Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why should I choose Dreamland Safari Tours?
The foremost reason is superior customer service at all phases. Our employees are outstanding. Competence and friendliness are their hallmarks. From the first phone call or email, to helping you choose which tour is best for you and your group, to explaining permit processes, to efficient online or phone bookings, to coalescing and transmitting all the necessary information, to keeping you safe in the wilderness, to showing you the best hiking/photo routes and locations, to the most comprehensive educational information, and to just plain showing you a great time, our team are a cut above and work relentlessly to serve you on your vacation. There’s a reason that we’re the Dream(land) Team 🙂
2. If I book a tour to the Wave (North Coyote Buttes) or South Coyote Buttes (SCB) with Dreamland, does it automatically include the required permits?
No, we do not have blanket or umbrella permits for the Wave or SCB. Our permits only cover our guides and can only be used in conjunction with our guest’s permits. The Bureau of Land Management restricts the number of people allowed in the area each day. Because of this all of our guests are required to obtain permits via lottery.
3. How do I get permits for the Wave or South Coyote Buttes?
There are two different lotteries to obtain permits for the Wave and SCB – online in advance or in person the day before. Both processes are explained HERE. Links to the government websites are also posted in the blog.
4. Can Dreamland get us permits to the Wave or South Coyote Buttes?
While the online lottery is always the first line of defense and makes booking with us vastly simpler, many times people lose the online lottery – and sometimes they realize too late that a permit is required. We have created options called Conditional Tours explained in depth HERE under the heading of “Lottery and Planning Strategy with Guided Tours.” As standard policy, if you are starting or joining a conditional tour (one in which the final destination depends on the day-before permits), we always attend the lottery on our customers’ behalf. It is a courtesy service at no extra charge. However, we have no special standing in the lottery, we do not accept bribes to run bootleg tours, and of course there are absolutely no guarantees you will win. In the case that we do not obtain permits, we require an alternate tour. Usually this is The White Pocket Tour as it requires no advance permit. The cost of permits obtained by Dreamland, are not included in the tour price and will be added to your bill at face value. Again more important information you need to read if you are interested in conditional tours is located HERE at the bottom of the page.
PLEASE NOTE: We do not go in for multiple dates and endlessly shift dates until a single party wins. Guests must pick a single date and accept the results. We will do one day, one draw, per purchased tour that requires a permit and you win or lose as a group. We do not split groups or accept remainder permits, and we will never under any circumstances try to help you cheat the lottery by submitting a duplicate entry alongside yours. If you should decide to subvert us and enter the lottery yourself on the same day you have arranged for us to also submit an application (illegal duplicate entry which could get our company in trouble), whether the BLM disqualifies the applications or not, you will be subject to a forced 100% cancellation fee or 0% refund for any and all tours you have scheduled with us. We do not tolerate guests jeopardizing our commercial permits to slightly increase the odds of winning. We work tirelessly to make this process as easy as possible for you and all our guests. Please do not throw us under the bus.
5. I plan on doing a tour with Dreamland and am trying to get permits online but need some information to complete the application. What do I put in the blanks?
First of all, none of these answers are binding or terribly relevant for guided tours. Don’t let this step hold up getting the permits. The idea here is for the government to be able to find you should you go missing while hiking in this area. With a guided tour this information is not important. For the Wave, the entry and exit trailhead is Wire Pass. For South Coyote Buttes, enter Cottonwood Cove for entry and exit. If your tour goes to Paw Hole at South Coyote Buttes, don’t worry, your permit is still good for both areas. When entering a group number you do not need to include the guide when obtaining permits yourself. Just put the total number in your group. For state of the license plate put UTAH. For the license plate # enter GUIDE. When asked about the “recreation fee” enter NO. If the name of the company is required put DREAMLAND. PLEASE NOTE: In the case of South Coyote Buttes, the government wants you to watch a video before, moving on to reserve permits first come first serve but if you do you will get shut out. So simply move the slider on the video from one yellow mark to the other. South Coyote Buttes is first come first served at noon mountain time on the first of every month for three months in advance. You must be on the ball right when the calendar opens and get through the process as quickly as possible or you will get shut out.
