Like all adventure sports, climbing and canyoneering do have inherent dangers; likewise, outdoor and athletic activities present their own risks. While unforeseen injuries or events can happen, knowledge and experience go a long way in making these activities safer. Over the past fifty years, all of the technical aspects of climbing and canyoneering that have been developed increase the safety of these activities. We strive to help make climbing and canyoneering safer by employing guides that have extensive knowledge in risk management and who can share that knowledge to enhance the clients experience and education. If you have specific concerns, please contact our office: we are happy to answer your questions.
How fit do I need to be?
All of our trips are physically active, though different trips accommodate different levels of fitness. We have included in the description of each trip an idea of the level of physical challenge involved.
At the minimum, if you are comfortable walking at least 2.5 miles on varied natural terrain (such as sand and sandstone), you are fit enough for the half-day trips. Longer trips and rock climbing courses do require more exertion. However, beginning climbing trips use a variety of shorter, single pitches; thus, we can adapt the day to your fitness level by the number of routes you ascend and their difficulty.
While only you can determine if you are up to the mental challenge of rappelling or climbing, our goal is to give you an exhilarating experience from which you return feeling physically gratified.
How much experience do your guides have?
As a small company we place a premium on the satisfaction of your outdoor adventure. Every trip our guides lead draws on countless seasons of climbing, rappelling, and exploring this unique desert. Safety and risk management is at the foundation of your guides’ knowledge and expertise. Up to date medical training as Wilderness First Responders or Emergency Medical Technicians is a requirement for our guides, many of whom exceed those requirements and work in the Emergency Medical Services field and/or Search & Rescue. These leaders are committed professionals who are exemplary guides and instructors. Through guide trainings and an ongoing review process, we strive to maintain the highest standards of professionalism. Please see our Guides page for a summary of their experiences.
When is the best time of year to go on a trip?
Whenever you have vacation time available! Seriously, the rarity of this landscape is well worth seeing at anytime of the year. Spring (March-May) and Fall (September-November) are the most popular seasons to visit, when temperatures typically range from the mid-seventies to mid eighties. The summer season, as you might expect, is quite a bit warmer—which is why we adjust our departure times to take advantage of early morning and late afternoon shade in the cool canyons. Pleasant shade-temperatures make these outdoor activities enjoyable this time of the year.
If you are planning a trip for the summer months, we do recommend staying in a motel or B&B, as opposed to camping. Doing so gives you an air-conditioned place to siesta between morning and evening activities.
Winters here are typically mild; the rock quickly soaks up the warmth and radiates it back, creating a pleasant environment for all outdoor activities.
Do you accommodate large groups?
Yes, we can and frequently do accommodate large groups (we generally consider eight or more people to be a group). There are several considerations we take into account when planning these trips, such as the group’s size, level of experience, special needs, client to guide ratio, etc. Please call us to discuss any details when booking a trip for a large group.
Can we book a private trip?
Yes, you can charter your own trip. To ensure that a private guide is available, we highly recommend that you make reservations at least two weeks in advance. Prices for charted trips vary according to the number of people in your group; please call us to discuss details.
What if I am alone?
Don’t let that stop you! If you are alone, we can arrange for you to join a group or you can hire a private guide. Call us for details.
How do I make reservations for a trip?
Call our toll free number 877-641-5271 or email us at [email protected] to book a trip. We look forward to speaking with you!
What is your cancellation/refund policy?
Because a reservation guarantees space on a trip, we sometimes have to turn others away for those same dates. Thus, cancellations must be made at least two weeks prior to the trip dates in order to receive a full refund of the reservation deposit. Any cancellations made after the two-week cut off and up to 48 hours before the trip will forfeit the $20 per person deposit. To cover our costs, we must charge the full trip amount for any cancellations made less-than 48 hours before the trip.
We will refund your entire trip amount if we must make a cancellation due to adverse weather. Please be aware that weather cancellations are made only by our guides, based on how climbing and canyoneering conditions are affected.
Am I supposed to tip my guide?
Gratuities are not required, though they are an excellent way to show appreciation to your guide if you had a positive experience, especially if your expectations were exceeded. Tip amounts are at your discretion, but between $20 and $50 for half- and full-day trips is typical.
Is previous climbing or rappelling experience required to go on a trip?
No, previous experience is not required. In fact Moab is a great place to get your hands on real rock for the first time! We want your introduction (or re-introduction) to rock climbing and rappelling to be relaxed, enjoyable and fun filled. Our staff seek out the best climbs suited to your fitness level and ability. You dictate the pace and we’ll give you as much rock climbing and detailed information as you want in the time you have with us.
If I have experience why do I have to do a checkout climb before doing a tower?
Our main concerns are safety and providing you with a rewarding and enjoyable climbing experience. Desert towers present a unique set of challenges and require specialized techniques to climb. With the exception of Ancient Art Tower, crack climbing skills are required to ascend these big routes.
The checkout climb allows us to assess your crack-climbing abilities and match your skills to the appropriate tower climb.
Do you take young kids climbing?
Yes, and we love how excited kids get about rock climbing! Our trips, regardless of age, are designed to give our clients a sense of achievement and self-confidence — and a love of the sport. We have all the equipment and rock climbing shoes for kids down to the age of six.
What do I need to wear and bring?
We provide all of the technical gear you will need for climbing. If you do have and would prefer to use your own climbing harness, shoes, and/or chalk bag, please do so. Otherwise, we can provide these items for you. We recommend that you wear clothes that are light weight and loose fitting, and which allow you flexibility and freedom of movement. Please choose clothes that are suitable for the season.
For full-day trips, we provide sandwiches from Stu’s Deli.
Other items we recommend that you bring are:
Light long-sleeve shirt (for sun protection)
Light rain gear
Snacks (lunch is provided on full-day trips only)
Minimum of 2 liters of water for half-day trips
Minimum of 3 liters of water for full-day trips
What is canyoneering?
Canyoneering is the adventurous activity of exploring deep and narrow canyons that cannot be navigated simply by hiking. Traveling through them is a matter of negotiating obstacles, such as dry falls, huge boulders, narrow slots, potholes, and ledges that are impassable without ropes.
Our full- and multi-day trips include all of these fun obstacles to one degree or another. While our half-day trip is more benign, the rappels it includes are breathtaking!
Do I need to have previous canyoneering experience to go on a trip?
No previous experience is required. In fact Moab is a great place to experience canyoneering for the first time! To make your introduction to the basic rappelling and climbing skills canyoneering requires, we will seek out the adventure best suited to your fitness level and ability. Our guides can provide instruction and help every step of the way.
Do you take young kids canyoneering?
Yes, but unlike rock climbing we prefer the youngest participants to be at least twelve years old. This is in part due to the amount of walking involved, which can be tough for small legs. As well, little kids can have a hard time lifting and working the ropes through the rappel device.
What do I need to wear and bring?
We provide all of the technical gear you will need for canyoneering but do ask that you wear shoes with a soft, flexible sole, such as running shoes or light weight hiking shoes. Also, wear clothes that are light weight and loose fitting, and which allow you flexibility and freedom of movement. Please choose clothes that are suitable for the season.
On full-day canyoneering trips, we provide sandwiches from Stu’s Deli.