About Us

Jim and I met while working as guides in the tiny village of Escalante.  We quickly became an excellent team in the canyons and inevitably discovered we were a great team out of the canyon as well and we were married in October of 2014.  We were looking to build a future together in Escalante, where we can live in this incredible landscape that we love and continue to help others enjoy it when they visit.  

 

As luck would have it the previous owners of Utah Canyons, Mark and Vicki, were hoping to retire and find someone to take over their business.  Through the years, Mark and Vicki worked hard to create a comfortable place for travelers to get the most out of their trip to Escalante.  From organic espresso drinks to start the day to gear, clothing and maps.  They stocked the shop with all sorts of items to help make sure your visit goes smoothly, not to mention they would provide great local advice on what to see and do.  If you needed a shuttle or the expertise of a guide, they were able to take care of that too.  Taking over Utah Canyons was a perfect fit for us and we are proud to continue the tradition that Mark and Vicki started as well as create something uniquely our own as we move forward in this grand adventure.  

 

We opened our doors in 2016 as Utah Canyon Outdoors, a resource for travelers headed into The Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument.  Our store features hiking, backpacking and canyoneering gear and clothing as well as books, maps, locally made gifts, art and jewelry.  Our Coffee Corner serves up organic espresso drinks featuring beans from Rimini Coffee, an artisan Utah roasting company in Salt Lake City.  Our store is also the booking center for our guide service, offering scenic day hikes, slot canyon day hikes and hiker shuttles throughout the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.      


A wonderful author once said, “Live by the heart if you would live forever.”  This is our mantra.  We found each other in this beautiful landscape while pursuing our individual dreams, living by the heart, and through that experience we discovered our together dream, Utah Canyon Outdoors. Our store is us - we pour our heart into every aspect and find great joy in sharing this place so dear to our hearts with all those that feel the tug and find themselves here. 

 
Caitlin Clery
Owner/Guide

 

Caitlin first set her sights on Utah when she discovered climbing while attending school at Virginia Tech.  She was immediately hooked on climbing and started dreaming of heading west.  While in school, Caitlin led environmental education hikes for local elementary students at Mountain Lake, VA.  One year she spent the season working as a Ridgerunner on the Appalachian Trail maintaining 60 miles of trail and teaching Leave No Trace (LNT) to hikers and groups.  After graduating, she stayed true to her dream and moved to St. George, Utah, a desert climbing haven.  Caitlin worked for several years at Snow Canyon State Park in Ivins, Utah as a park naturalist where she developed programs and led hikes on the park’s geology, plants & animals, etc.  Once Caitlin visited Escalante she couldn’t get the place out of her head.  It wasn’t long before she moved there and worked as an assistant canyon guide.  Her climbing skills translated well to canyoneering and the ‘office’ could not be beat!  A few years later, Caitlin returned to school and earned her Master’s degree from the University of Utah. She returned to Escalante and continued to work as a guide where she eventually met her husband Jim and the rest is history! :)

 

B.S. Natural Resource Recreation and Forestry minor, Virginia Tech 2005

M.S. Parks, Recreation & Tourism, University of Utah 2011

Wilderness First Responder certified

Jim Clery
Owner/Guide
 

Jim grew up enjoying the outdoors and always dreamed of living in the mountains. In 1998 he made that dream a reality and moved from North Carolina to Park City, Utah.  Jim spent the next few years as a land surveyor/ski bum, skiing as much as he could in the winter and mountain biking and rock climbing in the summer.  Seeking new places to explore led him to southern Utah, where he fell in love with the landscape of the Colorado plateau and the slot canyons that cut through it.  Jim started to spend every free weekend he had heading to the desert to find new canyons to explore.  Eventually he found the call of the canyons too great and set his sights on becoming a canyon guide.  Jim became a certified guide and instructor by the American Canyoneering Association as well as a wilderness EMT and started working part time teaching canyoneering courses at the University of Utah and in Escalante, UT.  In 2011 Jim decided to take the leap and start guiding full time, so he moved to Escalante and worked full time as a canyoneering guide and instructor and volunteered for search and rescue.

 

Wilderness First Responder certified

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Mike Lind
Store Manager/Guide

Originally from Athens, Georgia, Mike grew up hunting, hiking and camping in the Appalachian Mountains.  Wanting to explore the vast wilderness areas of the western United States, Mike started by moving to Utah in 2009 and worked at Bryce Canyon National Park.  While at Bryce Canyon Mike discovered slot canyons in the neighboring Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and was amazed by their beauty and the sense of discovery navigating them. Mike continued his journey exploring the western United States with stops in Arizona, Colorado and Alaska but the sandstone and slot canyons called him back to Utah. Mike moved to Escalante, Utah in 2011 and started working as a canyoneering guide with Jim. After spending some time in Springdale/Zion National Park Mike moved back to Escalante to work for Utah Canyon Outdoors to manage the outdoor store and work as a guide.

Wilderness First Responder certified