backpacking the southwest

The Southwest United States is a unique landscape of sprawling desert sage, magnificent red sandstone walls and peaking alpine forests. Come to Utah to experience the diversity of the beautiful south west.

ripple Adventures

Join Ripple Adventures, a Florida formed backpacking and orienteering adventure company, as we explore the essentials of what’s needed when heading out on a trek.

7 Days
Las Vegas airport to Las vegas

Price: $1,499

itinerary | flight options | Packing List


course offerings

backpacking 101

Backpacking 101 will cover the basics of backpacking.  What’s needed in your pack? Food, gear, first aid, shelter, emergency, etc… Finally how do you pack all this stuff efficiently. Will cover campsite efficiency in detail, safety in cooking, use of the stoves, campsite selection, sleeping warm and comfortable, etc.

Night navigation

Learn to travel by the cover of darkness by navigating using stars and astronomy practices. This course will aim to equip you with the necessary skills, tools and confidence to to navigate in the dark at night or in poor conditions.

map and compass orienteering (Levels I&II)

Map and compass orienteering will give you the necessary skills to navigate in the wild. Led by Brian with Ripple Adventures, this course will help you become adept at land navigation using a compass. We’ll start with the basic fundamentals that will help you navigate. Then you will learn to move safely off trail and travel on a steady heading through land features to find your way points. By the end of the course you will feel secure in your ability to navigate with a compass.

Interested in going deeper in your personal skills in the wild? Sign up for our 2-day WFA training the two days before this trip, October 13th and 14th. Join for both and receive a discounted price.

What you will see

Southern Utah is a striking landscape of red sandstone cliffs, deeply etched canyons and alpine forests. The diversity of this area gives any adventure seeker a feeling of liberation. Join us on an experience of learning, exploring and growing as we backpack the wilderness of Zion and her surrounding majesty.

Is this Experience for mE?

Activity Level: 5-7 Moderate to Demanding

This adventure is hiking and backpacking focused. Participants must have the ability to hike 7-10 miles in a day. All courses are presented from a beginners level and do not require any previous experience.

service level: Basic

Lodging and dining will consist of simple hotel and tent camping accommodations. Certain locations will not require the use of a tent and will be open “cowboy camping”. One night will be spent as a solo camping experience.

trip type: small group

This is a small, personalized group experience; maximum 12 participants, minimum 4



  • Personal hiking footwear

  • General hiking attire


  • Adventure travel insurance

  • Personal health insurance

  • Personal camping gear *equipment can be rented upon request

  • 3-4 Liters of water storage


DAY 1 PM | Arrive in las vegas

Arrive anytime prior to 2:00pm local time. Shuttle from the Vegas airport to Springdale, Utah. Settle in and attend our first group dinner, meet and greet.

DAY 2 AM | Backpacking 101

Spend the morning exploring the details of preparing for a thru-hike or backpacking trip. We will spend the morning setting up equipment, getting familiar with any necessary rental gear and practicing techniques to be efficient backpackers.

DAY 2 PM | Map and compass orienteering

Our adventure continues with learning how to navigate by compass through the wilderness. The afternoon will be using these skills to navigate and explore the zion backcountry.

DAY 2 Night | night navigation

Post dinner will be a supplemental learning opportunity to navigate by the stars.

DAY 3 AM | Head to the backcountry

The morning will be spent putting our new pre-trip packing skills to the test. We will prepare for a multi-night backpacking adventure.

DAY 3 PM | Exploring and hiking

Miles from civilization, you will immerse yourself in the wild Zion backcountry. The day will be spent navigating and exploring - applying our map and compass skills learned.

DAY 3 night | basecamp one

We will set up our first campsite and group campfire and cook.

DAY 4 AM | backpacking continued

Today the guides will take the backseat and let participants take turns leading the group, navigating the terrain and determining our heading.

DAY 4 pm | Basecamp two

We set up our second night of camp with our group cook. We will spend the evening practicing more night navigation skills.

day 5 am | Backpacking continued

Today we will aim to cover the most ground. Pushing our minds and bodies to get out of our comfort zones and experience the true “grind” in what a thru-hike can provide. Much of this day will be spent on reflection (in silence) and working to determine our purpose in gaining these skills.

day 5 pm | Solo camp night

This night will be spent out in the wilderness alone. You will have the choice of a tent or cowboy camp experience.

day 6 am | return to the front country

We will come back together after our night of solo camping, convene over breakfast and then make our way out of the backcountry.

day 6 pm | Final night as a group

We will spend the evening discussing what we have learned, how our experiencing solo camping was and how we hope to apply this learning.

day 7 am | Departure

A shuttle will be scheduled to take anyone leaving back to Vegas.



Private lodging (2 nights while in the front country), tent camping and open wilderness (4 nights)


Most meals throughout the trip starting with Dinner on day 1, plan for 2 meals being self funded


Shuttle from airport, Private vehicle, and walking