Canyoneering in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument

Traveling is about getting out of your comfort zone and doing new things. I had never gone canyoneering and what better place to start than in the famous slot canyons of southern Utah.

Long ago I heard that it’s just as easy to learn from the best. With that in mind, I looked for the top guide I could find and ended up going with Rick Green of Excursions of Escalante. Rick and his partner Amie own the business and Rick is the guide. He took Ken and me, along with another couple, Californians Cynthia and Guy, to a slot canyon in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. The park is a 1.7 million acres of undeveloped land that exposes rock formations dating back 50 to 275 million years. It’s home to probably hundreds of slot canyons.

Rick taught us about canyoneering safety and its unique vocabulary. We rapelled down sheer cliffs, smeared rock walls, squeezed into spaces barely the width of my hips, seated-bridged over muddy bottoms, strolled below bluffs hundreds of feet high, rescued a snake (by stuffing it into Rick’s backpack!) and had the time of our lives. It was exhilarating, challenging and fun. Check out these pictures.

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