6. Are large groups allowed at White Pocket?
All large group inquiries are handled on a case by case basis directly by management. If you have a large group for White Pocket please call us at 435-644-5506.
7. I’m traveling by myself. What are my options?
Please do not book online if you are a single. Call us to discuss your options and what tours are running during your date window. We have a two adult passenger minimum. If a tour is already booked, you can join the existing tour. If you are looking for a particular tour that is not already running on your date, we will add your information to our calendar. If that tour is booked or another single is interested, we will contact you to arrange the trip. If you wish to secure a date you may pay for two seats and if someone else joins we will refund the second seat. PLEASE NOTE: As a single you will joining tours booked by other parties. You need to remain as flexible as possible with dates, times, tour types, options, permits, draws, etc. You may have to compromise to get on a tour of any kind and keep your costs down to 1 seat. Please help us help you.
8. We are travelling as a family. What tours do you suggest?
There are a number of tours we could suggest, but it all depends on what exactly interests you, ages/attention span, and the abilities of your family. Two of our most popular tours with families with younger children are the Peekaboo Slot Canyon and Slot Canyon / Dinosaur Track Combo Tours. We suggest taking a look at our Tour Information Matrix. This has everything broken down at a quick glance with links to the individual pages. All our daytours are 50% off for kids 14 and under in the interest of encouraging family outdoor experiences.
9. How physically challenging are your tours? How should I choose which is right for my abilities?
Overall our tours are nothing extreme, but far more active than a bus tour, for example. They are designed for the average person and only a few of them hike more than 5 miles. Some do include minor scrambling. Keep in mind that our hikes take place in the 4000-8000 ft elevation range which can take adjustment for those from sea level or close to it. The hiking/physical difficulties are listed on each individual tour page and in the Tour Information Matrix. We realize this scale is relative, but have tried to calibrate our estimates to an average person between 40-70. For the sake of maximizing enjoyment for yourself and the others who subsequently join the trip, if you have known physical difficulties or are between the ages of 60-90, please be a little more conservative and carefully consider joining tours with the appropriate activity level. A guided tour will not fix your bad knees or make you young again. Physical inability can become a serious problem in the wilderness. Also while we do everything we can to moderate hiking routes to fit our groups’ abilities, sometimes groups with mixed abilities require patience and understanding on both sides and with our guides. Please be as honest as possible with Dreamland about any conditions or limitations both before and during your tour. Help us help you.
10. We are a group with varying abilities. What tour would you suggest?
Our Peekaboo Slot Canyon Tour is great for all ages and abilities. It’s a three hour tour with minimal hiking. We have had everyone from infants to elderly in this canyon. Hiking difficulties are listed on the individual tour pages and can be seen at a glance on the Tour Information Matrix.
11. In what languages are your tours offered? Can I request a certain guide?
All of our tour guides speak English. Co-owner Sunny speaks fluent German (Sunny). One (Phil) also speaks fluent Spanish and French. If you would like to request a particular guide who speaks your native language, or for any reason, we will do everything possible to honor that request. However there are no guarantees as logistical and scheduling conflicts sometimes arise. Please indicate at booking language or guide requests. Online please enter this in the “Special Requirements” box. If you are not on a tour with a guide who speaks your language, rather only English, it is recommended that at least one person in each party speaks English and is able to translate to get the maximum value out of the tour. Please ask your guide to give pauses for translation.
12. What do I need to bring on a daytour/overnight?
The biggest things you need to remember on a daytour are a small pack to carry your own water (essential especially on tours with more hiking), jacket for warmth and rain (essential), boots or high top sneakers (optional but optimal in sand), any essential medication, and camera. Other items include extra layers when cold, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, chapstick, and other typical daytime sundries. Hiking poles are not required unless you really need them due to balance issues. You may bring them optionally but please make sure to bring the rubber tips to protect the fragile sandstone. For 24hr scheduled overnights bring all the same except add an extra layer or two. For overnights in April or October bring a warm hat and gloves. For scheduled overnights of 48 hours or custom multi-day trips just add a change of clothes or two. On all tours we provide water and snacks. On daytours of more than 6 hours and multi-days (middle days only) more than 24 hours we provide lunch. On scheduled overnights of 24 hours we do not provide lunch so please eat before you come.
