The Paria Canyon Backpack
Fully Guided Tour
Backpacking the lower Paria River Canyon from White House to Lee’s Ferry is a desert dream come true.
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What is included on your tours?
Daytours include pickup and dropoff from local hotels, off-road transportation, natural history narration, guided hiking, photo advice, snacks, water, and lunch on tours of 6 hours or more. Our multi-day tours include all of this plus camping equipment, camp management, three excellent meals, stargazing, sunsets and sunrises for the photographer, and lots more time outside.
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 in order to ensure availability. The larger your group, especially if it involves more than one of our trucks (>7 passengers), the earlier you need to book.
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 daytour date(s) and a 1/3 deposit to reserve a multi-day tour. The remaining balance is due the day of your tour at departure. Your guide can take any method of payment.
Can I pay via cash, Paypal, credit card, check?
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, targets moving over the whole region (our trucks), unpredictability of weather forecasts, the complexities of different road surfaces in different areas, 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 a given 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.
What kind of vehicles do we tour in? Do you offer ATV/Jeep Tours?
All of our tours are run in Chevrolet Suburbans or Crew Cab Silverados for comfort and safety. We do not offer ATV or Jeep Tours.
What do I need to bring on a daytour/overnight?
The biggest things you need to remember on a daytour are a small pack to carry your own water (essential especially on tours with more hiking), 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. For scheduled overnights bring all the same except an extra layer or two. You do not need a change of clothes. For overnights in April or October bring a warm hat and gloves. For custom multi-day trips just add a change of clothes or two. On all tours we provide water and snacks. On daytours of more than 6 hours and multi-days more than 24 hours we provide lunch. On scheduled overnights of 24 hours we do not provide lunch so please eat before you come.
What is the weather like there at various times of year?
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. Please contact us with which tour you are interested in and which dates you are considering. Custom multi-days can be arranged APR-OCT depending on availability.
The lower Paria River Canyon is a remote wilderness area that dissects the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. It is an incredible, 38-mile+ desert route that offers incredibly stunning and diverse scenery ranging from the deep, dark narrows of Buckskin Gulch to seldom-seen Wrather Arch. There is no road access to the Paria River Canyon system between the two terminal trailheads of this hike, White House Campground at the North end and Lee’s Ferry on the South End. Depending on the length of the various optional side trips, you may end up hiking up to 50 miles (and no less than 38 miles) over the course of this five day adventure.
About the Paria River
The Paria Canyon drains a large area of the high country of Grand Staircase Escalante. Over millions of years, the power of water has carved an impressive passageway through the Paria Plateau and created the beautiful, varied landscape of the Paria River Canyon in the process. As we gradually descend through layers upon layers of richly colored sandstone towards the Paria’s confluence with the mighty Colorado River at Lee’s Ferry, you’ll be transported back in time as we follow the footsteps of both Native Americans and Mormon Pioneers who traversed this area in centuries past. Come experience one of the most remote desert wilderness areas of the Southwest and create memories that’ll last a lifetime.
About Dreamland’s Guided Paria Canyon 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 Paria Canyon Backpacking Adventure. You bring your overnight gear & camera; we take care of the logistics.
Overnight backpacks of the Lower Paria River are 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
- Remote terrain with limited escape options
This 5 day adventure includes:
- Overnight permits for the Buckskin-Paria corridor
- Two experienced backpacking guides (1:4 guide-to-guest ratio)
- 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
October 21-25 (all-female hike in collaboration with AWExpeditions)
Check back as we intermittently add new dates to our schedule!
Fully Guided Tour
9am – Guests meet at at 4350 East Mountain View Drive, Kanab, Utah 84741. Guests may leave cars or extra bags here.
9-noon Gear check, trailhead transfer & lunch
12pm – Trail time begins. Approach Paria Canyon Narrows, establish camp for the night. ~8 miles hiking.
10-12 miles per day of hiking along the length of the Lower Paria River with possible side visits to Buckskin Gulch, Wrather Arch, and more
Hike out to Lee’s Ferry (7-10 miles)
Afternoon trailhead pickup and return transfer to Kanab. Trip wraps up by 7pm.
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 Paria Canyon Guided Trip
The Lower Paria River Canyon is an incredible hike, and a bucket list destination for many desert adventurers. This is a challenging 5-day trip for seasoned hikers; prior backpacking experience is highly recommended. While the Paria 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.
What Gear Should I Bring To Hike the Paria River Corridor?
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 the Paria River Corridor and Buckskin Gulch
The Paria River as well as its tributaries (most notably: Buckskin Gulch) are susceptible to flash flooding. If there is rain in the forecast, it may be unsafe to enter the Paria River Corridor. We carefully choose dates for this hike that carry a low 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 as challenging, rewarding and beautiful as hiking the length of the lower Paria River. If flash flood risk makes it unsafe to enter the Paria River Corridor, we will reroute this backpacking adventure to a different location which is not as exposed to the risk of flash floods.