With so many destinations to choose from, North America is a broad expanse of raw, open wilderness where it would be easy to spend a lifetime discovering new hidden places to getaway. The mountains, creeks, canyons, and deserts are a seemingly endless adventure playground blessed with a wonderfully mild climate. While our tours are rooted in the Southwest where we can cover lots of ground while experiencing a huge variety of terrain and environments we’ve also curated a wide selection of tours to help get you acquainted with some of our favorite areas all over North America.
While we can arrange custom tours to anywhere you want to go, we like to focus on the best of the best. Places not to be missed. Starting with our favorites.
Many people are surprised by what they find upon first arrival in Northern Arizona; it’s not all saguaro cactus, desert sand and blinding heat. Set between about 5000 to 8000 feet above sea level, this part of the state is much cooler throughout the year compared to its southern counterpart and includes an immensely varied landscape. Pinyon-juniper and ponderosa forests, chaparral, and riparian creeks are all scattered across mountains and canyons making for a new scene everywhere you look. Flagstaff is home to Arizona’s highest peak often seen towering in the distance at over 12,000 feet and is snow-capped much of the year. We love to spend most our free time out adventuring outdoors, and there’s a good reason we’ve chosen to live here. We invite you to come see what it’s all about!
In 15 years of organizing trips in Grand Canyon, we consider this Rubicon’s specialty. We’ll take you on a once-in-a-lifetime trip into one of the natural wonders of the world. At 277 miles long, 6000 ft deep and up to 18 miles wide, the scale of Grand Canyon is simply stunning. Choose between our self guided and guided options for backpacking in the park. Or, check out one of our lodge based tours for day hike options.
The Grand Canyon is particularly well suited to fall, winter and spring hikes. Colder weather at the rim (it often snows in winter) is ideal for hiking, and warmer temperatures near the bottom are comfortable without the overwhelming heat the region experiences in the summer.
Southern Utah is perhaps the greatest place in the world to get up close and personal with some of the most enchanting and mystifying geology on Earth. Twisting canyons, natural arches, spires, and hoodoos seem to appear from no where, the formation of which takes some serious mental gymnastics to comprehend. Catch a sunset glowing off these red rock cliffs and you just may never see the world the same way. Our lodge-based Southern Utah Highlights tours offer the best of Utah, visiting Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
The Colorado Rockies are famous for their jagged peaks with 58 of them towering above 14,000 feet and thousands of other smaller peaks in between. Our 8 day, 7 night village based hiking tour highlights a few of the best stops in the state with daily hiking recommendations and an iconic through hike in one of the most famously photographed mountain ranges, the Maroon Bells.
Your trip begins with three nights in the historic mining town of Crested Butte with daily picturesque hikes leading to secluded lakes or mountain peaks with incredible views and rainbow colored wildflowers along the way. Crested Butte is a small town with numerous local bed and breakfast accommodations or small mountain inns. We’ll arrange your stay at one of our favorites.
After four days of exploring the best of this quiet remote mountain town, you’ll hike your way over a beautiful pass to the bustle and glamour of a “little town called Aspen”. Your car and luggage will conveniently meet you in Aspen where you will continue with two additional days of iconic mountain exploration based from a glamorous hotel in downtown Aspen. Community breakfasts are included throughout your tour with a list of our favorite lunch pickup spots and dinner recommendations each evening.
If the rugged mountains of Colorado have been on your list of places to explore, now’s the time. Pack your hiking shoes, backpack, sunscreen and camera, ‘Colorful Colorado’ is ready for you.
A New England summer would not be complete without exploring the rocky coast of the North Atlantic, or the rugged peaks of the White Mountains. This self guided combo tour sends you from sea to summit with opportunities for adventure at every turn. Set out for a paddle by kayak or SUP, enjoy a swim at the beach, and treat yourself to a sunset sail aboard an authentic traditional fishing schooner before heading north for a mix of day hiking and overnight backpacking. Accommodations range from luxury hotels, to alpine huts, and cozy inns. Located north of Boston on Cape Ann, Gloucester is America’s oldest continuous seaport. Although it was fished for centuries by many cultures before being settled by Europeans in 1623, one of the earliest well-known records of the area is Samuel de Champlain’s 1606 account. The chart he created refers to Gloucester as “le beau port” or beautiful harbor, and once you arrive it’s immediately easy to understand why. After a short drive from Boston, you’ll spend your first two nights here in beachfront luxury. Home to 48 peaks over 4,000 feet above sea level, the White Mountains of New Hampshire and Maine is one of the greatest outdoor playgrounds in the northeast. The stark relief of the Presidential Traverse is at the heart of it all, and we’ve picked out our favorite section to share with you. You’ll approach Mount Washington from Crawford Notch, and if the weather cooperates, you might just get the opportunity to summit the highest peak east of the Mississippi. After spending three nights backpacking between the Appalachian Mountain Club’s huts, you’ll spend your last two nights at a cozy North Conway inn. Your final day includes choices for peak ascents with spectacular 360 degree views of the region.