13. Do you offer pet-friendly tours? Can we bring our dog?
We do allow 1 dog on any given tour or two if they know each other and get along. The only place we tour that does not allow dogs is Toroweap. If the original booking party books in a dog then anyone who subsequently joins the tour must accept it. If anyone that subsequently joins wishes to bring a dog then the original booking party must agree. We welcome Best Friends volunteers and their furry pals. Ask for a sleepover dog! Please be prepared with leash and poop bags. Click for more info about pet-friendly hotels in Kanab.
14. What are the costs of your tours?
The costs of our tours vary, are per person not including taxes and fees, and can be found on their individual pages. For a ballpark figure they are roughly $100 per person for a halfday and $200 per person for a full day. Cost and other facets of our tours can also be scanned at a glance with the Tour Information Matrix. All our daytours are 50% off for kids 15 and under in the interest of family outdoor experience.
15. Is tipping the guide customary?
In the United States tipping is not required, but it is the socially accepted norm. When a service has been provided to you, tipping of the immediate providing individual is customary. Tipping of tour guides is typically around 10% of the tour cost. Tips are not expected, but always greatly appreciated by our guides, and make up a significant portion of their income. When they do a good or great job, please tip them.
16. When are your tours available? What time do your tours depart?
Our daytours are available year round except Dec 21-Jan 1. During the month of January we have a 4 adult seat minimum and online booking is not available. You must call 435-644-5506 during January. During our yearly January tour closure, the office phone will still be open for inquiries and reservations, and our online system never sleeps. Our multi-day tours both scheduled and custom run April-October. Our tours are booked on-demand. You choose your departure time at booking. If you are joining a pre-existing tour, the departure time has been chosen by the original booking party. Departure time options for our tours can be seen at a glance on the Tour Information Matrix.
17. What is included on your tours?
Daytours include pickup and dropoff from local hotels, off-road transportation, natural history narration, guided hiking, photo advice, photo assistance, first aid, emergency communications, snacks, water, and lunch on tours of 6 hours or more. Our multi-day tours include all of this plus a map (White Pocket), tables, chairs, tents or cots, pads, sleeping bags, camp toilets, camp management, excellent meals, stargazing, sunsets and sunrises for the photographer, and lots more time outside. On overnights you may optionally bring your own tent and/or sleeping bags which you are responsible for setting up and breaking down.
19. What is your weather policy? What is your cancellation/reschedule policy?
These policies are all found on our Policies Page. PLEASE NOTE: Because of the constantly changing weather, targets moving over the whole region (our trucks), unpredictability of weather forecasts, the complexities of different road surfaces in different areas, the variable nature of storms as far as coverage and volume in this area, and the fact that some of the best photography weather is often on days with a chance of rain, we do not reflexively cancel tours without solid information. However, as your safety is always paramount in situations where incontrovertible evidence leads us to believe that potentially dangerous situations are probable, we will cancel tours if necessary. We will assume tours will run until departure time. We do not cancel tours until departure time as the most relevant information is at hand. Also if we know of a particular area or time that will be a problem we will often consult with all parties on the tour as to how best to go about re-routing, postponement, or cancellation. Trying to manage this on the phone hours before the tour is nearly impossible. If a party decides to cancel prior to departure time for reasons of weather forecasts, the cancellation will be subject to the standard policy. Cancellations made by us at departure will be accompanied by a full refund if no other solution can be reached. Also the information we have at any given time is often incomplete. For example, we do not know if the Wave is covered in snow or if the route is hikeable, whether roads are impassable in a given location etc….as we do not have a webcam at these remote locations. We do try to network to get better information if we can. Sometimes incontrovertible evidence is only found once the tour has begun. Guessing, followed by reflexive cancellations, we have learned, produces more poor results for everyone involved, than the strategy we take. It is very, very complex making these decisions. We are always monitoring the weather and have many years of experience managing the logistics that are affected by weather in this area. Please trust us to act in both our best interests.
