Sonoran XL
An Ultimate Experience

Trip Details

Type: Luxury Experience

Trip Code:  SOXL

Duration: 6 Days

Distance: 38 mi/61 km

Fitness: 3
Comfort: 3
Solitude: 4
Challenge Ratings Overview

Host City: Tucson, AZ

Cost: $4000/person

Trip Description:

The Arizona Sonoran Desert are at the top of many outdoor enthusiast's to-do list, and for good reason.  Remote, colorful desert vistas, ever-changing skies, the world's most personable cacti (Saguaros), perfect weather in the cool season, and spectacular, complex geology.  To be in the Arizona Sonoran Desert is to be in continual awe of the power of tectonics and mountain building, wind, water, and time.  Sonoran XL takes Arizona Sonoran Desert exploration to the next level, as we hit some of the reagion's greatest features by day, then live a luxurious life by night.  You will marvel at the views and the impeccable, outstanding service provided as we dine, drink, and sleep in absolute swank.  You will start the day with a full breakfast, be packed an outstanding lunch and have access to delicious snacks on the trail, then return to camp to dine on your nightly 4-course, wine-paired meals prepared by a professional chef.  A masseuse is on call at our camp to work out the knots of the day's epic adventures, and your sleep accomodations, complete with Tempurpedic Brand pillows, top-of-the-line down sleeping bags, and oversized queen air mattresses  will far exceed expectations you may have for even a reputable resort.  This is truly Sonoran Desert Glamping.  The exploration side of things will take us away from the crowds, into a rugged 4-wheel Jeep, on horseback, into scenic canyons, to the top of one of Arizona's iconic peaks, into an adventurous cave, and onto the trails, where you will encounter scenery that most people only see on postcards and in their dreams.

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Trip Itinerary

Day 1:

Pick up, helicopter tour, drive to camp near Madera Canyon.....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 2:

Hike Mt. Wrightson....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 3:

Hike Sycamore Canyon, sunset Horseback riding and wine tasting....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 4:

Caving, Bisbee, and Tombstone.....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.
Distance & Elevation: 12 miles, 600 foot descent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5:

Aravaipa Canyon..... Our final day on the trail is a relatively short one but offers the great reward of completing a truly wonderful journey. Soak in the scenery of 2500 foot cliffs surrounding the wide open valley of the lower Paria River and the multi-colored rock layers. The trail ends at Lonely Dell Ranch, a historic homestead and lush orchard a short walk from the Colorado River and Lee’s Ferry, the official beginning of Grand Canyon. Your shuttle driver will meet you here and prepare a tasty lunch by the banks of the river before packing up and heading back to Flagstaff.
Distance & Elevation: 5 miles, minimal descent
Breakfast, Lunch
Drive Time: 2 hours

Day 6: 

Saguaro National Park.....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.

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

What’s Included:
A professional, degreed, licensed and medically trained geologist/guide
All necessary gear: daypack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad
All cooking/eating gear: bowls, cups, utensils (your guide will prepare all meals)
All meals from a light breakfast on Day 1 through lunch on the last day + trail snacks
Professional Masseuse
Roundtrip Transportation from your hotel in Tucson, AZ to our campsite and all activities/attracations
Entrance fees, camping fees and backcountry permits

Meals: what to expect

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 XL will accommodate up to 5 people plus one geologist/guide and camp associates. 

Are there age restrictions?
Sonoran XL adventures are strictly 21 and over due to the nature of the service, adventures, and camp atmosphere.  This restriction may be negotiable on private tours. Please contact us with any questions regarding this policy.

How do I sign up?
In order to confirm a reservation, we require an initial deposit of $1000 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. Cashier's checks by mail are accepted with two forms of ID, 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, AZ and you will need to spend the night prior to your trip’s scheduled departure in Tucson. You will want to fly into either Phoenix, AZ (1.5 hour drive) or 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 at 4:30pm the evening prior to your trip’s departure at the host hotel in Tucson. Departure times and logistics for the following morning will be discussed at the orientation.  Most trips will depart between 8am and 9am.

*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?
We will provide all transportation to/from trailheads for the duration of the trip. We will pick you up at the host hotel in Tucson and return you there at the trip’s conclusion. Guests staying at the host hotel can leave their cars at the hotel. These hotels will often store your luggage for you, as well. If not, we are happy to store extra luggage at a secure location for the duration of the trip. If you are staying at a different hotel, you will need to check with them as to whether you can leave your car there.

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. In general, it is recommended that you do not plan to fly home on the same day your trip finishes. Since each trip has slightly different logistics, feel free to contact us with specific questions related to the expected return time for your trip.

Trip Dates

2017 Dates
December: 1-6
February:  1-6

2018 Dates
December: 1-6
February:  1-6

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.