Want a mix of luxury and adventure? Let’s alpaca suitcase and head to Capitol Reef!
So, you’ve done a bunch of hikes. Maybe you’ve been to a handful of national parks and have the stickers on your Subaru’s cargo box to prove it. But we’re pretty sure you’ve never hiked alongside your own pack llama. And you’ve never stayed at a place with as unique of accommodations as Capitol Reef Resort.
“A llama?” you ask. It’s true. Run this article through Snopes if you want to. Llamas are often called the “beast of burden.” In ancient times they were key to the success of the Inca culture. Today savvy travelers employ llamas to carry the weight (physical and emotional) they cannot carry ourselves. Go farther, stay longer and hike harder with your new best friend.
Interested? Here’s what we recommend. Plan your trip to Capitol Reef and stay at Capitol Reef Resort. Like standard hotel rooms? Fine. Want something non-standard? Choose a cabin, teepee, or conestoga wagon. From there, pick one of three types of llama-assisted excursions operated by Beau and Kristy Baty of Wilderness Ridge Trail Llamas. Their prices are always fair; you can be sure you won’t get fleeced.
You can choose the mileage and how long you want to be out on the trail –– from a simple hour-long jaunt to a full-day, 15-mile journey around the Capitol Reef area. You carry a light daypack while your llama hauls food and gear. Here’s the menu:
Red Bluff Hike | 1 hour | $45 per person | easy, 1–2 miles
Overlook Hike | 2 hours | $60 per person | moderate, 2–3 miles
Amphitheatre Hike | 4 hours/half day | $130 per person | moderate, 4–6 miles
Sulfur Creek Hike | full day | $180–470 per person | moderate, 6–12 miles
Deer Lake Hike | full day | $220–525 per person | moderate, 8–15 miles
Or, if you’re having such great time you don’t want to cut the date short, let your llama invite you up to his place: a deluxe lakeside tent/campfire setup. (Don’t worry, he’s a perfect gentleman, from what we’ve herd.) Here are a couple of options:
Deer Lake to Criss Lake | 1 night/2 days | $830 per person
Cooks Mesa | 1 night / 2 days | $760 per person
Ever heard of the Great Western Trail? You know, the one that’s runs from Canada to Mexico and has been used by native Americans and pioneers. Oh, that one! If you’ve ever wanted to go on a backpacking trip but didn’t, you know, want to carry ALL your gear, this is the way to go. Pick your distance:
3 day | $1120 per person | 17+ miles of moderate to difficult trails
4 day | $1370 per person | 20+ miles of moderate to difficult trails
5 day | $1610 per person | 25+ miles of moderate to difficult trails
6 day | $1890 per person | 30+ miles of moderate to difficult trails
Can’t decide which one you want to do? Don’t rush. You camel it over as long as you need. Whatever you do, be sure to end your trip with a night at Capitol Reef Resort to recover before you leave Capitol Reef (if you actually decide to).