Colorado Plateau camping trail

Explore Utah and the Colorado Plateau in the saddle on an unforgettable riding holiday. You will venture deep into the wilderness, exploring some of the most spectacular locations of the area: depending on your chosen week, ride across Capitol Reef National Park, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, San Rafael Swell Wilderness, or Utah’s High Plateaus. This is one for adventurous riders; willing to explore remote locations and camp far from the beaten path, in comfortable canvas wall tents complete with showers.
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Centre based holidays
7 days / 4 days riding
From £1,863

Itinerary

Highlights

- Watch wild Mustangs or Bighorn sheep grazing on a beautiful backdrop
- Ride across beautiful rugged Canyons
- This rugged scenery is home to wildflowers, elk, deer, and even wild horses that can be spotted
- Ride through the Capitol Reef National Park, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, San Rafael Swell Wilderness, or Utah’s High Plateaus.
  • Day 1 1: Home - Torrey

    International overnight flight to Saint George (flights are not included, but can be booked upon request). Self drive or transfer to Torrey, Utah.
    You will meet with the trip leader and interpretative specialist at around 7pm at your accommodation for orientation, outline destinations, and further details.

    Overnight at the hotel. Dinner to your own account.

    Please note that each week is different and riders can explore different areas depending on their time of travel. Early trips highlight high desert environment and canyon riding, while June, July and August highlight the surrounding mountains, taking in elevations up to 10,000 feet and offering panoramic views of the lower canyons and Capitol Reef National Park. The following itinerary is given for informative purposes only.

    Note: Transfers are not included but can be arranged, please check the “dates and prices” section to know more.
  • Day 2 2: Colorado Plateau - 4-6 hours riding

    After a lovely breakfast at your hotel, you will head to our partner’s headquarters, just a few minutes away from the hotel. There, pack your gear in the camp 4x4, and meet the remainder of the crew and your assigned horse.
    At around 9am, head out with the group to the trailhead from where you may start to ride towards the Red Canyon, past the Hondu Arch. Depending on the day, you may also ride by the Locomotive Point, home to several well preserved petro glyphs, Devil’s Race Track, the Golden Gate, Twin Priests, and other beautiful locations.

    Arrive at the camp where you may enjoy dinner by the fire.
  • Day 3 3: Colorado Plateau - 4-6 hours riding

    Each day you will ride out after a hot breakfast in a different direction equipped with a picnic lunch and return to camp in time for a delicious dinner prepared by the camp cook. Today, your ride might take you to the Red Canyon Narrows, or the Chute and Penitentiary Canyon.
    You will then make your way towards the Golden Gate, following a visit to Bullock Canyon and the Blue Man pictograph panel.
    At the end of the day return to camp located under beautiful cottonwoods along the stream and freshen up before having dinner.
  • Day 4 4: Colorado Plateau - 4-6 hours riding

    After waking up, enjoy a lovely breakfast at camp.
    Depending on the time of your visit, you will have different itineraries. In one week you might explore the upper reaches of the Muddy Gorge, where it meanders through Triassic sandstones. As you make your way, you may spot Mustangs grazing along the stream.
    Another possible itinerary will take you to Long Neck for views of the Swasey Arch, Saddle Horse and upper Cold Canyon. After lunch, ride up the McCarty Canyon trail.

    You will always arrive back at camp with plenty of daylight and time to clean up and enjoy hors d’ oeuvres before dinner.
  • Day 5 5: Colorado Plateau - 4-6 hours riding

    After packing you belongings and breaking camp, ride to Mckay Flat through the Red Canyons and the Grey Breaks. This route will take you to a favourite watering spring of the wild horses so there are high chances that you will spot a few.
    At the end of the trail you will be driven to Torrey. You should arrive in late afternoon.
    Collect your belongings and check-in into your accommodation for the night.
  • Day 6 6: Departure

    Today you will self drive or transfer to the airport in time for your flight back home.

    Please note that departing flights should be booked no earlier than 11am.

    Note: Transfers are not included but can be arranged, please check the “dates and prices” section to know more.
  • Day 7 7: Home

    Arrival home.

Dates & prices

Price details

- Flights or transportation to your destination are not included, but can be booked on request - please contact us for rates.