20. How soon should we book?
This depends on several factors, but our best advice is to book as soon as you finalize your plans. We do fill up, and if you have a limited window of opportunity, you may miss out. The smaller your availability window and the tighter your schedule, the earlier you need to book in order to ensure availability. The larger your group, especially if it involves more than one of our trucks (>7 passengers), the earlier you need to book.
21. Am I able to book last minute?
Yes, you are able to book by phone at the last minute depending upon availability, but please don’t wait longer than necessary. Any advance notice greatly assists us in arranging employee and equipment logistics. Please be prepared to join an existing tour that may not have been your first choice. We prefer that you call rather than use the online system. We try our best to keep the reservation system as real-time as possible but it is very difficult to be 100% accurate with logistics and resources that are constantly varying. For this reason, online booking is cutoff 18-24 hours before departure. We may still need to adjust your choices to match availability. Options are not infinite at the last minute. We appreciate your understanding.
22. How do I reserve my date(s)?
You are able to book online or by contacting us. We do require a 50% deposit to reserve your daytour date(s) and a 1/3 deposit to reserve a multi-day tour. The remaining balance is due the day of your tour at departure. Your guide can take any method of payment.
23. How do I book multiple tours online?
Set up the first tour by using the “Book Now” links on the individual tour pages. Follow all the prompts until you get to the “Your Details” page, but do not yet fill out the details just yet. Instead, click ” Make Another Booking”, an orange bar at the very top of the page. You will return to the tour listings page of our reservation system and begin anew. You can select the areas/categories of the various tour in the links at the top (Kanab Tours, GSENM Tours etc) and then select the individual tour. There are also a couple more categories under “More”. Repeat the process and continue adding tours in this manner until you are done and then review all the tours in your shopping cart and add all the pertinent details. Then submit details and payment for all tours at once and you are done.
24. Can I pay via cash, Paypal, credit card, check?
If you are interested in paying by cash or check please contact us directly. You are able to book online with your credit card or you may contact us by phone to place an order. We do not accept PayPal.
25. Where do you pick up/meet? Do you pickup in Page, AZ?
We pick up anywhere in Kanab for all tours. WE DO NOT PICK UP IN PAGE. Other meetups or pickup locations are possible depending on tour logistics and are determined on a case by case basis. Pickups, meetup locations, and exceptions are purely at our discretion. If you are staying in Page, and wish to avoid backtracking, and are doing a Wave, White Pocket, or South Coyote Buttes, or a variant of these tours, we often arrange to meet people at the intersection of House Rock Valley Rd and Hwy 89. For those staying in Kanab but traveling on to Page or other AZ destinations that evening, guests sometimes follow in their own cars from Kanab and park them at an appropriate place to avoid backtracking. Many people travelling through or who have just arrived opt to meet us at our location: 4350 E Mountain View Drive Kanab, UT 84741. Parking and Storage are available here.
26. What is there to do in Kanab? Should we stay there?
Kanab is definitely the place to be. It makes a great home base because of its central location. We are 2 hours or less from Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park, Lake Powell, and several National Monuments. Take a look at our Resources page for our recommendations for local hotels, restaurants, and attractions.
27. What kind of vehicles do we tour in? Do you offer ATV/Jeep Tours?
All of our tours are run in Chevrolet Suburbans or Crew Cab Silverados for comfort and safety. We do not offer ATV or Jeep Tours. Many times of year open vehicles are not comfortable due to extreme high and low temps, rain, wind, and dust. Our enclosed trucks with professional drivers are safer as well and offer more time for education and interaction with your guide. We believe in less gimmick and more substance and comfort.
