Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Wrap it up, put a bow on it and call it Season 2014! Make way for the 2015 schedule!!

Ready to start thinking and daydreaming about next year?  
We are happy to announce the 2015 Multi Day Trip schedule is out! Click on the link below to learn about all the fun adventures we're planning for next season. See you in 2015!

Well folks, the days are getting shorter, the leaves are dropping and the busy season is winding down.  Soon Excursions will be following the summer sun south to Baja, MX where we'll be spending a little time relaxing and a lot of time poking around the backcountry of Baja, hunting down those hidden gems and secret spots for future Baja adventures. 

But first, let's look back at some of the highlights of our 2014 season...

Spring was beautiful, and the raptors were nesting! Rick rescued a very emaciated falcon chick from a canyon in the spring.  Last we heard from Best Friends was that the chick had regained strength and had been moved to the flight pen so he could beef up for a release!  

In August we had to say farewell to our assistant, Matt and his girlfriend Kami as they left Escalante for the Northwest and new adventures.  Matt started graduate school and last report was that he was happily emmersed in his studies and enjoying his classes. 

Excursions got technical.  Not only did we join the smartphone society (finally! our friends and family are very pleased.) but we also entered the wonderful world of social media!  Now you can follow our adventures and antics on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Trip Advisor, and Pinterest...as well as right here!! 

The 2014 season was filled with great people, wonderful adventures, and fun times with friends- new and old. Thanks to everyone for joining us for another amazing year doing what we love and sharing it with others. You made it happen.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fall is here and the canyons are fun!

Fall foliage is turning on the mountain, the kids are back to school and the adults are out to play!  We had a great group out last weekend.  Jen and Beth of Scheels Sports in Utah drove down to spend part of their adventure weekend with us and we FINALLY were able to get some hard working, local Escalantites to join us!

The crew! Angelique, Amanda, Jen, Beth, Robert and Darrel are ready to have some fun!

Beautiful light in the canyon!

 Canyon selfie! Beth, Angelique and Jen take a break to take a shot!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Baja Bound!

For the past three winters, Excursions has been spending time exploring the southeastern coast of Baja, Mexico. This year, after much research and on the ground experiences, we are excited to offer several multiday adventure trips in the backcountry of Baja. This beautiful, remote part of Baja has called to Rick the same way Escalante first drew him in over 20 years ago. The Sea of Cortez is world known for its incredible sport fishing opportunities, amazing snorkeling and annual whale and dolphin migrations. Jacque Cousteau once described it as the "world's aquarium" and the "Galapagos of North America". The beaches stretch for miles with hardly a soul to be seen, and the water is calm, warm and turquoise blue most of the year. The mountains and deserts host a surprising abundance of life as well as evidence of those that have come before. Rock art panels have been found all along the coast of the peninsula, some of which have gained UNESCO World Heritage Site status. 

Our base in Baja has been a sleepy little fishing village an hour north of San Jose del Cabo called Los Barriles. We have spent many days venturing to remote mountain villages and tranquil beaches, often finding ourselves the only human visitors much to the surprise of several sea lions and pelicans! On another excursion we discovered a remote beach littered with ancient Native stone tools and chippings. In the late afternoon we’d head down to the town beach to watch hundreds of baby sea turtles being released into the ocean, the hard work of a local conservation group, Grupo Tortuguero. Evenings were often spent at one of the many open air taquerias devouring incredible ceviche, shrimp and fish tacos, or amazing carne asada that was grilling all afternoon! 

While the area around Los Barriles is stunning and full of places to explore, the mountains north of La Paz kept tempting us as we studied maps and satellite images of their imposing beauty. We had finally found the backcountry we were looking for…and the exploration planning begun. 

Last winter, after much planning, organizing, and discussion we had worked out the logistics for an excursion into those mountains. Our team included Marjorie and Jean, interpreter and guides from La Paz, Rogelio who owns a ranch at the base of the mountain and packed our gear in on mule and horseback, and Polomo, a local guide who grew up on the mountain and knew its routes and secrets. Two friends/clients/all-stars, Tony and Judy also joined us for the adventure. Four days were spent hiking, scrambling, and rappelling through a geologic wonderland of green, pink, white and bluish rocks, hoodoos and canyons. Polomo showed us the remains of his family’s homestead at a palm oasis on the slope of the mountain, what a childhood he must have had up there! The excitement of discovery was palpable as we pushed for the saddle and hopefully a route to the summit and a possible canyon descent. 

Routes were evaluated, new vistas peaked interest in further exploration, palm trees whispered of undiscovered oases and all around the rocks and geology teased us with their mysterious origins. We will be back…the mountains are calling!

We will be hosting trips this winter 2014/2015, email for more information and trip dates at info@excursionsofescalante.com

Follow this link to watch a slide show of our Baja exploration trip last winter:       https://www.flickr.com/gp/127169536@N05/0F283W

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Canyons and Kingsnakes

We had a great time in the canyon with these guys. Father and son duo, Tom and Thomas show some sweet canyon bridging!  Later in the day, we discovered a young California Kingsnake in the canyon and the guys helped us rescue it.  Way to go guys! Canyon karma!

California Kingsnakes are constrictors and will eat rattlesnakes- definitely a good snake to have around! 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Another Beautiful Day in Escalante

Some photos from another stunning day in the Escalante desert.  We rappelled, scrambled, scooted, bridged and didn't see another soul.  Perfect day!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mid Season Newsletter! Hot off the virtual presses!

Follow the link below to our newsletter. Read all about our Canyoneering Safaris, updates on our Falcon rescue, our new Art on the Patio events, and wish Matt farewell and good luck in his upcoming adventures! 