- Rates are per person, based on two riders sharing a twin or double room during the ride.

- Groups are composed of a minimum of 2 riders and a maximum of 10 international riders, plus guides.

- If you do not wish to share your tent a private one can be provided for an extra charge of $200/€180/£155

- Transfers can be organised from Saint George at a cost of $600/€580/£510 per person, both ways (a direct shuttle from Las Vegas to St George is available). Due to the remote location, guest arrival must be between the hours of 8am- 5pm MST to be transferred to the hotel.

- Riders with 8 years old and above can participate in this programme as long as accompanied by a guardian.

- Gratuity is not included and should be paid in cash directly to your guide. 18-20% is customary. Please factor in $400-440 per person

- IMPORTANT : Riders weighing more than 100 kg/17 stone 4 lb/ 250 lbs please indicate this at time of booking so we can ensure suitable horses are available.

- Please remember that each week is different, exploring a different National Park or Forest. This is the provisional schedule for 2024:
April 22-26 (Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument)
May 13-17 (CRNP, Boulder Mountain)
June 17-21 (High Plateaus)
June 24-28 (High Plateaus)
July 8-12 (High Plateaus)
July 15-19 (High Plateaus)
August 5-9 (High Plateaus)
September 2-6 (Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument/ CRNP)
September 9-13 (Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument/ CRNP)
September 16-20 (Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument/ CRNP)
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

Price includes

Logistics

1 cook
1 support vehicle and driver

Accommodation

2 person tents
Double room in a standard hotel on day 1 and day 5

Meals

Full board from Breakfast on day 2 to lunch on day 5
Soft drinks

Additional equipment

Saddle bags

Extras

USD Sales Tax

Price doesn't include

Meals

Alcoholic beverages and personal extras
Meals on day 1+dinner on day 5 are not included in the price

Transport

Transfers from/to the airport
International flights

Extras

Tips are compulsory in the USA. Teams expects 18%-20% gratuities.

Insurance

Visas (ESTA fees) and personal purchase
Cancellation and travel insurance are not included in the above listed price. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked to cover you in case of cancellation
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    27/05/2024 02/06/2024 £1,863 €2,142 $2,310
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    17/06/2024 23/06/2024 £1,863 €2,142 $2,310
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    24/06/2024 30/06/2024 £1,863 €2,142 $2,310
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  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    08/07/2024 14/07/2024 £1,863 €2,142 $2,310
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    15/07/2024 21/07/2024 £1,863 €2,142 $2,310
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    05/08/2024 11/08/2024 £1,863 €2,142 $2,310
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  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    02/09/2024 08/09/2024 £1,863 €2,142 $2,310
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    09/09/2024 15/09/2024 £1,863 €2,142 $2,310
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    16/09/2024 22/09/2024 £1,863 €2,142 $2,310
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Equestrian info

Horses

Most horses available on this holiday are Quarter horses. Their temperament is ideal for trails and some are even suitable for the most novice riders.
Their size ranges between 14 to 16hh.

Guide & local team

The climate in Torrey is usually on the colder side but it is temperate.
July is the warmest month of the year with an average temperature of 21.4 °C, and January is usually the coldest month.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

To participate in this ride you must be comfortable at all paces - walk, trot and short canters in open areas.
Your hosts strive to give experienced riders the pace and challenge they desire, and to give inexperienced riders all the instruction they need.

Riders weighing more than 110 kg/17 stone 4 lb/ 250 lbs please indicate this at time of booking so we can ensure suitable horses are available.

Pace

The pace of this holiday is a relaxed one, with long periods of walking and some short trots and canters where the terrain allows. This is not a fast ride.

Tacking ability and participation

You are not required to help catch, groom, or tack up your assigned horse however help is most welcomed.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

On this holiday you will be spending an average of 5 to 6 hours in the saddle each day although riders can choose to rest for a day rather than ride if you want to.
The rides are leisurely and might be divided into two groups, one group going a longer distance and one a shorter distance. You should plan to leave your accommodation around 9am and return around 6pm.

Please note that on some occasions you might be required to dismount and lead your horse.

Equestrian equipment

You will be using Western tack. Waterproof gear bags, water bottles and saddle bags are provided.