28. What do I need to bring on a daytour/overnight?
The biggest things you need to remember on a daytour are a small pack to carry your own water (essential especially on tours with more hiking), jacket for warmth and rain (essential), boots or high top sneakers (optional but optimal in sand), any essential medication, and camera. Other items include extra layers when cold, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, chapstick, and other typical daytime sundries. For scheduled overnights bring all the same except an extra layer or two. You do not need a change of clothes. For overnights in April or October bring a warm hat and gloves. For custom multi-day trips just add a change of clothes or two. On all tours we provide water and snacks. On daytours of more than 6 hours and multi-days more than 24 hours we provide lunch. On scheduled overnights of 24 hours we do not provide lunch so please eat before you come.
29. Can we visit Toroweap, Peekaboo Slot Canyon, and White Pocket in a single day?
Unfortunately due to the remoteness of some of these areas, that tour you have in mind may not be logistically feasible as in the above examples. If you are looking for more than what you see on any tour page, contact us. We do offer custom tours, but keep in mind it may not be able to work as you have planned. Often the geographical space of the Western US is vastly under-appreciated during planning.
30. Can the longer day tours be shortened? Can tours be customized?
In some cases, yes, depending on the tour. Certain tours however cannot be shortened. For instance, it is not possible to do a White Pocket Tour in 4 hours due to the remoteness of the area. All tours in the Paria / Vermillion Cliffs Area are full days no matter which way you slice it. Custom tours for full groups (5-7 passengers) are more feasible than highly specialized tours with only one or two passengers. Custom tours for groups of 4 or less will also considered private tours and prices will be set at a 5+ passenger minimum depending on the tour.
31. I want to see as much as possible in one day. What do you suggest?
We have several different tours that allow you to see much of what their particular area has to offer. These tours are: Ultimate Kanab Tour, Photographer’s Dream Tour, White Pocket / South Coyote Buttes Combination Tour (permit required for South Coyote Buttes).
32. Do you offer sunrise or sunset tours?
Due to the remoteness of many of our tours, there is no practical way for us to offer tours with sunrise photo shoots. If you are interested in a sunrise shoot, we suggest one of our overnight tours, specially designed for photographers. Sunsets can be experienced on our Sunset Safari Tour or can sometimes be accommodated on a case by case basis by request usually during Winter or at locations near Kanab. Remote sunsets in summer require tours not returning until midnight and remote sunrises require departures of 3:30am, are difficult to coordinate.
33. What is the best time of day for photography?
This is a highly complex question that varies by the topographical nature of a place, time of year, weather, tour practicalities, and the photographer’s capabilities. While it is impossible to predict with total precision, a few trends have emerged. Slot Canyons are best from 9am to 5pm with less optimal high light penetration in some canyons for an hour around solar noon. Please note that often times the typical photography dogma of Sunset/Sunrise does not always apply here. Examples include dealing with massive shadows in a 3000 foot gorge (Toroweap) or a sandstone bowl surrounded by 60 foot buttes (the Wave). In these cases and many others, photographs during high daylight hours are the most desirable when the sun evenly lights the area.
34. We want to do one of your overnight tours, but aren’t able to make any of your scheduled dates. What are our options?
Depending upon our schedule, we may be able to add or shift dates. Custom multi-days can be arranged APR-OCT depending on availability. Please CALL us with which tour you are interested in and which dates you are considering. Calls allow for far easier information exchange and logistics sorting.
35. Can it just be my group on the tour?
We reserve the right to fill the truck. There is always a possibility it will just be your group, but it is not guaranteed. Requests to make a partially filled tour private are considered on a case by case basis and are based on buying a flexible number of additional seats. Additional fees will apply. Customers booking standard fares and tours should never expect that the tour will be private. We can and will fill the seats to capacity if possible. The max is 5-8 depending on the truck and destination.
36. Can you send us a copy of your brochure?
Our brochure is a simple two-sided card that is an abbreviated listing of our tours with no pictures. It is intended as a teaser for tourists passing through Kanab. We do not mail them. Our website is our most complete information source.
37. Do you offer a shuttle service? How do we get to Kanab?
We do not offer a shuttle service to trail heads, or to / from St. George. As there is no public transportation to Kanab, you must rent a car to get here.
