Great Family Adventures: REI Adventures' 'Family Zion & Bryce Hiking'

Yes, we know: The family vacation is a much-parodied event, and perhaps rightfully so. But fumbles, foibles, and hassles aside, families keep taking them for the same good reason: They’re priceless sources of memories.

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HIGHLIGHTS: You already trust them to get you great gear. You can trust them to get you great places, too. REI’s newest travel offering is designed to take families through Utah’s rust-colored slot canyons and narrows, show off the aptly named Kodachrome Basin, and provide a comfortable backcountry sleeping situation each night. This trip weaves in some of America’s best hikes, including one descending from Zion Canyon’s sandstone rim to the Virgin River below. You’ll also trek Escalante National Monument and get from Inspiration Point to Sunset Point by foot to see what colorful, scalloped views millions of years of erosion can create—the Navajo Loop takes you back to the rim. On one of the four evenings out, you’ll strap on a headlamp for a guided evening hike. REI’s custom-built campsites feature hot showers, toilets that flush, spacious tents, and thick sleeping pads—so you shouldn’t hear many complaints from your not-so-outdoorsy family members. A chef prepares all the meals, and other staffers keep games, sketchbooks, and trivia questions at the ready.

OUTFITTER: REI Adventures has been getting people outdoors for more than 25 years, by way of its more than 150 environmentally-conscious itineraries that touch every continent. Their roster of passionate guides includes sherpas and scientists.

ITINERARY: Las Vegas to Bryce Canyon, Escalante National Monument, Kodachrome Basin, Zion Canyon, and back to Las Vegas.

DATES: Departures June 2, 9, 16, and 23; August 18 and 25; and September 1.

PRICE: $2,099 per non-REI-member; $1,899 for REI members (lifetime REI membership costs just $20); each child aged eight to 17 gets a $400 discount. The rates include all meals, four nights’ camping and relevant gear, travel guidance, ground transportation (except airport transfers), and park fees.

INFO:, (800) 622-2236.

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