Find all that and more here:

Monday, July 21, 2014

Canyons and Kids

Canyoneering is a unique sport that uses a variety of skills, teamwork, and problem-solving to follow the path of water through a canyon.  We adults often find ourselves feeling like a kid again, sliding, scooting, getting a little dirty, excited and eager to discover what is around the next corner.  It is no surprise then to hear that kids take to canyoneering like fish to water!

Tons of research has demonstrated that spending time outdoors benefits kids' physical, mental and social development.  Participating in activities like canyoneering helps kids to build self confidence through facing fears like learning to rappel, or in working through a canyon problem. They learn teamwork and communication, as the group must work together and communicate to move through the canyons' many twists and turns.  The sense of accomplishment is palpable as some kids realize they are much stronger and more capable than they once believed!

When families experience canyoneering together, everyone is on the same playing field.  Dad might need his kids' encouragement to get him down the rappel, an otherwise awkward teen may discover they are a natural, smoothly working through the canyon and able to give help or encouragement to Mom or their siblings.  Mom may prove to be the rockstar of the group- giving the kids the opportunity to cheer on their constant cheerleader.  All around, the canyon brings families together, cooperating, communicating and bonding through an experience of a lifetime!

Check out these articles that some awesome moms wrote about taking their kids canyoneering with us! 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Last week was busy, fun and full of adventures!

Whew! We've been busy playing in the canyons, just the way we like it!  Enjoy some shots from some of our latest tours, big days and big fun.

Florent and Justine, geared up and ready to go!  

 Chris looking great on rappel!

Florent, checking out the view on rappel.

The crew! Justina, Florent, Matt, Rick, Chris and Sachin back from a great day on the desert. 

Dmitry demos some sweet canyon moves!

Bo thinking she's not in Colorado anymore! 

Dmitry getting cozy in the canyon.

Dmitry and Natalya and some beautiful glowing walls!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Saturday's Crew 6/28

Arnell, Ian, Elliot, Michael and Denis enjoyed a day out in Egypt this past weekend.  Ian had been with us in June of 2012 and returned with some friends and family to introduce them to canyoneering.  Awesome crew and awesome time!  Looking forward to their next visit!     

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Have no Fear, the Photographer is here!

Excursions of Escalante is proud to announce a new service for our guests! 

Patrick Hayes, a longtime friend and part of our Excursions family will be offering his professional photography services on our tours. Guests may now hire Patrick to capture their experience through his photojournalistic images and video. 

Death Hollow Descent
Canyons are full of sand, sometimes mud, and always a bit of dust.  Getting a little dirty adds to the fun...unless you have a camera to worry about!  

Well fear no more! Let Patrick stress about the camera while you live in the moment of your adventure.  His photojournalistic style will tell the story of your experience and let you focus on remembering the moments! 

Check out Patrick's page on our website for more photos, information and videos.  

Mondays are the Best! If you're in a canyon, that is...

Mondays can be a bummer to many people.  It's the start of another work week, back to the grind, waiting and daydreaming of the upcoming weekend's adventures.  Yesterday was not that kind of Monday...at least not for our crew (or us- we love our job!).  

Dave, Meg, Carol and Greg had been looking forward to this Monday for a while, and they were ready for an adventure!

We were treated with a beautiful, clear day and incredible bluebird skies!  Dave showing his smooth skills on rappel. 

As we worked our way into the canyon, the bright sunny day above created stunning, glowing walls inside the narrows.  

The spaces seem almost magical, the shapes as beautiful sculptures.  What a world exists inside a canyon that could never be imagined standing on the rim above!

Out of the canyon and into the river! Carol and Greg look back at where they've been.  What an adventure- and it's not over yet!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Best Monday Ever.

Mondays. Something many of us dread...but not when you're in Escalante playing in a beautiful slot canyon!  Yesterday's crew got to help this little guy out of a real pickle.

They found him stuck deep in the canyon. Sometimes animals fall or get washed into the canyons and can't get back out and end up starving or dying of dehydration.  We like to help the animals out when we can- karma comes around!

Our canyoneers descending into the depths of this twisting, colorful canyon.  Amazing to think they are following a path carved by water through an ancient sand dune! Earth is so cool.

 Kasey, Garrick, and Judd just chillin' and bridgin'.  Did you know sandstone gets its red color from iron oxide? Each grain of sand in the rock is coated in it!

 Up close and personal with the sandstone, Kasey and Garrick show how to be smooth in a tight spot.  

Monday, June 16, 2014

Thursday's Awesome Excursion

Summer is just around the corner and the highs are in the mid 70's here in Escalante.  Just beautiful weather to be out in the canyons.  Thursday we had two wonderful families with us, check out some photos from the day!

 The light was just perfect, glowing orange walls seemed to greet us around every corner. 

 Jodie, Bobby and Heidi enjoying the canyon glow. 

 Bobby looking great on rappel! 

Andrew showing off some of his canyon skills...can anyone guess what this move is called?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Today is always a good day for Adventure!

It's early June here in Escalante, weather is beautiful- high's are in the 80's and lows in the 50's.  The sun is warm and the canyons are cool!  Here's our group from Monday, having a great day in the canyon. 

Susan on rappel and looking great!  Check out the amazing cross-bedding in the wall behind her.  These canyons are ancient sand dunes over two million years old!  What you are seeing are the layers of sand that were deposited when the sandstone was still a dune, the changes in the direction of the layers indicates a change in the direction the wind was blowing when the sand was deposited.  How cool is that?!

Our Monday crew met this little guy in the canyon, a Canyon Treefrog!  An amphibian that lives in the desert, these little guys are nocturnal, hunting insects at night and hide in rock crevices during the day or in times of drought.