Local Adventures – Right Outside Your Front Door
By Lisa Antonucci
Some of the most spectacular parts of the Wasatch Back are tucked away in remote locations, best experienced by immersing yourself in the rugged landscape. But getting “down and dirty” in the backcountry is easier than you might think thanks to these local outfitters.
Getting you off the beaten path is the primary mission for Wasatch Excursions (WE), which prides itself on being the only company authorized to offer guided tours on the pristine 22,000 acres of the Wasatch Mountain State Park.
WE’s tours cover approximately 25 miles round trip, climbing 2,500 feet in elevation from base camp to the top of the ridgeline and offering 360-degree views of the Heber Valley and American Fork Valley before dropping to the valley below. WE is able to accommodate all skill levels and can structure trips to satisfy personal requests.
“If you’re unfamiliar with the terrain, or looking for a safe family experience, it’s absolutely worth it to have a knowledgeable guide lead you through the park,” said WE Manager Braxton Morgan.
Looking to feel that breeze in your hair, sun on your face and perhaps fling yourself from an 80-foot-high tower? Then take your adventure to new heights at Zipline Utah.
Located in picturesque Deer Creek State Park, Zipline Utah offers seven different tour packages involving some or all of the zipline sections, which can easily accommodate a variety of ability levels. But for anyone with a “go big or go home” mentality, Zipline Utah boasts several record-setting experiences, including the world’s longest zipline over water—the 3,900-foot Screaming Falcon zipline and the world’s longest continual zipline course, which comprises a full two-mile loop that never touches the ground.
While guides are with you every step and zip of the way, and you’re continuously tethered to the course for safety, expect to find yourself outside your comfort zone at times. However, overcoming challenges and experiencing the excitement of adventure with family and friends is a true bonding experience.
High Country Adventure
Take in the spectacular scenery on a whitewater-fueled float down the Provo River with High Country Adventure (HCA). This six-mile excursion features views of soaring canyon walls and the majestic Mt. Timpanogos. HCA offers heavy-duty river tubes and consider a double tube and/or a cooler tube to bring along snacks and drinks to round out your day. For an additional fee, HCA also offers wetsuits, river booties and small paddles.
Tubing is recommended for kids 12+, but kids 8+ can participate on a double tube with a strong adult swimmer. Smaller rafts that hold 3-5 people are available for parents with younger children or less confident swimmers. Bear in mind, this isn’t an amusement park “lazy river”—several Class I and II rapids as well as other obstacles can appear along the route, and adventurers should be confident in their swimming ability.