38. How much time is spent in the car versus time at my destinations? What is the pace of the tour?
It depends on whether you are on a “sampler tour” or a “destination” tour. On “sampler” tours like Ultimate Kanab, or Photographer’s Dream, you immediately start going to each point of interest, and make many small stops along the way. These are great for kids’ attention span. “Destination” tours like White Pocket, Toroweap, or South Coyote Buttes have longer drives to and from Kanab and most of the time on the ground is spent in one or two places. Some tours by necessity of logistics have stretches on the highway or bumping along miles of dirt roads. The drives are always scenic and never urban. We specifically craft our tours to maintain around a 1 to 1 ratio or better.
39. What is the best time of the year to see wildflowers?
It is completely dependent on elevation. In Kanab (5,200 ft) it is usually the first week of May. In the Mojave Desert (1,200 ft) it’s the first week of April, and in Cedar Breaks (10,000 ft) it is in June / July. All these dates can vary by several weeks depending on the preceding winter weather.
Tour Specific FAQs
40. How hard is the hike to the Wave, really?
The round-trip hike is just under 6 miles (9.5 kilometers) if you take the most direct route to the Wave and back. Our tours typically cover about 8 miles so we can visit other spectacular sites. Fit, experienced hikers would probably consider this a hike of moderate difficulty. There are long stretches of deep sand to trudge through and an elevation gain of about 500 feet on the trek. There are a few steep inclines with loose footing, and often you will be hiking on uneven sandstone with one foot higher than the other while you hug the side of a steep sandstone ridge. Folks with knee injuries may find the uneven footing and loose sand particularly challenging. Elevation is also a factor. Many visitors come from sea level. North Coyote Buttes is above 5,000 feet or 1,500 meters in elevation. Decent cardio fitness, leg strength, some amount of endurance and good balance are needed. Practice walking in deep, dry sand on a beach for at least 1.5 miles to get a sense of the difficulty of the sandy sections. Wind and harsh weather are other factors. This is a particularly windy spot that makes the winter chill even colder. Ice and snow make the uneven hike quite slippery. Falls are common, even among the sure footed when it’s slippery. Summer heat really packs a punch. The sun is relentless, heating the ground until the radiant heat rises from the earth while the sun shines from above. There is little shade. There are harder hikes in the desert Southwest, but because the Wave has become famous, it attracts all sorts of visitors, not just avid hikers who are used to cross-country travel where there are no signs or marked trails. Stories of rescues in North Coyote Buttes of those who got lost, ran out of water or showed signs of heat stroke are not uncommon. Cell phone service is spotty and you can’t count on finding a park ranger around every corner like at the national park.
41. What’s the difference between the South Coyote Buttes Tour and the White Pocket / South Coyote Buttes Combo tour?
The White Pocket / South Coyote Buttes “combo” tour visits White Pocket and the trailhead at South Coyote Buttes known as Cottonwood Cove. The South Coyote Buttes tour visits two separate trailheads at South Coyote Buttes: Cottonwood Cove and Paw Hole. All three areas are incredible and present unique opportunity for photographers. If you have the time, or plan to come back next year, we recommend spending a whole day at each location. If your time is more limited, the White Pocket / South Coyote Buttes “Combo” tour is your best bet, you’ll see the most variety in a single day. White Pocket is very different from South Coyote Buttes. At South Coyote Buttes, Paw Hole is marked by deep red sandstone teepees that rise out of the earth, while Cottonwood Cove is known for more variation in color, intricate, striped patterns in the rock and delicate sandstone ledges.. Our South Coyote Buttes tour spends about 3 hours at each location, while our White Pocket / South Coyote Buttes “combo” tour spends about 2.5 hours at White Pocket and 3 hours at Cottonwood Cove. There are no actual trails at Cottonwood Cove or at Paw Hole. Our tours typically cover about 4 miles of terrain at Cottonwood Cove and 2 miles at Paw Hole, (or 2 miles at White Pocket) but trips can be tailored to each group.