a classic bucket list adventure. Day hikes into Buckskin Gulch have gained popularity in recent years, yet overnight backpacks are notoriously difficult to plan due to a variety of factors:
- Hard-to-get permits (only 20 overnight permits are issued each night for all fifty miles of the Buckskin-Paria corridor)
- Time-intensive trailhead shuttles
- Flash flood risks
- Limited water availability
About Dreamland’s Guided Buckskin Gulch Backpack
At Dreamland Safari Tours we are proud to utilize our decades of experience in desert adventures, backcountry risk management and expedition planning to offer you an exclusive, small-group guided Buckskin Backpack. You bring your overnight gear & camera; we take care of the logistics.
This 5 day guided bucket list adventure includes:
- 3 days in Buckskin Gulch plus two nights in Kanab (one before the backpack, and one afterwards)
- Main meals & lodging in Kanab pre- and post-trail, double occupancy; contact us to inquire about the possibility of a single supplement
- Trailhead transport from and to Kanab
- Overnight permits for the Buckskin-Paria corridor
- Experienced backpacking guides
- 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
If you wish to reserve your spot on our Buckskin Gulch adventure you can simply book online or give us a call at 435-644-5506.
Check back as we intermittently add new dates to our schedule!
Interested in a private Buckskin Gulch backpacking trip just for your group? Call us at 435.291.1083 or email at email@example.com.
Fully Guided Tour
5pm – Hotel check-in followed by trip briefing and gear check
~7pm – Team welcome dinner
Dinner & double occupancy lodging are included in the price of this adventure
Trail time begins. Specific departure time and entry trailhead (Wire Pass or Buckskin Gulch proper) depends on conditions. Approach Buckskin Gulch, establish camp for the night. ~4-7 miles.
10-12 miles of hiking along the length of Buckskin Gulch, past Middle Route & the Boulder Jam.
Hike out to Whitehouse. 7-9 miles.
Trailhead pickup and return transfer to Kanab, followed by hotel check-in.
Team celebration dinner
Dinner & double occupancy lodging are included in the price.
Day 5 – Depart
Guest Experiences with Dreamland Safari Tours
Steve was an awesome guide and we had a great time hiking White Pocket (Vermillion Cliffs) with him. He customized our hike and planned a great route for us. Since we liked birds he stopped at the California Condor viewing area for us. We got to see 900 year old drawings and then amazing views of the white pocket are from different angles. Lunch was yummy with fresh veggies, fruit and meat. Fantastic Day, highly recommend.
DABEDB – May 20, 2019
Best tour ever. Such a beautiful natural wonder! The journey there and back was also amazing. Andrea was an excellent guide pointing out all kinds of interesting features of the landscape. Her driving was swift and safe in a well maintained all wheel drive vehicle. I would not want to attempt this trip on my own even with a adequate all wheel drive vehicle. White Pocket itself is simply stunning. I would recommend this tour to anyone who appreciates natural wonders.
I8990KDrobertr – May 16, 2019
Took a tour of White Pocket with Dreamland at the end of April with Andrea as our tour guide. It was a great experience. White pocket is very difficult to get to – both in terms of terrain and directions. Having a guide to get you there safely, as well as give some interesting history and facts on the area was great. Would definitely recommend!
Jamie U – May 12, 2019
Bailey did a great job for our small group. My wife and I enjoyed everyone’s company as well as the good lunch prepared for us. It takes a while to get out to White Pocket, but you will be glad you made the effort to see this fascinating area.
Departure68316626825 – May 10, 2019
Just completed a truly wonderful visit to White Pocket on a photo safari with Dreamland and AZ Highways Photo Tours. Dreamland’s outfitters were outstanding. Food was almost too good and plentiful. Their service and attention to detail is outstanding. Not sure when my next trip is with them but I’m already looking forward to it!
Terry G – May 7, 2019
What to Expect on this Buckskin Gulch Guided Trip
Buckskin Gulch is an incredible hike, and a bucket list destination for many desert adventurers. This is a physically demanding 3-day trip for seasoned hikers; prior backpacking experience is highly recommended. While the Buckskin Backpack is a fully guided adventure and Dreamland Safari Tours will take care of group logistics, you have to be prepared to carry your own overnight gear as well as four liters of water, snacks, and your share of the food required for all three days. Depending on your gear choices and packing discipline, your backpack will likely weigh upwards of 30 pounds. We will cover 8-12 miles of uneven, demanding desert terrain each day. If you are at all concerned about your physical ability to complete and enjoy this backpacking adventure, please give us a call at 435-644-5506 to discuss the feasibility of your participation. If Buckskin Gulch is on your bucket list but you feel that the 3-day backpack may be more than you are looking for, we would be happy to schedule a Buckskin Gulch day-trip adventure for you via our Guide’s Choice Tour.
What Gear Should I Bring To Hike Buckskin Gulch?
All participants will receive a comprehensive gear check list as well as recommendations for gear to buy or rent for this trip. We provide cooking gear & meals but ask that participants bring their own overnight gear i.e. backpack, tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag et cetera. Dreamland Safari Tours has limited rentals available for select gear items (such as tents, backpacks, sleeping bags, trekking poles), which may be reserved on a first-come-first-serve basis.
A Word about Flash Floods in Buckskin Gulch
Buckskin Gulch is ‘the most dangerous hike in the world’ due to its susceptibility to flash flooding. If there is any rain in the forecast, it is unsafe to enter Buckskin Gulch. We carefully choose dates for this hike that carry the lowest likelihood of monsoonal storms and other seasonal precipitation. Should the weather not cooperate, we will pivot to an equally spectacular ‘backup’ route of similar difficulty – possible alternatives include rare locations along the Paria Plateau, Grand Staircase Escalante or possibly even the Grand Canyon.
If necessary, weather-related rerouting decisions will be made at the last minute; rerouting does NOT entitle participants to a refund. We work hard to create a flash-flood mitigation backup route which is equally challenging, rewarding and beautiful as hiking the length of Buckskin Gulch. If flash flood risk makes it unsafe to enter Buckskin Gulch, we will reroute this backpacking adventure to a different location which is not as exposed to the risk of flash floods.