Travel info

Comfort

On the first night you will be staying at a hotel. For the remainder of the holiday you will overnight at camp which is supplied by 4x4 vehicles. This includes canvas tents which can be set up for single, double or family occupancy. You will be provided with a freshly laundered sleeping bag and a pillow, blanket, foam sleeping mat and cot. All camp amenities are provided such as showers, camp chairs and coolers.

Camp locations are typically situated in higher elevations in mid-summer and lower elevations in spring and fall seasons.
Camping in the backcountry is a spectacular event, with a blanket of stars, campfires, cowboy music, and poetry. Please note you will be staying at the same camp throughout your holiday - this isn't a mobile trail.

Meals

All meals are provided during this holiday. Breakfast will be taken and prepared at camp. Lunch will be eaten on the trail and may include sandwiches, snacks, and fruit. Dinner is eaten at camp and it’s primarily made from local fresh produce and beef from the TK Cattle Ranch.
Vegetarian and other dietary requirements can be accommodated but please contact us with your requirements before booking.

Climate

The climate in Torrey is usually on the colder side but it is temperate.
July is the warmest month of the year with an average temperature of 21.4 °C, and January is usually the coldest month.

Tips

Tips are compulsory in USA. Local team expects to get 18-20% payable locally.

Packing list

You will be provided with a freshly laundered sleeping bag and a pillow, blanket, foam sleeping mat and cot. All camp amenities are provided such as showers, camp chairs and coolers.

Head
- Equus Journeys strongly recommends that you wear a riding helmet and that you take your own to ensure a correct fit. There are many lightweight options available nowadays
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana

Upper body
- Thermals (long or short sleeved)
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun and are an extra layer
- T-shirts
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Warm fleece or jumper (and a spare in case one gets wet)
- Warm and waterproof jacket - it can rain at any time of year and the evenings can be particularly cold
- Swimming costume - for swimming/bathing in rivers/hot springs

Legs
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Thermals
- Casual trousers for the evenings, such as jeans or tracksuit bottoms
- Waterproof over trousers

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps as an extra layer against inclement weather. We don't recommend taking your favourite long leather boots in case they get damaged
- Waterproof shoes/boots can be useful for abundant dew in the mornings or when it rains
- Trainers or equivalent light shoes for moving around the camp in the evenings
- Several pairs of warm, thick socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, cold or rain whilst riding. Waterproof gloves can be particularly useful


Other useful items
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around camp at night - bring spare batteries and bulbs
- Water bottle (2 litres or 2 x 1 litre)
- Swiss army knife (or equivalent)
- Field glasses
- Wet Wipes or equivalent (for when washing facilities aren't available)
- Toilet paper and a lighter to burn it with
- Small plastic bags for rubbish
- Ear plugs (for light sleepers)

Medical kit
- Any medication you regularly take
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent, preferably containing deet
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Eye drops
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhoea medication
- Re-hydration sachets
- Water purification tablets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel

Our Recommendations
- Backpacks cannot be worn whilst riding. We recommend a small bumbag or a coat with pockets so that you can carry small items with you during the day (passport, camera, sunscreen, lipbalm etc)
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals
- In your hold luggage put any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant unless they are less than 100ml and all bottles can fit in a small, clear, plastic ziplock bag. We recommend biodegradable washing products where possible.
- In your hand luggage place any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.

Sustainable tourism

  1. Travel light. It's a little known fact, but the lighter you pack, the better for the environment as heavy bags will produce higher emissions (when flying a plane or driving a car!).
  2. Reduce plastic waste. Take your favorite reusable bottle with you. Avoid single-use bags, cups, or straws.
  3. Preserve nature. Always take your rubbish with you during the ride and recycle them. Leave all the flowers or plants as you found them, and never get too close when observing wildlife. Make sure to use eco-friendly products such as body wash or laundry detergent (if camping) to protect both your skin and the environment.
  4. Choose your experiences carefully. Respect animal life by not participating in any activities that abuse wild animals (shows, elephant rides, etc.).
  5. Support local populations. Buy local handicrafts, be respectful of customs, and learn about the culture of local communities.
  6. Share! Raise awareness among your family and friends about sustainable tourism.

For more information please see this page.