Skip to main content

In the shadow of the majestic Appalachian Mountains, a young boy’s fascination with discovery and exploration began to take root. Little did he know that his humble beginnings running and playing among the hills and hollows of East Tennessee would lead him on a thrilling journey into the heart of some of the most breathtaking wild landscapes in the world.

christopher at notch peak utah

Fast forward to his senior year at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Christopher unknowingly found himself on the brink of a life-changing adventure. With a passion for science and discovery driving him forward, he embarked on a two-week geology field camp out west, near the Utah-Nevada border. Located between Notch Peak and the Confusion Range, the rugged terrain of Eastern Nevada beckoned to him, promising untold secrets waiting to be discovered.

After spending days hiking, scrambling and meticulously mapping the geological wonders of the region, Christopher found himself at an unexpected crossroads. As the time to return home drew near, a conversation among his peers around the campfire sparked a flame of curiosity within him. The mention of a trip to the Grand Canyon ignited his sense of adventure, but Christopher, ever the explorer, saw an opportunity for something even greater.

Drawing upon his innate sense of curiosity and armed with nothing but a map and a thirst for adventure, Christopher proposed an alternative route home to his companions. Rather than a fleeting glimpse of the Grand Canyon’s majesty, why not immerse themselves in the untamed beauty of Southern Utah’s canyon country?

strike valley at capitol reef national park utah

With a resounding chorus of approval, Christopher’s plan was set into motion. From the winding canyons of Escalante to the rugged terrain of Capitol Reef National Park’s Waterpocket Fold, each stop along the way was a testament to the wonders of the Colorado Plateau.

It was here, amidst the towering cliffs, mesas and cascading waterfalls, that Christopher was introduced to the exciting world of canyoneering. Though he had explored canyons in his youth, locally known as “hollows’ in southern Appalachia, the concept of descending into the depths of these colorful, otherworldly canyons composed entirely of sandstone was completely new to him.

lake powell and the dirty devil river canyon

As their journey home continued, Christopher and his companions traversed the shores of Lake Powell, its waters reflecting the boundless expanse of the desert sky. Little did they know that they were witnessing history in the making, as Lake Powell was still a vast body of water at that time. In the midst of this watery, redrock oasis, nestled within the rugged landscape, Christopher embarked on his first Utah canyoneering expedition. With each step along the slickrock, he felt a sense of exhilaration unlike anything he had experienced before, as he navigated the narrow slot canyons and towering cliffs that surrounded him with awe and fascination.

sunset at robbers roost utah

As the sun dipped below the horizon and the spectacular night sky beckoned overhead, Christopher knew that this journey had changed him forever. For in the depths of these hidden canyons, he had discovered not only the thrill of adventure, but also a deeper connection to the world around him. Little did he know at the time, the confluence of the Colorada and Dirty Devil rivers where they had spent the night on Lake Powell would return as the centerpoint of his life journey almost twenty years later when he founded his outdoor adventure company Get In The Wild.

And so, as they made their way back home, Christopher carried with him the memories of this sublime, otherworldly journey and the knowledge that there was a lifetime of adventures waiting to be had. For in the heart of the wilderness, amidst the towering cliffs and cascading waterfalls, the spirit of exploration lives on.

Are you ready to experience Southern Utah’s awesome canyon country yourself?  Check out our Guided Canyoneering Trips and Technical Canyoneering Courses and experience the silence and solitude of the wild at the Dirty Devil/Robber’s Roost Wilderness.

Best Places To See Fall Colors in Utah Previous Article