Sonoran Sunset
A Unique Experience

Trip Details

Type: Lodge-Based Hiking and Wild West Experience

Trip Code: SOSU

Duration: 5 Days

Distance: 38 mi/61 km

Fitness: 3
Comfort: 5
Solitude: 4

Host City: Sierra Vista, AZ

Cost: $1950/person

Trip Description:

The Arizona Sonoran Desert:  the most ecologically diverse desert in the world, Old West boomville, adventure geologist's paradise.  Here you will find some of the most stark, remote, rugged, and spectacular wilderness in North American, including the world's most personable cactus (the Saguaro).  Jagged, fault-bounded mountains, pristine and remote desert, sunsets beyond imagination, and adventure for a lifetime is all the Sonoran Desert offers.  During your Sonoran Sunset adventure, you will experience all the highlights of this tremendous area, including potentially the most famous boomtowns of the Old West, spectacular canyons, rock formations, "sky islands", a fantastic 4x4 tour in the mountains, and the most colorful skies you can imagine.  This adventure will give you the full experience of the Sonoran, from the top of 9500 foot peaks to the desert floor, and everything in between.  Sierra Vista, Spanish for "mountain view", will serve as our base for this tremendous adventure at a cozy and quaint, locally-run lodge.  In addition, you geologist/guide will be with you every step of the way to help you truly understand  and appreciate this wonderful area for its geology, culture, history, and spectacular adventure opportunities.  Bring your camera and adventurous self!

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Trip Itinerary

Night 1:

Sunset dinner, orientation.....The Paria Canyon Backpacking tour starts at the White House Trailhead near the Arizona/Utah border. After final preparations, you will begin your hike along the Paria River. The wide, shallow canyon quickly narrows as the sandstone walls begin to rise overhead. There are frequent stream crossings as you make your way deeper and deeper into this stone labyrinth. Eventually you will arrive at your first night’s camp near the confluence with world-famous Buckskin Gulch, considered the longest slot canyon in the world. Kick back and relax as your guide sets up camp and prepares a delicious dinner.
Drive Time: 3.5 hours
Distance & Elevation: 9 miles, 160 foot descent
Light Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 1:

Miller Peak....Today’s adventure starts with a breathtaking stroll up Buckskin Gulch, made all the more enjoyable without your backpack! Bring your camera…this canyon is outstanding. Returning to camp, we’ll pack up and head further into the depths of Paria Canyon. Expect another day of frequent creek crossings, towering canyon walls and “out-of-this-world” scenery.
Distance & Elevation: 9 miles, 160 foot descent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 2:

Tombstone and Bisbee.... Your third day offers beautiful sandstone walls, freshwater springs and world-class hiking. A short side hike will take you to Wrather Arch, a natural sandstone feature spanning over 200 feet. It is one of the most secluded natural arches in the Southwest. Tonight’s camp will be in the vicinity of Shower Spring.
Distance & Elevation: 9 miles, 350 foot descent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3:

Sycamore and atacosa....Today’s hike will see Paria Canyon begin to open up as you leave the narrows and enter its wider downstream reaches. Keep your eyes open for ancient petroglyphs, etchings left in the rocks and boulders by ancient civilizations traveling through the area. In warmer weather, you will find some nice pools to cool off in on your way to camp near Wilson Ranch

Day 4:
Sunrise Yoga, Cochise Stronghold

Day 5: 
Tucson day, Saguaro Wasson Peak, AZ museum, old pueblo, drop off at hotel or airport by 5pm.....This longer itinerary allows for a slower pace and some shorter backpacking miles each day. It will also allow for more time to explore side canyons and just take time to relax and enjoy your amazing surroundings. The 6-day itinerary requires a minimum of 4 people to book a custom tour

What’s Included:
A professional, degreed, licensed and medically trained geologist/guide
All necessary gear: daypack, trekking poles
All nights of lodging in Tucson
All cooking/eating gear: bowls, cups, utensils (your geologist/guide will prepare all trail meals)
All food, including a mix of front and backcountry meals
Roundtrip Transportation from your hotel in Sierra Vista to all activities/attractions
Entrance fees and backcountry permits

Meals: what to expect
We provide all your meals from sunset dinner on the first night through lunch the last day. Your geologist/guide will prepare a variety of meals on the trail that will fit the day's activity. Feel free to tell us about your food preferences, as we're more than happy to tailor the menu to your needs/desires. Some specialty diets may require an additional fee.

For dinners, the host hotel serves excellent food, and we've hand-picked local restaurants we're sure you will love! Our picks are based on food/drink quality, local repuation, food type, and how much they reflect the local culture and flair.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.

What’s Not Included:
Transportation to/from Tucson, AZ
Lodging the night before/after the trip
Clothing, raingear, and footwear
Personal toiletries, sunscreen
Water bottles/hydration bladder
Headlamp or flashlight
Guide gratuity (suggested 10-15% of trip cost)
*Upon booking you will receive a detailed trip information packet

How many people are in the group?
Sonoran Sunrise will accomodate up to 6 people plus one geologist/guide. On occasion, a group may be as large as 10 people plus 2 geologist/guides.

Are there age restrictions?
Children under 12 are generally not permitted on any of Blue Marble's scheduled trips.  This can be negotiable on private tours, please contact us to discuss this policy

How do I sign up?
In order to confirm a reservation , we require an initial deposit of $600 per person, with the final balance due 90 days prior to the trip’s departure. If you book a trip within 90 days of the trip’s scheduled departure, then full payment is due at the time of booking.  Your deposit is payable over the phone by Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, or Discover. Checks by mail are fine as well, as are bank transfers ($35 transfer fee). Call our office Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm Arizona time. 1-602-904-2536
Travel Logistics

Where does the trip begin/end?
This trip will begin/end in Tucson and you will need to arrive in Tucson at the pre-arranged meeting place before 3 pm the day your trip begins. You will want to fly into Tucson. Please visit our  Travel Resources  page for information on airports, shuttles/rental cars and recommended hotels.

Where do you meet our guides?
We will hold a pre-trip orientation beginning at 4:30pm on the first night of your adventure.  You will meet our geologist/guide at the host hotel, drive to a scenic overlook of the town, where your geologist/guide will prepare a sunset dinner and give you a sneak peek into your week's adventure.

*This meeting is not mandatory, but highly recommended, as we will depart early the next morning. If you are unable to attend, please let us know in advance so that we can make alternate arrangements.

What do we do with our car and extra stuff?
You will  be able to keep all your things and rental car at the host hotel for the duration of the trip.

What time will we get back on the last day?
Expect to be back in Tucson by 5pm at the latest on the last day of the trip. Some trips will return earlier but we cannot make any guarantees.  Lodging after check-out time at the host hotel is not included in the price, so please make the necessary arrangements at the host hotel, another hotel in town, or plan to leave Durango that evening.  Since each trip has slightly different logistics, feel free to contact us with specific questions related to the expected return time for your trip.

*Final itineraries are occasionally subject to change due to permit/campsite availability, park restrictions/closures, weather conditions and/or road closures.

Trip Dates

2017 Dates
March: 5-10
April: 5-10

2018 Dates
March: 5-10
April: 5-10

More dates to come soon…
Don’t see your dates? Custom dates may be available!
Call 1-602-904-2536 or email us  for details.