This trip, along with the original Big Summer Adventure, is the best we’ve ever designed. Think about it: 12 days of fully guided adventures across southeast Utah and Colorado. We backpack, kayak, and hike through our guides’ favorite spots. Every day is jam-packed with incredible adventure!
The itinerary features four once-in-a-lifetime adventures. Early on, we embark on a pair of absolutely epic day hikes through Canyonlands National Park’s Needles District. We then spend four days in touring kayaks venturing through the flatwater Labyrinth Canyon section of the Green River. The adventure continues with backpacking in Colorado’s spectacular Rocky Mountain National Park. For three days, we explore waterfalls, meadows, and gorgeous alpine lakes. Finally, we drive over the Continental Divide for a couple days of mind-blowingly beautiful hikes on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park. Throw in time time to explore a couple mountain towns and soak in not one, but two Colorado natural hot springs, and you’ve got the Big Summer Adventure XL!
Previous backpacking and kayaking experience is not required. Our guides have decades of experience, love teaching, and will bring you up to speed with all the required skills. Swaggering, experienced outdoor pro’s are welcome, too!
We have you covered by including most of the specialized gear. Backpacks, tents, sleeping pads, kayaks, paddles, life jackets, and all group equipment is provided. For such an over-the-top itinerary, we’ve been able to keep your packing list quite manageable.
Need different dates? Check out our original Big Summer Adventure.
Join us and make some of the best memories of your life this summer! Register today!
Matt Stan, Bad Adventures founder
Let's call the intensity a 3 to 3.5 out of 5. The trip includes backpacking, a multi-day kayak trip, and epic day hikes. If you lead an active life or are willing to commit a couple of hours a week to get ready, it's likely you're up to the adventure!
Maximum of 10 amazing travelers. Small groups rule!
New to backpacking? Never kayaked before? That's A-OK! We'll bring you up to speed. If you bring an appropriate base fitness level and a lot of enthusiasm, we have you covered on the necessary specialized skills instruction.
By their very nature, the adventures we plan seem to attract like-minded people. It's safe to say that if you show up by yourself, you'll come away with a crew! This trip works well for solo travelers and small groups of friends.
Oh, yeah, there's no single traveler supplement fee!
Your guides pick you up from either your hotel near Grand Junction Regional Airport or from a morning flight arrival at Moab Canyonlands Field airport. We take stock of our gear and depart for the greatest adventure of our lives!
We get to know each other over a day hike on Canyonlands National Park Island in the Sky mesa. The La Sal Mountains dominate the horizon and each turn of the trial reveals a new, beautiful landscape below us. In the afternoon, we travel to Canyonlands Needles District, where we pitch camp for the next three nights. We group-cook a delicious dinner and soak up the stars!
For two days, we day hike and explore remote sections of the stunning Needles District, while returning to our comfortable base camp each night. Our destinations include the breathtaking Colorado / Green River Confluence Overlook and Chesler Park, an area with rock landscapes that appear straight out of Dr. Seuss illustrations!
Our days begin and end with hearty breakfasts and dinners together at camp. It can’t possibly get better than this!
Somehow the trip gets better!
We reorganize our gear into dry bags, then pack kayaks for an incredible 4-day, 3-night paddle through Labyrinth Canyon on Utah’s Green River. This flatwater (no rapids!) stretch takes us past towering sandstone formations, lush green tributary confluences, and historic early river runner inscriptions.
Our amazing guides teach you kayaking techniques and are there to help along the way. Previous kayak touring experience is not required. Kayaks, paddles, life jackets, and other river safety equipment are all included.
We tent camp at stunning backcountry river-side campsites, tell stories over delicious group-cooked meals, and catch a glimpse of the Milky Way while laying under the stars.
Without exaggeration, this may be one of the best flatwater river paddling trips in the world!
Our takeout day arrives! We paddle to Mineral Bottom, load our gear, and complete an absolutely stunning drive out of the canyon. As the day continues, we drive east, leaving red sandstone rock formations behind us, in favor of Colorado’s gneisses mountains spotted with trees.
A shower and a dip in a natural hot springs is a high priority! We relax and soak tired muscles, then take time to explore a mountain town and treat ourselves to a dinner in a restaurant.
The day winds down as we settle into a frontcountry campground for the night.
Our amazing guides help you get gear organized for two nights on the trail. New to backpacking? No problem! Backpacks and most of the required specialized equipment is included.
We head deep into Rocky Mountain National Park for a 2-night stay. We tent camp at a gorgeous stream-side campsite. On our second day in the wilderness, we explore a series of alpine lakes near the Continental Divide. Along the way, we encounter jaw-dropping views of waterfalls, meadows, and rugged peaks. This is Colorado at its finest!
Our idyllic backpacking comes to an end, but there’s still more adventure to come!
We hike out of Rocky Mountain National Park, then set course for another shower and hot springs soak. We emerge relaxed and rejuvenated!
We take time to explore the Colorado mountain town of Grand Lake, enjoy a late lunch in a restaurant, and sample the local ice cream flavors. Late in the day, we drive Trail Ridge Road, an incredible scenic highway that passes above 12,000-feet of elevation.
The day concludes with pitching a comfortable base camp for the final three nights of the trip.
