Tours, photography and more
Meridian is a tour company founded by a landscape and dark sky photographer as well as a natural sciences (geology, paleontology, archaeology) student and enthusiast specializing in helping guests experience off-road/backcountry and dark sky tours in the stunningly beautiful Capitol Reef National Park, Grand Staircase Escalante and San Rafael Swell regions of southern Utah. We offer Jeep tours, hiking, and stargazing photography tours all geared towards perfect timing at the perfect location from a photographer's perspective.
What makes us unique:
- Knowledge Intimate knowledge of location that can only be gained through over a decade of experience in the region you now endeavor to explore yourself. Come with us and we'll share our knowledge, passion, and love for all the unparalleled beauty and adventure the region has to offer.
- Safety You are safe with us. We are first aid/CPR certified and our guides are equipped with satellite communication for prompt response in emergency situations.
- Light We are professional photographers, with personal attention to the areas we bring our guests, we teach it.
- Multilingual We speak English, Italian and Russian and embrace diversity.
- Flexibility We can custom build your itinerary to fit your most personal needs and will provide you with exact pricing based on all included details so, no surprises! At least, other than the spectacular ones you will get when you see where we take you!
- Passion We live here, love, respect and cherish this place and the life it blesses us with. It makes our lives all the more rewarding to share what we love with our guests!
- Drone We offer once in a lifetime footage from a unique perspective of your experience (where permitted) if you don’t have your own.
Stargazing and Milky Way photography tours
Milky Way portrait
Duration: 1 hour
Starting $150 per person
Our knowledge and passion for the astronomical wonders of the universe around us will transport you back in time to the Mythological dramas of ancient cultures on full display in the heavens as well as into the astronomical future of what will become of all these wonders. We take your stargazing experience even further by providing you with your own professional Milky Way portrait while you enjoy all the majesty of our world-famous dark skies.
Jeep tours: Cathedral Valley Loop
Starting $199 per person 7 hours optionally extendible to 9-10 hours.
No compromises. If you have a full day, come see why this is the most requested itinerary in the backcountry! A real sensory overload not to be missed! This is an all day complete loop of Cathedral Valley expedition in our comfortable, fully capable, luxury 4x4 air conditioned vehicles. The loop includes the most sought after Bentonite Hills and Temples of the Sun and Moon, as well as Lower South and Upper South Desert Overlooks, Walls of Jericho, Gypsum Sinkhole and Glass Mountain. This adventure requires at least 7 hours to complete and Several short easy to easy to moderate hikes such as trails to Temples Overlook and Walls of Jericho are available as add-ons to make your adventure as many hours long as you wish. Go on our website for a complete detailed narration of what to expect on the Cathedral Valley Loop full day adventure.
Cathedral Valley: Temple of the Sun and Temple of the Moon
Starting $170 per person 4 hours optionally extendible to 5 hours.
If you don’t have an entire day but still want to visit Cathedral Valley you can choose a trip to either Bentonite Hills or the iconic Temples. Temples of the Sun and Temple of the Moon are by far the most popular tour because it takes you straight to the massive monolithic sandstone towers in a minimum number of hours. This can be customized just as our full day tour so you can spend additional time exploring such areas as the Temples of the Stars and getting more intimate with this most special region of Capitol Reef National Park that only a small fraction of visitors experience.
Cathedral Valley: Bentonite hills
Starting $170 per person 3 hours optionally extendible to 4.
A photographer's, and digital creator's dream! With an added exhilarating river crossing and maybe even a visit to see some dinosaur fossils included!
San Rafael Swell: Last Chance Desert
Starting $190 per person 5 hours optionally extendible to 7.
The lesser known but no less spectacular full day back-country loop tour. It's right next to Cathedral Valley but has its own unique and unspoiled beauty that will leave you speechless with its own Blue Bentonite Hills. Colorful vast Badlands; check! Endless, awe-inspiring vistas; check! Sand dunes; check! A piano in the desert; check! Butch Cassidy was here; check! Geologic majesty unrivaled anywhere; check! It goes on and on so come and see for yourself, you won't be disappointed.
San Rafael Swell: Expedition Mars: Moonscape and Factory Butte, the alien badlands of Planet Utah
Starting $160 per person 3 hours optionally extendible to 5.
Once considered a “photography” specialty tour it is fast becoming the most sought-after experience in the region. This route will leave you transported to an alien landscape you can't imagine exists here on our own planet. An unforgettable experience that will leave you awestruck and amazed. If you wish to see even more otherworldly vistas, this tour can be extended with a short hike to the surreal Angel of Death and Long Dong Silver monoliths.
Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument: Peek-a-Boo Arch and Strike Valley
Starting at $150 per person from 5 hours, optionally extendible to 7-9.
This is a 4x4 driven route known as Notom Road to the Burr trail featuring historic Sandy Ranch, accompanying views of colorful Mancos Shale cliffs and the amazing, uniquely beautiful Henry Mountains as a backgrounds. It culminates with a head turning, exhilarating drive up world-famous Switchbacks. An optional lunch in the shadow of Peek-a-Boo Arch and a hike to the stunning vast views at Strike Valley Overlook are available add-ons. To kick up the adventure quotient, his tour can be furthered with an easy, guided hike to a slot Canyon known as Headquarters.
There are many easy and short (up to 2 mile) hikes that can be purchased as add-ons as part of your half or full day Jeep tour, however, we have a few that are for more adventurous explorers.
Guided Meeks Mesa Arch
Starting at $150 per person from 5 hours, optionally extendible to 7-9.
This hike starts out summiting colorfully beautiful Bentonite formations. It then progresses through a Petrified Forest you can't imagine is just off the "main drag" where most pass unknowingly. A moderate climb up some sandstone outcropping then leads you to the summit of the hike where you will be rewarded with stunning red-rock formations, finns, rock windows, and even an arch with overlooks of the region not equalled by any high country hike in the area.
Irishes: Hour Glass and/or Leprechaun (slot canyon)
Starting at $190 per person from 5 hours, optionally extendible to 7-8.
If your sense of adventure includes some unique and awe inspiring photographic opportunities or simply experiencing the natural wonders carved by water and wind in a more personal but no less spectacular setting, the Irishes are calling! We will get you there, safely guide you in and back out, and give you plentiful opportunity to experience, explore, and photograph some of the most scenic sandstone chambers and alcoves you could ever imagine