Here’s a little secret…September is the best time to explore the splendor of the American Southwest. Knock off some of the best locations on your bucket list with a stay at Under Canvas! Combine three of our most popular locations; Under Canvas Zion, Under Canvas Lake Powell-Grand Staircase and Under Canvas Grand Canyon – for the adventure of a lifetime – during Southern Utah’s “secret season”.
Why is it called the ‘Secret Season’?
Prepare to pack your jacket! Ideal conditions mean sunny daytime adventures and cooler temperatures, allowing you to explore more of the surrounding desert landscapes during the day and more stargazing around the campfire at night.
Now that school is back in session, fewer people visit the parks in September. Not only are hiking trails more open for exploration during the fall, but viewpoints will be much less populated, allowing you to have some space all to yourself!
Free Park Entrance
Saturday, September 24th is National Public Lands Day, aka one of the 5 days a year you can visit a national park for free!
Take in the beauty of golden hour and watch the sun drop over the desert’s sandstone peaks set off against the autumn sky. If you don’t have time to make it to the national park for sunset, Under Canvas offers beautiful sunset views from your tent and private deck or the outdoor dining area!
Longer fall nights mean more time to gaze at the stars! The desert has over 15,000 stars visible in the area, making it the perfect place to sit by the fire and watch a meteor shower… or book a Stargazer Tent and do it from the comfort of your bed!
What to do
Hike the South Rim Trail
Easily one of the best Grand Canyon hikes, South Rim Trail is a relatively flat, paved walking and biking path that boasts incredible views of the Grand Canyon and Colorado River. You can hike as much or as little as you want as this main trail links to other trailheads and shuttle stops. This trail is also dog-friendly because it stays above the canyon rim!
Take the Hermit Road Bike Tour
Embark on a bike tour led by knowledgeable local guides through the Grand Canyon! This tour takes you along a portion of the historic Hermit Road, winding along the Canyon Rim for 6 miles and is closed to public vehicles. It boasts some of the grandest views along the South Rim – not to mention the safest for families wanting to explore the South Rim by bike! After boarding the shuttle, you bypass the uphill section and start at Hopi Point. From there the tour proceeds westward for 5.5 miles of easy riding; stopping at jaw dropping lookouts along the way to take in the sights and hear interesting information about the natural and human history! Guests with an Under Canvas reservation can book this tour by contacting Adventures.
Relax and Unwind By the Fire
After a day of adventures and thrills in the Grand Canyon, come back to Under Canvas where you can relax and unwind in the comfort of your safari-inspired oasis. Reflect on your day while enjoying live music, on-site dining, and complimentary s’mores by a cozy campfire at Under Canvas Grand Canyon. There’s truly nothing better!
Hike the Narrows
With walls towering a thousand feet over a river bed that gets as narrow as 20 feet, the Narrows is one of the world’s greatest slot canyons. You can choose to explore The Narrows via an up-and-back hike from the Temple of Sinawava—a massive amphitheater at the mouth of the canyon, or via a permit-only 16-mile trek to or from Chamberlains Ranch. Our Guest Experience Coordinator at camp is glad to help choose the right hikes for your group!
Stargaze at Under Canvas Zion
After the sun sets, sit under Zion’s canyon walls and marvel at the blanket of stars above you! Zion National Park is certified as an International Dark Sky Park, and many visitors come here just for that! Once you leave the park, come back to your base camp at Under Canvas Zion, where you can sit by the fire and enjoy the stars from your very own personal deck.
Take a Private Horseback Riding Tour
Join professional cowboys in an amazing ride right from our Lobby Tent at Under Canvas Zion! Explore the breathtaking scenery and terrain during the morning, afternoon or evening. Saddle up for a ride overlooking desert cliffs and beautiful landscapes – a true western experience. Your Under Canvas Adventure Concierge can help you plan this epic horseback riding tour!
Lake Powell-Grand Staircase
Float on the Colorado River
Take a half-day, 15-mile float trip down the Colorado River and take in the scenery of the surrounding area. You can choose between motor-powered or oar-powered rafts for your adventure starting at the foot of the Glen Canyon Dam. From there, you’ll enjoy a different perspective of Horseshoe Bend as viewed from the water, see historic Lee’s Ferry, or just explore the coves around Lake Powell that wind through soaring red rock canyons.
Visit Rainbow Bridge National Monument
Spend your day exploring one of the largest natural bridges in the world! Rainbow Bridge National Monument sits on 160 acres, making it one of the most spectacular natural arches accessible by boat or foot! This one requires a bit more planning, but if you are in for the adventure you have plenty of options:
- Hike the North Trail (17.5 miles / primarily through Navajo Tribal Lands)
- Hike the South Trail (17.2 miles / primarily through Navajo Tribal Lands)
- Take a Rainbow Bridge Tour (tour lasts approximately 6 hours)
- Rent Your Own Boat
Take a Tour of Antelope Canyon
With golden hour light, where the river meets the rock, it’s no wonder Antelope Canyon is the most photographed and most-visited slot canyon in all of the American Southwest. A tour is a great way to learn about the history of the land and to find the best photo ops. This top attraction is just 17-miles from Under Canvas Lake Powell-Grand Staircase!
Under Canvas is your go to hub for adventure whether you are looking for a fun-filled getaway to one of our desert locations, or want to combine all three and complete part of the Grand Circle Road Trip. Don’t miss your opportunity to have a unique experience unlike any other.