Our final two days are spent exploring the east side of the Continual Divide in different parts of Rocky Mountain National Park. We day hike among waterfalls, alpine lakes, and whistling marmots. The breathtaking landscapes that surround us are goosebump-inducing. It’s a fitting close to a once-in-a-lifetime trip.
Tears are shed. Promises for a reunion are made. We always knew it couldn’t go on forever. The trip finishes at 5:00 PM at the Hyatt Place Denver Airport hotel. If you fly out of Denver this evening, your guides will drop you off at the airport at 5:30 PM.
Fully guided. Backpacks, tents, and most gear provided.
Fully guided paddling trip on a flatwater river.
Explore Canyonlands and Colorado!
We stay at beautiful sites! Tents and camping mattresses are included.
Ride in style in a comfortable Ford Transit passenger van.
Expert instruction from our friendly, professional team.
We provide backpacks, tents, sleeping pads, bear canisters, kayaks, paddles, lifejackets, and a lot more!
We plan delicious meals for us to cook together.
The itinerary includes time in both Canyonlands National Park and Rocky Mountain National Park.
Medical kit, satellite phone, navigation supplies, and more.
Your flights or other transportation to and from the trip, your accomodations the night before and the night after the trip, optional shower on day 4, hot springs admission on day 7, dinner on day 7, hot springs admission on day 10, lunch on day 10, ice cream on day 10, your personal clothing and gear on the packing list, travel insurance, and guide gratuity.
You don’t need to be a professional athlete! However, you do need a moderate base level of fitness. If you lead an active life and are willing to spend a couple of hours per week preparing for the adventure, it’s likely you’re up to it!
During the backpacking portion of the trip, we travel up to 8 miles per day over rocky terrain with 35 to 45-pound packs.
During the kayaking portion of the trip, we paddle about 4 hours per day at a mild sustained pace.
Still have questions about whether this trip is appropriate for you? Don’t hesitate to contact us!
Nah. That’s pretty unlikely. This trip is solo traveler friendly!
It’s absolutely OK! If you’re new to backpacking, be sure to follow the packing list exactly. We provide the backpacks, tents, sleeping pads, and most of the other specialized pieces of gear. Our guides love teaching and will help you get up to speed!
It’s no problem if this is your first kayaking trip! Our guides have decades of experience and will provide paddling instruction, beginning with the absolute basics.
Be sure to review the packing list carefully and follow it exactly! The higher-value items you need to bring include a sleeping bag, a pair of backpacking boots, a pair of sport sandals or water shoes, and a rain jacket.
Try to avoid overpacking. Bringing too much stuff will just slow you down!
We tent camp all 11 nights of the trip. 5 of the nights are spent at backcountry campsites accessible only by trail or river!
Tents and self-inflating camping mattresses are provided. You share a tent with 1 or 2 other travelers.
The tents are dome-style backpacking tents. To make it more comfortable, we sleep either 2-travelers in a 3-person tent or 3-travelers in a 4-person tent.
Utterly delicious. We cook most meals together at camp. Your guides provide the ingredients and recipes for hot breakfasts and dinners. When we’re hiking, backpacking, or kayaking we eat lunch on the trail or river bank.
When we’re backcountry camping during the backpacking and kayaking portions of the trip, we cook in smaller groups of 2 or 3. This helps make the most of the lightweight backpacking stoves that are provided.
Almost all the meals during the trip are included.
We can accommodate common food allergies, sensitivities, and dietary requirements. If you have specific questions, please contact us. A food preferences survey will be emailed in advance of the trip and will inform how we arrange provisions.
Please contact us first if you’re interested in bringing any of your own gear that isn’t on the packing list.
Nope. The Labyrinth Canyon section of the Green River has no rapids. It’s flatwater.
We recommend either flying to Grand Junction, Colorado the day before your trip begins or flying from Denver to Moab Canyonlands Field on United flight 5096 on the morning your trip begins.
If you choose to fly to Grand Junction the day before the trip, we suggest staying at any of the following seven hotels:
Each of these properties offers a shutle from Grand Junction Regional Airport. If you stay at one of the hotels, your guides will pick you up between 7:00 and 7:30 AM on the morning your trip begins.
We suggest staying at our gateway hotel, the Hyatt Place Denver Airport, the night the trip ends. Bad Adventures has a special group rate. You’ll be able to book a room with the group code we email after you register for the trip. The deadline for using our group code is 30-days before your arrival at the hotel. Please note, there’s no requirement that you stay at our gateway hotel after the trip.
The trip ends at the Hyatt Place Denver Airport hotel at 5:00 PM on the last day.
Yes! Showers are available on morning of day 4, at the hot springs on 7, and at the hot springs on day 10.
We recommend taking out a travel insurance policy. Bad Adventures reserves the right to cancel trips and a travel insurance policy keeps you protected. See the Travel Insurance Page for more information.
You can reserve your spot today by paying a $199 deposit. The balance is due 60 days before the trip. Be sure to read the complete Trip and Course Policies.
There's no cancellation fee if you decide to cancel 90 days or more before the trip and we'll even refund your deposit! However, if you cancel less than 90-days before the trip, your deposit is nonrefundable. Additionally, there are significant cancellation fees if you decide to cancel your registration 59 days or less before the trip. Be sure to read the complete Trip and Course Policies.
Subscribe to emails and learn about new trips and courses first. No spam. Unsubscribe anytime.