If you haven’t been to Lake Tahoe before, you’re going to wonder what took you so long. With an average depth of 1600 ft, and stunningly blue, it is the 2nd deepest lake in North America and certainly one of the prettiest.
Lake Tahoe sits high in the Sierras at 6225 ft, surrounded by a ring of impressive mountains, numerous meadows and endless pine trees. A paradise for hikers, the region is also a multi-sport dream. The mountains are threaded with trails along streams, to higher alpine lakes or to panoramic peaks for 360 degree views. Relax with a beach day on one of the sunny lake shores. Rent a bike and try out one of the world-class mountain biking trails or spend a leisurely day along a lakeside trail. Rent paddleboards for a day on the water, or treat yourself to a sailboat cruise along the lake. A week is not enough to experience it all.
Straddling California and Nevada, it is easily accessible from both Sacramento (2 hrs) and Reno (30 minutes). Fly in, rent a car, and you will be breathing the fresh woodsy air high in the mountains. We like to start in the delightful little town of Truckee. Just off the lake, Truckee has great restaurants and shops and a fun bohemian vibe. Our home here is the gorgeous Cedar House Lodge, a true hiker’s home base, where Jeff and Patty Baird are your eager, friendly hosts. They will greet you with a welcome dinner and answers to any questions you have about the area.
Truckee is not on the lake, but everything is close, and each day you’ll have a variety of great hikes to choose from. After 3 beautiful days and nights in Truckee, you’ll transfer down to South Lake Tahoe, where you stay at the Landing, an exquisite lakeside hotel that is close to numerous great hikes on this side of the lake.
Options abound. If you’d like a longer or shorter stay, we can arrange that. You can also stay all 6 nights in Truckee as an affordable, welcoming homebase for the whole region.
Discover the magic of the Canadian Rockies! Huge limestone peaks, turquoise lakes, wild animals, and abundant trails. After arriving in the friendly Calgary airport and renting a car, it is just over an hour to the small town of Canmore in the Canadian Rockies, and then a short drive further to Banff National Park.
You’ll spend 3 nights in Banff exploring mountain valleys and glacier-fed rivers while relaxing in a comfortable hotel each night. The hiking options are nearly endless… Healy Pass with it’s stunning views, iconic Lake Louise and the Plain of the Six Glaciers, Moraine Lake and Valley of the Ten Peaks… you will not lack for options.
It might be hard to leave, but there’s more to see, so after 3 nights it’s time to move along. The drive to Jasper National Park along the Icefields parkway may be one of the best drives in the world, winding along the Continental Divide with unfair views at every turn. Nearby Yoho Park (named, appropriately, after a Cree expression of awe and wonder) is a notable stop with many hiking options.
The drive terminates at our favorite Rockies town, Jasper.
Jasper began its life as a fur trading post in the early 1800’s and has retained a healthy low-key charm. It is a great jumping off point for hikes to Maligne Lake, taking the gondola up Whistler’s Peak and for hikes near the colossal Mount Robson, the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies. After 3 nights here, relive your route along the Icefields parkway back to Calgary and flight home.
Your days will start with breakfast at your hotel giving you a hearty start to a full day. Then you’ll be out on the trail, exploring the wonderful trails of Banff and Jasper. Our hike descriptions will give you plenty of options for long days and shorter jaunts. Later, explore the many great restaurants in each location, while you plan for the next days’ adventure!
Our partner company, Alpinehikers, has been offering a variety of Self-Guided, Group-Guided and Private-Guided trekking tours in the Alps and Dolomites since 1999. If you’re interested in a bespoke European hiking adventure ranging from village-based luxury hiking tours, to rustic inn-to-inn treks their service is unparalleled. The Alps are an endless mountain playground and we’re happy to create a customized adventure or make arrangements for one of our favorites for you. Check out alpinehikers.com for the full schedule and more info.