Ultimate Escalante Photo Tour

2 Day - $650/person

Quick Summary

Hikers Special!  The Northern End of the Grand Staircase Escalante boasts a plethora of world-class photo destinations that will appeal to your adventurous side. This tour is rated as challenging, for physical intensity with the potential for 10+ mile hikes.  Professional photography instruction is included to help you take your best shots!

The first time I visited this little slot in Escalante, my buddy Jeremy was walking behind me when a large moqui ball fell out of the cliff wall above him. It just barely missed his head by a few inches. It just shows you never know when rocks are going to fall! You can see the pock marks from old moqui balls on the right.


  • Hikers Special!  The Northern End of the Grand Staircase Escalante boasts a plethora of world-class photo destinations that will appeal to your adventurous side.
  • A 2-day minimum is required for Ultimate Escalante trips.  We can meet you in Escalante, UT or arrange transport from Kanab, UT. Click Here if you are only interested in single day options.
  • This tour is fully customizable based on what you want to photograph and how much hiking you want to do.  Please Contact Us to setup your booking!
  • Maximum group size is 5 people to ensure personalized instruction and individualized attention.
  • Transportation provided in 4WD trucks to get us into some remote locations.
  • Photography instruction and guiding is included on all trips!

ModerateLY Difficult Trips

Sunset Arch Escalante Photo Tour
Sunset Arch

A 2.5 mile round trip hike over trail-less terrain to access one of the most unique arches in Utah. Great for night photography! Often combined with Dance Hall Rock.

Zebra Canyon Grand Staircase Escalante Photo Tour
Zebra Canyon

Moderately easy 5-7 mile round trip hike to a very narrow slot canyon (not recommended for large people). There may be some water to wade through at the entrance. Is often combined with Tunnel Slot and the Moqui Marbles.

Calf Creek Falls Grand Staircase Escalante Photo Tour
Calf Creek Falls

6 mile round trip hike on a nice trail to a dramatic 214-foot waterfall!  Seasoned hikers can do both the Upper and Lower Falls.  Phenomenal in autumn.

Devils Garden Grand Staircase Escalante Photo Tours
Devils Garden

Great photography spot with less than half mile hiking.  You'll end up with a lot of keepers among the strange hoodoos and arches. It's really nice for night photography!

Strenuous Trips

Coyote Gulch Grand Staircase Escalante Photo Tour
Coyote Gulch

This 8-10 mile round trip hike really delivers.  You'll get to photograph waterfalls, huge arches, towering canyon walls, hidden lagoons, and much more. It's popular to do this as an overnight trip.

Reflection Canyon Grand Staircase Escalante Photo Tour
Reflection Canyon

Overnight backpacking trip out to one of the most spectacular viewpoints on Lake Powell!  It's 10-miles each way and we spend the night to capture sunset, sunrise, and night photos.

Happy Halloween!  Here's a shot from Spooky Gulch, a short slot canyon that got it's name for all the goosebumps lining the walls.  Converting to B&W really helped to emphasize the textures in the walls.
Peekaboo & Spooky

It's a short hike to these absolute gems of a slot canyon. It takes some athleticism to climb over and squeeze through the narrow parts. There are other slots in the area we can take you to as well.

Grand Staircase Escalante Photo Tours
Backcountry Canyons

There are lots of backcountry canyons we take you to if you're able to hike 10+ miles in a day. This would also include the Golden Cathedral in Neon Canyon.

Trip Details


  • Tour Length:  2-day Minimum. Expect 8-9 hours each day.
  • Drive Time:  Variable – depends where we go. We will be based out of Escalante, UT and many of the locations are accessed via Hole-in-the-Rock road. This road can be very rough.
  • Time Spent on Location:  Variable - depends on itinerary.
  • Tour Departure Time: The time given on the booking is just a placeholder until we figure out which location(s) you want to visit. Note that we operate on Utah time which is one hour ahead of Las Vegas. During the months of Daylight Savings (approx mid-March through early Nov), Utah is also one hour ahead of Arizona.  Please take this into consideration if traveling from out of state.
  • Minimum Group Size: Our tours require a minimum of 2 people for the base price. After you book, we will try to combine single travelers with others. In the event the minimum is not met, you will have the option to pay the 2-person rate and go on a private tour, reschedule to a different date, or cancel and get a full refund. Since these are custom tours, it may be more difficult for us to find others to join.
  • Tour Meetup Location: We can meet you either at our office in Kanab, UT or up in Escalante, UT. Let us know what would be most convenient for you.
  • Permits:  We hold commercial use permits for Grand Staircase Escalante and Glen Canyon.
  • Night Photography:  With some of the darkest skies in the lower 48, the Grand Staircase Escalante is one of the best places for night photography.  View our Night Photography Tours for more information.
Grand Staircase Escalante Photo Tour Night Photography
Grand Staircase Escalante Photo Tour

