Suitable for beginners

Visit a pristine petroglyph panel

Equipment and instructions provided

Embark on an adventure where you’ll discover one of Utah’s best-kept secrets, the Occulus, a spectacular Navajo Sandstone arch lying deep within the towering cliffs and sublime canyons of the San Rafael Swell. You will visit wild and serene landscapes untouched by human presence. For the more adventurous, experience the thrill of rappelling 90-feet through the Occulus.

$179 per person | 5 to 6 hours | Snacks included

Trip Details

Price

$179 per person*
10% discount for groups of 8 or more

*Minimum day rate of $537 for 1-3 travelers


Departure time

8 AM


Meeting point

Goblin Valley Road.
Meeting location will be provided in your pre-trip information packet.


Availability


Duration

Half day (5-6 hours)


Group size

2-10

If you have more than 8 people in your group, contact us about doing a private tour.


Experience level

No previous experience required

This trip is suitable for beginners of all ages who enjoy an active, adventurous, and educational outdoor experience. Adult participants should be able to carry a pack weighing 10-20 pounds.


Difficulty rating

2

Level 1
  • Activity:
    • Hiking: Easy hiking on well maintained trails
    • Canyoneering: Easy hiking and scrambling using hands and feet for balance and support A rope may be used for handlines, belays, rappels and lowering packs
  • Distances: Hike up to 2 miles
  • Surfaces: Easy terrain
  • Elevation Change: Little to none. Short sections of uphill travel.
Level 2
  • Activity:
    • Hiking: Easy to moderate hiking
    • Canyoneering: Easy to moderate hiking and scrambling using hands and feet for balance and support. A rope may be used for handlines, belays, rappels and lowering packs.
  • Distances: Hike up to 3 miles
  • Surfaces: Flat or rolling terrain with some steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
  • Elevation Change: Up to 600 ft/day
Level 3
  • Activity:
    • Hiking: Moderate, off-trail hiking on rugged trails
    • Canyoneering: Moderate, sustained, climbing and scrambling using hands and feet. A rope is required for handlines, belays, rappels and lowering packs
  • Distances: Hike up to 6 miles
  • Surfaces: Rolling or mountainous terrain with some steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
  • Elevation Change: Up to 1200 ft/day
Level 4
  • Activity:
    • Hiking: Difficult, off-trail hiking on rugged, technical terrain
    • Canyoneering: Difficult, sustained, climbing and scrambling using hands and feet. A rope is required for handlines, belays, rappels and lowering packs.
  • Distances: Hike up to 10 miles
  • Surfaces: Rugged, exposed terrain with steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
  • Elevation Change: Up to 3000 ft/day
Level 5
  • Activity:
    • Hiking: Very difficult, off-trail hiking on rugged, technical terrain
    • Canyoneering: Very difficult, sustained, climbing and scrambling using hands and feet. A rope may be used for handlines, belays, rappels and lowering packs. May require advanced canyoneering techniques including guided rappels, multi-pitch rappels, complex ropework difficult pothole escapes, and advanced problem-solving and anchor building.
  • Distances: Hike up to 14 miles
  • Surfaces: Extremely rugged, exposed terrain with steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
  • Elevation Change: Up to 4000 ft/day

Solitude rating

4

  1. Expect to be around other hikers and travelers most of the time.
  2. Expect to have some solitude, as much as an hour at a time without seeing other groups.
  3. Expect several hours of solitude at a time.
  4. Expect to see no more than one or two groups on your trip.
  5. Expect to see no other hikers or travelers on your trip.

Included

  • Experienced and professional guides
  • Canyoneering equipment
  • Canyoneering and rappelling instruction
  • Snacks and refreshments
  • Federal land permit fees
  • Safety equipment, including a team first-aid kit and satellite messenger
  • A commitment to make the tour as exciting, challenging, and informative as you’d like

Not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Transportation to trailhead
  • Gratuity for your guide

What to bring

  • Layered clothing
  • Comfortable, sturdy footwear
  • Sun protection
  • Small backpack
  • Water bottles or bladder
  • Headlamp or flashlight

A full packing list will be sent upon booking.

What Lies Ahead of You

Explore a beautiful and seldom-visited canyon

Enjoy fun slickrock hiking and straightforward scrambling

Experience an exhilarating free rappel into the Occulus (optional)

Visit a petroglyph panel and learn about the area’s history and geology

Enjoy energizing snacks while admiring the magnificent Canyon Country views

Eye the Occulus—and Rappel Through It!

Our journey begins with a short scramble through a wild and serene slot canyon. Continuing on, we will hike along towering canyon walls decorated with multi-hued desert varnish and one of the most spectacular barrier-style pictograph panels in southern Utah.

Towards the head of the canyon, we’ll encounter a variety of dramatic potholes, natural bridges, and hanging gardens. For geology enthusiasts, a brief detour will lead you to a precipitous outcrop of Moqui marbles. Your guide will bring past and present to life as they share about the areas rich cultural and geologic history.

At the top of the canyon, we reach the high point of our trip with magnificent panoramic views of Robbers Roost, Canyonlands, Bears Ears, and the Henry Mountains. From here, we’ll begin our descent down a second canyon to an awe-inspiring natural arch. Guests have the option for a thrilling 90-foot free rappel through the Occulus, a Navajo Sandstone arch lying deep within the towering cliffs of the San Rafael Swell, and into ant alcove once used by Ancestral Puebloans.

Other Important Information

We offer multiple tours in the Utah wilderness. See where we guide!

 

If you’ve decided to stay a little longer, take a look at our list of Utah recommendations(opens in a new tab), including the nearest towns with the best accommodation and restaurants. If you have any further questions, please get in touch with us(opens in a new tab)!

Frequently Asked Questions

No. This particular adventure is designed for beginners. We’ll teach you the ropes at the beginning, and then let you put into practice all your new skills.

Wear clothes you can move in and don’t mind if they get “worn-in” by the canyons. Make sure to bring enough layers in case of cool temperatures. For your feet, comfortable medium-weight hiking shoes or boots work best. You definitely need closed-toed shoes (no Chacos!) that you’ve worn before and broken in well.

Entrance fees and snacks are included in the price.

We are happy to include healthy, nutritious and delicious snacks on all of our outings. We typically bring a nut mix and dried fruit along with us. We welcome you to bring some snacks of your own if you’ve got something specific you’d like.

Please note: we are happy to accommodate vegetarian, vegan, kosher, and gluten-free diets—just get in touch with us, and we’ll chat about your needs!

There is usually little to no signal where we tour. It’s the perfect time to unplug and truly enjoy nature! If you need to stay connected for a specific reason, please get in touch with us, and we’ll work together to get it sorted.

Have more questions? Head to our FAQ page to read more!

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