Self-Guided Tours

About Self-guided Tours

Why take self-guided tours?

There are many reasons to take self-guided tours to the Southwest. Perhaps you don’t want to be part of a group, maybe you have your own family or group, or just prefer to explore on your own. Many people have restrictive travel dates that don’t match up with our guided tours, and a self-guided tour becomes the best option for your schedule. Plus, self-guided tours are more flexible (in the planning stages) and affordable than guided tours, generally running about 2/3 the cost of a comparable guided tour. We’ve designed self-guided tours as short as 2 days or as long as 3 weeks, and take pride in finding just the right itinerary for your needs. We can arrange quiet, intimate tours for two or larger getaways for groups of friends, work colleagues, or family reunions.  The choice is yours!

We offer a variety of well-tested self-guided packages that are modified versions of many of our guided tours that have proven to be very popular with our clients. We can also customize any of these tours to lengthen or shorten them, or upgrade or downgrade accommodations as you like. We only arrange self-guided tours in the areas we know and love, and you’ll benefit from the experience and expertise accumulated by our guides who have been living, working, and playing in this landscape for decades. We know the lodges and the locations, and will direct you to the best options the Southwest has to offer.

What will your self-guided tour include?

We try to make it easy for you, so you don’t have to worry about the details. Our self-guided tours typically include prepaid hotels with breakfast, carefully written route descriptions, hiking maps with highlighted routes, a local support contact person, and lots of useful information that will help your trip run smoothly.  We also offer the options of adding a gear rental package or a shuttle service to Grand Canyon for our backpacking tours, for a small fee.

Not included are meals and beverages, extras such as laundry, phone calls from the room, etc., or transportation to/from your tours start/finish locations. Exact details vary slightly from tour to tour, so see the individual tour descriptions for complete details.

Our notes on towns and national parks and route descriptions are detailed and descriptive, with elevation guides, longer and shorter options, ideas for rainy days, and are customized to fit your trip. You’ll receive a comprehensive packet of information well before your trip to review, including suggested packing list and info on what to expect.  You will have plenty of time to contact us with any questions!

Interested in what our trips are like? Take a look at our tour overview packet to get a general idea of how we operate and the kinds of materials you can expect.  For more detail, you can see a typical route description and destination notes example.  And, here’s an article that describes the benefits and planning of self guided tours from a guides perspective. We put a lot of care and detail into your tour materials, try to anticipate questions you have, and to give suggestions for things you might not have thought of.

Southwest

Backpacking

Self Guided Grand Canyon Backpacking: Hermit to Bright Angel Trail

Grand Canyon National Park

Take a hiking tour into the Grand Canyon in Arizona and immerse yourself in one of the natural wonders of the world.

Departures January – May
September – December

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Self Guided Grand Canyon Backpacking: South Kaibab to Bright Angel

Grand Canyon National Park

Take a hiking tour into the Grand Canyon in Arizona and immerse yourself in one of the natural wonders of the world.

Departures April – May
September – December

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Self-Guided Grand Canyon Backpacking: Rim to Rim

Grand Canyon National Park

Take a hiking tour into the Grand Canyon in Arizona and immerse yourself in one of the natural wonders of the world.

Departures September – October

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Lodge-based

Self-Guided Northern Arizona Highlights

Prescott, Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, Sedona

Blessed with an ideal climate and supreme natural beauty, Northern Arizona is a perfect hiking destination for spring and fall trips.

Departures January – May
September – December

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Self-Guided Southern Utah Highlights Tour

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Bryce and Zion National Parks

Discover one breathtaking highlight after the next at the most spectacular National Parks in the US Southwest.

Departures January – May
September – December

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How does it work?

Our self-guided tours can generally be booked for any number of people and any dates that work for you.  If you find a trip you like, you can sign up online and we’ll do our best to make sure it happens.  If you have any questions at all, just ask.  We’re always a quick phone call or short email away!

 

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