Trip Details


  • Overnight Lodging / Camping:  Since this trip requires a 2-day minimum, we recommend that participants spend the night in Escalante, UT at either a hotel or RV Park. Alternatively, we can arrange for overnight camping in the backcountry for you. This will help maximize photography time as we won’t have to spend as much time driving back and forth. It also opens up opportunities for night photography. We can outfit you with camping gear and food for $49/person. Send us an email if you’re interested in an overnight camping or backpacking excursion.
  • Hiking / Fitness: We will tailor this trip to the fitness levels of the participants. If you want to do the Coyote Gulch, Neon Canyon, or Reflection Canyon options, then expect a minimum 10-miles per day over steep, loose, and uneven terrain. Some rock scrambling may also be required. The slot canyons require anywhere from 3-6 miles of hiking over easier terrain. However, you should be able to climb up, under, and over rocks and be prepared for hiking in water. The easier areas in the monument are just a 1-3 mile hike over fairly mellow terrain.
  • Trip Itinerary: Please let us know which location(s) you are interested in when making your booking.  The exact trip itinerary is kept flexible to account for current conditions and weather.
  • Food / Water:  We do not provide food on our outings. All participants should bring their own lunch, snacks, and or dinner. Please bring water for the hikes.
  • Restroom Facilities: There are limited restroom facilities in this area. If you need to use the restroom during the outing, we will have toilet paper and hand sanitizer available.

Trip Details


  • What to Wear:  You should check the weather forecast prior to coming on the trip (search for Escalante, UT on Weather.com). If it’s going to be hot, wear light-colored clothing and a hat since the hikes may be in the sun. Bring shoes that are either waterproof or ones that you don’t mind getting wet. We don’t recommend sandals since they fill up with grit and rocks. Closed-toed shoes with hiking socks are best. If the weather is cold, wear long pants and bring a jacket. Hat and gloves may be necessary during the coldest months. Don’t forget sunglasses and sunscreen.
  • Cell Phones: Bring your cell phone along! They are great for capturing candid images. Note that you will not have service during many portions of this drive. We will have USB charging ports in the vehicle if you want to bring a charging cable.
  • Group Size: Our groups will never exceed 5 people per guide. We like to keep our photo tours small so we can give adequate individual attention.
  • Instructors:  Due to scheduling complexities, we often don’t know which instructor will accompany your group until a day or two prior.  If you want a specific instructor, please Contact Us to make your request. Although we’ll do our best to make it happen, please note that there are no guarantees.
  • Safety: Our guides are trained in CPR/First-Aid. All 4WD vehicles are equipped with extraction equipment and a first-aid kit. We carry a satellite beacon with us in case of emergencies outside of cell range.
  • Trip Cancellation: Please see our full Terms and Conditions

Grand Staircase Escalante Photo Tours Golden Cathedral

Need more information?

Happy Friday!  Here's a recent image from an outing to Coyote Gulch.  This is one of my favorite spots in the canyon and I enjoyed using my ultra-wide angle lens to acheive a new perspective on these falls. No focus-stacking needed - I was able to nail the hyperfocal distance.

Camera Gear

  • Camera Gear:  You can make use of all types of lenses on this outing, from very wide angle all the way to telephoto. A wide angle zoom lens is useful in the canyons (equivalent 16-35 on a full-frame camera or 10-22mm on a crop sensor). A circular polarizer can help cut glare and enhance clouds in the sky. Telephoto lenses in the range of 70-300mm are very nice for compressing landscape features. Your mid-range lenses from 35-70mm will also be useful in many spots. We recommend that all participants bring a tripod (ensure it’s one you can hike with). Neutral density filters are also a good idea for hikes like Coyote Gulch to help slow down shutter speeds for soft water effects. Don’t forget extra batteries, memory cards, and cleaning supplies. Please contact us if you’d like to rent any camera gear for your outing. Contact Us if you need specific gear recommendations or would like to rent gear for your outing.