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 Garden serves up organic espresso drinks and brewed coffee 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, Monument yoga classes, pack raft rentals 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 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 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 mountin 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.
Certified Guide/Instructor - American Canyoneering Acadamy
Wilderness First Responder certified
Becka grew up moving around the country with her family exploring the beautiful earth, from the swamps of Louisiana, to the high desert of California. Her love for the Utah desert deepened while living in St. George, Utah where she worked as a hiking guide for Green Valley Spa. While living there she also purchased her first motorcycle. Cruising around the surrounding area she was exposed to rock climbing and bouldering quickly became her favorite climbing style and she joined the Mad Rock Climbing ambassador team in 2014. Becka, was living in Salt Lake City, Utah, studying and teaching yoga at local Yoga Studios and The Front Climbing Club, when she was introduced to Escalante, Utah, by a dear friend who knew and loved the area, which led her to move to the beautiful Utah desert in the New Year of 2019.
Becka is passionate about teaching yoga and teaches in a way to create an environment of healing and insight to occur, so you can be your most authentic self.
“Yoga is the returning to your most natural self” ~ Peter Francyk
E-RYT 500 (Experience Registered Yoga Teacher) since 2014
YACEP (Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider)
I have studied with Peter Francky Ana Forrest, Seane Corn, along with many other inspiring yogi's.
Teaching consistently since 2010.
Leading Yoga Teacher Training courses since 2016