Answer the call of the wild without backpacking: Check out REI Signature Camping! Not convinced? Read on to see if comfort in the great outdoors fits your adventure lifestyle. Chances are real high.
1. Do photos of happy people drinking from fancy mugs next to colorful tents set up beneath majestic mountains make you think wistfully, “I wish I could do that,” but you just don’t know where to start?
2. Are you hoping to get your family excited about camping but are afraid you’ll blow it and they’ll never want to adventure with you again?
3. Do you love the idea of sleeping outside but don’t want to go a day without a hot shower, flush toilet and tasty food?
If you answered yes to any of these questions and you love being active in the outdoors, then REI Adventures has a most excellent solution to your warranted worries: the REI Signature Camp in one of the national parks.
Created in 2013, REI Signature Camps welcome curious and adventure-seeking travelers to discover the joy of camping without the sacrifice of familiar comforts. As REI’s answer to “glamour camping,” or “glamping,” the REI Signature Camp setups are designed to provide a more authentic camping experience and a journey into the wild.
Signature Camp Zion, for instance, sits in a pine-studded alcove 45 minutes outside of Zion National Park and offers a safari-style scene straight out of a magazine. You’ll enjoy hot showers, flush toilets, freshly prepared food, spacious tents with private porches and most importantly, peace and quiet under an open sky.
In the mornings, awaken to a steaming pot of French-press coffee delivered right to your doorstep as you enjoy the song of the canyon wren and the light changing on cliffs above camp.
By day, earn your chill time hiking in Zion National Park. Scramble the ridge of Angels Landing, traipse through the cool waters of the Virgin River in The Narrows, and test your lungs at elevations that range from 3,900 feet to 6,700 feet.
On each trek, our local guides introduce you to the fascinating geological and human history of Zion Canyon as bighorn sheep grace the Navajo Sandstone walls, condors sail on thermals rising from the canyon floor and sunning lizards do pushups along the trails. Cottonwood trees offer shade and fern-laden grottos add splashes of green that contrast nicely with the red rocks and blue sky.
Retire to the respite of camp far from the madding crowds and take advantage of a warm footbath while you sip a cold beer. Kick back, read a book in a hammock, or unroll a mat to practice some yoga while your guides whip up delectable meals.
At night, adjourn to a roaring bonfire for toasty s’mores and sharing stories that inevitably fill the star-studded sky before you retire to your cozy cot fully exhausted from the day’s activities.
While cell service and civilization loom at the end of an unforgettable weekend, get excited that your family can’t stop asking, “When do we get to do this again?” You smile, thanking the stars that there are other Signature Camping Trips yet to be explored. This fall, REI Adventures is introducing more Signature Camp trips in national parks. If you’ve dreamed of checking out Rocky Mountains, Yosemite, Great Smokies and others, an REI Adventure might be the perfect way to go deeper in these national treasures.